Monday, February 25, 2008


Permaculture contains ethics that lead to principals. Some of the ethics overlap the principals. The principals lead to methods. The principals and the methods overlap each-other. The methods lead to outcomes. The outcomes overlap everything because it works like the our cells work in our body. It is a self regulating perpetual cycle, and we are part of it. There is no "one solution." To me, permaculture is the synergy of all elements.

The basic ethics of permaculture.
  • Earthcare – recognising that the Earth is the source of all life (and is possibly itself a living entity- see Gaia theory) and that we recognise and respect that the Earth is our valuable home and we are a part of the Earth, not apart from it.
    • For example

      Conservation of Biodiversity
      Clean air and water
      Restoration and conservation of forests, habitats and soils
      Recycling and pollution reduction
      Conservation of energy and natural resources
      Appropriate technology

  • Peoplecare – supporting and helping each other to change to ways of living that are not harming ourselves or the planet, and to develop healthy societies.
    • For example

      Health and well-being
      Nourishment with good food
      Lifelong learning
      Right livelihood and meaningful work
      Community belonging
      Open Communication
      Trust and Respect

  • Fairshare (or placing limits on consumption) - ensuring that the Earth's limited resources are utilised in ways that are equitable and wise.
    • For example

      Networking and sharing
      Distribution of resources and wealth
      Reduction ofconsumerism
      Rethinking current notions of growth, progress and development
      Making a contribution

The basic principals and Methods of permaculture.

  • Value and Gratitude - the power of prayer and the power of the positive
  • Use slow and small solutions (scale) - I know this is true with human societies that haste and expedience breakdown value, beauty and understanding. Scale plays a great role. Joy from accomplishment of simple tasks. Feeling of accessibility, the absence of alienation and the ownership of process. { I can only assume this is true with the rest of the world }
  • Use edges and value the marginal - the edges or the places where two micro-systems meet seem to be the most fertile and fruitful areas, value them. { I'm not yet sure if this can be related to human societies but I know that like everything else the humans on social borders have access to the resources on both sides of that border}
  • Use and value renewable resources and service - I consider this in the same vein as energy planning. It can also be catching and storing of energy but this must be regulated in order to stop the hording and greed that surplus energy (power), surplus in general can induce. - Use biological resources where ever needed and possible.
  • Use and value diversity - reflect the diversity in our world by living diversely and putting diversity into every thought and micro-system.
  • Creatively use and respond to changes - This goes hand in hand with reinvention and the constant revolution.
  • Apply self regulation and accept feedback - This is a principal that we must look to our planet for example. { watch Gaia video below }
  • Observe -> Interact - This may as well be part of the ethics of permaculture. It is in the observation of everything around us and inside of us that will guide us to interact and not interact with love. Observation of the physical with all the senses and the observation of the space in between everything with our beings will bring empathy, understanding, balance, and enlightenment.
  • Design from patterns to details - Look at the larger scope of a project or of the world and then work your way to the smallest details. This will give us a complete perspective of every detail and their interconnection. It will help us see the patterns in those details as well. "Think globally act locally."
  • Integrate rather than segregate - Everything in this world provides multi function. Observe and integrate in order not to waste precious resources.
  • Relative location - It is similar to the idea that every choice we make needs to be guided towards the betterment of our world. All things can benefit from everything else in some way with out taking away from it.
  • Nutrient cycling - important and principal method to produce no waste.

The basic outcomes of Permaculture.

Obtain yield
Produce no Waste { both part principals }
step towards a sustainable world once again

Ethics principles and methods
A new beginning

David Holmgren { the co-founder of the permaculture movement } has developed these 12 design principles for permaculture:

  1. observe and interact
  2. catch and store energy
  3. obtain a yield { I consider crossover outcome }
  4. apply self-regulation and accept feedback
  5. use and value renewable resources and services
  6. produce no waste { I consider crossover outcome }
  7. design from patterns to details
  8. integrate rather than segregate
  9. use small and slow solutions
  10. use and value diversity
  11. use edges and value the marginal
  12. creatively use and respond to change
I have, above, put them in my own words with out writing a book on them. There is so much detail to put into each element.


Lilly said...

Hey Benny,
Well done! Love it! One thing I would add to your considerations is the value of diversity. In my own spiritual beliefs, I see the teachings of our Creator in creation itself. When I look around at what is Created, I see infinite diversity, and so I believe that diversity must have value. I also separate the Created world (created by something greater than ourselves) and the Manufactured world (created by human hands).

InnerLightCircle said...

Hi Benny
Very impressive!
Keep at it!

Leigh Blackall said...

nice job Benny, can I use your work in the wiki book? Full credit to you and your references of course :)