Scaling Up and Scaling Down Permaculture Principles and Practice

One of the things that never fails to inspire me about permaculture is the fact that it can be scaled up to the largest of acreages, and scaled down to just a tiny patch or a few containers in someone’s backyard.

The goals, ethics, ethos, principles and practices that play a big role in my way of life are globally applicable. They can be applied in different ways in each unique scenario, in a huge range of different projects no matter how large or small they may be.

Scaling up permaculture in practice can bring unique challenges. But by going back to basics, we can develop thriving, biodiverse ecosystems even over larger tracts of land. We can regenerate and restore huge areas by remaining true to the core ethics and principles of permaculture.

For larger scale projects, one of the crucial things to consider is how high yields can continue to be maintained in ecologically sensitive ways. Smaller farms and restoration projects can often offer higher yields than larger farms per acre – often because of the human input required for the instantiation and maintenance of the growing systems. Simply put – a farmer with just 5 acres will have a lot more time to devote to each acre than one with 500 acres of more…

I think that it is a good idea, with larger projects, to consider human input. It makes sense to consider how community and land work together – developing holistic views of societal systems and growth systems, and how the two should work together. Of course, creating low maintenance perennial systems and working with nature, are crucial to maximising yield while minimising input on any site.

I have had several people say things to me like ‘I’d love to adopt permaculture one day – but I don’t have the space right now.’ This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what permaculture can offer. By thinking about permaculture ethics and principles, we can adopt a more sustainable way of life even if we don’t have any outside growing space at all.

No matter whether you are the custodian of a huge area of land, or just trying to live greener in your own home, I can help you learn how to implement permaculture practices where you live.

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