Choosing a New Home – A Permaculture Approach

If you are looking for a new home, sustainability might not be the first thing on your mind. But it can be helpful to approach the problem from a permaculture perspective. The right home can have all the ingredients you need for a more sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly way of life. But choosing the wrongContinue reading “Choosing a New Home – A Permaculture Approach”

How Do We Fix Fragile Systems?

A fragile system is one which will break rather than bending. One which will fail to thrive when conditions get tough. One which cannot change and adapt to changing needs, but which is brittle and will not survive whatever the future brings. Fragile systems, both in the garden and in society, can be identified andContinue reading “How Do We Fix Fragile Systems?”

Case Study: The NOWschool Permaculture Plan

This is a permaculture design for the NOWschool – a green and sustainable school planned in Utrecht, Netherlands. This is a project of sustainable businesswoman Juliette Schraauwers, who approached me to create a design for the school. This is a concept inspired by the Green School movement, which advocates an overhaul of our educational systems.Continue reading “Case Study: The NOWschool Permaculture Plan”

Misconceptions About Permaculture Design

Today, I thought I would take a moment to correct some misconceptions that seem to be common when it comes to permaculture design. Firstly, and most importantly – permaculture is not a ‘cult’. Some people I have encountered mistake the zeal with which people talk about permaculture for some form of indoctrination or even ‘brainwashing’.Continue reading “Misconceptions About Permaculture Design”

Identifying Flows and Pathways

Patterns are important in permaculture. Whether we are talking about landscapes, gardens, homes, communities or broader societal systems, it is important to look at patterns in the big picture. Of course, there is an important permaculture principle that we design from patterns to details. We take a holistic, big-picture view before we delve into theContinue reading “Identifying Flows and Pathways”

Embracing Uncertainty

As a permaculture designer, I am often asked to bring order to ideas, and come up with plans designed to keep chaos at bay. By implementing the principles of permaculture design, we can bring a certain order to systems and make sure that they meet the central ethics and sore ideals of the movement. ButContinue reading “Embracing Uncertainty”

Managing Water Flow in Permaculture Design

In permaculture, one of the basic design principles is use and value renewable resources. One of the most vital natural resources we have is fresh water. Permaculture approaches to all facets of life must take into account the pathways of fresh water. Those designing sustainable landscapes and food producing systems must think about how freshContinue reading “Managing Water Flow in Permaculture Design”

Saving Time for Sustainability

Permaculture zoning is all about analysing our patterns of human movement, and how we use our time. When we carry out an analysis of the inputs, outputs and characteristics or each element in a garden (or in another system), we can work out where to place them to make most efficient use of our time.Continue reading “Saving Time for Sustainability”

Applications for Permaculture: Sectors and Flow

In permaculture, when we talk about sectors what we are essentially considering is how energy will enter and move through the space. We should consider the sun, the wind, water, and also human energy, and the paths we take as we move around. How sun, wind and water etc. behave on the site will setContinue reading “Applications for Permaculture: Sectors and Flow”

What is a Co-operative Paradigm?

Permaculture espouses the idea that a co-operative paradigm provides the best pathway to a stable, sustainable future in which permaculture ethics and principles are maintained. Within the framework of a co-operative paradigm, people can switch from being the cause for the world’s major problems to the basis for solving them. By finding a common seriesContinue reading “What is a Co-operative Paradigm?”