observe and interact

take time to observe your environment – you will learn a lot about what’s there, how it works well, what are the challenges, and how all elements of what’s there interact – this experience will make for good design and intervention in an environment only when needed and most effectively

catch and store energy

the sun’s energy drives all processes on the earth – plants most successfully can transform this energy and create sustenance for living things – in permaculture systems we aim to harness the energies coming into an environment, cycle the energy as many times as possible, store it to get maximum use, before the energy degrades or goes out of our system

obtain a yield

ensure all the work you do obtains a yield for yourself and others as well as cares for the earth – this is a photo from a community growing project in Forest Row

The Crossing

apply self-regulation and accept feedback

our living systems, our biosphere, has limits – traditional ways of growing food worked within those limits, working at an appropriate size and working in harmony with its own and surrounding environments

use and value renewable resources

our society is driven by oil – a finite resource which takes millions of years to form and is costly and polluting to extract and process – the earth and its living systems and processes are driven by the energy of the sun – the energy which life on earth uses most efficiently to create abundant natural landscapes

produce no waste

ecosystems are self-sustaining organisms – energy and nutrients are cycled within the system

design from pattern to detail

patterns are formed by the meeting of two different media – where a river meets the sea, as the tree moves through the soil and into the sky – understanding how these natural patterns work, how they process energies, and working with patterns in nature allows us to create efficient and harmonious environments

integrate rather than segregate

nothing exists in isolation – it’s much lighter work and fun with more than one!

small and slow solutions

planting a small cranberry bush – a bit of effort, a little maintenance, and in a few years you have an abundance of small berries for years to come

use and value diversity

diversity creates resilience and abundance – the yield of a small garden can be plentiful in terms of having many different things to eat at different times of year, plants can also build and feed the soil, provide a habitat for insects and birds, and be beautiful too

use edges and value the marginal

the edge is the most productive place in a landscape – and easy to create – creating beds or swales or windbreaks on contour works with the form of the landscape capturing water and nutrients on a slope

creatively use and respond to change

change is life – the pattern of day and night, the seasons of the year, cycles of birth, growth and death – we can work with change and celebrate it!