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Why design with Permaculture in mind?

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

There are many elements of permaculture to understand. However, the most intriguing part for most people are the functional and edible landscape design elements. "Ok, How do we grow our food?!"

Permaculture design encompasses indigenous knowledge, agroecology, meteorology, geography, hydrology and more. It aims to be accessible and decentralised from large institutions. The design process that permaculture promotes, helps us to develop strategies to live in a harmonious, energy-efficient and sustainable way. Put simply, permaculture design will aim to avoid the small mistakes, and totally avoid the detrimental mistakes many have made in the past when designing a home or modifying a landscape.

It all starts with observation of the landscape, each piece of land is treated as unique. As it should be. By looking at the unique characteristics, we can mimic nature to work with the flow of existing behaviours of the land. Reading the landscape to ensure all elements are considered including need for water harvesting/usage requirements, sun/shade patterns, wind patterns, efficient energy planning/relative location, topography, already established microclimates, natural disasters like flood or fire threat, ecologically sensitive/wildlife areas and much more.

It may seem that permaculture design requires a broad amount of knowledge. It does, but for those interested it also encourages collaboration with others in the community, learning from nature, and reviewing and accepting feedback. This is what helps us make informed decisions on the most responsible way forward!

Permaculture can and has been implemented in many situations from refugee camps to apartments; hospitals and schools.

This picture shows the possibilities and a great example of design, perennial herbs, annual beds, fruit trees and windbreak/timber all in less than half an acre. Photo: Casa Calma Tavira

However, permaculture is a much larger movement than the design aspects!

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