PDC 1/6 – Sat 21/01/17 – “Observe & interact”


  • Braziers Park, Oxfordshire – http://www.braziers.org.uk/
  • Holzer Permaculture, Sepp Holzer – http://www.holzerpermaculture.us/
  • The Chikukwa Project, permaculture in Zimbabwe – http://thechikukwaproject.com/
  • Chickenshack Housing Co-operative, Wales – http://chickenshack.co.uk/
  • Atmospheric homeostasis by and for the biosphere: the Gaia hypothesis, James Lovelock – http://www.jameslovelock.org/page34.html


  • The Overview Effect – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHMIfOecrlo

Suggested Reading:

  • Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, Bill Mollison – http://permaculturenews.org/shop/books/permaculture-designers-manual/
  • Gaia’s Garden, Toby Hemenway – http://tobyhemenway.com/book/gaias-garden/
  • The Permaculture City, Toby Hemenway – http://tobyhemenway.com/book/the-permaculture-city/
  • The Farmer, the Plough & the Devil, Arthur Hollins – http://shop.fordhallfarm.com/p/The_Farmer_the_Plough_the_Devil/804cf93e2467448385ccf452f3fbdb31/297283d734094369a1b089b270683873/
  • The Living Soil, Lady Eve Balfour – http://soilandhealth.org/copyrighted-book/the-living-soil/

Topics and key points included:

  • Permaculture is a holistic design science, applying design principles
  • Solar energy.
  • Soil, topsoils, soil erosion, soil management
  • Climate change
  • Carbon cycle
  • Energy
  • Photosynthesis
  • Renewable and non-renewable resources
  • Water security
  • Food security
  • Organic farming
  • Work from larger pattern down to details
  • Observation is an active process, not a passive one
  • Fukuoka Manitobu – natural/”do nothing” farming
  • A key point is that the rules of ecology must be respected
  • Permaculture integrates different disciplines to meet our different needs
  • Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of the future
  • Activities can be degenerative, sustainable or regenerative
  • Biodiversity is key to system stability and resilience
  • Plant communities and succession
  • Complex regenerative systems performing multiple functions are needed, modelled on nature, to restore complexity
  • Beneficial relationships in nature
  • Zoning
  • Transition towns
  • RISC Roof Garden, Reading

RISC Roof Garden

  • All soil is covered with a mulch of dead leaves & other organic matter
  • Plants & trees are close together and were densely planted originally and strategically placed
  • Some plants have spread to other areas of the garden and some plants have mingled, e.g. climbing plants and trees
  • Some wild plant species have appeared in the garden
  • The garden is a mosaic of zones with many edges and margins
  • There are many different niches and microclimates within the garden, allowing high biodiversity
  • Water harvesting and recycling
  • Energy capture
  • Compost bins
  • Zoning


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