Day 7 -Design From Patterns to Details

“Can’t see the wood for the trees”


Today we examined the 7th principle which covers design patterns found in the natural world, these are a source of inspiration for permaculture. ‘Pattern thinking’ can be used in a wide variety of situations, unlike specific techniques which can only be used in particular situations. Permaculture aims to help us think about the overall pattern for a project by using a variety of design methods


Paul Ogola from Kenya – a student of last years course gave a talk on his transformative journey since last year, in his words – “permaculture brought me from the darkness into the light!” and one of the most profound lessons he learned was that there is no such thing as waste!.

Following his course he spent some time thinking, observing and interacting with his environment and from this time decided to embark upon a community venture, starting small he constructed a mandala garden using local materials and made a network of like minded people who all wanted to use permaculture to help their families and communities and to share resources and knowledge and continued to grow upon those foundations, leading to them creating the PermoAfrica Centre, now registeed in Kenya as a community seed project, from this also came the K5 Village project working mostly with younger people focusing on bringing them back to the land through permaculture principles, helping to develop an understanding of local plants and resources, sharing knowledge about homemade fertilizers that the local community were not aware of before, they also met with a local chief to talk about bringing permaculture into local schools and even prisons. they made a community fish farm to also enrich the local area and have plans to construct a greenhouse to grow seedlings for local use and looking to the future hope to bring together a permaculture academy to help spred permaculture over a wider area, empowering more and more people throuout the country!

Helen, also a student of lasat year talked about how permaculture had changed the way she used her resources and planting methods, and also the issues she had faced due to environmental changes and drought and how implimenting permaculture on a wider scale could really help to change these conditions for the better.


Helen giving her talk


Steve talked with the class about zoning in permaculture and what was contained in each zone – this is an essential element i the planning of a permaculture space, factoring in natural elements that will affect plant growth and how we interact with the land and wild energies that could without good planning affect the productivity of a garden. We also looked at patterns in nature and how they are repeated over and over in all things and how they provide design archetypes for us to use and study.class1

class discussion

the class engaging in discussion

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