Permaculture some principles

Companion planting

Permaculture gives us a set of principles based on ecological, human and economic sustainability brought about by observing natural systems and applying clever, thoughtful design. It brings together many traditional farming techniques and practical, proven ideas and weaves a good dose of common sense throughout it all. If these principles are applied to the landscape or a community, they can bring about real change, save energy and move people toward a more sustainable way of living.

Biological resources
Follow nature’s lead and value the biological resources that surround us. See the value in what is around you. Whether human, animal, plant, landscape or soil – understand how it works and how to utilise its resources. Understand the limits to these resources too and ensure you don't overload them.

Example – value the microbial workforce above and below the soil and don’t spray chemicals. Use plants as shade and for cooling your home. Move away from unsustainable fossil fuel dependency toward more biological resources.

Create efficiencies in your design by placing the things you need to use everyday and the things that need your attention every day closest to your house. Plan out from the back door. Zone 1 is the most intensive, Zone 6 the least intensive. Zones reflect human energy efficiencies.

Example – if you love a herbal tea every day, have your herbs by the backdoor.

Relative location
Everything in the design is placed in relation to another – they all assist and support each other. Everything is beneficially and beautifully connected.

Example – plant medicinal herbs for the chooks near the chook pen. Have a compost bin near the back door to ensure kitchen scraps are regularly emptied. Build a big compost system in the fruit orchard so you don’t have to move it far when its ready. Think ‘smart placement’. A compost bin right near the house ensures your kitchen waste is emptied everyday and that this bin is cared for and maintained which in turn ensures it produces bucket loads of beautiful compost for us.

Energy recycling
Both human, nutrient and fossil fuel energy is recycled through the permaculture system. 'Produce no waste' is the mantra we chant. Close the loop and keep the energy cycling through the system. One system's waste becomes another’s raw material.

Example – kitchen scraps are fed to chooks, chooks then manure in their bedding, bedding is then added to the compost system, it creates soil, it grows our food, excess food is fed to chooks and so it goes. Don’t let valuable nutrients leave your property (eg compost kitchen scraps, don’t put them in the wheelie bin) keep them recycling through the system improving fertility year after year.