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Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services

Category            Permaculture Principles

“Let nature take its course”

Garbage

Mister Thompson calls the waiter, orders steak and baked potato
Then he leaves the bone and gristle and he never eats the skins;
The busboy comes and takes it, with a cough contaminates it
And puts it in a can with coffee grinds and sardine tins;
The truck comes by on Friday and carts it all away; And a thousand trucks just like it are converging on the Bay, oh,

Garbage (garbage, garbage, garbage) Garbage!
We’re filling up the sea with garbage (garbage. . .)
What will we do when there’s no place left
To put all the garbage? (garbage. . .)

Mr. Thompson starts his Cadillac and winds it down the freeway track
Leaving friends and neighbors in a hydro-carbon haze;
He’s joined by lots of smaller cars all sending gases to the stars.
There they form a seething cloud that hangs for thirty days.
And the sun licks down into it with an ultraviolet tongue.
Till it turns to smog and settles down and ends up in our lungs, oh,

Garbage (garbage. . .) Garbage!
We’re filling up the sky with garbage (garbage. . .)
What will we do
When there’s nothing left to breathe but garbage (garbage. . .)

Getting home and taking off his shoes he settles down with the evening news,
While the kids do homework with the TV in one ear
While Superman for the thousandth time sells talking dolls and conquers crime
Dutifully they  learn the date of birth of Paul Revere.
In the paper there’s a piece about the mayor’s middle name,
And he gets it done in time to watch the all-star bingo game, oh,

Garbage (garbage. . .)
We’re filling up our minds with garbage
Garbage (garbage. . .)
What will we do when there’s nothing left to read
And there’s nothing left to need
And there’s nothing left to watch
And there’s nothing left to touch
And there’s nothing left to walk upon
And there’s nothing left to talk upon
Nothing left to see
And there’s nothing left to be but
Garbage (garbage. . .)

In Mister Thompson’s factory, they’re making plastic Christmas trees
Complete with silver tinsel and a geodesic stand
The plastic’s mixed in giant vats from some conglomeration
That’s been piped from deep within the earth or strip-mined from the land.
And if you question anything, they say, “Why, don’t you see?
It’s absolutely needed for the economy,” oh,

Oh, Garbage! Garbage! Garbage! Garbage!
There stocks and their bonds — all garbage!
Garbage! Garbage! Garbage! Garbage!
What will they do when their system goes to smash
There’s no value to their cash
There’s no money to be made
But there’s a world to be repaid
Their kids will read in history books
About financiers and other crooks
And feudalism, and slavery
And nukes and all their knavery
To history’s dustbin they’re consigned
Along with many other kinds of garbage.
Garbage! Garbage! Garbage! Garbage!

Words and Music by Bill Steele; 4th verse by Pete Seeger and Mike Agranoff (1977)
(c) William Steele. Copyright assigned 1992 to the Rainbow Collection, Ltd.

 

Perhaps you have not heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch trapped in the North Pacific Gyre—this is the over 2 Million square mile vortex of waste plastic particles floating just under the surface of the water—this is an area of 75% of the Continental U.S.  There have been a number of well-publicized efforts to call attention to this floating island of debris, including sailing ventures aboard flotsam, such as JUNK Raft, not to mention the Earthships which have been built from the wastestream.

“Plastic is Forever” was the subject of Robyn Francis’ talk at IPCC11 in Cuba.

If there is only one takeaway that the student of permaculture should take from the study of natural systems it is this one:  no sustainable system will persist where the waste product exceeds the (re)usable yield.  More simply put:  “Don’t sh*t where you eat.”  Our throwaway society has come to the breaking point, because:

There Is No ‘Away’.

If there is one, single, most pervasive example of insanity on this planet, it is this simple fact—we know that we create more garbage than the planet is capable of remediating, and yet we just keep on making more.  Plastic does not break down.  Period.  Don’t buy stuff made with it or stored in it.  This is a consumer driven economy—your dollar and how you spend it is how you vote, so each and every time you buy a 2 liter bottle of soda or a case of individual water bottles you tell the manufacturer to make more.  Perhaps you think that if you recycle your behavior is redeemed, but don’t fool yourself—the problem is far too great for the 15% of us who do recycle properly.  “Overall, U.S. post-consumer plastic waste for 2008 was estimated at 33.6 million tons; 2.2 million tons (6.5%) were recycled and 2.6 million tons (7.7%) were burned for energy; 28.9 million tons, or 85.5%, were discarded in landfills.  We cannot continue, as responsible people, to silently witness our planet choke on polymer—it is not enough to do to right thing, we must also convince others before it is too late.

“The American way of life is not sustainable. It doesn’t acknowledge that there is a world beyond America. ” 
― Arundhati Roy

 

To this situation, I like to apply a simple principle of my own, which I call “Good, Better, Best” –sort of a PC (that’s PermaCulture, btw, not ‘politically correct’) ‘rule of thumb’.  It goes like this:

  • Water--You know there are sustainability issues with your local aquifer (as in Florida, where the contingency plan is that salt water will infiltrate within the next 5-10 years), so, you:
    • GOOD:  adopt some form a graywater system, whether it be as simple as using a bucket in your shower for use in flushing the toilet or watering plants, or more complex, such as the sump-pump assisted system I have.  You absolutely DO NOT water the lawn, or any other non-edible landscaping.
    • BETTER:  All of the above, with the addition of rainbarrels and/or other water catchment for use in the garden.
    • BEST:  Installed a full-scale ‘off-grid’ rain catchment system, including a composting toilet, so that you could exist entirely free of the local municipal system, whether or not you have formally dis-connected.
  • Energy—You recognize that not only is your local power company non-environmentally-friendly, but you’d also like to save a little money, so, you:
    • GOOD:  Use you’re A/C and heat only when absolutely necessary—perhaps when temperatures are under 65 degrees or over 85 degrees for 24 hours or more.  You employ non-HVAC passive solar methods of cooling and heating (insulation, windows, windbreaks, shade trees, fireplace, etc.).
    • BETTER:  You have installed some form of solar panel augmentation to your home energy system, and/or lighting, such as LED or skylights (in addition to the above).  You use a solar or some other alternative-powered efficient water heater.
    • BEST:  Fully off-grid, passive solar designed home, or one which has enough solar panels to sell power back to local utilities.
  • Earth—You realize that food independence is the only way to truly maintain a quality nutritional diet for you and you family, so, you:
    • GOOD:  Buy the majority of your food from a local fruit stand, much of which is supplied by local growers.  You have a small garden plot which you supplement with, or some fruit trees, perhaps.
    • BETTER:  You belong to a local food co-op, where the food is sourced from no more than 100 miles away.  You pick up your weekly share by bicycle or on foot.
    • BEST:  All of your food comes from onsite or a local farm no more than 50 miles away.  You pick it up by walking, biking, or bending over.

Getting the idea?  Not everyone has the time or resources to go for the “BEST” option—we all do what we can, the best that we can—the point is to do sOMething, and DO IT NOW.  Begin with yourself and your home, your lifestyle, your choices—once you feel that all of these are within the ‘Good, Better, Best” scale, move on to Make Friends and Influence Others.  Because, it’s really best to walk the walk, before asking others to join you, now, isn’t it?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao-tzuThe Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

Read the Series:

Introduction:  ”Unplugging”

  1. Observe and Interact
  2. Catch and Store Energy
  3. Obtain a Yield
  4. Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

© Loretta Buckner, 2014, We Grow From Here

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Loretta Buckner and WeGrowFromHere.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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Obtain a Yield

Category            Permaculture Principles

“You can’t work on an empty stomach.”

Any gardener is keenly aware of the end product they intend to harvest at the end of any season. Only a generation or so ago, it was commonplace for a family to supplement the food on their table quite heavily from their own gardens, particularly during time of war—you may be familiar with the “Victory Gardens” during the World Wars, or may even have parents or grandparents who did this. The yield from a garden is very simple: stretch the food budget, add vitamins and minerals to the diet, eat well. The ‘gazintas’ in this scenario are also pretty easy to see—a good gardener, after all, is a soil-tender, right? We know what the soil is to start with, and we augment with other essential nutrients for the plants to thrive. We give the plants enough water and light, and some sort of protection from predators. All are elements of the formula for ‘gardening’. The formula for larger-scale, or market gardening/farming is much the same—the desired yield in this case is one or more steps up—have enough harvest to sell to the public and obtain a yield in cash or trade. In permaculture, regardless of what system we are designing, our first desired yield must always be to provide for our own essential needs. Thus, if one gardens, one ought to expect a yield equivalent to a substantial portion of our food supply—75% at least, to have a resounding impact, both on household budget as well as the local market. Whether we choose to grow it ourselves or support a local farm or garden, our food supply needs to be the very top priority. The greatest possible impact on both our health and the health of the planet means the highest possible proportion of our food must be unpackaged and unshipped. Even so, in practice, I have observed that many people, having taken one or even more permaculture courses, may make a few minor changes in their lifestyle, but for all intents and purposes, go back to ‘business as usual’—slap a coat of paint on it, cover it with a band-aid. The most common post-PDC* scenario I have witnessed is the ‘fired-up activist’, who goes forth, waving his or her newly-stoked passion for the planet in anyone’s face they see, while stuffing their own with junk food–chemical-laden packaged products purchased at ‘big box’ stores.

They may attend many permie-style gatherings where seeds and plants and growing tips are exchanged, but the essential lifestyle and #1 priority is still a J.O.B. ‘to pay the bills’, and everything else comes second. The ‘second generation’ may still be dependent upon some parental input, financially, therefore have less debt and more personal freedom, but also far less experience actually putting food on the table. So, then, what is the desired yield of a PDC graduate? How can we expect any freshly coined permaculture designer to provide for their own needs, without going back to a J.O.B.?

Simple, really: teach them to fish. Or some other sustainable means of subsistence—whether it be growing food, creating some useful product, or teaching what they know and do best. The best teachers are the doers—those who have and do actually ‘walk the walk’—

Those Who Can, Do—Those Who Can Do More, Teach.

Thus the yield is far greater then 1 + 1 = 2, this is potential exponential growth—this is Fibonacci-style yield: 1+1+2+3+5+8+13+21+34. This is the process of nature, of natural patterns. When we keep things to ourselves, when the harvest is hoarded, ultimately we end up sitting on a huge pile of dung—ok, compost, maybe, but even that becomes useless if not utilized to nourish the soil and grow more plants. Does this mean that everyone must be a teacher? No—but those who do need to be acutely aware of the outcomes of their classes—the harvest from each and every student having basked in their light. This means that those who teach permaculture also need to be taking some responsibility for the skills which the students leave the class with, regardless of the tools they came in holding—by the time they walk out, they should have a fully-stocked toolbox. In our current economic climate, this toolbox must contain true ‘tools of the trade’, which means economic survival skills—a mindset for the self-employed. Those who graduate with a PDC had better be self-motivated and disciplined enough to get up in the morning and ‘feed the children’ or they will be hungry and the cupboards will be bare.

~<->@<->~

One of my absolute favorite highlights at the IPCC 11 (International Permaculture convergence) in Cuba last fall was one of the sessions, in which a young man (far too young for such wisdom, thought I), stood up and said: “I like to think in terms of yields—when I attend a class and might have otherwise been disappointed by the content, I look instead at what other outcomes there may have been. Often, the yield is patience.” The entire conference and convergence was just this sort of lesson for many, and most of all, a chance to break free of ethnocentricities. Sharing a ‘harvest’ in group sessions is how we become aware of the differences in perception. Everyone perceives things differently—four people may attend the same lecture and come away with four different observations. One of the most powerful tools any culture has is the arts, because of this factor of insight—have you ever shared a popular song interpretation with a group of friends? Try “Hotel California” sometime. Sharing these perceptions with others is also a crucial part of the creative learning process—case in point, recently we began poetry potlucks at the ‘Casa Seranita’ eCo-house, and these evenings have been not only entertaining, but certainly have helped simmer my own creative juices. Being in a group of people willing to bare their souls and expose their vulnerability doesn’t hurt, either—but that is for another post—for now, let us feast on this bountiful harvest! For the whole series of Permaculture Principles: Permaculture Principles: Unplugging

  1. Observe and Interact
  2. Catch and Store Energy
  3. Obtain a Yield
  4. Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

    *PDC: Permaculture Design Course

©Loretta Buckner, We Grow From Here, Inc. (No part of this may be reproduced without express permission of the creator.)


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Observe and Interact

Category            Permaculture Principles

[Installment I. in a twelve week series highlighting David Holmgren’s principles of permaculture—a’la my personal Cuban IPCC experience]

“Good design depends on a free and harmonious relationship between nature and people, in which careful observation and thoughtful interaction provide the design inspiration, repertoire and patterns. It is not something that is generated in isolation, but through continuous and reciprocal interaction with the subject. (“Essence of Permaculture: A summary of permaculture concepts and principles taken from ‘Permaculture Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability’ by David Holmgren)

The monsoon came to Havana, the same day hundreds of permaculturists from all over the world were to transfer from the relative comfort of hotel and Casa Particular to the as-yet unknown territory of the convergence, an hour or so down the coast. We were to meet at the lobby of the Hotel Vedado early in the morning, and I gazed forlornly from a portico less than a block away out into the river, known mere hours before as “Calle 25”, which I would shortly have to ford in order to board the bus to the campismo Los Cocos. Up to now, this great adventure had unraveled with relatively few mishaps—yes, of course, there were the endless lines to buy tickets, to get in, to eat, to gain access to anyone with a clue what might be going on…but this…this development could very well be the proverbial straw.

Let me explain: See, I like the water, I do—and I sail, therefore have a basic understanding and comfort with the properties of water. What I do not like is the unplanned drenching—the kind where you might be wearing street clothes and you don’t know when, where, or how long the state of dampness might last, or when ‘dry’ would take place. My first offshore sailing experience was like this—three solid days of rain coming from every direction, no end in sight. It was uncomfortable, and highlighted item #1 which was forgotten in my haste to board the airport tram: my umbrella.

I was ok with the absence of toilet seats and often toilet paper in Havana—an adjustment, to which one simply adapts—or plan ahead and BYOTP. I grew accustomed as well to the constant queue, found ways of shifting weight, standing in modified tree pose, and overcoming the basic shyness which normally inhibits conversation with my neighbors in line. Some of the best, most interesting, and enriching relationships began in those queues! The food as well—I quickly learned where and when I would have access to something my body would not reject immediately, and whether or not Mojitos were included. (Some things are just more important than others, you know!) This is all known, in both yoga and permaculture terms, as ‘edge play’. All systems, environments, elements of the system—all things grow better, stronger, more interesting—richer, in the overlap—the margins between two zones. In short: the day to day reality of the conference would force me from my comfort zone of “observing” into the often excruciating realm of “interaction”.

The food queues at lunchtime during the conference were some of the best examples of ‘observe and interact’ I can think of in my entire Cuba experience. The first day, hundreds of people waited for what seemed an interminably long time, outside of closed doors to an as-yet unknown dining room. Some of us had already experienced some frustration with the queuing habits of the Cubans earlier that morning, while registering for the conference, and there was as yet little indication of whether or not any special provisions had been made for vegetarians, let alone those of us who, sadly, can no longer tolerate gluten. I assured myself that there would be rice, and beans in plenty, and that if the beans were indeed cooked with pork, that my system would somehow not reject it. There would be food I could eat.

Indeed, I was right—however, since there were no instructions when the gates were opened, some of us went to secure tables, while others went straight for the food buffet line. Even though I began near the front of the line outside the doors, the line at the food trough was even longer once I attempted to locate a plate. Then began the process of finding non-meat, non-wheat comestibles. Working backwards through the line seemed a great way to greet old friends and make new ones, especially since by now everyone had been waiting over an hour, and we were already late for the next scheduled presentation. Yes, that would be sarcasm…even so, aside from a few unkind comments regarding paddling upstream, I was able to secure a plate full of what appeared to be edible, digestible food. Happily, many of my co-diners at my chosen table were also in the same dietary boat as I, so we were able to guide one another to the best food choices as well. The presence of beer as a beverage choice likely assisted in the relative ease of adjustment to what became a three-hour lunch break.

The organizers were no doubt quite busy later that evening, re-designing both the disastrous and disruptive coffee break as well as the ongoing lunch procedure.

The one overriding fact which quickly became apparent throughout this entire experience was that, while discomfort creates an expanding order of difficulty to look beyond ones’ own state of being, it also opens the door to observation of the system from a multitude of perspectives. Case in point: braving the elements, to drag the suitcase up the street to join the rest of the dripping mass of humanity–huddled under the tiny canopy, packed together most intimately—the crowd bulging up the stairs and into the lobby. The half a block over cracked sidewalks and cobblestone was enough to soak me and my luggage through, in addition to dropping it twice into large puddles. Yep, that was my laptop, there, in that bag—the one that nearly floated downstream. Even so, having secured a spot where my body was mostly out of the deluge, more taxis arrived by the minute, regurgitating more people and more baggage into the swelling throng at the mouth of the dry inner sanctum. And yet—no angry words, no lost tempers, very little eyebrow-knitting or finger-pointing. And people were smiling. Permies on the whole being a ‘huggy’ bunch, I wonder if the overall air of acceptance and patience had something to do with oxytocin levels, and if being squished together like crowder peas has the same effect on our “love quotient” as a hug.

This is a very valid question, and one which Paul Zak answered most eloquently as well as scientifically in his TEDtalk, “Trust, Morality, and…Oxytocin?” in the resounding imperative. Which is something I do hope that those in the permaculture community who lobby incessantly for ‘standards’ based only on scientifically-proven curriculum might keep in mind. These same proponents for standards and regulation and so-called science are also the same people who criticize the group hugs, social interplay and ‘metaphysical’ subject matter in PDC coursework. This is what I find the most surprising, overall, as I continue to meet more permaculture people worldwide—even though the lack of coverage in PDCs of both Social Permaculture and Ethics was long ago recognized, by the founders of the movement themselves, those who choose to highlight these aspects are maligned and discredited by some of the more ‘mainstream’ tradition. Seriously—in the so-called ‘bible’ of permaculture, it is stated: “Scientists who “know” and observe, don’t usually apply their knowledge in the world. Those who “act” often don’t know or observe. [Leading to] several tragic conditions…” This is design science, a recognized methodology for designing ecological systems, including People Care, perhaps most importantly, because after all—it is we the people who are doing the observing and interacting.

The proverb ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ reminds us that the process of observing influences reality, and that we must always be circumspect about absolute truths and values.” (Holmgren)


17 Comments

Unplugging: No Longer Going Along for the Ride (or: “My Year of Permaculture Immersion”)

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” (Albert Einstein)

This post comes from several events which occurred last year: beginning with a three-month stint of ‘walking the walk’ which meant unplugging from internet, cable, and house phone, through the process of learning and witnessing consensus decision-making in action at the IPCC in Cuba, and ending with layers upon layers of un-composted (raw) material—both literally and figuratively (a common theme in my life, you may have already noticed).

In January, I had been attempting to switch from one mega-company to another for what I then perceived to be essential services: phone, internet, and cable. Granted, I rarely watched t.v. at that point—but I had my favorite channels or shows which I would record on DVR to watch when I had time, but having an internet connection seemed inevitable and quite necessary to the ongoing requirements of a real estate broker. The house phone was a number I had kept from when my mother was still alive (she died in 2001), and which she had for over twenty years—from the time we moved to Florida in 1977. That was, in fact, the hardest aspect to let go of—I remember thinking that someone might call that number, looking for her perhaps—someone who wasn’t trying to sell her something. It never happened—not in the 13 years I had the number in my name.

So, I took the plunge—vowing to remain unplugged for as long as it took to prove to myself how unnecessary these seeming ‘conveniences’ really were. That period of time turned out to be three months. The very first thing I noticed was palpable—when the signal was stopped, there was true silence in my home for the first time since I’d moved there ten years before. It was as if some background noise—a buzz—a sound I’d been so accustomed to I no longer noticed it at all–was suddenly cut off–and only in its absence was the former presence recognized. This was rather unnerving.

The next phenomena which became immediately obvious was in my first chosen public venue for accessing the internet, a necessary evil to remain in business: The Library. Those once-hallowed halls of infinite knowledge, sacred palace of hushed tones and reverential awe…not so quiet anymore. People talk there—a lot, and not in whispers. I had my favorite spots—places where I could plug in my laptop to both power and internet if required, yet the constant and persistent chatter of the other patrons—conversations in normal voice tone, games and even Skype calls on surrounding computers, and parents scolding children—all proved to be more than I could handle on some days. More than once I found myself on my laptop in the parking lot, with a thread WiFi connection from inside the building keeping me connected.

Flash forward to something a young man —wise beyond his years, attending a workshop at the International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba said, regarding ‘yield’ and expectations: “…when I attend a class and do not get what I expected in terms of subject matter—I look to what other yields there may have been…often that yield may be patience.” Oh yes, this is one unexpected yield which permaculture as a culture on the whole produces in great quantity!

Flash back to my first PDC (Permaculture Design Course), which I completed either just prior to or even during my ‘unplugging’—this was my first experience with an immersion course in permaculture, therefore I was unsure whether the level of, or more correctly complete lack of organization, was in fact not an intentional outcome of the design. There is after all, quite a lot of discussion in the community regarding chaos and order and patterns…but, as it turned out, those involved in this particular course were fully cognizant of the lack of structure, and barely held onto what little there was in order to complete the required 72 hours. There were moments of clarity, to be sure, but an overall or underlying structure was completely absent. Here is where my personal interest in the responsibility of the teacher to the student outcomes became a high priority—several of the students already having a fairly high degree of knowledge in the subject matter have since pursued the creation of improved class and curriculum design as a result of the chaos in that class. Which brings us to the subject of integrity—a multi-faceted jewel of a word, to be sure—it is in the persistent, focused search and recognition of this singular concept which cuts to the very core of permaculture.

in·teg·ri·ty

inˈtegritē/

noun

  1. 1.

    the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

    “he is known to be a man of integrity”

    synonyms: honestyprobityrectitudehonor, good character, principle(s),ethics, morals, righteousnessmoralityvirtuedecency, fairness,scrupulousness, sinceritytruthfulness, trustworthiness More
  2. 2.

    the state of being whole and undivided.

    “upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”

    synonyms: unityunificationcoherencecohesiontogethernesssolidarity
    “the integrity of the federation”

At the very core of Permaculture are its ethics: Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share (or return of surplus). The entire system is taught as a structure-based design system, based on nature and organic process, but based on structure it is. One of the most basic qualities of any structure, organic or non- is INTEGRITY. Structural integrity refers to the nature of being whole, while ethical integrity is that of being morally sound, or also ‘whole’. The whole of permaculture design systems is often depicted as a flower—each overlapping petal the various branches of system design throughout culture (it’s not ‘just gardening’, you see). The backdrop, or canvas of the entire system concept is, however, the principles:

  • Observe and interact
  • Catch and store energy
  • Obtain a yield
  • Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
  • Use and value renewable resources and services
  • Produce no waste
  • Design from patterns to details
  • Integrate rather than segregate
  • Use small and slow solutions
  • Use and value diversity
  • Use edges and value the marginal
  • Creatively use and respond to change

We will begin covering each one of these principles in depth once a week for the next 12 weeks, so please be certain to subscribe to this blog if this material interests you!

Back to consensus, and Cuba, and composting—I have yet to write my actual blog post on my Cuba experience, partly because of time factors with the holidays, but also in great part because I know that I still have some composting to do (thus the ‘raw’). It was a big experience, and one that I feel deserves time and reflection before attempting to put it into words. In fact, I do believe that would be a great way to start on the principles, with “observe and interact”. The mass consensus demonstration fits well under “apply self-regulation and accept feedback”, so we will cover it in more detail in that post—for now, let me say that it does work—I have witnessed a consensus model in action, and on a very large scale, and it worked. Was everyone entirely happy with the outcome? Perhaps not, but they accepted it as the best solution—and that is the important factor right there. This is what we strive for in permaculture—the highest yield, the best environment for not only the majority, but for everyone.

And that, my friends, is what permaculture, and regenerative systems design is all about!