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Energy & Environment

Permaculture – A designers’ manual Chapter 1 Review

This article gives a quick review of the book "Permaculture A Designers' Manual" written by Bill Mollison and Jon Holmgren. This article reviews chapter 1 of the book. I will be reviewing a chapter a week on my web site. Chapter 1 covers the basics of what permaculture is and some of the fundamental principles. 2015-10-28 23:26:13
As discussed in the article "So What is this Permaculture Stuff" I plan on doing a review on each chapter in the book “Permaculture – A designers’ manual”. The book is a hard cover book consisting of just shy of 600 pages and is written in small print. It absolutely looks like a college text book to me. I must admit that some sections of this book are long and I find it hard to keep my focus on exactly what is being covered from time to time. However, the book is a masterpiece and covers so much information that each chapter can almost be a book unto itself. This post will cover chapter 1 of this manual by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

PDCManualChapter 1 is titled “Introduction” and covers basic permaculture design philosophy. On page one it covers The Prime Directive of Permaculture: “The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children.” This prime directive and the text around it in the book is basically stating that we humans have not taken care of the earth or our future generations. We need to take better care of the earth, ourselves and future generations and the only way to do that is to take responsibility for our actions and that of our future generations (children).

Bill and David talk about The Principle of Cooperation: “Cooperation, not competition, is the very basis of existing life systems and the future of survival.” They are talking about divergence of scientific beliefs.

There are three primary Ethics of Permaculture called out in chapter 1. They are: “CARE OF THE EARTH: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply”, “CARE OF PEOPLE: Provision for people to access those resources necessary to their existence”, and “SETTING LIMITS TO POPULATION AND CONSUMPTION: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.”

They have several diagrams and graphs on how to, at a high level, transition from contemporary or western agriculture to permaculture. In the description of the diagrams they talk about accounting the costs farming. These include cash (dollar) accounting, energy accounting, environmental accounting, and conservation accounting.

They talk a little about permaculture in landscape and society and go over some of the ways we can start to repair the land. They go on to say that permaculture is not a new design system but only arranges thing in a more sustainable way. The way that nature designed it before we came in and redesigned it to our liking.

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Great Escape Farms
167 Two Lick Lane

Romney, WV 26757

Todd McCree

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