Sunday, February 19, 2012

Holmgren Design Principle #1: Observe and Interact

Going through David Holmgren's version of the Permaculture Design Principles, here's #1.

Observe and Interact

For all permaculture designs we should use nature as our template, and not just any nature but the specifics of the environment in which our design will grow. It is good to know that water always flows perpendicular to contour, but it is better to know the contours you are starting with and how the water flows today. There are a million things to learn from our location, so stop, look & listen!

"Interact" reminds me that we don't want to wipe the slate clean with a tractor, instead we want to work with what is already there. What is the smallest change we can make to achieve a goal? What are the current systems already accomplishing, and how can we use them?

Pretty picture of the principle at

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