Permaculture Design

Permaculture Design

Photo by Precious Plastic Melbourne / Unsplash

Permanent Culture: Means conserving, supporting and working together with the local culture, while at the same time moving forward. Working with nature and people, as well as learning from them, and not working against or in competition with them.

Permaculture helps us to understand and to create harmonic integrations between nature and people in the most sustainable way. Permaculture is appropriate for use in urban or rural locations, as well as for all scales of projects. Permaculture introduces traditional practices of nature management, integrated with appropriate modern technology. This is a holistic, kind, and environment friendly way for designing and building our natural living environment, as well as improving living standards, including housing, water supply, health, waste management, farming, energy, aquaculture, rivers, forests, livestock and much more.

Principles of Permaculture

The principles of Permaculture should be implemented in every sustainable community design. These principles are an important guide for implementing Permaculture techniques. These principles also help to maximize efficiency and production in the most sustainable way, protect the soil, land, environment and people.

Permaculture principles encourage creativity and maximise results. Every place is different, every situation and every family is also different. Therefore plans, techniques, plants, animals and building materials will be different each time. However, for every place and every activity, the same principles apply.

Diversity: Aims to integrate a variety of beneficial types of food, plants and animals into a design. This builds a stable interactive polyculture which provides for human needs, and other species needs as well.

Edge effect: In general, there is more energy and more diversity of life in the space where two systems overlap. The edge effect happens in this space because it receives benefits from both sides. Using the edge effect and other natural patterns creates the best effect.

Energy planning: Place elements within your design in a way that will conserve the most energy (this includes fertilizers, water and even human labour). Utilize the energy and resources that you have, first on site and later from the outside of the system, to save energy and money. Energy sources around us include natural energy forces, like gravity, wind power and water power.

 Permaculture, Solutions for Sustainable Lifestyles

Energy cycling: In a natural system there is no waste or pollution. The output from one natural process becomes the resource for another process. Recycle and reuse resources as much as possible and as many times as possible.

Scale: Create human scale systems. Choose simple, appropriate technologies for use in designs. Create systems that are manageable, start small and take achievable steps towards and ideal goal.

Biological resources: Use natural methods and processes to achieve all tasks. Find materials in nature (plants, animals, bacteria) which support the system design and conserve the need for energy from outside the system.

Multiple elements: Support each vital and essential function in more than one way, so that if one element fails, it will not stop other elements in the process from functioning. Also, recognize that there is almost always more than one way to manage any process.

Multiple functions: Most things can be used in a variety of ways and for a variety of functions. One main rule in Permaculture is to try to design at least three uses for every element in a system. This will save space, time and money.

Natural succession: Work with nature and natural processes. Anticipate future developments through research and observation whenever necessary.

Relative location: Place every element of your design in relationships so that they can receive benefits from each other. For example, store tools near to the place where they will be used.

Personal responsibility: Our actions affect our own lives, our families’ lives, our friends’ lives and anyone else who has direct or indirect contact with us. Any constructive sustainable actions that we do will create benefits for many. The same is true of destructive actions, their affects will be felt far and wide.

Cooperation not competition: Cooperation between people promotes community involvement, trading between members of the community, shared and improved knowledge and skills. Through cooperation many benefits can be achieved. Cooperation is important on all levels, in the family, in the village, in the districts and as a whole nation. Competition, on the other hand, creates conflict, jealousy and anger within communities especially if a resource is scarce. A good example is water use, usually the end result is that a few people have a lot while the rest receive only a little.

See solutions, not problems: Every problem that we are faced with has a solution. Often, the problem can contain within itself a solution. For example, turning weeds into compost and mulch, and using manure as a valuable resource for increasing soil fertility.

Observation: Natural patterns and cycles help us understand and make better plans for our farms, houses and gardens. Observation helps us to understand things like what works and what is not working and needs changing, by conducting simple experiments we can observe which are the best plants to grow and what is the best technique for growing them.


Highly productive land can also be very beautiful, it is also the same for the house area. Indonesia has a very beautiful environment, and beautiful gardens and houses will add too it. Gardens and fishponds can be made in beautiful shapes. Flowers can be grown next to and among the vegetables. Small trees and legumes can be grown with fruit trees. This will encourage increased productivity and diversity.

(Source : A Resource Book ~ for ~ PERMACULTURE Solutions for Sustainable Lifestyles - Created by Permatil (Permaculture Timor Lorosa’e) )