Category Archives: Permaculture

Permaculture Southampton 2017-09-16

3. Obtain a yield.

[Please book in further down the page]

Last time we looked at catching and storing energy to rebuild nature’s capital. This month we are looking at the more immediate issue of designing our systems to give us a reward in the short term.

Put simply, it’s no good planting a food forest for our grandchildren but in the mean time not having enough to eat ourselves!

We will look at what kind of yields are important, and how we obtain a yield without betraying our ethical principles or the second principle to catch and store energy.

  • [optional] 1000 Volunteering: Come and do some work on the farm to immerse yourself in what we have been learning about permaculture.
  • [optional] 1230 Bring-and-share lunch
  • 1330-1700 Obtain a yield: We are working through the 12 principles of permaculture as defined by David Holmgren. The hosts will introduce the topic and help us as a group consider how the principle applies to us here in Southampton.

Please book in here:

Permaculture Southampton 2017-06-17

2. Collect and Store Energy
This is the second principle of permaculture. We thought about this on 17 June 2017.

We live in a culture where energy is consumed in all sorts of forms and often without a thought to where it comes from and where it goes, or what effect we are having on future generations.

As we delved into what we mean by energy – what it does for us. We went beyond the physics of the fuels and energy sources that underpin our lifestyles to also consider the energy that is needed to get things done in a wide range of contexts. We looked at issues of wealth and waste.

We considered where energy is wasted and could instead be stored in all areas of our lives.

Here are some outputs from our time:

Links

Previous Meeting – where we looked at the first principle: Observe and Interact
Permaculture Southampton – the home page for our meetings.

Permaculture Southampton 2017-05-20

1. Observe and Interact
This is the first principle of permaculture. It is the foundation of design.

These are some notes (taken by Leesa).

We have a rough recording of the main session, which you can download here or play here:

Observation is collecting information, usually directly. Our culture is filled with opportunities to let others collect information for us – indeed others may now apparently report to us “alternative facts”.

Interaction in this context means to make some kind of change to what we are observing in order to influence it towards the outcome that we want. This process is at the heart of gardening, but can be applied in any context.

Design thinking guidelines

  • all observations are relative
  • top-down thinking, bottom-up action
  • the landscape is the text book
  • failure is useful if we learn
  • elegant solutions are best – simple or invisible
  • make the smallest intervention necessary
  • avoid too much of a good thing
  • the problem is the solution
  • recognise and break out of design cul-de-sacs

What next?

This is an idea for digging into this principle.

  1. Choose a topic to focus on – something you are interested, a problem or a new thing to do
  2. Summarize your observations about it
    1. what patterns do you recognise?
    2. what details can you appreciate?
    3. where are the boundaries of this system?
    4. what other systems influence it?
  3. Let the design thinking guidelines help you analyse what has already been done and suggest actions for the future.

Links

Previous Meeting – where we looked at the ethical principles of permaculture.
Permaculture Southampton – the home page for our meetings.

Permaculture Southampton 2017-04-08

Saturday 8th April – the first meeting of Permaculture Southampton.

About 25 people attended.

We spent some time sharing our personal contexts for permaculture and then considered the 3 permaculture ethical principles.

Ethical principles

Permaculture has foundation of values expressed in these ethical principles. The principles guide us towards good and right outcomes and away from bad and wrong outcomes.

  • Care for the earth – rebuild nature’s capital
  • Care for people – self, kin and community
  • Fair share – set limits; redistribute surplus

Our natural inclination is act in our own interest. These principles help us remember that we are part of something bigger, something more long-term that our immediate self-interest.

These principles acknowledge the ecological reality of our needs – we depend on the earth for our very survival. Yet in our culture we are generally disconnected from the living earth.

These principles are unashamedly human-centred and do not neglect our personal responsibility. Yet as I take care of myself I am actually reducing my dependence on a global economy, which is a good thing. I am growing up through self-reliance.

These principles tackle both abundance and scarcity. If you apply permaculture principles you will learn the word abundance and will create a surplus of resources! We have it is an ethical principle to redistribute that surplus. We also acknowledge the ecological reality or our existence and set limits to our consumption of resources. This is quite counter-cultural!!

Feedback and Comments

If you would like to add your feedback from the session, please feel free to contact us with it.

* Just wanted to share with you how much I enjoyed meeting you all today, how much it means to me to find like-minded individuals in the city where I live. Sometimes it seems everyone is all (kept) so busy it’s impossible to make that level of contact these days. So, thank you for the opportunity, and it was great to reflect about what we it means to us and what we would like to achieve.

* Thank you for setting up the project, it will be interesting to see how it develops. I’m with the person who said they’d like to see practical examples of the principles in action. Possibly each of us could take on one aspect on our sites but the farm is the obvious candidate as we will continue to congregate there over the next 12 months. A great deal to think on but how about 10-1 working on the land and then 1.30- 3.30 on the theoretical side?

* Thanks for a most enjoyable session at the farm on Saturday. The session provided exactly what I needed: relaxed atmosphere in delightful surroundings; getting to know a range of people who all seemed to share similar values – wonderful; a slow pace of introduction – listening carefully to everyone; a small group activity which got me closer to three other people and helped us share deeper insights; a plan of action – using the chapters in the book as a focus each month; a close up look at the ethical underpinning of permaculture – I’ve already used those in a discussion during lunch on the Walk the Waterfront walk on Sunday! For me, the session was sufficient entirely and of itself and very good for me. For the people who hadn’t been to the farm before, I picked up some curiosity about wanting to know more about what you’re doing there. Very much looking forward to the next session.

Permaculture Southampton

Permaculture Southampton is hosted at Aldermoor Community Farm on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

NEW PEOPLE WELCOME AT ANY STAGE!

There will be no charge to be part of the group or attend the meetings, although we do ask for £1 towards the cost of refreshments.

 

 Topics for 2017-2018

08 April Permaculture Ethics
20 May 1. Observe and interact
17 June 2. Catch and store energy
15 July (informal learning through volunteering)
19 August (informal learning through volunteering)
16 September 3. Obtain a yield
21 October 4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedback
18 November 5. Use & value renewable resources and services
16 December 6. Produce no waste
21 January 7. Design from patterns to details
17 February 8. Integrate rather than segregate
17 March 9. Use small & slow solutions
21 April 10. Use & value diversity
19 May 11. Use edges & value the marginal
16 June 12. Creatively use & respond to change

Why Permaculture? Permaculture is a phrase created in the 1970s to describe ways of managing the land to produce food in a sustainable or permanent way (permanent agriculture). The big idea was to consciously design better ways of working with nature, rather than against it. Over the last 30 years the principles used by permaculture designers have been developed into a framework that is useful in areas beyond producing food. These principles can help us organize our households and communities in more sustainable ways.

Overview

  • [optional] 1000 come and do some work on the farm to immerse yourself in what we have been learning about permaculture.
  • [optional] 1230 Bring-and-Share Lunch
  • Permaculture - Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability1330-1700 Permaculture Principle: We are working through the 12 principles of permaculture as defined by David Holmgren. The hosts of the group will introduce you to the topic and help us as a group consider how the principle applies to us here in Southampton.

After the session you may want to dig deeper by reading the relevant chapter of David Holmgren’s book, Permaculture – Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. The book is in stock at October Books for £17.95 which includes a £2 discount. There is also a free summary available from David’s website.

Purpose of the group

  • To study the principles of permaculture in order to apply them to our lives and communities here in Southampton.
  • This is a group thing – we seek to nurture a community of people sharing resources as we apply permaculture principles to our lives and communities.
    Resources include knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and materials like plants, seeds, books, and tools.
  • To make permaculture accessible to people locally and at no cost.

Name of the group: “Permaculture Southampton”

This naming convention was suggested by Bill Mollinson (one of the co-originators of permaculture). He said to align with your democratic boundaries to make it straightforward to work with your local government.

 Organisation

The group is supported by Aldermoor Community Farm and the teaching is led by Richard Pitt from Aldermoor Community Farm. The process and activities for each session are designed with the help of Richard Parker from The Active Arts Community. Richard and Richard host the sessions.

We have an email mailing list for keeping in touch.

Re-thinking orchards

Just stumbled on a lovely video about a Canadian orchard run by Stefan Sobkowiak, who used permaculture principles to re-think his organic orchard. It’s a beautiful watch, and gives you an insight into what we are trying to learn.

Stefan made a film about his orchard, which is a gorgeous production and might make a lovely present for a friend.

Stefan Sobkowiak

Effective design – large scale – it works

I have a new hero – Joel Salatin. Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms

Joel has 30 years experience of farming on Polyface Farms and he speaks with authority and so much good sense. He has designed out all the problems of animal rearing we typical expect when raising animals on a large scale – smell, overcrowding, disease, wastes…

He has lots of happy chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs. No fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. No medicines (pharmaceuticals). No slurry or wastes.

And he gets multiple yields from his fields each season!!

MeetTheFarmer.com have made a very good program talking with him and investigating his farming techniques. Start on part 2 if you don’t want to listen to all the theory first (you’ll probably be so amazed by what you learn that you will watch part 1 anyway).

So good to hear about the possibilities. So sobering to hear about the opposition.

Thanks MeetTheFarmer.com for making and sharing the program. These three videos are so valuable!!