Permaculture blog

Permaculture Links - January - Part 1

Published by Jeremy Dawes on 20 January 2013

Cuttings from permaculture related articles on the web.  Click on the link to read the original article in full.


 A permaculture homestead month by month guide

"Every winter, I flip through past planners to make sure I don't forget any seasonal tasks in the coming year.  This year, I decided to spend a little more time now and save time later by summing up the main events in this post.  Maybe it will help you get your homestead year in order too!"


Permaculture tools -a wonderful collection of knowledge - hours of exploration ahead!



Bee friendly planting - written for Australia, but much of the information is applicable in the UK

(Just remember to swap the seasons when looking at flowering dates)

"This new pdf resource is free to download and a great document for anyone wanting to ensure their garden, verge, community patch or farm is as pollinator friendly as it can possibly be.

It’s a guide put out by Rural Industries Research and Development, and is a fantastic resource covering ideas for bee-friendly plantings in both urban and rural areas. It’s chock-full of planting guides, nectary calendars for different Australian climates, and pollinator garden design…


If you were a bee, would you wan to spend the day at a rocking party (the garden with 14 things flowering, as well as the tomatoes) or would you want to use your precious energy to instead fly over to the garden where there’s only a couple of pumpkin flowers and that’s it?"


Quantity or quality - perhaps not the answer you would have thought when it comes to making garden designs

"There’s an old saw, probably apocryphal, about a ceramics teacher who divided her class in two, made one half spin as many pots as possible while the other struggled to create one perfect pot. The students who were graded by quantity rather than quality made the best pots. I’ve noticed, from the years I used to be in the art world, that he most talented creative folks I’ve met crank out lots of material.

So how do we apply the quantity over quality principle to laying out a garden–especially since you often get only one chance a year to get it right? Above you see some of Kelly’s ideas for the parkway garden we planted in the fall. I think it is at this first point in the process–when you’re just sketching out ideas–when it’s best to generate as many drawings a possible, stick them on a wall and see which ones pop out. I think Kelly made more than the three drawings we saved, but we certainly could have done more–I’d say 20 minimum."


Some very interesting climate change videos if you are interested

A brilliant, very short video explaining that the temperature rise has not slowed down - A Must Watch  http://www.skepticalscience.com/16_more_years_of_global_warming.html


Very clear explanation of how quickly ice sheets can melt - specifically why the Thwaites Glacier in the West Antarctic could make sea levels rise at 1-2m per century http://climatecrocks.com/2013/01/05/the-weekend-wonk-richard-alley-on-ice-sheet-stability/

Well worth watching


Another excellent video about how much ice sheets are surprising scientists http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnVtjnGRyDY&feature=player_embedded - 1m rise by 2100 is easy, and 145,000,000 people lose their homes!


Scale - a must read if you want to prepare for the Age of Consequences that we are entering (and why building local trust networks now is so important)

"Scale matters. When it changes, other things change as a function of it, often in unpredictable ways. Emergent properties are system characteristics that come into existence as a result of small and simple units of organization being combined to form large and complex multi-unit organizational structures. One can know everything there is to know about the original simple units and yet be unable to predict the characteristics of the larger system that emerges as many units come together to interact as a larger whole.

For instance, knowing everything about an individual cell sheds no light on the behaviour of a sophisticated multicellular organism. At a higher level of organization, knowing everything about an organism does not predict crowd behaviour, the functioning of an ecosystem, the organization of stratified societies, or the dynamics of geopolitics as societies interact with one another. The complex whole is always far more than just the sum of its parts.

Contractions as large as the one ahead lead to a major trust bottleneck through which society must pass before any kind of recovery can begin to get traction, but the narrowness of that bottleneck will vary considerably between societies. Societies with well developed, close-knit communities are likely to find that far more trust survives, and that in turn will mitigate the impact of contraction and hasten the recovery that will involve rebuilding trust from the bottom up.


Things look good at the peak of a bubble, as if we could extrapolate past trends forward indefinitely and reach even higher heights. However, the trend is changing as the enabling circumstances are crumbling, and the bubble is already bursting as a result. Our task now is to navigate a changing reality. We cannot change the waves of expansion and contraction, as their scale is beyond human control, but we can learn to surf."