Monday, 30 January 2012

Permaculture Design

Recently a friend has given me a great opportunity to try out a new design science, Permaculture, by developing a self-sustainable miniature food forest on an allotment in the Scottish Highlands. Studying permaculture design and getting ready to move out of the city over the next couple of months, has of course meant that I haven't had much time to do 3D design and writing recently, however moving soon also means I will eventually have more time and opportunity to test out my own wind turbine designs and other tech.

Having watched several hours of a wide variety of instructional videos and documentaries on various aspects of permaculture that can be found in many places online such as youtube, plus starting to read the first few chapters of Bill Mollison's brilliant "Permaculture: A Designer's Manual", I had enough grasp of the basics to start hashing out my first ideas and designs, and learn more as I go along by testing. My approach could be seen as 'jumping in the deep end', and while I would like to spend more time learning before acting, possibly even take a course on the subject, a constraint of time means that if I don't start implementing at least a few changes to this land immediately, then I'd miss the important winter period when trees can be easily moved bare-rooted and planted, while a constraint of money means that I wouldn't be able to afford attendance fees at most courses anyway.
Nonetheless, I agree somewhat with Mollison's thoughts in his manual that "Starting with a nucleus and expanding outwards is the most successful, morale-building and easily-achieved way to proceed." Where he and many others have advised that you can learn much by simply sitting back and observing nature, then testing any hypothesis of its workings, I hope that I can use nature as my university, as the ones with walls don't seem very conducive to learning.