We recently facilitated a permaculture design course on the land through the Siskiyou Permaculture Insititute (http://siskiyoupermaculture.com/). Some of you may not have heard of the term so let’s look at wikipedia’s definition:
Permaculture design emphasizes patterns of landscape, function, and species assemblies. It determines where these elements should be placed so they can provide maximum benefit to the local environment. The central concept of permaculture is maximizing useful connections between components and synergy of the final design. The focus of permaculture, therefore, is not on each separate element, but rather on the relationships created among elements by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Permaculture design therefore seeks to minimize waste, human labor, and energy input by building systems with maximal benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy.
The course was geared for experienced permaculturalists and focused primarily on doing design work for Full Bloom (rather than going over general permaculture principles). It was taught primarily by Tom Ward who has been designing farms and properties in Southern Oregon for several decades now and is an absolute treasure trove of information and lore of the area.
It was a joy to participate in the course and take in so many differing perspectives of the land here, as well as to recieve some really creative design possibilities such as changing the way people drive onto the land so that we don’t have a road through the central area. It was also very humbling to recognize how little I really know about all the natural systems that surround me here (geological, hydrological, wind, etc.).
I am excited to continue to hold courses so that we all can be come more literate about how we as humans affect our local environment, and how we can make that affect a positive and regenerative one.