Primary Principles for Permaculture Design:

1. Observe

Empty the mind of useless distractions and “shoulds”. Release the habit of
reacting. Use the quiet space to define where you are. Answer three questions: What climate
profile does the property reside in? What is the landscape profile? I.e. Where does the water
come from and how does it leave? What is the local culture (people) profile? Observe patterns
and systems. Begin to recognize them.

2. Catch and Store Energy

Identify useful living resources starting with the sectors; water, sun, wind, slope, biomass
and conclude with the social resources (people); technology, collaboration, information, ideas,
creativity. This is your energy audit where you have quantified energy in / energy out
for the system. Design a plan that holds each and every input of energy within the system
for as long as possible before that energy leaves the property.

3. Obtain a Yield

Predicate the design based upon the information gathered in the first two
principals and act upon that knowledge to design a sustainable system. By definition a PC
sustainable system produces more energy than it consumes, and creates surplus to maintain
and replace itself over its lifetime.

4. Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback

This one is the trickiest as it not only applies to the “I” but to the whole of human behavior.
As a subset of the system, the decisions and habits I incur effect the homeostasis of my individual
body (organism) and affect its steady state through personal change. Large systems (society &
natural) respond to change in the same way and all are governed by Entropy and affected
by Disruption & Change. So, like yeast in the petri dish within a closed system of planet Earth,
we are beginning to experience; the over input of energy & influence, over consumption, depleted
resources, buildup of detritus and disruptions of environmental homeostasis as our collective feedback.

5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services

Waste is defined as an unused
over abundant resource produced by chaotic systems the human species has unconsciously
created. In a short period of time we humans, through a combination of ignorance and
arrogance, have damaged or destroyed every living healthy functioning ecosystem on the
planet.

6. The problem is the solution

Mollison says; “a corollary of this principle is that everything
is a positive resource; it is just up to us to work out how we may use it as such. Recognizing
patterns as in Pc principle number one is the precursor to effecting solutions.

7. Design from Patterns to Details

Developing our abilities to see patterns inherent in
nature gives us the greatest opportunity to overcome our impediments towards designing a new
sustainable society.

8. Integrate Rather than Segregate

Each function is supported by multiple elements and
each element performs multiple functions. In regards to the elements, if we get their placement
right, their beneficial relationships will be maximized as we continue to increase their functions.
With correct placement the yields will increase over time with less energy expended.

9. Make the least change for the greatest effect

Find the “leverage points” in the system
and intervene there, where the least work accomplishes the most change. Remember to stack
functions both in space and time.

10. Use and Value Diversity

Polycultures rather than monocultures, are now proven to be
more productive overall and resilient to weather, pests and other factors. Diversity in and of
itself is merely a collection. It is in Permaculture that the designer strives to establish multiple
beneficial connections of relationships within the whole system.

11. Use Edges and Value the Margins

A way to promote diversity is to encourage and design
edges at every opportunity. It is the edge in natural living systems that contain the largest
amounts of biodiversity, biomass and creativity.

12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change

We have unconsciously created a world in which
all life is threatened and appears beyond our control. As individuals, groups, organizations and
networks we can consciously redesign a world that benefits humans and nature simultaneously.
Understanding how ecosystems change over time allows us to predict succession to an extent
and accelerate the process to create productive ecosystems faster than is usual in nature. This
same methodology can be used to create social and financial change.