|Permaculture has long been on the fringes, I think for good reason. Why expend the energy and effort to create any kind of comprehensive design when an abundance of cheap energy is available to make up for any deficiencies? Of course, as the price of energy increases, the benefits of that one time investment in design increase to the point where it no longer makes sense to do things the old way. Permaculture, as a way to design our lives, becomes more and more relevant.|
I think we have passed that point and the initial investment now pays ever growing dividends. It’s to the point that even the New York Times is beginning to take notice. And who might appear in this article but none other than one of our instructors, Wayne Weisman of the Pemaculture Project. I think Wayne sums things up quite succinctly:
“We know what’s right,” Mr. Weiseman said. “We know what’s best. We feel this thing in our bones and in our heart. And then we don’t do anything about it. Or we do. And I did. And it’s bearing fruit.”
Permaculture Design Charrette — July 2011
Above: The Design Crew – Completion of a Cup Swale
So often in the world of permaculture we focus on the elements of a design, like gardens, herb spirals food forests, or chicken tractors. It is all too easy to get distracted from what the real goals of permaculture are, which is how we assemble the items in the landscape into a cohesive and synergistic whole; the permaculture design.
Creating a design is an important part of our Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) courses but is not the only way that a design can be made. At the invitation of John and Ann Hippensteel of Wind and Sun Farm, Midwest Permaculture hosted a permaculture design charrette at their farm in Door County, WI. The charrette was opened up to their family & friends and the greater public. In attendance were 4 family members, 6 other students, and 3 Midwest Permaculture instructors/designers — Bill Wilson, Milton Dixon and Bryce Ruddock.
We will share some of this design beginning with an overview of permaculture, the farm, the goals of the design, and our process.