Author Archive | Richard

Principles & Pathways reviewed and updated for eBook

An extract of David Holmgren’s prologue from the newly released eBook edition of Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability


The world has changed radically since Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability (PP&PBS) was first published in 2002. By many environmental, economic and social measures, local communities and global systems are now in crisis and even collapse. The premise of the book was that the ‘energy descent’ future would inevitably require new ways of thinking to replace the failing principles that guided industrialisation, modernity and globalisation.

PPPBS-eBook-Banner

In reflecting on the book, I remain happy with the eclectic mix of abstract theory, grounded examples and personal anecdotes that riled academic and editorial sensibilities. While some ideas and points remain speculative, many others have since become clearer through the course of a growing body of practice and more than a decade of turbulent world history that we have lived through. For example, for the well-informed, Peak Oil has moved from speculative concept to historical reality that underpins the explosive growth in renewable energy, economic contraction and geopolitical realignment. Similarly, the environmentally heretical positive view of species naturalisation that I articulated in the book, is now supported by a rapidly growing body of peer reviewed science within the new field of study of ‘novel ecosystems’.

The delay in producing an eBook version of the text (not having a publisher driven by financial logic) has been fortuitous because it has allowed a comprehensive review of the text to improve grammar, use of terms, and an update and the addition of references. Most importantly the capacities of a digital edition enabled live links to updated web addresses and direct cross referencing to precise points in the text rather than general chapter references. This allows the reader, including those who have read the printed book, to explore in more depth the non-linear nature of systems thinking that accounts for at least some of the difficulty of this work. The fully searchable text allows the reader to easily find a point that this labyrinthian character tends to hide.

Readers of existing translations can be assured that the changes made are of a minor in nature compared to the great difficulty in translation generally and especially for this work. We trust that the painstaking translation work, by those with an understanding of and commitment to the concepts, has captured the text for the better but we hope the text of this digital edition will make any future translations a little easier.

As ever I remain one of permaculture’s strongest internal critics in insisting that for permaculture concepts and teaching to remain relevant, it must be grounded in practical action that regenerates nature and improves the lives of ordinary and especially impoverished people. In addition, it must remain open to influence from parallel and complementary concepts, movements and ideas that are contributing to a gentler and more benign energy descent future in which nature’s wealth is regenerated and humanity finds its place in that natural order.

David Holmgren
Melliodora  April 2015


shop_PPPBS-eBook_800sPermaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability eBook is now available from our shop as an ePub for AUD$20.

The ePub file download can be opened and read on most modern smart phones, tablets and desktop computers using appropriate software, like iBooks for Apple users.

489 pages in standard display size on an iPad2

1

An interview with Permaculture Pioneer Rosemary Morrow

Rosemary MorrowA little bit about Rowe

Born in Perth, Rosemary Morrow (Rowe) was claimed early by the Earth; plants, animals, stones, weather. Some years in the Kimberleys as a young girl confirmed it.

Later she trained in agriculture science with which she was very disappointed, then moved to France where she lived in the L’Arche community. Later at Jordans Village in England she realised she would become a Quaker. Back in Australia in the 1980s Rowe’s Permaculture Design Course provided the basis for a concern for Earth restoration. She considers permaculture to be ‘sacred knowledge’ to be carried and shared with others. Since then, when asked, she has travelled to teach the PDC to others who, due to circumstances, could not access it any other way. This took her to immediate post-war Vietnam as well as Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries.

Rowe’s present concern is to make teaching sustainable and encourage others to succeed her as teachers.

A Permaculture Pioneer

Permaculture Pioneers: stories from the new frontierRosemary Morrow is one of the 26 contributors to Permaculture Pioneers – stories from the new frontier. In this short interview, introduced by co-editor Kerry Dawborn,  Rowe talks about the limits that permaculture has to deal with the problems of the world. Permaculture can provide skills and build confidence to adapt to changing environments, but a changing climate illustrates that migration may become necessary in extreme situations.

Rowe’s advice? “Apply the design principles as closely as you can you’ll end up with wonderful production of good systems, and that there isn’t a whole lot of room to innovate… creativity is applying principles, it’s not in going much beyond the palate that we have of principles for designing well.”

10% of all sales of Permaculture Pioneers whether in print form, or eBook form, continue to go to Permafund, supporting Permaculture projects around the world especially those that assist with resilience in the developing world and in places of extreme need. So why not purchase a copy and dip into the stories of these inspiring early adopters. Permaculture Pioneers is now available on iTunes.

0

Retrofitting the Suburbs for Sustainability (presentation)

David Holmgren gave a Lunchbox/Soapbox talk at the The Wheeler Centre in February 2012, exploring the profound improvements that the application of permaculture principles and strategies could deliver for the sustainability and liveability of today’s suburbs.

Through the microcosm of four adjacent houses in ‘Aussie Street’, Holmgren demonstrates how suburbs can and will respond to the converging economic, energy and climate crises, and discovers how you can stimulate positive household and community resilience in the face of these pressures.

Watch the video and add your comments.

1

Moving away from a fossil-fuel based society

The upcoming transition away from a fossil-fuel based society: David Holmgren talks strategy

Luke Miller Callahan, from the GroAction Network, interviewed David Holmgren in November 2011 and asked him “How do we move away from a fossil-fuel based society?” Luke says “For all you suburbia nay-sayers out there, this discussion will be especially interesting to you.”

0

Bushfire resilient landscapes and communities (presentation in Blue Mountains)

David Holmgren gives a public talk on creating bushfire resilient communities and landscapes, organised by Pat Rayner of Permaculture Blue Mountains. Thanks to Gary Caganoff for the videos.

Part I

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfcQnYilSFs]

Part II

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP5_XlJuvKk]

Part III

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=junef8CiAts]

Part IV

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCjJcePJbSE]

1

Weeds or Wild Nature: A Permaculture Perspective

David Holmgren presented this report as part of a series of seminars on “Contentious Perspectives on Weeds” at the 45th Annual General Meeting of the Weed Society of Victoria in April 2011. It was subsequently published in Plant Protection Quarterly, Volume 26, Issue 3, 2011, p.92-97, along with other proceedings from the seminar.

His message about nature’s resilience is a counter balance to the orthodox picture from the biological sciences of endless ecological collapse in the face of human impact. He brings these perspectives into the 21st century where fundamental challenges to civilisation are changing the ground rules for how we work with nature.

“Land design and management informed by permaculture principles tends to regard naturalized species of plants as assets that should be managed to stabilize water and soil, build biomass, fix nutrients, ameliorate microclimate and provide habitat, fodder, fuel and food in the early stages of system development. While naturalized species may be given a lower value in permaculture design than species regarded as indigenous to the site and region, the typical designation of naturalized species as ‘invasive species’ or ‘environmental weeds’ is typically rejected as anti-ecological thinking.”

Download PDF (127 KB)

See also the earlier article on the same subject first written in 1997, Weeds or wild nature.

 

3

Bee keeping for the energy descent future

Bee keeping at MelliodoraThis article is a reflection on “the prospects for apiculture (bee keeping) as a sustainable and resilient livelihood in the future” and considers the current state of apiculture and future possibilities from a number of different angles.

Download PDF (205 KB)

0