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Comparison of Permaculutre Principles

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Something that confused me for a while while studying permaculture were the principles. The various lists are not all the same. So I made a table that shows a comparison of the most common principles

<tbody> </tbody>
David Holmgren: Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability Bill Mollison: Permaculture, a Designers' Manual Mollison: Introduction to Permaculture Toby Hemenway: Gaia's Garden
1. Observe and interact 1.  Relative location. 1. Observe
2. Catch and store energy 4.  Efficient energy planning: zone, sector and slope 3. Catch and Store Energy and materials
3. Obtain a yield 12. Get a yield
4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback 14. Mistakes are tools for learning
5. Use and value renewable resources and services Work with nature rather than against 5.  Using biological resources. 10. Use biological and renewable resources
6. Produce no waste 6.  Cycling of energy, nutrients, resources.
7. Design from patterns to details 8.  Accelerating succession and evolution. 9. Collaborate with succession
8. Integrate rather than segregate  Everything gardens 2.  Each element performs many functions. 4. Each element performs multiple function
9. Use small and slow solutions 7.  Small-scale intensive systems; including plant stacking and time stacking. 7. Use Small scale intensive systems
10. Use and value diversity 9.  Diversity; including guilds.
11. Use edges and value the marginal 10. Edge effects. 8. Optimize edge
12. Creatively use and respond to change The yield of a system is theoretically unlimited 12. Permaculture is information and imagination-intensive 13. The biggest limit to abundance is creativity
2. Connect
The problem is the solution 11. Turn problems into solutions
3.  Each important function is supported by many elements. 5. Each function is supported by multiple elements
 Make the least change for the greatest possible effect. 11. Everything works both ways 6. Make the least change for the greatest effect

There's a pdf here

*Tired to see if this was talked about elsewhere, and couldn't find it. If anyone does know if it was, let me know.
Posts: 1532
Location: Fennville MI
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Different writers trying to explain largely the same things can be expected to use different words to express them.

Different permaculture practitioners are going to have different experiences, leading to different emphasis in their expression of principles and even some different principles.

All of these are very much reconcilable with one another.

What is it you find confusing?
Liz Braithwaite
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The principles themselves aren't confusing. I just thought at first that there are standard permaculture principles, and they are repeated across the literature. What confused me for a bit was the principles didn't match up. With further study I realized that most authors just make their own list, and some are repeated, but not all.
Peter Ellis
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Location: Fennville MI
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If you look, you will see there is a progression. Mollison and Holmgren put out the initial framework for Permaculture, others followed, adding or just rephrasing to express their experiences, Holmgren came around again and laid out his principles as they had developed with experience over the intervening years. Permaculture is very much an evolving thing, with many authors trying to share their take on it and trying to express what can be difficult concepts to pin down in ways that people can understand.
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Permaculture has evolved since its inception.
To an extent, it is natural that through time, practitioners would evolve their interpretations.

In the beginning, there was Holmgren, a college student who devised this system where each function was dependent on each of the other functions. The end being greater than the sum of its parts.

Mollison was a professor at the school Holmgren attended, and had been advised by another professor that a brilliant young student was giving a lecture that Mollison should attend. After the lecture, Bill and David got together, and jointly improved upon the design.

A college professor a) has an income, and b) can open more doors than a student can, so Bill became the 'father figure' of this team. They worked together for several years. As time passed, David broke away from the team, and began developing his own land, with a system much evolved from the original, as well as a more mature mind-set.

Hemenway came later, into a more evolved system, and his system was more for an individual's property than a broad scale implementation. His adaption was more for a suburban practitioner than somebody developing huge tracts of land.

It is no wonder that each one of them has his own emphasis on the principles. Overall, they are not conflicting, but rather putting more emphasis on certain guidelines. We all have our own sets of values, and as long as we don't deviate from the overall set of principles, we should all arrive at a conclusion that benefits the earth, society, and ourselves.

Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
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It is cool to watch Permaculture principles evolve over time.

Michael Pilarski goes into his take on Permaculture Principles in this online course: http://organiclifeguru.com/course/permaculture-principles/

Permaculture Principle 1: Ethics
Permaculture Principle 2: Multiple Functions for Single Elements
Permaculture Principle 3: Multiple Elements for Single Functions
Permaculture Principle 4: Diversity
Permaculture Principle 5: Relative Location
Permaculture Principle 6: Biological Resources Preferentially to Technological Resources
Permaculture Principle 7: Energy Recycling
Permaculture Principle 8: Appropriate Technology
Permaculture Principle 9: Natural Succession
Permaculture Principle 10: Stacking
Free Permaculture Principle 11: Zones, Sectors, and Elevational Planning
Permaculture Principle 12: Scale


PERMACULTURE PRINCIPLE 11: Zones, Sectors, and Elevational Planning

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