Summary Permanent Publications says, "A practical workbook to apply permaculture to any project from start to finish, this is a step-by-step guide for integrating places and people, buildings and ecosystems.
Permaculture is a holistic design approach to meeting basic human needs in harmony with nature. It is a practical method for developing ecologically harmonious, ethical, human-scale productive systems.
The Permaculture Design Companion is a tried and tested process to creating a coherent, relevant and engaging design. Based on over 20 years of experience, this design guide has been used to teach over 1000 people. Many have gone on to establish thriving permaculture smallholdings; build their own natural homes and ethical businesses and create productive urban food gardens."
About the Author Permanent Publications says "Jasmine’s permaculture journey began at Crystal Waters ecovillage in 1999, where she discovered the power of creative learning and practical solutions for the challenges of our times. Motivated by living simply and respect for nature, she and her husband Simon later built a natural home deep in the heart of a Welsh woodland, which became an internet phenomena known as the ‘hobbit house’, inspiring millions of people."
From the video description:
"In Pembrokeshire, Wales, the cutest, handmade houses have been popping up around the county. These wee homes, made of natural, locally sourced materials and scavenged bits from the surrounding countryside, embody low-impact living. What exactly does that mean? It means that the inhabitants who built these houses, like Simon and Jasmine Dale, grow and cultivate the vast majority of what they consume."
The Permaculture Design Process
From the video description:
"In this video I will give you a brief glimpse into how I approach the process of creating a permaculture landscape design. A landscape designed with permaculture is one that is focused upon producing and abundance of food for the inhabitants of the site, wildlife included, while also building soil and fertility without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicide."
The Permaculture Principles
From the video description:
"The Permaculture Principles guide our design decisions and formulate the structure of our Permaculture system. We are using David Holmgren's 12 principle version which are used to help guide every Permaculture design."
How to Create a Permaculture Design
Description of the video:
Geoff Lawton walks through the process of designing a permaculture plan for a property.
Jasmine Dale's book Permaculture Design Companion: A Practical Workbook for Integrating People and Places does a splendid job of being "a practical workbook to mentor you through a personal project" and a "helping hand to compliment the excellent courses and books already out there." Most of all, I think the book really helps to "deepen and create connections between people and places!"
I find it delightful how well-organized Permaculture Design Companion! The book is divided logically into four parts- Awakening Our Inner Design Beast, Seeing Things Anew, Weaving the Web, and Going Forth. Each Part of the book is subdivided into sections and subsections that have particular focuses. In each section and subsection, there are plenty of exercises and room to do the exercises, so, that the user of Permaculture Design Companion can take ownership of the knowledge they are acquiring and make it directly relevant to their own life and desired projects. Awakening Our Inner Design Beast focuses on What is Permaculture?, Observation, Patterns, and Permaculture Principles. I found that Part One did a nice job of introducing the basic ideas behind permaculture in a simple and succinct manner that I believe most people without any idea of what permaculture is would understand. Seeing Things Anew hones in on Design Processes, Vision, Landscape Survey, Mapping, and People Survey. I think that Part Two explains different methods of design and information collection in a practical and straightforward manner; I felt that the partially filled-in exercises helped to spark more ideas in my mind and give me a better understanding of what I was supposed to do in those exercises. Weaving the Web works on Introduction to Analysis, Key Planning Tools (Sector Analysis; Slope, Elevation, & Aspect; Zone; and Network Analysis), Input <-> Output Linkages, Elements & Functions, and Synthesis. I found that I liked Part Three for its Sector Analysis section and subsections, because with each subsection, there is a detailed chart that suggests numerous aspects about Soil, Wind, Water, Sun & Shade, Wild, and View that I normally may not have considered or thought up on my own. Going Forth focuses on The Design, Implementation, Evaluate and Tweak, An Ethical Foundation, and Next Steps. I love how hands-on Part Four is with its cut-outs that encourage modeling and spatial thinking/reasoning in making designs happen! It kinda makes me feel more playful and imaginative, like a kid! Finally, at the end of the book, there are Additional Resources, which to me, kind of functions like a Too-Long-Did-Read for the book. I found that Additional Resources summarizes and refreshes the essence of Permaculture Design Companion in a short and sweet manner!
I found the exercises throughout the book to be a wonderful resource for understanding permaculture, collecting information, and thinking through the process of creating a design. Since this is a workbook that is meant to be written in and used in the field, I think that it would be advisable to do the exercises in a separate notebook/notepad or to use a new copy of the book for each major design that you do. There is plenty of room provided in the book to work on the exercises, and there are partially filled-in spots in many exercises to help get someone started on each exercise. I think that a filled-up copy of Permaculture Design Companion would make for a nice gift that an active designer and implementer could give to their clients.
I enjoyed all of the beautiful drawings and sketches inside the book that complimented Jasmine's explanations and exercises! I found that the drawings and sketches made Permaculture Design Companion aesthetically pleasing to read and look at, and I found the font used in the book to be easy on the eyes.
Overall, I think that Permaculture Design Companion is a great practical workbook for implementing designs!