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Summary

Paul Wheaton and Alan Booker continue their review and discussion of the big black book, Bill Mollison's Permaculture - a designers' manual.

Figure 1.1 Evolution from contemporary agriculture to a permaculture

Actual discussion of fig1.1 starts here.

I Cash (dollar) accounting  
Bar 1: - income from total product on the farm.
Bar 2: - cost of producing that income in real terms (excess cost over income represents subsidies. Note that any farm 'profits' are achieved by subsidy, the dollar costs do not balance until organic farming is achieved. Farm income is achieved by reducing production costs).

II Energy accounting
Bar 3: Oil (or calories) as machinery, fuels, fertilisers, biocides. Starts at 10:1 against (loss) in conventional farming, and can reach a 1:120 gain in conservation farming/permaculture with firewood and fuels.
Bar 4: Energy produced on farm, includes fuel oils from crop, firewood, calories in food produced (solar energy is a constant, but it contributes most energy in conservation farming/permaculture).

III Environmental accounting
Bar 5: Soil loss; includes humus loss and mineral nutrient loss.
Bar 6: Efficiency of water use and soil water storage.
Bar 7: Pollution produced (poisoning of atmosphere, soils, water) by fuels, biocides, and fertilisers. Soils are created in conservation farming/permaculture, water conserved and pollutants removed.

IV Conservation accounting: life from richness
Bar 8: Genetic richness in crops and livestock.
Bar 9: Soil life (biomass).
Bar 10: Forest biomass and wildlife richness.

Continued in part 3.


Relevant Threads

"Permaculture - a designers' manual" forum

The Big Black Book - summary, reviews,and where to buy

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