Design from Patterns to Details

Permaculture Principle #7

In reading David Holgrens book Permaculture Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability, I’ve come to realize that this section is much more than just observing nature and copying it. But there is not enough room here to go into such detail. Instead I’d like to focus on a more simplistic view, one that many of us learned in our PDC.

One of the best ways to understand this is to go out into nature and practice the first principle “Observe…”. Look at how nature has arranged itself. Don’t get drawn into how the trees and plants look in a forested area because chances are this is a human design, not one of nature. If you can’t find a truly natural area, then look down from macro to micro. Look at each plant and observe how it is growing in response to external stimuli, the sun, wind, temperature, etc. See how it grows in relationship to other plants. Look for a pattern. Then look at the plant itself. See how the branches are formed and the pattern the leaves take. Try to imagine WHY they formed this way. Don’t worry if you’re wrong, the point is to ask the question “Why?”. The detail is the answer to why it does what it does. When you design your garden, house, life, food forest, remember the patterns you see in nature and try to copy them.

What kind of pattern have you used in your plan?

At Pan Gaia Permaculture we have created a PDC (Permaculture Design Certification) course that reflects the above.
Join us on April 2, 2022, for an interactive, online Permaculture Design Certification course (PDC).

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