Permaculture Design Principles and SCI
Efficient Energy Planning- This involves zone and sector placements of different plants, animals and structures that would benefit the holistic functioning of the farm. These techniques enable the farmer to reduce the amount of physical labor, and rather make use of the energy in nature to do the work.
This reminds me of the SCI principle “do less and accomplish more,” which reflects energy efficient planning. When we use zone, sector and slope analysis, we are able to see the bigger picture in terms of where all structures should be placed, and where energy can be conserved rather than wasted. For example we place the water on the hill to gravity feed down, instead of using a pump. We can also plan to grow timber on top of the hill making transporting easier.
Accelerate Succession and Evolution
Evolution and succession involves development and change over time of different plant and animal species. The farmer makes use of what is already growing already. This includes a group of weeds or herb layer, which initially colonize the land. This stage later develops into pioneer species, which inhabit the land and thereafter give rising to climax species. Each stage of succession gives rise to nitrogen rich soil provided by pioneer legume species, as well as fertilizer in the form of biomass. Each stage seems to prepare the land for a more complex ecosystem.
The SCI principle connected to this is the “nature of life is to grow. According to Maharishi, the force of evolution is responsible for the maintenance and growth of individual life. Our success and failures prepare us and provide solutions for the future. In this same way nature, evolves in succession and evolution of the land, preparing at every stage for the next stage to come into being.
Small Scale Intensive Systems
Small scale intensive systems, means that much of the land can be used efficiently.Small scale intensive systems also include diversity in an ecosystem, which provides stability for that system. This stability occurs among co-operative species of plant and animals. In permaculture diversity or small scale intensive systems can be seen in edible food forests, which involves an association of species around a central element (plant stacking), and making functional connections between them to assist its health, aid in management, or act as a buffer from harsh environmental effects. As we begin to study the nature and characteristics of food forests, we see a common pattern of layers. This reminds me of the SCI principle life is found in layers. As we have the solid matter of an object, which then leads into subtler and subtler levels, atomic, and subatomic, so to this can be seen in the edible forest model. In this edible landscape we have the high tree canopy, which shades the rest of the plants. Next we have another layer with smaller shrubs and fruit trees and then we have the herb layer on the ground. As a whole system each layer of tree, shrubs, plants and herb layer plays an important function to play, such as trapping heat, and providing sunlight to different layers of the forest.