Permaculture Tech with Brook Paulin and Delvin Solkinson
Coming together on a circle in the lawn beneath some flowering fruit
trees, the 16 of us met each other and began our exploration
discussing permaculture definitions, the 3 jewels and the four aspects
of the permaculture ethos.
In the center of the circle we began a rough creation exercise using
farm and garden element tokens to create a free-form “property” that
would be a foundation for design theory and permaculture principle
Principle by principle we examined our ‘property’ and adjusted the
elements to better relate to each other as outlined by the collected
guides of the gaiacraft principle cards. These cards were then
arranged in a mandelic array circumnavigating our ‘property’ for
further reference throughout the workshop.
After a break with sweet energy bars we proceeded to do a three tier
mapping process. This was guided by a permaculture workbook we developed together and Brook designed.
We started with the base map, defining elements
already on the property. Looking at ideas and techniques for map
making with our toolset first, then moving around the property doing a
Next we talked about zone mapping with our toolset and
then used a transparency layer of tracing paper to chart the zones on
Finally we explored sector mapping with our toolset then
used a second layer of tracing paper to chart the sectors on our
As the climax of this experience we used a peace of cotton
velum paper to do a preliminary design of the property considering the
permaculture principles and ethics, as well as zones and sectors.
The course was a success and an amazing learning experience and has
seeded a sister event on the Sunshine Coast happening this spring.
As the budding of an age continues to find light, the planetary
community can celebrate new growth of achievements in many fields;
notably science, technology, and medicine. The technological advance
of the last two centuries that has helped elevate science to its peak
are responsible for raising standards of living, increasing
productivity, and saving lives. Most important is the increase in the
communication of knowledge that made the vast application of science
and technology possible. On the other edge, it is the same
advancements that have enabled an equal low; genocide on a massive
scale, the destruction of our planet, and a gradual diminishing of
quality in people’s lives.
In more and more recent times people have looked for a more
‘organic’ answer to the great imbalance of the technological infusions
in today’s culture, and have found a collection of traditions,
techniques and philosophies that help to form this bridge.
Permaculture offers that science and technology can be more than
viral, but can be fertile mechanisms for further healing when utilized
from a philosophy that recognizes the importance of balance and
harmony between human beings and the environment. We must look at a
holistic picture of life; from external changes – geographic,
climactic, seasonal, economic and cultural, to internal changes such
as emotions and our response to them.
Our ways of life and our environments affect our health and that of
the whole planet. To harness a treasure of refined knowledge
concerning a natural way to personal, communal and ecological health,
recognizing that all phenomena of the world stimulate tonify, subdue,
or depress natural life force. The environment, the way of life, and
the spirit all contribute to the quality of human existence.
In relation to health of the people, from Traditional Chinese
medicine, The Nei Jing [3000 BCE] offers this: “health and well being
can be achieved only by remaining centered in spirit, guarding against
the squandering of energy, promoting the constant flow of qi and
blood, maintaining harmonious balance of yin and yang, adapting to the
changing seasonal and yearly macrocosmic influences, and nourishing
one’s self preventively. This is the way to a long and happy life.” –
Huang Qi, the yellow emperor.
In relation to health of the earth Permaculture could offer a similar
passage with a slight remix: A healthy and vital landscape can be
achieved and sustained by staying in balance with the spirit and
ecology of the space; Guarding against the squandering of land,
resources, and natural forms of energy; promoting the constant flow of
nourishment to the soil, plants, animal and human life, and
encouraging distribution of such through and to each; maintaining a
harmonious balance of action and implementation, with periods of
observation and natural growth for the system; adapting to the
changing seasons by planning and planting in succession, and with an
awareness of biodynamic interactions from macrocosmic influences ;
providing enough resources internally to support self and our
surrounding system without exhausting reserve energies. This is the
way to an abundant and happy garden.
Temple Permaculture seeks to invigorate an inspired mind and
intentional action; providing tool sets to explore integrative realms
of consciousness through condensing and transmitting a collection of
knowledge and techniques through interactive workshops, educational
media, and community building exercises.
The Victoria Class was the debut of the mapping tool into the fold of
the curriculum. Emphasizing the importance in observing and recording
what is already in place how things are working around us, and in
strategizing with holistic vision about how to infuse, replace, or
upgrade elements within a system.