Nicollas Mauro

When Orthodox Science Meets Permaculture Principles, Techniques and Design Process

Design science is at the root of any definition of permaculture or put simply, permaculture is design science. — Bill Mollison Permaculture is a design/holistic/integrative science, whereas the mainstream/academic science is reductionist — that is, to understand how things work, scientists break a system and study the tiny parts. Nevertheless, permaculture can benefit from reductionist science, to find relevant knowledge and new design ideas, but above all to gain some […]

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The Tree that Hides the Prairie

On permaculture, vegetarianism, grasses and tree fetishism Cow on Zaytuna Farm Photo © Craig Mackintosh Meat and livestock farming are not praised by a lot of environmental activists. Meat production stands accused of stealing food from the mouths of the poor in two-thirds world countries, driving climate change, and being resource consuming. For example, the famous UK activist George Monbiot, published many times on this site, wrote in 2002 that […]

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Read the Plants, Read the Landscape

Observation is a key element of permaculture design, and plants can help us to understand the landscape under our feet. Indicator plants are plants that grow in such a density that their success in out-competing other plants can tell us a lot about the soil and microclimate they grow in. Several means can be used to link a plant with a bio-indication: primary ecological range, ecological niche, characteristics (physical , […]

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The Nature of Nature

A central point of permaculture is to cooperate with nature, rather than fighting against it. But what does that mean exactly? And how to define what “nature” is? Life began some billions years ago. Since that time, life’s goals seems to survive and perpetuate itself, either at the gene or whole-earth levels (respectively, the Selfish Gene Hypothesis by Dawkins, or the Gaia Hypothesis by Lovelock), or whatever in-between. To achieve […]

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