[permaculture] Large Scale Permaculture? - a question?

John Schinnerer john at eco-living.net
Mon Dec 8 20:51:28 EST 2003


> does 'large scale' permaculture make sense permaculturally?
> it seems to me to be somewhat of an oxymoron?

Scale in what sense, what ways?  Space, time, number of people/critters, etc.?

If the scale of resources available for implementation and maintenance is
adequate for the scale of land area and 'big' ideas and work to be done, PC
ought to scale very nicely.

The usual problems (mistake harvesting opportunities) seem to be created by a
mismatch of these elements, such as large scale land area and/or quantity of
work needed and small scale number of people, material resources, time, etc.

Starting small/local and working the ecotones outward scales - if there's one
or a few people, "small/local" and the size/breadth of expanding ecotones may
be different than if there's a dozen or a hundred or a thousand.

It's also recursive - a village of dozens or hundreds or more, depending on
their design choices, may have many small PC microcosms (household/personal
shelter/energy/water/food/etc. systems) within their larger overall designs
for shelter/energy/water/food/etc. systems.

Scale can apply to time as well - five people on five acres have a different
time scale (relative to the acreage) than five people on 500 acres.  Of course
they can just focus on five of the 500 acres - or one - and work out from
there - that's the start small, harvest mistakes, work ecotones outwards

John Schinnerer - MA, Whole Systems Design
- Eco-Living -
Cultural & Ecological Designing
People - Place - Learning - Integration
john at eco-living.net

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