Observation & Local Ecosystems
Understanding your local ecosystem
Observations are always better applied when we have at least a rudimentary understanding of what you’re looking at! And when we’re designing our permaculture paradise, it is essential that we learn about our local ecosystem.
In our PDC, we have a large module devoted to learning about local ecosystems, and it still isn’t enough. However, since this course is supposed to be bite-sized, and also since we have students from all around the world, the best thing for us to do here is to show you how to learn about your own local ecosystem.
What is an ecosystem?
If this is a new concept to you, or even if you think you know what ecosystems are, take a minute to read the Wikipedia article on the topic--it’s actually a solid overview, and will set the stage for the rest of today’s class.
Here’s a lovely introduction, from the Khan Academy, to how energy flows and matters are cycled through ecosystems.
Teaching Yourself About Permaculture
Rosemary Morrow’s book, Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, is an essential for every permaculture bookshelf. But also, even if you don’t feel prepared to teach permaculture yet, her Earth User’s Guide to Teaching Permaculture is a powerful tool for learning, either alone or in a peer group. If you’ve got a book budget, get yourself a copy of each of these texts, asap. And for now, use this excerpt to teach yourself (and the stakeholders in your design) about local ecosystems.