The Principle of Chaos and Disorder

If resources are added beyond the capacity of the system to use them, then that system becomes disordered and goes into chaos.

Chaos or disorder is the opposite of harmony, as competition is opposite of cooperation. In disorder, much useful energy is cancelled out by the use of opposing energy, thus creating entropy or bound energy.

Society, gardens, whole systems and human lives are wasted in disorder and opposition. The aim of the designer is therefore two-fold:-

• To use only that amount of energy that can be productively absorbed by the system.
• To build harmony, as cooperation, into the functional organization of the system.

Do not confuse order with tidiness, because tidiness is usually disordered in the life sense.

1. Applying laws and principles to design
2. Resources
3. Yields
4. Cycles: a niche in time
5. Pyramids, food webs, growth and vegetarianism
6. Complexity and connections
7. Order and chaos
8. Permitted and forced functions
9. Diversity
10. Stability
11. Time and yield

D. The Local Ecosystem: Bioregions (rural, suburban, urban)
1. Principles of ecology: Ecology is a branch of biology that studies the relationships between living organisms and their environment. Ecological science has contributed much to our understanding of whole living systems. Ecology is a multi-disciplinary science. Because of its focus on the higher levels of the organization of life on earth and on the interrelations between organisms and their environment, ecology draws heavily on many other branches of science, especially geology and geography, meteorology, pedology, chemistry, and physics. Thus, ecology is considered by some to be a holistic science, one that over-arches older disciplines such as biology which in this view become sub-disciplines contributing to ecological knowledge. Originally “ecology” referred primarily to species or organisms as they exist in natural ecosystems. This science has grown to consider the close couplings that exist between organisms and their surroundings on a global scale.
Organisms can be studied at many different levels, from proteins and nucleic acids (in biochemistry and molecular biology), to cells (in cellular biology), to individuals (in botany, zoology, and other similar disciplines), and finally at the level of populations, communities, and ecosystems, to the biosphere as a whole; these latter strata are the primary subjects of ecological inquiries.
2. History of site (topographical and local maps and complete site assessment)
3. Local History
a. Settlement patterns (pre-history to present: life-ways and folkways of local peoples)
b. Biological history including native species (habitats and biomes)
c. Geological history (soil formation and use)
d. Local folk wisdom and stories
4. How to utilize and blend into the local environment harmoniously
5. Local ecology and primitive farming techniques

E. Forms of Ecological Gardening and Farming (the history of eco-agriculture)
1. Food crops, medicines, utility plants, food forests, urban gardens, community gardening, mixed animal-crop farms, land restoration, poly-culture
2. Permaculture, Bio-Dynamic Agriculture, Bio-Intensive Gardening, Cosmiculture, Organic Gardening, Agro-forestry Systems, Edible Landscaping, Sustainable Forestry, Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation of Natural Plant Communities
3. Cosmic Processes
a. The four elements
b. Microcosm/macrocosm
c. Imaginative perception
d. The spheres and planes of creation
e. Sal, mercury, sulph and the alchemy of the garden and farm
f. Creation, transmutation and destruction of matter
g. The decad and the creation of geometric forms
4. Organic versus traditional chemical-based methods

Principal Summary: (replicated from the chapter Methods of Design, in Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual; see pages 34-35): The Prime Directive of Permaculture, Principle of Cooperation, The Ethical Basis of Permaculture (care of the earth, care of people, setting limits to population and consumption), Rules of Use of Natural Resources, Life Intervention Principle, Law of Return, Directive of Return, Set of Ethics on Natural Systems, The Basic Law of Thermodynamics, Birch’s Six Principles of Natural Systems, Practical Design Considerations, Mollisonian Permaculture Principles, A policy of Responsibility to Relinquish Power, Categories of Resources, Policy of Resource Management, Principle of Disorder, Definition of System Yield, The Role of Life of Yield, Limits to Yield, Dispersal of Food Yield Over Time, Principle of Cyclic Opportuniy, Types of Niches, Principle of Stability, Information as a Resource. (print out entire principle summary for students)

REFERENCES:

-Abram, David, The Spell of the Sensuous, Vintage Books, NYC, 1996.
-Andruss, Van, Home: A Bioregional Reader, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, Pa, 1990.
-Barnes, Burton, Forest Ecology, John Wiley and Sons, NYC, 1980.
-Birkeland, Janis, Design for Sustainability, Earthscan, London, 2005.
-Bohm, David, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, Routledge and Keegan Paul, London, 1980.
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River Junction, Vermont, 2001.
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-Lyle, John, Design for Human Ecosystems, Island Press, Washington DC, 1999.
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-Mollison, Bill, Permaculture II, Tagari Publications, Talgum, Australia, 1979.
-Mollison, Bill, Introduction to Permaculture, Tagari Publications, Tyalgum Australia, 1991.
-Mollison, Bill, Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, Tagari Publications, Tyalgum Australia, 1988.
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-Rodale, Robert, Save Three Lives, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA, 1993.
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-Snyder, Gary, The Practice of the Wild, North Point Press, San Francisco, 1990.
-Steiner, Fredrick, Living Landscape, McGraw Hill, NYC, 1999.
-Tompkins and Bird, Peter and Christopher, Secrets of the Soil, Harper and Row, NYC, 1989.
-Whitefield, Patrick, The Earth Care Manual, Permanent Publications, Hampshire, UK, 2004.
-Yeang, Ken, Designing With Nature, McGraw Hill, Inc., NYC, 1995.

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