Assessment Of Permaculture Designs.
Holistic systems require observation and seasonal
re-evaluation to meet all objectives.
Here some recommended questions to ask of the design.
Is the site designed mainly for self-management?
Or does it require a lot of human effort? What are the ongoing projects that will not be easily overcome. Can the effort be managed on a regular basis or will it require lengthy periods of intervention?
Does the design suit the ethics and resources of the residents?
Are the Natural systems (watercourses, wind, and solar access) properly identified, utilised and freely available to neighbouring property.
Are the access routes adequate and sustainable?
Is there optimum water flow right throughout the system?
How much responsibility is taken for capturing and retaining the water required for the system by the system? Is at least 10% of the site dedicated to storing water?
How clean is the water that leaves the system? Is there a filter process?
How clean is the air, are there filter plants and appropriate food species that will not concentrate toxins.
How is solar access managed, do any parts of the system suffer from too little or too much sun?
How solar passive is the home and work areas.
Is there a good use of natural light and heating?
Has there been a lasting reduction in imported energy (electricity, gas, water, fuel, mulch, fertilisers [including organic], plants and seedlings)
How is wind controlled? Is it deflected from fragile areas?
Is it used for reducing work?
How well is the site prepared for different types of catastrophes? Can catastrophes generated from outside the system be prepared for and how? What catastrophes could occur within the site? (eg. Fire can be both internally generated by accident or externally by wildfire.)
Has there been a plan for future needs including the next generation, aging of people and the system?
Is the system now self-reliant in terms of mulch, seed, feed, and fertilising material?
How much of the system provides the families needs?
Has the family’s lifestyle been enhanced by the permaculture system?
Were the species planted suited to the area? Is there maximum diversity and incorporation of rare breeds?
Are the animals in the system enjoyed, well positioned to harvest and clear, providing on site fertiliser and supplying eggs or meat?
Are pests managed by an integrated system? Have numbers dropped?
Wildlife species – how much has this increased in number and in species diversity? Include insects, worms, birds, reptiles, mammals as well as larger species.
Does each major element of the design show opportunity for multiple function?
Has the system used trees as condensation traps, frost, sunburn, erosion control and shelter for intensive garden beds?
Has the rubbish material put aside for municipal waste disposal dropped dramatically?
Has there been increased opportunity for use of alternative banking systems, ethical investment, barter and sharing of surplus?
Are there sympathetic neighbours who can share ideas?
Are you choosing a site that is part of an eco-village or community? How do you connect to or develop your role within the community and how will this affect your site plan?