Permaculture Principle #1 – Observe and Interact

Permaculture Principle #1 – Observe and Interact

As with all the principles #1 is simple. Sit, watch, and play with. The best way to learn about our surroundings is to watch closely. This applies to things growing in a forest, to watching shoppers at a mall, and also to just about any other thing that is watchable. You can learn a lot just by watching closely.

Not sure what a plant is, visit it once a week or at different times of day and note the changes. Some plants only flower at night, others only when it is a certain temperature, or maybe only after a heavy down pour. Plants can also change very quickly, sprouting up and growing quickly when ideal growing conditions are met.

Observing can also teach you about what plants grow well together, what type of soil conditions you have, what the layout of the land is, where the water flows from the down spout, what spots are sunny or shading, where trees will lay down free mulch, where wind will blow leaves away.

Interacting takes observation to the next level. Notice a plant growing well in one spot and have a location with similar features. Interact by transplanting a few of those plants and observing what happens. You’ll learn about that plant and also the conditions of both the original plot and the new location. Observing and interacting leads us straight into the 2nd principle, Catch and Store Energy.

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