Friday 28 February 2014

Resiliency and Regeneration Principles

I've just written my first review on Amazon. I know I shouldn't really use Amazon, but it is a good resource for checking things out and reading reviews, plus my account with them allows me to earn small referral fees - so if you buy a book after following a link from this site I can get a little closer to my dream (although so far I haven't earned enough in two years for them to bother sending me a cheque!).

Anyway I reviewed The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach by Ben Falk. I mentioned this in my recent post Looking forward to some good eating, and now I've got the book and I'm loving it. I said in my review that there are big chunks that I want to type out and put in this blog - particularly a piece about dwelling on the land and cultivating nut trees with an understorey of plants and animals - and getting massive long term returns on investment.

For now I'm going to list Ben's Resiliency and Regeneration Principles. I really need to get these into my head, and do quite a lot of work and thinking through many of them, and this is the first stage for me. Of course you need to buy the book to read all his extra notes, I'm just going to list the headings.

    Resiliency and Regeneration Design

  1. Maximum outputs for minimum inputs
  2. Transform dead matter into living
  3. System establishment vs. system maintenance
  4. Biological complexity, technological symplicity
  5. Resilience = diversity x redundancy x connectivity x manageability
  6. Regeneration metric = biomass and biodiversity
  7. Facilitate the vital force
  8. Human management = primary limiting factor
  9. Stress as stimulus
  10. Responsiveness, not habit
  11. Human resource x site characteristics = ideal site design
  12. All design should be modular
  13. Structural diversity begets biological diversity
  14. Habits of mind
  15. Spread pulses
  16. Disperse and extend fertility
  17. Land as value distillation tool
  18. Multiply functions from single expenditures (always do or get two or more results)
  19. Moving things is entropy
  20. Value across time
  21. Essential functions provided by multiple elements
  22. Simplest solution is the best solution
  23. Efficiency does not equal resiliency
  24. Increase diversity, don't reduce it
  25. Quality-quantity relationship
  26. Scale and proportions are the most difficult
  27. Oil intervention
  28. Probability x impact = risk
  29. Niches in time
  30. Zone 1 site mimic
  31. Past is precedent
  32. Resiliency and Regeneration Habits of Mind

  33. Good design always empowers
  34. Passive vs active observation
  35. Observation action chronology
  36. Two is one, one is none
  37. Character of work over time of work
  38. Immerse in abundance
  39. Maximise site awareness
  40. Embedding skills and practice in daily routine
  41. Skills = most durable resource
  42. Awareness limits action
  43. Environment limits and manifests action
  44. Solutions = alignment
  45. Figure it out: try stuff
  46. Miracles everywhere
  47. Food and Fertility

  48. Constant organic matter accumulation
  49. Paths as biomass producers
  50. Seed often and lightly
  51. Passive forage-ability
  52. Plant as densely as you can afford to
  53. Animals above plants
  54. Pee on plants (or next to plants)
  55. Swales everywhere
  56. Ecology and Management

  57. Disturbance stimulates yield
  58. Succession determined by disturbance and its aftermath
  59. Fill open niches immediately
  60. Systems establishment overshooting management capacity
  61. Biology in place of technology
  62. Annual-perennial balance in system
  63. Modularity and agility
  64. Ecosystem partnering, not stewardship
  65. Partnering with vigour
  66. Sculptable landscape
  67. Native to when
  68. Cheap tools are too costly
  69. Quality of work affects labour and management capacity
  70. Apply present resources now
  71. Storage always runs out
  72. House as water tower
  73. House as dehydrator
  74. Clarity points and leverage points in time
  75. Principles are only useful if actually followed!
There are several things I like about this list. It is fairly familiar and comfortable for me, although it also contains quite a few new ideas, good reminders, and challenges. Some of the headings remind me of the sort of thing Christopher Alexander writes in his book A Pattern Language which I also love (and Ben quotes). And I like the mix of fairly obvious headings with some intriguing ones and others that seem wrong on the face of it until you read the notes.

Now I've typed all of these out I think I'll create a little spreadsheet for myself where I'll go through them and make extra notes that I need to think about for Orchardy Haven. I also need to read through this section of the book again to refresh my memory on some of the points. I'm sure I'll be returning to this book again and again over the coming years for inspiration and guidance.

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