Permaculture Design: Every Function Is Supported By Various Elements

This principle of permaculture design is important for two reasons; to identify which functions are more important and to ensure that the functions are supported by at least two elements. The whole point of identifying functions is to ensure that those that are more critical are addressed by a permaculture design. And while this may seem like an obvious point to remember, forgetting about it can lead to disastrous consequences. Resilience is the main reason why a design should ensure that every function is addressed in at least two ways.

This principle thrives behind the reasoning that by building multiple systems to address one function, any weak links that may exist in the design are eliminated. All points of failure are eliminated and this increases the chances of survival should any unforeseen circumstances arise. So which functions are considered the most critical in a design?


This is considered the most important function in a permaculture design because without it, all life crumbles. Main water supplies are available in urban areas to cater to this function. Rainfall is also an important source of water for human consumption, animal consumption and gardens. In this case, the main water supply provides water if there is no rainfall or a wastewater recycle system and vice versa, thus ensuring continued existence of food forests. This fuction can be served by the following elements among others:

  • Chisel ploughs: These are used to break up compacted soil without disrupting the structure of the soil. Channels that are 30cm in depth are dug into the ground to improve aeration, drainage and penetration of water. Additional benefits include keeping organic matter on the soil surface, which helps to prevent soil erosion and serves as mulch.


  • Swales: Dirt that is removed from trenches is banked up on the downhill side creating what is known as a berm. The berm is planted with nitrogen fixing plants and/or cover plants which if fully developed, they help to increase the fertility of soil. Swales also help to slow down the flow of water, thus preventing soil erosion.


Permaculture designs need to be able to provide resilient sources of food. A good food system should be able to provide food throughout the year, provide a variety of foods, provide food from multiple sources and provide food through several varieties of the same tree or plant. To ensure that these requirements are met, consider planting a variety of trees that mature at different times of the year. For instance, plant both perennials and annuals.

The principles of functional design for sustainability

Other functions that need to be addressed by a permaculture design include energy, fire protection etc. Every function in a system is highly important, hence the need to ensure that it is addressed in at least two ways. To learn more about how you can meet different functions in a permaculture design, enroll at Open permaculture school or regenerative leadership institute.

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Rock water catchment and open reservoirs

Rock water catchment is carved out of the rock outcrop to capture and store the rainwater runoff for use in homesteads and adjacent lands. Arid and semi-arid regions of the world have very large rock outcrops that slope down large chunks of land. Water is not leached into these rocks and just flows down the slope. This water can be stored and not left to drain away.

The naturally occurring bare rock catchments have a high runoff and can store the water in an open reservoir with a capacity of 20 cubic meters to about 4,000 cubic meters. The water can then be siphoned and stored in storage tanks away from the catchment. A rock of about a hectare can provide a million liters of water for every hundred millimeters of rain.

Best conditions for a rock catchment

124498926The rock outcrop should not be having any vegetation or soil. It should also not have any large cracks where water can get lost through seepage. Water can seep through cracks and pockets of soil on the rock.

The dam should at a site that has a high depth to surface ratio. A deep and a narrow dam minimize water loss through evaporation. The wider the surface of the dam, the more the surface that is hit by the sun rays causing evaporation.

The dam should be set in an area that the catchment maximizes the natural topography. It should be a place where the water naturally flows down and lower than the natural gorges of the rock surface.

A stone wall enclosure can be built around the rock dam to protect the water from pollution or the risk of people or animals falling into the water. All vegetation around the rock catchment should be cleared and any loose soil covered with concrete.

If there is no proper location for the building of the natural rock dam, a masonry dam can also be built. Even in areas where there is a proper location for a natural dam, a masonry dam can be built to take care of the excess amount of water that may flow out of the natural dam. Gutters or some form of walls may be needed to slow down the flow of the water down so that it does not flow from the reservoir.

Learn more about rock catchment water harvesting

Rock catchments are innovative ways of capturing water that flows down the rock outcrops in arid and semi-arid areas. In some cases, these dams are large enough to serve the community around them until the next rain. You can learn much more about rock catchment techniques and practical guides at Open permaculture school and regenerative leadership institute.

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Synthetic and Inorganic Mulch


A lot of people argue differently about the value of organic mulch as compared to inorganic mulch. For most, inorganic or synthetic mulch is a no-go zone. They argue that the negative effects definitely outweigh the positive benefits. However that is just not true.

Plastic and Landscape Fabric

Millions, perhaps even billions, of people the world over will argue that plastic poses a great threat to the environment. By this argument therefore, plastic to them is a compound that should be scraped off the face of earth. Plastic however has very good properties that make it really good for use as mulch. The plastic in question is reshaped into a layer of landscape fabric. That is like a big plastic mat laid on top of the soil. This type of inorganic mulch serves the main purpose of pest and weed control. Given its non-decomposing nature a layer of plastic around the tree base kills pests and weeds by preventing processes such as photosynthesis.


Plastic however is still an inorganic material hence if not used appropriately it could kill the plant it is meant to protect. It is therefore necessary that holes are made on the plastic mulch layer the ensure proper aeration and drainage of the plant roots within the soil.

Rubber Mulch


Usually made from recycled tyres, the wires are taken out and the rubber is moulded into tiny pieces that are suitable for mulching. The rubber has a vast array of uses in varied areas of application. The elastic properties make it ideal for playgrounds, the failure to decompose makes it ideal for gardening since it does not compete for nutrients with the crops. It has good insulation and water retention properties as well as prevention of soil erosion.

Synthetic Material

Is usually designed from various materials but mostly it is recycled from various types of plastic. Provides great application in landscaping. It is also ideal for gardening, especially in a controlled garden, for instance a flower garden. Has great weed suppression properties as well as great insulation properties. Ir may be risky to use since it might also affect the plants and soil negatively.

However, with professional knowledge such as the one gained from studying at the Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute, one can manage to effectively use synthetic fibre without affecting the plants. The same applies for all the other inorganic mulches. The Open Permaculture School and regenerative leadership institute has professional advice, study and experience in dealing with mulches.

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Learn To Make Permaculture Garden

Are you interested in getting certification in the premaculture design, and then regenerative leadership institute is the best place from where you can get a certificate program. This program aids you in getting all the information about the premaculture basics and much more. This course is extremely important when it comes teaching about its principles. There are several things involved such as rainwater harvesting, food forest, soil regeneration; aquaculture etc. candidates are going to indulge in the hand comprehensive projects. Students will get certification in this field when the course is over.

Free online courses

The institute also offers free online courses for the students who cannot avail offline classes of premaculture design courses. The course consist of more than 72 hours of quizzes, content, video lessons and much more that is going to aid the students in  getting precise understanding of the Permaculture design.

Permaculture design

Permaculture works with the nature completely. The focus of the Permaculture plot is producing edible crops. There are several other factors also considered. Permaculture is having benefits for all our earth, people, and environment. It also teaches you how people can conserve the most valuable resources like water. The further aspect of this design is to interact with the migratory and local wildlife. Permaculture is definitely going to please people connected with earth. Wild life is a vital part of our ecosystem and it the Permaculture plot is situated. This will needs in depth consideration when you make design. ryde-tafe-permaculture-garden-3

Sometimes students also employ natural strategies to protect wild life. Permaculture gardener is always going to attract wildlife. This also aids in controlling the population of the insects so that there is a correct balance is made in our ecosystem. Attracting wildlife to a site is also very attractive and will make the site more interesting. In the certification course, students are also going to learn about how to attract wildlife to the Permaculture garden and how to build it. Here are few insights.

Maximize the diversity

Your garden must have variety of plants and greenery to attract animals. This is going to attract a huge range of habitats. You can create vegetation and cover the garden with plantings, trees, shrubs that looks nice to you and appealing to animals. Small bushes will let birds build their nest.

Have flowering pants

Having a huge variety of flowers is going to make your site heavenly. There are many birds and other species, which service on the nectar of flowers.

Get native plants

Native species are the recommended choices when it comes to planting trees. These will perfectly grow with the climate and even the soil in the location. Your native animals are also going to get attracted with them. Native plants can also preserve water in better way. There is nutrition in this oil and native plants can blend in well and flourish.


You can get a Permaculture garden by these few ways. With regenerative leadership institute, you are going to learn many more things about permaculture and get permaculture design certificate online.

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Hot compost – step by step

The Berkeley method – step by step

Hot compost is a high-quality compost that can be produced in 18 days, if you apply the right technique. There are many techniques for producing the hot compost that were mostly invented by the Regenerative Leadership Institute, New Jersey regenerative institute and Vladislav Davidzon. I will try to explain to you one technique step-by-step, in order to understand it better. The key is that you have to do all the steps in the right order if you want to get the high-quality compost.

Hot Compost Method for Beginners

Compost ring #4I assume now that you have already prepared the place for the heap, that will consist of various organic materials. The first thing, which is crucial, is that you put one layer of “greens” and then one layer of “browns”. The term “greens” refers to organic material that contains a high level of nitrogen (N), such as grass clippings, fruit or vegetable scraps and animal’s manure as well. The brown layer refers to materials that have carbon (C) element in abundance. Some of these materials are : sawdust, dried leaves, branches or cardboard; all the materials that are dry and brown, which rot very slowly. After you make this multilayer pile, you wet it until is saturated. Leave it like that for four days. On the fourth day, turn the heap over, inside to outside and vice versa.  You have to ensure the moisture, it has to be wet all the time, in order to get the process of degrading activated. Also be cautious that compost is too wet; in that case, spread it down or you can make a hole about 3 inches wide, using the stick and in that way a surplus of water will come out. At the sixth day, the temperature of compost will reach its maximum. The best way to determine whether it reached its maximum temperature is to use thermometer; the temperature should be 50 degrees Celsius. Another way, though not really precise, is to use your hand-you put it in the compost and feel the temperature. The first technique is preferred due to it’s precision.

Permaculture In 3 Minutes – Regenerative Leadership Institute from RegenerativeLeadership Institute on Vimeo.

leaf_covered_pileHave in mind that temperature can be in the range between 55 and 65 degree Celsius, but also note that the temperature must not go over 65. At temperatures over 65, you will get a white mould that spreads through the compost and there will be also a lack of oxygen in your compost. After few days, the temperature will gradually cool down until the 18th day. There is few indicators that can show you wheter you are doing the right job : if your compost starts to come down, it has a lack of nitrogen, which is not so good. If it also gets smaller but gets too hot and smelly, it means that it has too much of nitrogen-throw a handful of sawdust to stop this. There is also one thing you should remember-during the process, it releases methane so be very careful about it; you don’t want to blow yourself in the air. After the process is finished, on the 18th day,  you should get a warm, dark brown compost that smells good. Another sign that the compost is ready is the presence of worms. In that way you know it is ready because it’s cooled down and full of valuable nutrients.

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Founder of Regenerative Leadership Institute

Do you know what is permaculture? Vladislav Davidzon is many things, and explaining what he done and what he accomplished in this short article would be a waste of time, so I will mention few things he was involved with.

His greatest feat was a launching of a Regenerative Leadership Institute, which was permaculture design school and a school for sustainable living among other things. Main focus of this school was education in these two and many more aspects of permaculture. Nature immersion programs and out-door courses are just some of the activities Regenerative Leadership Institute is involved in.

H5JRnDLFU7GyWLmAyOtTqTl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVvK0kTmF0xjctABnaLJIm9Regenerative Leadership Institute is one of three major things  as the man itself said he is involved in. The second one is urban sustainability. He is a citizen of San Francisco and he knows from first hand how it is to live in a city made of concrete. In many of his works you can find tips and advices how to change your backyard in a sustainable permaculture system that will provide you with a healthy and cheap food.

Common Circle Expeditions is another organization that Vladislav Davidzon founded. It is focused on taking groups of people on bicycle expeditions around more rural areas. This is used to promote and observe communities that are already working on permaculture systems. And it promotes healthier way of transportation for people that are interested  in it. And biking can be only better if you are biking through nature.

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He was also a part of few other businesses that I feel should be mentioned.

First is his very first business adventure. It was in high school part of his life.  He had few of those adventures which gave him important experience that will reflect itself in all of his future projects.

3514336403_c0809df83bThink host inc. was his first venture in business and it is a progressive hosting service website. An important thing is it is powered by only renewable energy sources.  This company paid itself after just a month after launch and it went on to become a leader in its own field. Later Vladislav Davidzon sold this enterprise to a buyer that he decided would uphold to principles on which he started it, trust, integrity and honesty.

He is still a member of Common Circle Expeditions but other responsibilities are taking his time so he is less involved than he was at the beginning.

In his life due to path he chose he met many of now his peers that strive towards same goals he is. Among many others I should mention Bill Mollison, a man that founded Permaculture, Marshall Rosenberg founder of Non Vilent communication.

He is only slightly involved in organizations he founded and he uses his free time, when he gets tired of writing to go biking and hiking. Looking at life and adventures this man went through a question pops up in many heads. That question is about what next he will do. With a success of all of his creations, what next will he venture in. We know it will be something focused on permaculture and sustainability, but exactly what we can only guess.

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