Permaculture Challenge 2

posted Dec 15, 2014, 2:53 PM by Family Organics

On to the second of the Permaculture principles in David Holmgren's book...

'Catch and Store Energy' or make hay while the sun shines.

" We are used to thinking of energy as fuels that are supplied to us through the economic system, but energy (in a diversity of forms) is the driving force behind all natural and human systems. Food, which we think of as body fuel, is the most important energy that people (like all animals) catch from their environment." (David Holmgren).

One thing we have been doing these sunny days is, not making hay, but pumping water... up hill. The solar panels generate excess power on sunny days so we pump water, from a tank that frequently overflows with rainwater, up the hill to two tanks which sometimes run low. The water then gravity feeds back to the house.

We have vast numbers of helpers in catching and storing energy..anything that takes energy from the sun and stores it in it's own substance; plants, animals, microbes. Then we get to harvest the results and store them for later use. We're not quite into surplus harvests yet, but it won't be long before we are bottling, pickling, fermenting and freezing surplus fruit and veges. Later they'll be used to fuel us and wwoofers and the energy will be used to nurture and nudge our system to create the conditions for future harvests.

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