Permaculture #8. Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Breaking down the permaculture principles from “Permaculture Ethics & Principles” from New England Permaculture Homestead.

Building a New England Homestead

Have you ever noticed that the busiest portion of any ecosystem is the edge?  As you walk into a forest, the entrance is busy and full of life.  As you get deeper into the woods, things are calmer and quieter.  The ocean shore where the waves crash onto the beach is where you find the shells and small crabs.  The more shallow part of the ocean has far more life than the depths.  The edges of the lakes and ponds are where you find small creatures and fish eggs and bird nests.  This principle will apply all through nature, so why not apply it to your own landscape?

One of the ways permaculture makes use of this is to use wavy lines instead of straight ones.  The use of wavy lines increases the area of the edges and makes areas more productive.  The best example of this is a pond. …

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