Project Giving | Permaculture Principles Series with @MountainJewel: 1. Observe & Interact

in #sndbox2 years ago (edited)

Project Giving's primary aims are to raise funds for causes or initiatives in need. Secondarily, our wider goal is simply trying to create exposure and encourage adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals throughout the Steemit platform.

To this end, we're excited to announce a new Sustainability series created by @mountainjewel centered on the 12 Permaculture Principles.

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Permaculture is a series of ethics and design principles geared toward helping humans create permanent cultures (hence the name) in harmony with nature's systems, instead of exploiting, destroying or making inefficient systems that require lots of resources to prop up. It can be growing food, building shelter, energy usage, political organization and more.

Through sharing these 12 Principles along with @mountajewel's Radio Show on each principle (which can be found on the Global Homesteading Network's Discord Channel every Tuesday from 4-5 pm EST), we hope to engage Steemians in conversations around sustainability in practical and theoretical ways. Whether you live in a city in an apartment or a small rural community, it is our aim to share ways each of us can be rethinking our connection with the earth.

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These principles provide a framework for ways we can be more conscious in relationship with each other and natural systems!

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Without further ado, we introduce the first of 12 Permaculture Principles,

Observe and Interact

Here is @mountainjewel's hour Radio Show episode.

We offer a few simple techniques that can facilitate this observation process and share stories of how it has affected our life on the land so far. Read further to hear more about what we talked about in this first episode:


For the first principle the image is of a "human becoming a tree".

This principle invites us to "think like a tree", setting our concepts about the space we're observing to the side. In order to really observe a space, it is helpful to have an open mind in order to open to the possibility of seeing it in a new way. We may pick up on some things we've missed!

This first principle is arguably the most crucial because it sets the stage for further action or inaction. As we inhabit the role as designer and insert ourselves, we affect change in our environment. This principle reminds us to do nothing (except observe) before moving into action mode so that our action may be informed and aligned. As we step into creating sustainable systems, it's crucial that we allow this time to observe and interact with the space instead of rushing into action!

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Some ways that we can do this include

  • Choosing a sit spot that you return to often to pay attention to the changes in light, wind, rainfall and movement on the landscape, animal activity, and more through the seasons
  • Meditation, breathing awareness, and journaling
  • Nature Walks in order to get in touch with the flora and fauna around you
  • Herb Walks in order to learn about wild edibles and medicinals
  • Tracking/hunting skills,
  • Awareness of movement of the constellations and the moon.

As you familiarize yourself with place, whole aspects of your landscape open up to you.


Incredible examples of the results of these deep observation practices (which we also talk about in this episode) are the cosmically connected & terrestrially grounded human cultures of the past. We cite the Chaco Canyon cultural site (in New Mexico in the United States) as one example. Their dwellings and ceremonial sites are aligned with cosmic cycles and rhythms and the connection they embodied is truly astounding. Read more about it here. In fact, they're so aligned that over a 5,000 sq km area, buildings are lined up acutely with cosmic astrological cycles over dozens of kilometers!

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The inter-building alignments form an astronomical regional pattern of approximately 5,000 square kilometers.

Learning to Dance with Nature

We also go into how the Native Americans were managing the North American landscape and talk about how the European arrivals didn't understand the extent of human and land interaction when they arrived here. How would our experience of life differ if our ancestors had met the Native Americans and their management of the landscape with curiosity and observation instead of domination/exploitation?

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Through the Observe & Interact principle, we start to gain an understanding that we can meet our needs without having to impose our will on a landscape.

As mentioned earlier, by paying attention to weather patterns, microclimates, existing species on the land, history of the place, we can incorporate a more holistic place-based interaction with the environment through taking a step back and slowing down (we'll save that for another episode though...).

We have a powerful toolkit at our disposal if we are willing to use it.... Our mind, memory and forethought can guide us to amazing things.

Next week we'll be going through the principle Catch and Store energy. Stay Tuned!

@mountainjewel is a homesteading couple who live in the United States and practice permaculture on 18 acres. Check out their Steemit page for more writings on sustainability and permaculture. Portions of this article previously appeared on their page.

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I love what you've said about observing @Mountainjewel. It is a principle that I was taught at university for fiction and poetry writing but it is equally important in finding balance in so many things; mental balance, balance with nature etc.

Choosing a sit spot that you return to often to pay attention to the changes in light, wind, rainfall and movement on the landscape, animal activity, and more through the seasons.

Also, what you say about the dance with nature. I have learned so much from observing marine life while diving. The symbiotic relationships that are played out on the reef and among the kelp fields taught me about the importance of this in life. Going with the path of least resistance and working with the grain instead of against it. The fish and various cleaner creatures understand this instinctively.

Great article + radio show, I'm sure it will help spread awareness about the benefits of mindful working with nature.

Thanks so much @raj808. I love how you relate this practice of observation with what you've learned in university for writing <3 it is so true ... these are interdisciplinary skills that equip us to become better, more aware humans!

I am so glad we are connected now because I can see that we have a lot in common and I personally have only scuba dived twice in my life so it's really uncharted territory for me. I would love to hear more of your words on what you've witnessed observing marine life and dancing under the waters as they taste you've just given me is great!!!

@projectgiving, enjoy the vote!

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Woo hoo! Great work @Mountainjewel, I think this was my favourite line,

“Whether you live in a city in an apartment or a small rural community, it is our aim to share ways each of us can be rethinking our connection with the earth.”

I think for this weeks theme of observing and interacting, I’m going to try and go out into nature and do a little meditation! Its something I haven’t done in a while, but am definitely in need of!

Yes! It's our mission to be voices of the earth and we hope to reach humans where they're at- that means whoever is listening ;)

I am also so happy to hear that it inspire you to think about going outdoors and meditating. That's what it's all about and we could all use more (even me and I live in the forest ;)) haha, have a great weekend, I'm so glad we're connected through this <3

I love the idea of nature and herb walks. Often we are secluded in our urban jungles that we no longer feel the green around us and this has caused us to have a disconnect with our environment.

I love this post and I think is a great series to follow.

Yes exactly! it is to this disconnect that we wish to directly speak! Thank you for your kind words Mav! Happy to see your comment here <3

New to Steemit we are on a journey. Turning our land into permaculture homestead. I am so inspired by the content on Steemit. I can't wait for the next installment of this series.
Thank you so much for sharing!

Thank you for your supportive and enthusiastic comment! We agree -- Steemit is an amazing platform with a wonderful community. Welcome! And happy to hear of your permaculture journey :) <3

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This post exemplifies the type of great content that we at @postpromoter enjoy reading and would love to see more of on the Steem platform. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you so much!!

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