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Creatively Use And Respond To Change

The world is constantly changing. These changes occur on both a global and a local level. Technology and science are improving all the time and cultures are always changing too. There is also the process of natural change in the environment that happens through succession and evolution.


Good water and soil management and tree crops reduce the impact of climate change and other environmental problems. Community food sovereignty and transition towns are vital for working with the global and community changes that are occurring and producing resilient and diverse systems that create positive change. Schools across the world are now teaching organic gardening and sustainability to educate the next generation and our future leaders

Community leaders must facilitate appropriate change and progress, especially regarding local culture. Some progress is good−equality, women’s rights, fair wages, and good working conditions. Sometimes changes are bad and affect cultures negatively: it is then necessary to protect food sovereignty and land rights, local languages, traditional knowledge, wisdom, and history


In a permaculture system you can use succession and evolution to speed up the growth and development of your system. You can also use it to improve the quality of animal and plant stock from year to year. Evolution means that the strongest and most adaptable species survive and reproduce as do the strongest and most adaptable individuals from each species.

Examples of evolution: • Pick the seed from the best plants each season to improve the quality of next season’s plants. • Experiment with different types of fruit and vegetables to find which ones grow the best. • Experiment with different varieties of the same vegetable or fruit to compare growth, production, and disease-resistance rates. Then you can select the best variety for the land: e.g. varieties of tomato. • When planting out trees for reforestation, plant too many, then weed out the smallest and weakest trees after one to two seasons. The trees that are weeded out provide mulch and the trees that are left are stronger and more productive. • Learn from mistakes and consolidate knowledge from past experience: e.g. a farmer has unexpected success with a technique or crop and changes the future plans to include the new success. Succession means the step by step process of a system’s natural progression.

Examples of succession: • Reforestation techniques work with the succession principal to speed up development and improve long-term success rates. • Large fruit and nut trees take many years to reach full size and production. They grow better if given protection, nitrogen and mulch by legume trees when they are young. They must be planted the correct distance apart to allow them to reach their full size, which provides space in between the large trees for 5-10 years to plant and harvest from quick growing, short-lived trees or annual crops. When large trees are well established, animals, such as chickens, ducks, or even a few goats or buffalo, can be introduced to provide weed control and manure.

Grow a vegetable garden around fruit trees. This strategy works very well for where you want high production from fruit trees, and also adapts well to seasonal planting. Create a raised garden bed 2 - 3m in diameter and plant a fruit tree in the middle. For three to five years, you can grow vegetables around the fruit tree, then when the fruit tree matures and creates too much shade for the vegetables, grow herbs and spices. The fruit tree will grow much faster and produce a lot more fruit from the extra nutrients and better soil.


It’s a wonderful open-source practical permaculture reference guide book with 2000 beautiful illustrations and comprehensive language which enables even a beginner to understand the permaculture design, food sovereignty, and environmental regeneration strategies and techniques. The vision of this project is to make knowledge comprehensible and accessible for everyone to accelerate sustainable practices in every corner of the world. It is especially useful when working with poor, low literacy, and disadvantaged communities and schools.

This edition was developed from the Permaculture Guidebook from Timor-Leste produced in 2008 and published by Permatil (Permaculture Timor Leste-NGO). It is used by farmers, families, community groups, government departments, schools, universities, agricultural colleges, and NGOs in Timor Leste, and re-used and translated in more than 10 countries.

Please find the link below to download this book and learn more about their work on their website.

Creatively Use and Respond to Change: About
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