Permaculture classification startet by Stefan Griesser at the ETH Zürich
I worked on a survey-based overview on permaculture in Switzerland that I continue here.
There is the Permaculture Design Course (PDC) so people can get certified training but because there are many approaches to implement permaculture and there are no certifications for a farm or ground/land area, the way you have in organic farming, scientific classification is difficult.
Because of those problems, I created a downloadable questionnaire to help in the characterisation of permaculture projects.
The questionnaire contains several chapters. It asks about the design approach, the used methods and concepts during planning and implementation. I am interested in the used plants, the animals, the water and energy management. Also, I pay special attention to the soil management and there is a small part on permaculture ethics.
As a data analysis example below, you can see a spider diagram of a home garden:
Spider diagrams are helpful to check for areas of improvement in a permaculture project.
As evident from the diagram above. This project started with a lot of vigour, which is shown in the high values in Approach and Concept. The implementation had its problems and not all goals could be reached. This can also be seen in the plant-based measurement and the animals.
Animals were not possible due to the needed care level for them.
Water use could be improved as only fresh water is used. Energy use is mostly based on non-renewable sources.
The soil is improved with mulch and compost.
Permaculture ethics do not play a big role as it’s a home garden with the primary use for self-sufficiency.
As visible from the diagram, there is potential for improvement in the area of water, energy and soil. But more diversity in the plants used would be possible too.
Water could be improved by using grey and rainwater for irrigation. Energy and soil could be improved by changing to a No-till strategy instead of using a machine rototiller extensively in spring.
If you have questions or are interested to participate, I can be reached as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org
The questionnaire version 1.5 can be downloaded here
In the rare case that you dont own a PDF editor tool already, I recomend the free „PDF-XChange Viewer“, it has worked fine for me so far.