Twelve Principles for twelve months – June – Use small and slow solutions.

During June I shall attempt to reflect on the Permaculture Principle of ‘Use small and slow solutions’ This is one of the principles that resonated most strongly with me when I first heard it on my PDC in January 2012.

I have been a hugely impatient person all my life. If I have an idea, I like to put it action immediately. I hated to wait, so I was always dashing ahead of myself, like a bull in a china shop, making mistakes and muddling my was through. I feel that Permaculture (and maybe growing up) have taught me the benefits of stopping, thinking, planning and then acting. Have a cuppa tea, think, discuss, make plans, write lists then only spring into action when the ground work is completed and the time is right.

An example of  ‘Use small and slow solutions’ which is often quoted during PDC’s is that of planting a tree. Rather than planting your tree immediately, put it into a big pot, move it around your garden for a few days, weeks, months or even years, until you find a spot with the right aspect, soil, space and aesthetics. Previously I would be out in the garden repeatedly digging holes, uprooting my tree and wrecking my garden. Now-a-days, I aspire to using the pot method, although I do freely admit to still having an impulsive streak!


3 thoughts on “Twelve Principles for twelve months – June – Use small and slow solutions.

  1. Ooh good tip about testing out spots in the garden for your tree. I have an avocado tree that I’ve grown from a supermarket Hass avocado and it is starting to outgrow its pot. It has lived indoors all its life and I’ve mentally picked out a spot in the garden for a keyhole garden, with fruit trees at the back so they don’t block the sun for the smaller shrubs. It would be very upsetting for it not to survive its new habitat once I move it outside.

    • I would love to be able to grow avocados as I eat one most days and it’s costing me a fortune! The UK climate is not ideally suited though. The keyhole bed sounds lovely, good luck with creating that.

      • Thanks Emily! Yes, they’re expensive in Melbourne too. I’ve heard from other people that they’ve had luck with avocado trees in Melbourne so I thought I’d have a go at growing one since my daughter went through a phase of eating nearly half an avocado in one sitting. I hear they don’t like their roots being disturbed so I’ll keep it in the pot and just break the bottom of it when I plant it. Larry Korn’s advice from the PDC is in the back of my mind to get trees planted as early as possible since they take a long time to grow.

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