Permaculture Principle #5
What is a renewable resource? “Renewable resources are those which are renewed and replaced by natural processes over
reasonable periods without the need for major non-renewable inputs.” This means that using trees for fuel and building materials is using a renewable resource, but if we don’t “Limit Consumption” so that the trees can grow again, then it’s not sustainable.
But when you are first starting out with a piece of property, you may have to use a non-renewable resource to kick-start things. A non-renewable resource in this way would be bringing in compost, manure, even building materials to get things started. We did this on my farm because the coffee trees growing here had been neglected and the ground was left bare causing the topsoil to erode during the rainy season. Also they planted in terraces, off contour, which caused the runoff to cascade down the hill further stripping the topsoil. Then they dug a pond at the bottom and used a gas powered pump to send the water back to the top. So, we had to install an irrigation system, from a drilled well at the top, until we can come up with a constructive way of slowing and storing the rain water.
Now that brings us to what a renewable service is. Basically it’s a passive function where we obtain a benefit without consuming them. An example would be the shade from a tree used for a reading/yoga/eating area. We should utilize non-consuming services to minimize our impact on the consumption of other resources.
What are some Renewable resources, or services you can think of?
At Pan Gaia Permaculture we have created a PDC (Permaculture Design Certification) course that reflects the above.
Join us on April 2, 2022, for an interactive, online Permaculture Design Certification course (PDC).