This introduction to permaculture may better make sense of why I include information on water cycles and such things in a blog ostensibly interested in education/literacy…
Ross Mars explains:
“Many people think of food gardens and self-sufficiency when they think about permaculture, but permaculture is really about sustainable living. What you learn in the garden is closely linked with natural cycles, and it also provides the opportunity to take responsibility for growing your own healthy food. Furthermore, we mustn’t forget that many plants in our permaculture systems may not be directly useful to us, but may be essential in the life cycle of insects, birds and other animals.
I don’t believe permaculture should be seen as a way in which people can become self-sufficient. The emphasis should be on people becoming self-reliant, with positive interaction and co-operation between all members within the community.
It is true that the goal of permaculture design is to create an edible landscape. Like a natural forest, our gardens should contain a mixture of both different species and different ages.” (p.4)
“Permaculture has been described as cultivated ecology, where humans deliberately develop cultivated ecosystems which are designed to maintain genetic biodiversity and minimise energy and matter inputs. An ecosystem describes an area and all that it contains – the living things and their non-living surroundings, such as the air, water and soil particles. For example, an examination of a pond of forest ecosystem would show the many food chains and other relationships between the organisms which live there.
In nature, most ecosystems are exceptionally fragile, and small changes, most often caused by human thoughtlessness, can destroy the system forever. This is due to the interconnectedness of the web of life. All things depend on each other in either direct or indirect ways. For example, some animals eat others, plants require nutrient wastes from animals to grow, and plants make the oxygen which all living things require.” (p.4)
Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) Ross Mars (2005) The Basics of Permaculture Design. Permanent Publications: East Meon, Hampshire, UK