Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Review Info You Need to Know

This is a review of the Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Review. The DVD “Introduction to Permaculture Design” is written and presented by Geoff Lawton.  The DVD gives the viewer an 80-minute introduction to what it takes to design a permaculture solution and gives you a tour of a property that used this design and has been functioning for many years now.  Geoff explains that with all of the problems in the world today, permaculture design is a design system that give you a positive view of the future.

Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Front

Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Front

The Sections


Geoff starts out explaining that permaculture is a movement of people that starts with ethics.  Three ethics to be exact; Earth Care, People Care, and Return of Surplus.  This surplus could be time, energy, information, and so on.  Permaculture leads to absolute abundance.  Permaculture is about science and ethics.

Concepts and Themes in Design

The next section on the DVD goes into concepts and themes in design.  Some of the topics covered in this section include sustainability – produces more energy than it consumes, follow the patterns and diversity in nature and the system will give us fertility followed by productivity.  Stacking systems through diversity and time is important – succession planting and the reparative nature of the systems.  Permaculture systems are about polyculture systems.  Finally, he goes into how we need to look at how nature works and improve on those functions.

Methods of Design

The section Methods of Design gets into elements, functions and cause and affect.  Every element supports multiple functions, and every function is supported by multiple elements.  Permaculture is about patterning of design.

Design through Observation

The section Design through Observation covers how to observe and interact.  If you observe a weed growing in the garden, it is telling you that the land needs that type of plant or that type of plant does well there.  Either way, if you can find a plant with the same requirements or benefits to the land, that is also beneficial to you, it should do good there as well.

Zone Planning

Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Review Back

Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Review Back

The Zone Planning section gets into zones 1 through 5 and other factors that affect zones.  Zone 1 is a zone that you are at all the time or needs your attention a lot.  Zone 2 is larger with less maintenance, all the way out to zone 5 which is the forest or wilderness – basically land that is untouched/unmaintained by humans and left to nature to tend to.  There are some other things that affect zone design, such as slop and orientation as well as the human element.

Sector Analysis

The Sector Analysis section covers how we observe different energy and how it affects the land.  Where the sun rises and sets, which direction the wind predominantly blows and if there are flood prone areas all come into play.  You will also take into account views, noise, dust, and potential frost pockets as well as other things.

A Walk in the Garden

At this point in the video he walks through a yard and points out the zones, sectors, and shows the many different types of edible plants.  As he is walking through he talks about how all the zones, sectors, functions, and elements all interact together.


The next section is Patterns and he explains that all patterns are created by pressure between two medium – like wind blowing on the ocean and creating waves.  He explains to not recreate patterns, but let the patterns evolve and only use the patterns as a guide – not to be out right copied.

Climatic Factors

In the Climatic Factors section, he explains that there are 3 main climates. The 3 climates are the temperate climates that have cold wet winter and dry summer, the tropical climate that have a wet summer and dry winter, and the arid climate where evaporation is greater than the total rainfall.  There are also sub-climates and he gives several examples on the DVD.

Farm Forestry, Trees, and Soils

There is a section on Farm Forestry and a section on Trees.  There is a section on Soils, where he talks about feeding the soil not plants.  You feed the soil by making compost and getting soil biology correct with bacteria and fungi.  He also shows several compost piles and worm bins and explains how to use worm juice.


The next section covers Earthworks and Earth Resources.  He shows the building of a dam and a swale.  He makes a miniature spillway swale and dam and uses a hose to fill it up and show how it operates.

Strategies for an Alternative Global Nation

The last section he covers is Strategies for an Alternative Global Nation.

The Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD  is available from time to time at, but is not available at the time of this writing.  Check that site often as it shows up for a month or so and then disappears for a few months.

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Thanks for visiting the Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Review post.

Introduction to Permaculture Design DVD Review is a great DVD for someone who is learning permaculture and is a wonderful review for the permaculture enthusiast.

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