Thursday, December 14, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Bill Mollison


Researcher, author, scientist, teacher, naturalist and has been called the 'father of permaculture', an integrated system of design co-developed with David Holmgren that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities.
Bill Mollison
Plan and carry out essential earthworks.
Mollison quotes
A bird's-eye view of centralised and disempowered societies will reveal a strictly rectilinear network of streets, farms, and property boundaries. It is as though we have patterned the earth to suit our survey instruments rather than to serve human or environmental needs. We cannot perhaps blame Euclid for this, but we can blame his followers. The straight-line patterns that result prevent most sensible landscape planning strategies and result in neither an aesthetically nor functionally satisfactory landscape or stretscape. Once established, then entered into a body of law, such inane (or insane) patterning is stubbornly defended. But it is created by, and can be dismantled by, people.
Mollison
Plan ground layout and windbreak, access, and water. Detailing can follow later.




Mollison Bill quotes
We ourselves are part of a guild of species that lie within and without our bodies. Aboriginal peoples and the Ayurvedic practitioners of ancient India have names for such guilds, or beings made up (as we are) of two or more species forming one organism. Most of nature is composed of groups of species working interdependently …
Mollison Bill
A great many film stars perched on unstable ravine edges in the canyon systems of Los Angeles will, like the cemeteries there, eventually slide down to join their unfortunate fellows in the canyon floors, with mud, cars, and embalmed or living film stars in one glorious muddy mass. We should not lend our talents to creating such spectacular catastrophes...
Bill Mollison quotes
You can hit a nail on the head, or cause a machine to do so, and get a fairly predictable result. Hit a dog on the head, and it will either dodge, bite back, or die, but it will never again react in the same way. We can predict only those things we set up to be predictable, not what we encounter in the real world of living and reactive processes.
Bill Mollison
I confess to a rare problem—gynekinetophobia, or the fear of women falling on me—but this is a rather mild illness compared with many affluent suburbanites, who have developed an almost total zoophobia, or fear of anything that moves. It is, as any traveller can confirm, a complaint best developed in the affluent North American, and it seems to be part of blue toilet dyes, air fresheners, lots of paper tissues, and two showers a day.
Mollison Bill quotes
It seems curious that we know so much about sheep, so little about those animals which outweigh them per hectare by factors of ten or a hundred times, and that we do not investigate these matters far more seriously. Our most sustainable yields may be grubs or caterpillars rather than sheep; we can convert these invertebrates to use by feeding them to poultry or fish. We can't go wrong in encouraging a complex of life in soils, from roots and mycorrhiza to moles and earthworms, and in thinking of ways in which soil life assists us to produce crop, it itself becomes a crop.
Mollison
Commence broadscale placements with or after windbreak and nurse crop.
Mollison Bill
In any group endeavour, there are practical and effective, or impractical and ineffective, ways to manage a complex system. Impractical, frustrating, and time-consuming systems are those governed by large boards, assemblies, or groups (seven or more people). These "meetings" have a chairperson, agendas, proposals, votes, or use consensus, and can go on for hours. Consensus, in particular, is an endless and pointless affair, with coercion of the often silent or incoherent abstainer by a vociferous minority. Thus, decisions reached by boards, parliaments, and consensus groups either oppress some individuals (votes) or are vetoed by dissenters. In either case, we have tyranny of a majority or tyranny of a minority, and a great deal of frustration and wasted time. The way to abolish such systems is to have one meeting where the sole agenda is to vote to abolish decision meetings -- this is usually carried unanimously -- and another where a consensus is reached to abolish consensus -- this too shouldn't take long.
Bill Mollison
Assess market; future; prices; potential for processing to higher value; labour; shares, legal systems; social necessities and local self-reliance needs.




Bill Mollison quotes
Type 1 Error: When we settle into wilderness, we are in conflict with so many life forms that we have to destroy them to exist. Keep out of the bush. It is already in good order.
Bill Mollison
It is my belief that we have two responsibilities to pursue: Primarily, it is to get our house and garden, our place of living, in order, so that it supports us; Secondarily, it is to limit our population on earth, or we ourselves become the final plague. Both these duties are intimately connected, as stable regions create stable populations. If we do not get our cities, homes, and gardens in order, so that they feed and shelter us, we must lay waste to all other natural systems. Thus, truly responsible conservationists have gardens…
Mollison quotes
Continue by constant assessment, consultation, feedback and innovative trials. Fill niches as they evolve.
Mollison Bill
As we read this, we stand in the plane of the present; we are the sum of all our ancestors, and the origin of all our descendents. In terms of our model, we are at an ever-changing origin, located on the boundary of past and future. As well, we are spinning with the earth, spiralling with the galaxy, and expanding or contracting with the universe. As origins, we are on the move in time and space, and all these movements have a characteristic pulse rate.
Mollison Bill quotes
A people without an agreed-upon common basis to their actions is neither a community nor a nation. A people with a common ethic is a nation wherever they live. Thus, the place of habitation is secondary to a shared belief in the establishment of an harmonious world community. Just as we can select a global range of plants for a garden, we can select from all extant ethics and beliefs those elements that we see to be sustainable, useful, and beneficial to life and to our community.
Bill Mollison
As non-scientists, most gardeners deprived of atomic-ray spectrometers, a battery of reagents, and a few million research dollars must look to signs of health such as the birds, reptiles, worms, and plants of their garden-farm. For myself, in a truly natural garden I have come to expect to see, hear, and find evidence of abundant vertebrate life. This, and this alone, assures me that invertebrates still thrive there. I know of many farms where neither birds nor worms exist, and I suspect that their products are dangerous to all life forms.
Bill Mollison quotes
Of all the elements of critical importance to plants, phosophorus is the least commonly found, and sources are rarely available locally. Of all the phosphatic fertilisers used, Europe and North America consume 75% (and get least return from this input because of overuse, over-irrigation, and poor soil economy). If we really wanted to reduce world famine, the redirection of these surplus phosphates to the poor soils of Africa and India (or any other food-deficient area) would do it. Forget about miracle plants; we need global ethics for all such essential soil resources. As long as we clear-cultivate, most of this essential and rare resource will end up in the sea.
Bill Mollison
Security can be found in renunciation of ownership over people, money, and real assets; to gain, keep or protect that which others need for periods of legitimate access. A lending library enables people to help themselves to information; a locked-up book collection is useful only to the person who owns it.
Mollison Bill
"Most biologists," (says Vogel, 1981) "seem to have heard of the boundary layer, but they have a fuzzy notion that it is a discrete region, rather than the discrete notion that it is a fuzzy region."


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