“Principle of Cyclic Opportunity: Every cyclic event increases the opportunity for yield. To increase cycling is to increase yield. Cycles in nature are diversion routes away from entropic ends-life itself cycles nutrients-giving opportunities for yield, and thus opportunities for species to occupy time niches.”
Tapping the Flow
One of the fastest and easiest way to increase the yield on your site is by harnessing cyclic opportunities that already exist there.
Natural cycles, such as planetary orbits, seasonal changes, and women’s menses, are all around us. In every step of a cycle, there are opportunities to mimic, divert, or interact within that cycle. This results in higher yields, new opportunities, and a more ecological and efficient system overall.
Most cycles are predictable, and we can learn, through observation and pattern recognition, how to divert and multiply their potential.
The Spiral Design Wheel
As discussed in the video, adding nine cycles to the GOBRADIME/Permaculture Principles design/memory tool helps us to ensure that we cover all the bases with our design projects.
The goal is to use an awareness of cycles around you to divert the flow, create new flows, and encourage a wilderness-like level of functional, thriving diversity.
Finding potential in every stage of a life cycle
Most plants, from annual daisies to ancient yew trees, generally follow the same life cycle: the seed grows into a plant which flowers then produces a fruit which contains seed.
Each stage provides us with an opportunity for a yield, or in other words, we can use plants at different stages. Imagined the life cycle of plants as a flow of water, with each different way of using plants creating eddies in the flow.
Want to learn more about this and other topics related to permaculture, sustainability, and whole-systems design? We offer a range of FREE (donations optional) online courses!
Relevant Links and Resources on Cyclic Opportunity on a Permaculture Site
Energy Cycling: an Original Permaculture Design Principle, by Maddy Harland.
Obtain a Yield with Charlie McGee!