Principle 3: Obtain a yield

“You can’t work on an empty stomach”


Design Principle 3: Obtain a yield

Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.

The icon of this design principle, a vegetable with a bite out of it, shows us that there is an element of competition in obtaining a yield, whilst the proverb “You can’t work on an empty stomach” reminds us that we must get immediate rewards to sustain us.

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A barrow full of goodies

Alex shows a diverse array of produce grown at Zaytuna Farm’s urban garden demonstration site. The farm hosts hundreds of students, WWOOFers and interns every year who help to manage the gardens that provide food during their stay. Food gardening has always been central to permaculture teaching because it is the most effective way of reducing human impact on the planet, while increasing resilience and providing a great incentive to continue working.

Principle 3: Obtain a yield - A barrow full of goodies (NSW, Australia)

‘A barrow full of goodies’ photo contributed by Craig Mackintosh and featured in the 2014 Permaculture Calendar.


Design Principle 3: Obtain a yield

Design Principle 3: Obtain a yield

Principle 3: Obtain a yield - A woodlands home

A woodlands home

The woodlot that Ben Law manages provided the materials that he used to build his own home and workshop. The large straight trunks were milled up and used for flooring and cladding. Coppiced round poles were used for framing, fencing and furniture making. He uses off-cuts to cook and heat his home and sawdust is saved for his composting toilet. Ben has used the skills he developed here to set up an ecobuilding company, train apprentices, write books and run courses.

Photographed at Prickly Nut Woods in the UK by John Adams.

Principle 3: Obtain a yield - Abundance

Abundance

Our certified organic market garden provides produce for sale and feeds our often large household. The commercial scale of the operation allows for efficient methods and appropriate use of machinery. Our food forest produces 150 varieties of fruit and nuts. Selling direct at the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market and value-adding gives us a wide range of products and a steady income throughout the year. Annemarie and Graham Brookman.

Photographed at the Food Forest in Australia by Rosey Boehm.

Principle 3: Obtain a yield

Saving up for a rainy day

‘Sitting in the garden on a warm sunny day, watching these amazing little worker bees ferry such loads tirelessly gives me great pleasure. During winter, with a mouth-full of bread and honey, I am reminded of their wonderfully successful efforts to both obtain a yield and store that yield for the rainy days ahead.’ Oliver Holmgren

Photographed at Venie Holmgren’s Garden, Australia by Oliver Holmgren.

 

Principle 3: Obtain a yield

Give so that we may receive

Bee houses in cold climates have a long tradition. Strongly constructed houses like this one keep the hives warmer in winter and protect them from heavy snow loads, strong winds, storm damage, stealing, boars, and bears (long ago). The artworks help orient the bees to their own entrance.

Photo contributed by Christoff Schneider.

Principle 3: Obtain a yield

Hoshigaki in rural Victoria

Yuta was caretaking and WWOOFing at Murrnong as the persimmon crop ripened. After phoning his grandmother in Japan for advice he was able to share some valuable skills and knowledge. These persimmons (kaki) were peeled while still hard and hung in strings to ripen and dry undercover, in full late autumn sunlight. Decorative treats, preserved for the winter. Persimmon trees are beautifully ornamental and highly productive.

Photographed at ‘Murrnong‘ by Yuta Kawaber.


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