Permaculture Tip of the Day – What Are Type One Errors?

 what are type one errors1
(A busted and breached pond/dam wall)

TYPE ONE ERRORS are classified as errors/mistakes on a site which will either cost you or the client a lot of time, money, or energy to replace, redo, or clear out of a system if installed incorrectly.
There are very few TYPE ONE ERRORS in permaculture design – and to be more accurate – there are very few TYPE ONE ERRORS in permaculture implementation. As designers, consultants, practitioners, and installers we must know what these potential problems are, how to avoid them, and what to do about them if they arise.
If you advise and install a $30,000 pond for you or a client and it either does not hold water or blows out. That is a full-on TYPE ONE ERROR that will be very expensive to fix. It is a big issue and if you do not feel confident in installing embankments or earthworks yourself, no worries because most locations have local earthmovers that can and should be hired for most all earthworks. Lean on their understanding and experience and use them as the hand that holds your paintbrush of the design. Ideally, the earthmovers will be insured and can fix whatever unforeseen problems that may arise.
Mistakes here will be costly and can have the potential to really hurt people. I have been on a site where an earthbag dome caved in and four tons of earth dropped into the home. Fortunately, no one was home and no injuries were reported. Bring in fourth-party help here in the areas you do not feel confident. Could be an architect, builder, engineer, carpenter, or another consultant (such as us).
Out of Strategic Time
Installing certain types of earthworks or living systems during the wrong time of year can have a reversing effect on the site. Make sure cover crops, large quantities of perennial crops and trees are all sewn at appropriate times. Losses of these will most likely result in loss of money, energy, and time.
Some clients have specifically stated that it is not an option to be on site for more than just a few days a year. Yes, we can still design and implement systems for them but those projects will obviously be the slowest to evolve. We encourage all clients and practitioners to be as on-site and very involved as possible. Maintenance is a huge TYPE ONE ERROR if not designed into the system thoughtfully. Not many permaculturists are talking about this and it has a huge potential for costing you or the client a lot of money and time.
Honestly – I am not being silly. Without some type of fun, joy, or positivity appropriately designed and installed into the system there will be a lack of motivation to continue the upkeep and the maintenance of the system. A joyful patterned idea for daily work will aid in the desire to continue to do better.
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If you want to learn more about how to avoid these errors and design around them, and also learn about growing food, raising animals, harvesting water, building houses, and more, all sustainably, then consider taking my online permaculture design course. A $1000 course for only $25 per month. Learn more here:

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