What are
The permaculture zones?

fair share of land use

Permaculture zones are a fundamental concept in sustainable design, organizing elements based on their frequency of use and need for observation and management. These zones provide a framework for efficient resource allocation and design decisions, ranging from high-intensity, frequently managed areas close to the dwelling to low-intervention zones at the periphery. Understanding and implementing permaculture zones is crucial for maximizing productivity, minimizing effort, and fostering ecological balance within a sustainable system.


Zone 00

Zone zero represents our inner world, our home base, usually our house. This space is where we spend most of our time living or working, so it is allocated mostly for our requirements. This space is very individual, so it is one the basis for permaculture designs (along with Zone 5). With designs, we tend to reduce energy and water needs harness local natural resources, and make its use convenient and comfortable with the intentional placement of the neighboring zones.


Zone 01

Zone one is typically located nearest to our home center because its elements are visited and used oftentimes and they require frequent care and attention. For example, an element of this zone could be a vegetable and herb garden, so they can be reached easily from our kitchen and used for our meals daily as fresh ingredients. It can also be a propagation station or an area for pets, or any function that would need attending to multiple times a day.


Zone 02

Zone two includes elements that are typically visited about once a day or few times a week, and need less intense care than the ones before. For example, an orchard, pumpkins and potatoes, barns, ponds, compost piles or even beehives could fit in this zone. Moreover quail or chicken coops are also usually placed in Zone two. They still shall be easily accessible, but practicality suggests that it is not located necessarily in our direct proximity.


Zone 03

Zone three still has regular use, but no daily visits by humans. Once the area has been established, the need for maintenance and care is relatively insignificant. For example, this is the plot where intended soil remediation can take place, where crops for domestic or trade purposes are grown, or where cattle are allowed to roam free-range. Hence it will be located further away from our home base, creating a middle-point between man and the wild.


Zone 04

Zone four is a relatively wild area, which is barely visited and used by humans. Other than foraging there for mushrooms and berries, or collecting timber for firewood and construction for example, this land is mostly left alone. We might visit this site to practice our hobbies like hiking or meditation for instance, but only occasionally, without disturbing the ecosystem around us. Therefore, the natural world is more present here, making it a respectable wildlife-territory.


Zone 05

Zone five is a completely wilderness area, and acts as a safe space and natural reserve for animals, bacteria, mushrooms, plants, molds etc. Humans barely ever visit this site and do not intervene with it at all. Zone five is the other basis for designs: a place where the natural ecosystems’ needs are met as much as possible. Moreover, it remains a space for us to quietly witness how the land behaves organically, and to observe natural cycles and the process of succession.