Small and Slow Solutions

snail - small and slow solutions

This will be a small post. Let’s face it, it’s not the most sexy of David Holmgren’s 12 permaculture design principles – the humble snail representing “use small and slow solutions”.

It’s surprisingly powerful though, because it can enable us to get things done carefully and effectively. It came to mind today as I was squatting in the garden, pulling soursobs – a task I alternately curse and then appreciate, as I always miss some and let them flower and multiply for the following year – but then pulling them out is so meditative and is often a time of useful insights for me.

Today my little insight was that the small tree guards I’m reusing throughout the garden provide me with dear little contained patches, so that when I’m weeding I can set small goals (“I’ll just weed this patch”) and experience small and encouraging successes, often. If it was one great unbroken swathe of soursobs I probably wouldn’t even start – I’d find something more urgent to do.

Having got down there, close to the ground, and started pulling out soursobs, I was rewarded by finding potatoes sprouting through the soursobs. Then with each handful of soursobs that came out, more sun reached the potato shoots, further rewarding my small efforts, and with my bare hands I felt that there was warmth radiating from the soil even on such a cool day. (‘Observe and Interact‘ – Principle 1 again…)

That’s all. You can read more examples of Small and Slow Solutions here. Have a terrific weekend.

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