Use Small and Slow Solutions

When we work slowly and on a small scale, we are more likely to notice and distinguish patterns which can lead to more effective, efficient, and regenerative design solutions.

Although coming to consensus takes longer, a decentralized university allows for autonomy across departments and student organizations. The wise tortoise represents the power of deliberate action. If we rush to make decisions or design solutions the outcome has a greater chance of being warped and non-representative of a population. The University of Michigan permaculture garden project began small with only one farm and now branches out to include a potential garden at East Quad and many more across disciplines and departments at the University of Michigan. By beginning with a pilot plot at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, the Friends of the Campus Farm were able to demonstrate both need and success which lead to more gardens on campus and a sustainable food minor within the Program in The Environment department at U of M.


From this…

Pilot Garden Spring 2012

To this…

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Click here to see photo albums from the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program’s Facebook Page“Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.

The snail is both small and slow, it carries its home on its back and can withdraw to defend itself when threatened. The proverb “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” reminds us of the disadvantages of excessive size and growth while “slow and steady wins the race” encourages patience while reflecting on a common truth in nature and society.” -Holmgren’s Permaculture Principles