It struck me that as much as Permaculture changed my life, I have never actually written about it. There's also the fact that Permaculture is something we need to be educating all people on and I could at least share my perspective on it here.
I think I've avoided writing about it because I don't feel the competence to do so. There's so much to learn and so much sources of knowledge around.
I think though it is time to write a little something, simply my perspective on what the Permaculture is.
Permaculture is quite a broad "discipline" and as such might be a little bit hard to explain or give a definition of. It encompasses every aspect of our life.
In one of the articles where I mentioned Permaculture I quoted:
Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.
The above is a short description taken from Wikipedia.
Permaculture Ethics and Principles
Permaculture is about creating sustainable systems that support all Life. There is a set of Permaculture Ethics and Principles that help us along the way in creating such systems. I'm not going to explain the principles in detail, many people have done and done it better than I could.
The below shows all 12 Permaculture Principles with The Ethics (Eart Care, People Care, Fair Share) at the Center. After having a quick look at these you can probably say: "Yeah, common sense". Yet, if we look around, we humans are going on about life in a bit different manner (it's not about what we say but about the actions we take).
To me, Permaculture means using our Human intelligence while interacting with the World. Every decision we make has an impact on our environment. How we design houses, how we design cities, our transportation, the way we grow food, how we interact and cooperate with people and the environment to benefit all of Life…
To me personally, Permaculture offers an opportunity to take back the responsibility for my Life and the impact it has on the environment. By environment I don't only mean Nature, but the people around me as well.
Our society is very much service consumer oriented. What I mean is that all the necessities (along with a massive amount of entertainment indulgence) are being provided as a service and all we need to do is merely trade our time for the coin, often in meaningless jobs, that does not contribute or provide any value to the society.
In general we do not take part in, or responsibility for how our food is being produced, how the energy we use is being produced (or how we use the energy), for the water supply or shelter in most cases. This of course has a great impact on the environment since all of the services are being provided by the corporations looking for a short term gain at the great cost to the ecosystems that sustain us.
Not only do we destroy our ecosystems, but we also weaken the bond between the people and increase a massive division in our society. We do not need to cooperate anymore to come together to achieve goals. Everyone fends for themselves and other man's trouble is not our trouble.
Permaculture is the opportunity to reverse that. It is a way to take the responsibility for all the necessities of Life back on oneself. That requires a little bit of strategical thinking, observing of Nature, applying one's intellect and what I think is crucial: cooperate with people around you.
Permaculture has many solution for the biggest problems of our times. One of these is a localization of food and energy production. In Nature, subsystems develop from resources available locally with the cooperation of the organisms that directly benefit from the work they do within it.
Nature is the most complex system sustaining Life known to man. We ought to observe it, learn from it and inform our decisions using the knowledge it provides. It would be a Wise thing to do indeed.
Whether you want to call it Permaculture or Common Sense or Logical Thing To Do, we need to start producing, creating, building, contributing and change the way we live our lives in a way that is more congruent with the design of Life itself.
- start a food production garden
- produce high quality food
- avoid mono culture and
- create rich diverse and resilient ecosystems
- build and improve soil by constantly adding organic matter
- enjoy the yield and
- share the surplus
- cooperate with your neighbors and
- build strong and resilient community
- use resources available locally
All these things are within what you could call Permaculture. All these are required for us to create a better future for us and the generation to come. We have to change our ways if we want to even count on next generations to have any Life at all.