Carel Struycken: Leaning Towards the Paleolithic

| 10/17/2011 2:08:11 PM

Tags: Carel Struycken, Permaculture, gardening, self-reliance, paleolithic, neolithic, Bushmen, Amish, sustainability, Christopher Nyerges,

Carel Struycken has long been interested in the principles in ermaculture not only as it relates to growing fruits and vegetables but also in the perspective he takes on most human activities.

Struycken, who has lived in Pasadena for the past 25 years, is an actor who played Lurch in the Addam’s Family, as well as roles in Star Trek, Men in Black, Witches of Eastwick, and others.  He was born in Holland, and grew up in Curacao in the Caribbean, and moved back to Holland at age 15.  We meet on the eve of move to Catalina Island, to discuss his efforts at home food production and permaculture.

He shows me the bible of permaculture, Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: A Designers Manual which details a way in which we can grow food and live with the land in accord with nature’s principles.  (“ermaculture” is a coined term meaning “permanent agriculture.”)  

“The whole idea of permaculture is to put in as little work as possible, and allow nature to find its balance,” says Strucken, who produced all the vegetables for a family of 5 for many years using these principles.

“I’m also a big fan of Fukuoka, author of ‘The One Straw Revolution.’  If I had the time, I’d love to go to Japan and work on his natural farm, and work there and learn about his methods,” says Struycken.

Both Mollison and Fukuoka are advocates of natural farming, which means planting what is appropriate for the area, tilling as little as possible, letting all the leaves and old plants serve as fertilizer for the new plants, and using natural methods for bug control.  

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