Permaculture the Old-Fashioned Way


Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. From shirt and tie urban planners who have never planted a garden, to the LEED certified architect, a lot of money is changing hands as a common sense approach to co-existing with nature and is being promoted in the name of sustainability. The money part is good for the dirt farmers, but I wonder about the quiche aspect of a subject with so many definitions. Here’s a definition I found attributed to Gus & LaNada James:

“Permaculture combines current technology with aboriginal cultural knowledge collected over generations: to create self-contained, self-perpetuating ecological systems. This includes growing edible (& nutritious) plants, fish & animals; as well as the application of appropriate technology to create energy from solar, wind, water, & compost.”

This is a really good definition, one of the best I found, but I don’t like the word aboriginal; we’re not all anthropologists. I’d substitute “our tribal ancestors” (what we were before we succumbed to and were corrupted by empire and religions).

Steve Mann, facilitator of the Food Not Lawns Class taught at the University of Missouri of Kansas City Communiversity explains that it is an ethics based method of living described by David Holmgren based on:

Care of the Earth: The Earth is a living, breathing entity. Without ongoing care and nurturing there will be consequences too big to ignore.

Care of People We are provided with times of abundance which enables us to share with others

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