August 14, 2015

This Can Save Us and the Planet.


This can save you and the planet.

It’s called permaculture.

Not just gardening, permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, construction and integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture.

The forms of sustainable architecture we see from permaculture include regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. The term permaculture was first coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978, and inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy.

The current destruction of the industrialized mono-crop agriculture is killing our soils and the invasive over-spraying of genocide pesticides and fertilizers is killing our planet.

“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” ~ Bill Mollison

Now more than ever it is time to take back our power. We must think globally and act locally. We must be proactive in conserving our limited and precious resources as we are hitting our darkest hour.

Let’s get back to homesteading and growing our own food. Get your community excited and get everyone involved. Let’s encourage collective education on how permaculture has higher yields than organic gardening, its sustainability, the fact that it’s zero waste and how it works with nature and no chemicals are needed to produce your very own food forest.

You can start small with growing your own herbs and some lettuce, or even a balcony garden. Or you can jump in and learn all about permaculture and envision what you can do with your yard.

Permaculture helps restore our landscape to a more functional and life-giving food forest. We can together improve resiliency and self-reliance in these times of declining oil, environmental degradation and social, economic, and political unrest.

Core tenets and principles of design:

1. Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.

This is the first principle, because without a healthy planet, humans cannot flourish.

2. Care for the people: Provision for people to access the resources necessary for their existence.

3. Return of surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes
returning waste back into the system to recycle.

There is much beauty to be found in permaculture and in getting back to the land. Permaculture is not just ecological design—it can transform deserts back into farms and it can create harmonious low carbon societies.

In the United States alone, we are losing well over 83 billion tons of topsoil every year. We are losing colonies of bees by the millions and wreaking havoc on our ecosystem. We are all responsible for the health of our planet and leaving behind a garden for our children’s children.

“We can solve all the world’s problems with a garden.” ~ Geoff Lawton, Permaculture Advocate

Imagine a world free of petrochemicals, people living a life of joy, abundant food forests, zero waste and sustainable design all around us. This is a return back to a minimalistic lifestyle. There would be no hunger, no drought, no ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Permaculture is a solution to solving all of our problems.

“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity any group is doing on this planet. We don’t know what details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options, we need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical gangs doing that.” ~ David Suzuki

It’s time to get started. From container gardening to caring for your food forest, the choice is yours.

“To laugh often and much; to win respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



Can Permaculture Save Us from Annihilation?

Author: Judy Wong Dobberpuhl

Apprentice Editor: Caitlin Oriel/Editor: Sarah Kolkka

Image: Albright Garden/Flickr & Donna Cleveland/Flickr

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Judy Wong Dobberpuhl