Permaculture : Lessons Learned From Week One

Have you ever found yourself thinking about all the problems in the world?
You spiral down and take a deep breath. In your mind you see a list scrolling towards you, getting bigger and bigger, like the credits in the Star Wars movies. Instead of waiting for the end of that list, you open your eyes, and give your head a little shake, as if that’s going to scatter the problems to all sides of your brain. That way you won’t have to deal with them.

Permaculture plants along a window

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Did you miss the other weeks?

2-Patterns, 3-Microclimates, 4-Trees, 4b-Soil 5a-Humid Cool-Cold 5b-Drylands 6-Earthworks


One of the things that were discussed in my first class of Permaculture, was…
What are the problems we face in the world today?
So what we did was write that list down, and have it stare us in the face.
It felt overwhelming, unmanageable and heavy.
The list was long with issues that seemed grand and honestly impossible to handle.
How are we to deal with all these issues?

 

There was something noticeable however about the list, and that was the connection that so many of these problems shared. Somehow they seemed to intertwine and relate to one another. So that’s exactly what we did, we started connecting the problems. One problem was an outcome of another problem which was the cause of another. And slowly we started erasing these problems off the board as they fit into each other. At the end, we arrived at only four main problems. Four seems a lot more manageable than thirty-something. Already the tension and stress from the original list had vanished, and ideas started bouncing around about how to fix each problem. As the metaphor explained in class says; when you have a sinking ship, you should first start patching the biggest hole and then move on to the others.

Etsy Shop : TheWheatField

Permaculture: “System of design modelled after the observation of natural principles and grounded in designing sustaining (or abundant) human societies.”

Permaculture, or permanent (Agri)culture: “means working with natural forces – wind, sun, & water – to provide food, shelter, water & other needs with minimum labour & without depleting the land.”

Permaculture: “is a holistic approach.”


 

Permaculture nature Girl looking into the sun
Photo Cred: Alexander Shustov


It’s always talked about; if we were to remove ants from the planet, the ecosystem would be destroyed. If we were to remove humans from the planet, the ecosystem would flourish”.


We discussed this idea in class. Humans have been, and are, a large part of the ecosystem. There could be obvious “benefits” to the ecosystem if humans were to disappear, I find that undebatable. Nevertheless, humans can be and have been, very beneficial to the ecosystem. Removing us from the picture is an illogical and actually quite a lazy way of dealing with the problems facing the environment. Us humans have many good relationships with species, and we have options to have good relationships with others if we choose to take them. So we need to redefine what it means to be a human in the ecosystem.

We are always measuring our effects on the planet in negative terms. We have our carbon footprint, our ecological footprint, etc. So it is hard to imagine that we can be a positive influence on the planet, but this is exactly what we need to do; ensure humans are a positive contribution. Not only do we need to do it, we have the resources, the intelligence, and the drive to do so if only we knew how. This is where one of the main problems we face shows itself; education.

There were many technical terms and skills that were shared. I now have an understanding and definition of many of the basics of permaculture. Swales, mulch, yield, compost, lasagna beds, mangroves, no-till gardening, zones, sector analysis, etc. etc. etc. Besides an honest curiosity to agriculture and nature, it is the philosophical background of values and ethical viewpoints that keeps the information engaging, and for me, important and relevant. The holistic approach of permaculture is based on good ethics and sustainable (or abundant) design. Creating holistic systems that nourish themselves. The knowledge is passed on and shared openly and (intentionally or not), spreads hope among people.


w h a t  d o  y o u  t h i n k ?

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Permaculture design , permanent agriculture, working with nature

Author: andthebee@hotmail.com

Agent: Emilie “The Bee” Bradford;
Mission: Travel the globe to discover positive and new information on how to live abundantly in harmony with the Earth
Objective: To encourage the world to support the passions of their neighbours, to give more than they take, and to live positively.

3 thoughts on “Permaculture : Lessons Learned From Week One

  • March 10, 2017 at 2:59 pm
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    First off, oh my gosh these photos are gorgeous!

    Second, I absolutely LOVE this philosophy. It’s one I’ve never seen written out so concretely, but it’s dead on: “So we need to redefine what it means to be a human in the ecosystem…insure humans are a positive contribution”. You have so inspired me to read more about permaculture!

    This is such a lovely, thoughtful, and engaging article. Thanks so much for sharing <3

    Reply
  • March 11, 2017 at 12:44 am
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    This was well written and well said! I think people really need to evaluate their contribution to the earth. We have the great ability to fix environmental problems, and care for creatures in need. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • March 11, 2017 at 1:04 am
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      Thanks so much. I’m glad you think so!

      Reply

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