“… everything is closely interrelated, and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis…” Pope Francis (LS 137)
The current economy and the culture it is shaping depends on encouraging individualism and self interest rather than community and collaboration. Permaculture encourages the opposite – an outward-looking attitude rather than inward-self centredness. A change in attitude could bring about change at many other levels.
How can we break the cycle that sees us sustaining ourselves - our stomachs and lifestyle - whilst relying on big agriculture and big industry? How can we see a way out of economic rationalism? How can we rebuild community?
The answer? Good design. Permaculture is good design of self-sustaining systems guided by three ethics:
· Earth care
· People care and
· Fair share
Earth is resilient and energetic. Through good design, observations and interactions with Earth we can create resilience for all our communities: the soil community - the fungi, bacteria and all other named and un-named creepy-crawlies; our food growing community - our crops, our orchards, our pastures; our human community - our friends, our family, our neighbours. All whilst being aware of our impact on the larger Earth community.
Most of the systems in Permaculture use traditional knowledge and practices as well as local knowledge. Excitement and ingenuity in permaculture are achieved by using and incorporating these traditional approaches, new knowledge of patterns, natural systems and elements, plus human creativity.
All elements put together in a way that builds up and strengthens a system creating abundance and resilience. By incorporating diversity (e.g. many different plants and animals) we can create self-fertilising and self-managing systems that become much more resilient to pests and diseases with the added benefit of improving our own health by eating clean, local and seasonal food – as a start.
Everything is connected. If we can design a system that builds self-sustaining community, we are less reliant on bigger systems that create so many of the human-made problems on this wonderful planet. By better design we can
· free up agricultural land to be restored to wilderness
· save water
· rely less on transport and fuel
· grow and protect clean and life-filled soil - some for our own food production,
· increase genetic diversity… and much more.
All these solutions can have an impact on our daily lifestyle, the carbon and water cycles, and therefore have a positive impact on Earth.
Because of the interrelatedness of all life, by creating more diverse and lively food growing systems we will create more diverse and lively communities – on all levels. Permaculture can help to design this system to be incredibly dynamic and self-sustaining.
Some practical permaculture questions to think about in your system
Can you catch, store/deflect or utilise water more effectively before it leaves your property?
Can you catch, store/deflect or utilise more solar energy?
Can you utilise/deflect wind to benefit your systems?
Can you create more diversity in your system?
Permaculture is not only a gardening or a farming method… Permaculture is also about community design, ethical investment, invisible structures, urban and rural planning etc. Rowe Morrow Earth User’s Guide to Teaching permaculture p 12.
Rahamim and Permaculture:
· The site – organise a tour with Jen Ringbauer to see and understand the systems in place at Rahamim
· Green Drinks with Lis Bastian from the Big Fix and Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute 28 June 2019
· An Introduction to Permaculture with Lis Bastian from Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute 29 and 30 June – watch our events page for more information
· Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Monday Nights onsite with Jen Ringbauer and friends. Find out more here: http://www.rahamim.org.au/events/2019/7/29/permaculture-design-certificate-pdc