Thursday, July 23, 2009

Permaculture Update

Permaculture: an approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in the natural ecologies.

As you may remember, Grant is taking a Permaculture course this summer in California. Here are some of his reflections over his experience so far:

Hello from the farm! It has been an incredible journey so far. The days are filled with a mixture of classroom talks, on-site "practical" adventures, my work-trade chores (I am paying a small portion of the tuition through jobs like clearing campsites, harvesting juniper trees for fence posts for the tomato garden, fixing the classroom roof after hard winds, etc), amazing organic meals and equally amazing company. The information flow has been dense and captivating, but thankfully the philosophy of permaculture is more about seeing a situation from new eyes, than memorizing characteristics of plants and animals (research is still imperative). It is about looking deeper and observing the intelligent functions of all aspects of nature and trying to mimic those symbiotic relationships while working to restore all that we have destroyed, and maintain what we have left.

The principles of permaculture apply to all the movements we are a part of, and so many of the situations that occur in nature reflect the human drama. Diversity is a key component in permaculture - the more diverse a system is the more mutually beneficial relationships there will be to feed back to the system. But as we are learning, diversity only truly works when the system benefits all its participants. Another important principle is to "obtain a yield". This reminds us that any system we design should provide self-reliance at all levels - including ourselves. So take care of yourself!

Huge thanks for your help in getting me here!

No comments: