What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Monday, 12 October 2009

Permaculture, self reliance and growing your own.

It's clear that folks are going back to small farming, growing their own and providing their communities with quality local produce. As reported on Associated Press by Rick Callahan;

"February's census report found that the number of farms under 50 acres soared nearly 15 percent between 2002 and 2007 to about 853,000 nationwide. Farms under 10 acres grew even more, with their numbers rising about 30 percent to 232,000.

Nearly 300,000 new farms began production since the last census in 2002, and they tended to have fewer acres, lower sales and younger operators who also work off-farm, said Ginger Harris, a demographer with National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the USDA."

As communities and individuals turn towards the technologies of self reliance and resilience such as local food production, local energy production, support of local small business, and reduced reliance on debt, there is great potential for transformative change towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Many already on this transformative path are turning to Permaculture for signposts along the way.

As defined on the Permaculture Institute site Permaculture is;

" an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of human endeavor. It teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities and much more."

Using an ecosystems approach in planting, water management, resource cycling, animal management, and even the very design of the human presence in the landscape creates a highly efficient, low labour lifestyle.
Geoff Lawton, an Australian Permaculturist, from an interview on CNN;

"A good organic farmer works a thousand hours a year. The industrial mankind works two thousand to three thousand hours a year. What do we have to show for it? Gadgets.
We don't have community, we don't have clean water, clean air or sensible housing. As negative as we currently are, we can be equally positive," Lawton said. "It's not just self-reliance or self-sufficiency, it's absolute abundance."

Sound good?
Follow the links in this post to check it out in detail.

4 comments:

CambridgeLady said...

I read that one in three households in the UK are "growing their own" - whether that be a few tomato plants or digging over the whole garden to provide year round fruit and veg. And this figure doesn't include all the allotment gardeners and small farms. This doesn't seem to be driven by economics - supermarkets in the UK are very competitive - but by a desire to be at least a little self-sufficient.

C Robb said...

Yes it is really widespread there. However, my research in Sheffield indicated a serious shortage of support for lower income inner city folks who want to grow, a complete lack of available space to grow, and tendency for only the middle to upper classes to be serious about growing.

CambridgeLady said...

Fair comment - but people such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and numerous TV programmes devoted to gardening and self-sufficiency are actively encouraging all income groups to have a go. It's amazing how much can be grown in pots on apartment balconies or in paved back yards. There is a massive shortage of allotments though. In my county, Cambridgeshire, I've heard about "guerrilla gardeners" who try and grow veggies on derelict or unloved land.

C Robb said...

Check out the video linked to in this post

http://sustliving.blogspot.com/2009/09/abundance.html

Stephen was very helpful with my research. There is some good footage of Guerilla gardening.