Permaculture, Liberty, and the "Freedom Movement"Submitted by Terminally Chill on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 14:07
In my humble opinion, Permaculture practices are a giant step in the direction towards human freedom and away from tyranny, the police state, and cultural degradation. Permaculture is not just about gardening more efficiently, but about living in a cultural system that is more efficient in making people happier while "starving the beast," as they say, the beast being centralized tyrannical-police state-corporate-consumerist-culture. Some may not be interested in such a radical change in lifestyle, but for those who are, permaculture is a cultural life raft peacefully gliding away from a sinking ship that has a powerful undertow, taking most sub-cultures down with it (what I feel is the "corporatizing" of sub-culture and art as well as the "co-opting" of political and spiritual movements).
I posted an update last summer which began my journey into the agricultural practice of Permaculture. While I did create two more updates on that particular garden, my tendency to underwhelm myself caused me to just shut up and keep learning until I actually had something to say. I've now reached a point in my understanding of the practice of permaculture that I can try to explain what I feel is its connection with what we understand to be "The Freedom Movement."
The following is a short summary of permaculture philosophy that I use to explain it to people I work with. Also included is information about a food forest system because I feel that establishing food forests is the literal meaning of "planting seeds of liberty." Much of this information can be found in the book Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway
Permaculture: What it is and why it works:
"Permaculture has much in common with organic gardening but it is a different approach. Natural ecosystems are the model, so plants are placed in mutually beneficial communities instead of long rows and monoculture fields. Permaculture uses a set of principals and practices to design sustainable gardens, farms, and settlements. Instead of relying on backbreaking work, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, the permaculture gardener uses methods that build healthy soil, smother weeds, and promote plant life while recycling waste products from the garden. Permaculture combines sustainable agriculture, landscape design, and ecology. It means permanent agriculture. Permaculture systems, once established, require much less maintenance than conventional farming and provide high yields while improving the fertility and value of the land."
"In ecological terms, the process of succession is the evolution of a landscape over decades from bare ground through fast-growing pioneer species to a mature ecosystem. When not interrupted by fire or other disaster, the end result of succession nearly everywhere is a forest.
The typical yard or garden, with its perfect regimen of irrigation and fertilizer, is trying hard to become a forest. Only the tractor, lawn mower, and pruning shears prevent the woods from taking over. Permaculture does not fight this trend toward woodland. Instead, permaculture works with nature to fashion a multi-storied forest garden, a food and habitat- producing landscape that acts like a natural woodland.
A simple forest garden contains a top layer of trees, a middle level of shrubs, and a ground layer of herbs, vegetables and flowers. Each plant is chosen for the roles it will play, whether for food, wildlife habitat, herbal medicine, insect attraction, soil building, or any other number of functions.
In a forest garden, the life spans of many of the plants are measured not in one year but in decades or more. The forest garden will mature into a healthy ecosystem that can provide food for multiple generations."
The decentralization of food via permaculture and food forests can open the door to tangible cultural change at the individual and local level. The economic benefits are astounding. With many families, both parents must work full time just to provide basic food and shelter for their family. Permaculture practices provide food and shelter (as well as a supportive and cooperative community) much cheaper and easier so there is time to actually educate ones own children while enjoying the time spent together. An honest look into permaculture practices will expose many more economic and social benefits.
I find that permaculture practices fit my intuition of what human freedom in the post-modern age is all about: away from dependence on a harmful system while supporting local individuals and communities developing their own decentralized systems. This isn't some kind of luddite reform, it is what Terence Mckenna called an Archaic Revival, the revival of traditional human cultural systems (otherwise known as tribes). The benefits of tribal social systems is an opinion of mine and can be more thoroughly explained in another post if needed. For now I just wanted to get this out there- on the record, under the inspection of those who may read it.
To learn more about permaculture practices, visit "The DailyPaul of Permaculture:" Permies.com