I know this topic has been thrown around a million times, but since geoff lawton is on the forums, I thought I would try to get his (and anyone else's) opinion about it. I live in one of my favorite cities in the whole world (Eugene, Oregon) and I know that if I am going to be in a city, this is where I want to be, but lately I have been considering moving back to the countryside so I can have more space to work on permaculture projects. My question is this. When considering the possibility that our society could and may need to go through extreme change, do you believe that, in order to help transition humanity to a more sustainable way of life, it is more productive to start/join a rural homestead/ecovillage to set an example of a better way or stay in the city and try to improve the current system? Thank you for all that you do, Jesse
Check out what Will Allen and Company have done within the city of Milwaukee. I think they're definitely showing a different way and doing it in a more public way than someone who lives on a farm.
One of our members has "bloom where you're planted", under her name. I like this because it demonstrates that you can be useful no matter where you are.
I think very large cities (over 1 million) are unsustainable. Before the petroleum age only the very largest cities had a million or more people, and these cities were surrounded by dense and intensively productive farms, not by suburbia. I think cities will have to get smaller to become sustainable. Without cheap energy it is very difficult to keep densely populated cities healthy. In the past, the death rate in cities was much higher than in the country, due to communicable disease. Permacultural handling of humanure would relieve a lot of the danger of communicable disease in cities post cheap energy era.
I believe...We need to purify our selves and the earth right where we are BEFORE we start to live lives in another place...
I for one do not have the kind of experience or skill necessary to create/live-in an eco-village...Yet I dream to create one/live-in one...
I see the city as a kind of training ground, a place to learn the skills, to be an example of a new/ancient/sane way of life!
I also believe you by no means need land to do more permaculture projects. I've seen other threads on here dealing with land share programs. Besides, if you grow your network I'm sure you'll find other interested bodies that have the land you crave but lack the knowledge.
People who live in cities might want to look at this discussion: http://www.solviva.com/Greyburg_Greendale.htm which might help them decide what kind of city they prefer to live in.
Jesse Chastain wrote:Hello,
My question is this. When considering the possibility that our society could and may need to go through extreme change, do you believe that, in order to help transition humanity to a more sustainable way of life, it is more productive to start/join a rural homestead/ecovillage to set an example of a better way or stay in the city and try to improve the current system? Thank you for all that you do, Jesse
I think the problem with Permaculture is that to outsiders it looks like some kooky, hippy idea. "maaaan, these carrots are like, so tasty- I grew them in cow sh1t dooood!" Look up practically any permaculture video on youtube, you'll see what I mean. (sepp holzer and Geoff Lawton are exceptions lol)
My opinion is that WHEREVER we live, we need to get the squares to dig permaculture instead of freaking them out by emphasizing any counter-cultural basis. How many hippy communes that started out to save the world ended up just being the "long hairs on the edge of town"?
Infiltrate the local Master Gardeners club, community gardens,etc. and turn on those normal cats that that don't grok the lingo.
Bring it to the mainstream wherever you are.
if you love living in the city I would say stay there and work on permaculture and have fun because if you are not having fun you have got the design wrong.
We need to effect positive change everywhere as a ethical design science evolution in thinking for all of humanity.
My rancher neighbor sprays herbicide on the native persimmons because the raccoons like to eat the fruit. He doesn't even raise poultry as far as I know , he raises beef cattle (I, on the other hand,do raise poultry - and I LOVE the persimmons) so I don't know what he has against raccoons, but he is willing to kill one of the few species of tree which are thriving in our drought in order to spite the raccoons. He has killed every single persimmon tree on his land, as far as I can tell. How can I reach him with permaculture? Ranchers are among the most stubborn people on the planet. If you intend to influence them with permaculture, you better know what the hell you're doing.