Has anyone else noticed the link between Permaculture and Wilderness Bushcrafting / Wilderness Survival with a slant towards native skills. I was hit by the realization as I was attending Tom Brown Jr.'s Tracking School and how to survive and thrive in the wilderness you need to adopt native skills and customs. For example buckskin made from brain tanning is a natural material that people have had for a thousand years and it is still better for stalking and tracking than current gortex and modern military camos, which literally shine due to the material itself.
Another example: Eating food found in that environment makes your body smell like the environment you are in masking your scent.
I'm establishing a permaculture farm in southern appalachia and so far our only sales are wild mushrooms and tulip poplar baskets. Our upcoming crops for the fall are sochan, spicebush berries, acorn flour, black walnuts, hickory nut milk, wild carrot seed, usnea, and more wild mushrooms (just found lion's manes!). This winter/spring we will be establishing large plantings of elderberries, ramps, and pawpaws. My wife is at a braintanning workshop right now.
my grandfather was a hunter/trapper by trade after an accident at work forced him to retire, and he also was a market gardener, his wife was a baker and ran a restaurant early on..so there were a lot of handed down skills in the genes..but I've never really gotten into domestic animals other than a couple cats or an occasional dog..i much prefer wildlife to tame life..and am somewhat into the survival type thinking here as well, but don't do a huge lot of big stuff..just can and freeze and dry and forage..mostly.
but I stumbled upon permaculture long after i was deep into the wildcrafting type of thing..in the 70's..got a copy of Bill Mollison's introduction to Permaculture and thought..wow this makes sense..
previous to that organic gardens and foraging were more down my line, but now I am truly fascinated with food forest gardens
Bloom where you are planted.
Natives many times managed their land. That included planting trees like osage orange, paw paw, etc. The practiced controled burning and other practices to alter the environment.
We are now finding the much of the amazon may have been modified by man. So when you look at permaculture or edible landscaping or edible forests you find the creation of a ecosystem.
It just seem strange to us because most of us are use to European style farming and mono culture farming.
You plant a crop, harvest, then start over the next year.
With permaculture you think in terms of years or decades and create phases of life.
Think stream, beaver pond, marsh, medow, forest, fire, stream, etc.
I think it is a mistake to think that the native populations always had it right though. The Iroquois practised slash and burn. When they used up a location they migrated. In Southern Ontario after the Iroquois burned up the land around Toronto, they migrated north west toward Manitoulin Island. When they were still hunter-gatherers, everything was fine. It was only when they practicted large scale farming that they were less than optimal.
You are correct it would be a mistake to think that the native populations always had it right. Just look at the Mayans after they cut down all the trees.
The point I was trying to make was that where the land was managed correctly you had created ecosystems that built on what worked.
Around 6,000 years ago the Sumerians built the world's first city - Uruk this city developed an agricultural system that destroyed their environment.
Today the rivers have moved and marshland is gone. Today the remains of the city is in a wasteland.
Generally large scale farming has been at the root of many ecological colaspes.
But also remember that the very act of living off the land can change the land. Humans can select fruits and seeds can pass as waste and spread.
They may leave a edible trees and cut down a non-edible for use. To make it easier to collect plants they may plant seeds in areas they stay in or may move plants.
There are many cases where they became important parts of the ecosystem.
I have know native people who still practice bushcraft. In some cases they have cultural practices similar to permaculture.
The bushcraft as I knew it and it may be different from your idea of bush craft for it was geared towards being able to successfully live within a given environment.
It was generally low tech and you followed the food cycles.
The permaculture I knew in the bush was adapting yourself to the environment and working with the environment to meet your daily life needs.