• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

is permaculture scalable?

 
steward
Posts: 3601
Location: woodland, washington
145
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

It seems like developing mechanisms to protect and make consistent best use of soils near population centers at less than market rate is a fundamental challenge of our situation.



tell me about it.  I'm currently trying to convince a landowner to lease me some land.  everything about this land is perfect, except the $3 million price tag.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Cereghino wrote:
It seems like developing mechanisms to protect and make consistent best use of soils near population centers at less than market rate is a fundamental challenge of our situation.



Market rate for keeping a plot of land weed-free "until the economy recovers" is probably not enough for me to make a living on, but that money plus the plants I might draft to do the job, and I might be interested! 

Seriously, though, I think Detroit is on the cutting edge: de-industrialization is making the mid-century style of population center fall apart there a little sooner than most. With no factory jobs holding people in more-densely than carrying capacity might suggest, people are starting to disperse, and that is opening up opportunities to return land to agricultural production.

Here's a good article on that topic, via the City Farmer blog.
 
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice article... thank you... I forwarded it to our local urban ag list--not that it is applicable here, but that design fits place, place provides opportunity.

Pc design as a profession often looks like a variation on the landscape architecture/garden designer economic model.

What if the design task that involves scaling up Pc had more to do with chapter 14 of the designers manual?  (How long does the PDC spend on ch14?! I haven't taken one so honest question)

What if making gardens is just handing out fish, but creating economic niche where people can afford to live as gardeners is teaching the art of fishing?

Often when I start talking about invisible structures or socioeconomic design I get accused of imperialism or acting like "the man".  Is American Pc faltering as a social movement because of rugged individualism and the fixation of self-sufficiency?

 
                    
Posts: 0
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Where will we get the people? My answer is that we will have to change the way we do business and re-allocate labor, just like we did when we developed factories, or started cubicle farms. 

Peak oil, peak phosphorous, etc will make other options more expensive and people will accept that business as usual is not a real option. Economic turmoil and unemployment resulting from peak oil (and periodic glitches in the economic system) will free up labor.  A shortage of traditional jobs will mean more families will be surviving on one job, and the initial response will be to turn to gardening and permaculture to make ends meet.
 
              
Posts: 238
Location: swampland virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
one reason i'm interested in permaculture is flavor. nothing tastes better than fresh vegetables coated with dyes and waxes to trap in all the pesticides and herbicides. at least you get something in place of nutrition.

really, one of the reasons has to do with history repeating itself. many people would be better off if they still traded beans for goods. you can eat beans. modern society is fragile. technologies, economies, laws, resources etc. it is only a matter of time before something snaps. a year of food might help. knowing how to grow your own long term will not hurt either.

most people enjoy paying interest, taxes, utilities, etc and living on the edge. they also buy insurance. i look at permaculture as part of an insurance policy, along with good eating and all too.  imagine if all the ancient knowledge was still common knowledge. 
 
Posts: 269
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul, to answer your original question as to what to say in response to "Where would you get all the people," I think the answer is simple: When people decide that being healthy and not destroying our environment is important there will be no shortage.

Until then, we have to deal with the fact that the paradigm of modern society is radically warped.  People as a whole have decided that in order to satisfy our basic survival needs of water, food, and shelter (in that order), it makes sense to work for others doing things that are unrelated to those basic needs and then purchase those basic goods from others.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The catch is that if we were suddenly all primary producers, then in our beloved collapse scenario we become serfs.  We don't own our land.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Paul Cereghino wrote:The catch is that if we were suddenly all primary producers, then in our beloved collapse scenario we become serfs.  We don't own our land.



Making the gigantic and un-justified assumption that our collapse will happen along the same lines as the fall of Rome, the options will be serfdom, living & dying by the sword (there are assault rifles now, but lordin' still ain't easy), monasticism, maintaining an outsider status and doing import/export work, or joining a guild of artisans.

I'm not much suited to thug life, or life on the road, so being a serf would suit me better than most other options. Looking at how serfs lived through most of the post-collapse times, it seems to have mostly been better than minimum wage can buy right now.

Of course, under that assumption, it will be hundreds of years before the range of options narrows quite so much.

And yes, I'd probably rather be a yeoman than a serf.
gift
 
Garden Mastery Academy - Module 1: Dare to Dream
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic