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different permaculture schools of thought?

 
steward
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seems like every unique climate or bioregion or culture or community should have its own school of thought.  strength and resilience through diversity.  hero worship is for suckers.

learn from others?  sure.  absolutely.  accept dogma?  get lost.
 
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" Any subsistence farmer in a third world country, with the need to feed themselves and family; with the chance to be literate, with the access of books and the privildege to travel around the region or world would have come up with the same things in the PDM"

Did you ever meet a subsistence farmer in the third world who was literate, had access to books, and could travel?  I submit to you there is no such thing.  The third world rural folks I meet with have never traveled farther than 90 miles from their home.  The literacy rate is maybe 20%.  And there are almost no books in their language relevant to good agriculture in their climate. 

 
tel jetson
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Pneal wrote:
" Any subsistence farmer in a third world country, with the need to feed themselves and family; with the chance to be literate, with the access of books and the privildege to travel around the region or world would have come up with the same things in the PDM"

Did you ever meet a subsistence farmer in the third world who was literate, had access to books, and could travel?  I submit to you there is no such thing.  The third world rural folks I meet with have never traveled farther than 90 miles from their home.  The literacy rate is maybe 20%.  And there are almost no books in their language relevant to good agriculture in their climate. 



so the statement holds up?

I'm guessing that the point Ahipa was shooting for is that Mollison and Holmgren aren't giant brains, but rather were able to achieve what they did in large part because of one privilege or another.  that the vast majority of farmers and peasants aren't afforded these same privileges was implied, though not stated explicitly.  that's my guess, anyhow.

certainly doesn't mean the knowledge compiled and disseminated by these privileged folks isn't extremely handy, though.
 
                                              
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I was discovering and then studying these things before i realized it had a name. I guess thats also partly why I apparently see much of it differently then others working on these things....

  Ive learned a lot from all of the permaculture folks Ive read on. there are just so many possible variables that we can alter and so many climates to do it in. Its an amazing field. It can be used in 1000 directions.

  what Id love to see though, looking at agriculture aspect of PC by itself is a bit different perspective. Not that its my choice or others are wrong, that isnt my point. You have folks who rally behind different folks or mindsets about these things. even people referring to needing a different Pc for different areas. I dont see it that way though. We have different variables in each area is all, so much address them differently. Or different attributes to a site, that make a solution work well one place where it might not another.

    So I see the farming/ranching aspects of PC as simply accounting for all the variables possible. I see it as a simple advancement of science. Yes it happens to support my philosophical/religious/spiritual views as well, but thats another subject as I see it.

      I imagine the first guy/gal who realized you could plant a seed. Im guessing their was no soil prep, although they might of planted into good spots. Perhaps those better spots they presumably planted into started loosing fertility so another person was thinking about it and realized, hey theres lots of plants in such and such area. so they planted there. then that was worn down a generation later, and the next person realized hey, those piles of number two left by various animals sometimes have things growing, perhaps they help?

    and on and on... people adding new possible variables that they could alter. eventually someone realized, hey plant roots grow best in looser soil. at one point tilling soil was cutting edge terra forming on par with the work of sepp or mollison or any of the others. Different peoples learned to alter different variables in different places... often just enough to make it work......

    As a few links I posted the other day showed, there were folks in the early 1900s who were putting it all together. this got buried by not enough knowing it, then industrial ag later. but really Id call that period the period when the idea of fully incorporating all known variables was evolving into a science. Where people were not only doing just enough, but looking to make it perpetual. to bad it was sidetracked by a few folks with an agenda, but thats another story....

    So basically PC farming to me is evolution in action. Its simply the next phase. We chased farm land all over the world, and it was clear 100 years go to the wise, this wasnt going to cut it. We have to learn to have truly perpetual farms.

    Ive got little doubt each generation has the potential to continue to find new answers, even within perfected systems.
 
pollinator
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I've decided all my previous posts are counter-productive.
 
                                              
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
I've decided all my previous posts are counter-productive.


I erased mine to 
 
Tyler Ludens
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We're good. 

 
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tel jetson wrote:
so the statement holds up?

I'm guessing that the point Ahipa was shooting for is that Mollison and Holmgren aren't giant brains, but rather were able to achieve what they did in large part because of one privilege or another.  that the vast majority of farmers and peasants aren't afforded these same privileges was implied, though not stated explicitly.  that's my guess, anyhow.

certainly doesn't mean the knowledge compiled and disseminated by these privileged folks isn't extremely handy, though.



Exactly Tet !

Also I do or did know a illiterate, subsistence farmer in third world conditions; my Grandfather    He was born and raised as a sharecropper in the deep south from 10's and through the 80's with only a 2nd grade education and through talking to my mother who also was a subsistence farmer until my age (18) he practiced swidden, moon planting, crop rotation and was also able to plan out a farm to provide the food required for a wife and 13 children.

Although he was very ignorant, an alcoholic, and apparently had a whole other set of children with another woman (All of which were reasons why my family didn't but could have lived 100% off the land) he was constantly looking for new information to come up with an even better growing system on his land with orchards, crop lands, ponds, pastures and foraging areas on about 20 acres north of New Orleans.
 
Heda Ledus
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Wow, I totally disagree!   I've learned a lot about growing food from permaculture! 



I have yet to read, hear, or see anything in permaculture that would look even close like Purdue's argonomic papers, Steve Solomon's growing manuals, or even Buffalo Women's complex layout and development of making a three sisters plant system.

Where is the information from extension offices from around the region or country with detail plant growth and progress; where are the yield measurements, the water usage, the recorded use of fertilizers. Where are the planting depth and spacing information, the information of the negative effects of close cropping, the information of the nutrients when too much organic matter is added to the soil?

This is what I am talking about; not some list of broadterms  like drought tolerant, semi-shade, and bio accumulator!   

But what is here is a start; and I want to add to that (which is what I and my team are doing) 
 
Tyler Ludens
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Ahipa wrote:


But what is here is a start; and I want to add to that (which is what I and my team are doing) 



Great, looking forward to it!

I would like complete information about plant systems for temperate (non-tropical, non-mediterranean) dry climates, personally.    But I'm afraid I may have to work them out for myself! 
 
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gary gregory wrote:
? ... it is available from the extension offices just mentioned.

If the information is already available in the forms  mentioned I don't see the need to re-do it and wrap it up in a box as permaculture.

I/we go to all of those sources for information.    Thinking outside the permaculture box is good too. 



That's kinda what I realized I have to do.

For example Gary, I am near you, but in a world of different climate and I have come to know I want and can grow easily,

Wild Sarsaparilla (for wine, beer & native) Aralia nudicaulis
Crowberry (for eating, and native) Empetrum nigrum *
Indian Plum (as above) Oemlaria cerasiformis
Saskatoon (as above) Amelanchier alnifolia *
Salal (edible, native)


The 2 above with * are planned to go with my apple / huckleberry guilds in the food forest.  I'm trying to use nature as my primary teacher.
 
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Wild Sarsaparilla (for wine, beer & native) Aralia nudicaulis
Crowberry (for eating, and native) Empetrum nigrum *
Indian Plum (as above) Oemlaria cerasiformis
Saskatoon (as above) Amelanchier alnifolia *
Salal (edible, native)



I have to add that we made salal berry syrup for pancakes as part of our PC design course.  What a wonderful and exotic tasting treat that was!
 
master steward
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My bit about sepp holzer's philosophies vs. david holmgren's philosophies.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfAl6aNNHRA

 
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tel jetson wrote:
seems like every unique climate or bioregion or culture or community should have its own school of thought.  strength and resilience through diversity.  hero worship is for suckers.

learn from others?  sure.  absolutely.  accept dogma?  get lost.



Wouldn't it seem strange for a branch of thought that favors polyculture in plants to advocate monoculture in memes?
 
Tyler Ludens
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toddh wrote:
Wouldn't it seem strange for a branch of thought that favors polyculture in plants to advocate monoculture in memes?



It would seem strange!  I haven't encountered it, personally. 

 
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David Holgrem vs Sepp 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjlNEbo8wE8

the video has a problem loading for me
 
                                
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I disagree with the idea that somehow permaculture has to go through a something akin to sanitizing its image in order to be more acceptable to the general public.  I'm into homesteading and a good portion of homesteaders are very religious, many of them being  Christian, Buddhist, or into a version of transcendentalism.  I myself and an atheist through and through, and have been put off by religion most of my life.  I'm not going to let that stop me from gathering the necessary information I need to be successful in my life.  If people believe that a God, or Gods, or positive energy or spiritual synergy helped them do what they needed to do, then good for them.  I'm going to take those physical skills they talked about and apply it, and leave the intangibles behind.
My point is, if people really want a sustainable way to grow food that allows them more independence, then they're going to stay out of the climate change, or whatever else issue, take what they need to take and move on.  Otherwise, they're likely to miss out.
 
duane hennon
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I like this definition

http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-03-21/permaculture-deconstructing-definition

Published Mar 15 2011 by Resilient Homes blog, Archived Mar 21 2011 Permaculture: Deconstructing a Definition

by Lisa Fernandes

The question “What is permaculture?” is notoriously difficult to answer in one sentence. It defies the “sound bite” culture we live in.

Let’s start with what permaculture is NOT. Seriously, it has nothing to do with permafrost. It is not sheet-mulching, though some may use that as a particular strategy. It is not a variant (or deviant:) of “organic,” though it may use many organic growing strategies. It is not getting a bunch of people together to stomp some mud in a kiddie pool and build a cob oven, though that’s a pretty darn good time in most permaculture circles. Finally, it is not some rarefied ivory tower of secret knowledge that only those who have worshipped at the church of the holy sacred PDC (permaculture design certificate) get to experience.

Permaculture, at its core, is a design process (1) and set of techniques (2) for creating resilient (3) and [truly] sustainable (4) human habitats and healthy ecosystems. (5) Now, I will footnote the daylights out of this definition, which is one of many definitions currently in use, all of which have virtues and drawbacks.

(1) Yes, you have to do design, even if it’s only in your own head, that helps chart a course from where you are today to where you want to be going. Permaculture design, unlike many other design disciplines, is informed by a set of design ethics and principles which are flexible and powerful. Think of the permaculture design as a really, really well-thought out “map” for creating the best possible chance of manifesting a particular vision or set of goals. As with most maps, a printed,visual version of that is often far more helpful (especially in group settings) than that map you keep in your head. And, as with most maps, they only work if you know where you are and can formulate an idea on where you want to go.

(2) The techniques are not the discipline. Sheet mulching, swaling, herb spirals, flowforms, de-paving, renewable energy, cordwood saunas (OK, this list could run into next week, but you get the idea) are NOT permaculture, they are techniques and strategies that we may employ in the service of good design based in real, articulated goals and visions. Those techniques and strategies may be invoked when needed, just like you choose the best tool for the job out of your tool box. Permaculture design is one of the most powerful ways to expand, organize and then intelligently use the toolkit available to you.

(3) Resilient: the ability to withstand shocks or disruptions and the ability to bounce back and/or rebuild with the least possible amount of distress or dysfunction. I would posit that resilience comes in a bunch of flavors: personal, household, neighborhood/community. There are more, but for the purposes of permaculture design, these are the most common types of resilience that need attention and can be enhanced with good design. Creating integrated, healthy, whole ecosystems (within which human habitats are embedded) calls for organizing ourselves in a way that is not beholden to unlimited cheap fossil fuels and not reliant on stable, unchanging climate patterns.

(4) Sustainable as a word gets put in the same bucket as “green” and “eco” for me. It’s like the hackneyed photo of the human hands holding soil and teensy weensy seedling. They are overused, examples of greenwashing and mean many different things to many different people. Technically, it means something that can be continued…what?…. indefinitely? As one of my students said recently, even “dysfunction can be continued indefinitely.” So, is that sustainable? I don’t have the new definition, so I use the word very sparingly and ask others what they mean when they use it.

(5) A sort of core, or common, view among permaculture folks is that humans are a part of, and not separate from, the non-human ecosystems around us. Therefore, our fate is embedded in the fate of the interconnected set of relationships and elements in the broader world. As such, many of us use the term “landscape” to include people, buildings, villages, etc. along with forests, fields and streams. It is one integrated whole and the designs we create do focus on the “landscape” which includes food production, ecosystem health, soil fertility, buildings, energy, waste, economic systems and much more. Permaculture also seeks to learn from and work far more closely with the patterns of organization found in parts of our ecosystems that have evolved over several billion years. So we often model our design work and strategies on “patterns in nature” and encourage something called “pattern literacy.“

Every single one of these footnotes is worthy of complete exploration in its own right, and I may get around to that via this blog and encourage others to do so as well.

And, while this is all very conceptual, one of the powerful things about permaculture is that it tends to attract real roll-up-your-sleeves and let’s-get-this-done kind of people. We do spend time thinking through design and learning new ways of working with and in the world, but almost to a one, permaculturists are actively changing the way we live, right now, starting at our own doorsteps and working out from there.



 
Heda Ledus
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^ I love this ! Hopefully we can get pass the simplification of Permaculture into a set of techniques, which I think has happened so that it can become easier to commodify.

This is a Design Science-turn-Philosophy based on Nature Based Systems, Aboriginal Knowledge, Traditional Skills,  Modern research and invention.

Who can you sale this in its true form?
 
paul wheaton
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Got this in my email

Hi there! I thought you'd find it pretty cool to know that one of your videos was shown on my Ecologically Harmonious Lifestyle class at Carleton university in Ottawa today!

We were discussing permaculture and your video talking about Sepp Holzer was used. Specifically one where you explain how he isn't comfortable with using the term permaculture any more.

Keep up the good work!

Cory



And there is a pic (attached).

I'm teaching in far away universities without leaving montana! 

university-class.jpg
[Thumbnail for university-class.jpg]
 
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I think the term, "lead by example" is the best way to put your philosophy. Mine, too!
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