I asked Susanne Schneider to take a look at it. I thought she might give us a rough idea. This is what she sent me:
# General overview over his type of permaculture, observe nature, learned from what he did as a child... # growing fruittrees at his range of altitudes, selecting robust specimen, symbiotic interactions, # growing radishes in winter by planting them in between huegelbeds, where they are protected by snow # importance of water management; observe pigs creating ponds, has insights in his dreams, use excavator "spoon" to replicate what he observed the pigs doing to create natural ponds interviewer quotes critics that criticize him for using heavy machinery in his supposed "natural" agriculture; he responds that this is to re-naturalize what has been originally destroyed by humans with heavymachinery and monocultures # next criticizm "if everyone did this then we wouldn't have any mountain meadows anymore; everything would be fruit tree cultures"; Sepp answers that of course he is not only planting fruit trees but also meadow, including medicinal herbs, sheep chose the herbs/toxic plants they need for any diseases (e.g. parasites) they may have
# "how can the animals be outdoors with just a shelter?" same as with the plants, need to select adapted species
# "could this method be scaled up to actually produce enough to feed humanity" yes, recent study has shown that with this method 3x the current number of humans could be fed - because areas of land that currently don't produce food could all produce food.
you have to put yourself into the position of the earthworm, the plant, the animal to figure out what they might need. Interviewer "it would be difficult imagining being an earthworm..." Sepp - you have to think naturally
"but we would have to adapt our sense of beauty, if we have to leave plants and weeds lying around" (!)
"how do people who live in the city observe nature as you suggest?" he explains his projects in favelas/slums; create the vertical "sausages" to be planted (as we did in the workshop - my vocabulary is escaping me right now))
22 ongoing projects throughout the world; he was recently in Seattle and Vancouver for a whole month to give workshops and do consultations
Interviewer quotes someone who had a consultation from Sepp and now claims that the advice was completely wrong and destroyed her land Sepp explains that the landowner executed differently from his advice and that she only wanted to "add-on" "Sepp HolzerPermaculture" to increase the re-sale value of her property; she was actually convicted of betrug
Interviewer trying to close on a positive note: project in portugal
what is your next trip? seminar in portugal, then malaga,
At the end of the interview there was the mention of some real estate developer that wasn t honest about their reason they wanted to make a permaculture development ,but something went wrong with the pond construction and it failed , Sepp explanation was that they instructed the digging crew to change the way the pond was supposed to be constructed to create a swimming hole .They wanted to use his name to increase the value of the sale and it blew in their faces. Long story short , it wounded up in court and Sepp was windicated and later on in a different case they had to do time. Sepp wants to make his idea known to as many people as he can , and he invest a lot of time and his own money to further that knowledge that he gained from observing nature.
posted 10 years ago
Aesthetics are important, people don't like having land with the wrong aesthetic. If you think something is important as in, it might help save humans from global warming and what you are advising goes against the aesthetic of a group then you might not be successful as you would if it did not and when global warming is the question it is important to be efficient, to get the people with the right moral for your group and all the others on board.
Aesthetics have to do with identity, so they are hard to change though I suppose they change as the years go by. If parents don't want their children to turn into horrible hippies for example, they will criticize hippie aesthetic. This type of criticism normally includes a moral criticism. It is messy as one would expect from people who don't contribute to society. If you don't want to be considered messy and no good you don't want the aesthetic that gets categorized that way.
If your criticizer is hippie, maybe they want to do down some sort of successful guy to their children, to form the children in their parents ideology. They might say that all the rich aesthetic is bound up in material values, say for example that, people with those clipped lawns and hedges don't really care for nature or people only for money and they only do things to impress their neighbors.
So aesthetics are instilled into children by parents with all sorts of threats and promises of of success or failure, or belonging and loss of identity and group if they follow one way or another. You have to brave if you want to defy these things, you might lose the friendship of your group and people who ask others to sacrifice the friendship of their own are pigs so i say try to change accepted ideas instead of trying to make people stand up to their own.
Aesthetics also has to do with emotions. If you have been happy in a place you tend to like the things you knew there. They are deeply rooted in the psychology of people.
If you feel your project is important you had better find ways to adapt it to different peoples aesthetic and criteria, convince them long grass is also a symbol of hard work and order or whatever appeals to that group or to the other. Maybe they can have orderly long grass patches. Grass that seeds, feeds the birds and the insects and so may be considered good for bennies. If you can have a big population of insects and birds and animals then there are likely to be hunters of the pests, a natural pest control in your plot and that is part of organic and permaculture cultivation of plants. Long grass also gives more shade to the ground. Being taller than short grass it cuts off the suns rays long before they reach the ground and each stalk gives shade to the next door stalk only a small proportion of the plants is exposed to the sun, the tip and a bit more. Orchards used not to be smart components of gardens they were reserved for the vegetable garden, heaven only knows why, they are so pretty but that was the tradition. How to get them to be smart is the question. With some good photography i should think. Or by planting them in rich peoples houses. Get the Buddhist, Harrison Ford, who maybe expected to feel an interest for permaculture, it is a Buddhist type theme, to have a food forest garden and get if televised. Make it part of a film, the smart plants, rhododendrons and such on the edge of the road at the entrance to the drive was part of a film. We need to turn all the rich into aestheticians who like permaculture. Make them have to have a smart sort of permaculture so there are those one could use as a advertisement for the permaculture aesthetic. Agri rose macaskie.
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