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We’re treating soil like dirt.

 
duane hennon
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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<http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/25/treating-soil-like-dirt-fatal-mistake-human-life

We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it

War, pestilence, even climate change, are trifles by comparison. Destroy the soil and we all starve

................

"Even better are some of the methods that fall under the heading of permaculture – working with complex natural systems rather than seeking to simplify or replace them. Pioneers such as sepp holzer and Geoff Lawton have achieved remarkable yields of fruit and vegetables in places that seemed unfarmable: 1,100m above sea level in the Austrian alps, for example, or in the salt-shrivelled Jordanian desert.

But, though every year our government spends £450m on agricultural research and development – much of it on techniques that wreck our soils – there is no mention of permaculture either on the websites of the two main funding bodies (NERC and BBSRC) or in any other department."


are we doing a poor job of presenting Permaculture to the outside world?
was the recent "Permaculture Voices" just preaching to the choir?
will anybody other than a permie ever see or hear any of the talks?
 
George Meljon
Posts: 278
Location: Southern Indiana zone 5b
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duane hennon wrote:

<http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/25/treating-soil-like-dirt-fatal-mistake-human-life

We’re treating soil like dirt. It’s a fatal mistake, as our lives depend on it

War, pestilence, even climate change, are trifles by comparison. Destroy the soil and we all starve

................

"Even better are some of the methods that fall under the heading of permaculture – working with complex natural systems rather than seeking to simplify or replace them. Pioneers such as Sepp Holzer and Geoff Lawton have achieved remarkable yields of fruit and vegetables in places that seemed unfarmable: 1,100m above sea level in the Austrian alps, for example, or in the salt-shrivelled Jordanian desert.

But, though every year our government spends £450m on agricultural research and development – much of it on techniques that wreck our soils – there is no mention of permaculture either on the websites of the two main funding bodies (NERC and BBSRC) or in any other department."


are we doing a poor job of presenting Permaculture to the outside world?
was the recent "Permaculture Voices" just preaching to the choir?
will anybody other than a permie ever see or hear any of the talks?


are we doing a poor job of presenting Permaculture to the outside world? Yes.
was the recent "Permaculture Voices" just preaching to the choir? Mostly.
will anybody other than a permie ever see or hear any of the talks? Not many.

Diego is digging into these concerns recently. geoff lawton and John D Liu and others are rushing to the highest levels of power they can.
 
Tom OHern
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Location: Seattle, WA
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duane hennon wrote:
are we doing a poor job of presenting Permaculture to the outside world?
was the recent "Permaculture Voices" just preaching to the choir?
will anybody other than a permie ever see or hear any of the talks?


I do think there is a huge disconnect between the permie world and the rest of the world. I have an uncle who is a Ag scientist who constantly talks about how GMOs are going to save the world. I try asking him about they will solve things like topsoil destruction, aquafir depletion, and ag industry pollution. He acknowledges that they are issues, but is absolutely convinced that biochemists and the such will solve those issues before they destroy us. When I try to point out examples of farmers who are solving those problems with permaculture techniques, he dismisses them with a: "Well that works on small farms, but you can't scale that to feed the world."

He, like most of the world, needs to see more than just demonstration farms doing this. The people who make the decisions on how our society will move forward need data that shows that permaculture can produce more calories per acre on a large scale. But that data doesn't exist. And the attitude from permies I've gotten when I've tried to find such data in the past was completely dismissive. The thought process seems to be that eventually those doubters will eventually come to hte same conclusions as we have, and it isn't worth our time to try and demonstrate our points before then. I think this is the completely wrong attitude. I think we need to work on making our points undeniable with hard data that proves that permacutlture can feed the world and do so without destroying our ecosystem.
 
Dave Burton
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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Tom OHern wrote:
He, like most of the world, needs to see more than just demonstration farms doing this. The people who make the decisions on how our society will move forward need data that shows that permaculture can produce more calories per acre on a large scale. But that data doesn't exist.


Sounds like a good start for an experiment and research expedition in my opinion!

Also, on that note, it does make me wonder if there are any permaculture lobbyists out there trying to directly influence legislation or permaculture-esque interest groups out there?
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I think it will take some large, successful operations in each region for people to believe it. I plan on being my regions example.
 
Chris Meador
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Location: San Diego County, CA (9a) ~15-18"precip/yr
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We need to get some celebrities into permaculture. Average people listen to celebrities. It would actually sadly help.

I agree about the data Tom is talking about and I think so much of it comes down to money. The Permaculture community needs a serious amount of money to get these projects to be able to compete with bigAg. We need science-based Permaculture "experiments" represented in all regions. Then the results can be used to show, in the way the our country "proves" things (peer reviewed journals, etc.), that Permaculture can increase yields, etc. - all the things we know it can do. We need a serious Permaculture suggar daddy.

 
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