I spend alot of time reading about permaculture on websites and in books. Probably more time that I should. There is something I have noticed that concerns me a little and I was hoping for some discusion on the matter.
It seems to me that the Permaculture community is rich with ideas. Lots of people are experimenting, building this, testing that. Many provide detailed rationales for their ideas. Lots of people would say that they are providing solutions to specific problems such as lack of water, slope, nutrient deficiencies, energy management and so on. Some people go to the trouble of documenting in detail the initial construction of their solution with the aim of providing information to the those that are interested and may have a similar problem that requires a similar solution. It's all great, ideas flying around, people testing things out all in the name of developing sustainability.
So what is my problem? I am concerned about how we as a community of like minded people measure and determine the success of an idea.
Most of my observations lead me to believe that once an idea has met the "proof of concept" test it is deemed successful and then curiously shelved. Ideas are implemented such as building swales on a sloping block to improve water retention or some other terrific permaculture idea is implemented, the photographs are taken a blog writen and we all say how wonderful, gee that is some real good permaculture going on there. As time passes the idea becomes background, a new idea has taken the spot as the next great thing and the blog changes focus. What of the old idea?
There seems to be very little out there that demonstrates longevity, resilience and in my mind success. I want to see example of successful permaculture solutions. Concepts that have proven their value and quality beyond their initial implementation. I am more interested in seeing a plot of land that has been cultured for at least five years, preferably 10 or 20 years using permaculture principles. If the same ideas and concepts are still in operation and can be seen to be improving yeild and managing sustainability then I think we have proof of success.
I think we don't see so much of this because people are keen and eager at the start, they have learnt something new and they are excited about the possibilities it presents them. Then get going on it, it works in theory or in isolation from the system they really live in and away they go building, digging, planting and telling us all about it. As time passes the novalty wears off. A new idea comes and away we go again. I'm not really critisising this approach I'm guilty of it too. We all love the new and shiny. But do we fall into the same trap that I seem to be seeing in lots of areas these days. Any innovation is rewarded above any proven conventional approach. innovation drives the economy, regardless of its effect, regardless of its capacity to impove. It is of course unsustainable.
I'd like to see old permaculture, wise old gaffers that have been doing it for years writting up their blogs and taking photos. Maybe their too busy.
What do ya reckon??
What do ya reckon?