Permaculture – The Way Forward
Permaculture – The Way Forward
By Noha , Published August 1, 2013
The small town of Nimbin nestled in the hills of Northern NSW Australia is famous for it’s colourful characters, activists, creatives, healers and people generally wanting to live a sustainable and peaceful life in the country. The year 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Aquarius Festival that permanently changed the small town of Nimbin from a dying Banana and Dairy town, into a town surrounded by intentional communities, eclectic and industrious activists and cultural creatives. It is timely then that we see the launch of the Levity Foundation, a collaboration of bright minds and caring hearts set to take Nimbin and the surrounding area into the next era of sustainability and regeneration.
That era is growing from the roots of Permaculture, a discipline begun in the 1970′s from two founding pioneers in Australia, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Both saw permaculture as a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.
According to Ben Grose from Levity Foundation, “Bill Mollison defined permaculture as ‘the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems, which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.’” Essentially permaculturalists entwine natural living eco-systems with design systems using 12 guiding principles. This philosophy and way of co-creation acknowledges mankind’s interconnection and dependence upon nature, where human beings are part of the web of life.
It is important to carefully observe, “rather than labour thoughtlessly” as Masanoba Fukuoka, the celebrated founder of natural farming stated in his classic, “One Straw Revolution.” Permaculture provides simple solutions to complex problems. The “designer Recliner” is a popular term highlighting the critical importance we face in the rehabilitation and eventual sustainability of our Planet Earth.
The development of natural Perennial Food Forests are key to the overall success of permaculture. Once established they provide abundance in food, shelter, soil protection, water retention, micro-climates, and diverse habitats for life beyond man’s common needs. Along with food production, food forests create forage for beneficial insects, pollinators, chickens and song birds. They require minimal inputs and energy resources, are more resilient to adverse climatic conditions, they repair damaged ecologies, and positively impact economic prosperity and community health and well-being. One of the best examples of how permaculture principles can help rehabilitate devastated landscapes such as Africa and other parts of the Middle East, is in the film ‘Green Gold,’ an inspiring documentary by John D. Liu.
The concept of permaculture is multidimensional: there are unique perspectives and options to suit all situations and people involved. The process is creative and integrative, incorporating holistic design thinking, implementation and management. It’s all about empowerment, understanding and following nature’s laws and rhythms, the cycles and seasons, the ebbs and flows of life and renewal. As any permaculture practitioner will tell you, there are no problems, only solutions to problems. Said Ben Grose, “Here at Levity Foundation we see our existence and integration of that existence to be the key roll in helping re-instate the planet’s health and abundance.”
If you’re interested in creating a beautiful world for your family and generations to come, consider the holistic practice of permaculture, a system that works in any climate, any country, any culture, as a way forward, resilient and productive in meeting our needs and that of the ecology around us. Lets co-create paradise on Earth. Peace and abundance is simply a choice we can all make, harmony in diversity unites life, nourishes life, and protects life as sacred, through permaculture we have the keys.
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