tedln
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Permaculture?

After the term “permacultureâ€

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Ozark Lady
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I am not going to discuss religion here.

This article is written in favor of a religion, and connects the dots to permaculture.

https://agroforestryandpermacultureinkent.co.uk/JainsandPermaculture.aspx

I don't know if the article is right or wrong, but it is troubling to me, and the discussion with a permie is as impossible as discussing alternate religions with someone who already has a religion.

Sad thing is: many who are zealous in permaculture think they are not religous at all, they don't mean to be observing a religion.

I hope that I haven't overstepped the no religious discussion here, I am trying to be very general and non-committal here. Just stating the facts.

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I have exactly the same reservations about the members only "permaculture" club as it seems certain people are apparently determined to define themselves. As soon as I gathered that you are expected to pay money and take the prescribed course/workshop at "certified" centers, the whole thing took on a Saturday morning infomercial feel.

But the fact is, a lot of the ideas attributed or being ascribed to Permaculture makes sense to me. I probably don't have the whole picture because I have not in fact taken the classes and am not planning to any time in the future, near or otherwise. I'm also limited by circumstances and would not adopt every aspect.

There is a certain element of commercialism that I feel is directly in conflict with the very concept... Or what I feel should be the basic concept.

I have also noticed that there ARE people within the "movement" that may have ideas that are more in line with mine. So it may be that original concept and current practice are not the same -- it's an organism that still hasn't completed it's development... Maybe.

Many of the ideas espoused by Permaculture were pre-existing.

For now I will accept that these ideas are sometimes associated with the word "permaculture" and for convenience, will refer to them with that word.

tedln
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Ozark Lady,

I had the thought of a comparison to religion. Some of the requirements are almost identical to a "defined religion" which requires the monetary purchase of a course of study in order to attain the next level of awareness. I decided to keep the discussion on a secular level.

AppleStar,

I agree. Many of the building blocks of the overall "permaculture" design concept are the same building blocks I use in my life and in my garden to incorporate myself into the natural order. I simply look at all of nature as
the "circle of life". I can't separate myself from nature and create a separate world. I believe that in all conflicts with nature, nature will always win eventually. The number one rule is to work with nature, not against nature.

Ted

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https://www.scottlondon.com/interviews/mollison.html

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Thank you for opening this discussion, tedln! :)

And for the link to the "Jains" article, Ozark Lady! :)

One of my lifelong interests has been the history and development of religions. I freely admit that I'm not as familiar with the history of Jainism as I would like to be.

The linked article contains several statements which contradict others, but many polemic tracts (whether religious or secular) are structured similarly and can't stand up to logical analysis.

What I really want to bring to the table here is an odd episode I experienced online a few months ago. I, too, was wandering around the Internet trying to figure out what Permaculture / permaculture was about:

--What was the deal with the capital / not capital P?

--How/why was Perma/permaculture different from an ecological awareness and understanding of Nature (assuming that we *can* develop such an awareness or understanding)?

--Why did everyone seem to worship at the feet of the same guru? After all, my reasoning went, if the principles were accessible to all, then intelligent and aware people could apply those principles as best suit their own conditions, just like we do in gardening, but perhaps at a much more complex level. Why did there seem to be only one "source"?

--What was this "design" schtick? Isn't Nature (or the Divine, for people who feel more comfortable with traditional words) the best designer? Didn't the natural world prosper *before* people all over the world began digging fields into the earth, mining metals, hunting animals, and all the rest of it? Why should we feel that we can "design" better than Nature can?

So there I was, wandering through the Internet. I came across a forum dedicated to Permaculture. I read maybe 20 or 25 pages of various postings by the forum owner and various forum members. A few of the members wrote as if they were independent thinkers, but most of them seemed to have drunk the Permaculture-flavored Kool-Aid.

The whole approach seemed to be a very rigid, hierarchical, "money required before we tell you anything at all *AND* before you're allowed to teach anyone else anything using the word permaculture in it" :shock: school of groupthink.

One of the pages I read contained musings about trademarking the word Permaculture (with a capital "P").

Another contained estimates of the number of people in the world who were enlightened enough to do various levels of environmentally aware/pro-environment tasks. Anyone here who maintains his/her own compost heap/bin/pile out of kitchen waste, liberated leaves, and so on will be interested to know that, on a scale of 1 to 10--with 10 being the most enlightened--s/he is somewhere around...a 4. :!:

Oh, yes: it was a logarithmic scale! So the next level, a 5 (I forget what Enlightened practice was required), was 10 times more worthy than a 4, and so on. If you multiply it out, whoever is at the 10th level is 1,000,000 times more worthy than all of us happy composting fools. :lol:

Of course, there was only one guru at level 10 and one Enlightened person at 9. Taking the required (and evidently expensive) two-week course in and of itself was sufficient to place someone ahead of us long-time (or short-time) composters, closed- or almost-closed-loop householders, etc. It reminded me forcefully of--

Uh-oh. Religious history in the next paragraph. Skip over it if you need to.

The fact that one could, in two short weeks, "earn" / buy a placement on the (unofficial, at least then) 1 to 10 permaculture forum scale by taking a two-week $$$ course reminded me very much of the Papal Indulgences which so enraged Martin Luther back in 1517. (People could buy an Indulgence and automatically be forgiven their sins; they could even buy Indulgences for deceased family members and be assured that those relatives' souls would not suffer in Purgatory but would be moved along speedily to Heaven.) The Indulgences were a real money-maker for Pope Leo X, but to Luther they were the buying and selling of salvation itself. (For further developments, see Protestant Reformation....)

It's safe now, I think; religious history lesson is over.

The parallel between the two came immediately to mind: $$$ in, higher "placement" for the soul (Leo X) / social image and permaculture worthiness.

Our culture has traditionally valued those who freely and generously share their knowledge. This forum exists and offers support because of this generous tradition. Those who teach *only* in return for money are usually looked upon with suspicion, as if they're motivated only to separate seekers from their money.

And indeed, in the 20 or 25 pages/message threads of the permaculture forum, I found much food for thought w/regard to the probable psychology of people who are involved in this (dare I call it?) dogma, and certainly loads of material (if I were a sociologist) for sociological study.

But what I did not find was discussion of...Nature. Of the importance of

Water
Air
Soil
Microbes
Wildlife, whether swimming, crawling, flying, or walking
Food, whether native or cultivated
Trees
Native Plants of whatever kingdom/phyla
or similar themes

The forum seemed to be a structure without any substance at its center, a literal "shell" game.

It was a very unsettling find.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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rainbowgardener
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Wow!! I didn't know all that about the Permaculture (capital P!) movement.

Like Apple and the rest of us, I am busy trying to learn from what is out there and make it in to something that works for me. Much of the permaculture practices won't work for me in my small garden any way. So I am just trying to garden in as earth friendly way as I can with what I have, taking wisdom from where ever I find it.

But I am definitely always wary of people who ask for money up front before they will share their "wisdom."

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Very interesting report Cynthia it sounds cult like.

If you send me some money I will move you to level 11 and you will not have to take any classes. :roll: :? :lol:
Feel the force Jedi Gardener.

I think there is a lot to understanding the natural balance of things but one has to keep an eye on what is science and what is not when it comes to facts. Now what is spiritual is another issue. When I do things that help wild life and grow food free of poison is this both science and spiritual based? It is for me.

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Ozark Lady
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I am part native American, and as such, I am more at home in the forest than anywhere else. Yes from woodland indians.

I like to work with the natural forest, but, I also like to eat things that are not natural there. So, I try to honor my ancestors by respecting the land, the animals, and all things, but I also want to honor my tummy with what I eat!

I do not get into the native American spirituality, or beliefs, but I do go far enough to show respect of an animal that sacrifices for me, or a plant that gives its all for my dinner table. I do talk to the plants and thank them for the tomato, pepper, whatever they have given to me for dinner.

And when life gets me down, I head deep into the forest to restore my equilibrium, and after some time with wildlife, I am restored. (hours not days) Also looking at the water in lakes and rivers is calming for me.
So, yes, there is a spiritual side to nature, but it can't be regulated by rules! You can't pay a tree money, for the comfort of sitting in its shade, but you can smile and thank the tree!

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Yikes! When did all this creepy groupthink stuff start?!?! I was always more familiar with the definition of the term "permaculture" as incorporating as much sustainable, nature-influenced design and non-disturbance of existing wild areas as possible into the production of necessary, native if possible, self-propagating crops - that's what it means in Spanish, no dogma attached.

Hence, when I say that I maintain a permaculture garden within a protected forest, what I'm really saying is that I've planted my mostly-native crops in such a way as to not disturb the forest around them or impede its ecosystem any. I'm also implying that I don't intend to replant - those plants are there permanently and will propagate themselves. The most I do in that garden is tend (check for disease) and harvest after the initial planting is done. Hence, I'd be less likely to plant carrots in the permaculture garden, but extremely likely to plant a native fruit tree.

This whole "cult of Permaculture (TM)" to me smacks of both the worst of the Ponzi schemes and also the worst of the excesses of medieval Catholicism, with a bit of Jonestown thrown in for good measure...... They've coopted what was originally an excellent concept (at least, the way it's defined in Spanish) in order to profit from it, and that's pretty unforgiveable in my book. Plus, inflexibility like that breeds stagnation - how are the ideas to evolve and improve if they're confined to a very limited set of definitions and practices?
(and that's the end of my little religious rant. :() )

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Yikes! When did all this creepy groupthink stuff start?!?! I was always more familiar with the definition of the term "permaculture" as incorporating as much sustainable, nature-influenced design and non-disturbance of existing wild areas as possible into the production of necessary, native if possible, self-propagating crops - that's what it means in Spanish, no dogma attached.
Lorax,

That's how I feel. You have to weed through the extremist of any concept. Go back to the core. That's why I posted the link above. No religion, No tithing. No infomercial. Just like the Hula hoop, both have been around sense the late 50's

Permaculture — from permanent and agriculture — is an integrated design philosophy that encompasses gardening, architecture, horticulture, ecology, even money management and community design. The basic approach is to create sustainable systems that provide for their own needs and recycle their waste.



Eric

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The link you provided, DDF, was very helpful. I read the interview with Prof. Mollison.

Unfortunately, his name did not come up *one single, solitary time* in the forum I fell across a few months ago. He received no credit, no mentions, no honor.

Prof. Mollison's attitude in the linked interview is very friendly and disarming; he doesn't make "the two-week course" he teaches in Ojai the keystone of everything. He makes it sound like what it was probably intended to be originally--a place to integrate knowledge already being tried out elsewhere.

But the forum I found absolutely required *a* ("the"?) two-week course before practitioners could refer to what they were doing as "permaculture," with or without capital P, with or without trademark sign. It was very off-putting, and nothing like what I had expected to find.

Cynthia

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tomf
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I feel IMHO a number of people see there is a problem in that we are not sustainable and are looking for hope so there for some one is going to cash in on this.
An open exchange of information such as goes on at this forum is what is needed to find what works and where it works. We all come from different climates and may have different needs.

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But the forum I found absolutely required *a* ("the"?) two-week course before practitioners could refer to what they were doing as "permaculture," with or without capital P, with or without trademark sign. It was very off-putting, and nothing like what I had expected to find
If you come across this forum, please post. Did it by any chance have the Bullock brothers involved?

https://www.permacultureportal.com/

Eric

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Ozark Lady
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I think that posting links to other forums is a no-no.
I just read the guidelines.
But, it seems to me, that I found the permaculture forum that I visited, right here in a link.

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Ozark,

Yes, you are right.

Cynthia, If you come across the forum, please PM me. :roll:

Eric

tedln
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People have a right to be exclusive and elitist. We all have the right to not join the club. I resent rude people, but they do exist and I have no problem with it. We all tend to be a part of groups or in this case forums where we are accepted.

I was a member of a forum where the container gardening forum had a dirt guru who was and I suppose still is very rude to anyone who dared offer advice different than his. Every problem anyone experienced growing in containers could be resolved by dumping their growing medium and using his recipe for the "correct" medium. While I totally disagreed with the guy, he had the right to preach his dirt philosophy and the forum had the right to agree with him. I'm gone and I suppose he is still there. Bless them.

Ted

cynthia_h
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
But the forum I found absolutely required *a* ("the"?) two-week course before practitioners could refer to what they were doing as "permaculture," with or without capital P, with or without trademark sign. It was very off-putting, and nothing like what I had expected to find
If you come across this forum, please post. Did it by any chance have the Bullock brothers involved?
It did not. I will PM you with what I can remember.

Cynthia

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tedln wrote:People have a right to be exclusive and elitist. ... While I totally disagreed with the guy, he had the right to preach his dirt philosophy ... I'm gone and I suppose he is still there. Bless them.

Ted
And how very Southern of you to Bless their little (pointed?) hearts. :) Why, such people do indeed need to be blessed, don't they? :wink: Yes, my born-in-Texas mother could have done with teaching us this Southern lesson, but I was left to learn it from my aunt on my father's side, who I saw once every few years....an excellent lesson.

"So and so just ran over the neighbor's car." "She's always had trouble driving, bless her heart."

"So and so just can't abide other people's opinions." "I know, bless his heart, and he probably won't change."

Thanks for the reminder! :D

Cynthia, Southerner in exile, it would seem...

tedln
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:D Cynthia, your right. I've never thought of it as a "southern thing". I rarely say it or use it. I think it is a way of simply dismissing a perceived weakness in others. I'm a very, very laid back person. I normally look at other people when they are experiencing a meltdown and simply grin. I think that may also be a southern trait. Most people don't understand that about southerners. They also don't understand that like me, many southerners have licenses to carry concealed weapons. Good will can only be extended so far. Bless their souls! :evil:

Ted

cynthia_h
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tedln wrote::D Cynthia, your right. I've never thought of it as a "southern thing". ... I think it is a way of simply dismissing a perceived weakness in others. Most people don't understand that about southerners. They also don't understand that like me, many southerners have licenses to carry concealed weapons. Good will can only be extended so far. Bless their souls! :evil:

Ted
But if I say that out here in California, a born-and-raised Californian won't have any idea that I've just slashed and burned the (example) woman who can't drive or the (example) man who can't abide others' opinions. They'll be confused: "Well, do you like her/him or not?" :roll:

And, since I've been out here on the Left Coast so long, I may be out of touch, but aren't the majority of concealed-carry licenses held by men? I'm not sure whether Southern women would rather slice someone down by (ahem) "blessing" them....

Cynthia

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Ozark Lady
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Actually, look at nature, the female of any species is the more deadly one.

I always assumed more woman had the concealed weapon license and more men depended on brute strength alone.

Don't ever kid yourself, most any Southern woman, can shoot a squirrel right between the eyes, when they can barely see the eyes, however many yards that is! And track an animal as good as any male!

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lorax
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"I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend unto my death your right to say it." - Voltaire.

tedln
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It used to be mainly a mans thing to carry a gun. Now it is surprisingly an equal rights thing. Criminal against male incidents declined dramatically when the criminals realized they couldn't outrun a bullet. Criminal against female crime increased until they began to realize that defenseless looking little grannies often had a 357 magnum in their little purses and they were trained to use them. Some companies are marketing small designer guns to more easily fit in a purse and look good when used. I think the philosophy is "when you shoot someone, do it in good taste". That may also be simply a southern thing.

Ted

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Ozark Lady,

Your right about the women being deadly. I was once on an extended business trip and would call home every night to make sure the wife and kids were okay. One night, my wife said "you want believe what I did today". I took a deep breath and very cautiously asked what she had done. She said, "you know that twelve foot gator in our pond?" Yes! "it was chasing the dog today, so I got one of your rifles and shot it".

Another time, she chased a huge snake around the yard and emptied three pistols shooting at it. She didn't think she ever hit it. I am snake friendly, but she isn't.

Ted



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