Sustainable agriculture and urban food gardening
That was the sense that I absorbed, when attending the four-day Permaculture Design Certificate course, of a week conducted by Wayne Weiseman, 58, director of the Permacult Project in Carbondale, Illinois. The founders of the movement, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, coined the term ‘Permaculture’ in the mid-1970s as a combination of permanent agriculture and permanent culture.
In practice, Permaculture is a growing movement and influential, deepening behind . You can find permaculturists assembling trays of worms and bee boxes, aquaponic ponds and chicken coops, composting toilets and rainwater storage tanks, solar panels and houses on earth. In fact Permaculture has enough ecological merit medals to fill the any Boy Scout track.
System and creates urban gardens
“Permies” (yes, they use that term) like to experiment with fermentation, mushroom multiplication, foraging and herbal medicine. Even so, Permaculture aims to be more than the sum of all these practices, says David Cody, 39, who teaches the in San Francisco. “It’s an ecological theory about everything,” says Cody. “Here is the instruction manual for planet Earth. Do you want to take a look and accompany us? ”
- It is difficult to say exactly how many boarded the mothership. In San Francisco, Cody saw more than 1,500 volunteers appear in 2010 for the
- creation of Hayes Valley Farm, a food garden near the site of a destroyed road ramp. For the past four years,
- Cody has helped train 250 estudantes por meio do Instituto de Permacultura Urbana em São Francisco.Scott Pittman, de 71 anos, que dirige o
Instituto de Permacultura nacional de uma chácara nos arredores de Santa Fé, no Novo México, estima que 100 a 150 mil estudantes tenham completado o curso de certificação,since philosophy was developed in Tasmania more than three decades ago. “In the United States, I would say that we represent 40 to 50 thousand of that total,” he says. However, Permaculture does not maintain lists of members or census.
By my own intent, “it has been, for all these years that I have been involved, a very decentralized movement,” says Pittman. The message seems to spread by its own means, without advertising. Mollison, for example, has been a leading figure in Permaculture since the late 1970s and his books have hundreds of thousands of copies. And yet, his name apparently never earned him a mention in The New York Times. Permaculture, says Pittman, is “guided by the curriculum and a sense of ethics. That’s basically it.
”Permaculture ethics is the movement’s ‘Nicene Creed’,
or its golden rule: care for the land, care for people and return of surplus time, energy and money for the cause of improving the planet and its people. In its effort to become universal, Permaculture assumes no religious or spiritual elements. Even so, joining the movement seems to reach many of its practitioners as if it were a conversion experience.
Pittman first met Mollison and his teachings at a weekend seminar in New Mexico in 1985. As a system, Permaculture impressed him as panoptic and transformational. “She messed with me,” says Pittman. Almost immediately, he decided to quit his job and follow Mollison to the next stop on his teaching tour: Kathmandu, Nepal. Soon after, he began conducting courses alongside Mollison, in cities and backwaters around the planet.
- Mullison has not been traveling in the United States for almost 15 years. At the age of 83, Mollison “practically went on to semi-retirement in Tasmania,” says
- Pittman. Still, in recent years, Mollison’s ideals seem to have swelled from underground, until they hit the mainstream sun. say permaculturists, which can
- work anywhere. With its focus on personal planting and human-scale projects, Permaculture is ideally suited for a small suburban yard or patio garden.
But most of the students I met in Wisconsin had their own visions and ideas about a thousand blueberries and how Permaculture could help achieve them. Bruce Feldman, 60, who spent two decades as an English teacher in foreign lands, witnessed the collapse of the baht in Thailand (he was being paid in that currency), and an earthquake in Japan in 1995, which left him wandering the streets for four days.
“Made me think that I should start preparing for my own future”,
These events, says Feldman, ideally a self-sufficient farm of 1.6 or 2 hectares in the Arkansas Osarks. The location of the workshop was Shangri-La herself Permaculture: 24 hectares of grassland and woodland, a few kilometers from the Buffalo River, Wisconsin. In 2004, Jeff Rabkin and his wife, Susan Scofield, bought this Amish farm for $ 125,000.
- The original plan was to rent the fields and build a log cabin that would serve as a weekend retreat. Instead, influenced
- by Permaculture, Rabkin clung to the idea of managing the property himself. To that end, he and a Permaculture friend, Victor Suarez, 44, bought a small
- flock of sheep and planted 300 fruit and nut trees. During the work week, Rabkin, 49, and Scofield, 48, run a marketing and public relations firm in Minneapolis.
This background is evident by the catchy name they gave the place: Fazenda do Galo Maluco and Amish Telephone Booth. But the amish telephone booth is no advertising device. The couple installed a phone line in the shed next to their farmhouse and their neighbors go there in carts to make calls.
The labs occupied the tool shed. On the first day, Weiseman demonstrated how to create biochar, which is already partially burned coal, in a primitive ‘rocket’ oven, equipment he assembled from a piece of pipe and a can of paint. Weiseman explained that the useful mineral elements they bind to the unique molecular structure of biochar.