I found this week's introductory readings and presentation an interesting foundation to the topic of permaculture. I had one of those moments where you learn more to realize how much you still don't know. I think I have a preconceived, very vague notion of permaculture as relationship management on a piece of land. Going through the readings and lecture, I was humbled to learn to goes far beyond that; and indeed it is a whole theory of working within an ecosystem.
One aspect I enjoyed was reading was the ethical responsibility of permaculture. It was intriguing to learn that permaculture ethics means to go into a project area with this ethical understanding to provide care for the Earth, the care of the people, and the reduction of consumption, with surplus being shared to those with a greater need. Thus there is more of a relationship development with the land you wish to use, a responsibility to learn the best way in which to use it, and an acknowledgement that you are not doing so in a vacuum, that there is a larger community outside your project area.
I also look forward to learning more about the idea of many things happening in an area at once and over time. I think the lesson of using ducks to clear an area and fertilize for planting, while you have a meat and egg source seemed in itself a great use of permaculture design. However, the author challenged us to go a step further by thinking of the best cover crops to plant in succession for maintaining soil health in the long term. It's not just a one thing in the spring, then move on to the summer situation. You really have to think strategically, responsibly, and purposefully. I think this was one of the moments I realized just how much was going on with permaculture and how much I have yet to learn.
I feel, especially in urban areas, a severe disconnect to nature and ecosystems. Indeed, reading this week's articles have shown my own disconnect. Can the theory and practice f permaculture help to repair this disconnection? There is certainly a lot for me to discover!