To say I knew little of the backbone and structures of Permaculture before this course is an understatement. In the green industry there seems to be such a wide lexicon, expansive terminology and often frivolous batting around of what would appear to be interchangeable terms to create marketability. It reminds me of when I learned the difference (as well as the disarray and politics) of organic & natural in industry standards. Permaculture feels to me, like such a remarkable foundation and lens in which to view a world that I am still often overwhelmed by but drawn to. Particularly with this strong sense of ethics applied, of intentional principles and practices that aren’t “toothless.” The journalist George Monbiot introduced me to this wonderful concept of “re-wilding” in his novel Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life.
All of my permaculture reading this week has truly reinforced the concept of interconnectedness as a measure of health for the biosphere and as a remedy to some of the disastrous living conditions created by modern, industrial agriculture. I find myself keenly drawn to the idea of being able to qualify the benefits and changes created by a thriving permaculture site. Within the review article, Permaculture for Agroecology, and Steve Gabriels article, it particularly hit me that future permaculture design and sites are in need of quantitative data to progress as a whole. This "before and after" transition is something I am keenly drawn to and excited to further engage with even on my micro scale. Too often, I feel folks overlook a starting point in pursuit of some distant goal in life or design. With the expression of earth care, people care and fair share as a frame - it seems so valuable to track a site's progress in order to maintain their integrity and keep these ethics from becoming static. "All that you touch You Change. All that you Change, Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change." - Octavia Butler
This week in my readings I have often found myself quoting the late great Octavia Butler's profound sci-fi "Parable of the Sower" and the philosophy which rings so beautifully simplistic as Mollison's own: "Life depends upon life. All forces, all elements, all life forms are the biomass of the tree.”