some basic questions
Permaculture Extension Services
permaext at magna.com.au
Wed Aug 28 19:52:33 EDT 1996
> i am about to start my second year in college at american university
> majoring in a major that has nothing to do with ecology. anyway, i've
> been reading about permaculture and it all sounds so very interesting.
> however, i'm not even going to be able to come into any land to begin
You do not need to own land to practice permaculture.
Permaculture is a system of integrated design, not a system of
farming. As a design system, permaculture can incorporate the
ecologically sustainable farming system preferred by the farmer,
whether that be organic, biodynamic or some other variant of low
external input sustainable agriculture.
You do not even have to have an interest in gardening of growing food
to practice permaculture. What you have to do is to take
responsibility for the effects of your way of life. This includes
water and energy conservation, reducing the environmental impact of
your way of life, reducing overconsumption of frivilous and
unnecessary products, reducing your output of wastes and reusing and
recycling your unwanted outputs.
Regarding food, while you do not have to produce it yourself to
practice permaculture you can accept responsibility for your eating by
endeavouring to buy your food from retailers, food co-ops or community
supported agriculture enterprises which distribute food which has been
produced with regard to ecological sustainability, landcare and social
Nobody is asking for you to become obsessive about this - just do the
best you can with what is available where you live. None of us are
perfect, we could simply try to do do things a little better than they
are done at present.
> working on for at least a couple of years (my dad is moving-he found some
> cheap land somewhere, and lots of it)
> the point is: until then, what can i read/do now?
What can you read?
Try Bill Mollison's Introduction to Permaculture for starters. That
will give you a broad introduction to permaculture.
Then get a book catalog from the US based Permaculture Activist (PO
Box 1209, Black Mountain NC 28711), read the Permaculture
International Journal (get it from Permaculture Activist),
Permaculture Drylands Journal (PO Box 64184, Tuscon, AZ 85728). Do a
WWW search under 'permaculture' to discover permaculture websites and
do a permaculture design course.
what should i be
> familiar with before i take a permaculture course?
Reading Introduction to Permaculture will provide basic background.
do i have to use
> animals? if so, do i have to kill them? (i'm vegetarian, i dont look
Animals are used in permaculture design as integral parts of the
system. Chooks (I think you call them chickens over there) are used
for their practice of scratching up and manuring soil in preparation
for sowing vegetables and for their habit of eating insect larvae, for
example. Geese eat weeds in orchards. Goats clear invasive weeds.
In cases such as urban gardens, however, there may be no opportunity
to utilise animals for their beneficial functions within your system.
In that case, you have to substitute your labour for that otherwise
done by animals. ie you have to scratch up the ground and fertilise it
in preparation for vegetable sowing.
No, if you do have animals you do not have to kill them. There are
plenty of vegetarian permaculturists, including those who eat animal
products such as eggs and those who do not. If you wish, you can trade
products like eggs on local exchange and trading systems (community
economic systems) or sell them - that way you are supplying people who
do use such products with stuff that has been responsibly and
organically produced by you and by animals which are humanely kept.
Permaculture does not stipulate vegetarianism ot omnivorism - what it
does stipulate is that, if people keep animals for food then they are
> forward to having to kill the animals)
> thank you very much for any advice you can provide i appreciate it.
> email me at fg4840a at american.edu
> peace forbes
> whole, unrefined food-nourishment for the body
> education-nourishment for the mind
> meditation-nourishment for the spirit
> laughter and love-great for all three!
> X forbes graham nice guyX
> X riceone distro X
> X http://auvm.american.edu/~fg4840a X
PERMACULTURE EXTENSION SERVICES
Russ Grayson and Fiona Campbell
PO Box 446, Kogarah NSW 2217 AUSTRALIA
Phone 02-9588 6931 (IDD-61+2+9588 6931)
Fax 02 330 2611 (Mark fax: ATTN: RUSS GRAYSON - APACE)
Email: permaext at magna.com.au
Permaculture education, publishing, design.
NSW co-ordinator, Australian City Farms and Gardens Network.
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