[permaculture] For the survival thread...

EFMonaco EFMonaco at compuserve.com
Thu Oct 31 14:14:57 EST 2002

"Marsha Hanzi" <hanzibra at svn.com.br> wrote:
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2002 15:46:46 -0200
Subject: [permaculture] For the survival thread...

(Gene Monaco wrote...)
> I've also taken 11 week-long courses at Tom
> Brown's Tracker School.  >

This was the school I mentioned (but having forgotten the name..) on that
thread where we discussed about going out to the sticks with nothing and
surviving there...It seems pretty powerful-- would be interested on
from Gene on how this dovetails with permaculture -- it seems to me that
skillls learned there could be incredibly useful in making our designs much
more sensitive to what is already going on on the land...


It dovetails quite nicely with permaculture.  There are several aspects to
what Tom teaches, in no particular order....
Earthskills aka primitive skills...things like building shelter(s), finding
water, making fire, foraging for food, making traps and tools, hunting
weapons, navagation, etc.
Tracking and awareness...go hand in hand with survival because you have to
know what's around and where likely to find it, everything from plants and
plant material for making bows and traps, to rocks for tool making, and
animals for food, clothing, and materials (sinew).  Learning to follow the
tracks of an animal requires becoming one with the animal, which means
understanding what it eats, where it eats, plays, travels and why it runs
this trail and not that.
The Caretaker.  Entering the world of nature and participating in the
restoration of balance, selecting materials in such a way that the forest
is improved by your being there.
The Scout.  Moving invisibly and silently on the landscape.  Looking out
for your tribe, places to migrate, potential threats.
Philosophy....includes awareness of the Force aka the spirit that moves in
and through all things, plus the world of spirit and the spirit that moves
in and through all spirits; energy and power.

The awareness training is so useful in that it develops one's ability to
understand the landscape, observing and knowing what is there and what the
land wants to be.  So much of this is brushed over in the Permaculture
design courses, or misinterpreted as an analytical exercise.  To me,
earthskills and caretaking in particular are what you do in zone 5. 
Mollison says not to do anything there except learn; well, if you are one
with zone 5 then there's pleanty you can do there.  The great observations
and illuminations come from zone 5; it is there that you can learn to be at

For me, building swales is an act of the caretaker because you're
rewatering the earth, and water is the life blood of the earth mother. 
Tuning into the spiritual aspects of nature is very important I think
because, while it is true that everything gardens, humans have managed to
garden in a non-sustainable way.  Were we more connected to the Spirit that
moves in and through all things, perhaps we would garden differently.
For more info check out www.trackerschool.com
Gene Monaco

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