[permaculture] A Permanent Culture:-Rural or Urban or......

Scott Vlaun scott at moosepondarts.com
Wed Oct 12 22:38:52 EDT 2005

Thank You Lawrence,

Having lived in both city and country, your sentiments rang true for  
me. I'm sure I consume much lest energy here in rural Maine than I  
did in NYC. I heat with my own wood instead of oil, grow a  
significant portion of my food, buy local for most of the rest. I  
travel less for leisure and can ride my bike to town. Most of our  
buildings are made with materials from our carefully managed woodlot  
and sawn with a small bandsaw mill. In the city, everything i touched  
was imported from fairly far away (much of NYC's food still comes  
from California or Central America.)

I can see how folks could burn a lot of fossil fuels living remotely  
if they commute to a city to work, heat a huge vinyl sided home with  
oil, and buy all their food at the supermarket. Like Toby said, there  
is so much we can do to conserve and renew, wherever we are, that it  
really doesn't matter where we live. As far as intentional  
communities all being doomed for failure; that seems so defeatist.  
Much progress is being made in that arena and it does hold a lot of  
promise for living lightly. It doesn't mean we have to forge our own  
nails or build all our own machines. It can mean a more efficient  
existence.  I live with a small handful of people. Our experience is  
mostly that "many hands make light work" and it allows us all a  
certain degree of freedom while enabling us to maintain gardens and  
livestock. Our extended community, mostly based around our food coop  
is central to our being.

Much work to be done on all fronts!

In peace and solidarity,

Scott Vlaun
Moose Pond Arts & Ecology
Otisfield, ME

On Oct 12, 2005, at 9:08 PM, Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:

> Laurence Gaffney wrote:
>> On 11 Oct. 2005 Toby Hemingway wrote:-
>>>> (Broken record here: rural life requires more inputs than urban;  
>>>> check the
>>>> laws of physics.)
>> Hello Toby
>> Could you please elaborate on this statement.
>> i.e. Which laws of physics, your assumptions/definitions etc.
>> Do you think the statement holds true universally?
>> An important discussion for Permaculture
>> Laurence Gaffney
>> Australia
> I always thought that the rural life always produced more outputs per
> unit of input than urban or suburban lifstyles.
> You own your own land and you pay less taxes and no rent, can grow  
> your
> own food, are less likely to go travelling, sightseeing (no need to
> visit the counry) as you will likely be too busy producing those  
> outputs
> and sustaining one's lifestyle, feeding oneself, building one's  
> house or
> other farm-related structure. The more self-sufficient you are the  
> less
> trips to town will be necessary other than to bring goods to market.
> Customers can always travel to the farm for produce or other goods.
> Also UPS and FedEx can be used to transport homestead or farm-produced
> goods to customers. Marketing coops can extend time and fuel  
> savings by
> having one delivery person pick up from many farms to deliver to  
> end user.
> I would think that the leaders of the permaculture movement and those
> teaching and promoting permaculture to the world would be totally
> supporting of those who have gone to rural area to live and work,
> steward the land and wildlife and produce unique and high quality
> life-sustaining products for those in or near their communities
> and regions.
> Again, the idea is to build and sustain local food/goods/services
> production and marketing networks for maximum efficiency and fuel
> economy. Go and learn, teach, put-into-practice and build. Cooperative
> materials, services and equipment purchases help achieve these goals.
> If you go to live in the country then learn to do some kind of farming
> and put permaculture to work for you, and make a living this way.
> City dwellers should be totally supportive of those who do this.
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