[permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point

Stephanie Gerson sgerson at stanfordalumni.org
Sat May 20 13:04:23 EDT 2006

hi folks, sorry have not read any of the posts thus far except for Tom's
because was busily typing an enormous paper of which one paragraph i think
would fit here nicely.  please excuse repetition of any already-had

"The most salient theme of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) studies, in
my opinion, is the emerging realization that indigenous peoples have not only
been a part of their ecosystems, but integral to them.  Natural resource
managers in California are acknowledging that the loss of so-called native
California ecosystems is actually a result of the loss of indigenous
management practices, while some tropical ecologists question whether the
entire Amazonian jungle is the product of centuries of cultivation (Anderson,
2005).  A place without people becomes a people-less place.  Traditional
ecological systems can therefore be understood as necessarily
socio-ecological.  This begets the need to reconsider the notions of
‘surrounding’ and ‘primary’ rainforest in the Lacandon selva, and
whether they are useful for characterizing Lacandon agroforestry.  This
further bears implications for the preservation, conservation, or restoration
of formerly indigenously managed landscapes.  And, it suggests that there is
no difference between ‘deep’ and ‘shallow’ ecology when humans are
integral to their ecosystems (notably, not so far from indigenous
understandings of their relationship with the earth), implicating the very
notions of preservation, conservation, and restoration, along with
environmental protection in general." 

ps that would be "Tending the Wild" by Kat Anderson - definite read if you're

------ Original Message ------
Received: 09:24 PM PDT, 05/19/2006
From: Thomas Gorman <tom at honeychrome.com>
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point

The hunter/gatherer vs. agriculture and/or pastoral culture aspect of  
the current discussion is an interesting one.  I just read a book  
called Changes in the Land by William Cronon, published in the early  
80's if I recall correctly.  It focuses specifically on the New  
England area, and the ecological changes wrought on the landscape by  
the arriving colonists (and the attitudes toward property, wealth,  
land, etc.), but he also talks a lot about the way the Native  
Americans of the region lived on the land prior to the arrival of  
Europeans.  My understanding of his analysis of Native American  
practices puts them somewhere between a hunter/gatherer culture and  
an agrarian culture.  By all accounts the Native Americans did 'tread  
lightly' on the landscape as compared to Europeans, but they did in  
fact have profound effects on it too, implementing practices that  
maximized 'edges' etc., planting guilds, etc.  Anyway, it's a  
fascinating read I think for anyone interested in the land and how we  
live on it, but in particular for any of us who know or live in the  
North East.
permaculture mailing list
permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org

Stephanie Gerson
sgerson at stanfordalumni.org
(c) 415.871.5683


More information about the permaculture mailing list