[permaculture] Peak Oil -

Marjory forestgarden at gvtc.com
Thu Jul 19 19:07:03 EDT 2007

Toby Hemenway wrote:
> Oh, Mollison and others talk about how easy it is to grow a lot of food
> and they sound pretty optimistic about gardening, but my experience is,
> that's true.

Perhaps Toby, in your experience growing food is easy.  And I am finding
after years of working very hard and making many, many mistakes, it is
getting easier.  but by no means is it as easy as it was presented in the pc
course.  It is damned hard work and a difficult apprenticship which takes
about a decade going at it with everything you have.  And then you are just
a beginner.  I can't tell you how much I've seen die, how many designs I've
built that didn't work or fit thier intended purpose, so many ideas that
sounded so good when we were all in a circle singing and holding hands in
class.  The mistakes and losses are a harsh teacher.  Yes, I took a pc
course with an internationally known teacher, yes, I've studied as much as I
can, yes, I've put every spare moment I can into the project.  Yes, some
things are working.  I've visited almost all of the precious few local
farmers who actually produce food for a living.  I have visited almost
everyone who even attempts sustainability.  There aren't that many real
examples of a sustainable food produciton system where someone is actually
living off of it.  There are a handful acattered about the country (USA).
All of them took years to develop.

I don't think it is realistic to talk about an eco-village or city unless
you address food and water.  So many people focus on the straw bale houses
or the solar panels - what will they eat?

Tommy, I was reading the president of the Texas Organic Famres Assoc. say
that there isn't enough locally grown food in the entire Dallas area to
supply even one elementary school with produce for lunch.  It is also true
for most of the Texas counties.

Very few of the pc teachers in the Austin area produce much of thier own
food - and many of them produce none and never have.  They simply repeat
Mollison, show the Global Gardener, and assume that little detail of eating
is handled.

Isn't it correct that prior to the use of fossil feuls (say before 1880 or
os) that 95% of the population was involved in agriculture?  Most of the
population was involved in producing food.  Those people were just as
intelligent and capable as we are today - perhaps moreso.  Yes, indigenous
groups who didn't go into ag had a much easier lifestyle, but they also had
a much more fetile land to roam on than we do today.

Lawrence wrote: to Marjory:

> Try harder, work more, don't get distracted. It'll get there.
Right Lawrence - after four years of working on this, I've lost 20 pounds
and gained a lot of muscle definition (that part I am not complaining about!
hee hee).  I am lucky as I can manage to spend 2 to 4 days a week and
approximately $300-$500 per month on getting a system up and running.  I am
moved by both the joy of the lifestyle and the pressure of certain collapse
of our civilization.  I consider myself a reasonably intelligent,
resourceful, hard working person.  Prior to this experience I had only a
little rural experience.  I am working to surround myself with like minded
others, and they are having the same experience.  It takes a tremendous
amount of work.  The consensus is that it takes about a decade of going at
it as hard as you can, and the four years I've been at it, I can testify
that is true.



Designing and building a whole community system is one thing
but a group of people on one piece of land can work separately but together
to make
an ecovillage happen. If every individual does his task to the best of his
and works as a team member with the rest it can come together. Organize
people according
to the skills they possess and establish work groups to get jobs done - and
keep it organized that way. Set a
schedule working toward task completion and one for daily events such as
sleep, meals, household, exercise,
group activities, recreation ... and time on the computer connecting with
the Web and the people on it.

I can speak about building one person homesteads with diverse systems
and dealing with energy, buildings, land, water and food issues. Take 30
people who have also done this and put them
together on land to build a eco community and it should happen. Stay focused
on real, hands-on activities,
avoid distractions and the village will be built.

Just another untested theory.
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
Venaura Farm
lflj at bellsouth.net.net

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