[permaculture] Is permaculture easy

Charles de Matas cdematas at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 28 14:59:55 EDT 2007

Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:

>Anyone who says or believes farming is easy is certifiably insane;
>all the cultural lore about the miserable lives of farmers, how could

There's way more cultural lore about how wonderful it is to live in a
rural areea and farm (on _any_ scale)
and that lore is or should be closest to permaculturists. So why all the
negative stuff about farming?

>anyone think otherwise? Mollison does have some old stories about how
>many people could make a living from one piece of land, and I do think
>those are Bill's fantasies rather than anything he's seen people
>actually do. Bill is magnificent tale-spinner and a great salesman.

He is right on the money. It is possible for any number of people to
make money farming on a single communal piece of
land. Lets hear some encouragement for people going into small farming,
doing csa's, farmers markets and local sales.
Thats the wave of the future in case you haven't noticed.

>That's typical for a visionary. There are a few teachers repeating

And there are visionaries to out and do what they preach and put their
ideas into practice.

I agree with Lawrence's comments.  I have the greatest regard for people who 
are actively farming, whether it's permaculture or other organic methods, 
and trying to grow some or most of their own food.  From Marjory's 
statements it seems not much food is being produced locally.  So where is it 
coming from? Other parts of Texas, USA, Mexico? I think Toby is right that 
water may be a limiting factor.  Also misuse of land.  I was in the Buda 
area near Austin several years ago, and I noticed how diligent the 
suburbanites were in caring for their lawns with their ride-on mowers. A 
Food not Lawns issue again.  It may not be necessary to dig up road 
pavements, just the lawns may be enough.
   Toby mentioned that going from 80% to 100% food production can require as 
much as 80% of effort.  Why is that I wonder?  Is it the variety that one 
needs.  If I had to grow all of my own fruit, for example, I would need a 
very large variety to get a year round supply. But that's what permaculture 
encourages, isn't it, a very large variety of plants.  It is something I 
would work towards even if I never actually attain it.  When permaculturists 
make statements like "Yield is potentially unlimited", it really seems they 
are making things look too easy.
   Another idea.  Light saturation often limits growth in hot climates.  
What do you think of using shade-cloth and growing crops under cover?  It's 
expensive to cover a large area, but would it be economical in the long run?


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