[permaculture] defining permaculture

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Thu Jun 21 01:03:42 EDT 2007

paul wheaton wrote:
> It seems that everybody has a different definition.
> When I'm asked what permaculture is, I relate the story of how the
> sahara was once jungle and savannah.  Folks learned about agriculture
> and started cutting down trees to plant their crops.  After a few
> years, the soil would be awful and they would cut down a new batch of
> trees.  Then the climate changed.  There is debate over whether the
> cutting of the trees caused the climate change.
> Then there is a natural desert in australia.  Trees are planted and
> babied for a few years.  Then left on their own.  The area is growing
> larger by itself - no further human input.  And ... some speculate ...
> that the climate is starting to become wetter.

Given adequate moisture content and low enough temperature in the air and
water will condense on the leaves and stems of plants.
If plants were not there the moisture would move somewhere
else eventually not to be trapped for recycling where you might want it.
More plants, more trapped water making more plants and yet more trapped recycled water.
Plants use atmospheric and soil CO2 and give off O2, beneficial to organisms and soil.
Plants transpire, give off water through their foliage. Enough plants doing this
with water vapor accumulating in the atmosphere, possibly lowering air temperatures
at least in microclimatic zones, added to changing weather patterns bringing cold air and
you have condensation of airborne water vapor and rain. These cycles interact and repeat themselves
with resulting reforestation. Urban areas with devegetation and ddeforestation have heat islands
driving moist air away and bringing drought.

> And - yeah, permaculture is much more than this, but this is the core
> of it for me:  healing the earth.

Permaculture is seeing a section of land with particularly good soil, loose, friable, dark with organic matter,
fertile, a marvel to behold. You wonder how it got that way and how you can create more like it in other places on your 
land, in gardens, fields, permascapes, around water features, in orchards. You also wonder how to recycle resources 
between those diverse features, water, biomass: mulch and compost.

Lawrence F. London, Jr.
Venaura Farm
lfl at intrex.net

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