[permaculture] Community was Re: Overly optimistic permaculture attitudetowardsland

fdnokes at hotmail.com fdnokes at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 3 13:54:34 EST 2009



This is a fantastic topic.
Recently, we rented space in a cohousing community with a nicely varied 
population, and Common Garden, in addition to smaller personal gardens.
It was a great concept in that 'many hands make light work' and the 
opportunities for work parties, and conviviality in work were big.
The drawbacks were that not everyone has the same idea and feel for the 
work. Those who are Fukuoka fans, like myself, are probably enamoured of the 
intimacy of the relationship with plants in gardening, and this can be lost 
in such large communities (36 households in that one).  I would add to this, 
though, that there is no substitute for capable and inspiring leadership. If 
you have someone at the helm with the 'right ideas', a love of the process, 
and good communication skills with others, people can have an 'enhanced 
experience'.
We found that living within such steady view of others was not our ideal. I 
had seen, right from the start, when I viewed the community on the web, that 
I could not understand why anyone would want to live there...
For many that are there, it's a perfect trade off in order to have the 
community in their lives that they desire. Many who live there are single 
women, empty nester couples, and young families.  There are some 'stars' in 
the gardening department -- really hard workers, who love to work long and 
hard, and have their particular areas of expertise. There is no sense that 
anyone is shamed or guilted who isn't working as hard. Many are involved in 
other responsibilities and engagements. Anyone who is guilting themselves 
there has to face up, eventually, to the fact that they are doing it to 
themselves.

f
>
> I think another missing element is invisible systems.  Our culture is
> designed around the rugged individualist myth.  With the exception of some
> successful intentional planned community my sense is that too many people
> are tackling land solo or as couples.  I don't criticize that because that
> is the way it is at this time, particularly in America. But in truth some 
> of
> these systems should be built by communities of people that are committed 
> to
> staying on the land for a long time as a true community. How we go a bout
> building this kind of community is I suspect far harder than designing a
> food forest or building a straw bale house.
>
> Larry
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com>
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 8:12 am
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Overly optimistic permaculture attitude 
> towards
> land
>
>
> Rain, it sounds like the problem you and Nicholas have is mostly with
> ill's salemanship. He knowswill definitely catch more flies with honey
> han with vinegar. But for every time I've heard him say "the designer
> ecomes the recliner" I've also heard him say, I still don't know how to
> efine permaculture and nobody seems to be doing it well. And if you've
> ver  worked with a film crew, they don't encourage you to say how
> ifficult it's all going to be. So I'm okay with cutting Bill some
> lack. I don't see much support for a sweeping claim that "permaculture"
> s doing people a disservice. And I've definitely seen large areas of
> oil made fertile and local climates (over acres) changed using
> ermaculture. Yes, it's easier to start with good soil, and much land
> sn't meant to be farmed, but I can't blame Bill if I don't know that.
> I think we take home what we are predisposed to learn. And westerners,
> specially college educated ones who've never used a shovel, like it all
> o be easy. Probably after 20 years of doing Pc, Bill may have felt that
> ost of it was pretty easy. I was with him when he went to a place to do
> design consult, and he told me he had the whole design worked out
> etween the time he saw the house from down the lane and when we parked
> he car. If you watch a calligraphy master make a lifetime's work look
> asy, and then get pissed off when your first brushwork is a mess, I
> on't think it's fair to blame the master.
> What I see in the permaculture literature--like the Designer's
> anual--looks pretty damn challenging to me, so I'm not sure how anyone
> ho digs into it would think it is easy. It's true that people make lots
> f mistakes similar to the one Christopher mentioned, but I suspect
> hat's partly because we carry our own preconceptions with us ("now I
> an be master of the landscape!") and because some people  consider
> hemselves an expert after taking one PDC ("now I'm a certified
> ermaculture designer!" Uh, hardly.) We're also so terribly disconnected
> rom the land that our idea of how much work planting and caring for,
> ay, 20 nut trees, is based on nothing but romantic Hollywood fantasy.
> hen you put up the deer screen for the 30th time or haul the 50th
> ucket of water, and you want to cry. But it's hard for me to see how
> hat is permaculture's fault, rather than that of our own ignorance and
> onviction that there's got to be a magic bullet that will make it all 
> easy.
> Toby
> ttp://patternliteracy.com
>
> Rain Tenaqiya wrote:
> Well, Toby, I don't have the time to do a literature search to back up my
> laims, but I run into a lot of people like the one Christopher mentioned 
> who
>
> idn't seem to get an appropriate permaculture education.  As for myself, I
> was
> eeply influenced by Bill Mollison, and he definitely seems like a booster 
> to
>
> e.  I remember him saying not to worry too much about soil since you can
> always
> ransform it with organic matter and amendments (which is common in 
> Australia
>
> iven the poor soil).  His Global Gardener videos make it all look so easy.
> He
> alks about how cheap earthworks are (not!) and gives inflated statistics
> about
> ow radically you can transform local climate.  For results within one
> person's
> ifetime, I'm learning to expect much less.
>
> If you are only wanting to grow food for a small household (which is
> probably
> ll that is truly sustainable in the long run), it is possible to do
> impressive
> hings in tough circumstances, if you are willing to do all the work.  But 
> it
>
> akes a long time without unsustainle inputs from outside.  Agriculture
> (which
> s not sustainable, even though included in Mollison's books) is not worth
> onsidering on most marginal land, in my opinion.
>
> Gotta go,
>
> Rain
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________
> ermaculture mailing list
> ermaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> ubscribe or unsubscribe here:
> ttp://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> oogle command to search archives:
> ite:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>
>
> 



More information about the permaculture mailing list