[permaculture] Large scale farming - sustainable? Profitable?
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Tue Dec 22 02:22:15 EST 2009
From the permies.com farm income forum:
Quote from: Kerrick
(1)Looked at from another direction, however, there's the question of
whether or not a farm that doesn't turn a profit can be called
sustainable from a practical standpoint. <...> After all if you don't
obtain a yield of some kind, it's not sustainable, because you're
sinking all your resources into a project that you get nothing back
from. And a farm that relies on only one income stream is as vulnerable
to changing market forces as a monoculture is to pests and blight.
(2)I'm not yet a permaculturalist or a farmer, but I'm making shifts in
my life to put this vision of sustainable economy into practice in my
own life. I'm cutting my costs of living drastically and learning to
make do with what I can produce myself in as many ways as possible. And
while I'm learning and working, I'm saving, so that one day, I hope, I
can have land of my own.
(3)What would a permacultural economy look like to you?
(1) Any farm can turn a profit with work and luck, and persistence, one
way or another, whether it be through cropping, forestry,
plant nursery, aquaculture or other enterprise including all the other
cottage industry categories, including telecommuting (after all you are
stewarding a piece of land - a good thing, you're a caretaker though you
derive your income offsite). A farm can be considered sustainable
regardless of how it pays for itself; your living there is one payback,
your serving as conservationist of it as a natural resource is a payback
in the greater sense, certainly contributing to it being part of a
Weather, cropping conditions, timing of farming operations, access and
availability of marketing opportunities, customer base, personal health
all have to do with success at making a living off cropping. By
dramatically diversifying your operation and site resources you broaden
your income base. That is the essence of sustainability, and
permaculture. You are making a living on your farm allowing you to
steward your land as a permaculture site, developing, improving and
maintaining the systems you have in place so that it becomes
ecologically richer, able to withstand weather extremes and more self
sustaining each year.
(2) I wish you luck in your pursuit of land.
(3) A permacultural economy is one where you have people living on sites
as described in (1) who cooperate and are economically linked to all
others doing the same. Consider the concept of individual farms in
communities of farms adjoining towns and cities forming local nodes,
which overlap with adjoining similar nodes, which together form regional
nodes or networks, which overlap with adjoining regional networked nodes
to form a single national production & services marketing and
distribution network. That's a permacultural economy, an alternative one
but robust and fully diversified, eliminating those middlemen from
outside the network from making a profit off any product or service
within that network. Provision probably should be made for that to
happen in a sensible, practical and fair way.
Advocate for a National Permacultural Production and Services Marketing
and Distribution Network
More information about the permaculture