[permaculture] Permaculture design, diversified farming systems and agricultural food cropping.

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Tue Jul 21 14:27:43 EDT 2015


The latest input:
Question:
Do you perhaps also have a reaction to this paragraph -
"But I can't help feeling that by trying to control nature, eliminating
chance, we are missing out on it's full potential."
Reply:
I have a clear reaction to that paragraph and at the same time will suggest
that you should not be struggling; it should be easy. If it is taken in the
context of ornamental residential landscape design then it is highly likely
that there never was any attempt to clone nature in that nice garden;
reread what I said in my first reply for more background. If you mean in
the context of agriculture in general then also reread my comment to your
going camping post. It goes without saying that since conventional
industrial agriculture is artificial and not natural then we have
completely lost the benefits of farming in harmony with Nature, which is
what Permaculture is all about. That could be made to work on a very large
scale, VLSP, with adequate research and experimentation; I am a believer. I
have done my own research on six acres and know what works and what
doesn't. BTW, structured agricultural systems that follow permaculture
design criteria include wild or "chance" zones, sometimes called edge zones
which have existed for centuries in EU and UK as hedgerows, a perfect
marriage of structured systems with natural systems. In landscape design
aligned, integrated with architectural design natural, even wild or chance
elements can exist if planned for. In urban settings communities often have
wild landscapes that allow Nature to take control that are located within
parks and community gardens and recreational areas that often have lakes or
ponds. They are excellent educational opportunities that demonstrate the
value of preserving greenspace and natural, wild places within or without
urban settings. There is a lot to write about this. An English cottage
garden is fairly stylized but by its very nature lends itself to
incorporation of wild elements and especially flow and change within the
plantings themselves, as the garden matures. The attitude or mindset of the
designer, contractor and owner is important. A purely ornamental landscape,
using known, proven plant cultivars, can assume a natural quality, emulate
nature in the wild while having an effective long lifespan with reasonable
maintenance needs. Whereas a Barragan landscape may be beautiful it is
likely very static; it will look exactly the same each year, within
reasonable limits (take for example where Marx had rocks covered with soil
planted with ground cover for a highly textured look; high maintenance in
the wrong climate low in the right one) and not make you feel like you are
walking in the woods but in a work of art, but a very fine one that is
spiritually nourishing. Back to English gardens (look at Vida
Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Castle gardens) and you have a very flexible
environment allowing plantings to compete, crowd, spread and assume
something of a natural spatial order. I think this is why they have been so
popular for so long, in one form or another, for centuries. Returning to
your post where you talk about the wealthy of the past returning to
beautiful estate gardens to escape their cloistered, insular life, you can
predict the evolution of the formal, overdesigned, symmetrical to the
informal (Sissinghurst) which was even closer to Nature without being in
the estate deer park. This led to the American cottage garden and the Rural
Movement (lots published about that, Google it).
I can do many scans from old horticultural books in my library for
illustration.
Also take a look at the intensive, biological gardening methods employed by
French market farmers; also the work of Hazelip and Bonfils in my website
EcoLandTech (an alternate name for permaculture).

On Sun, Jul 19, 2015 at 6:20 PM, Lawrence London <lfljvenaura at gmail.com>
wrote:

> - if anyone can add to this please do...LL
> I was asked to comment on this:
> 'Crop rotation vs Food labs'
> https://ello.co/maartenpkappert/post/z90PWLGXMdjnE7bS1EPS5w
> and this is my reply:
> @ecoponderosa <https://ello.co/ecoponderosa>
> @maartenpkappert <https://ello.co/maartenpkappert> That is a very
> interesting post and raises several legitimate questions.
>
> Option #1
> We need to feed lots of people. If you can grow nutritious (taste good too
> but that is second priority) food without any category of pesticides and
> with natural, organic fertilizer and full use of permaculture systems and
> biocontrol, and do so on a scale of mass production, that would be dream
> come true. Reasons: people will be healthier, be more productive in the
> workplace, impact the national healthcare infrastructure less and live and
> work longer (no reason why an 80 year old be can't be happy working in some
> aspect of food production like they have in China and elsewhere in the East
> for millenia). Add to this owner-built Tiny Houses, mass produced offsite
> tiny houses or tiny co-housing (infinite possibilities). Young people in
> the USA like this kind of thing. They are no longer driven to Keep Up With
> The Joneses. Salaries are much higher now than ever before while inflation
> has crept up over the past ten years.
> Option #2
> Produce food as cheap as you can, use chemicals and gmos and don't worry
> about nutritional quality or chemical residues...and sell it cheap so lower
> income people can afford it.
>
> I don't see why nations can't begin to use Option #1 and build such
> production systems over the long term to the point where overhead is less
> and less and pest problems are less or non existent. Farms like this could
> become focal points for the ecotourism industry providing additional
> income. They could even offer work trade plans for visiting customers,
> bypassing middlemen. Cooperative farms could be set up that combine
> marketing coops with agrarian communes. They do this in Japan. Japan is a
> world treasure and that is an understatement. Another thing, the rich are
> bailing out of China and moving to other countries to live and are taking
> their money with them. Where does this leave the rest of the people in
> China? Answer: they need to combine modern industrial production of goods
> with their worldclass traditional ways wherein sustainability and low or no
> pollution is an accomplished fact.
>
> Crop rotation is very important as are diversified agricultural systems
> using livestock, food forests, field crops, biointensive gardens,
> greenhousing, aquaponics, hydroponics and much more. Crop rotation is just
> part of the picture and integral to such systems. All of this fits under
> the umbrella of permaculture. You start there and design systems to fit
> your needs that are to scale for the production levels desired.
>
> Hydroponic and aquaponic production can produce high quality nutritious
> food if
> natural, organic methods and materials are used. It is all about good
> design and proper maintenance. Hydroponics production using synthetics
> might be OK to grow seedlings or ornamentals but not so good for table food
> as it will be lacking in nutrition. Good farming is about a balance of
> mineral nutrients (natural ones, like rock dusts) with natural organic
> macronutrients, N,P & K and calcium derived from N2 fixing crops, manures,
> waste food, and composts combined with cropping systems that are the result
> of the best permaculture design. With this, concern about all categories of
> pests could disappear.
>
> We are back at the need for Naturalness in our lives and in the production
> of the things that sustain us. I used the word permaculture too many times
> perhaps but I wanted to drive the point home, like eating too many apples
> and less candy bars (unless it is Dutch chocolate!).
>
> I could go on about this for hours and many pages. :-) Let me know if you
> have any questions or suggestions.
>
> LL
>
>
> --
> Lawrence F. London
> lfljvenaura at gmail.com
> https://sites.google.com/site/avantgeared/
>
>
>
>
>


-- 
Lawrence F. London
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
https://sites.google.com/site/avantgeared/


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