Wednesday, August 1, 2012

“Deep ecology, permaculture and sustainability are concepts that planted the early seeds of green thinking” Gunter Pauli and a bottle of sustainably grown and produced natural wine !

“Deep Ecology, Permaculture and Sustainability are concepts that planted the early seeds of green thinking” Gunter Pauli

I can’t believe it has been nearly 3 months since my last Blog. Here I go at filling some of the spaces and having a little rant ?

Brick Lane home of Rawfair

Since leaving the Caribbean in May I went to the UK where I spoke at a conference dedicated to natural, organic, biodynamic wine production that had over 250 wine producers from all over the world. 

The response was amazing 

It was a joint speaking arrangement with Monty Waldin a Biodynamic, Organic wine writer and grower. The topic was Understanding how biodynamics and permaculture can help you be green-fingered. I gave an introduction to Permaculture presentation and Monty gave an overview on Biodynamic principles. We then farmed questions from the audience on sustainable agricultural principles.

Permac... nearly got it out !!

 I also attended various other talks on sustainable wine growing and the common thread was to grow Organically or Biodynamically… And I couldn’t agree more. Sadly the word Permaculture was never used by speakers or members of the audience… except me .. I had to !!!

Nicholas Joly

I raised the question to Nicolas Joly (Biodynamic wine expert) “where does Permaculture fit in the scheme of things” He explained how it was an important contribution to Organic and Biodynamic farming taking the whole system into consideration.

I still felt after speaking to various growers that Permaculture was not seen as a whole system design and not under stood.  Soil building systems are grouped as either Organic or Biodynamic practices… It seems Permaculture is not a word people commonly use outside the Permaculture sphere? Why?  When Permaculture is a science that has been proven time and time again in all climates.  

Slides from Nicholas Joly presentation  Soil Soil Soil !!!

 As a Permaculture designer working in remote locations  I include Biodynamic and Organic systems where possible though the main focus is to be sustainable using the local resources available to grow healthy soil to grow healthy plants to grow healthy people.  Are all organic farms or Biodynamic farms sustainable? During my talk the question of water harvesting was asked of the audience and only one person did it?

Soil life, Soil life, Soil life

Gunter Pauli writer of The Blue Economy says “Deep ecology, permaculture and sustainability are concepts that planted the early seeds of green thinking”. Such ideas taught us to appreciate the use of sustainable materials in our structures and products.”

I have had other Permaculturist say “it doesn’t matter what “it” is called as long as the principles are being used” Is this true? If people don’t know what Permaculture is will the principles be used to create“ Whole closed loop systems of waste to abundance” for food, wine, clean energy, clean air, clean water and sustainable housing for all?

Microbes,  Microbes, Microbes

Permaculture does this, organic and biodynamic farming are only a part of the Permaculture System Solution. In “Nature, the waste of one process is always a nutrient, a material or a source of energy for another” Gunter Pauli.  Closed loop systems of abundance created through ecosystem design is what we should be aiming for, minimal inputs for high outputs that do not pollute or exploit all living within the natural environment.

"Natural Farming, Eco Farming Cultural Practices"

If we can ask ourselves these 8 questions every time we make a decision we would all be living in a better place.

Permaculture Principles

  1. Relative location of elements placed to assist each other.                                             (If I place A (house) here, will it help B (heat house), will B (heated house) support C (Lower energy bill?)
  2. Each element performs many functions at least 3. (What are the 3 uses of this?)  
  3. Efficient energy planning (zones and sectors)-     (is all I use and do designed for minimal effort for maxium output?)  
  4. Emphasis on use of biological resources over fossil fuels                                               (Is this a renewable energy or a sustainable resource) 
  5. Energy recycling on site (fuel and human)
     (Am I conserving my energy and natures?)
  1. Using and accelerating natural plant succession to establish favourable sites and soils.              (Am I growing, improving soil?)
  2. Polyculture and diversity to benefit species for productive, interactive systems                   (am I supporting the eco system)
  3. Use of edge and natural patterns for best effect.    (Am I working with Nature or against it?)  

That Crazy French Woman - thank you for the opportunity to discuss "PERMACULTURE"