Permaculture is a way of life, i.e. a system of principles and rules which greatly exceeds the boundaries of agriculture and gardening, although many people nowadays restrict it only to these areas of human activity. This elaborate set of rules is focused on preservation of non-renewable resources and our complete environment, by copying or mimicking patterns and designs found in nature. It can be applied to various fields of modern society interactions, like natural building, engineering and economy.
Many people are deeply touched by the whole situation with natural world and are actively engaged in the battle for protection and sustainable usage of resources. This “battle” for a better and healthier lifestyle started all the way back in 1900s when people began to oppose the unstoppable growth and dominance of increased industrialization. Pollution, global warming and similar eco-problems were being more and more present in the media, and those levels of awareness reached their peak during the 1960s. Soon after that, in 1978 two Australian experts published the book called “Permaculture One” which marked a great step forward in the efforts to save our endangered world.
Several names have deserved the utmost respect for their hard work and continuous attempts to make permaculture available to anybody, and although some of them worked before the official establishment of the movement, they are included here, because they influenced the younger generations and were active in the field of organic farming.
Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008): Japanese philosopher and one of the most important names in the field of organic farming. His book “The One-Straw Revolution” (1975) left enormous impact on experts all over the world, and was sold in more than one million copies on more than 20 languages. He travelled extensively all over the world, giving lectures and receiving numerous awards for his work and teaching.
Bill Mollison (1928- ): Australian professor, author and scientist who is considered “the father of permaculture” since he co-founded the system with his student in 1978. He later founded “The Permaculture Institute” in Tasmania and created the system of leadership and training courses.
David Holmgren (1955- ): Australian writer and environmentalist with long history in activism and permaculture. Together with Mollison he coined the term permaculture and is also considered one of the founding fathers. During the years, he held many courses on this topic and wrote numerous publications and books. Ecovillage “Fryers Forest” in Australia is his most significant contribution to practical permaculture.
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Other honorable mentions definitely have to include names like Geoff Lawton and Toby Hemenway who are well-known authors on subject of permaculture, or Rudolf Stainer and J.I Rodale who are pioneers of organic farming and have also wrote notable publications, or the modern-day activists and fighters for Mother Nature, like Vladislav Davidzon who founded a popular design school (“Regenerative Leadership Institute” in 2004) and since then provides high-quality courses on the topics of sustainable living, renewable resources, waste recycling, economical elements of permaculture and many more.
Tyler Burgardt and his better half Claire Burgardt from western Kenya recently made it in the headlines because of their Permafarm. The couple started its journey from Indiana, and ended up developing farm in western Kenya because of their love for street kids.
Claire and her husband Tyler decided to move to Kenya as Claire decided to participate in her University’s program conducted at one of local hospitals in Eldoret (small town in Kenya). She is a general surgeon. Tyler has co-founded small startup that works in health care sector in Kenya.
During their first few weeks in Kenya, they came across so-called housing boom. But along with this housing boom also saw thousands of homeless kids living in corners of various streets. Most of them were school dropouts, and they had no other option but to beg.
The couple has two kids, one is an infant and elder one is three years old. They found it extremely difficult to ignore these homeless children and decide to do something for them.In May this year, Mr and Mrs Burgardt formed the Tumaini permaculture farm. This farm is completely managed by street kids. Its products are vegetables, fruits, rice, eggs, fish, etc. This project is an extended part of Tumaini Innovation Center that is run by Burgardt’s colleagues and friends. Tumaini Innovation Center offers education, housing, and other facilities for street kids. Currently, the institute is helping 11 street kids.
If you believe the couple, around 70 percent of population in Kenya lives on income of $2 or less per day. One may not need large number of resources and funding to bring social changes in such countries. Tyler recently interacted with journalists and shared some details about the project. He pointed out that they were able to purchase land at cheaper rate as people were not completely aware about using soggy soil land for sustainable farming with available resources. They have planted 23 different types of fruits, nuts, and 127 trees. They have around 50 chickens in the farm for adequate supply of fresh eggs. Farm produces products like spinach, taro, onions, kale, rice, etc.
Burgardt paid around $12,000 for their 2.5 acres of current farmland. They have also started their campaign on crowd funding site to raise funds for their next farm. Tyler is looking forward to collect $45,000 for their dream farm that would help 100 street children to stand on their own feet. Their organization is also educating street kids involved in this project about permaculture farming. This involves designing sustainable farmland that uses renewable resources for farming.
Davidzon’s regenerative leadership institute is one of the most trusted names when it comes to permaculture education. The institute is present in 190 plus countries with millions of students. Lawyers, activists, doctors, students, and other professionals join these institutes to learn about sustainability. Institutes offer the best sleeping facilities along with non-processed, vegan, organic food items to eat.
Word abundance represents something you have a lot of, in most cases more than you need, and it is viewed differently in our society. Many view abundance as something in connection to money, have a lot money, not having anything to spend it on and so on. It is a hollow view if you ask me. Having money is a good thing but focusing your life on money and nothing else is a bit empty to me.
On the other hand we have permaculturists. What is permaculture? This word means that we are doing something right and that we are being rewarded for it. When I say that we are doing something right I am referring to work we are doing in helping nature through permaculture systems. What we receive back are the fruits of our labor those systems give us. And with those systems abundance of food is reached, where we have more than we need and we canshare it. To achieve abundance we must create good permaculture systems, food forests and go foraging. All these things you could learn on a course, while many people search for VladislavDavidzon online, the guy who founded few organizations that teach permaculture on courses.
Many nutritionists tell you to place all your seeds in jars in places that can be seen at any point, this is a way you can see abundant state you are in at every point. But real abundance can be seen in plants, how many of them can grow from just one plant and similar things. There are years when your garden will fail to produce enough because of bad weather conditions, and that is ok, there will always be bad years, but don’t let that upset you. Don’t let words from politicians affect you, whenever it isn’t a perfect year for harvesting they will yell that there is not enough food for everyone and thus prices go up. They do that for money, because there is enough, abundance is around us.
A major issue with people is that they can be picky withtheir food. We have learned to eat only few products and everything else isnot for our table. That is a mistake, just take a look at bunya plant. It grows and gives a lot of yield without you even lifting finger. People avoid this plant because bunya nuts can be a bit resinous and it takes a lot of time to prepare, while on the other hand hamburgers prepare themselves.
People jump on fast food and avoid producing healthy food because it requires work. Even plants like bunya require some kind of work, namely harvest. When these plants grow, harvesting is only job you will have to do, and you will achieve abundance with year worth of yield from these plants.It is not just bunya, there are other tree plants that require your attention only once or twice a year for a harvest. And a lot of things can be made from those trees. Only thing that stops you from having abundance of food is your lack of involvement in nature.