“Humanity is on the verge of a major reorganization. I know this is just a mild way of expressing it. I don’t want to put you off reading further by scaring you too much, but fact is that humanity is facing quite a number of crises all at once. Each one of these crises on their own is bad enough to cause major problems to our well-being. Some just threaten our health, others threaten the survival of our species as a whole.”
The blog post itself is full of great information about the whys and hows of planting a sustainable environment, then goes on to tell us some of the benefits of permaculture; about how its design maximises space, eliminates the need for nasty chemicals, provides year-round food supplies and promotes ‘community’ in chaotic times where food security may become an issue, much sooner than we’ve imagined.
Having worked with Earth Ways on a number of projects in the past, I can fully vouch for his authenticity as a Permaculture Designer and an ‘earth carer’ – but I think his post has only skimmed the surface of how empowering permaculture really is.
There’s a link within the post to “How Gardens Heal Your Body, Mind and Spirit” which again promotes the personal side of permaculture, explaining how working with others promotes healing and increases our sense of well-being. I believe the effects are even farther reaching than have been stated.
Empowering people is most likely one of the greatest side-effects of engaging with permaculture. As we sink our hands into the earth, preparing the soil for new life we come to realise that perhaps we have a purpose on this planet after all.
The meditative benefits of working on the land are immense, it calms the mind like nothing else does. We touch the real base, we connect with the parts of ourselves which embrace diversity and have a huge capacity for showing love and compassion. We connect to all that is greater than ourselves.
Working alongside others is truly therapeutic; each going about their business mindfully with a common goal of growing and producing fruit, veg and/or herbs purely for the love of it – which differs vastly from the capitalist climate of ‘growth’ we hear about on news channels, where perpetuating the destruction of bio-diversity is for material or self-gain.
As we encourage the growth of all things coming from the earth we, as individuals are given the opportunity to appreciate ourselves, our efforts and of those around us. For some working in community spaces or allotments, it may be the only time they spend in the company of others.
This time may be building an individual’s confidence or restoring their self-belief while building a team of people who will ultimately become responsible for various stages of a project, each knowing their specialised skills and placing them confidently where they belong in the bigger picture.
This kind of harmony with the earth has been long-lost in the west except in small rural (and occasionally city) communities although it hasn’t yet been fully accepted as the way forward. Yet.
Some might say that we’ll be forced into going backwards by working the land but I see that as a little negative thinking; we cannot go backwards if we have new information and technology which helps us go forward. It’s a shift in the mindset of people which needs to occur;
Realise that we do not have infinite resources while we keep stripping them away!
Society is screaming out for solutions to inequality and the destructive path we’ve been intent on forging; permaculture is one of these solutions! You might not hear much about vertical growing or greywater usage in mainstream media but it’s there – and it’s working.
It’s also empowering people every day to take more responsibility in their lives; to become aware of oil consumption and food waste, of near slavery and how wonderfully interesting and challenging it is to grow food in a changing climate.
We must at some point face the truth; we humans have been duped into thinking we need this or that gadget to be satisfied (at a huge environmental cost) when in fact, all we need is to be connected to source, to all that is – to do the right thing for the rest of mankind to survive, to be meaningfully engaged with the rest of the world, to be promoting cooperation and collaborating towards one goal.
Working to preserve the land helps to ensure a future by promoting respect for the life cycle – and encouraging responsibility for our part in that cycle.
Indigenous tribes have always known the importance of maintaining nature’s balance, of caring for our environment – by not taking more than was required and replacing wherever possible. Greed didn’t figure in their thinking.
Somewhere along the way we lost the plot – now we need to retrace our steps, right our wrongs and move forward gracefully, maintaining a system which will sustain and support our children’s future, and many lifetimes to come.
A new DVD on soil regeneration has become available and can be purchased at Earth Ways shop; Regeneration; An Earth Saving Evolution