Change the World Wednesday – 9th May


Coffee No. 2

About to get coffee No. 3

Coffee No. 3 and marmalade on toast becomes a transient moment of bliss at this hour of the morning.

I have an early class at 7, so I doubt that I’ll get this completed before I go off into the wild blue yonder and face the rigours of the world. I’ll be back early because the second class has been canceled…

Report: My parsley has sprouted CTWW 25th April. Only 2 of the 12 haven’t shown any signs of life yet. The shoots are pretty spindly, I am worried, because I have never seen such spindly shoots before.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday. on Reduce Footprints is a biggie!

Looking at the issue of permaculture.

So this week, let’s start by observing nature. Take some time, step outside and observe everything around you. Look at sunlight patterns and the direction of plant growth. Are the plants in your area native and how does that affect their growth and care? Make note of where water collects on your property and where it comes from. Observe the phases of the moon and consider how that affects the natural world. Pay attention to insects and birds … observe how their interaction with plants, animals and each other affects the environment. Then, come back here and report your findings. Were you surprised at anything you discovered? Will you make any changes based on your observations? We want to hear it all!

*Takes a deep breath*

Permaculture is one of these words that gets bandied about a lot these days; especially if you haunt the halls of the environment. But if you’re like me, you probably haven’t stopped to think about it, or even look further. I certainly didn’t. But I found that I am already a permaculturalist.

“Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It is about designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining and largely self reliant and have minimal impact on the environment.”Little Green Blog

My passionfruit vines grew wild up my neighbour’s second story, he was okay with this, he got the fruit (literally) of my labour.

Not at the moment, because my current rental situation limits what I can do to the property. I have already taken liberties in making my little gardens along the fence lines. I can do no more.

My previous situation was much more amenable and successful.

So while I can’t take on the idea wholesale, I do do little bits. I collect my rain water for the garden. I allow my plants to grow as nature intended. I do watch the insects, damned butterflies whose caterpillars destroy my passionfruit vines, the big black bees that successfully pollinate the same vines and the hummingbirds that frequent my yard.

But, I am going off on my tangent again.

The biggest enemy to permaculture is urbanisation.

We hit the ‘destry’ button with everything we touch

In an urban setting every thing has to be neat and tidy, lawns cut, hedges trimmed, weeds pulled and pretty flowers everywhere. You cannot hang your clothes out to dry because it might offend the neighbours. You cannot collect rainwater in some places because it’s against the law. Vege gardens are outlawed. Just imagine if you decided to keep chicken or ducks… Our urbanisation is full of bullshit.

We have this preoccupation with ‘neat & tidy’. But being neat and tidy destroys the very essence of nature and goes against the grain of permaculture.

Personally, I hate this neat and tidy. Orderly and useful is much better. My neighbour has chickens, a bit noisy once the rooster discovered he could crow, but I would much rather that than have him complain when my passionfruit grew up his house.

Most neighbours no longer have tolerance, a wonderful trait that we could all benefit from.

Orderly and useful

Councils who currently legislate against the grain of permaculture should be voted out and the people should be voting for more local politicians who are concerned with urban renewal that is in line with permaculture.

But the current attitude of many people who are happy with the ‘neat and green’ needs to change. We have come too far from our origins, so far that we have become completely derailed.

The idea of permaculture is also linked to the new idea of nature deficit disorder which, while not currently recognised as a clinical deficiency, exists. Remember the ‘cow poo’ I wrote about, permaculture goes some way to rectifying the problem.

Centralisation and big cities with apartment buildings and housing estates are just so wrong on every level. They go against nature, they are the cause of so many of today’s social maladies and evils. I have said it here before, and I’ll say it again. The only way to improve our lives is to abandon and dismantle the cities and go back to the country; go back to our roots. It may become necessary for our very survival if the current economic situation gets any worse.

Think about how you can shuck the ‘neat and tidy’ and embrace permaculture…


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smallftprints on May 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    With the world population growing the way it is, I doubt that we’ll ever be able to go back to country living. The question then becomes, how do we achieve a sustainable life in an urban setting. I think that you are living proof that it is possible … you take what you have, and what you have control of, and use it. It perhaps isn’t ideal but it does move towards a more sustainable life. Wonderful, thought-provoking post! Thanks, AV!



    • >SF, There must be an answer to the swelling of the urban ranks. Incentives must be put into effect, or we’ll all end up on govt handouts; either way, it’s govt spending. But one is productive the other isn’t. Sustainable life in an urban setting is harder, and if you take away the supermarket, you have nothing. The permaculture idea will become a reality to survival.




  2. […] My previous postings: Nature Deficit Disorder & CTWW 9th May 09 […]



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