Dec 1, 2012

Permaculture is a platform for Creativity

A nice simple little example of how my life has changed in recent years and of how everyone's will need to change in the years ahead.

Here I have two garden stakes set up for some beans I planted out last week. The one on the left is an old one I brought with me from our last home. So the vine has something to get a hold of I have some wire netting bought from Bunnings over the pole. On the right is one made from an old cutting off of the peach tree (you can see the tree in the background top left), its bound to a stake with some old bailing twine.

Now lets just reflect on what it took to create these two items that perform the same task. The raw materials for the old one were mined out of the ground somewhere (probably Australia) then shipped off to some other country (probably China or India), then processed in a factory of which I know nothing out its environmental or humanitarian practices. Next it was shipped back to Australia, distributed across the land and then attached to a stick so I can grow a vine on it. Then when I am finished with it, it will sit in a land fill for who knows how long. 

The newer model grew just a few metres away, capturing carbon out of the air as it grew. It was free. It should last a few years and then it will go on the ground in the food forest or be chucked in a swale (when I dig some), there it will rot down into the earth taking some of its carbon with it into my soil where it will potentially stay for thousands of years. It will also provide a home for fungus in the soil, improving its fertility so I can grow more. In its entire journey it will probably have travelled less than a couple of hundred metres.

Now for my favourite bit. There are probably hundreds of different sustainable ways to hold up a vine. But this is my solution, the one I created using the elements at my disposal. Permaculture is all about CREATIVITY! Its structure has some striking similarities with my old life as an animator. According to the nine old men from the founding days of Disney there are twelve animation principles, there are also twelve Permaculture principles. As a teacher of animation I occasionally encounter a student who wants to side step the principles, they mistake them for rules. I have to explain that as principles they empower creativity, they help you to be unique rather than restrict like boundaries  The Permaculture principles are exactly the same, they are a launching pad for ideas. My time here on the property is a constant flow of ideas and creation, and I'm as happy as a pig in mud. :)



Frank said...

Thank you mud pig.

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