Round 7, Prompt 2: Permaculture Joe


I agreed with much of what Joe said. I didn’t look critically upon him when he misinterpreted words because words are not always necessary when living life. Even if you don’t know what something means, it doesn’t mean you can’t believe in it. Yes, he may have mistaken instrumental value for intrinsic value but I believe it’s likely he sees the intrinsic value in the Earth as well. He just didn’t know how to explain that in words.

I was really interested in the biochar. I had never heard of it before. For something so helpful in increasing soil fertility, increasing agricultural productivity, and providing protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases, it seems so easy to produce. This may be something economists interested in saving the environment would be willing to promote since it is cheap to produce and provides environmentally friendly processes.

Another aspect that I appreciated but questioned was his mention of establishing the plants and then sitting back and reaping the benefits for years to come. This suggests that permaculture works best for perennials. So I wondered whether we would still need our usual farming tactics to grow annuals. Upon further consideration, I suppose if one desired to plant annuals they could put in the extra work and it would still be a part of permaculture.

Permaculture relates to Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. Thoreau lived in the woods and wanted people to go back to nature. Permaculture does this by having people work with the land and gain closeness with the permanent crops instead of the annuals that just pass through. Leopold said in The Sand County Almanac, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. (p.262)” This supports permaculture. It must be right since it brings farming back to collaborating with the surrounding biota and is more organic than the unnatural methods found in today’s agricultural business.


One response »

  1. Responding to your comment about annuals, I doubt they are included although you could plant and harvest them I don’t think permaculture supports the farming we do now. It seems more likely that a diet change would be required. Joe talks about gathering from trees mostly, and hunting small game which is quite a difference from the cows/chickens/pigs we normally eat. I think if you has to put a name on this diet it would follow the Paleo Diet- where there are not processed foods or grains.

    I agree with your comment that its strange we haven’t heard of permaculture since it increases soil fertility so much. However, humans are lazy- more focused on dominating one thing instead of a well rounded view on ecological systems. We keep trying to go forward and lack balance, permaculture embraces that balance and new ways and probably requires a closer knowlage and connection to the environment.

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