Week 7, Prompt 2: Permaculture Joe

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I truly enjoyed listening to Joe speak because he wasn’t simply a professor passing on his interpretation of what permaculture was to us. Instead, he was an individual certified in permaculture who had an immense amount of passion and respect for this ecological design system that he chose to live his life by it. We generally look at different theories and ideas through the ethical standpoints that they present to us, however, Joe delivered an insightful overview of what permaculture was from an ethical standpoint as well as a personal one. 

I personally feel like the environmental ethic that best describes Joe would be the idea that every thing is interconnected with everything else in the environment, as well as within our own lives. Joe claimed the main three principles of permaculture are earth care, people care, and fair share. This represents the correlation between plants, animals, and humans; as well as how balance among them all is necessary. Another important point that Joe brought up was how we should work with nature, rather than going against it. Joe lives by observing nature and replicating it, while also cooperating with those beings (human or non human) around him rather than competing against them.

I was born and raised as a hunter and fisher, while my family also had a large garden that we planted seasonally with a variety of different vegetables and fruits. I understand and appreciate the lifestyle that Joe lives for the reason that it reflects a part of mine to an extent. Living off the land, within your means, in a community brings about a sense of pride and places you at an equal level to the land because of the appreciation you have for it. Joe mostly reminded me of Ed McGaa in his essay We Are All Related for the reason that he places himself within the natural system, while still valuing it for its resources without diminishing them.

Joe did confuse some of the technical definitions that we correlate with environmental ethics such as intrinsic and instrumental value; however, he never claimed to be an ethics professor. He is living a life based on sustainability and appreciation for the things around him, so who are we to criticize him? If more individuals appreciated nature and relied on themselves rather than the grocery store down the road our planet would be a much cleaner place.  

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One response »

  1. I agree with the majority of your post but I challenge the last sentence. I am a big supporter of being independent and supporting yourself and your family, especially when doing so means you are not buying into agribusiness and the unsustainable processes that drive that industry. However, it is possible for the grocery store down the road to be a community run store, a co-op, that provides fresh vegetables and fruits and locally produced items, like Ward’s does in Gainesville. Additionally, while home grown gardens are rewarding in many ways, there are many people who are not suited to grow a garden. It has nothing to do with their connection to the earth or their view of nature; they just don’t have a ‘green thumb’. In taking care of ourselves and the earth, it is good to remember where our talents lie and to know a good, sustainable place to turn when we don’t have those skills.

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