Join us for the Cooperative’s annual Mushroom Workshop and Future of Food! You can pre-pay on the website or RSVP by emailing us at .
The next rocket stove design to test, a box rocket! Luckily consumer culture has just the thing to make a stovetop, a cast iron casserole pan. It burned reasonably well when the wind wasn’t knocking over the chimney. It burnt much better when we converted it to a standard J tube (sorry no pictures). It burnt well enough and had enough functionality that I would like to test this in situ. The next steps are to build the infrastructure to set this up in a hoop, we need a concrete and a chimney. Then, we can test out some designs and zero in on a design to build!
Here is the original inspiration:
Always, always, always, we work in context with what is before us. When we design we work from the midst of someone else’s decisions as our starting point. We enter into the scale of permanence rather than defining it.
Permaculture will not be given to us by our parents. You can’t buy it at the garden store. It won’t be shipped in from California or Chile. We need to build its systems from scratch with our own two hands.
Permaculture can only grow where we are, from that which surrounds us.
Careful crafting of your goal in permaculture design is as important. The right words matter, weather just in your head or on paper! Subtle differences in intent leads to different outcomes.
Permaculture is the space to allow the emergence of a set of practices that meet the test of the ethics: Care of Earth, People, and the Future.
I want to take a moment to address the idea that permaculture is only a kind of “gardening”. Nothing can be further from the truth! We create our world from the things around us, permaculture helps us arrange and optimize them. Sometimes, for any number of reasons, a garden is just not possible. Permaculture still has much to offer in how we arrange those things that are not a garden.
That being said there is a great amount of leverage to be gained by interacting more closely with food. We all eat and it’s going come from somewhere. So, I’ll just throw out some guidelines that you can start with. Of course they are loosely drawn from permaculture’s principles.
- Give yourself some time to find the right place for your garden. Limit your work and perhaps be ready to move it until you’ve had a couple of seasons under your belt.
- Generally work in the smallest complete chunk you can. That way you get to keep whatever you pull off.
- Bigger is not necessarily better. A small garden is a fine place to start!
- Be on the lookout for natural patterns that you can take advantage of or need to guard against.
- Allow your garden to evolve. It will be what effort you are able to put into it and that’s OK.
- How much effort will it actually take? Multiply the time it takes by three.
- Always be ready to roll with what happens. Sometimes your ability to work in the garden just stops or an explosion of growth can seemingly happen overnight.
- Consider a few perennials. I’ve got two kinds of strawberries, gooseberries, lovage, chinese lanterns, hops, mint, lemon balm, bee balm, lavender, mushrooms, and rhubarb growing in the few square feet I have around my home, in addition to the ornamental plants that were already there. And some potatoes, all with less than an hours work this year.
- Alternatives? Support farmers and farmer’s markets first, local coops and stores next, before shopping at any supermarket.
- It’s also it’s good to keep something growing even if it’s just one plant.
It’s pretty certain that someday people are going to have to be much more in tune with their food and where it comes from. But that someday is somewhere in the future. For now we just have to be ahead of any change that’s coming. In the meantime there are many other things that also need our attention. If gardening is not something you can really do, find a placeholder and then work on the aspects of your life you can change.
Learn how with a Permaculture Design Course!
Whether you’re for or against him, the election of Donald Trump to the POTUS is a clear signal that levels of disorder are increasing around us. If this trend continues the next shock of disorder will be even bigger. I think the direct results of this will be that which sustains us eventually will be consumed by this ever growing disruption.
There is an alternative which permaculture addresses directly. In Permaculture – A Designers Manual by Bill Mollison the Permaculture Prime Directive is discussed on the first page.
That is, the system currently sustaining us is also destroying us. Nearly everyone is invested totally in that system. When that system fails, and I think that is happening ever faster, any alternatives will be built by us, not for us.
If it is up to us to build the alternatives, then let’s get started. If we don’t know how, let’s learn. Permaculture directly addresses how to do this. One way to learn more in a Permaculture Design Course. Or, find your local permaculturists and get to know them.
It’s up to us to take responsibility!