The Effect Of Agriculture On The Planet

This is such an important TED talk! So many people, including myself, do not realize the effect that something as vital as agriculture has on the planet. We need to practice more efficient agriculture, and we need to act quickly. Some examples of potential solutions are vertical farming, buying more locally grown foods, dramatically altering our diets, and growing food ourselves. Even in urban settings, more and more people are realizing that not only is growing their own food fun, it is healthier for themselves and for the Earth.

 

You can also refer to one of my earlier posts, Edible Landscapes, for more information regarding solutions.

Make a Permaculture Connection

permaculture graph

permacultureprinciples.com

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture was invented in Tasmania Australia by Bill Mollison, David Holmgren and their associates in the 1970’s. It was a revolutionary approach to age old problems with farming and gardening.  Through a series of publications they began to spread their ideas and it has continued ever since with growing international communities and passionate people expanding and improving methods everyday. Wikipedia tells us that,

Permaculture is a branch of ecological designecological engineering, and environmental design which develops sustainablearchitecture and self-maintained horticultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.

Geoff Lawton, a permaculture consultant, takes it a step further in his TEDx video and explains why it is such an important practice.

How can I get involved?

There are many great websites that connect worldwide communities interested in sustainable agriculturepermacultureorganic lifestylesclean energy methods and more.

Permies is a forum with invaluable information abound! It’s called Permies, because that’s what these wonderful people are called!

Permaculture Global is another website that helps connect people all over the world through projects and classes.

If you’re interested more in organic farming make sure to check this site on WWOOFing. The WWOOFing organization allows people to travel and learn this valuable information on a low budget. If you just want to stay at home and learn a little more the  Permaculture Activists site is quite useful. Of course you could always take a vacation to California where they’re working a lot harder at it than the rest of the states. (There is also a really great detailed version with explanations of the above chart)

In addition to looking at websites and joining forums there are also classes and schools you can go to in order to receive permaculture certifications or general foundation knowledge. Here’s a link to courses in the American Midwest.

The Chart

In the chart above the three main circles stand for earth care, people care and fair share.

The 12 smaller circles represent the following ideas.

1. Observe & interact

2. Catch & store energy

3. Obtain a yield

4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedback

5. Use & value renewable resources & services

6. Produce no waste

7. Design from patterns to details

8. Integrate rather segregate

9. Use small & slow solutions

10. Use & value diversity

11. Use edges & value the marginal

12. Creatively use & respond to change

So check out the site, become a permie and as Gandhi said:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Sources:

Permaculture Global

Certification Courses

Short History

Fundamental Courses 

Geoff Lawton

Permies!

WWOOF

Permaculture Activists

Transition California

Edible Landscapes

An Edible Landscape

This garden, consists entirely of healthy, edible plants!

This TED talk describes how local communities and the world at large can begin to use its land more effectively.  Pam Warhurst explains how she and a small group of garden revolutionaries began planting edible herbs, fruits and vegetables around their village in England without permission.  The result?  Countless miles of previously unused land has been converted into healthy chow.  Pam is urging the world to stop growing ‘pretty’ flowers simply for their aesthetic value and start growing edible plants in their place.   Oh, those vines wrapped around city hall’s bicycle rack?  Strawberries.  Help yourself.

The idea of edible landscaping has also spread to homeowners around the world who are choosing to transform their front and back yards into gardens in place of traditional shrub-style landscaping. Ros Creasy has actually been practicing edible landscaping for three decades! Everyday Joes and Janes are beginning to adopt more sustainable lifestyles through edible landscaping.  Not only does the practice save you a nice chunk of cash, it is also a healthier alternative to the food you eat.  It makes the environment happy as well by decreasing the amount of space required for commercial agriculture.

Whether through personal or communal gardening, keeping edible landscapes is an easily approachable and sustainable lifestyle. Anyone can do it.  As Pam Warhurst said, “if you eat food, you’re in!”

Your body, your community, your planet, and the future will thank you!

 

 

Eat Your Yard: Grow an Edible Landscape at Home

edible landscape

Edible landscapes heidiinthegarden.blogspot.com

This TED talk describes how local communities and the world at large can begin to use land to create edible landscapes instead of lawns. Pam Warhurst explains how she and a small group of garden revolutionaries began planting edible landscapes consisting of edible herbs, fruits and vegetables around their village in England without permission.  The result? Countless miles of previously unused land has been converted into healthy chow.

Pam is urging the world to stop growing ‘pretty’ flowers simply for their aesthetic value and start growing edible plants in their place. Oh, those vines wrapped around city hall’s bicycle rack?  Strawberries. Help yourself.

The idea of growing edible landscapes has also spread to homeowners around the world who are choosing to transform their front and back yards into gardens in place of traditional shrub-style landscaping. Ros Creasy has actually been creating edible landscapes for three decades! Everyday Joes and Janes are beginning to adopt more sustainable lifestyles through utilizing edible landscapes. Not only does the practice save you a nice chunk of cash, it is also way to make the food you eat healthier.  It makes the environment happy as well by decreasing the amount of space required for commercial agriculture.

A particularly fruitful type of edible landscape is the food forest. The food forest has an almost legendary status among gardening and edible landscape enthusiasts due to the fact that it grows 9 different layers of edible crop on the same piece of ground. That’s not even the best part. A food forest is self contained, meaning you work very little to maintain it and there is no waste created by the forest since everything from the forest is recycled back into the soil. A food forest is literally the garden of Eden at your tongue’s command.

Whether through personal or communal gardening, keeping edible landscapes is an easily approachable and sustainable lifestyle choice. Anyone can do it.  As Pam Warhurst said,

if you eat food, you’re in!

Come on fellow food lovers, you have nothing to lose, and hordes of delicious fruits and veggies to gain!

A highly suggested documentary if you’re interested in learning more about edible landscape history and different current techniques is the “Permaculture Trio” documentary, available in full on Youtube.

Your body, your community, your planet, and the future will thank you for growing food, not lawns.

 

Sources to get you started:

TED talk by Pam Warhurst

Youtube: You can’t eat grass

Youtube: A visit with Ros Creasy

Rosalind Creasy‘s website

Youtube- Permaculture Trio