Ronnie Hanson is a permaculture expert who attended morning tea at Byron’s place, much to the delight of Byron’s mother. Ronnie is also based on a real character named Michael Pilarski, a long time permaculture expert with a following like Ronnie’s. Michael met David on Kauai. His website is
As the site says, “FRIENDS OF THE TREES SOCIETY (FTS) is a small, grassroots non-profit which has been operating continually since 1978— thirty-five years of service to the trees and to tree-lovers worldwide. Our work has touched over 100,000 people so far.”
That is amazing, and, we have a feeling that FTS will touch many more people as the world wakes up to the importance of permaculture and also, the wisdom of Nature.
So what is Permaculture?
The Permaculture Resource Institute website http://permaculturenews.org/about-permaculture-and-the-pri/
Defines “Permaculture” as
Permaculture (the word, coined by Bill Mollison, is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture and permanent culture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people — providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order.
The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.
Ronnie Hanson told Jay to look up his friend named Geoff:
“He’s an Aussie too, and he’s been teaching permaculture science all over the world for years.”
Geoff is actually Geoff Lawton, an amazing man who has taught permaculture science to over 6,000 students in over 30 countries worldwide, so they
“can provide for their needs in a way that is beneficial to the environment and so that they can survive in a really abundant and meaningful way.”
Geoff has a wealth of resources available, let’s all spread the word.
Another system that works with Nature is biodynamic agriculture.
What Is Biodynamics?
Biodynamics was first developed in the early 1920s based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of the Austrian writer, educator and social activist Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), whose philosophy is called “anthroposophy.” Today, the biodynamic movement encompasses thousands of successful gardens, farms, vineyards and agricultural operations of all kinds and sizes on all continents, in a wide variety of ecological and economic settings.
Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health.
Most biodynamic initiatives seek to embody triple bottom line approaches (ecological, social and economic sustainability), taking inspiration from Steiner’s insights into social and economic life as well as agriculture.
Community supported agriculture (CSA), for example, was pioneered by biodynamic farmers, and many biodynamic practitioners work in creative partnerships with other farms and with schools, medical and wellness facilities, restaurants, hotels, homes for social therapy and other organizations.
Biodynamics is thus not just a holistic agricultural system but also a potent movement for new thinking and practices in all aspects of life connected to food and agriculture.
We at ‘It’s Our Earth Too’ are delighted to see a massive resurgence of systems works with Nature rather than against Nature.
It has taken a long time to understand that chemical farming, with its mass use of chemicals and concentrating on a few crops at the expense of diversity, only makes monetary sense (for the farmers) on a season-by-season basis.
Remember the shocking Indian experience with chemical farming (over 100,000 farmer suicides) and the great resurgence to natural methods, as shown in the Movie, ‘One Man One Cow One Planet’ discussed in ‘The Awakening.’ http://itsourearthtoo.com.au/pages/one-man-one-cow-one-planet
Viewed over a longer term, chemical farming makes far less sense, because it depletes the life of the soil, requiring more and more chemicals to continue.
Viewed by non-monetary criteria, this is absolute madness, and further, chemical farming cuts farming jobs and cuts people off from their food supply.
Also note that there are big lists of organisations revistalising these natural methods- why not find your closest one and join up; and if there isn’t one yet, maybe you can start one?