Permaculture bashing

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Tim Auld, May 31, 2009.

  1. nate_taylor

    nate_taylor Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    I like this thread, a lot.

    There is no permanent culture and there never could be. Life is no more permanent than a dream. I think the best we can do is to keep a positive intention in this dream and keep going.

    I'm a student of Tibetan Buddhism, and at one of our Dharma centers in the US we have hosted a couple of PDC's. We are implementing "Permaculture" on our different lands, which we are blessed to have a lot of. But in general the other Buddhists are pretty skeptical. I see a doubt within myself, and project this onto others, that there's a constant rift between the Buddhist point of view and Permaculture, namely attachment to results. We can be proud of how efficient our activities are and how much suffering we are preventing, but none of it will last. None of our gardening will lead to permanent happiness, only more of the same.

    I really empathize with Bill Mollison's sentiments about humanity. There's faith there but it's balanced by awareness of our relentless stupidity. Not that we shouldn't try, just not taking things so seriously. :butthead:
     
  2. buff orpington

    buff orpington Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    hey nate, did you spend time at geoff lawtons property at the end of '99 start of '00 with a couple named andy and marnie?
     
  3. bernado soares

    bernado soares Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    I have been unfortunate enough to observe many well established city farms and community gardens that are populated and run by all manner of woo woos hell bent on saving the planet one Latte at a time, its really unimpressive that flagships of permaculture are so badly run that rather than being positive example of a deep design science they are instead sad examples of the permavulture and the inner city woo woo hell bent on filling their pockets with grants and their egos with kudos from the assorted sychophants that hang like remora fish off them.How the old gaurd who toiled to get these places off the ground must feel as the new gaurd seeks to squander the work of the fathers.These types should be composted.Keep the meta physics the religion the personal the sexual the politics the liberationisim and all the other junk out of it because it only detracts from something that is well beyond these road blocks.
    Best wishes BS
     
  4. buff orpington

    buff orpington Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    i agree with you bs, this constant yearning outweighs the woo woos earning, nothing is more frustrating than seeing a well statured entity sitting on his ring with the attitude "i love work, i can watch people do it all day, these guys are usually obsessed with stefan funded dreadlocks of a female that is studying natropothy but manages to successfully vacum down a pack and a half of winnie blues a day, get em on a real farm and there as productive as a vegan in an abotoir we call these guys lanterns, not to bright and you have to carry them around.
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    yeh bs,

    we have one of those near our city, went there for another reason one day and reckoned if someone dragged me there initially to convert me they would have lost me, seemed to be run by blow in's all of seemed to sitting drinkin coffee whatever around procrastinating and talking high chat, not a realy productive area though near the centre of town somewhat expensive real estate at the time just little garden rooms here and there with no feeling of intent to actually feed people.

    they couldn't even make their composting toilet work properly at the time and they should have been the bench mark for encouraging others to do same, sad realy. we achieved perfect with ours.

    like my first impression too many chiefs or possible chiefs and no indians. all about being seen to be diffrent if you get what i mean? shades of nimbin.

    len
     
  6. trimnut2

    trimnut2 Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    During a recent workshop on food production and localising food sources I was struck by this repeated statement.
    " That is an important Permaculture Principle."

    Often I couldn't help noting that the horticulture was poor at the same time.
    My question is simple:
    "Should we tolerate poor horticultural practice in the name of Permaculture?"

    This goes to the heart of my permaculture bashing (Sorry Tim). I cannot except that horticulture done poorly has a new virtue when it is called Permaculture. It remains poor horticulture and for me devalues Permaculture.

    Perhaps I should elucidate what I mean by good horticulture:
    Soils in good physical condition with the processes in place to maintain their condition.
    Implicit with that is good nutritional status/management.
    Good moisture regimes, plants growing without evident checks in growth.
    Good plant environmental controls: Weed management, disease source: removal and proper disposal, crop "exposure" management and a good intelligent use of mulching.
    Well managed rotations with proper timing and planning. Green manures and good quality composts and a displayed ability to implement and use these horticultural techniques.
    An evident capacity to 'manage" a vegetable plot and or tree plantings.

    All "doing it well" points. Too sadly lacking when I hear "a good Permaculture principle."
     
  7. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    Oh here here here and bravo!!!!!!

    My question is simple:
    "Should we tolerate poor horticultural practice in the name of Permaculture?"
    Nope! Intollerable to see some of the poor excuses.They need to get off thier asses!!!!!To many bloody workshops.They will workshop a workshop then have a meeting about it to plan the next workshop.But only if they are getting some gov funding.We are in an economic crisis so I guess that these guys are having to wait longer in the line for their check.Then you get to the market the produce is poor and expensive.I have asked one place for a small donation of worms and plants for a good cause.No........these guys suck good money and turn it bad.Give anyone else who is trying hard a bad name regular folk just see weeds and acres of land with a feww tired old veg very little productivity.Market gardening is hard work these guys dont get that it's more about looking cool at the coffee shop in a pair of thai fishing pants and the right head scarf.I agree with buff and Bs and glen what a shame I cant even take friends because it embarressing....makes me real angry I tell ya.These should be flagships and light houses for a beautiful science,instead they waste time on meta physics and hoo hoo.Yes they are woo woos!I also dislike the sleazy guys who grease up any unsuspecting girl,I heard one guy mis identify a number of plants while trying to be don juan on a tour............. I cant cope with these air head girls either no go ,no idea just walking around like some demented flower child in the 60s:finga: :finga: :finga: pull ya fingers out.Ps no offence to the old guys who set em up and did it hard....your new guys and girls are just jokes yep im talking about city farms in general......................still furious glad others are too sorry to rant......bloods boiling :butthead: :butthead: :butthead: :axe: :axe: :axe: :axe: :axe: I do want to say that the girls at northey street are a breed apart though the knowledge in that nursery is amazing special the older lady no offence to you guys.Ceres was great once ........................................................long ago
     
  8. bernado soares

    bernado soares Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    After a small sojourn in the digital wasteland,I am again free to comment on the forums.This topic is just wonderful.I like to see the rage.Holgrem says Paralasis by Analasis.Must be alot of Paralasis in Australian permaculture.The guys in the developing world just get on with it.The best demonstrators and teachers in Australia are very obvious they are action/result orientated.The bandwagoners are equally obvious,they are always gunna do it,or they will splash out the same sad herb spiral workshop for years to the hard core wanna bees.These are parasites in a symbiotic relationship with permaculture.Come the revolution they will be the first to be composted.
    Long LIVE
    B.C.Mollison.
     
  9. gemjill

    gemjill Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    G'day
    Maybe they make permaculturalists different in the Eastern states as the ones here in SA put in the hard yards without a latte in sight.
    It's interesting how much permaculture bashing is done by permaculturalists, in every group of people whether they are students, business people whatever you are always going to get a percentage of tossers who like the sound of their own voice. But it is a real shame if these are the people who are presenting permaculture to the rest of the citizens.
    How many on this forum participate in or run a community garden, or are involved in disseminating permaculture principals? I'd be very interested to know
    cheers
     
  10. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    no involvement in community gardens or diseminating information of any sort.
    Just growing and eating stuff and living around it
     
  11. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    mmm yes sa does seem to attract its fair share of "permaculturists", dunno that, that means much but? many that used to be there not heard of anymore some new ones have come along i expect but then on some forums that is no obvious, some got a little nasty towards each other in the end.

    for me to try to "disceminate" permy principals from the free common sense level without the need to spend course dollars (but that part of pc is another story hey?). but i do get to talk to interested passers by on various forums not so much these days as pc seems to have wallowed in the doldrums some.

    not involved in community gardens none here any way and no i don't have the time available to try and get a movement going for council support providing land and then convincing them it would need a secure fence, lighting and possibly cameras as it would soon be vandalised did try to get some local people of living simple and sustainable lifestyles interested in even approaching the schools around here (who as far as i can see have no gardening programs), but nup their lauding of sustainable practises doesn't extend as far as spreading the word locally.

    even if i where involved at local community level don't reckon i would be saying that much about the involvement rather concentrate on moving forward with the process.

    len
     
  12. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    please explain for me what it means to "disseminate permaculture principles"
    I have established two community gardens and neither exist today because community will comes and goes.
    My feels are that we need to get in and do stuff about growing food for ourselves and others and to build models that show others it is not only "doable" but is a great way to live. Perhaps we need to make as part of the assessment for the PDC that you eat something from your garden each day for a whole week. But permaculture is so much more that gardening, community building perhaps needs our focus.
    intent-observation-intuition
     
  13. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    purplepear

    disseminating is like teaching others or passing thoughts ideas on to others like sowing seeds, much will fall on barron ground in todays society, so you would be sort of teaching.

    we all do that to varying degrees in these related forums. each time you help in reply to a post.

    len
     
  14. trimnut2

    trimnut2 Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    I consult to a community farm and have contact with a community garden. For what that is worth.

    Do I agree with the notion that disseminating permaculture principles is where it should be at? I do not agree, sorry gemjill. If there is good animal and plant husbandry and good environmental stewardship along with food productivity then I am happy to champion that cause. For me performing food production systems that are sustaining is far more important than a "permaculture principled" place that is not performing.

    Do I see good husbandry and stewardship on sites managed with "permaculture principles". No, I do not.
    That is the reality. So no, I do not disseminate permaculture principles when it is more important to disseminate good husbandry and stewardship. Filling peoples heads with theory when they cannot manage a square meter of soil is self defeating and irresponsible to everyone. A shame in every sense.

    And yes; I eat from my garden year round, dry/store/preserve a large amount of food, and give away food on a regular basis. Is permaculture important to me. Yes, but only after the act of "doing it' well.
     
  15. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    IMHO any idea or movement needs both 'talkers' and 'doers.'

    Perhaps it is not a strict delineation. You may have doer/talker or talker/doer as well as talkers and doers??!! !?
     
  16. gemjill

    gemjill Junior Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    G'day
    All I did trimnut2 was ask who does it, my question was in the light of the scathing criticism in earlier posts.
    I was just interested to know if those that critised the community garden participants/organisers were actually doing anything like that themselves, and if not, then it might be a tad hypocritical to rip into those that do.

    I don't think spreading the word is where is should be at all, and I certainly don't preach to anyone, you seem to have misunderstood my post.
    I eat from my garden every day too and spend very little time talking about it.
    cheers
     
  17. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    Hi all contributors and readers.

    For mine, this type of thread should be permanent. Ongoing discussion about what works, what has worked, what doesnt work is hugely productive. It is healthy and whilst the debate may overcome the sensibilites and sensitivies of a few I endorse the debate. Permaculture is all about a few fundamentals, which you can ignore or embrace.

    From what I see of the naysayers, they require evidence of fulfilment of objectives. Some permies endeavour to attain these lofty standards that often set by detractors or the innocent ideals of 'converts'. When I embraced Permaculture in 1990 I was heartily pleased that no-one was looking over my shoulder and assessing my progress. I knew where I wanted to get to and on many levels I have been pleased and satisfied and on others I have probably let the 'side down'. This doesnt preclude me for the permaculture family and this is important to remember.

    Permaculture is pragmatic and their are oodles of urban permies now that save water, save power, recycle everything, raise a few vegies, raise a few worms, own small cars, own solar systems and I bet they raise a few nice kids too. Do they fit the 'ideal' of 10 semi-tropical acres and a subsistence lifestyle - maybe not but permaculture is waaaaaay bigger than that. Permaculture is all about, and I repeat myself, about embracing a teaching, taking from it what works for you and enjoying yourself.

    Owning an 18' speedboat with a fuel-injected small block Chevy able to tow two skiers at 100kph up an inland river is not ANYTHING I have seen endorsed on this board or any permie site. It is obviously probably not a Permaculture activity. My point is that if someone is doing the right thing, why nitpick over the degree - ESPECIALLY when their heart is in the right place and they are trying hard.

    A good example is tobacco. Tobacco kills, it is a no-no and makes no sense. Now a Permaculturist who smokes is a fool, but society already tells us this. A Permaculturist who buys commercial cigarettes and contributes massive $$$ to the tax system is silly, a permaculturist who grows his own tobacco and dodges those taxes? Make your own judgement but when you do what framework are you using?

    This is the sort of decision we face as permaculturists. Is a truckie permaculturist who carts only organic produce to market doing the wrong thing by participating in big oil or is he in fact an enabler?

    So when detractors arrive, and they will, ask of them what are they doing about their lifestyle and choices. Once they have made that clear, they may then 'attack' on the basis that they have tried and succeeded and have something to offer.

    There are 000s of posts on this board that ask the simple question, where are you? We ask that of anyone who wants assistance in their journey. Why respond to clowns that post nothing but reserve the right to attack a concept based mostly on what they dont know. Ask them to post their location and we can help, if we continue to let them shape the argument from the dishonesty of not even identifying their location they have already won their argument.

    Sad really but it is how most detractors work, they know more about you than you know about them but they DEMAND responses.

    Ask yourself this. Ever met a Permaculturist who has converted to anything? I havent yet. This isnt a dogma or a religion or even a set of rules. It is a set of concepts that you can apply to your life to help you and help your environment. You dont have to convert, be baptised, pay membership, adhere or even comply, DAMN you can even be a secret or a closet permie.

    Dont let the naysayers make you justify any damn thing. Permaculture is about common sense principles, take from it what you want!!

    cheers,

    ho-hum
     
  18. Ms_Petrea

    Ms_Petrea New Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    This is a great thread! It is very important to discuss detractions to permaculture.

    We humans are subject to many biases, that's a fact supported by observational science. We are, for the greatest part, not even aware of these problems with thinking. One of the most comforting to us all is the "confirmation bias". We generally like to hear what supports our views; we often harangue those we perceive as having incorrect views. Talking about differences allows us to find real common grounds for mutual understanding ... as this thread is supporting! Thanks to each and every contributor!

    With the greatest respect, I would like to address something in a prior post.

    It was stated that "if someone is doing the right thing, why nitpick over the degree" and as an example of doing the "right thing", the use of tobacco is presented as an unqualified "no-no"; that "a Permaculturist who smokes is a fool". This is a strong statement revealing that "the right thing" is a set of absolutes that must be adhered to and, further, that one is a fool if one smokes tobacco. While it is true that smoking tobacco is a risky behavior, the "common sense" of some would call it foolish (or worse), but that certainly doesn't make such a person an outright fool. Not said is, of course, that so-identified fools may then be disparaged since they violate one of the absolute but unwritten dictums of permaculture.

    Following this logic, I am a fool. Every single one of us who is connected in any way to any of the myriad of unsustainable behaviors of society is a fool. If the electricity that ones computer runs on comes from a coal-fired power plant, then they are a fool for using power that threatens the health of everyone. If one drives a gasoline fueled automobile, they are a fool for enabling the unbridled extraction of a limited resource. If some of ones food comes from thousands of miles away, they are likely a fool for supporting unfair trade or industrial agriculture. These, and so many other, activities are contradictions to the overarching definition of permaculture - a set of behaviors that support permanent culture or truly sustainable living.

    I would rather all individuals were welcomed to the study, implementation and promotion of the principles of permaculture, to any degree. I'd like such welcome to be extended without imposing any of our own prejudices, preconditions or biases. There are far bigger things to concern ourselves with. Most readers here, I think, believe in the value to humanity of permaculture becoming commonly accepted. It would seem a trivial personal price to pay to accept or overlook another's idiosyncratic behavior to further that goal.

    I do believe the philosophy was summarized appropriately with this line: "Permaculture is all about ... embracing a teaching, taking from it what works for you and enjoying yourself." If we agree to this, then there are no absolutes. Can we agree that permaculture needs to be wholly inclusive, welcoming and without even a snicker of elitism? I sincerely hope so and, unless proven wrong, will continue to believe so.
     
  19. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Permaculture bashing

    There is an old saying...

    "Those who say it can not be done, should not interupt those who are doing it..."

    Eveyone is unique... to a point. We can all enjoy an Autonomy over most things in life.

    Even our individual uniqueness however, belongs to a group of similar thinkers (my reason for saying "to a point"). Permaculturalists from all over the world come together here to share, ask and show their individual uniqueness to a common minded group.

    On the other hand, Monoculturalists and Naysayers probably (i'd like to say definitely) belong to a different group.

    The philosophical difference between the groups seems to be, Permaculturalists put forth an idea and make it available to anyone who want to follow. Theres no bickering, negativity* or pushing. Permaculture is a sustainable OPTION.

    Monoculturalists and/or naysayers, perhaps, somehow feel treatened. Maybe they feel their livelihood is some how at risk. I don't really know. So anything i say can only be an assumption.

    Its good to have options!

    * Any negativity i have seen (or been involved with :) ) centres around the use of chemicals which is an Organic debate, not a permaculture debate.
     

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