Where is permaculture needed the most? (in the US)

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by NJNative, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. NJNative

    NJNative Junior Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone knew any good judgements, or direct first hand knowledge, of where exactly permaculture is needed the most in the United States?

    The reason I ask is because me and my wife have decided to embark on a life of permaculture and regenerative agriculture, and are in fact open to moving out of our current area, which is New Jersey. The area is of course a very urbanized and population dense area, which gives us reason to consider staying around here, but there may be other areas in the country that are more ecologically damaged and in need of regenerative design, so we're weighing our options. Perhaps somewhere in Louisiana where there is lots of soil and water contamination? Perhaps the midwest where desertification is a high threat? Perhaps coal country where mountains are being destroyed?

    Anyone have any thoughts or tips?
     
  2. permup

    permup Junior Member

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    The world is your oyster! There are so many areas of this earth that are in need of Permaculture and land care. It doesn't really matter where you put your energy - as long as you do. Good luck with it - we thank you.
     
  3. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    A few things(this is also my current quandary, though I have 9 years to think it over):

    1) Urban centers grow about 0% of their own food(with a few exceptions). This would be the place to start if you're looking to save humanity through permaculture. Several things jump at me as being big problems: Most notably being a north facing apartment, which gets no sun whatsoever. Some of the other odds and ends would be taking full advantage of microclimates(there's a lot of concrete which can be used for thermal mass and there are also places where water just really likes to run to where it probably shouldn't). If I were looking for a challenge and were so inclined to live in a city, this is where I would be personally.

    2) Suburbia can grow a fair amount of its own food if they removed, or vastly decreased, their love of grass and got rid of silly HOA rules. While a lot less of a challenge than city living, it still has its fair share. I'm lucky enough to not have problems with the neighbors(who get bribes of fresh produce) and I don't suffer under the tyranny of a HOA. I think large steps can be made in suburbia with permaculture simply because it has way more land per household and a larger availability of sun. Also, you can have several of the key features of permaculture in a small(1/4 acre) parcel of land, even including wildlife sanctuary. I'd assume that if consecutive neighbors pooled their land, you could even have some interesting wildlife corridors(hardwood trees with an understory for fences instead of cut wood or metal).

    3) 5+ acres of land is the perfect environment to practice permaculture in all its glory. This is where I have my personal issue. Most people can't move to a large acreage and keep their job(I know, some people can quit the rat race, while others are stuck with it...most of this useless infrastructure to supply cities is where quite a few of the jobs are). But this is the way that everyone should be living, in my opinion(not that everyone could if they were forced to, I'm not sure there's that much viable land). If everyone had a full range of permaculture zones on their land, we would be in a better place socially and economically.

    If you took 1/4 or 1/2 acre around the house and converted it to an intense garden(maybe even with a fence), then maybe you can have a demonstration site for a suburban setting, while also having the rest of the land to do as you please. I'd assume though, that having an old growth, or coppiced forest would only help establish wildlife which would in turn help your zone 1 above and beyond what someone with only a zone 1 garden can attain.

    Personally, I'm leaning towards #3 while working on #2(have to practice somewhere!). I couldn't live in a city, it's way too gray for me. However, I haven't closed off my options yet, because there may be other reasons creeping in sooner or later since I have 9 more years to go before I retire. My daughter is talking about children in the next 5 years, so that adds another dimension to it. She's allergic to most insect bites, but leaving something for the grandchildren might be a nice thing and give them a good start in life 25 years from now or so. I've already told my daughter that I want to be fertilizer for an oak tree when I die, and you need land for that.
     
  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm thinking that perhaps the greatest need here in the states is to just "get the word out". Although somewhat better in the past ten years, I still run into far too many folks who've never heard the word Permaculture before. It's time that Permaculture become a household word across the country and around the world.

    The more good people designing and implementing Permaculture techniques and ideals in populated areas, the more aware the general populace will become about the benefits Permaculture and feeding oneself locally. Check out Will Allen in Milwaukee and Paul Glover in Philadelphia for examples of the huge impact that successful food production in urban areas can have. If you contact either Will or Paul, they have programs to assist you in beginning your efforts.

    Will Allen: https://www.growingpower.org/
    Paul Glover: https://www.paulglover.org/
     
  5. Farside

    Farside Junior Member

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    Totally agree with all the above.

    The MidWest, where the aquafers are polluted with round-up, GMO is everywhere, the Mississippi floods toxic water every other spring and the megafarm factories rule would be the belly of the beast so to speak.

    Now Arizona could be really interesting. Land is cheap thanks to the housing bubble burst, the climate is great...

    Detroit would be also be interesting. You can buy a complete city block for peanuts. How about taking a bulldozer to a city block and replace it with an urban permaculture farm? You might need to negotiate a land tax break from the city but at this point, they'd be open to anything that has a positive impact on the community.

    Actually there are many cities that are on the brink. That model would work well in any of them and certainly raise a lot of awareness, and directly help the community.

    It all boils down to what you want to achieve here.
     
  6. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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  7. Robert Knops

    Robert Knops Junior Member

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    I haven't read everything and a quick answer i also don't have, but i think you should think first what you want to grow (where is that the best possible), whits resources you need (where can you find them), who are the persons who want your producs (are they living there) and do you want to live there (fits it into your livestyle). You could travel around Amerika to look for yourselve. I would not go for a area that has to many big problems and also look for a area whit aspecially clean wother and ground (a big problem in Amarika / mountants).

    Good luck
     

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