Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Let's Plant Some $h!#
Conscious living to regenerate Creation. How’s that for a mission statement? Or is that a vision statement? I never got all that figured out, but living consciously to regenerate, to make even better than before, not just do less harm and not just for me personally or for humans but for All Creation, is my vision statement. There my friends is a big, fat hairy goal. Or mission or whatever.
Day 10 of my 10 day Permaculture Design Course is winding down. I’m in the Common House letting a double helping of delicious leftovers settle. Lisa from Ohio is playing the piano - beautifully. Greg from Colorado is on his phone on the other corner of the couch. What is permaculture you ask? I’m still asking that too, and I just finished a 10 day course on it.
The founder was Australian, Bill Mollison. His student and co-founder was David Holmgren. It’s been around for over 30 years but still not widely known and less widely practiced at least here in the USA. Malawi in Africa has been on the permaculture bandwagon for awhile according to one of our teachers, Sharon, who lived in Malawi for awhile. Sharon also employed permaculture principles on her farm in Ecuador. Sharon’s warren here at Dancing Rabbit is yet another example of permaculture design and expression. I know I still haven’t answered the question though.
Bill Mollison made up the term “permaculture” as a combination of the words permanent and agriculture. Permanent agriculture is permaculture. Permaculture advocates for perennials over annuals, but some annuals are desirable at certain times. You see the answer to any permaculture question is, “It depends.” Sort of sounds like WishyWashy Culture or Philosophy if you ask me. The other answer to any permaculture question is “organic matter.” Organic matter is what primes the soil so perennials can make food. If pressed on exactly what type of organic matter, my friend Greg on the other end of the couch would definitively say, “Wood chips. You need to put down wood chips.”
Permaculture as practiced at Dancing Rabbit includes humanure as organic matter. Humanure is a combination of the words human and manure - Humanure. Enough about that for now. Over the next several months, I’ll expand on the 12 Principles of Permaculture and probably give you some examples of how they are employed here at Dancing Rabbit. I’m still learning about it though and don’t want to overwhelm myself too much. The class was from 8am to 9pm for 10 days straight. Have you ever seen a fire hydrant opened up on a street for kids to play in? I’ve just seen pictures myself but I’m imagining trying to drink out of that gushing fire hydrant is like trying to take in all the material presented in this class plus all the supplementary material that was referred to. Instead of sticking my head right in there close, I’m standing back a little where the water is refreshing and fun instead of punishing.
And I want to share this too. We watched a short TED Talk given by a man named Ron Finley who does urban gardening in South Central Los Angeles. Ron so inspired me with a certain phrase that I took one of my white undershirts and wrote his quote on it in permanent marker. Ron’s quote is a good summary of permaculture for me.
Ron said, “Let’s plant some shit.”