Holistic solutions to modern societies big questions - Below is our take on permaculture.
Working with Nature...
People are smart but as a species, we are not always wise. Wisdom is an evolving force gained over time by error and success. However wise a man-made system, individual or organization can become nothing or no one can exceed the wisdom of nature, evolved over millions of years. Although we will never fully comprehend the complexity we can, by studying and mimicking nature create systems that are sustainable, effective and beautiful. Systems that are wise! This principle can stretch from simple observations such as that nature rarely leaves the soil bare or that there are no natural monocultures to the complex flow of rivers.
Innovation can be great! But in our time we have learned to idolize it, to worship technological advancement as the single most natural quality of our species, almost as a force of nature. In this quite recent development over the last 150 years, our society has also learned to demonize the ancient as dumb and primitive. This culture of idealization of a certain advancement and derogatory of our past might seem smart but it is certainly not wise. In fact, it seems like this urbanized western worldview is actually surgically removing the accumulated wisdom from every generation of our species. Of course, not all knowledge of the past and indigenous peoples are relevant for us today but by combining the very best from the past and the knowledge of the indigenous, with the ingenuity of today we can create a culture of sustainability and harmony by working together with nature!
Holistic and Ethical
To solve the crisis of our time we need a holistic approach! If you ask an engineer to solve the climate crisis he might answer: build a massive dam for “clean” energy or to capture carbon from the air in some sci-fi factory. It is not that the knowledge of the engineer is worthless but the fact that the solutions he proposed, creates more problems than it solves. To think holistically is to focus on the cause of the problem rather than the symptoms. By standing on an ethical foundation that acknowledges the fundamental rights of nature and people we can see that the problems of the world can be changed by the way we think.
Permaculture for us
Above you find the basics of permaculture for us. A foundation in the natural world, a caring sense for people and planet and a critique of the primary way we in western society today approach our greatest challenges. This understanding manifests itself in several ways, through criticism of the prevailing economic thinking, to the religious belief in technological innovation and many more. Crucial for us here at SLU campus though is the critique of the prevailing way in which city planners think and industrial agriculture operates. A critique which we deliver through showcasing the potential of a garden that is inspired by natures principles and by the forests. For many, that is what permaculture is, a design tool for gardens or food production but for us its more, its the desire to redesign our destructive systems to fit well within the planetary boundaries and build a permanent human culture.
Permakultur! Framtiden i din trädgård
Great and simple handbook for how to design in a holistic manor! This book is only in swedish but it is a great start for everyone interested in learning more about permaculture and the practical sides of gardening by imitating nature!
This book is also in swedish and is written by the creators of Stjärnsund food forest. If you want to dive deep into the fascinating world of forest gardening, especialy in our nordic climate then this is THE book!
Permaculture in a Nutshell
This book gives a great insight in the priciples of permaculture and will most likely change the way you view the world! A perfect book to read if you want to learn more about permaculture, it is available in both english and swedish.