Tag Archives: Stewardship

International Permaculture Day 2013

Today is celebrated throughout the Permaculture community as “International Permaculture Day”. To be honest I have no idea who made the decision to celebrate May 6 as International Permaculture Day, when that decision was made, or what the motivation was behind it; but I figured this would be a great day for a discussion about permaculture, as well as an important announcement.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept permaculture is the idea of permanent culture, based on permanent agriculture. Rather than treating mankind as either the dominant force on the planet with full rights to exploit resources as he pleases, or as a force for evil that is always destroying things, permaculture harmonizes the relationship between man and creation and works to form systems that are beneficial to all parties involved.

When humans use their intellectual prowess to design systems that mimic natural cycles, but provide for mankind’s needs, as well as the needs of the soil, water, animal life, etc; we can become a force for improving and stewarding the earth’s resources. This is done at the miniature level, through the actions of individuals, as well as at the larger level through community.

Permaculture, presents an answer to many of the problems we face today, by creating sustainable systems that can preserve individuals and communities through even the toughest times. The key is in working with nature an not against it.

Personally I see tremendous value in the use of this system and methodology, not just in solving the environmental and agricultural problems we face today, but also in solving some of the deep cultural wounds that our modern culture suffers from. Returning to our proper role as stewards in the created order has a natural effect of bringing us closer in relationship to the creator. Permaculture systems should play a vital role in the future of Christian mission as, much like the Gospel itself, they strive to solve the whole of the problem and not just part of it.

For an amazing look at how a mature permaculture system works check out this article and video of Geoff Lawton’s Zaytuna Farm.

In closing I need to make an important announcement. In continuing to pursue the path God has for my family, I have enrolled in a 72 hour, 9 week Permaculture Design Certificate Course with Geoff Lawton. Balancing that with time with my family, and care for my Mini Farm, is going to take quite a bit of work. As such my posts will probably become less frequent until the course is over at the end of August. I doubt I will be able to stop writing altogether, since it is important to keeping me sane, but I will have to slow down. Thank you so much for your support and for keeping up with my blog!

The Bard’s Book Reviews: Folks This Ain’t Normal

I fell a bit behind on my book reviews over the last several weeks, and since I read quite a bit there will be a few over the next week or so. 

Folks, This Ain’t Normal is the latest book from lunatic farmer, Joel Salatin. For those who aren’t familiar with Mr. Salatin, he became well known after being referenced in Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and appearing in the movie Food Inc. Mr. Salatin’s farm, Polyface, has been an active player in the local sustainable movement longer than most of what we would consider the local sustainable agriculture movement has existed and is a leading source of innovation in sustainable agricultural technique.

I have read a number of Joel Salatin’s books in the past and have always found them to be excellent, fast moving reads. In addition they are consistently packed with useful information about realistic solutions to the complex problem’s we are facing as a nation today, particularly in our food industry.

I would argue that Folks, This Ain’t Normal, is the most lay friendly book Mr. Salatin has written thus far. Anyone interested in agriculture should read his other books, particularly You Can Farm; but Folks, This Ain’t Normal is packed full of information for any reader looking for solutions to the issues we are facing with our industrialized, chemical food supply.

The book takes on a variety of issues and lays out how our move away from personal stewardship and responsibility over our food supply is directly responsible for many of the social and political issues today. Mr. Salatin doesn’t stop there, however, he provides common sense, non-government solutions to each problem he presents. Specifically, he presents many small scale solutions that can be implemented by the reader personally.

In addition to laying out practical solutions to difficult problems, Mr. Salatin also references dozens of other excellent books for further reading and like all good non-fiction works should the index in the book is lengthy and well put together.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone concerned, are not informed enough to be concerned about the dangers of the industrial food system, GMO’s, energy independence, sustainable agriculture, or the return of common sense.