Growing a better future...
1) July 7, 2010
The 2011 Gardens
I am asking myself how we can make the gardens we have developed into a sustainable and reliable source of food for our communities - rather than just a hobby for a few people interested in gardening. You are receiving this e-mail either because you are actively involved in one or more of the gardens - or because you have shown support for this work in the past - and I am in need of input on how to set things up for next year. If you do not want to be on this list let me know and I will take you off. If you know of others who should be on this list please let me know and I will add them.
I took a tour of all eight gardens in which I have been involved this year and I posted some comments about where we are at each of those gardens - but, before you read that, I ask you to read a short explanation of why we use a deep mulch gardening system.
Once you have read that please see my comments.
I am asking for help in thinking through how we can take these community gardens - with each gardener tending their own plot the best way they can - to the beginnings of a new way of producing the food we eat - and a new way to make a living in this economy.
Any comments are always welcome and I will have more to say once you have had a chance to read and contemplate the material.
2) July 9, 2010
Change Through Demonstration
My good friend John Powers, from Pennsylvania, wrote to remind me that gardeners who till their soil are not the enemy and I rewrote Second Year Mulching to take out any implication of that.
Those gardeners are producing the food people need to eat using the technology that they know and understand. It is true that I would like to change the way food is grown . . . but I can't change anything but my own choices . . . and every one gets to make their own choices . . .
My good friend Susan Bloomquist, from the Grange Garden, wrote to say that we are publicly demonstrating this method and people will begin to see its benefits.
Yes, the more demonstrations the better. I love your work and your ideas Susan. I think that, in addition to demonstrating that our system is productive, we need to do a better job of demonstrating that it can be beautiful. What I am hoping to accomplish with this e-mail exchange is better communication among those who share our desire to change the food system so that we can be more effective at that.
My good friend Pawel Klewin, from Warsaw, will remind me that I cannot share with you my personal understanding of how we might create the kind of food system that heals nature and produces abundance. If we are to take steps "in concert" toward such a goal we will need to develop a "collective understanding" of what we are doing.
My goal is a collective understanding of steps we can take, individually and collectively, to manifest a food system that is local, sustainable and ecologically whole.
I will try to keep these e-mails short so that I am not imposing on you. Each of you is free to share your thoughts with the whole group - or send your thoughts to me and I will share them with the group. As always, let me know if you want me to delete you from the list - or if there is someone else who should be on it.
3) July 10, 2010
My good friend Barbara Moore, of the Harvest Mountain gardens, wrote me about my good friend Adam Brock tilling and weeding before building a food forest at Ekar Farms. Adam and I might disagree about the necessity for that but this is not about the fact that soil should not be disturbed – it is about the fact that the soil should support a full spectrum of species – that produce, and hold on to, a full spectrum of organic compounds – that will support the plants that support us. The permaculture literature is replete with methods for moving dirt to control the flow of water – so that we get as much work out of the water as we can as it flows across our property. If there is a reason to move dirt do it – just give it back its life, and turn it back into soil, as soon as possible.
A local, sustainable, and ecologically whole food system will recognize that a healthy soil contains billions of beneficial bacteria, millions of miles of mycelia, hundreds of thousands of worms, and thousands of other kinds of tiny creatures all dedicating their lives to support the rest of life in that place.
4) July 11, 2010
My good friend Nushin Farjadi and my good friend Doug Nelson both wrote me about their involvement in the Grange Garden. Nushin has a list of ideas to make the garden more visually appealing (and a lot of other good ideas as well). Doug is concerned that we have a plan for development to get the most use out of the land at the Grange. These are related questions because they have to do with the authority to make decisions and take action.
This is my area of expertise being a lawyer – and if you told me how you wanted to do it I could draw up a contract – but I think it is more complicated than that. And a key issue if we are going to change the way food is produced and distributed.
It is less about power and more about incentive and satisfying need. It is less about an ideal structure and more about making the best use of available resources – including the time and talent of our gardeners. I will have more to say about this issue – but I am interested in your thoughts before I contaminate them.
5) July 12, 2010
Observing Nature's Processes
My good friend Bradley Jarvis, who is on the core group of Transition Westminster/Arvada/Broomfield with me, writes to all of us that it would be good to determine how much area is required to produce the food for one person in our climate. He refers to an EDP which is the acronym for an Energy Descent Plan – a plan for how we will provide for ourselves when we can no longer afford the petroleum that powers our systems now.
This idea he sites, observation, is, I think, at the core of building a world in which we would like to live, and the local, sustainable, and ecologically whole food system that is of immediate concern. Observation is a fundamental shift in mind set. In the collective understanding of our society, we reduce things to their component parts and then “control” the elements of the system to obtain a “singular” result. That sometimes has unintended consequences. Permaculture asks us to first observe how the parts work together naturally before we decide how we will interact with the whole.
Consequent to the prevailing understanding we have a lot of data about controlled situations and little understanding of the complex relationships that determine the well being of the social – ecological – economic system in which we find ourselves.
6) July 13, 2010
Controlling Plants and Pests
My good friend Rosa Ann Bennett, of the Vital Foods garden, wrote to ask me about pruning the suckers off of tomato plants and organic insect repellents. I don't prune my tomatoes and I don't use any kind of insect repellents. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try them and compare.
I understand that if you prune the suckers off of tomato plants you will get bigger tomatoes but also fewer. I understand that the bigger volume, and the least work, is in the more, smaller, tomatoes produced on the plant that is not pruned. It would be a good experiment for our climate and different varieties and I see nothing wrong with wanting to grow the big tomatoes.
As for the garlic and hot pepper sprays (there are lots of formulas) and even the safer soaps, etc., I am not necessarily opposed to using them. These are naturally produced poisons that nature already knows how to deactivate and reincorporate - unlike some manufactured poisons. My reason for not using them is that we want to encourage the population of any pest species until they attracts their predator species - and then we will have a system in balance and less work to do. (And I say this as a tiny insect that I can't identify is eating the leaves of whole squash plants in my home garden – some of it, I think, is the nitrogen shortage.)
7) July 14, 2010
My point with this e-mail exchange is that I would like to make our 2011 gardens more efficient so that we produce more food and attract more participation. If we stay with individual plots assigned to individual gardeners, we will have the same varied results based on the amount of attention each gardener gives to their plot – and the same disincentives to participation.
One of the advantages of the deep mulch system is that it changes the type of attention a garden plot requires. Instead of fertilize – till – plant – weed . . . - harvest, we plant – mulch – harvest. The second approach is more efficient, and more fun, if we do each of those steps as a group. At the Vital Foods garden 3 of us planted 800 square feet of new beds in six hours. Second year planting goes faster because the mulch has decomposed. The mulching can go as quickly – pick a day when the plants are big enough and a group of us go out and accept the gift of the volunteer mulch as we tuck some hay around the plants. Harvest has been the hardest for me – we hauled over a ton of food to the food bank last year from the Broomfield garden – food that could have been used by the people who produced it.
There is a range of interest in our gardens and I want to think through how to incorporate all of that interest. We all know people in each of these categories: Likes fresh veges but no time –> wants to garden but no experience –> has some experience but wants to learn more –> actively engaged in the development of a local, sustainable and ecologically whole food system. How do we engage them all – in a way that increases the quality and quantity of the food we produce in our neighborhoods?
8) July 19, 2010
What roles do you play?
My good friend, Margaret Emerson, who is the initiator of Transition Westminster/Arvada/Broomfield, writes about her experience with Ollin Farms and several people on this list responded. I think of a food system as a series of “roles” and we all have at least one of those roles. In general there is 1) landowner, 2) producer, 3) supplier, and 4) consumer and each of those roles can have component roles. We are all consumers and we all should care about how our food is produced – because the production of food is all about our relationship with our environment.
When people talk about “self sufficiency” they are talking about performing all four roles by themselves. In a CSA, the owner of Ollin farms is performing 1 and 2 but asking the consumer to take some of its roles as producer – sharing the risk. In Neighborhood Supported Agriculture, someone like Kip Nash, or Sundari Kraft, or Debbie Dalrymple, takes on the producer role using someone else's land. The concept for my company is that food production could be a part of regular landscape maintenance, for which people are already paying, making the food essentially free.
My point is that we can divide the roles in a food system a lot of different ways. If we consciously choose to play more of those roles ourselves, as a community, we can develop the capacity to produce our own food and be “community sufficient” in food. More than that, because we all need food, and because food is such a big part of our relationship with the rest of life, the choices we make about the food we eat determine the kind of world in which we live. This e-mail exchange is about choosing to create better choices in order to create a world that works better - for more people, plants and creatures - than the one we have chosen so far.
9) July 20, 2010
Samples of what we can do
My good friend Doug Nelson writes about his hope for “a revolutionary attitude towards BigMacUSA”. In addition to growing enough potatoes to feed Broomfield, Doug has put in a great deal of time researching the best varieties of fruit trees for our late frost prone front range climate.
My good friend Susan Bloomquist has a client with two very successful apple trees and she is going to graft trimmings from those trees on to root stock purchased by the Grange – and those trees will be offered for sale as a fund raiser for the Grange. Imagine knowing that the tree you are buying is precisely adapted to the climate.
My good friend Don Studinski, the coordinator for the Main Street Garden in Broomfield, is an expert on bees. Don and I are going to build some top bar hives so that Don has a place for as many swarms as he can get next year. Don may be able to place a hive at your garden – or be a source of bees for hives you acquire.
I am working at becoming proficient at saving tomato seeds and collecting the open pollinated varieties that grow well here.
These are some of the roles we need to fill to build a food system that is local, sustainable and ecologically whole. We need people with expertise in the best varieties of plants and animals for our climate and for our urban and suburban situations. And, if we work at propagating those varieties, perhaps we can also find a way to support ourselves doing that.
10) July 21, 2010
My good friend Susan Saarinen, who is on the steering committee for the Golden Garden and a landscape architect, writes about her hope . . . “Oh that our congress could be exchanging these thoughts!” I think that people are searching for things we can do to create a better future. There is a thirst for a plan that will take us in the direction of the kind of world in which we want to live. A need for the hope and belief that humanity can figure this out.
Somewhere in that sentiment is the key to the increase in participation in our gardens that we are seeking. Perhaps it is through sharing this thought – that we can choose a food system that is local, sustainable, and ecologically whole – that it does not take a vote in Congress – all it takes is we, as a group, deciding to do it. And by making that choice we change all of our relationships – our relationships with each other – and our relationships with the plants and animals that live here with us.
11) July 22, 2010
Welcome all creatures
We have a deer that is using our lot to raise her fawn this year. I generally like the idea of developing habitat for more and more creatures. I would like to have more roses and raspberries but I don't mind sharing for a good cause. However, the other morning, my friend ate all but one of the green tomatoes off the plants out in my garden. (I have a couple more plants on the deck). I have had deer trim my plants before but I have never seen them eat the tomatoes themselves. Sharing my tomatoes is a whole different issue – for several reasons – including that I am looking to test for the best varieties and save the seed.
Now I am thinking about the world's biggest tomato cage. I have some six foot field fence that could surround the bed with my tomatoes - making the cage six foot tall and ten foot in diameter. That would keep the deer out – I will need to make sure the local cat and the fox can still get in – other wise I will be building a vole cage – and that might not work so well either.
I had this conversation with my good friend Leo Kacenjar, who is the initiator of the Digital Garden on Leetsdale, and a vegetarian. My thought is that the more animals we include in the design of our food system the less we have to think in terms of “preserving” habitat for them somewhere else. It is a different approach to the one where we try to control the elements of the system to achieve a singular result – and a change in our relationship to the plants and animals that live here with us.
12) July 23, 2010
How we each contribute
I want to acknowledge a few of the people who have responded to these e-mails:
My good friend Michael Anderson writes about “being” the change we want to see in the world. Michael is on the initiating committee for Transition Denver and attended one of our first gardening meetings in the unsuccessful attempt to have a garden at Mt. Loretto Apartments. Being the change requires us to examine the roles we play in creating the world around us.
My good friend Elleana Doykos is a Naturopath with a Masters in Clinical Psychology. Our discussion is about bringing the stakeholders to the table to share information so that we are working together to achieve a common purpose.
My good friend Forrest Craver shared his essays on movement building. Forrest wrote copy for some of the most successful fund raising campaigns of our time. Forrest writes about movements floundering at the point where people are not regularly engaged in positive action toward the common goal.
I am thinking that examining our roles in the production, distribution and consumption of food gives us an opportunity to begin working together for the common purpose of a safer, cleaner, more inclusive world, in a way that can regularly engage more and more of us.
13) July 24, 2010
Our moment in History
I am about to make some proposals about next steps and I feel the need to place those proposals in context.
I have been thinking about these things (and organic gardening) for thirty years. I began working full time on these ideas (and experimenting with permaculture techniques) six years ago when I sold my law practice. Last year my good friend David Ward and I started two No Weed, No Water, No Till, Deep Mulch, Drip Irrigated Gardens and I had a demonstration plot in the Golden Garden. This year there are seven community gardens that have our system demonstrated and we may do one more.
Since I began promoting the No Weed . . . system a year and a half ago, I have had three paying jobs, none of which was the implementation of a permaculture design. This week I have met with three clients who want to implement permaculture designs on their property.
This feels to me like we are about to go viral, or nearing the tipping point, or on the verge of a paradigm shift – however you might want to characterize a fundamental change in the way things are done. This is not something that I have done and not something I can do alone – this is something that “we” can do and something that will not happen unless we do it together.
14) July 25, 2010
A few weeks ago I had lunch with my good friend Mickki Langston. Mickki is the executive director of the Mile High Business Alliance – an organization to support locally owned businesses – promoting local production for local consumption. We talked about support for local business being a two way street. In an ideal, self-reinforcing feed back loop, community support for a local business, allows the local business to support community development, leading to more support for the local business, in an upward spiral.
We also know that, the way we have built our society, every neighborhood has unmet needs and unused skills. In this usage, needs includes those things that would make life more enjoyable and skills includes the time and inclination to do a favor for a neighbor. We can also think of a self-reinforcing feed back loop of neighbors doing favors for neighbors – and making life more enjoyable for everyone in the neighborhood. But, because we don't often know what a neighbor might need, and don't often expect that a neighbor has the time and inclination to help, we often miss that opportunity to make life more enjoyable.
I talked with Mickki about how our gardens might create the basis for the kind of neighborhood communication that would result in more favors between neighbors. We talked about how every neighborhood has one or more locally owned businesses that would benefit from supporting the development of neighborhood gardens and neighborhood favor exchanges. We talked about how the Business Alliance could attract new members by supporting those businesses in their support of their neighborhoods.
Mickki suggested that the beginning of 2011 would be a good time to start talking to their business members about something like this. If we are going to do that, we are going to need a lot more people who are familiar with our gardening system and we have a lot to figure out about how to structure these gardens for success.
15) July 27, 2010
Developing Skills to Change the World
If we are going to build a food system that is local, sustainable and ecologically whole, each of us will need to improve our skills in those roles we choose to play in that. For my part, I would like to have all of the plants listed in our good friend Adam Brock's Atriplex Project, and more, growing in our climate in combinations that are both productive and beautiful. I would like to learn more and be better able to share the best techniques for building these combinations. I want to develop better models for how people with different roles can all participate in the development of our gardens.
Some of you know that I live on an acre, just east of Golden, that my parents bought in 1954. My mother still lives on the one half and I raised my family, and have permacultured, the other half. I am thinking of building a community garden on my mother's half (she has agreed) where I could work on all the skills I talked about above. The main thing is the model for participation.
I am thinking in terms of an Applewood Permaculture Institute where our certified permaculturalists could teach classes and experiment with combinations of plants - combined with something like a neighborhood supported agriculture where people could purchase shares – or earn work shares – and where we could share best practices with people who wanted to become involved in neighborhood agriculture, either as a career or for their neighborhood.
I am curious to know what each of you thinks about such a project.
16) July 30, 2010
A 2011 Plan
I want to thank all of your who have expressed your support for the idea of the Applewood Permaculture Institute and I will be writing more about that soon. But, I also feel the need to develop a plan for how we will approach next year's gardens – so that they can be a platform from which we can create the basis for a food system that is local, sustainable and ecologically whole.
The reason we use sheet mulching and a no till – deep mulch system is because it is the only system of agriculture that we know of that maintains a complete set of soil organisms, that produce a full set of organic compounds, that support plants the way nature evolved. All other agricultural systems deplete soil and require annual inputs of nutrients produced in some other way – somewhere else. It is true that we are importing hay and manure – but, in a complete permaculture design, all the nutrients are produced from the interactions between the plants and animals in the system.
This is a different concept – requiring explanation and experience in order to implement it effectively. Our gardeners have not had the required explanation and experience and that has produced the varied results in our different plots. I talked to my good friend Don Studinski and he is going to ask his gardeners to commit by say October if they want the same plot next year. We talked about also offering a “community gardening option” in which we can pool our plots and then plant/mulch/harvest them as a team. Each of the gardens has a slightly different situation and different approaches are appropriate. I urge each of you to share your ideas about what might work in your situation.
17) July 31, 2010
Looking for Partnerships
My good friend, Nushin Farjadi, wrote in response to the e-mail about the Mile High Business Alliance that she wanted to learn more. This is about looking up from what we are doing to see how that fits with what other people want to do. We are, after all, all in this together and it makes more sense to me to pool our resources for the common purpose than to all do our own thing and not help each other.
In that regard, what is happening at the Grange encourages me. We now have four distinct groups using that building. Each of those groups has expressed interest in 1) building a sense of community, and 2) working together to improve the facility. I think each of our community gardens could be a focal point in a similar way of identifying unmet need and unused skill in our community.
There are other groups to whom we should be talking that will have members in your neighborhood and are interested in the same kinds of things as our group. I have long wished to have the time to follow the Greater Denver Urban Homesteaders Meetup Group. As chance would have it, they are having a pot luck this coming Wednesday that I plan to attend. I am also aware of the Front Range Organic Gardeners – I attended the organizational meeting for that group 23 years ago but was unable to keep following.
In that regard also, the Mile High Business Alliance is sponsoring a Local Flavor Festival, Saturday, August 7, 2010 from 11:00 to 5:00 at the Lowenstein Cultural Complex, Colfax and Elizabeth St. in Denver. I will be there at least part of the time selling beer for the Alliance (I am on the Board of Directors). This would be a great opportunity to meet some of the local businesses that are stepping up to promote local production for local consumption and talk to them about what we are doing with our gardens.
My good friend John Powers writes to caution against dogmatism and I smiled a little. The people I know who consider themselves gardeners have a technique that they believe in and are resistant to change. I think there is something primal and unconscious in a gardener's relationship with their garden. My own efforts over thirty years have been more of an experiment in making do with what my ½ acre could provide. I have tried all the different approaches except using poisons and petroleum based fertilizers – and if there is one thing I have learned it is that I still have a lot to learn.
I have stated my reason for promoting a No Weed, No Water, No Till, Deep Mulch, Drip Irrigated gardening system but that is not to say that I expect other gardeners to stop what they are doing – every one gets to make their own choices. If we are going to help people to choose gardens over lawns and deep mulch over bare ground gardening, we will need to demonstrate that the deep mulch garden is more productive, less work, less expensive and a beautiful landscape. If we can do that, which I think we can, other gardeners will want to experiment with these techniques.
Part of this process is to compare and contrast techniques – and to share with others as we learn new things so that we all become better gardeners – better stewards of the earth. Another part is this change in approach that I have talked about – a change from trying to control the elements of the ecosystem to an effort to enhance the way the elements work together.
19) August 3, 2010
Levels of Participation
There are two different levels to this e-mail exchange. The top level is about the way we, as a culture, interact with our environment – our relationship with the ecosystem we maintain where we live. There is also a more practical level. That level is about those of us who would take responsibility to develop a food system that is local, sustainable, and ecologically whole.
At the level of responsibility I think in terms of four levels of participation:
1 - Supporter – too busy to contribute time but wants to help improve the neighborhood and the planet.
2 - Learner – can contribute time working with someone who is familiar with deep mulch gardening techniques.
3 - Technician – the experience to be competent in the planting, mulching and harvesting of a deep mulch gardening system/permaculture landscape.
4 - Designer – the experience to be competent at converting a lawn or traditional garden into a deep mulch gardening system/permaculture landscape.
Several of you have expressed interest in this idea of pooling our plots and “team gardening”. I think of such a team as being led by someone at the Technician level – working with a few to several people at the Learner level – funded by a few to several people at the Supporter level – and all of those participants being fed out of the garden. It is at the Technician level where I see a role for the Applewood Permaculture Institute where we would offer the skills people need to make a living maintaining deep mulch gardening systems/permaculture landscapes – and changing the way that we, as a culture, interact with the ecosystem.
20) August 5, 2010
Disease in the Garden
My good friend Rose Ann Bennett has a problem at the Vital Foods garden. She had three squashes that suddenly wilted and died. I looked at the dead plants and it does not look like insect damage. The roots just rotted. I don't think it is too much water. They are overhead watering and there are similar plants just as wet. I assume that it is some sort of fungus or other disease. If anyone has any ideas on a treatment or cure, in case it spreads, please share it with this group or contact Rose Ann directly.
In the longer term, our goal is to develop a healthy soil ecosystem in which the beneficial fungi and bacteria out compete the disease causing fungi and bacteria – so, generally, my recommendation is that we do nothing at this time. Efforts to control the disease causing organism, assuming we can properly identify it, would also disrupt the beneficial ones.
This relates to the reason that we do polyculture and not monoculture, and why we need more experience in companion planting. In a large planting of a single variety a disease like potato blight can be devastating. If we plant different varieties in the same plots we can determine which varieties are best suited for the indigenous ecosystem. There is also some literature and some custom regarding companion planting but I think there is more that we could learn about plants that grow well in each other's company and plants that assist each other in such areas as disease prevention.
These are technical problems requiring that we take the general information available and apply it to the unique situation we face in each garden. It is another reason that I am suggesting the team approach to next year's gardens.
21) August 6, 2010
My good friend Nushin Farjadi wrote about announcing the filming event next Tuesday, August 10, starting at 4:00 p.m. at the Grange as a part of looking up to see how what we want to do fits in with what other people want to do. And I have mentioned this event to some of you.
It seems to be a part of the human condition that we are focused on our individual tasks. When we create organizations to facilitate those tasks, we create an additional set of needs – what the organization needs to survive – and where we see our own needs fulfilled through the organization, the needs of the organization can take precedence over our own.
For that reason I am reluctant to think in terms of “an organization” of people who take responsibility to create a food system that is local, sustainable and ecologically whole. There are, already, many different organizations working on different parts of that. And most of them are competing with each other for the attention of potential volunteers and potential funding sources/clients.
I have a new client who happens to live about a ½ mile from an existing client. I don't have that many clients yet so I find this story rather amazing.
Carmen owns a house on a corner lot with 150 feet of curve along the street. She has sheet mulched the front yard and built it out as part xeriscape and part flower garden. She had two problems when she called me. First, her partial drip line was not working right and second, she had grasses sprouting all along the boundary between the sheet mulch and the sidewalk – 150 feet of weeding nightmare.
Solving the first problem was easy but involved some expense. It does not work to combine sprinklers and drip line on the same zone due to the difference in operating pressures. We solved her first problem by replacing the entire zone with a drip system which will save her water, and money, over time.
The second problem results from nature's desire to cover the earth with plant life. Bare ground, or landscape fabric covered with rocks, or the edge between our cardboard and the sidewalk will be filled with nature's pioneer plants, as soon as she can manage it, unless we provide an alternative. In this case, hardy perennials such as day lilies and iris would make a nice border to the beds and crowd out the grasses. Because we now have a drip system, we can run that border right along the outside edge of the xeriscape beds – that would be over watered with a sprinkler system.
Which brings me to the amazing part. My other client, Barbara, has an established flower garden with overgrown day lilies and iris. I have been telling her that those beds should be thinned out for the health of the plants. In a win-win-win situation, Carmen and I went over to Barbara's and thinned her beds at no charge to Barbara. Carmen got all the plants she needed to complete her border that would have cost her $5.00 a piece at the garden center. And now Carmen has the money she would have used to buy the plants to hire me to help her.
I once saw a documentary about a pygmy hunter. He had an opportunity to kill a forest giraffe but he let it go. He said he let it pass because killing it would leave a hole in the forest.
After many years of thinking about and working with the relationships that make up our lives, I think I am beginning to understand in the way that wise pygmy hunters understand. The life in a place is a fabric. It comes in up to seven layers that we read about in the permaculture literature (plus the ones under water). In involves threads from all five kingdoms of life that we read about in the ZERI literature (Zero Emissions Research Initiative).
When this fabric is thickly interwoven with all five threads in all seven layers we feel whole and call it beautiful. When this fabric becomes thread bare we suffer from the absence of its shelter. The fabric is made up from the participation of individual living things – in what biologists call the food web. We participate like all other living things. We are only different in the power we hold to tear holes in the fabric – or to use that same power to enhance the weave.
The message from Permaculture and ZERI, and all the other organizations experimenting with the relationships that make up our lives, is that saving the world will not come about through political action (although that can be helpful). Government has its own specific role in the fabric. We will save the world by learning to enhance the weave of the fabric of life - in the place where we live.
24) August 12, 2010
Looking to the Future
We each change the weave of the fabric of life every time we make a choice about our relationships with the people, plants and creatures that share this place with us. As individuals we may not notice the change that a particular choice might make. But as a group we humans determine the quality of the fabric here – whether we think about it or not – and, as a group, we can choose a food system that is local, sustainable and ecologically whole.
First, stop spreading poisons.
Second, welcome all species – all five threads are necessary.
Third, look for ways to support new relationships amongst the species, people and organizations that make up this place.
Fourth, expand the conversation about the world we want to build - let other people know what we are doing - and we can create opportunities to enhance the weave.