Permaculture Trainings

Written by Donald Sparacin
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Permaculture, a term coined by Australian Bill Mollison in the 1970s, is a melding of concepts that means literally, permanent agriculture. As the concept developed, the meaning has also come to include permanent culture as well. In essence, it is the holistic balanced blending of mans needs with that of his surroundings. It seeks to provide sustenance to the human while preserving the environment in an ongoing and self-sustaining basis. Permaculture trainings are helpful ways for people to understand this concept in a real and practical way.

Permature Is Much More than Simply Farming Techniques

Permaculture trainings seek to instill the concept of the three ethics: Care of the earth; care of the people on it; and a reinvesting of all surpluses. We in the west have become a throwaway society. We buy food that is wrapped in what was once a living, growing tree, eat the food, and then toss the paper away. The food was probably grown or raised by someone that that received very little financial reward for his hard work and efforts to produce it. When the retailer has prepared too much of the food for consumption while it is still fresh, they throw away the surplus.

We all share the same planet. Permaculture trainings seek to make us better aware that there is indeed a better way for us to be its stewards. While it's nearly impossible for city dwellers to follow this holistic approach to agriculture, they can share in its practice by maintaining gardens to supplement their food needs, rather than paving over the land to park another air-polluting vehicle. Perhaps this example is a bit simplistic, but it demonstrates how permaculture trainings are necessary to educate the populous on just how badly they are treating the world in which they live.

Permaculture trainings are also informing us about the financial aspects of a holistic society. Pouring money into the production of more food to help a starving third-world community, while dumping surpluses thousands of miles away isn't helping. True harmony can only be realized by assisting the needy community in becoming self-sustaining by growing products that don't require a constant influx of money, seed, and other aspects of production. Through permaculture trainings that are being conducted all over the world, people are beginning to understand that money doesn't solve all problems.

Seminar permaculture trainings are being held that teach proper techniques in soil building, water harvesting, solar technologies, patterns in nature, holistic management, ecological food systems, food forestry, straw bale construction, chicken "tractors", worm ranching, and community design. While this is great for those in agribusiness, the layperson wonders how this concept affects them. Permaculture trainings demonstrate that everyone can become a part of this concept. Consider your own back yard. By planting an apple tree where there was only grass, the land now supplies you food. But you can't eat all of the apples yourself, so you sell the surplus giving you cash flow, the cores of the apples provide excellent compost, dead branches make wonderful firewood, and the leaves provide shade to keep your air-conditioning demands for electricity down. One tree does all of that and more. Consider permaculture trainings for yourself and your planet.


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