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Old 02-14-2013, 01:28 PM   #11
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I have been studying permaculture for some years now, and before that I was/am an environmental archeologist. And before that I grew up in the Michigan Northwoods. I have looked at plants and their environmental contexts for the entire prehistory of this nation.

I don't see any conflict whatsoever between the principles of permaculture and the WLG mission statement.

The conflict is in the misunderstanding of basic concepts, and the controversy is much bigger than what we have to say here.

I would argue that it is better to "know your enemy" and maybe you will find out he is really your friend.

This is David Holmgren's statement, if anybody wants to know. [Holmgren along with Bill Mollison were the co-founders of permaculture. If you want to know what permaculture is, you should ask them.

http://site.xavier.edu/blairb/sustai...2_holmgren.pdf
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:20 PM   #12
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Well you have got me curious what it is?
I thought it was just like - well Like: the farmers in the Amazon rain forest have to slash and burn new land each year to grow their crops because the rain forest soil without the roots of the trees leach out all the nutrients.

So, they were encouraging the Farmers to raise more native crops that could grow around under the trees on the ground -- then more crops that were a little higher up off the ground and so on forth - even vines that provided food.

Is that what it is?
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:34 PM   #13
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Well in a nutshell, i would say permaculture is an effort to design functioning ecological systems to replace those that have been destroyed. And that those systems will be sustainable and useful to man, just like real natural ecosystems were. Permaculture designs can be used in any situation and are designed to fit into local damaged ecologies. They have been built in deserts, used in forest reclamations, damaged riparian forests along waterways, and there is a whole subdivision that is urban permaculture.

As for slash and burn I would have to say this type of horticulture is usually practiced in rain forest type environments and it is pretty sustainable the way it is practiced indigenously. In most cases, the people would do better if governments would stop trying to improve what is already a good thing. It doesn't work however where there have been urban encroachment that destroy the forests. Slash and burn does not destroy forests--it is a system of self renewal.

But if you get a chance, read Holmgren's article. He (together with Bill Mollison) defined the concept and it has over the years gone through a process of changes in the definition as the movement is re-focused.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
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Oh, I thought they said slash and burn was a bad thing, but I see - what you mean.
Do you know how it was used in forest reclamations?
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:04 PM   #15
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Slash and burn refers to an indigenous system of agriculture which uses quite extensive amounts of land (and there is a whole system of land ownership that goes with-it). It normally involves 8 to 15 stages of regrowth and is used as a type of 'fire ecology' where man is one component in the system. (Man is always there but usually we don't count ourselves!)

Of course when city folks see a raging forest fire they think something must be wrong, and they need to get the government to fix it. So this is another case of mis-perception. The indigenous people who practice slash and burn have been doing it for centuries and they know what they are doing. They cut a section of forest growth at a certain stage of maturation. The stumps and limbs are burned to ash, and half burned wood fertilizes the fields. Then different crops are grown on different sections according to the remnant fertility. And some field are allowed to fallow for some years.
This creates a varied pattern of sections in different stages of growth, which is much more productive and biodiverse than if the forest were allowed to grow to maturity without intervention.

"Slash and burn" in popular language I guess means something like "quick and dirty" and implies irresponsible programs. That is a mis-perception of the actual horticultural practice.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:35 PM   #16
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I heard of that - like what you are talking about when Yellow Stone burned down.
They said on the news that the forest service needs to rethink their policy on fires.
Same thing was going on in the East too. Fires getting worse.

But then what is permaculture - I know I read the article, but apparently I am still in the dark of what it is.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:39 PM   #17
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It should have been clear that Wildlife Gardeners is not a place for permaculture. Do not use our forums to promote their philosophy.
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"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.
When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
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