We must give reverence and credence to nature and nature’s methods because no other methods will allow us to work our way out of the present mess we are in. – Terence McKenna
This is an experimental site for an experimental project. J.S. Mill would have presumably been proud in this regard – he said that we need many ‘experiments in living‘ in society so that a tyranny of the majority does not overtake us (too late, mayday!) and for people to see which lifestyle choices do and do not work in a context where different lifestyle choices are clearly necessary.
It has become clear to me – the author of this website and one of the people embarking on this kind of experiment (we are by no means the first) – that the current ‘dominant’ consumer-capitalist dispensation is one that has a shelf life. In our view, it is a house of cards that is already coming down. The reasons for holding this view should be clear after even a few minutes of investigating the current issues with the capitalist systems that currently dominate the planet and her people; reading this blog might assist in such an investigation.
In a one-paragraph nutshell, ‘we’ chose to step away from our lecturing jobs in the UK (and therefore what I once thought of as our ‘careers’) to try to set up a permaculture project in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (where I was born and bred, for better or for worse!), attempting to create an ‘alternative’ model that people can learn from, adapt, replicate if it works, or disregard if it does not. Many of our friends, colleagues, students, etc. showed interest in what we were at the time preparing to do, hence this site.
Much has happened since arriving/returning in July 2012 – a browse of the blog posts evidences this point. One major ‘event’ along the way was, for me, the realisation that permaculture is as much about human development as it is about the sustainable development of eco-systems, so as recorded on site, there is much here that is about my personal development. For example, I frequently mention meditation and polyphasic sleeping, two practices that I find accelerated my personal development, and they seem to me to be appropriate to permaculture in my own broader context.
I also started a funded PhD en route, and I document the process when there is anything noteworthy to document. The study is called ‘Philosophy and Permaculture in context of the ecological crisis’, a title that fits well with the underlying permaculture theme here. However, even if the study were not explicitly linked to permaculture, I would still have started documenting it, because as I have suggested above, permaculture can encompass a wide spectrum of themes and topics.
Please do not mistake the outcomes of my interdisciplinary tendencies as representative of permaculture in a ‘pure’ form – as if there were such a thing! Mollison, for one, has written the Designer’s Manual, which will give you unambiguous information about permaculture principles and approaches. And a PDC course will convey to you much of what you need to know in a focused and mostly uncontroversial way.
I hope the content I offer on this site is useful to readers, even if simply as a tool to provoke a reaction from you. I do not particularly care if you agree or disagree with my views, sentiments, actions, etc. – so long as you leave having thought for yourself, and not simply having reverted to the responses conditioned by any kind of status-quo thinking, be it cultural, scientific, religious, academic, or whatever, then I will be happy.
Please feel free to contact me via the contact menu with constructive feedback if you so wish.