Friday, March 26, 2010

Observe and Interact-1 of 12 Permaculture Principles

 "We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…and then we return home.” ~Australian Aboriginal Proverb

The first of the twelve principles of permaculture is to Observe and Interact, which is very similar to Aboriginal Proverb to observe, learn, grow, love. To observe in the purest permaculture sense would be to observe a piece of land, its eco-system, natural resources, the arc of the sun, prevailing wind, drainage, natural pooling areas, identify plants, bug, and animals. So now…what would that look like with self?

You can observe a lot just by watching. ~Yogi Berra

Hint: The elements of self do not look like…
-A list of unrelated items sent to the insurance company as the content and value of ones life.
-A seating list at a charity event with people arraigned according to their ability to donate.
-Checkboxes of species found in your back yard, _Lizard, _Spider, _Bird,..

In all of the above instances the stuff, beings, or nature have been objectified, listing and quantifying are not the same as observing. The first step to observing is to set aside what one thinks they know, along with stories and opinions. This helps to make room for an opening in which information and relationship can take form and flavor. 

With all of the many things that one can observe and interact with, self, community, family, friends, co-workers, nature, try focusing from the ground up. Check out some dirt…can you find ground? Remember eating it as a kid? Do you have edible dirt, or could yard chemicals or other be making it toxic? Is it hard as a rock or soft and earthy rich vibrant and pulsating with life.
Here’s the deal…. It all begins and ends in the darkness of soil.

The ground on which one stands must be grocked to understand life as permaculture and in turn understand to show up as a whole element in a sustainable system. Once one has ground… the sky is the limit because sky plays off of ground.

The body is the interface with this life. I say start with ground because if we want to interact from a place of being a part of the system as opposed to apart from the system we need first to feel our place in the system…Artist, caretaker, worm food…

We are beginning to wake up and realize that ecology and self are one. Yikes!

Forget about hormone-laden milk…Got Dirt? 

1 comment:

Taking Liberty said...

dear soul Gardener,
I love what you are doing. I can't wait to read the rest of your posts as this is close to my heart.
I saw an interesting British video documentary, name escapes me now, sorry, that had a farm in Britain where the farmer looked at the swaths of forest that separated fields and farms and noted that all was in balance.

No fertilization, no watering, no disease, all in balance, and home to creatures and everything nourished everything. He noted there was healthy mycelium in the ground.
He decided to experiment and began choosing plants edible for humans that were similar to wild species and gently introduced them into the habitat. He planted nut trees and brought in a duck variety to control the slugs. He didn't disrupt the balance of the forest and did so by interplanting, allowing nature to create the balances and protections. Instead of harvesting low growing nut trees, he allowed the trees to grow tall just like other trees in the canopy and harvest the nuts up instead. He said it wasn't yet perfect but he could feed his own family on it. He didnt have to water, fertilize, or anything, no disease and pest control except the ducks which lived freely in the small forested area.

Of course a few paragraphs cannot do justice to this wonderful experiment, but he arrived at it all through strict observation of nature and her processes. Healthy soil, with a nitrogen delivery system through mycellium spreads around the nutrition and takes it where its needed. And sunlight conservation and moisture retention and all the plants needs are met --in the end minimal work for him. Watch over it and carefully harvest.