The Paradigm Shift

I was recently interviewed for an article in Alaska’s hot monthly arts and culture magazine, F-zine.  Riza, the journalist writing the story, asked me a lot of great questions about Permaculture, but the one that stumped me the most was “Why do you do it? Do other people who share your interests have different reasons?”

Wow, that is a hard question.  I can’t imagine NOT doing it.  It is just a way of life, a way of thinking about the world.  I see abundance and possibility everywhere… not just in my garden, but also in this city and in this world.  Permaculture is a vision of regenerative abundance, of every person being able to provide for their own basic human needs of food, shelter, clothing, and convivial human contact while improving the environment around them.  It is about empowering people to make the world a better place instead of feeling victimized or waiting for the government to do it.

I suppose some people who have gardens may not see this big vision… they may do it for many other reasons such as saving money, eating tasty nutritious food, fresh air and exercise, and/or plain old enjoyment, but to me the garden is just one manifestation of the the big vision.

Besides, who wouldn’t want a beautiful, abundant oasis in the city?

I realized after I wrote this that I’ve made the shift from someone who thinks and talks about Permaculture to someone who lives it.  I’m not saying that I live totally sustainably, yet, but through action it has become my dominant paradigm.  And from the grandfather of Permaculture himself, I leave you with this quote:

“…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone.

Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”

– Bill Mollison


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