Permaculture is starting to make small changes in the way you live your life, and knowing that all these small changes add up and can make a big difference.
If we are to keep progressing as a culture which does not destroy itself by damaging the systems upon which its own survival depend on, than we seriously need to address certain cultural behaviour and outlook.
When it comes to Environment, and sustainability we need to think and digest it for a while, thus lets REDEFINE PROGRESS using some permaculture terminology.
Observation, Boundaries, Resources, Evaluation, Design, Implementation and Maintenance.
These are mere indication steps that one could simply use when doing just about anything creative with keeping progress in mind.
By merely observing with a watchful eye, one could start to actually see life through nature’s point of view. Observing the works of nature, the path of the sun, the dominant trees or plants, the season’s changes, the way the rain falls and the streams that follow, etc This could all be a good part to what we have been overlooking for many years.
Simply observing and taking notes of what we notice is a great lesson to be learnt from nature. In earth tribes such as the aboriginals and the native Americans, the elders are consulted and respected for they hand down their observations from one generation to the next.
We must always keep in mind to tackle a problem at a time and break it down as simply as possible in order to manage it better. Boundaries help us to define where we are working on and also protect our work from undesirable outside forces. In the example of a garden, a boundary is needed to protect that which you have worked on or plan to work on.
If we had to be strict, a community is not sustainable unless it can survive off its own land.
In a modern and industrialised world, our food, clothing, equipment, and even water (the main element supporting life) is more often than not imported from other countries while making negative ecological and or social impacts of some sort or other. These factors are mainly subject to political forces that dictate global commerce.
Thus resources are looked at very differently in Permaculture.
In a world of waste, over consumption and uncontrolled competitive growth, resources need to be valued and guarded as common heritage.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but sometimes food does.
Through this process, evaluation is a constant tool necessary to see where the direction is going and what elements are yielding better than others. Once we evaluate, we have an outcome with better indications of what is actually progressive or most likely to be progressive.
Design for success.
Remember that Permaculture is a design process.
Whether it’s a school playground, a community garden, a farm, a forestation project, a roof garden, a building or an entire village, design with these steps is the key to putting the permaculture principles which will yield better results.
Implement the ideas
Implementation is the actual doing. Using the actual ideas and getting them to manifest from paper to shape is the next stage of work. It is very important to keep the permaculture community support and share the work experience. This is where we get the opportunity to experience that which is learnt from the points above.
By using Permaculture design principles, one could simply start at redefining progress in this way. Progress is a broad concept, but simply put, society needs basic standards of health and natural resources in order to sustain its existence.
Achieving quality of life within the means of nature is progressive in a way that:
· Does not decline biodiversity
·Increases and values the natural resources and common heritage
Simple tree planting is a way of increasing the natural heritage.
If a culture does not keep the points above as its indicators of progress, then it isn’t progressing at all. And it is here where hundreds and thousands of people worldwide have chosen permaculture as a strong community tool to become part of a progressive movement that recognises a re-defined progress.
Permaculture garden - a mixture of decorative and edible plants
A local Permaculture project Run by the lovely Ruth Robinson is St saviours Community garden
Permaculture festival 2010 guide