Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PERMA CULTURE COURSE



Where to start. It has been so busy around here lately I haven't had much time to write.


Yellowwood forest in Morgan Bay

We finished the perma culture course on Sunday. We had a lady with a Agricultural Degree and a Landscaper on the course. That is very interesting, because it means the "mainstream" is starting to show interest, or maybe, as one lady said, her clients are asking about it and it makes so much sense, so we will soon have perma culture incorporated in suburban gardens in East London and even people in cities can actually know what they are eating i.e. vegetables and more from their own gardens. I think the interest will keep rising as the food prices rise. 




Newly planted tree and Marigolds, as companion plants


Make way for the worm farm


The attendees, minus the camera man, Riaan

We spend the whole first day of the course in a forest. In today's monoculture systems (rows and rows of exactly the same crop and any other plant is seen as an enemy or a weed). We are depleting the soil and after ten years the soil can no longer yield any harvest and needs to rest, then we chop down more trees for more land to plant and destroy the soil again. The sad story is that one of our neighbour is doing exactly that right now. Big scrapers are just pushing every tree and plant flat and then they burn all the vegetation! It is like listening and looking at the earth being raped !

The idea of spending a day in a forest is so that we can see the difference between the way we destroy the soil and everything else and how a forest flourish and carries on forever and ever in complete synergy, providing live to very many plant and animal species on a long term scale, that is until we interfere and need more space for more mass production of food, then we destroy the perfect system and plant our plants in little rows, spray them with pesticides (witch also kills the microbes in the soil, giving you dead soil) then we add all sorts of chemicals to make the plants grow in dead soil. Most people call this farming, I call it slow suicide, for us and the planet.


What you basically do in perma culture, is to copy the perfect systems of nature. Certain plants actually help each other grow by enriching the soil, other plants keep insects away from food crops nearby and water is used in a much more effective way. You can do this on a small scale in your own garden, just to supply your own food or if you are lucky enough to have the space, you can create a complete food forest, which can provide food for years and years to come, without destroying the natural environment. I can write a book about the subject, but that has already been done and I need to get to my garden, so if you are interested you can read all about the basics of Perma culture here - 


http://www.permaculture.net/about/brief_introduction.html

or if you would like to do the course, you can contact Tim Wigley - tim@keimouth.co.za






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