Sunday, January 6, 2013

Permaculture Values

A proper front yard.

The following is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to a young man trying to decide how his love of permaculture should effect his formal schooling:
My degree is in Urban and Landscape Horticulture. I ran into permaculture about the same time I decided to go back to school and change my degree.

I found my classes invigorating and a lot of fun. They also backed up many permacultural technics quite well. When I graduated is when the trouble started. Things are not done in the best way in many fields.
We have a tendency to want things now and buy our way out of problems. Ego usually wins out over common sense. Controlling everything and everyone around us is how we get ahead.

For a few years I tried to make things happen the way people said I should, get ahead and all that. But I found myself becoming less happy with myself and less happy with work. The more I tried to apply the principals and practices of pemaculture to my work, the less my bosses thought of me and my value.

I finally dropped out and am now trying to find a way through the world that does not create conflict with those I work with and will still pay the bills and allow me to follow my values. 
Now, if you will allow me to return to the question of my experience with permaculture. It has followed me by my side since I found it some ten years ago. I have often used it as a bag of tricks to help me in my landscape work and my own garden.
The truth is that permaculture is really a philosophy of living. Whether it be in the farm, or in the board room, it shouldn't matter. I was originally attracted to it because those philosophies closely match principals that I already believed. Even though I didn't know it at the time.

Those principals are more in need in the circles of business and economics than in the farms and gardens of today. Take what you know of permaculture, boil it down to principles, and then apply it wherever you decide to go.

It may cause you some conflict, you may not be able to work the jobs you thought you would, but you will be able to hold your head up and sit down at the end of the day and know your work is good.
Please, sit down and think about it. 

1 comment:

  1. I like this discusion on the ethics