The present situation
There is no doubting the severity of the ecological crisis that we are currently facing, our climate is changing and having a detrimental effect on our fragile ecosystems, and that which we take from the earth in the form of resources are frivolously wasted through the obscene built in obsolescence of consumer culture. This situation isn’t helped in any way by the world’s technocratic market friendly political leaders who simply act as caretakers for the worlds financial systems which in turn creates the Noam Chomsky ‘Socialism for the Rich’ scenario where companies are afforded greater rights and protections than citizens.
Rising to the challenge
So we rightly decide that we don’t want to be a part of this and we entertain the idea of creating a better world, so we take personal action, we reduce our usage of unsustainable resources, we reduce our dependency on the monetary system, and start to act and think of the future that we would like to see, along the way we also come across others like us who are trying to do exactly the same, from this we form working friendships and alliances, from this movements, pressure groups, cooperatives and collectives are born.
In our darker moments we might well think that our actions are a drop in the ocean, that don’t really have any real effect on the ill health that we causing the planet and each other, we can start to feel down and overwhelmed by the seeming complexity and enormity of trying to be a conscious human being in an unconscious world. I have had all of these dark thoughts and doubt demons myself, so I know how it feels when it kicks in and tries to consume you.
During the early 1980s with the very real threat of total nuclear annihilation being a possibility, I felt levels of helplessness and powerlessness with that particular situation to such a level where it quite literally made me want to throw up if I thought about it too much. I am not here trying to compare or down play the present ecological crisis that we all face, however during the cold war the death of the planet and the worlds population was literally only a button press away and was something that was completely beyond our control, at least with the ecological crisis our personal and collective actions can have a real impact in terms of empowerment and change.
Persistence, vision and action for a Permanent culture
It has been said many times before, but I feel I need to reiterate: Growing your own food is one of the most politically powerful and liberating acts a person can do. By growing our own fruit and veggies we remove ourselves from the control of a highly exploitative and ecologically damaging industrial agricultural system. By removing ourselves from the industrial agriculture we also denying supermarkets profit, which turn releases their hold on our food supply, on top of this, we also know exactly where our food has come from and know that there have been no agrochemicals involved in the process of growing it.
We can also have a positive effect on the ecology of the planet, by employing permaculture into the design of your garden or plot, you are increasing the biodiversity of flora and fauna within your growing locale and helping to bring about beneficial micro climate changes within your growing system. Other benefits of growing your own food include a sense of well being and the healthy exercise that you get from working out in your garden.
Perhaps the most important and overlooked aspect of growing your own food is unlocking the potential of the permaculture people care ethic, one of the ways I have been trying to do this is by promoting and passing on my gardening knowledge to people who are just starting out, I do this absolutely free of charge, other than a cup of tea and conversation as a form of acknowledgement and also by organizing yearly seed-swaps where people from our local community come along and share seeds with us. It is truly amazing the potential that is locked into a handful of seeds and this is something that we need to learn and take with us on our Journey into an uncertain future. As always, we would love to share your experiences and views about the current predicament that we are in, if you have any stories or tips that you feel would be relevant to our collective struggle, please feel free to drop us a line.
Article Author: Steve