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Harald Jezek

Owner, Nuada beauty+wellness

TEDCRED 50+

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Is permaculture a feasible alternative to traditional agriculture?

Australians Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton created (or re-created) the concept of permaculture as alternative to traditional agriculture, but goes much beyond only agriculture. According to them "permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the stability, diversity and resilience of natural ecosystems." The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather against nature. It appears that systems based on permaculture can offer the same or even better yield than traditional production.

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    Feb 18 2011: Why is your question an "either or?" All sorts of principles of permaculture as I've experienced can be incorporated into traditional agriculture, whatever that is ("prevailing wisdom" or overall "practices"?). To me the more important aspect of your question is how to learn and grow, then apply with greater consciousness and respect such principles in agriculture, which I think can be viewed additionally as just a component of our ecosystems. "Natural" seems to me sort of like the wall that we have erected between Mexico and the US. My bees seem to "love" some of the (unnatural ) ways we've given them a more expressive playing field.
    • Feb 18 2011: I suspect that Harald meant industrial agriculture, as is the norm these days, not the old traditional agriculture we used to have before that. Mind you, slash and burn could also be considered traditional, but it's hardly sustainable.


      " "Natural" seems to me sort of like the wall that we have erected between Mexico and the US."

      Not being from the US or Mexico, and not having paid any attention to the subject, I'm not sure I'm following what you're trying to say here. Actually, I'm pretty sure I'm not following at all :D. Is this a physical wall you're talking about? A cultural wall? The way the US deals with illegal immigrants? I'm probably missing something obvious that would link it to permaculture, could you please explain?

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