Permaculture Design Comes to Kashi

By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 18 November, 2016

The Florida Permaculture Convergence has hosted an annual statewide gathering, allowing fellow permaculturists to network and deepen their knowledge of permaculture design for two full days. This year the event will be held at Kashi Ashram November 18, 19 and 20.

The theme of permaculture design

The theme of this year is The Inner Landscape, which has been described by its organizers as reflecting the inner landscape of a soul. This reflection is inextricably attached to its ability and willingness to view the world from a place of humility. An appreciation for the design and workings of the natural world are combined with a desire to work with rather than against nature. These are the touchstones of permaculture design. It not only cares for wild ecosystems but cares for the health of the earth and its people.

Beginning of Kashi permaculture design

Four years ago Kashi Ashram began to adapt permaculture design to its 80 acres of its land. They planted multitude trees, shrubs and vegetables all with a mind to integrate and assimilate spiritual teachings gained from its guru Ma Jaya. They saw it as a fuller expression of spirit through the fertile expression of green growth on its land.

Calling itself Sustainable Kashi, permaculture design is now into its fourth year. During the first three years, Kashi added over 200 fruit trees, nitrogen fixing trees, berry bushes and support species to its 80-acre property. Along with growing seasonal veggies for the Kashi community, it also educates the local community through weekly tours, monthly workshops and an annual permaculture design course.

The origins of Permaculture design

Bill Mallison created permaculture design in the 1970’s, an Australian ecologist and University of Tasmania professor. He had spent many years out in nature as a wildlife biologist observing how natural systems work and became very distressed at the destruction that he saw going on around him. However, instead of being angry and reacting against the destruction, he worked on creating a positive solution.  He thought the solution would be living based on the patterns he had observed in nature.

Observations of permaculture design

Mallison observes that natural systems, such as forests and wetlands, are sustainable. They provide for their own energy needs and recycle their own wastes. He also observes that all the different parts of a natural ecosystem work together. Each component of the system performs important tasks. For example, bees help to pollinate, birds provide pest control, certain plants pull nitrogen out of the air and fix it into a form that other plants can use. So everything does useful work. He applies these and other insights to design and create sustainable agricultural systems.

By the 1990s permaculture design spread throughout the US, although better known in other countries around the world. To this day, it’s continuing to grow as a global grassroots movement. People primarily learn about it through permaculture design courses and workshops happening outside of academia.

How to continue permaculture

Many people ask how they can continue to sustain this permaculture design movement through their own gardens and land.  One of the best ways is to attend permaculture groups and bring this knowledge back to your community. A noteworthy components of permaculture design is that it impacts the whole world one garden at a time. When we utilize each and every piece of a garden we make a statement about the world itself. Therefore, we need not waste what we already have if we utilize it wisely with a good purpose in mind.

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