Episode-61- TSP Rewind – Permaculture Misconception vs. Reality

rewindToday is an episode of TSP Rewind, commercial free versions of past podcast episodes.

Today’s episode was originally, Episode-802- Permaculture Misconception vs. Reality and was first published on Dec. 13th 2011.


The following are the original show notes from that episode.

The Forest is the Teacher, Not the End Goal

The Forest is the Teacher, Not the End Goal – Photo Credit to Axel-D via Flickr

I keep quite a few things set up on Google New Alerts.  That is where you run a search for a term on Google News and ask them to send you an email when ever a given word or phrase pops up in the news.  So as you might imagine I do this for terms like “pandemic”, “economic collapse”, “natural disaster” and many others related to the preparedness industry.

I also have terms set up that are more on subjects connected to basic self sufficiency and homesteading.   As you might imagine I include the term “permacuture”.  The other day that alert sent me a link to an article called, “Traditional Farming in the Rain Forest”, it led to an article that was a scathing retort on permaculture calling it basically useless.

The author gets almost every single part wrong.  It wasn’t that we disagree mind you it was that his claims and assertions were simply 100% inaccurate.  Despite this it  has helped me to better understand many of the objections I hear about permaculture.  Today I plan to discuss them and try to answer some of these objections, hopefully with a now better understanding of what the objection is really all about.

Join me today as I discuss…

  • 1 Prime Directive + 3 Ethics = Permaculture
  • Common Objections to Permaculture (none of which are based on reality)
    • The Rain Forest can’t feed as many people per acre as a farm
    • If we don’t do anything and let nature take its course we will starve
    • We need annual crops too not just perennials
    • Permaculture only produces weird things no one eats
    • Permaculture is limited to forest gardening
    • All permaculture amounts to is good organic gardening
    • Permaculture is all about growing food and plants
    • We can’t have productivity with out fertilizer and irrigation
    • We have to till soil to plant modern crop

Resources for Today’s Show…

One Response to Episode-61- TSP Rewind – Permaculture Misconception vs. Reality

  1. I really enjoyed this podcast and it is more relevant with every passing hour.

    I have just recently moved to a house with a small back yard, grass and hedges, I have planted several fruit trees and a series of keyhole beds with bulbs, shrubs and herbs to start the ball rolling with permaculture management.

    Across the drive adjacent to the house I have a large orchard and what was a vegetable garden now mainly grass.

    I have mulched around the large fruit trees and planted a selection of soft fruit bushes, bulbs, herbs , and broad beans with a view to creating guilds around the trees, also I have created mulch channels in keyhole sworls between the trees to reduce the amount of grass and increase the biodiversity in the orchard.

    In the area where the old vegetable beds were I have been keeping a dozen hens, which I keep moving when the ground is cleared and manured by the birds by using a moveable hen coop and electric fence.

    Back in August when I moved in I bought a monster tiller, which I did test on a small patch, which I immediately covered with woodchip mulch, as I had been studying food forest and wild life gardening in books and on the net for some years, but never managed to bite the bullet to go as far as letting it all take its course.

    In the uk I find that unless some management (hacking back) is done nettles and brambles will just take over. In fact because the old guy who had lived here before me had been to weak to do much in the way of gardening for some years the apple trees were smothered in brambles and mistletoe, which had seriously curtailed their fruiting viability,  I had to cut this back to allow harvesting the small crop that was there and to enable me to prune the trees to encourage new growth and fruit buds etc.

    Next to the Orchard I have two 1.25 acre paddocks which used to have horses on them, I allowed a friend to graze 34 lambs for the autumn which has brought the grass back to a bit mor quality.

    Long term I would like to bring these paddocks into producing a mixture of nut and fruit trees along with wood for heating and coppicing for stakes etc.

    The whole site is sloping gently from south to north with drainage from the paddocks feeding a small winter stream, (I would like to slow the drainage down to keep the stream all year).

    I feel the points you make about everyone with what ever size patch of ground trying to build a productive food growing plot is the first step.

    I personally NEVER buy mass produced food, or factory farmed meat, eggs or poultry (macdonalds, cola, kentuckyfried would never exist if there were more like me) I feel only by controlling our purchases as ethically as we can, can we get to grips with the multi national conglomerates, with no customers for their pap they would soon go out of business or change their ways.

    The internet has sadly allowed various “green” organisations a willing platform for gathering large amounts of money from tea shirt wearing virtue signalling look at me brigade, so that messages from the good ones like yourself and Wil Wheaton get lost in the deluge of informaion.

    I have just joined a site, which is called Nextdoor for local news, neighbouhood watch, mothers union etc etc I have started a thread on there about permaculture gardening, where I will place as many links to Geoff Lawton, Mike Dowling yourself, and Bill, so if we could encourage as many as possible to do similar gospel spreading we may get the ball rolling.

    More power to your elbow Regards and hope 2018 will be a great year for permaculture Brian