The reason I think permaculture concepts remain prescient is the idea in the following quote. I’m sure there are better sources to encapsulate this idea, but it’s fresh at hand, so… from that shoddy communal warfare paper
The hunter-gatherers of East Africa and the Kalahari were unrepresentative in the sense that before the advent and spread of agriculture, hunter-gatherers inhabited not only marginal land that agricultural and pastoralist societies were unable to use and did not want, as they do today, but also mainly lived in the world’s most fertile environments.
This concept isn’t limited to Africa at all. We face the same challenge, and it seems to me that we will always be on a path to IR, and not ever actually live in a scenario where landscapes that surround us can reasonably supply our food. Granted, there remain pockets where it’s more possible than others, and I currently inhabit one.
And sure, someone could say, “yeah, but you can hunt, gather, and forage in the city and be fine.” And I agree with that. I think in Austin one could live pretty well on a diet composed primarily of dove and squirrel.
Lots of things are possible, lots of things can be theorized. It seems to me that if we are serious about this being a distributed network, or if we think this idea can be taken and run with by others having nothing to do with this community, then it makes sense to be honest about things. Lots of landscapes are destroyed, and biomass is destroyed, and biodiversity is destroyed.
My hope is that people who already own land will join our project. And if those people own land that isn’t a magical hunter-gatherer paradise, then they should have another path. Many people are excited and draw significant energy from the idea of nudging landscapes toward increased biomass and biodiversity. I think we should encourage those people who have that land and who are motivated by those things to do exactly that. And I think this is why the network idea, and free movement between properties is helpful… people who have land that could do with a nudge toward life, but who don’t want to do that work, can roll their properties into the network, increase our landbase, and allow the folks in the community who geek out on that stuff to do their thing.
At the moment, I am not one of those people. I don’t want to be a farmer or steward or whatever. But I like that other people are into that, and there’s a lot of obliterated farmland out there that could be nudged toward more life.