As we approach the highest heights that human population has known on this planet, created from exchanging nature’s capital for human growth and development, the time has come where the future expansion of human population (which, ultimately, each individual will need to learn to keep that in check based on respect for all humans), and more importantly consciousness, will only come from learning to enhance natures creative ability to lay the foundation of the source of life on this planet. This is what Permaculture seeks to do. It seeks to restore the source of nature’s stability via capturing natural energy (water, wind, sun, temperature, soil) and recycling it over and over again through biological processes, using the diversity of nature’s life, of which each individual plays an important roll in enhancing the stability of the system.
There are times when things get out of balance, as when one species is left unchecked and its population booms until something, a disease, a predator, or lack of resources draws the population of that species back in check. This is the importance of humans learning to develop resources in the likeness of nature, as we have wiped out diseases and predators (except for our own kind in wars) and thus the resources that we have learned to liquidate and turn into humans are running out. This is witnessed via population demand for more and more of the planets 2 billion year old savings account be it finite or renewable…. so much so that this current run on the Planet’s Bank account is threatening to undermine the bank itself, if you will. This is physically witnessed in dwindling finite resources like minerals and fossil fuel and in dwindling renewable resources via species extinction and ecosystem collapse.
So this leaves us with no choice but to learn how to enhance our local resource base and maximize our capacity to do so via Design thinking (aka creative problem solving) filtered through the lens of nature’s regenerative principles to create the world we want, a regenerative and resilient future for millenia to come.
We can start this by enhancing biomass in our back yards, capturing and storing water in all capacities, and planting functional perennials outside of our kitchen gardens. Turning our yards into small scale, regenerative resource farms. We can replicate this model on a larger scale by using the same principles but acknowledging the ability to propagate larger slower growing resources, like nut trees, timber crops and integrating support plants (legumes, dynamic accumulators and the sort) along with livestock to enhance productivity and biomass recycling. We can also integrate earthworks to enhance water capture and thus increase biomass production. To reference David Holmgren, it is a functional use of Fossil Fuel to build earthworks as we replace fossil fuel (ancient super condensed biomass) with current regenerative cycles of biomass that will be enhanced by the water captured by the earthworks.
The acequia system in New Mexico is a great historical example of using earthworks to enhance biomass production. These are channel systems developed by the Spaniards in New Mexico hundreds of years ago. This allowed them to channel the Spring snow melt out into the desert and use it to grow grasses, (which would have been much better served if forests, especially food forests were grown as they prevent evaporation and enhance hydrological cycles, which is great out there, and enhance the slower release of the water through springs.)
Understanding nature’s ability to capture, store and recycle nutrients and resources throughout its system is priceless. Nature is amazingly and perfectly designed of which, we, a species with amazing capabilities to create and destroy, are just now learning to step into the roll and responsibility we have towards this planet and all its inhabitants, one of Enhancing every living beings ability to create more harmony, rather than destroying it all. So what are we waiting for?