Seeing Permaculture promoted on the BBC is yet another positive sign of the times. In this 50 minute presentation, wildlife film-maker Rebecca Hosking returns to her farming roots – hoping to take over the reins of her family farm in Devon, UK – and duly considers exactly what kind of farm she wants to develop. Significantly, Rebecca looks at where the world is heading in regards to food production, and, in particular, thinks about the serious implications of peaking oil supplies on our fossil-fuel dependent agriculture.
After talking to energy experts, Rebecca seeks out a few UK-based Permaculturists in a bid to learn how some are managing their land without fossil fuel inputs, and on the way discovers the key lesson in Permaculture – that nature is just waiting to work for us, and very productively, if we’d only exercise a few observational skills.
I’m reminded of the following very astute quote:
Here’s good advice for practice: go into partnership with nature; she does more than half the work and asks none of the fee. – Martin H. Fischer (1879-1962)
Rebecca also comes to realise that if we’re to feed our growing population, and at the same time meet the challenges of peak oil, climate change, soil erosion, water use, etc., we need to reverse the trend of the last fifty years – we need to see a great many more people returning to the land to grow a diverse range of food on small land holdings. As Rebecca says, in an ideal world governments would see the need to move this work forward – but if not, we need to push on regardless.