“They don’t want to.” “We don’t want to.” “I don’t want to.” Before you resign yourself to what isn’t being done and what can’t be done to advance to a better future, see “Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective.” It’s already being done. People are already farming in attentively designed, new old ways.
The term “permaculture” tries to embody the notion of permanence. If it helps to lean on an overreaching term like that, fine. Basically we’re talking agriculture -- that great leap of humankind that started several thousand years ago. It got a little sidetracked when we leaped into the industrial revolution. It got distracted toward oblivion when we kicked into technological overdrive. (Spoiler alert: Permaculture does not mean shunning technological leverage.)
OK, call it permaculture, but the idea is sustainability using the lessons of thousands of human years and millions of ecosystem years.
With some philosophizing grease, the film “Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective” mostly demonstrates doing it. It’s about practical applications, sort of a humble expression of human tinkering toward a fundamental solution with a respectful bow to the way the natural world works.
Perennials don’t have to be planted every year. Berries are dense with nutrition and return nitrogen to the land – beans, too. Mushrooms, nuts, berries, and animals (from mammals to insects) can be mixed into a multi-story complementary food producing space.
Water that runs off roofs can be channeled into food production, reducing sewage system burdens. Water used in toilets, indeed the waste we dispose of in those toilets, is fodder for gardens.
The people culture is a huge part of it. There’s plenty of work to be done. Growing food is a job description. It’s practical knowledge and skill for the under-employed and the ungratifyingly employed. It’s an educational channel for youth and a center for community. It’s the eco-culture of life with humans intertwined in the bigger picture of life.
“Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective” does an engaging end around on doom and gloom and just shows things that are already being done that can be done way more.