Here in Costa Rica we often visit the University of Peace. When walking through one of the hallways you can not help but notice a book that is titled “Environmental Degradation is the Cause of War in Africa”. This is a phrase that has to be looked at on a global level. We feel that concept of our food supply coming from such far distances, in monoculture plantations, fueled by pesticides made by the oil companies is one of the major issues our world faces today. The idea behind permaculture is that we try and make a fresh healthy food supply that can at the same time protect our environment.
A monoculture plantation only lasts as long as the soil lasts and when it is monoculture (meaning only one crop on large plantations) the erosion is very intense. When the erosion is intense nutrients are lost. When nutrients are lost pesticides are brought to fill the gap of nutrients or pests that have adapted to one crop and can take over. It is a constant battle of oil driven pesticides. soil degradation, and pests. The environment will eventually lose completely and when the environment loses we all lose.
The idea behind permaculture farming is a form of biomimicry which invites our student travel groups to Costa Rica to learn about the benefits of permaculture farming. The idea is to mimic the natural surrounding. In the design of permaculture you are using no pesticides and designing a farm that is also used as a natural corridor for animals to allow them to carry out their purpose in the ecosystem of the area. It is a great concept and has been working all over the globe for years. It is lack of education that has allowed for this idea not to spread or a lack of larger companies that don’t want to lose money. Well whatever it might be we think Wes Jackson said it best from The Land Institute, “If you are planning a project that you are going to finish in this lifetime then you are planning too small”. This is exactly the type of goals we need to have when dealing with the problems of today because we all know that a garden does not grow overnight and in the society of today it is give me it now now now but here in the area of Permaculture we learn about switching from a society of now now now to a society of thinking of the whole and not just ourselves.