Why Permacultura for Puerto Rico?
Bill Mollison says it best: “Permaculture (i)s a ‘positivitic’ response to environmental crisis. That means it is about what we want to do and can do, rather than what we oppose and want others to change. This response is both ethical and pragmatic, philosophical and technical.” - David Holmgren
Permaculture is a design system that is applicable to every aspect of an individual’s life: from farming and gardening, to lifestyle, to economics, to social structures, to resilience. The three pillars of permaculture are Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. “Permies” believe in the self-sustenance and empowerment that permaculture can and does provide for communities in Puerto Rico. By studying and applying permaculture to one’s home, family, community, business, and more, each part of the whole becomes sustainable and resilient. Creating and reusing resources locally and situation-specifically is the ultimate goal of a permaculture-designed system. This is more than just sustainable farming; this is a resilient life for entire communities.
On a practical level, permaculture in farming “closes the loop” of inputs and waste, creating and fully utilizing every part of abundant food production and environmental restoration from within the same system. Permaculture installations on the island largely survived the destruction of Hurricane Maria. Permaculture produces a resilient variety of foods, while reducing waste and expense, deeply connecting people to land, and restoring the crucial ecosystem between soil, plants, humans, animals, and all other life. In times of environmental crisis, permaculture proactively restores “farming” to “food forestry,” growing food the way Nature grows food. Much of Puerto Rico is a natural food forest. Restoring, expanding, and encouraging this “technique” will serve the island far better in the long run than short-sighted, capitalistic growing ever can.
Permaculture is about honoring the land. When a system is designed to honor the land, the land honors the caretaker of that land. Nature only exists in abundance. Your production increases exponentially over time with less and less resource and labor input.