Connect with us

Alternative News

12 Design Principles For More Sustainable Farming

Published

on

“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet.” – David Suzuki

advertisement - learn more

A Brief History of Agriculture

Before we look at what the future might look like we need to understand how we got to where we are before we can move in the appropriate direction for a new and more sustainable future.

Scholars, historians and archaeologists suggest that various forms of farming have existed for over 10,000 years. It was around 9500 BC that the development of crops such as wheat, barley, peas and lentils occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean region (Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Palestinian Territories). In 5500 BC in Southern Mesopotamia, the Sumerians developed possibly the first large scale intensive farming system that included mono cropping -the use of organised labour and widespread irrigation. In 4000 BC, the Mesopotamians were at it again, developing wooden ploughs, possibly the first in history. It took the Assyrian’s another five hundred years to develop irrigation techniques. At the same time, 3500 BC, evidence of the first agriculture in the Americas and Central Amazonia occurred. In 500 BC, the Chinese invented an iron plough that saw the development of row cultivation in cropping.

Agriculture moved into a new era with the development of cash cropping in 1000  AD. This was effectively a move away from subsistence farming. In subsistence agriculture, crops are grown mainly for the producers own benefit and consumption. Cash cropping is where crops are grown specifically for sale and profit. In Illinois 1837, John Deere invented the steel plough and by 1855 Deere had sold over 10,000 ploughs across America. 1895 brought with it the development of refrigeration in the United States and United Kingdom which helped in storing excess food supplies for domestic and commercial uses. By 1944 the ‘Green Revolution’ had spread its wings and was transferring technological research and development initiatives across India and other parts of the globe. This revolution helped increase production in countries like India with the development of higher yielding crop varieties. The ‘green revolution’ introduced intensive irrigation methods and manmade fertilizers and pesticides.

A Summary of Current and previous agricultural production

Looking back over this brief history of agriculture, two key things have occurred in farming. Firstly, there has been a move away from subsistence farming toward cash cropping with an emphasis on increasing yields and output of crop varieties. Secondly, developments in farming techniques and technological improvements over the last century have only been made possible by oil powered machinery and oil based agricultural inputs. These increases in technology and automation have allowed societies to sustain themselves more adequately, allowing populations to increase across all continents. Another trend that is highlighted when looking back at our farming and agriculture history is the predominance of land clearance and intensive farming. There have been some exceptions, many of which are traditional native cultures who saw no need for improved efficiencies as the natural systems and cycles provided enough for a sustained existence. Many of our modern agricultural practices have had a focus on intensive farming that uses heavy machinery, artificial fertilizers and pesticides which eventually depletes soils and the natural environment. The history books are littered with cultures and societies that have collapsed from the exploitation of natural resources. It makes sense that we investigate alternatives to agricultural production going forward. It is estimated that for every calorie of food we eat in the modern industrialised food system it takes 10 calories of fossil fuels to produce that one calorie of food, therefore the price of food and cheap energy are highly correlated. In the early 1900’s 50% of the American workforce was employed in the agricultural sector. Today the number is approximately 2% of the workforce that is engaged in growing food.

Permaculture the Way Forward

The term ‘permaculture’ originated from Australian born author, scientist, teacher and naturalist Bill Mollison and co-developer David Holmgren in the 1970’s. Mollison is known as the ‘father’ of permaculture. He summarises permaculture: “Permaculture (permanent agriculture) as the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.” Permaculture has spread across the globe and there are now millions of people practicing and teaching permaculture principles and design. In his book ‘Permaculture: A Designers Manual’ Mollison states “Permaculture in essence is how nature ultimately designed things in the first place. The idea behind permaculture is to replicate or mimic the natural systems and environments, while using some of the modern techniques of horticulture, architecture and agriculture to enhance and yield edible food supplies.” David Holgren in his book Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability elaborates: “Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs,” and, “I see permaculture as the use of systems thinking and design principles that provide the organising framework for implementing the above vision.”

advertisement - learn more

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it.” – Genesis 2:15

For the most part, we have been following a path of intensive and highly automated agriculture that places pressure on natural systems. Permaculture is more closely linked with how traditional natives farmed and worked with the land. Soil quality is one of the key ingredients for successful farming and agriculture. From the Cuban experience we know that it took the Cubans between 3 to 5 years to get the soil back into a healthy condition after many years of degradation. The use of pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers destroyed the composition of these soils. The methodology that underlies the permaculture movement is that of community and bringing people together to work for the common good. It is a shift away from a non-material profiteering way of life, towards one that encompasses personal responsibility for our actions, taking care of the environment and ensuring that resources are managed sustainability.

Permaculture brings us back to a time when communities, friends and neighbours shared resources. Permaculture is a long way from cheap mass produced food that generate externalities from production. It is about observing nature’s laws and working with nature as opposed to against it. Permaculture is about harnessing what nature has to offer without being greedy and taking more than we need. The collection and storage of water through tanks and the preserving of foods is an example of this philosophy. Realising that what we do today will impact future generations is crucial in paving the way for a sustainable agricultural future. Short sighted profitability must make way for long term sustainability of our land and environment. (1)

Permaculture Design Principles

(Author credit: Richard Telford @ permacultureprinciples.com)

permaculturedesingprinciples design1perma

By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation. This icon for this design principle represents a person ‘becoming’ a tree. In observing nature it is important to take different perspectives to help understand what is going on with the various elements in the system. The proverb “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” reminds us that we place our own values on what we observe, yet in nature, there is no right or wrong, only different.

design2perma

By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.

This icon for this design principle represents energy being stored in a container for use later on, while the proverb “make hay while the sun shines” reminds us that we have a limited time to catch and store energy.

design3perma

Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing. The icon of this design principle, a vegetable with a bite out of it, shows us that there is an element of competition in obtaining a yield, whilst the proverb “You can’t work on an empty stomach” reminds us that we must get immediate rewards to sustain us.

design4perma

We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. The icon of the whole earth is the largest scale example we have of a self regulating ‘organism’ which is subject to feedback controls. The proverb “the sins of the fathers are visited unto the children of the seventh generation” reminds us that negative feedback is often slow to emerge.

design5perma

Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behaviour and dependence on non-renewable resources. The horse icon represents both a renewable service and renewable resource. It can be used to pull a cart, plough or log and it can even be eaten – a non consuming use is preferred over a consuming one. The proverb “let nature take it’s course” reminds us that control over nature through excessive resource use and high technology is not only expensive, but can have a negative effect on our environment.

desxign6perma

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste. The icon of the worm represents one of the most effective recyclers of organic materials, consuming plant and animal ‘waste’ into valuable plant food. The proverb “a stitch in time saves nine” reminds us that timely maintenance prevents waste, while “waste not, want not” reminds us that it’s easy to be wasteful in times of abundance, but this waste can be a cause of hardship later.

 design7perma

By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go. Every spider’s web is unique to its situation, yet the general pattern of radial spokes and spiral rings is universal. The proverb “can’t see the forest for the trees” reminds us that the closer we get to something, the more we are distracted from the big picture.

design8perma

By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between them and they support each other. This icon represents a group of people from a bird’s-eye view, holding hands in a circle together. The space in the centre could represent “the whole being greater than the sum of the parts”. The proverb “many hands make light work” suggests that when we work together the job becomes easier.

design9perma

Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.  The snail is both small and slow, it carries its home on its back and can withdraw to defend itself when threatened. The proverb “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” reminds us of the disadvantages of excessive size and growth while “slow and steady wins the race” encourages patience while reflecting on a common truth in nature and society.

design10perma

Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides. The remarkable adaptation of the spinebill and hummingbird to hover and sip nectar from long, narrow flowers with their spine-like beak symbolises the specialisation of form and function in nature. The proverb “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” reminds us that diversity offers insurance against the variations of our environment.

design11perma

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system. The icon of the sun coming over the horizon with a river in the foreground shows us a world composed of edges. The proverb “don’t think you are on the right track just because its a well-beaten path” reminds us that the most popular is not necessarily the best approach.

design12perma

We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time. The butterfly is a positive symbol of transformative change in nature, from its previous life as a caterpillar. The proverb “vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be” reminds us that understanding change is much more than a linear projection. (1)

Permaculture design systems can be used anywhere from rural communities to high density urban environments. The beauty of permaculture is that is about being creative through observing the landscape and adapting and designing around any constraints that may exist. It is about creating a more integrated system that takes into account the natural synergies and  connections between components that produce abundance.

 Check out this video where a family grows 6,000lbs of produce a year in an urban setting.  

CoverONENOVArticle by Andrew Martin editor of onenesspublishing  and author of  One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…

Sources

(1) http://onenesspublishing.com/sample-page/

(2) http://permacultureprinciples.com/principles/

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Alternative News

Elon Musk And Over 2400 AI Scientists Sign Pledge Against Killer Robots

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    More than 2,400 AI scientists and researchers have signed a pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS).

  • Reflect On:

    Are we as individuals, working together on shared concerns for all humans on the planet, starting to see the power we have to effect positive change?

It is not an uncommon story in the history of science and technology: the most brilliant and innovative minds of their time discover, create, and invent technologies that can have hugely positive benefits for mankind as a whole. Inevitably, the largest and wealthiest ‘consumer’ of such technologies is the Military-Industrial Complex, and the main ways these technologies are produced in our world are as tools of control, warfare, and human suffering.

In earlier times scientists and inventors didn’t have much say in how their work was used, and could often be persuaded that their use in military applications was actually for the benefit of humankind. Today, those naive days are gone, and the landscape is different. Some of the most prominent minds that are creating advanced technologies are starting to speak out more and more about how their work is being used in the world.

More Than 2400 Signatories

Elon Musk of SpaceX and Demis Hassabis at Google DeepMind are among more than 2,400 signatories to the pledge which intends to deter military firms and nations from building lethal autonomous weapon systems, also known as LAWS. The signatories are scientists who specialize in artificial intelligence, (AI) and have declared that they will not participate in the development or manufacture of robots that can identify and attack people without human oversight. The pledge was created by the Future of Life Institute:

LETHAL AUTONOMOUS WEAPONS PLEDGE

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to play an increasing role in military systems. There is an urgent opportunity and necessity for citizens, policymakers, and leaders to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI.

In this light, we the undersigned agree that the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine. There is a moral component to this position, that we should not allow machines to make life-taking decisions for which others – or nobody – will be culpable. There is also a powerful pragmatic argument: lethal autonomous weapons, selecting and engaging targets without human intervention, would be dangerously destabilizing for every country and individual. Thousands of AI researchers agree that by removing the risk, attributability, and difficulty of taking human lives, lethal autonomous weapons could become powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems. Moreover, lethal autonomous weapons have characteristics quite different from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the unilateral actions of a single group could too easily spark an arms race that the international community lacks the technical tools and global governance systems to manage. Stigmatizing and preventing such an arms race should be a high priority for national and global security.

advertisement - learn more

We, the undersigned, call upon governments and government leaders to create a future with strong international norms, regulations and laws against lethal autonomous weapons. These currently being absent, we opt to hold ourselves to a high standard: we will neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons. We ask that technology companies and organizations, as well as leaders, policymakers, and other individuals, join us in this pledge.

The Power Of Public Shaming

The pledge hopes to amount to more than just words. In calling on countries to legislate laws, technology companies to not accept contracts, and individuals to voice their support against lethal autonomous weapons, they hope to sway public opinion overwhelmingly against LAWS, and in doing so shame any person or group who would go ahead with its development. There is some precedent for this approach working, according to Yoshua Bengio, an AI pioneer at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms:

This approach actually worked for land mines, thanks to international treaties and public shaming, even though major countries like the US did not sign the treaty banning landmines. American companies have stopped building landmines.

The timing of this pledge is crucial. The military is one of the largest funders and adopters of AI technology. With advanced computer systems, robots can fly missions over hostile terrain, navigate on the ground, and patrol under seas. More sophisticated weapon systems are in the pipeline. Toby Walsh, a professor of AI at the University of New South Wales in Sydney who signed the pledge, had this to say about it:

We need to make it the international norm that autonomous weapons are not acceptable. A human must always be in the loop.

We cannot stop a determined person from building autonomous weapons, just as we cannot stop a determined person from building a chemical weapon. But if we don’t want rogue states or terrorists to have easy access to autonomous weapons, we must ensure they are not sold openly by arms companies.

Collective Consciousness Rising

This pledge is but one example of how people are implicating themselves in the future of the planet. No longer are we waiting on the sidelines and leaving decisions up to corporations, the military, or our political leaders. When we identify ourselves not as a race, culture or nation but as a planet, where all of humankind is considered part of the family, then we get to have greater access to the power of our collective consciousness. Once we harness that power, no initiative that is for the benefit of humanity is beyond our abilities.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Alternative News

The Flying Humanoid Phenomena Of Mexico

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There have been multiple reports over the years of bizzare activity in the skies of Mexico. People have claimed to be seeing flying humanoids in the sky. Though not fully verified as to what onlookers have seen, it is clear what they believe.

  • Reflect On:

    Experiences & stories such as this bring us to the question most of us have heard before, 'Are we alone?' What is the true nature of our reality? More importantly, what could this mean for us as a collective, as humanity?

Throughout time in mainstream media and the entertainment industry we have been programmed to see beings outside of human as dangerous, and for the most part there is a good chunk of fear-based propaganda to remind us of the potential danger if we were to encounter a visit.

Though new films and shows have been coming forth with a different perspective & narrative and new space forces are being declared, it is interesting to question the why. Stories of otherworldly visitors have been spread for centuries, and it is time we closely examine them with an open mind.

In this specific instance, an officer driving his patrol car in Mexico has seen a dark shape that he verified was, in fact, a “flying humanoid entity” which he described looked like a floating old woman, dressed in all black with dark skin and eyes that were “just black sockets, without eyelids.”

This startling apparition then apparently flew over to hover right in front of the vehicle and the stunned occupant within. He could see it better at this time, and noted that it was a hideous old woman that “resembled a witch.” Apparently annoyed by the car’s high beams, the witch then reportedly covered her face with some sort of cloak and then flew right into the vehicle’s windshield, causing the dumbfounded officer to go speeding back in reverse. He would explain the terrifying events like this:

As soon as I realized it was a kind of woman being, or a witch, very strange standing there trying to cover her face, she threw herself against my car very fast, falling on the car and hitting the windshield. She was flying very fast and it took only a second to hit the windshield glass. I was so shocked by this action that I put the car in reverse and pushed the accelerator trying to get away while requesting backup assistance by radio.

It was a woman with big black eyes, everything was black, no eyelids. Her skin was dark brown and her expression was horrible. She was furiously trying to get me with her claws while I was running away in reverse calling desperately for backup assistance to any units around.

advertisement - learn more

If you would like to read more about why humanity is seemingly ‘obsessed’ with the ET phenomena at this time, please read more here and watch our latest video to dive deeper into the subject matter.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading

Alternative News

There Is More Than One Type Of Intelligence

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The current model of schooling puts emphasis on one particular type of education, which only covers a small percentage of the population of children. It also educates children in batches, assuming they are all ready for the same thing.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time to reevaluate this method of schooling to be more inclusive to children with all types of other intellect and creative ability? Is our education system even bringing out the full potential in our children?

What was your experience in school like? Did you hate it or love it? Were you an all ‘A’ student and found it to be a breeze or did you struggle with understanding some of the subjects you were being taught?

The fact of the matter is, our modern education system is not catering to students as individuals, but lumping them all into the same category and expecting them to succeed, even at things they are not particularly good at or even interested in, while those who got the highest test scores were praised and reminded of their perceived superiority and intelligence.

Because of this, many children experience anxiety around tests because they have been taught over and over again that their value is determined by a letter grade and not their creative abilities. If one child has an amazing skill to write poetry, but then fails a math exam, the latter will be the topic that is looked at and how this failure can be turned around. Often telling the child they need to pay attention more in class or study longer, even though this particular topic may not be where the child’s intelligence lies. This system is designed strictly for children to learn how to memorize and regurgitate what they have learned in the form of tests, not giving much leeway for other talents and abilities.

Our modern-day schooling system was designed to train children into becoming the perfect employee, to sit at a desk perhaps, or follow orders effectively for when they are old enough to enter the workforce. The hours, little time for play, taking instructions from a person with authority and unfortunately, leaving little room for exploring creative abilities. This system, in reality, only caters to a small percentage of people in the world, and because of this, we are effectively killing the creative potential that exists within all human beings.

The following video from Sustainable Human sums this up quite nicely.

advertisement - learn more

As it says in the video, “How did we get to the point where we decided the best way to school our children is to sit them behind a desk and insist they keep still?”

Children are meant to play, to explore, to observe, to stumble, to be curious, to ask questions, to find answers, to learn from others and as they go. Sitting them in a desk seems far from natural, yet this is something that to this day we still accept as normal and see it as, ‘just the way it is.’ However, it hasn’t actually been that long that this has been our generally accepted method of schooling.

“If a kid is failing, it is not the kids fault, the fault is within the system.”

Let us not forget that there are MANY forms of intelligence and it’s time we embraced every single one. The schooling system as we know it, needs an overhaul.

Let’s get this discussion started over in the Collective Evolution Group on Facebook.

Much Love

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

EL

Watch: Exclusive Uncut Interview With David Wilcock'Disclosure & The Fall Of The Cabal'

Enter your name and email below to watch the interview.

You have Successfully Subscribed!