Monday, August 8, 2011

Permaculture for Afghanistan After All

So like everyone else I've been in lazy semi-vacation mode, coupled with a lot of other things going on. I've been a bit disappointed for my lack of original content - I've got no shortage of thoughts or ideas, I just have not sat down to put them in coherent form. But I do think I should note this - the New York Times had an excellent article about Permaculture classes, and the timing couldn't be better - my own Permaculture class begins next week (actually, the webinar portion already has). The class they profile even takes place in Wisconsin!

The New York Times: The Permaculture Movement Grows from Underground

But of all the article, I thought I should highlight one thing. In an earlier post, I referred to an earlier New York Times article lamenting the lack of appropriate technology in place of Western one-size-fits-all solutions. Well, this article directly contradicts that one:

MR. Pittman first encountered Mr. Mollison and his teachings at a weekend seminar in New Mexico in 1985. As a system, permaculture impressed him as panoptic and transformational. “It shook my world,” Mr. Pittman said.

Almost on the spot, he decided to drop his work and follow Mr. Mollison to the next stop on his teaching tour: Katmandu, Nepal. Soon after, he began to lead courses alongside Mr. Mollison, in cities and backwaters around the globe.

Mr. Mollison hasn’t toured the United States in almost 15 years. At 83, Mr. Mollison has “kind of faded into semi-retirement in Tasmania,” Mr. Pittman said.

Yet in recent years, Mr. Mollison’s ideas seem to have bubbled up from underground, into the mainstream. “I just trained the Oklahoma National Guard,” Mr. Pittman said. “If that’s any kind of benchmark.” The troops, he said, plan to apply permaculture to farming and infrastructure projects in rural Afghanistan.
That's great news. Let's hope it works out.

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