Greg Peterson’s Urban Farm U has just published my piece on Peter Bigfoot as “urban farming pioneer” on its blog, here.
Greg started farming in Phoenix forty years ago, and in 1991, when he discovered permaculture, converted his home’s 1/3 acre to an entirely edible landscape. Greg is an energetic proponent of permaculture and urban farming in Phoenix.
The permaculture approach – which I understand to involve, at least partly:
- learning about and working with the whole system relevant to a garden or landscape
- creating ecosystems that are efficient and beautiful because they’re based on natural principles and understanding of the systems and organisms
- releasing some control and allowing the component organisms and the entire system to do their work their way
- moving food production off massive, monocultural farms and onto smaller plots for more efficient use of resources and to make a better quality of food available to more people
– is, I feel, a vast improvement over business as usual, in terms of harmony with love. When people learn about their environment and food sources, gain respect and understanding for other creatures and the amazing systems of the Earth, and take steps toward more personal responsibility and care for themselves and the environment – I’m all for that. Greg has done and is still doing a lot to bring permaculture to Phoenix. So it’s a pleasure to contribute to Greg’s blog.
My own perspective on how to live on Earth is a lot more radical, though. For one thing, I’m vegan (not 100% yet, to be honest, but moving closer), and I disagree with the typical ways animals are involved in permaculture setups. Also, I suspect that the Earth and its systems and organisms were created by a God who has an intention for them to function in a purely loving way, which even permaculture is still light years from conceptualizing. And I feel we humans have an extraordinary effect on our surroundings on a soul level – “nothing is indifferent to us,” as Pope Francis put it – which means we have both immense power and responsibility, even beyond the ways we physically interact with our environment. Look up Cleve Backster’s experiments for a notion of what I mean.
Love’s Garden is a website all about this soul-based approach to engaging with our environment.