The way we currently meet our needs for food is almost entirely unsustainable. Even when following a vegan diet… Because the way we grow our plant-based foods is so often working against rather than with nature and surprise surprise; doing that takes a lot of bloody effort! We chop down rain forests, plow through Meadows, divert and dam up rivers and streams… We irrigate the earth, attempting to grow dry loving plants in bogs and bog lovers in deserts, then wonder why we are stuck with floods and drought… We spray crops to kill off the “pests“ then wonder why we are losing pollinators… We plant miles and miles of only one crop, destabilizing and destroying natural biodiversity and habitats and then mourn for the rising rate of extinction… Our monoculture farming forces us to use even more chemicals to stop creatures or diseases wiping out tons of food in one go… We drench the soil in chemical fertilizers and then wonder why they become void of nearly all of essential flora and fauna… We dig and dig our soils til they’re all but dust and then wonder why they’re eroding … We fly and ship food all around the world only to be slapped with the bill of global warming… What if we worked with nature rather than against her? What if we copied her genius of growing diversely in multiple layers, allowing plants and animals to work in synchrony, balancing one another and dissipating the impact of blows such as disease or drought? Imagine if we planted all these plants where they wanted to be, bog lovers in bog, shade lovers in shade? And imagine every plant in layer had a use.
I am a permaculture designer, no dig, organic grower. I believe in the powerful magic of the plants... if we only listen. I believe that by engaging with and learning from nature we can heal the Earth, and in doing so, we heal ourselves too.
To me engaging with nature can happen on so many different levels... watching and pacing ourselves with the seasons, growing some of our own food and medicine in harmony with the Earths rhythms, understanding the herbs, knowing and foraging the plants. These activities connect us, they place us in the bigger picture that is Earth. They create a desire to protect what we love and shift into a new age of regeneration and sustainable living. Permaculture provides beautiful ethos to guide our dreaming and creation of a gentle “new” way of living.
Imagery by Poppy Okotcha
Follow her work at @poppyokotcha for more!