Today we want to bring something forward that is very important. It might often be overlooked, but it is not hyperbole when I say that the future of our species, and a great many more, depend on it. That is Permaculture, and we humans learning the practice of it.
What is permaculture? Permanent – Culture. You could say that this is the practice of living together permanently. That is to say, living in a way that could support us forever. The more popular term sustainability gets at this same idea, just that we can sustain this whole show collectively.
The World We Live In
I, like most of you, grew up in the artificially sustained existence that is the lifeline of most people alive on the planet today. We live in houses, we use fossil fuels to heat, cool, transport, grow crops, and prepare them to be eaten. We are plugged into the narrative of working the economics of the system to buy food, buy shelter, buy whatever we need.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with this inherently, but in this particular system almost all of the products and services provided come to a net loss for the environment. Our collectively established mindset is of conquering natural resources, be it food, water, land or energy. Conquering, as if we are competing with the earth for our very existence, even though the earth itself is what has created and sustained us.
Like a good mother, she has done everything she can to help us thrive. Given of herself without hesitation, even when we learned to take advantage and take more than our share. Now, the human race is something of a spoiled teenager that refuses to clean their room, help out around the house, and whines about not getting enough allowance.
Permaculture to Save the World
Now, it is time to grow up and start taking care of ourselves and our mother. She is tired, hurt, and running out of that youth and natural frontier that just a few generations ago, extended as far as we could travel. We can absolutely not wait on the government to get it together and fix it. Even if they had the motivation, the cooperation, and the means to make change, it would take each of us changing how we live our every single day and every product we use.
The change must come from each of us deciding to improve our lives, gathering the knowledge of how, then putting it to action. Me, you, and everyone. It won’t be easy, cheap, or quick, but it will be worth it. Today, there is more attention than ever in the western world focused on preserving the environment and ensuring that natural beauty, and natural resources, have a future.
Where to Go and Learn
Though there are hundreds of great permaculture schools, and millions of teachers and books and resources, here we are going to recommend Wild Abundance. This is a homesteading and permaculture school in Western North Carolina among the world’s oldest mountains composed of some really special teachers. They are offering a 9-month long course in the Essentials of Homesteading and Permaculture. One weekend a month takes you through the basics, covering a host of different basic skills and culminating in participants receiving their Permaculture Design Certificate.
If it seems like this is a pitch to get you to join, that’s because it is. We ask you, implore you, beg you to take part in this important work and to support those that have dedicated their lives to it.
You see, we at Next Step believe that teachers can and will change the world. We partner with people like those at Wild Abundance because we know that they are actually doing it. One person at a time, as necessary. They live what they teach. They are passionate about it. They are authentically living out the mission they were born to do, which is to keep alive these ancient skills of not only surviving, but thriving by being knowledgeable and ever-present in the natural world.
Take the Next Step
If any of this rings true with you, take a look at this course: Essentials of Homesteading and Permaculture. Sign up soon and use the coupon code NEXTSTEPED, and two things will happen. First, you receive a 10% discount. Not too shabby. Next, another 10% of this tuition will go back to the non-profit Next Step Ed to help aid us in our mission to change the world by supporting teachers of all stripes, just like these ones.
If this is not your course or your year for it, take a look at the others offered through the year. They are different lengths and commitments, each with a different focus. The Firefly Gathering is another great place to start, meet many others in pursuit of similar goals. If this message finds you from afar, find resources close to you that will help you empower yourself with this knowledge and join a community of like-minded folks that will support that.
I thank you for reading. My name is Alistair Hunt, I am a teacher, entrepreneur, and supporter of those that seek to improve the world through authenticity, joy, and passion. I am a co-founder of Next Step Ed, a non-profit group aiming to do just that.