lördag 27 april 2013


Do you know the word, “Permaculture”? Some of you may be familiar with this word, but others may not. This word is actually short for “permanent agriculture,” which describes an integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man, according to David Holmgren (2002), one of the co-originators of permaculture concept with Bill Mollison. It is also described as 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.

In addition, he adds that he sees Permaculture as the use of systems thinking and design principles that provide the organising framework for implementing the above vision. In his mind, Permaculture is not just the landscape, or even the skills of organic gardening, sustainable farming, energy efficient buildings or eco-village development, but is used to design, manage and improve these and all other efforts made by individuals, households, and communities towards a sustainable future.

Therefore, permaculture is also conceived as being short for “permanent culture” as well. In other words, it can be widely incorporated in all of the areas and aspects in our lives and cultures. I regard it as a philosophical backbone realized through the process of implementing concrete design principles as follows, which everyone who has a long-term vision for our future should have in mind.

1.Observe and Interact -Beauty is in the eye of the beholder- 
2.Catch and Store Energy -Make hay while the sun shines- 
3.Obtain a Yield -You can't work on an empty stomach- 
4.Apply Self-regulation and Accept Feedback      -The sins of the fathers are visited on the children unto seventh generation- 
5.Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services -Let Nature take its course- 
6.Produce No Waste -A stitch in time saves nine. Waste not, want not- 
7.Design from Patterns to Details -Can't see wood for the trees- 
8.Intergrate rather than Segregate -Many hands make light work- 
9.Use Small and Slow Solutions -The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Slow and steady wins the race- 
10. Use and Value Diversity -Don't put all your eggs in one basket- 
11.Use Edges and Value the Marginal -Don't think you are in the right track just because it is a well-beaten pass- 
12.Creativity Use and Respond to Change -Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be-  

In relation to food waste, we can refer to the design principle 6, “Produce no Waste”, in which it is regarded as important to have a radical perspective that sees wastes as resources and opportunities. Making composts is easy to come up with as an example of it, but, at the same time, if you have been wasting food as consumers, it can also be regarded as an opportunity to change your bad habits into a better one by achieving food literacy more and more!

Seiya Okawara

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