A recent discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of planting Willows within a Permaculture Design has got me contemplating the wider scope of integrative debate and land management in Australia.
Natural Sequence Farming, as established by Peter Andrews, while common sense and clearly successful was met with suspicion and pursection in much the same way that the Willow was declared a noxious weed in Australia.
It is easy to accept an argument of "good/bad", "native/non-native". It makes it clear what you are "supposed" to do. But it also removes an entire scope of possibilities, potentials and restorative values. Unfortunately our entire social structure and way of being is based around these constructs. "Tell me what to do - and I will do it". We have discouraged group-consciousness to be a diverse system of creative action, because for many this notion looks simply like 'chaos'. What happens when you can step beyond the fear and into the realm of 'organised chaos', or what I like to call the 'messy business of an interesting life'. Permaculture is what happens.
Permaculture, much like yoga advocates for an integrative approach to the system of healing and wholeness. There is no right or wrong, but there is responsible discernment - which much to the dismay of our modern society takes time and effort. Just as the term "yoga" has become appropriated and is now associated with lean mean stretching machines, the phrases "green" and "sustainable" and "ecological" have become catch phrases which fail to acknowledge the deeper wisdoms which once resonated with the ecological movement.
It seems that the true healing and deep action continues to occurs around the periphery of main-stream thought. And it is within this space that ideas are generated which have the potential for creating tangible improvement.