I want to repost a diary (what blog posts are called over at the Great Orange Satan™) that I wrote just over a year ago.
It covers similar territory to an article up on PermacultureNews.org right now, called “Permaculture and Managing Holistically.”
Simply put, I wanted to make clear that Permaculture, Holistic Management, Natural Farming, and Biodynamics are not all the same thing.
The reason I wrote this last year was because these (and other) ways of looking at the world are becoming increasingly popular. As things become popular, some people tend to pass on their enthusiasm without taking the time to familiarize themselves with what things actually are.
Hopefully, this old article of mine will help define these things (as I see them, obviously many will have completely different ideas as to what they are). Of course, what something is can evolve overtime and I in no way intend on locking up these dynamic terms and throwing away the key.
I also briefly take on the habit of some folks to conflate techniques with ideology. Here is an excerpt from the article on that:
A Technique Does Not an Ideology Make
I hope that I have made the case that each of these ideologies are distinct entities in their own right. That they have definitions, that they are not amorphous and should not be used as catch-phrases for a set of techniques that one uses.
It takes a conscious decision on the part of a person to adopt these ideologies and apply them.
For this reason, one must not confuse techniques utilized by them with the ideology itself.
Here are some examples:
+Rotational grazing is not Holistic Management. If I move livestock from one paddock to another without going through the Holistic Management design process- I cannot call it Holistic Management. It remains rotational grazing. I would be mistaking a technique for a decision making framework, they are not synonymous.
+Hugelkultur is not Permaculture. Hugelkultur is a type of raised bed made popular by Sepp Holzer. The decision to build such a bed may be born out of my permaculture design process, but it remains one of many techniques. It will never be “permaculture.” Why? Because permaculture is an ethical design process- not a technique. It also isn’t a dozen or a hundred techniques. It is an ethical design process.
Anyway, I hope that someone may find this post useful :)
Later, I want to share some photographs of where I am interning, hopefully this weekend.