Recently, I wrote a blog about former United States Vice President Al Gore. He bought a 400-acre farm outside Nashville, Tennessee, and is using “regenerative agricultural” techniques to sequester carbon in the soil
There are other scientific-sounding terms to describe agricultural techniques, like the one that Al Gore is using, that can be used to mitigate climate change.
Agroforestry, for example, which is defined as the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal farming systems. Other examples include agroecology, sustainable agriculture, analog forestry, silvopasture, etc.
I read the definitions of these agricultural techniques, and, to me, they sound similar to that of permaculture. So, what is the difference?
Upon reflection, I have concluded that the difference may be that these various techniques are secular in nature while there is a set of foundational values that underpin permaculture.
Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share are the three foundational values that form the basis of permaculture design and practice.
Earth care means being responsible stewards of the planet. People care means responding to the needs of ourselves and others. Lastly, Fair share means ensuring that our surplus doesn’t go to waste by sharing it.
I think that the foundational values engender a sense of tremendous passion in practitioners of permaculture. I have the sense that the same cannot be said for other techniques. If we are going to save the planet, we will need to tap into that passion.