Is Permaculture really just for the Hippies?

First Chillies picked from my garden 2012

Need I say more...

I found it super stressful to be working with (older) children this week at my Prac experience.  I had to explain to them that anything that came in a packet had preservatives in it...really?? And these kids live on farms.!. I also had an argument with them over the organic nature of their crops, I asked them "does your dad spray his potato crop" - answer "yes" - "then its not organic". I always fought the notion that my local community was getting a bit more opened minded but take one step out of town and I see racism - closed mindedness - and generational fairy tales everywhere.

My family eats well - we eat as much of our own grown food as possible and the rest is filled with veggies sourced from the local fruit and veg store. I know what effect sugar and preservatives have on my little girl. The high and then the low that comes soon is painfully obvious to watch - even at three and a half she knows the effect it has on her moods and behavior. I really am flabbergasted that other parents claim that it has no effect on their children. I knew BC (before child) that it had some sort of effect on kids but now AC (after children) the results are plain to see... it's simply so plain to see.

One of my worst child raring moments was going to a friend house and seeing some sort of red cordial (maybe blackcurrant) in a five month old's bottle - a bottle for goodness sake!! Miss G only has cordial perhaps once a month - if she is lucky - and only if she catches her Dad having a glass. She begs for water to quench her thirst - even with the cordial drink by its side.

Recently my Mexican friend was staying with me, we had a discussion about the word Permaculture. We worked together on Bill Mollison's farm. I expressed my issues with the word "Permaculture" and how it had been hi-jacked by the New Ageists, hi-jacked and enforced with its "spirituality". Indeed I am not happy about this - I do not believe in witches - fairies - or elves. I do not want to be associated with the thought patterns that the new-ageist apply to their everyday life. It does not go well with my intellectual side. I believe in karma and living life respectful to animals, earth and humans - Simplicity.
While I still will be enjoying my garden and its produce - working towards removing myself and my family off the grid I will start to choose my words more carefully. My Mexican friend suggested the words "Organic" and "Sustainability" - these are the words I will be using from now on. I will still be drawing on permaculture for some inspiring ideas but I will also be drawing from other sustainable practices to give myself a rounded education in care of our earth, planet and animals.
I know that Bill never went much on the mumbo-jumbo that was getting caught up in the word Permaculture - he detests it. If you read his books there is nothing about those things in there for a reason - he does not believe it either - he is a scientist and I believe perhaps too smart to buy into the new-agest rubbish. 
I am not getting all "down on the hippies"... I love the hippies... I am a hippy... I just believe that because I enjoy living an alternative life I shouldn't have to worship alternative gods - the moon - or trees.
So from now on you will hear me talk less of Permaculture and more about organics and sustainability. I believe in its importance to our minds - body and souls. When it comes to spirituality I am still seeking and questioning. Recently there have been too many questions with out answers... in the meantime I will keep cleansing my home of junk and my personal associations from stress...its working on some level to cleanse my mind...and that has to be good right?

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Michelle Walker is a Tasmanian born creative. An Artist for life, Visual Arts Teacher, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Hairdresser by trade and mother to two beautiful children.