Grow Your Own Revolution

The most subversive thing you can do in this society is grow your own food. Without us consumers the lorries would stop rolling, road building would cease without nasty confrontation and Tesco’s out of town monsters would be recycled by nature into Oak trees.

Growing food needn’t be hard work. Indeed work is a dirty word in the language of permaculture (PC), synonymous with pollution.

I was never interested in farming or gardening before, I used to look at the allotments with their neatly regimented ranks of potatoes, sprouts etc. and think “looks like boring hard work to me.”

If we impose a militaristic regime on plants we let ourselves in for a lot of unnecessary labour and destroy the very soil we depend on. If we look at the way nature operates and work with rather than against it we are well on the way towards the full and happy life we are looking for.

Permaculture isn’t just about growing food though, as Graham Bell said in his book “The Permaculture Way”, it’s a way of arranging your life to be happy and plentiful.

When we live in the fantasy world of the city we are almost completely detached from the real world out there. It’s only through living in small scale local and decentralised communities that we can regain the sense of connection both to each other and to the land.

It seemsat first almost impossible to live in the city and do PC but when a few people get together ideas emerge and things start to happen. To put Earth First! we must learn what Earth is.

Every weekend a few people meet up on our allotment. We build a fire and make some stew from whatever is around, do a bit of planting and mulching if we feel like it but mostly just sit around talking . When it gets dark we have another meal together then play drums or-something. It’s not possible to live on the allotments but it’s the next best thing.

If you are lucky enough to have-a garden, don’t waste it on pretty flowers (as so-called “green” magazine is currently advocating) a permaculture plot will be much more attractive, less work and you can eat it!

There are bits of unused land scattered throughout even the darkest inner city area. These should be claimed by the people who are denied access to cultivable land in the same way as housing is claimed by squatting. We have a right to grow food as much as the right to a roof.

If you don’t feel like land squatting, perhaps you could get in touch with your local group and lobby the council to let you have some land. This is quite possible the permaculture association can put you in touch with people who have already done it. Alternatively just get an allotment.

There are local groups all over the country. Like EF!, it is an alive and rapidly growing movement, so if you would like to find out more , contact The Permaculture Association at P.O. Box 1, Buckfastliegh, Devon. TQ11 0LH. Tel. 03643 333.

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