Working With Nature
Written by: Patsy Lussier
Ethics in my opinion are a way to collaboratively agree on a True North, similar to values. We use these as behavioral guidelines allowing us to live by a system, with integrity. When we do this, we are living in alignment with ourselves, while also in collaboration with our surroundings and each other.
The permaculture ethics can be boiled down to three simple affirmations:
- Care of the earth
- Care of people
- Return of surplus
As we enter our gardening season with great expectations -as we should dream big! – what can we do to support our food producing system? It is often not about the answers but the questions we ask first.
Ask not what can the garden give me, but what can the garden provide if I collaborate with it? Think in terms of reciprocity, of needs and yields. Start with what do I need, and what will the garden yield, and then flip it around: What does the garden need, and what will I yield? This is how to start thinking of your garden as part of your own empowered ecosystem – and your place in that as well. It’s how to start thinking about closed loop systems.
As we are getting closer to planting our whole patch, what could you do to support the system in its entirety with these ethics in mind? What is the entirety of your system? How big is your impact, actually. It’s more than thinning the carrots to allow for bigger and stronger carrots.
Rule of green thumbs: Source organically rich compost to boost your system nutrition!
An annual garden requires a high energy exchange. My focus is often on soil. It is not only the medium, but the foundation for life, and nutrition for the entire system. My objective for the weekend, as I hold space for nutrient dense food security, will be adding compost to my garden patch. This will allow me to take care of the system as it takes care of me, and doing so utilizing waste and returning organic surplus to the system.
I have vermicompost – worm poop – from my winter kitchen compost bins that I will add to the beds. I will also supplement with compost from my local nursery. This is participating in the local economy and supporting the good work as I continuously improve my own “close loop” systems.
What can you do to support yourself, your growth, your systems? What can you do to work with your environment in a regenerative way?
No matter how big or small the action, the important thing is the intention. Showing up with authenticity in who we are and what we believe in, with integrity.
How can you empower your own ecosystem?