Sunday, February 3, 2008

Permaculture and METTA

For the last couple of years I have been promoting the idea of Metta (from the
Buddhist - 'loving kindness') production, the next step beyond organic (or at
least industrial organic which seems to have seperated itself from the "healthy
food from healthy soil" approach of the founders).

The contention being that virtually all production today is (Yeomans) extraction
fertility farming, this leads to a depletion in the micronutrients available in
food, we mine the superficial layers of the soil/import compost etc. Some
contend that obesity is caused by the body quest for said micronutrients which are usually in miniscule supply from modern diets so you have to eat massive to have enough.

Metta would involve each grower (re)becoming a healer (someone who makes whole),
they are deeply responsible for the health of each of their customers, guiding
the contents of each weekly (or whatever) hamper to create then maintain full
health, for themselves too. Residues, and ideally humanure and eventually
bodies, are returned to the grower so "only sunlight is harvested". A contract
is made, so to speak, between customer and food supplier, the former do what
they need to do to not degrade their health, the latter does what is needed to develop robust good health.

These growers will have to have much knowledge and many skills not necessarily
found in today's systems. A good understanding of human nutrition will be one,
and by this I don't mean the mainstream nutrional "sceince" but something much

The grower living/working in a designed system has low direct income need, so
doesn't need a huge/expanding customer base, and stays human scale.

Added into the food supply would be/are lots of wild foods, older varieties,
reverted varieties (as with Fukuoka). Polycultural strategies such as the
Coppice Orchard we have here coupled to good crop choice, eg lots deep rooters,
accumulators etc are essential too.

With the Copp Or system for eg we have hazels which drop leaves still rich in
stuff, Eleagnus fixing N and giving a, just, edible fruit, and generally all the
trees with their leaf fall, insects, birds, bacteria, roots, adding to the
richness of the system. N/S glades are created by coppicing the apples, hazels,
eleagnus etc and these are chipped and put as mulch. Etc. My focus is very much
on micronutrients and deep soil/subsoil cycling.


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