Chapter 1 The Permaculture Journal

Chapter 1 The System Evolves
06/11/2020
Chapter 1 Education Begins; Institutes Form
27/11/2020
Chapter 1 The System Evolves
06/11/2020
Chapter 1 Education Begins; Institutes Form
27/11/2020

Chapter 1



In search of meaning

The origins of

Permaculture




The Permaculture Journal


Terry White, in Maryborough (Vic.) suggested an association in 1977, and a newsletter; I was unenthused, but agreed. Terry, unluckily without any journalistic experience whatsoever, took the job on, and sometimes on his knees, rarely with a wage, managed to produce The Permaculture Journal for many years, until Robyn Francis took it to Lismore, and set up a corporate entity for all course graduates, and then a corporation of young trainee journalists took it over about 1989. It has been my favourite reading since inception; it keeps me up to date with the movement, and it is a forum for all graduates of courses; periodically it issues a global guide to teaching centres. It celebrated its 50th issue in year 1994.

But there are now at least five good English-language journals, and about three in other languages; there are also numerous local newsletters and flyers. So, over 18 years, we built up a set of our own journals; that they have survived, and now prosper, is itself an amazing feat in the modern world

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Terry White and his wife Fay are not only talented musicians and singers, but have spent their lives in community service, and come close, I believe, to being our only saints. Most of us wander from the path of service, but they have not. It was Terry’s concern with the depopulation of rural areas due to the spread of salted lands that led him, together with graziers, businessmen, and churchmen, to form SALT (the Salt Action Liaison Team). On one of its early meetings, Terry and I set out for the Murray River in his battered VW Beetle.

The gallant car struggled halfway before smoking to a halt in the middle of a tiny town. We were stranded. Then Terry spoke to the postmistress, who called up a local farmer, who had a small aeroplane. He kindly agreed to take us on. We met him in his work clothes, and he trundled out a monoplane with obvious farm accessories (wire and string), and we all three flew to the meeting, which our benefactor attended; he then flew us back, but refused payment. It was his contribution to SALT, so he said. The rural world is full of such generous people.

U

ntil Terry formed SALT, there was no public awareness of how Australia was degrading; some 60% of soils have been lost, a lot to salt. Even now, the governments (we have seven or eight) try to ignore this. If an invader took 60% of our country, we would fight like crazy, but we can allow our soils to be lost just so long as we keep the votes.

Once in Brazil, a group of scientists sent a report to their Junta on acid rain, which made several areas near Sao Paulo unsafe. So they built the people a new soccer ground. So it goes. Just wait until I am emperor…