From Earlham Cluster Department
The purpose of this independent study is to gain an understanding of the biological systems critical to self-sustaining agricultural practices. I will read, analyze and practice different theories of designing sustainable systems. My research will look at these issues from a varitety of perspectives; first person accounts, primary scientific research, certified permacultural design manuals and recorded experiential wisdom of farming practices.
Permaculture is a concept founded on the belief that current mainstream agricultural production has a negative net affect on the health of the ecosystems and the health of human society. The founding principle is that proactive, responsible stewardship of the earth is inherently beneficial to human beings, and that food production can have a positive net effect on the land and on people.
My focus is an in-depth look into the biology present on the farm. Specifically how responsibly managed farms immitate and employ the natural relationships between organisms as they occur in different ecosystems. These practices are used to improve farm land rather than degrade it and have the added benefits of increased productivity and reduced expenditure.