In October last year, David gave a presentation at the Congreso de sembrares, a Spanish speaking conference, the first online Congress of Free Agriculture.
His presentation was entitled, Permaculture: Free Farming from the Backyard to the Bioregion.
Event organiser Oscar Rodriguez, writes:
Choosing a presentation from our first congress has not been easy for me, as it was full of very valuable and inspiring content. The presentation by David Holmgren, father of Permaculture, seems to me to bring together many interesting ideas that I think it is important to highlight on this occasion, and for this reason I thought it would be good to provide you with the transcription and visualization through the Sembrares YouTube channel, so that you can see it, subtitled in Spanish, as many times as you want.
In its day, with all the work and nerves of that first congress, I could not explain to you the experience of meeting the great people who participated, each of them more kind and more generous. David Holmgren and his secretary, Meg, treated me exceptionally well, making the process of scheduling and recording their talk easy. Everything was facilities, dedication and good manners on his part. And we are talking about one of the most important personalities of the movements that we could consider “alternative” in the whole world. In short, wonderful people. I believe that here is the paradigm shift that the world needs: I realized that the better known and requested a person is and, therefore, the more important the work they do is, the more humble, more generous and, moreover, more grateful. .
In this talk, Holmgren explains that “permacultural design can help us weave together the necessary fabrics for a relocated food system that rebuilds the natural capital of soil, water, biomass and biodiversity, while providing work and food sovereignty outside of globalized markets for agricultural products, dominated by corporations”. Several important concepts in this explanation. Holmgren advocates the “relocation” of agricultural and livestock production, through a model that we break down throughout the paper, in which he zones the territory according to the possibilities of use it has. All this focused on food sovereignty, which is not being given the importance it deserves in this globalized system.
First of all, it makes it clear to us that permaculture does not intend to alleviate the impacts generated by the exponential economic growth in which we are currently experiencing. The goal is to “create resilience” to the future that large corporations are building.
The scenario that predicts the growth of “non-monetary and informal economies at the domestic and community level” seems especially interesting to me. This strategy can be very useful in “retro-suburbs”, low-density residential areas, and focuses on 3 areas: constructive, biological and behavioral.
I often think of the application of these principles and these areas of action in cities near my place of residence, such as Barcelona, or others not as large as Mataró, Granollers or Sabadell. It would be very interesting to carry out studies on the capacity of these low population density peripheries, and of the public and private spaces that are located in them, to generate food and employ people, something that would be fundamental in this future of collapse. energetic and eco-social that we have above.
One of the reasons for choosing this paper has been the certainty that many of the people who follow Sembrares can find similarities between the author’s explanations and the places where they live and, therefore, can see applications of some of these principles. in their neighborhoods to improve people’s lives.
Now I want to encourage you to participate: after seeing David Holmgren’s talk, do you identify the areas that the author talks about in your city or in the one closest to you? I would love for you to explain your case to me. I do not know the reality of Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Bilbao, Santiago, Lima, or many other wonderful cities from which Sembrares’ proposals are seen. If you feel like it, you can explain your experience in the comments of the video on Youtube. You dare? Thanks in advance!
PS: You can download here the written transcript of the presentation to be able to read it quietly wherever you want.