Tuesday, 10 December 2013

December- the impermanence of Permaculture

During the last month of November, I was ill for a few weeks. Recovering now :)

The very cold weather arrives
Outdoors not so much was going on. The weather has been very cold in Iceland, average -5ºC to -12ºC, and down to -21ºC in one day. The snow has been pilling to half a meter. All the plants are dormant under the snow, and it looks like most perennials are surviving well under the protection of the snow. Cycle to cycle, this is the time of the year when nothing can be grown in Iceland. Or could it?

This is how Iceland looks like in winter

Compact fluorescent lamps, for growing plants alive indoors
Indoors, I bought a set of powerful bright compact fluorescent lights (300W, about 20.000 lumen). Before this, it was difficult to keep most plants alive indoors (even when using four 20W cf lamps). Now, the 300 W light is so blindly bright that almost all plants are thriving.  I can keep my tree seedlings alive during the darkness of the winter.

Hopefully, we will be able to grow vegetables, like salads, perhaps even tomatoes, during winter.


I also had a powerful insight, during these recent weeks, as I was ill. That nothing is permanent, and so I am thinking about what I have now called "Impermaculture". Nothing is permanent, everything is always changing, so the notion of trying to control a stable system is impossible. Systems are inherently unstable, change and sometimes dramatically and outside of our control. Let's say you have a property and a forest garden, it is possible that you lose everything you planted to an extreme drought or a forest fire. And I think its worthless to have this idea of control (which implies a lot of effort), when nothing is assured. Better to plant and just let is flow, without expectations. In this context, a wide diversity of species, and also doing a wide number of forest garden projects, ensures better survival of species, and of rich habitats.

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