The Problem is the Solution

Happy Fall! Once again we arrive at that beautiful time of year when things start to slow down after a long summer, the bounties of the land have come to fruition, and tables are full of our harvests and smiles.

As permaculturists, we are deeply connected to the seasons, especially during this special time when we harvest, store, and prepare for the winter. It is a particularly good time to pause and reflect on the blessings in our lives, as well as the gaps we wish to fill. After a busy season of tending to our gardens, it often feels vital to shift the focus inward, and to tend to our ourselves – to our inner gardens. This is time to spend reconnecting to and asking questions of our deepest selves. As a holistic system of solutions, one of the beauties of permaculture is it values all aspects of one’s life, including the relationship to one’s own self.

Permaculture also offers solutions on a grander scale that the entire world can utilize. As the calendar marks one year of the current federal administration in the US, there should be time set aside for a National self-analysis. Over this past year, we have borne witness to a systematic unraveling of five decades of environmental protection that many of us worked passionately to set in place. The pull-out of the Paris Climate Accords was a huge insult to the planet. This administration has also worked to dismantle the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and federal support of Renewable Energies.

Meanwhile, in permaculture, we recognize one of the most popular tenets is “the Problem Is the Solution.” With that in mind, we see this last year as an invitation – an invitation to those who practice these solutions, as well as those who are new to permaculture, to settle into this battle to defend our future. The reality is, our political climate is becoming as unpredictable as our earthly one, and we must stay focused and committed. We can all learn more, we can all do more in our own lives! We can be inspired and motivated by those who give their all in heeding this call to make the world a better place. We do this by making changes in ourselves, in our own individual worlds. It is these stories that inspire and motivate which we are so proud to share through this magazine.

In fact, it’s these stories that Permaculture Magazine, International, our mother magazine, has shared for the past quarter century! To honor their 25th Anniversary, co-founder, Maddy Harland, published a compilation of her Letters from the Editor in the new book, Fertile Edges. While reading it, we were astounded by the unwavering resilience demonstrated by Maddy, the magazine, and the permaculture community as a whole. There have been many ups and downs, but they have endured. We have endured. And, we will keep doing so! This is such an important sentiment within the context of our current society.

Although we don’t do a theme for each issue of this magazine, we noticed that many of the stories that were submitted have common links interwoven among them. Many articles explore climate change and how regenerative agriculture practices offer a global alternative to Environmental Armageddon. Another group of stories examine the social power of permaculture as a means to unite generations and varied social statuses, and to help free people from oppression.

If we had to pick a theme for this issue, it would probably be something akin to Jack Johnson’s social action network, All at Once’s tagline, “An individual action, multiplied by millions, creates global change!” Let us harvest the fruit of our labor and our passions and may each of us follow our bliss, as we work for positive local and global change through our individual actions. As these are multiplied by millions around the world, great change will happen!