Striving for sustainability


Permaculture Diary 2010
Compiled by Michele Margolis
Graphic design by Richard Telford
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"The current state of our planet demands that we call an end to business as usual. To create the future, we are all obligated to bring our crazy ideas to the table. Whatever experiment you are dreaming of, now is the right time to give it a try."

The above quote, from Alex Martin, one of the contributors to Permaculture Diary 2010, to my mind summarises the essence of this bright and enthusiastic publication.

Or, to quote ABC Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne's contribution to the diary: "As the reality of peak oil hits home, commodity based food production will become uneconomical in its current form." A new method of sustainable land use and food production is called for.

The permaculture movement is not new now, having begun in the 1970s.

However, the insights of this ecologically-sustainable food movement are now more vital than ever as the world confronts the imminent threats of peak oil and climate change.

Margolis has compiled a beautiful and inspiring diary, complete with growing calendar and lots of room for notes for each day of the year. It's peppered with stories of survival and transition, from across Australia and around the world.

The story of survival of the Black Saturday bushfire in Victoria in the entry "Clearwind" is as harrowing as it is inspirational. There is a page about Rosemary Morrow, who has taken permaculture to Vietnam and elsewhere. There are also very encouraging stories of integrating permaculture principles in a home-garden setting, and commentary on the transition-towns movement.

For a home gardener who potters with organic principles, the Permaculture Diary 2010 is a cheerful resource. It is sure to find a place in many a gardener's shed.