I am exploring permaculture solutions and successes in the Christian world. Two main goals is to inspire non-Christians to teach permaculture to Christians and understand enough biblical references to "enlighten" Christians about the calling by God for Earth care, people care and reinvestment of surplus, ( like tything), There are direct parallels between the ethics and principles of Permaculture and the purpose of our relationship to God and to one another. It is a willing audience to do good, learn wisdom, and work together in community (necessary for sustaining projects). There is land and money to put to use for permacultural design, education and implementation for every village worldwide. Use of churches to teach and practice are often free and welcomed. ...And you will be blessed for your efforts.
For Christian organizations and missions here and abroad, I would like to create guides for implementing all the oldest and latest strategies, technologies, and abilities in Permaculture to help them better assist people worldwide. This guide, or volumes of guides will be specifically written for Christians, filled with biblical ministering as well and as related to anything in permaculture.
I welcome perspectives, thoughts and questions. This is not a forum to debate religion, rather to support relationships to build a better future for us all. I believe Permaculture ethics and principles, methods,and practices supersedes any religious differences that would cause conflict. It's about solutions, otherwise, please, "forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
Please post any permaculture advances on Christian soils or with Christian organizations. Think of all the orphans and widows we are called to serve out there, Permaculture can make peace a reality with their help, and visa versa. Comprehension leads to better cooperation. Also check out the thread at permies > biblical permaculture. and check out a great webpage on biblical earthcare full of quotes to have a great discussion with a Christian. http://www.earthcareonline.org/bibleverses.html
Thanks! Kelly Ware
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and steward it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
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There's a story about a fellow named Joseph who advocated for greater grain storage in anticipation of 7 years of crop failures.
Then there's the parable about sewing grain and how most seed is wasted but some grows. This one is about spreading the word but could be tweaked to relate to crops.
The Sea of Galile is filled with tilapia. This fish is so prolific that you could almost walk on the water. The "fishers of men" story could follow.
A well planned garden can feed you almost as easily as the "loaves and fishes" story did.
Plant grapes in good soil and wait for rain. Water to wine .
So far as spreading the good news "Go Ye into all of the world and preach the gospel to every creature".
When talking construction - " The wise man built his house upon the rock - The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and the walls came tumbling down". Sampson makes a good case for using strong pillars .
There will be setbacks. Give them the story of Job. By comparison, few of us will face such sorrow.
"Teach a child in the way he should go ... ". I've got more, but I don't want to get kicked out of the Atheist club .
Interesting concept. While I identify as a freethinker and humanist, many, many of the permaculture community projects I've been directly involved with have included a faith-based organization (although not always Christian). I'd be interested in what you come up with. I am always looking for ways to reach understanding rather than encourage divisiveness which, quite honestly, I'm so done with! We need to get on with creating a world in which we can all thrive.
I wish you the best with your project and hope that you will, indeed, share your insights.
BTW, one of the things that really hit home in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood where we did some work was a "Biblical herb garden" at the local community center and clinic. Due to that particular community's strong ties to natural remedies and the fact that so many of those plants are well suited to our dryland climate, that garden was a hit. However, it no longer exists due to some kind of organizational turmoil. It's too bad too because not only were the plants medicinal but people just enjoyed hanging out there.
Subtropical desert (Köppen: BWh)
Elevation: 1090 ft Annual rainfall: 7"
If we can meet each other on the things we agree on and focus on those, we can get a lot more done than if we sit around insulting people with differing views!
The Jehovah/Yahweh deity doesn't play a part in my theology but I'm a big fan of metaphor. Many people who don't believe in GOD or who have religious trauma in their past throw away all religion and religious ideas. There are some useful stories in the Bible, many of them pertaining to agriculture and animal husbandry. I find profound lessons from working with plants and animals myself.
Paul is the king of this kingdom, and it is working out pretty well. Or shepherd of his flock, if you will. The sheep self-select, which helps.
Thank you all for your posts and contributions! I just recorded part one of two on www.thepermaculturepodcast.com with Scott man about this topic. It was my story of coming to both, and why I feel it is so important to see Christians as a very valuable niche market for educating, and in doing so, the need to understand the Christian world view, not to become converted (which isnt' a bad thing, , but to relate and to bridge the unknown where often lies resentment and misunderstanding, or worse, offense. I was glad that, upon my request Scott interviewed Rhamis Kent, a muslim teaching permaculture all over Africa, to renew the minds of his people that Ethics come before law in their book too.
In my next interview I will share lots of bible verses that instruct believers to basically do permaculture! And avoid the pitfalls of materialism and supporting injustice or exploitation. We can basically be so much more effective if we find common meaning and essence in different semantics (words). Compassion and cooperation, brotherly love and earth restoration will be a direct and palpable result. Together we can not fear, but take heart and do the work we are so called to do. ASAP! I have even been inspired to go to all my local churches through this study and offer a PDC there. Years ago one church came to me begging I help them start a community garden, while I was in the process of starting one at the local Catholic Church after City Parks turned me down. Christian or not, I feel God is begging Permaculturalists to teach the flock! and watch it spread and be blessed!
77% of Americans and 30% of the world claim to be some form of Christian, that is over 3 billion people. These are people with the prime directive to love, serve, and care for the earth, each other, and all of creation. It's doing a service infinitely bigger than you can imagine because of Christians' far reaching connections, aid, and organizations, not to mention lands and finances that are willingly offered up to the Church (the body of people in Christ, not the building). One person that made me first change my heart toward Christianity said,"There is not a group of people on the planet today that do as much good as Christians." Teach the teachers, share the better operating systems in permaculture to your local churches. They all have missionaries that are sent out locally or internationally to help the impoverished and needy. They are praying for you to find them to increase the ability to help others. This is an honoring of Tribal wisdom too, different than the ag. practices that shunned medicine men, and forest practices.
Ruth and Ester were poor woofers who hit the jackpot. Ruth landed Boaz, a wealthy land owner, and when they got married, both women got to live in the big house.
Views of slavery, differ over time. This was a common method of getting farm chores done.
As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.
"When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Where did everybody go ? ----------- OK, I'll leave the slavery stuff alone.
Let's look at death. We had Lazereth who was raised from the dead. Elija avoided death and proceeded straight to heaven. Followers were healed and spared a painful death. Jesus died but came alive again. Noah and Job watched everybody else die. Gideon and Sampson helped enemies die. John wrote in Revelation about eternal punishment that could not be relieved by death. In nature, things die and there is rebirth. Perhaps some of these characters could be used in a "Vegie Tales" sort of way to teach the kids about plants and how to revive sick ones.
Then there's recycling. Holy communion is ritualized cannibalism, which could be seen as very frugal. Since Jesus rose from the dead, the bread and wine might just convey some sort of Zombie superpower in the participants. Equate this with treatment of seed with beneficial fungi that turns legumes into botanical superheroes.
As a former Christian, this question is very interesting to me.
I see HUGE potential in developing threads of permaculture within communities of faith. Care of people is a fundamental teaching of all religions, and you could make an argument all the PC ethics are enumerated through religious texts.
I want to see Pope Francis glom on to permaculture and use the worldwide infrastructure of the Church to spread it. I feel like a lot of "Missions" projects take the form of "classical development work" where 1st world folks come over and build houses, wells, schools, etc, like Peace Corps, without a long-term impact on the community. PC projects on the other hand build long-term low-tech community infrastructure that makes a real difference.
Bob Waldrop's book iPermie is a great "How to permaculture your life" book, and is influenced by Bob's Catholic background, he is involved in the Catholic Worker movement so he is very concerned with the nuts and bolts of getting the poor fed, etc. It's a remarkable book- extremely detailed and complete. It includes a narrative section describing how a permaculture community could form during a time of disruption.
Jack Dody's Abundaculture is a fusion of permaculture and Christian teaching. "Helping to meet the basic physical needs for energy, shelter, food, water and waste, in any environment, are tangible ways to begin relationships and demonstrate the love of Christ." There used to be a good ebook on the site but I can't find it now.
Anyone interested in the intersection of Christianity and permaculture should check out the work of Koinonia Partners. (koinoniapartners.org). This is a 70+ year old intentional Christian community, founded on agriculture, service, and racial reconciliation in Southwest Georgia. Since about 2005 permaculture has been a large part of their mission. The first two or three PDC's offered in the state of Georgia were taught there, and they are in process of converting the entire 600+ acre landholding toward permaculture. It is a unique place given it's history, the rare combination of sincere faith practice and permaculture, and the scale of the undertaking.
Great Ideas and Dale, you are so funny! I think it is very important to spend soem time doing Social Media to Missions groups, sending emails or posts of great permaculture solutions, principles, ethics and solutions. If everyone just looked at the 101 best permaculture drawings (and make sure the rocket mass heater is in there too) to all the christian organizations they can find, we could change the world. Give the gift of life, and protection of our and the planet's future, send this link: http://imgur.com/a/aTPS8 to everyone you can on Christmas, especially to Christian international missions, as a Gift from God. Thank you all so much for joining in this effort, otherwise I think we face that extinction thing sooner than later. There is a story in Revelations about the time after the apocolypse, (I never can spell that), after the Reverie, when people are taken up in an instant to their place in Heaven, and then the time when those left behind will build the new Earth and Christ will reign in peace here for thousands of years. And the new earth is the new heaven. I figure we need a lot of us hanging out to redo this place, my generation or the next few. the more we get out this information solidly to be passed down, the greater the # of those that will reign in peace. We know better, I just hope we can chose to do it in time. Please help educate, and remember that new age terms scare Christians. Try to call it Creation over gaia or Mother nature, or the like... its wierd, I tell them there is more to fear in football and the Today show, Someday essence of words will count more than the actual sound....
lets share great techniques for permaculture (cold climates!?). Join our chat on Permaculture Montana on facebook
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
It is both funny and sad that "New age" terms scare Christians and Christian trends and ways of describing the world scare a lot of non Christians.
I am a theological amalgam. I was not brought up Christian but have been fascinated by the bible from an early age. The ancientness of it and the vast array of its influence continue to interest me. Also, I love stories and metaphors so there is a lot for me there even if I don't "believe"
Although most people would consider me an atheist, I'm a religion aficionado. Also I'm a big time permaculture aficionado. So this topic is very interesting to me
I also see a huge similarity between Jesus' message and permaculture. I am a non-exclusive Christian, ie I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, but other religions also have meaning for me in my relationship to God. I find many people for some reason put people into us versus them groups that aren't helpful. I have a neighbor who had a Tshirt that said "God is Green" and is finally nice now that he knows I have a relationship with Jesus. I wish he was nice to everyone. I do think we can be a useful force in the permaculture movement particularly because many people (some permies) are into an us versus them mentality.
http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2014/kelly-ware/ This came out today, It is a first in a series, more details about biblical teachings that support permaculture as a very important wisdom path. Here are a couple of my blogs with ideas I am working on. feel free to contact me with ideas, questions.
Hi folks, I've only just stumbled across this thread; as someone who has a strong sense of my Christian background, but who no longer believes in God, I do think that permaculture has the potential to spread tolerance and understanding that flattens out doctrinal differences between people. I look at Iraq with a sense of despair, where there's an attempt to impose a religious monoculture across a historic polyculture that included Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Zoroastrians etc, and on several occasions throughout recorded history spawned spectacular civilisations - indeed, arguably "Western Civilisation" in general. What Geoff Lawton and his wonderful family are doing in Jordan is really inspiring. Regardless of our religious leanings, we can use permaculture as a common thread - and perhaps it is no accident that many/most religious and non-religious traditions/approaches use gardening as a key metaphor.
I am very fortunate in having spent some time in Nazareth in Israel; my last visit was a bit before I caught the permaculture bug, but just below the Nazareth Hospital where I worked briefly as a medical student, there is the "Nazareth Village", which attempts to re-create a first century CE farming village environment on a fairly barren slope. They use ancient methods (some of which were still in use as recently as the 1980s in Ireland by my gramps!) to give visitors an experience of what life was like - the local employees are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and it's really rather lovely. However I really think Geoff is on to something special - instead of recreating an agriculture that ultimately failed (pesky non-rotational goats!), I'd love to see what people could do in that extraordinary country with permaculture. Share our experiences, philosophies, outlooks in a non-threatening, collaborative effort that touches our core humanity, and potentially allows religion to be expressed positively.
And since I live in Northern Ireland, I'd like to see more people breaking down barriers HERE, and Permaculture is the ideal way to do that too!
I am surprised nobody has mentioned religiously-affiliated service groups. The Knights of Columbus, and to some extent the Freemasons, could be huge players regionally, should their mix of community service and perhaps community-derived financial support be met by permacultural initiatives. These people take on all kinds of charitable work (the Knights, anyways, I can only speak from my experiences with them) to be able to donate to the charities they support. Is it unimaginable that you could have intensively managed permacultural gardens, worked by these organisations, providing food to charities, or selling food at affordable prices to the community, providing financial support to these community service organisations and donations to their charities?
Just like places of worship, the communications and support infrastructure is all there. All that needs to be done is to use permaculture to give these groups the means to help themselves in a way that accomplishes our permacultural goals. And the need of community service organisations to talk up their good works, even just to themselves, will build momentum for the cause.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
There are people on this list who post from a group called the Catholic Homesteader's Group, I think. They are totally into permaculture, but they didn't want to have to check their God connection at the door.
I'm amazed no one has brought up Paul Gautschi and his Back to Eden gardening. The documentary is free here: http://www.backtoedenfilm.com. He's been gardening in a very permaculture way for many years, and it is still very successful for him. Here's a video taken just a few days ago:
He has neuropathy and has to walk with cane, but can still tend to his garden by himself. He has potatoes and kale growing under his fruit trees, never tills, and uses mulch in abundance to add nutrients to the ground. All the mulch acts as natural compost tea every time it rains, to fertilize and innoculate the soil with bacteria and fungus. It's really amazing. And, he relates everything to his Christian faith.
Other permaculture concepts in scripture:
Giving your first and best. Instead of taking and eating the first and best, you save those seeds and use them for the next years garden. By investing in your future--rather than just the desires of today--you will reap a better harvest.
A period of rest/rotating your gardens. "but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove." (Exodus 23:11). If this doesn't speak to having a naturally abundant landscape, I don't know what does. There is so much food after 6 years of growing, that EVERYTHING can go unmanaged for a year and there will still be enough food stored up and wild food to to feed not only yourself, but also the poor.
And, letting the weeds be is also important. There's the parable of the weeds where an enemy sewed weed seeds among the wheat. Instead of pulling them up when they were little, the owner said No, "‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At the proper time I will tell the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat into my barn.”’ (Matthew 13: 29-30) Now, composting the weeds might be better than burning them, unless those seeds just never die, but it shows that one does not need to spray herbicides to get a good harvest!
Reading Ecclesiasties, you can see Solomon going over many different types of success, one of which sounds very much like a permaculture paradise "I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: 6I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees.... "
Of course, he then went on to bemoan the fact that he didn't know how the next generation would care for it, which is something we too struggle with!
The importance of deep, healthy soil to having a healthy plant. The parable of the sower illustrates this well. The rocky soil and the shallow soil will not bring forth a good harvest. But, the deep, rich nurtures the seed, and allows for a good, deep root. Taking care of our soil--rather than having the best GMO seed or herbacides or pesticides--is what will make for a bountiful harvest.
The importance of being a good steward. God entrusted this world to us to care for. It's not our world to destroy, but rather to tend. We're also called to feed the poor and downtrodden. Growing food, and helping others do the same, and sharing our abundance, is one big way to feed and aid the poor and downtrodden.
There are many more connections between permaculture and Christianity--those are just the ones that come first to mind. I love the ones that other's (even Dale ) have shared.