I watched this Toby Hemenway talk recently entitled "How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Earth, but not Civilization."
It was really interesting. The best part, though, is when I get to watch these talks by these really smart people who tell me, in essence, that what we (as a culture/society) should be doing is exactly what Deus Ex Machina and I are doing.
I've talked before about how, when I first started on this path, my goal was to grow all of our own food, but how Deus Ex Machina kept telling me I couldn't ... or shouldn't ... one of those two. What I heard him saying to me was that it couldn't be done, that it was not possible to grow all of the food we'd eat on a quarter acre, and, basically, I was wasting my time.
The problem is that: 1) I do not believe in impossible; and 2) I was fairly convinced that we didn't have a choice, that things were going to be bad, sooner rather than later, and if we really couldn't grow everything we need on our quarter acre, we would probably starve.
When I finally stopped to listen, though, I realized that he was not saying it was not possible, but rather that it wasn't necessary, that *I* don't need to grow EVERYTHING on this quarter acre that we need to sustain ourselves; that, perhaps, the better option is to do some combination of growing and foraging.
And wow! When that lightbulb finally went off it was like blinding sunlight in a newly opened cavern with a chorus of celestial beings, and I thought, "Oh!"
So, we started, doing a little of both, and then, I watched Toby Hemenway's talk about horticultural societies, and bam! that light nearly blinded me.
What he's talking about in this talk and with the permaculture movement is exactly what Deus Ex Machina and I have been working toward .
We're so smart ... well, Deus Ex Machina is, anyway, because he knew. I just wanted to grow stuff, which, as it turns out, is not a bad thing, either ;).