Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Sustainable Biointensive Ecoforming" vs. "Permaculture"

This is going to be a wonkish post. Sorry about that in advance. There's a point to it.

"Sustainable Biointensive Ecoforming"  or SBE--is a term describing a system using an amalgam of both novel and traditional techniques with the intent of creating sustainable eco-habitats. The concept borrows heavily from all available sources and is centered around the core values of "best practice," "appropriate technology," and "sustainability."

"SBE" has a great deal in common with Permaculture, especially in the fact that both have tricky names that somebody just pulled out of his ass. With "SBE" that ass happens to be mine.

What SBE does not have in common with Permaculture is that in spite of the fact that I coined the term, I have no intent to trademark it. Nor to I have any intent to sell "SEB design course" certificates to suppliment my "sustainability." Certainly while there are remarkable and admirable examples of Permaculture techniques to be seen, there are also an awful lot of courses out there with nothing more to show than a spiral herb garden, a few straggling fruit trees, and a bunk house full of trustfund kids from Mendecino County all paying 500 bucks a week to hoe weeds. SBE is far more concerned with profitably farming produce than farming youthful good will for a profit. In fact we here at the "SBE Institute of Hawaii"--LOL--advocate staying as far away as is possible from anything that might resemble green profiteering. It smells of gimmickry, threatens the integrity of the concept, and ultimately isn't sustainable anyhow.

Personal sustainability is impossible without a larger sustainable community. I personally cannot reconcile the notions of "certification courses"--especially expensive ones-- which practically for most people stand as a barrier to the access of knowledge--I cannot reconcile this sort of practice with the very real need to educate and advocate. It is in my self interest to involve as many others as I can, even at my own personal cost, as without critical mass sustainability is bound to fail.

Anyway, I think it's worth thinking about.


subgenius said...

Fucking WORD!

subgenius said...

Actually, I will qualify that last statement...

I cannot tell you how sick of finding that the skills needed by humanity to deal with numerous crises either here and now, or rapidly approaching, are priced out of the reach of normal working people. There seems to be this attitude that "if you want it, you gotta pay for it" and that interested parties will "find a way" to make the requisite $$$.

Has nobody noticed this bullshit we call "the economy" and "capitalism" IS the problem?

/rant off

Thomas Armstrong said...

J, thanks for your recent comment on the proa post @ 70.8%. Will follow your build and report therein as it emerges (with your permission). But I'd like to know what you think about Masanobu Fukuoka & his work? ( I am ignorant)at this writing. And finally, I was able to harvest some emerging bamboo shoots this weekend at a woodkiln firing in the Poconos and they look delectable. Have you ever cooked them?

I'll take my answer off the air: