The Balsam Savanna Food Forest project, is rooted in ecological design thinking. Inspired by these ideas Balsam Savanna intends to act as an experimentation grounds, food source, garden, and oasis. There are at least three main areas of inspiration, including:
1.) Savanna landscapes
2.) Food Forests
The Savanna is an important condition, where there is both grasses and trees. It the is the place where humans truly came into their own, as bipedal, yet dextrous and agile beings.
The trees and grasses embody water and carbon, and provide numerous niches for plants, animals, fungus, bacteria, yeast, etc to live.
They can also form important foodsources for people and domesticated animals, as well as timber and recreation.
A Food Forest is a concept which emerged out of permacultural thinking. Inspired by the works of J.Russel Smith, Geoff Lawton, Masanobu Fukuoka, Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, Toby Hemenway, and others, we are using a holistic design and planning framework to make decisions. Decisions that will lead to the establishment of permanent and regenerative landscapes.
Some cultures and society in History were able to live in such a way that as each generation passed the depth of their rich and fertile topsoil grew and grew. These cultures, throughout history have endured many millenia, because they formed a harmony and rhytyhm with the land and resources.
The short essay below has been adapted from the introduction in the Permaculture Designers Manual, By Bill Mollison, and highlights the importantance of taking personal responsibility:
The sad reality is that we are in danger of perishing from our own stupidity and lack of personal responsibility to life. If we become extinct because of factors beyond our control, then we can at least die with pride in ourselves, but to create a mess in which we perish by our own inaction makes nonsense of our claims to consciousness and morality.
There is too much contemporary evidence of ecological disaster which appals me, and it should frighten you, too. Our consumptive lifestyle has led us to the very brink of annihilation. We have expanded our right to live on the earth to an entitlement to conquer the earth, yet "conquerors" of nature always lose. To accumulate wealth, power, or land beyond one's needs in a limited world is to be truly immoral, be it as an individual, an institution, or a nation- state.
What we have done, we can undo. There is no longer time to waste nor any need to accumulate more evidence of disasters; the time for action is here. I deeply believe that people are the only critical resource needed by people. We ourselves, if we organise our talents, are sufficient to each other. What is more, we will either survive together, or none of us will survive.
To fight between ourselves is as stupid and wasteful as it is to fight during times of natural disasters, when everyone's cooperation is vital. A person of courage today is a person of peace. The courage we need is to refuse authority and to accept only personally responsible decisions.
Like war, growth at any cost is an outmoded and discredited concept. It is our lives which are being laid to waste. What is worse, it is our children's world which is being destroyed. It is therefore our only possible decision to withhold all support for destructive systems, and to cease to invest our lives in our own annihilation.
The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children.
Make It now.
Most thinking people would agree that we have arrived at final and irrevocable decisions that will abolish or sustain life on this earth. We can either ignore the madness of uncontrolled industrial growth and defence spending that is in small bites, or large catastrophes, eroding life forms every day, or take the path to life and survival.
Cooperation, not competition, is the very basis of existing life systems and of future survival.
The experience of the natural world and its laws has almost been abandoned for closed, artificial, and meaningless lives, perhaps best typified by the dreams of those who would live in space satellites an abandon a dying earth. I believe that unless we adopt sophisticated aboriginal belief systems and learn respect for all life, then we lose our own, not only as lifetime but also as any future opportunity to evolve our potential.
Whether we continue, without an ethic or a philosophy, like abandoned and orphaned children, or whether we create opportunities to achieve balance and harmony is the only real question that faces the present generation.
The Ethical Basis of Permaculture
1.) CARE OF THE EARTH: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.
2.) CARE OF PEOPLE: Provision for people to access those resources necessary to their existence.
3.) SETTING LIMITS TO POPULATION AND CONSUMPTION: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.
It has become evident that unity in people comes from a common adherence to a set of ethical principles, each of us perhaps going our own way, at our own
pace, and within the limits of our resources, yet all leading to the same goals, which in our own case is that of a living, complex, and sustainable earth.
Those who agree on such ethics, philosophies, and goals form a global nation.