To most of you on here, this is no surprise. To the newbies, this is a need to know history lesson that covers thousands of years that can be read in just a few minutes.What is permaculture, and why is it the future? The word permaculture has only been around since the 60’s, and in literal tense, it’s a combination of the words permanent, and agriculture. It is the development of agricultural environments that have an intended purpose to be self-sufficient and sustainable. The word may have only been around for the last 50 or so years, but permaculture will be the future of humanity, because it has actually been going on for the last 10,000 years.
The human species has shown that it will continue to progress no matter the circumstances. One of the few core elements that allowed the early human cultures progress at an impossible rate compared to other species was the Agricultural Revolution. When the society shifted from hunting and gathering to farming and settling, humans took over the planet. Humans took their dominant way of living as the world’s greatest hunters and survivors and exponentially took it to a Whole. Notha’. Level.
Before the Agricultural Revolution, humans were grouped in a much different fashion than they are today. In a hunting and gathering type of society, it is not as beneficial to have large groupings of humans living in close proximity to one another. The way the Earth is set up, and how it is far all other species on Earth, whatever is in your particular environment is all you have to work with. There is only so many animals and plants around to eat. To go along with competing with the other animals on site for food, in a closely packed hunting gathering society, there wouldn’t be enough for everybody. As the early Sumerians learned to farm and create their new society, learning how to domesticate animals and specialize in a certain fashion of producing food through agriculture, denser and larger populations were actually able to function well for the first time in mammalian history.
Within the Fertile Crescent which is the area surrounding the formed bridge between Africa and Eurasia, the first types of modern human civilizations were beginning to form. There are many possibilities behind the reason to move towards an agricultural type society for these civilizations, but they all surround a change in an uncontrollable shift in their ecosystem, and the need to adapt, or die. Natural selection is always at play. Once the people of the Fertile Crescent began to have success with agriculture, that way of life has proven to work out pretty well for our species. With more time on their hands since they always had food to eat, they started to be one of the earliest civilizations to leave plenty for us to discover about them today. This is a tablet created by Sumerians.
Along with Sumerian societies, another well known society that inhabits the Fertile Crescent is the many Ancient Egyptian societies. In this Mediterranean environment, it’s a dramatically shifting type of climate throughout the year kind of place. A desert.
Being in the desert, one of the first things you notice is that there isn’t much life in most deserts. The lack of water means few plants, and few animals as well. A deserted environment makes it so that only specialized species are capable of surviving in that area. Today, people avoid the desert living if capable. Only societies that live in deserts that come to my mind today are Navajos, Sahara desert societies, the Aborigines, and Middle Eastern Societies.
The Ancient Egyptian society is a civilization that owes everything they had to adopting permaculture ways of living. Practically their only source of water was the Nile River. There way of life relied on the Nile River floods. If there were no floods for a long time, the society suffered. The reason being is not because of the lack of water, but also due to the lack of food. Finding fulfilling plants, meat, and other sources of food were hard to come by. The practicing of agriculture on their land made it life oh so much easier. The fertile soil that developed following the floods of the Nile allowed great plots of land that they were able to grow many types of grains and other crops, including wheat, barley, flax, and papyrus. Most human cultures at the time had a tough time surviving since there was no way to be prepared when disasters occur. They now had a society that was based on farming and trade for survival. A society that, even when that Nile Flood doesn’t occur, their agriculture tactics can still give them the opportunity to survive.
Ancient Egyptians had a lot of ways to make their permaculture way of living work out well. They created systems to irrigate the water that the Nile produced that they could use for a number of different reasons. In particular, having a supply of water allowed them to grow more crops than they even needed, allowing them to spend time on praising cats and building sculptures in their owner. Plus, having all of these domesticated cats around helped them catch small animals that could ruin their crops. I mean, that’s actually a reason I got my little kitty. These Egyptians sure appreciated theirs as well.
By practicing their farming ways year in and year out, it allowed humanity to start understanding their surroundings more and more, and gave more time to produce, think, relax, live longer, and less stressful lives. If it wasn’t for agriculture, many human civilizations would have died out, and you may not even exist at this moment.