Perma-Culture? Or Perma-Settlements?

AbramLeavesUrI’ve struggled recently with the question of “how permanent?” should our housing and our settlements be? And why? On one end of the spectrum, one could cite the Plains Indians who lived in teepees and moved with the roving buffalo herds. Or Abraham who was called to leave a permanent settlement – Ur of the Chaldees – and live in a tent surrounded by his flocks and herds. On the other end of the spectrum might be the massive “dream home” which my sons helped build recently for a bank president and his doctor wife which ran into problems because the husband and wife were disagreeing. (Figures, doesn’t it?) Anyway, I hope there’s a happy medium in there somewhere and I’m trying to find it. Where I’m at personally, keeping in mind Joel Salatin’s talk of “Compostable Housing” and “Mobile Farms” is that I’m not pouring any concrete (too permanent for me) and I’m trying to avoid massive digging as much as possible. All my water systems and sanitation systems (toilet / grey water) are very cheap and mobile and I’m even designing my houses with the thought of easy dismantling / moving. But at the same time, I really don’t want an “RV Park” look … I prefer a “Thomas Kinkade VIllage” look. Now some have asked me “Dave, how can you set up a Woodland Agriculture System if you are a modern day nomad? You’ve got to establish gardens and pollarding and such.” The answer for me is that I’m doing Perma-CULTURE, not necessarily Perma-SETTLEMENTS. To me “culture” is all about mind set. It’s my MIND that is “permaculture” and that affects the type of settlement I create and the type of food systems I adopt, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that my settlement will be permanently fixed, or that if I establish something that I myself will necessarily be tied to it permanently. With the knowledge I have now (and am gaining daily), I am able to create a settlement complete with instantly productive food systems anywhere there are trees (or tree / pasture mix). I’m talking about woodland (and/or savanna) dairy / meat / eggs and even gardening. I have a plan to take a cross country trip sometime with my dairy goats and see how it goes. (I have come to believe that Tree Fed Dairy Goat Milk is a very complete food and I think you could live well for a very long time – possibly your entire life – on nothing but this food) Anyway, these are just my thoughts and no, I didn’t have a “thus saith the Lord dream” last night or anything like that, and I may be wrong about some of this, but it’s where my brain’s at so I thought I would share it. I often think of that verse (Philippians 3:20) that says “our citizenship is in heaven” and I love that Negro Spiritual “Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger.” Yes we are!

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