"Let nature go on"
The quest for total control of nature through the use of resources and technology is not only costly, it can also lead to a spiral of interventions and degradation of biological systems and processes that already represent the best balance between productivity and diversity.
Renewable resources are those that can be replaced and replenished by natural processes over reasonable periods of time without essential non-renewable inputs. In accounting terms, renewable resources are our sources of income, while non-renewable resources can be considered as capital tied up. Everyone understands that you can not sustainably spend capital on current expenditures. Permacultural design must seek the best possible use of renewable natural resources to create and sustain production, although it may be necessary to use some non-renewable resources to build the systems at the outset.
The joke that presents the clothesline as a solar dryer has a comical effect because we see that we have been fooled when we come to use complex and useless gadgets for such simple tasks. On the one hand, everyone agrees that the clothesline is years ahead of the electric dryer in terms of durability, yet on the other hand, few people still consider wood as a source of energy. appropriate ecological energy. All sustainably managed forests generate a surplus of cheap wood that, when properly dried (solar drying), can be a local resource for heating and cooking in well-designed stoves and stoves.
Just as wood does not necessarily have all the characteristics that we might want for a fuel, so also herbal medicine may not provide a complete pharmacopoeia; however, we can effectively treat many of our ills with medicinal plants grown and processed locally. In doing so, we avoid many undesirable side effects, both internal and external, caused by the centralized pharmaceutical industry; we show more respect towards nature; and we feel more confident about maintaining our own health.
Renewable services (or passive functions) are those provided by plants, animals, soil life and water without being consumed. For example, when we use a tree for its wood, we consume a renewable resource, but when we use it for the shade and the shelter it brings us, we derive benefits from this tree that will not run out. not and do not require any energy expenditure. This simple observation is obvious and yet essential to reconfigure systems in which many simple functions have become dependent on the use of non-renewable and non-sustainable resources.
Permacultural systems traditionally use pigs or hens to prepare the soil before planting, thus avoiding the use of tractor or tiller, pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In these systems, with a minimum of management and work on fences, animals can be used in a sophisticated way to perform multiple functions.
A permacultural system must make the best possible use of inexhaustible natural services in order to minimize our consumption of resources and emphasize the harmonious possibilities of interaction between humans and nature. There is no better example in the history of human prosperity achieved through the sustainable use of the services of nature than the domestication of the horse and other animals and their use for transportation, plowing and a multitude of other activities requiring energy. The close relationships developed with domestic animals, such as the horse, also foster an empathic context to extend our ethical concerns and include nature. On the other hand, in crops where livestock is still a dominant symbol of social status and wealth, the more basic renewable services provided by plants and soil life need to be further recognized, valued and used.