I’ve been listening to different podcasts while I drive to work every day. Some of these are geared towards the more self sufficient minded people. Subjects like farming, stocking up, and having multiple income streams are pretty common. Another subject that I heard about is permaculture. I like to think of myself as an informed person, but this word has brought more study, confusion, and time invested learning about it than most of my other interests. I have come to learn that the concept came out of the observation that our methods of feeding ourselves on this planet have caused greater harm than most people realize. Before anyone writes me off as a environmentalist wacko, let me be clear. I’m not saying that harvesting trees or anything that comes out of the air, soil, or water is inherently bad or wrong. It’s just that if you look at our farms and fields you see a method of production of food that has no real hope of continuing it’s path indefinitely. Here’s a thought, how much fertilizer, irrigation, tillage or other interactions does it take for a hardwood forest to grow in the wild? How often do people need to prune or graft or do any of the things that need to be done on a domesticated farm/ homestead? The very simple answer is not much. Now a caveat here is when humans do get involved they stand to increase the potential yield of said forests to quantities that modern day people just don’t understand. In the early days of our country there were stands of trees like chestnut, hickory, oaks, and pines that fed entire communities of people. These people were able to increase the yield of these forests by burning out areas to control undergrowth and sickly specimens. The overall productivity and health of the forest and glades was positively affected by human interaction.