What Is Off Grid Permaculture?
Daniel Mark Schwartz
May 07, 2019
Every beginning has an end — a Yin and Yang so foundational to life that for much of human history, man has enshrined this pervading reality at the core of their philosophy, and recognized it in the rhythm of their daily lives. But in our current age of excess, we have all but lost touch with this fact. Our industry, education, and institutions worship the idols of “endless growth” and “eternal progress”, which have brought our people both riches and suffering. Yet, this mistake will not continue unchecked. Eventually, balance will come. The object of off grid permaculture is to find this balance, cultivate wisdom, and achieve happiness and abundance in the process.
What Does It Mean to be Off Grid?
The emergent culture of preppers, homesteaders, next generation back-to-the-land migrants and Facebook farmers have given rise to “off grid” in the zeitgeist of internet culture. And, like many grass-root concepts, that seemed to emerge from and everywhere at once, the phrase encompasses a wide breadth of possibility.
Types of Off-Gridders
To some, being off grid simply means you don’t have a power line running to your home. In this case, you may have solar electric system, micro-hydro, micro-wind, gas generator, or other local power generation system. You may also depend on food, water, heat, and other supplies bought in for all your family’s needs. These “letter of the law” types are off grid precisely because have cut the power grid’s connection to their house.
Probably the next in order of departure from the common mode of modern living are the off-gridders who more strictly interpret the word “grid” to mean any automatically delivered utility from off their own property. No gas, no electric, no city water. On site wells, power generation, and heat are accepted. To them, off grid means strictly “no public utilities”.
Skipping to the end, there are the probably rarest off-gridders of all — the partially or wholly self-sufficient variety. To them, the goal is to need as little external inputs as possible. For the prepper community, this generally takes the form of stockpiling goods and developing the skills to be able to survive a variety of potential future apocalypses or major disasters. Still others seek some self-defined degree of independence and self-reliance that varies quite substantially from person to person.
Self-Sufficiency and the Off Grid Spectrum
—TODO: graphic of off grid types on line
Off grid may mean a variety of things, but it has one overriding direction — and that is self-sufficiency and freedom. Even if it just means eliminating one bill a month, each cord cut is one step in on the journey localized economic stability.
Critics may proclaim that no one can be fully self-sufficient, unless you live and forage like an ancient human — and even then they lived in clans or tribes. And this is probably true. But they miss the point.
What we suffer from is over-centralization of production.
What is Permaculture
Since it’s introduction by Bill Molison and _ in _, the concept has inoculated the globe with a new way of thinking. Now taught by practitioners, enthusiasts, and university professors alike, no part of the world remains untouched by it’s influence.
Reducing or eliminating utility bills, diverting resources away from factory farms and in to healthy home-grown food, relaxation, self-development, and pride of accomplishment all await those who cut the cord.
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