Celebrating International Permaculture Day

Today is International Permaculture Day. Guest blogger Thomas Tlusty wrote the following piece exploring his connection to Permaculture, and its power.

Guest Post by Thomas Tlusty, founding partner of The Garden Tower Project

Two years ago, I saw sketches of a device that I felt certain had the potential to revolutionize urban agriculture. I had long been interested in the economics and environmental impact of our food system. So the design piqued my curiosity and unleashed my desire to have a positive impact in my own lifetime.

The Garden Tower is a water-saving, worm-friendly, uber-productive vertical gardening aid.

The Garden Tower is a water-saving, worm-friendly, uber-productive vertical gardening aid.

Since that fateful reveal, my life has been transformed. The Garden Tower Project reignited my passion, and I began rethinking current food production/distribution models. My eyes were opened to the plethora of pioneers, visionaries and everyday folks who are practicing, teaching, and studying Permaculture and sustainable farming/lifestyles.

I am inspired by those who inspire others. I’m thinking of luminaries like Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, and Will Allen. I’m also thinking of many less well-known but still pivotal figures, such as:

  • Community Slow Food Educators
  • Permaculture Design Educators
  • Elementary School Science Educators
  • Organic Gardening Instructors

I am a relative newcomer to this work. Yet I feel a kinship with those who aspire to build community and develop our inherent natural resources in a straightforward manner.

I’m troubled by the unbinding of our culture from its roots. Western civilization is “circling the drain” as we surpass our fragile planet’s carrying capacity (in our current mode of operation).

Permaculture (to me) represents an entirely sane alternative to the path on which we find ourselves today. Permaculture principles contain not only the seeds of hope but a catalyst for change. In practice, these concepts could improve the lives of untold millions and positively influence the course of our future on this planet.

I find hope in people working together in communities, sharing education and experience. And teaching our children well is our first and best hope.

A child at  Learning Gate Community School prepares soil despite the cast on her leg. Thomas captions this photo “Our Hope For Mending a Broken Future.”

Our Hope For Mending a Broken Future: A child at Learning Gate Community School in Lutz, Florida, prepares soil despite the cast on her leg. Instructor: Cissy Brady Stanko

Permaculture engenders ideas and conversations around topics like environmental science, vermiculture, organic gardening, eco-art, and eco-psychology. And connections grounded in Permaculture positively transcend any political, socio-economic, racial, or gender barriers that have been erected in the past or could possibly be constructed in the future.

In my endeavors, I have developed friendships through online Permaculture forums and related Facebook pages. The connections range from the casual and conversational to the inspirational and uplifting. Together they raise me from the deep morass that had grown like a thick moss over my heart’s desire.

I’m now acting on a long-felt wish to accomplish something meaningful and utterly critical: addressing our outdated and increasingly toxic food production/distribution system. Without action and intent, habits will remain the same. Permaculture shows us the way to a very different future.

Thomas Tlusty was raised in Lombard, IL. Thomas was active in social justice and interested in food issues from a young age. In his late teens to early twenties, he worked at the Chicago Board of Trade (in Agricultural Commodities) for a leading grain exporter. The Ellettsville, IN resident has been a practicing Certified Natural Health Professional and is currently an Active Isolated Stretching Therapist in private practice. Thomas is a founding partner in the Garden Tower Project.

One thought on “Celebrating International Permaculture Day

  1. I love permaculture and all it stands for! great words here and thanks for sharing…I think I might just plant my (edible) cherry tree today, finally.

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