Dig In: Permaculture is a 12-step program for agricultural recovery | SummitDaily.com

Dig In: Permaculture is a 12-step program for agricultural recovery

Julia Landon
Dig In!
Courtesy of Karina Wetherbee
Courtesy of Karina Wetherbee |

Permaculture principles

For all their flaws, almonds are high-protein, super filling and delicious, so throw a second muffin in your pack for a hike or a ride. While you’re convening with nature, ponder these 12 principles:

1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature, we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.

2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.

3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.

4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.

5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on nonrenewable resources.

6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.

8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.

10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.

11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing and then intervening at the right time.

For more about permaculture, visit permacultureprinciples.com.

What’s the 12-step program for agricultural recovery? Permaculture. Based on 12 dynamic principles, this “permanent,” not just sustainable, approach to agriculture is the future.

The latest insanity is the destruction of the world’s bee population. You may have seen some movies or raised some funds or even “heard it on NPR” — the bees are in trouble, and without bees, we have nothing. Pollinators are irreplaceable, and they are dying in droves from not-so-mysterious causes. Industrial farming is at the center of the conversation about bee death.

Large-scale production of food is unsustainable; a paradigm shift is necessary and imminent. The alternative is small-scale, personal food production: gardens, not lawns, food not flowers. Even the smallest Manhattan apartment could have an aquaponic tower in one corner, a worm-composting bin in another. If we each grew something, we’d have everything.

Stepping off my soapbox now to the topic at hand. The latest threat to honey is almonds. There aren’t enough bees to pollinate the almonds and the slurries of chemicals sustaining these vast monoculture fields are killing the bees that are left. This really isn’t another reason to malign the almond, though I’m starting to feel sorry for the poor nut with all the anti-almond press these days. They have the wrong omegas, they demand water in a drought, and now they are killing the bees! Must we say no to almonds? It’s probably not worth the trouble if we aren’t going to boycott all the monocrops (read, everything we buy at the grocery store). Instead, try permaculture principle No. 10: Use and value diversity.

In this simple and delicious paleo muffin recipe, the almond and the bee unite. Support your local small farmer and add some fresh fruit to these muffins for a perfect summer breakfast.

Simple fruit muffins

2 cups organic, blanched almond flour (Natural Grocer’s sells a great one in the refrigerator section)

2 pastured eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)

1/4 cup raw Colorado honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or balsamic)

1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup chopped fruit or berries tossed in tapioca flour (variations can include wild blueberry, cherry-chocolate chip, ginger-peach or strawberry-poppy seed)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the center position. Mix all of the ingredients together except the oil (I told you it was simple). Stir in the oil until it is completely absorbed into the batter. Scoop ½ cup of batter into each lined muffin cup. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Striving to grow made-from-scratch kids in a machine-made world, Julia Landon is the chef-owner of Bun in the Oven High Nutrient Bakery. Landon can be contacted at order@bunintheovenfrisco.com. Find more inspiration at http://www.bunintheovenfrisco.com or on Instagram or Twitter @BITOFrisco.

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