Daniel Catalaa


Not too long ago I was feeling really down and hopeless about the direction the world was moving. George W. Bush was president, the U.S. was involved in military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and on the environmental front, whether the topic was CO2 emissions, drought, or pollution, there did not seem to be a way out.

Fortunately I stumbled a across an ethical design science called "Permaculture" from an Australian ecologist named Bill Mollison. Mollison regrouped in a single manual many time-tested methods of creating human settlements that are abundant and in harmony with the environment.

Thought there are many pieces of technology and clever ideas that offer partial solutions to environmental issues, like solar power, water conservation, and organic food production, Permaculture provided the larger framework to connect all these strategies into one coherent whole.

I have begun to apply the principles of Permaculture in two very different settings: in a small urban garden and associated staircase and balcony in the San Franciso Bay Area, and at a 2.5 acre hobby farm in a semi-arid area of the California's Central Valley.