The ethic of permaculture is the movement’s Nicene Creed, or golden rule: care of the earth; care of people; and a return of surplus time, energy and money, to the cause of bettering the earth and its people.
In its effort to be universal, permaculture espouses no religion or spiritual element. Still, joining the movement seems to strike many of its practitioners as a kind of conversion experience.
As a system, permaculture impressed him as panoptic and transformational. “It shook my world,” Mr. Pittman said.
“I don’t know that anyone has ever done a double-blind study of permaculture,” said Mr. Pittman of the national Permaculture Institute. “Most people in permaculture are not that interested in doing those kinds of studies. They’re more interested in demonstrating it. You can see the difference in species diversity and yield just by looking at the system.”
As Mr. Weiseman observed, permaculture may be a “leap of faith.” But not leaping might have its own consequences.
“We know what’s right,” Mr. Weiseman said. “We know what’s best. We feel this thing in our bones and in our heart. And then we don’t do anything about it. Or we do. And I did. And it’s bearing fruit.”