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permaculture or the new return to the earth

By Célia Laborie

Posted today at 5:45 p.m.

They were an engineer, salesperson, helicopter pilot or special education teacher. A few months or even years ago, they would go to the supermarket, take the bus, drink tap water and report to their boss. With, buried in them, a feeling of diffuse guilt, an impression of gap between this daily life and their moral aspirations. All of them operated their personal revolution after having encountered a discipline thought on the other side of the world more than fifty years ago: permaculture.

“In permaculture, there are three founding principles: taking care of humans, taking care of the earth, equitably sharing resources. »Laura Centemeri, researcher at CNRS

Imagined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970s, this set of agricultural methods teaches neo-rural people how to grow vegetables, grains and fruits without harming ecosystems, and nurtures the hope of meeting our food needs without passing through intensive agriculture.

But above all, it is accompanied by an ethic that is supposed to help us make a global transition, by learning to live in harmony with animals and nature. “In permaculture, there are three founding principles: taking care of humans, taking care of the earth, equitably sharing resources”, recalls Laura Centemeri, researcher at CNRS and author of the book Permaculture or the art of rehabilitating, published in 2019 by Quae editions. “This affects all spheres of life: food, but also the education of children, relationships between humans Many permaculture training courses also offer initiations in non-violent communication ”, specifies the sociologist.

“More than a practice, it corresponds to an imagination. It is a choice which makes it possible to position oneself morally in society, by operating a movement of withdrawal from the world. »Anahid Roux-Rosier, doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Lyon-III

As the feeling of an ecological impasse spreads, permaculture is establishing itself as a guide to reconversion for citizens in search of meaning. “It appeals to hundreds of French people of all ages, from all walks of life. By adhering to its principles, they choose to empower themselves and recreate a whole way of life in accordance with their values ​​”, explains Anahid Roux-Rosier, doctoral student in philosophy at the University of Lyon-III, whose thesis works on the principles of permaculture. According to her, “More than a practice, it corresponds to an imagination. It is a choice which makes it possible to position oneself morally in society, by operating a movement of withdrawal from the world ”.

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