Cultivating Knowledge and Skills for Land Care
RELATED: On Land: Restoring Right Relations | Community Gardens & Farmer’s Markets | Permaculture Skills
The watersheds of the San Antonio, Medina, and Guadalupe Rivers are home to a proliferating number of efforts to shift land relations via permaculture—“a multidisciplinary toolbox” that seeks to construct landscapes and social systems that “imitate the no-waste, closed-loop systems seen in diverse natural systems.” Though its most immediate origins are settler colonial movements for sustainable agriculture, permaculture can be considered the Western arrival at many of the same principles and models for right relations to land that Indigenous cultures have practiced worldwide for millennia. In that respect, Rohini Walker argues, it should be thought of as “fundamentally … an indigenous science.”
She goes on to write, compellingly:
“This restoration of Native wisdom is critical at this time because we are all indigenous to somewhere. There is as much to be gleaned from pre-Christian, pre-industrialized, indigenous old European culture and wisdom as there is from our more current understanding of what being native is. These traditional societies also operated within an Earth-focused, reciprocal, relational paradigm and were decimated through the terror of widespread witch trials and burnings. They also became colonized by the belief that man is here to exercise dominion over land and sea. These old, indigenous, pagan ways became marginalized at best, literally demonized at worst. What did survive we displaced to the fringes of society, viewed by mainstream science and ‘sensible’ society as esoteric, crackpot nonsense — Fait accompli.”
(For more on this, we would direct you back to our page “On Land: Restoring Right Relations.”)
Studying the permaculture movement in recent years, Christina Ergas draws on lessons from Cuba and the Pacific Northwest, defining permaculture’s three main tenets as “caring for the Earth, caring for the people, and sharing the surplus.” These, she continues in a recent article, “offer a potential path toward climate justice, which is a response to well-researched phenomena that climate change disproportionately harms underprivileged groups in economic, public health and other ways.”
Our region is fortunate to have a number of efforts at spreading permaculture concepts as well as numerous skill-building opportunities! For additions/subtractions/suggested edits, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Austin Permaculture Guild
- We are an ever growing community in Central Texas committed to resilience, collaboration, and catalyzing diversity and abundance. We believe that although one person can’t change the world, together We can.
- Earth Repairian
- The mission of the Earth Repairian YouTube channel is to inspire and empower humans to restore ecological balance to the earth. Here at our Central Texas studio and demonstration laboratory, we are building a micro eco-village based on experiential living techniques and investing our time, money and energy into 100 percent sustainable practices. We will actively report on these techniques and tools for living sustainably, implementing sustainable farming and gardening and on all the ways we can create and thrive in a more non-toxic world.
- Garden Volunteers of South Texas
- Nonprofit focused on water conservation and environmental awareness with fellow private, public, and educational organizations as a community resource.
- Land Heritage Institute
- LHI is a 1,200 acre living land museum dedicated to training the next generation of conservationists (of natural resources, the histories and cultures of this place, and its built environments). LHI promotes environmental literacy and sustainable practices by providing a resource for lifelong learners to pursue the passions of life such as art, hiking, riding and all forms of wildlife watching.
- Native Backyards
- ”Together we can help save the environment from our own yards!”
- Native Plant Society of Texas – San Antonio
- The Native Plant Society of Texas wants to protect our state’s native plant heritage and preserve it for future generations. We are a non-profit organization, run by volunteers, sponsoring educational programs, workshops, demonstration gardens and many other types of projects.
- SanArte Healing and Cultural Clinic
- SanArte is a community-led cultural healing and empowerment collective that offers live and virtual programming, mobile clinics, education, and facilitation to activate ancestral wisdom, traditional healing practices, and nurture a collaborative spirit in communities in Yanaguana (the greater San Antonio/Central Texas area).
- SATX Permaculture
- San Antonio Permaculture creates spaces where people can come together and learn about permaculture design. We provide resources and promote actions that create a more diverse, cooperative, and regenerative culture for the increased health of individuals, our community, and planet.
- Talking Tree Farm
- Permaculture classes offered by experts in an outdoor, hands-on environment.
- Texas Master Gardeners (Bexar County)
- Volunteer development program offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service designed to increase the availability of horticultural information and improve the quality of life through horticultural projects.
- Texas Master Naturalists (San Antonio area chapter)
- The mission of the Alamo Area Chapter is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers who provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our community for the state of Texas.</li>
- The Human Path
- The Human Path is a survival school that is focused around the survival of our human species. To this end, our classes are sustainability and earth-centric, yet also very practical and realistic. Food, herbal medicine, self-defense, more.
- Yanawana Herbolarios
- Our Mission is to share, preserve, and honor cultural knowledge of the land and make it universally accessible as a means to empower and revive the practice of holistic living, medical botanical usage, water and land stewardship, and coming together as a community in times of need.