David Holmgren: Reading the Permaculture Landscape with Sepp Holzer and Masanobu Fukuoka

Sebastian von Holstein
Monday, 24th December 2012

David Holmgren talks about Austria's rebel farmer, Sepp Holzer and Japan's Masanobu Fukuoka. 

Sepp is responsible for creating a high altitude farm that breaks away from all the traditional rules of agriculture. Holmgren explains the importance of the information exchange that takes place when visiting such a farm. This way, visitors can take vital information and apply it to building sustainable communities of their own, in an attempt to make them agriculturally and financially viable.

Fukuoka's work is no less extraordinary as it allows for radical new ways of looking at the natural environment. Holmgren describes this wisdom "as part of a lineage of natural farming in Japan, which dates back to the 1930's", which in many ways challenges traditional methods of permaculture farming, due to its sometimes "vegan" no-animal approach.

Both these men have provided extraordinary new ways of looking at natural environments. Their site-specific examples (Austrian Alps and Japan) each represent dichotomies of farming styles and methods. Though they may not always be reproducible, they are only functional due to the development of an extraordinary new environmental dialogues, that force us all to experience our landscapes differently.

For specific information on reading the landscape, have a look at Patrick Whitefield's Living Landscape: How to Read and Understand It. Patrick also runs courses on the subject, for more info, click here.

If you would like to learn more about Sepp's extraordinary techniques, see his new book Desert or Paradise: Restoring endangered landscapes using water management, including lake and pond construction. Also available in eBook format here. For more about Sepp's permaculture techniques see Sepp Holzer's Permaculture. Again available in various eBook formats here. You won't be disappointed!

Video by ecofilm