There was an interesting post on Facebook this morning by Peter Harper.
You can read his full article, here
And here is my response:
“Peter has for many years been a fount of knowledge and has always taken a slightly contrary view of permaculture.
The first time I met him at CAT he pointed me to the blackcurrants interplanted with comfrey as ‘where we are doing permaculture’. I did then point out it’s the whole site that exemplifies permaculture which always has been and remaiins a design system, not a sort of gardening.
I think it’s good to have critics, because if what they say is right then you have to think hard about what you are doing. If it isn’t right then it requires you to prove it. He picks up on a number of misunderstandings which get promulgated by some teachers and some adherents. Mollison actually said ‘annuals are taken for granted’. The point is you design around perennials because you can’t keep moving them. Our (highly productive) Forest Garden has clearings within it for row crop annuals (natural forests have clearings too- funny that) It will this year produce about a tonne of food on less than a quarter hectare. For one to two days a week work.
See the results as they are posted. http://grahambell.org/the-red-shed-nursery/garden-cottage-research . It took 23 years to create this level of fertility, so in many regards Peter is right. In others I beg to differ.”