Permaculture, a combination of the words permanent and agriculture, offers a unique approach to the practice of sustainable farming, gardening and living. Bluestone is all about living in harmony with others and with the natural world. Permaculture shows how to observe the dynamics of natural ecosystems.
We can apply this knowledge in designing constructed ecosystems that serve the needs of human populations without degrading our natural environment. Permaculture sites integrate plants, animals, landscapes, structures and humans into symbiotic systems where the products of one element serve the needs of another.
Nature is always caring for the earth, caring for people, and reinvesting in the future. These basic ethics form a solid foundation on which humans can build a stable and sustainable future. We can derive specific goals, values and intentions from the basic permaculture ethics, developing a clear vision of the systems we want to create.
Farmers can promote caring for people, for example, by converting their market gardens into Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects. On a CSA farm, local families pay a share of the annual production costs in exchange for part of the harvest each week. Members share risks and rewards with the farmer, provide extra labor when needed, and guarantee a market for everything produced. They receive a wide variety of fresh, ripe, high quality, locally grown produce throughout the year. By helping out on the farm, members also have an opportunity to connect with Nature and with other members.
The ethic of caring for people can thus help farmers transform an uncertain marketing situation into a stable economic enterprise and supportive community.
At Bluestone Farms we intend to create this kind of interactive and supportive community.