Calling Kwartiermaker Candidates

Spring 2021 De Kloosterbostuin starts a learning programme for people that want to be Kwartiermakers, preparing the way for a better lifestyle to heal yourself, the planet and people.

Kwartiermaker

What is a Kwartiermaker? Originally associated with specialist army people that scout ahead and prepare locations for the following troops to make camp, rest from their march and prepare for the next stage in their campaign. Quartermaster is the closest translation in English, though this suggests more a function as manager of a camp (quarter) rather than making a camp.

Network for Free Folk

To protect, liberate and heal nature we must to be free ourselves. Not an easy task in our modern civilised world. It seems a lot easier to get people enthused about rewilding nature (which doesn’t need it) then to rewild ourselves and the societies we live in (which definitely do need it).

There have always been individuals and smaller or larger groups of people abandoning urban life in favour of mobile, roaming lifestyles. “Grey Nomads”, travellers, harvesters following the seasons, hikers, pilgrims are some examples. Many of them use existing facilities catering especially to their needs. A good example is the Camino de Santiago, with their guesthouses, cabins and well marked routes.

Travelling this path liberates both the traveller and the environment. Nature shares its abundance freely, not as an economic transaction. It is free from the commodification and domestication of economic interaction with humans that have been the normal (ab)use in modern civilisation. The traveller enjoys free food, water, shelter and the company of real-life natural beings. A well behave human cannot help but share her abundance as a pioneer species, adventurers and explorers. We eat the fruits of nature, spread the seeds and our excess nutrients. We disturb soils, canopies to open them up for new growth. We give form to impossible dreams, creating new niches for organisms to grow and develop in. Free from the mental health syndromes of domestication and life in permanent dwellings. Or from the wider planetary perspective: the whole of the planet is our permanent and only dwelling. Undivided by illusory ideas of ownership but shared freely by all. Where sharing enhances the joy and relevance of the experience of being.

Make It So

Still breaking away from your home, your job and all those other things that keep you tied to this idea of “citizen”, is not easy. To help you along De Kloosterbostuin invites you to join us in the spring of 2021 for the first steps on this path, which we will make ourselves.

You will learn to explore the joys and challenges of living with and in Nature, to heal and rebuild its capacity for hospitality. We start gently with getting to know the location of De Kloosterbostuin itself. Identify plants, fungi, insects animals. Eat from what De Kloosterbostuin has to offer. Return our own outputs effectively.

As we progress through the seasons, we will venture out on day trips, hiking and cycling, and explore some of the nature reserve areas south of our location like Strabrechtse Heide, Groote Heide, Leender Bos and Malpie.

As we go we will learn useful survival skill, using and maintaining tools, make our own tools and simple constructions needed for making new pleisterplaatsen (staging posts / waystations).

Workshops: A Feral Design Application

Sessions will be action-centred. Fridays, from sun-up till sun-down.
From Friday 19 March 2021.

You are invited to register your interest – without obligation at this point – by sending and email with a brief bio and motivation to: info@dekloosterbostuin.nl. You will receive an invitation for a personal introduction in the field.

Applications close 1 March 2021.

Oasis of Sanity?

If De Kloosterbostuin is an oasis of sanity, then what does that say about our urban environment?

While the planet burns, viral disease rages and communities collapse, some people still find the time and energy to inflict petty vandalism on the few oasis of sanity that their embattled environment still has to offer. Perhaps they just can help themselves?

Does anyone still wonder about civilisation being a severe and possibly irreversible mental disorder? Is there someone who cares? Does it even matter one way or another?

The good news is: we’re having a bit of rain today.

Permaculture: Stuck in Homesteading?

Although the ethics and principles of permaculture design philosophy don’t seem to explicitly exclude anything other then homesteading, so far I can’t find evidence that it encourages any other approach to livelihood provision for humans. As far as I know there are no initiatives that actively seek to rewild/liberate humans and establish new kinds of relationships between humans and the biosphere.

Some initiatives come close, but no cigars!

There are some rather large scale permaculture projects, transforming landscape level estates into edible landscape food forests. But they all cater to residential humans, and reinforce the concept of ownership by specifically named humans or human incorporated bodies. Self-sufficiency is generally interpreted as residents being able to feed themselves off their own property. Sometimes this extends to self-provision of building materials, clothing materials, but rarely to more advanced materials like metals, ceramics or plastics.

Why is permaculture stuck in this model?

A root cause is the origin of permaculture design.
Accepting that the seminal publication of permaculture ethics and principles is Permaculture One in 1978 by David Holmgren with Bill Mollison credited1)The story behind the first permaculture publication is complex.
Holmgren tells the story from his own perspective publicly for the first time in
Permaculture Pioneers — Stories from the New Frontier
DEVELOPMENT & SOCIETY : Food Security, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Traditional Knowledge, Sustainability, Environment, Land Management
2011•12•12 Caroline Smith Swinburne University, Kerry Dawborn
:

“Over the following two years, 1975-76, I shared house with Bill, his second wife Philomena and her son on a small urban fringe property. Bill and I developed an extensive garden and arboretum of useful plants and our relationship was that of student to mentor.

The permaculture concept emerged from the seed of an idea that Bill suggested as a possible subject that would fit my interest in design, ecology and agriculture.

I wrote the permaculture manuscript, maintained a tenuous relationship to Environmental Design adequate to be awarded my degree but not enough to ever have a sense that I belonged there in that gathering of radical designers and activists, or to stay for postgraduate studies. I also found myself the outsider amongst the radicals.

I put my passion into more practical work, building, hunting and gardening and handed the permaculture manuscript to Bill for edits and additions that became Permaculture One published in 1978 to substantial fanfare and even aclaim.

But my days of working with Bill Mollison were limited to those three years that my self-effacing youth allowed me to ignore his difficult personality. I had already concluded that an evolution into a truly collaborative relationship was not possible so I quietly disengaged.”
David Holmgren – Permaculture: a personal history, 2011.
as lead-author, it is clear to see in the first paragraph of the first chapter, page 1: “Permaculture is a word we have coined for an integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man. It is, in essence, a complete agricultural ecosystem modelled on existing but simpler examples.

And there is your problem, right from the start.

In order of appearance:

  1. Permaculture – perhaps in hindsight an unfortunate neologism: “perma” derives from permanence (Latin for enduring, remaining hard, steadfast, immovable, unchanging); culture derives from colere (Latin for inhabit, occupy, domesticate, subjugate). The conjunction of these elements describe the unfortunately detached and at the same time self-elevated, patronising and unequal relationship between humans and their existential dynamic support systems of the biosphere. In several ways permaculture contradicts and obfuscates reality, just like agriculture does.
  2. integrated, evolving system: although this lays the groundwork for a holistic and novel way of life, in practice very little of this potential emerges in the lives of many permaculture practitioners. They often find that living a full-time permaculture lifestyle is hard perennial work.
  3. perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species: these qualifications limit the holistic approach by excluding most species in one and all of the species in the two other domains of life2)domains of life: Archeae, Bacteria, Eukaryotes. Plants and animals are members of the Eucaryotes domain, as are Fungi and Protista.
    Domains of Life
    . Even more curious, one species is excluded from the system and elevated to a superior position: man (sorry, better half of the species) is to be served by everything else. And if you happen not to be of use to man: sorry, but you don’t fit in this system. This seems more like a selectively “holistic approach” to domestication of the biosphere, rather then living in harmony with it.
  4. complete agricultural ecosystem: confirming that permaculture is a kind of domestication.
  5. existing but simpler examples: nostalgia to soothe the fears of modernity. A recognition of the inevitable collapse of civilisation and admitting to only turning back the clock.

Permaculture does not attempt or pretend to offer a radically different way of living, or perceiving the world. It does not recognise what is wrong with the contemporary model of the biosphere. It does not identify the key causes of its inevitable dysfunction and dysbiosis.

By affirming civilisation as acceptable and not recognising that alternatives exist or be imagined, permaculture is sabotaging itself as an agent of change.

The fact that permaculture has captured the imagination of thousands of people around the world speaks more to the charisma of Bill Mollison as a consummate storyteller and the paucity of imagination in the audience then to the inherent qualities of permaculture as a design philosophy.

The admission that permaculture “is designed to fit into urban situations” and the subtitle of Permaculture One: A Perennial Agriculture for Human Settlement, should have been dead giveaways.

Noot   [ + ]

1. The story behind the first permaculture publication is complex.
Holmgren tells the story from his own perspective publicly for the first time in
Permaculture Pioneers — Stories from the New Frontier
DEVELOPMENT & SOCIETY : Food Security, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Traditional Knowledge, Sustainability, Environment, Land Management
2011•12•12 Caroline Smith Swinburne University, Kerry Dawborn
:

“Over the following two years, 1975-76, I shared house with Bill, his second wife Philomena and her son on a small urban fringe property. Bill and I developed an extensive garden and arboretum of useful plants and our relationship was that of student to mentor.

The permaculture concept emerged from the seed of an idea that Bill suggested as a possible subject that would fit my interest in design, ecology and agriculture.

I wrote the permaculture manuscript, maintained a tenuous relationship to Environmental Design adequate to be awarded my degree but not enough to ever have a sense that I belonged there in that gathering of radical designers and activists, or to stay for postgraduate studies. I also found myself the outsider amongst the radicals.

I put my passion into more practical work, building, hunting and gardening and handed the permaculture manuscript to Bill for edits and additions that became Permaculture One published in 1978 to substantial fanfare and even aclaim.

But my days of working with Bill Mollison were limited to those three years that my self-effacing youth allowed me to ignore his difficult personality. I had already concluded that an evolution into a truly collaborative relationship was not possible so I quietly disengaged.”
David Holmgren – Permaculture: a personal history, 2011.
2. domains of life: Archeae, Bacteria, Eukaryotes. Plants and animals are members of the Eucaryotes domain, as are Fungi and Protista.
Domains of Life

Corona virus

To prevent the spreading of Covid-19, De Kloosterbostuin calls on you to please stay at home.

The public gardening days of De Kloosterbostuin are now suspended till further notice.

Take good care of yourself. Help others by keeping a safe distance.