Thursday, 30 January 2014

Permaculture homesteads in South Africa (#journal)

Ethnographic insights on rural sustainability; homestead design and permaculture of Eastern Cape settlements in South Africa

This article considers the prevalence of sustained agricultural practices (particularly homestead gardens) and questions current public debate that permaculture is foreign to South Africa. The article makes comparisons to some of the founding principles of permaculture theory and practice to suggest that current agricultural practices and homestead (umzi, plural imizi) settlement patterns follow closely to "permaculture ideals" in theory and practice. The paper critiques ideas that believe rural areas to be "de-agrarianised", or solely supported by the welfare state. A further critique is raised because of the idealised manner in which foreign ideas on development are esteemed as better than regional adaptations. The paper displays scepticism for Eastern Cape development models or those perceptions that do not account for local land use practices.

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