Welcometo Permaculture MagazinePUBLISHERPERMANENT PUBLICATIONS
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EDITOR Maddy Harland
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The opinions expressed in PM are not necessarily those of the publisher. Whilst the publisher takes every care in checking the validity of information given in articles and other contributions, it cannot accept responsibility for its accuracy or liability for any form of damages incurred by the use of any such information.
With this first issue of 2010, we begin by thanking you all: to all our subscribers, readers, writers, advertisers, distributors and to those who run small shops who are valiantly carrying on in a difficult financial climate and offering diversity to the high street, thank you for your support. On 1st February, we celebrate 20 years of publishing books and magazines at Permanent Publications. From tiny beginnings we continue to slowly grow, expand our readership and add to our list of ground-breaking authors. If you would like to know about our history and who we are please see www.permanent-publications.co.uk or ask us to pop some information in the post to you.
The creation of this spring issue has ironically taken place in the depth of winter. We work closely as a team and share the decision-making process that pulls together all the disparate elements which go into making this magazine a whole. What is central to us all is the need to produce a publication crammed with good cheer and positive solutions: a tiny wind turbine that can be made from scrap; inner city fruit growing; the successful building of a local shop when everywhere retailing is becoming homogenous and owned by a cartel of big companies; the many uses for nettles; an article about a beautiful ecovillage in the Kaluga region, known as ‘the real Russia’... We have published a festival guide for the first time to encourage you to plan some fun, wherever you are, and share some of our fun times too. Tim and I have also opened the back door into our garden to tell the story of how it evolved from a bare field to a biodiverse, productive garden which BBC2 filmed last summer for a Gardeners’ World spin-off series, The Edible Garden, screening in March.
Why all this cheerful optimism? Are we out of step with the world? We know that life in the 21st century is both highly complex and beset with difficulties and tragedies. The peaking of fossil fuels and effects of rising atmospheric carbon are the greatest challenges to humanity in our history. There is no guarantee that we can collectively rise to these challenges. Rather than being disempowered and despondent, however, we need to ‘follow our joy’, the advice of the late scholar and cultural mythologist, Joseph Campbell. If we keep our spirits up and our hearts open, we are more able to remain focused about changing our lives for the better and inspiring others to do the same. Being divisive about people and angry about life repels others, whilst being joyful is magnetic. It draws others towards us, nurtures and encourages, and allows us to cultivate compassion and inner peace.
If I had one wish I could proffer, it would be to ask that we review our prejudices and ask, “Who do I dismiss out of hand? Who do I judge solely by appearances?” For me, 2009 was a year of cultural diversity in which I met many people, sometimes in extraordinary circumstances. It was expanding, interesting and unexpectedly challenging. Generally, however, I have been warmed by people’s humanity and willingness to co-operate. Inevitably, deep cultural and environmental change is ahead for us all. If we can count our blessings and embrace this shift with goodwill and a willingness to find solutions, the transition will be made easier.
Maddy Harland and the Permaculture Magazine Team
Permaculture Magazine No. 63