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Live resiliently – this is how it can work

Permaculture can be applied to your own life

“We are all elders in training…”
Mala spotted eagle

With “Crisis Festival – how we save the world out of a love of life. An ode to our natural resilience" Marit Marschall writes a handbook for all people who do not want to remain "in whining and suffering". "We humans screwed up and now we're going to do better," she says. Crisis Festival is a poetic, clever textbook for all those who are looking for a method of how to become and remain stable as a person in a time of crisis, but also - if they want to - as a gardener.

By Bobby Langer

How can it be that an ecosystem can function for centuries, even millennia, as long as humans leave it alone? The two Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren asked themselves a few decades ago what are the interlocking principles of such a “miracle” and set out in search of answers. The result was “permaculture” with knowledge that spread across the globe at lightning speed. In Germany, too, there are now thousands of users of the permaculture principles, which work just as well in home gardens as on farms.

Permaculture has long since developed into an agricultural system science that both completes and expands the basics of organic cultivation. And permaculture can be learned, in Germany in private academies, in Austria even at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. After several years of training, you receive the qualification as a permaculture designer.

Marit Marschall also chose this path in search of the source of our natural resilience. In her thesis, she explained that the "spiritual tools" of permaculture can also be applied to human life planning, as a design for the inner landscape. "We can try ourselves as inner gardeners and designers of our lives," says Marit Marschall. To this end, she developed the "Tree Plan" and described its use in her book in an easy-to-understand, clear and step-by-step manner. The graceful and surprising color images by the English nature artist Amber Woodhouse give the book a certain magic as soon as you leaf through it.

"Crisis-Fest" - the spelling refers to a double meaning: on the one hand, the author provides psychological and permacultural expert support in becoming crisis-proof; but not in a static sense, but flexible and resilient like nature, in which every crisis harbors the potential for development and growth.

This compendium of mindfulness from a permaculture perspective leads the reader step by step: from the sensible development of one's own resilience roots to the trunk of the personal tree of life - the analysis - to the reliable harvest of the fruits: one's own life income. Marit Marschall manages to walk the tightrope between scientific knowledge and spiritual insights. Crisis festival is not a call to "back up the trees", but rather the vision of an indigenous European life in which the environment and people merge harmoniously and intelligently. “You live more in harmony with your own needs and those of all living beings. No longer as an exploiter and ignorant 'human', but as an integrated inhabitant of the planet. Just like you always wanted.”

In the chapter "The Roots of Needs" the author quotes the famous inventor and architect R. Buckminster Fuller:

"I think we're in a kind of final exam to see if the person with this ability to gather information and communicate is now really qualified to take on the responsibility that is to be handed over to us. And this is not about examining forms of government, it is not about politics, it is not about economic systems. It has something to do with the individual. Does the individual have the courage to really engage with the truth?”

Crisis Festival is a book of courage in this sense, and a book of departure for everyone who might need a last impulse to get going; a call to accept the sovereignty that is possible for us and thus responsibility for our lifestyle. But it's also a detailed encouragement full of gardening and permaculture details for those whose path sometimes feels arduous. "Become capable of action in the individual as well as in the global sense" - that's what it's all about here. "Our inner focus on consistent quality of life is what we're still missing," says Marit Marschall. "With this book you can train and educate yourself to feel your needs as a healthy ecosystem again, to examine and align your thoughts, your feelings and actions to the benchmark of the principles of the ecosystem. You can live out your whole quality on this beautiful planet without regrets and give it away.”

CRISIS FESTIVAL – how we save the world out of a love of life. An ode to our natural resilience. By Marit Marshal. With an interview with Gerald Hüther.
310 pages, 21,90 euros, Europa Verlagsgruppe, ISBN 979-1-220-11656-5

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Written by Bobby Langer

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