Permaculture : building spiritual and cultural practices : Woodsong eco-farm cooperative
Gofsky, Marcia Nairn
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The goal of this research has been to explore how people describe their experience with integrating permaculture design into their lives, and what spiritual and cultural perspectives they have to offer to the permaculture movement based on these experiences. I used a case study and mini-ethnographic methodology to explore the Woodsong Cooperative Eco-Farm permaculture site in rural Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Self-determination theory and permaculture theory assisted in contextualizing the study. I conducted and thematically analyzed 12 interviews; a document analysis supplemented the interview data. The research results are a collection of narratives, photo-stories, and a presentation of themes. The narrative stories are not utopic; they are a realistic view into this particular developing permaculture system and eco-farming community and its spiritual underpinnings. The findings and subsequent discussion resulted in three major themes: 1) Permaculture, 2) Spirituality, and 3) Connectedness. There are twenty-six threads presented as a subset of these three major themes. The research confirms important points of permaculture theory and design and offers an inspiring set of stories and advice relevant to the permaculture movement at large, both to those in the Interior region of British Columbia and to those working towards a more sustainable way of life. The research demonstrates how Woodsong Eco-Farm Cooperative has attempted to become spiritually and culturally responsive as a permaculture entity. Keywords: Permaculture, spirituality, eco-farming, sustainability, self-determination, British Columbia
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