Thursday, 15 April 2010

Permaculture on the Fringe; Lewes Road Community Garden

I was in England a few weeks back and met some of the squatter community in Brighton who have occupied an old small gas station lot and called it the Lewes Road Community Garden. They are putting together a nice little permaculture garden there with raised beds full of trees, vegetables and flowers. This space grows a little food but serves the double role of community space in an otherwise busy area of Brighton with nothing but shopping centers and busy streets. - The squatters, with leftist zines and heads full of ideas and a copy of the adverse possession law called squatters rights, are stationed in the space where the attendants must must have once looked over the books and collected the money.

It occurred to me while having tea up in the station attendants space that these permaculture squatters are the wild yeasts of our civilization. They are called 'Crusties' in England and are generally frowned upon but they are the radical roots of our civilization. They help to maintain the most crucial aspects of our humanity and should be honored for the work that they do. They are revolutionaries, willing to suffer tremendously (sleep without heat through the winter and make small battles with the police) to preserve small patches of wildness and community like this garden at an abandoned gas station.

An excerpt from Bread and Puppet's Radical Cheese Manifesto
...THE NEED
FOR HUMAN FERMENTATION.
THE CALL FOR FERMENTATION IS PRIOR TO THE CALL
FOR UPRISING BECAUSE UPRISING NEEDS ALL THE
WILD YEASTS OF THE MOMENT TO BE WHAT IT IS.
HUMAN FERMENTATION CONCERNS THOSE
PARTS OF THE HUMAN BODY
THAT ARE NOT GOVERNED BY
THE GOVERNMENT
LIKE THE GUTS AND THE
GUTSY PART OF THE BRAIN.
IN THIS DEMOCRACY WHICH
TEASES CITIZENS WITH
THE POSSIBILITY OF
DEMOCRACY...
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