Why Permaculture is a Bit Like The Lion King

Having thought deeply about it for a little while, we have come to the conclusion that yes, pemaculture is definitely a little bit like the Lion King.  That’s not to say that permaculture involves the adventure of a Lion cub who witnesses the murder of his father at the hands of an ambitious uncle, which lead the cub on a journey of self-discovery and so forth.   But rather that there are themes from the film that resonate directly with the core values of Permaculture.

The Circle of Life

It doesn’t take long in the movie until these core values get a name.  The film’s opening musical song composed by Elton John has it in the title: The Circle of Life Later, as the story progresses, the young lion cub and film protagonist Simba is educated by his father Mufasa the king further:

Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.

Young Simba: But, Dad, don't we eat the antelope?

Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.

While these words are as important for everyone, king or not, they have a special resonance for gardeners and horticulturalists who are working to build their gardens, farms or other project along permaculture principles.   The key to working successfully with permaculture is to understand the interrelated factors and relationships between the plants and animals living in any eco-system. Then to build something that is as sustainable as it can be. 

King or Queen of the Garden

However, additional thought must always be given to the impact that the gardener, and any other humans involved, may have upon the garden.  As King or Queen of the Garden, those responsible need to take responsibility to preserve and protect the delicate balance of the eco-systems that they oversee.

You may not, in most countries, have to worry about the effect of an unwanted pack of hyena’s in your garden. However, any unwanted species plant or animal, left to propagate unimpeded, can eventually overwhelm and wreck the delicate balance within your permaculture garden.   Unwanted plants will compete for and steal nutrients from your intended crops and animals such as rabbits can ravenously devour everything in their path left to their own devices. 

That’s why being aware of, and managing the Circle of Life as it applies to your garden, is of such special importance to permaculturists.  Because you are relying on your garden to be as self-regulating as possible, you need a deeper understanding of the plants and creatures within it than you would do with conventional agriculture. 

Any way you look at it, working on a Garden requires effort and knowledge.  A Hakuna Matata approach simply won’t do. 




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