The end of Mainstream Permaculture


If you are reading this post, I want you to know that this blog is no longer active. I started a few years ago with a blog named “Living as if Others Really Mattered”, where I blogged about my own observations, reactions and opinions about what was happening in the world. My focus was the convergence of not one or two but many complex crises: social justice, climate change and resource depletion, all sustained on the top of a story of separation that had deep roots in our past as a species.

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

That old blog, who got a few followers with whom I had real interactions (and followed their blogs back), gave birth to “Mainstream Permaculture” and a few other sub-blogs that didn’t last much…I was trying to find “my niche/s” and also to express myself while helping others with some ideas and resources. My blogs focused on disaster planning and emergency preparation, self-reliance and food sovereignty, they also explored resilience, both outer and inner, both individual and collective.

As I was writing my blogs and sharing ideas, I was out here in the “real world” exploring them through courses, gatherings, groups and in my own life. I made many mistakes and experienced both great and inspirational discoveries as well as deep betrayals and disillusionment.

The blog got some traction around 2014-2015 and then the interaction stopped. I became busy, and the project of creating a guide to implement permaculture in a suburban life never left the ground: many of the changes I made to my own life had to be dismantled thanks to the lack of support and ignorance of those who are still living the mainstream story (the story of “Business as Usual”)…I saw the same happening not only with many permaculture initiatives, but also with “friends” who suddenly turned their back with no explanation: it was OK when I was full of enthusiasm (and time), but when I started to get challenges, they left…


My basic ideas have not changed, nor my opinion about the world: when people ask me, I say what I observe: things are getting worse, there is no significant advance and no amount of small or big changes will “fix” what we have started, because, among other things, this doesn’t have to be “fixed”: this needs to be radically changed!

The Hawthorne Tree represents change and thresholds, a choice ahead…the Truth and the opposites

I happen to live in two worlds: I see BAU (Business as Usual) almost every day of my life. I see the amount of neglect, ignorance, selfishness, lack of willingness, stubbornness and so much more that rule most of the world: I see it reflected in my “mainstream” job working with refugees and immigrants and other vulnerable groups, but unfortunately (and painfully), I also see it permeating the permaculture, transition and even great turning realms: self-righteousness, short-sightedness, uber-optimism that kills and tries to hide any reality and real solutions, and so for…

I see it in books and documentaries: even those who start exposing the deep realities that nobody wants to face: that there won’t be an industrial world with solar panels and wind turbines, that airplanes and big trucks won’t ever work with renewables, that solar panels and all that combo only last 20+ years and pollute, and so on…and then turn the page ignoring all the realities they just described and want us to believe that all will be solved if we each  start growing food and living of the land! The amount of wishful thinking that ignores the millions of oppressed, uneducated, unhealthy and tired people (plus the thousands that are also sick, disable or too old) who live in the cities and can’t grow their food even if they wanted, and who will never have access to any piece of land because there ISN’T ENOUGH!

The way those who should know better engage in power struggles and unhealthy dynamics with each other (yes, even those we quote and admire and who have funded movements and practices!), or the way they point fingers (directly or indirectly) to all the others who are not living their lives as they do…when I see all this, my hope diminishes greatly: I see that the problem is too complex and too big, that in fact, there is not “a” problem, but a series of interconnected and compounded problems. That the only ways are to radically disrupt the system/s at many levels at the same time. But more than anything, to COMMIT, to vow, not so much about lifestyle changes (although they are needed), but Soul-level changes: I cannot see this machine stopping, not even turning a bit if not enough people really commit to BE, more than to DO…

What do you choose? Ask the Fairy of the Forest when you sit under a Hawthorne Tree… 

With the years, I have been lucky enough to have been exposed and able to explore much more than permaculture. I even became a facilitator myself. I am now inside a couple of movements/organizations that I respect because I see that they want the good to prevail, they are, so far, authentic: something I’m deeply thirsty about.

But things have changed and will continue to change in my life, and my next step is not to focus on “doing” permaculture, but to focus on living the Great Turning. Permaculture is just one of the tools we need, a very powerful one, but not the only one…

Thank to those who have been followers all these years, both old and new ones. I may come back and create something out of the scattered pieces, who knows?

All the best to all,



8 Comments on “The end of Mainstream Permaculture

  1. Dear Silvia, I am so grateful for the chance to get to know you through your deep and beautiful posts. My life is richer because of your inspiring work. Sending love, hugs, and best wishes to you as you embark on the next steps of your life journey. ❤


      • I do hope you stay in touch somehow. (My email address is listed on my blog under contact information.) I will miss your profound insights and beautiful posts. Sending hugs and best wishes to you, dear friend. ❤


      • Thanks Carol, I plan to stay in one way or another…I’m keeping my other blog (, now alive and plan to write at least once a month…just not sure of the format yet. And this will stay until the domain and and site expires. If my brain changes by then, I may retake it and transform it, nobody knows! I’m away from blogging among other things because I’m super busy building the online programs for both Gaia Education (their “Certificate in Design for Sustainability” in both English and Spanish) and for the Work that Reconnects Network and their facilitators development program…so much screen time (although for a good cause!) takes me away from my own musings….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you for being and doing. I am one of those you mention, full of plans, full of learning, but not successfull in execution. I always seem to find stumblingblocks. Critters eating my seedlings,p.e. but deep down I know that if I could work harder…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maria, don’t blame yourself. Gaia needs us all in our different ways to contribute and heal the world. Some of us may do better teaching and sharing info, others may be better at doing and demonstrating, and so on…every single bit counts!


  3. Thanks you for care. when you stop other begin, you did you part and you did well. i started my blog few months ago in the same spirit so when i saw you stop i want you to know more people are open and want more of that stuf, love ,hope and knowledge,
    thx again


    • Thanks Fred, that’s the nature of life, more than stopping, I see this as a change or a transition. I may continue in the future with different approaches, or may resume where I left. Or, as you said, others will continue, it is a long evolving journey…


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