The piece has an overview of the history of permaculture, the ethics and principles and then explores some of the main ways in which permaculture is gravitating from an underground movement into the consciousness of communities and families.
Tortorello attends a permaculture design course and visits various projects including: Hayes Valley Farm, the Old Stone House, Crazy Rooster Farm and Amish Telephone Booth, the Urban Permaculture Institute, the national Permaculture Institute.
Interestingly, he mentions not just peak oil but also peak water and peak soil. As awareness and understanding of the environmental and economic difficulties facing us grows Tortorello states that "permaculture won't be a lifestyle choice, but a necessity".
The feature is an entertaining and inspiring read. It ends by pointing out that it is not just preparing for doomsday that is drawing increasing numbers of people to permaculture, it is also the enjoyment, inclusiveness and the fact that the solutions offered are things you can do yourself and with your community. He quotes David Cody of Hayes Valley Farm in San Francisco who suggest that we need to add a new principle to the existing 12 central tenets of permaculture: "If it's not fun, it's not sustainable."
The references at the end of the piece are aimed at American readers, we would add Permaculture, Patrick Whitefield's The Earth Care Manual and Permaculture In A Nutshell and a range of Permanent Publications books, eBooks and DVDs (which are available in the USA via the distributors Chelsea Green).