Regarding sustainable or rehabilitation agriculture I am frequently asked the question, “well that’s great, but how will I farm 800 acres that way?” The answer is, you cannot. It is a rare condition that anyone farms that quantity without some supplemental help anyway.
Is it such a bad thing that farmers might have to more workers on the land? Is it a bad thing that these individuals will need not just agricultural training but also ecological, social, economic, etc. education. The movement could create a powerful ideological shift in rural communities while simultaneously rejuvenating their economies. Permaculture systems are intensive to establish and maintain and they are multi-generational projects. Once a community had established a network of productive locations they could not only profit locally but also export goods to local towns.
Many families that have traditionally farmed have changed careers as the amount of land necessary to provide adequate income increased in concert with the mechanization and industrialization of farming. The economic viability of intensively cultivated permaculture systems presents a tremendous opportunity to reverse these negative trends and return farmers to the land.
Families can once again pass down the knowledge of how to grow their own food and care for the land in a responsible manner. Things we have forgotten in only a generation or two, we can remember again. People who have moved off of the land and abandoned rural communities have returned. Local economies that have grown sluggish and weak can regain strength and viability. In the process of enriching families and communities we can rehabilitate and revitalize the landscape.