What is ZONE ZERO ZERO in permaculture? And why do we need it now?

During this absurdly successful global covid psy-op I have been astonished to discover that even some renowned permaculture teachers are “taking the vax.” WHAT? I was stunned. Does not permaculture extend to the inner landscape of one’s own body? To me, that’s like drinking poisonous glysophate to kill the “germs” — bacteria and viruses that together, in great swarming, balanced, harmonious abundance, populate our inner worlds, just as they do the healthy soil beneath our feet.

My astonishment continues to this day. One would think that a focus on the health of the immune system of one’s own body would be second nature to permaculturists. That permies, above all people, would recognize the sheer brilliance of the body to care for itself as a diverse, regulated, living system.

But there we are, once again faced with the mind/body split that Descartes ignited way back in the 17th century, a split that expanded and solidified into a cultural given, and mostly without our even being aware of it.

Permaculture organizes the world into zones:

Notice the difference between zone zero and zone zero zero, the individual.

I’d go further and say that zone zero zero refers to one’s relationship to one’s own body as a holistic system. Just as permaculture teaches us to generally think in terms of holistic systems, so does zone zero zero refer to our need to sense/think about, and feel one’s own body in that same manner.

Here’s an article that describes the differences:

Differences in linear and holistic thinking and operating

Or, in graphic terms (keep in mind this graph refers to human organizations, but it could refer literally to anything, since we’re talking universally about typical and, unfortunately, nontypical ways of thinking.


In terms of covidiana, we can draw a parallel to Dr. Zach Bush and other more holistically inclined current cultural influencers to their distinction between germ and terrain, and that though germ theory took over the medical world and banished holistic natural healing in the process, thanks to Rockefeller medicine backed by the 1910 Flexner Report, it’s about time to transform our left-brained linear thinking into a constant attunement to the entire environment which produces any particular change. Indeed, perhaps when this covid nonsense is behind us, it will actually have introduced this transformation from linear (including germ theory) to systems thinking (terrain — PERMACULTURE!) as utterly fundamental  if the human race is to live and thrive in the future.

Digging even deeper, I looked for an author who would recognize zone zero zero as actually the zone where language, a human invention, and what we call reality (that which is) meet, and what happens when we attempt to actually describe reality by naming different “things” within and their relations with one another, whether holistic or linear.

Inexorably, such an attempt leads to situations like what’s going on with the “climate change” drama, where experts put up graphs which pretend (and fail) to predict the future based on certain variables they have identified. But, I always want to ask, why just these variables? How many variables would be enough in a world of infinite changing interactions among infinities of entities of indescribably various sizes, most of which we do not know about and never will, never can, comprehend?

In short, “the map is not the territory,” and any attempt to completely “map” any “territory” is always doomed to failure.

Here is that author that I was looking for. John Graham. Extraordinary. Written in 1995. Well worth absorbing in its entirety.



Please do read the entire essay above. Pulling just three paragraphs out of a deeply entangled, ecological murmuring such as his feels like murder.

Try this video, if you want something easier to comprehend. The entire film is deeply interesting, and I especially appreciate the woman, Cecelia Macaulay, who notes as an example of how permaculture principles apply to diverse zones: “Avoid compaction. Compaction in soil. Compaction in human relations. Compaction in the mind. Compaction in the body.” YES.

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3 Responses to What is ZONE ZERO ZERO in permaculture? And why do we need it now?

  1. Gabby says:

    Great post, Ann and timely for me this morning. This song was stuck in my head while working in the garden — and I think you and your readers will appreciate the message, as well as the beautiful slow motion animation. Peter Gabriel is such a gem.

    My friend in Idaho just mentioned how confused she was about friends that eat organic food, or are vegan/vegetarian but ask her if she’s had the vaxx yet. Total disconnect!

    Digging in the Dirt

  2. Oscar says:

    I thought permaculture was about observing and taking actions based on that. Not about denying scientifical facts. We can observe virusses, we know what they do and we can strengthen the resistance of plants, animals and ourselves against them.
    A vaccin is nothing more then that: training our resistance. There is nothing wrong with that.

    Maybe the author forgot what the world was like before we had vaccins, when many infants died of infections.

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      Observe and interact yes, but also, more fundamental, permaculture recognizes nature as a complex,integrated system. As are our bodies. Also, scientism and science are two different things. Plus, apparently the CV-19 virus has NEVER BEEN ISOLATED. Does it even exist?

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