|The string is passed around and a web is formed|
Today Mark and I ran a workshop on Natural Pest Control and Companion Planting. In the hope that we can encourage people not to use pesticides, natural or otherwise, we always start this workshop with "the web of resilience exercise" as Rob Hopkins of Transition Towns fame calls it. This exercise shows the relationship between the elements within a system, how very complex and resilient it is, but at the same time how fragile.
It's our way of showing the impact farmers/gardeners have on these systems_ it can be either a positive impact as in the case of permaculture systems or negative as in the case of conventional farming with the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Each person is given the name of an element within a system. After each person identifies their relationship to another element e.g. a frog and a pond, and passes the string to that element, a web forms. Once the web is created we see what happens when this is disrupted eg in the case of a farmer using insecticides (chemical or not) and the insects start to die off, and the web starts to disintegrate.
We don't kill things here at Purple Pear but let a natural balance of pests and predators build up. In this way we do no harm.