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Science
Natural Sciences

The Permaculture Podcast

Updated 3 days ago

Science
Natural Sciences
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with Scott Mann

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with Scott Mann

iTunes Ratings

155 Ratings
Average Ratings
125
11
14
2
3

Great pod

By A nerd among the birds - Nov 15 2019
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One of my favorite podcasts, inspiring to hear all the great work folks are doing.

Fair and Enlightening

By MidshipmenVoyage - Mar 08 2016
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Very good dialogue and reviews.

iTunes Ratings

155 Ratings
Average Ratings
125
11
14
2
3

Great pod

By A nerd among the birds - Nov 15 2019
Read more
One of my favorite podcasts, inspiring to hear all the great work folks are doing.

Fair and Enlightening

By MidshipmenVoyage - Mar 08 2016
Read more
Very good dialogue and reviews.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Permaculture Podcast

The Permaculture Podcast

Updated 3 days ago

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with Scott Mann

1733 – Drawing Down Carbon: Eric Toensmeier on Agroforestry and Climate Change

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How do we limit the damage of the greatest terrestrial environmental disaster ever, climate change?

By drawing down carbon.

http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Episode1733.mp3

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How we do that, and the most effective ways possible, form the base of this conversation with Eric Toensmeier, as he shares his ongoing research about the impacts of agriculture and how we can use agroforestry to increase productivity and sequester carbon.

As an overview of the global state of carbon farming, Eric also discusses the reality of what we can do, through dietary practices and engaging in our own food production, to create change. For those of you inclined towards policy and top-down approaches, you’ll hear plenty of possibilities of how you can move the conversation in your community and with your legislators.

Find out more about him at perennialsolutions.org, and The Carbon Farming Solution at ChelseaGreen.com.

Visit our partner: Food Forest Card Game

Given the range of topics touched on regarding climate change, the resources below include not only those that Eric mentioned, but also a number of previous interviews with Dr. Laura Jackson, Keefe Keeley of The Savanna Institute, small-scale farmers Lee and Dave O’Neill at Radical Roots, and the market farmer Jean-Martin Fortier, as well as Jerome Osentowski of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture. In the conversation with Jerome, he even touches on the impacts he’s seeing of climate change after his many years in the high altitude environment of Colorado where CRMPI calls home, and the focus of his decades of work on greenhouses.

As I put together the notes for this show, I’m left thinking about how to move forward in a meat-reduced world and have questions I need to answer. How viable is meat on leftovers? What systems do we need to implement to capture food waste so it gets to animals instead of the refuse bin?

I should have expected to be left with more questions after speaking with Eric, so am going to keep digging into this and will share more as I find it.

I would like to have Eric back sometime to continue the conversation about permaculture and food production on marginal land. If you have questions about this or anything else we covered in today’s conversation, leave a comment in the show notes below, or get in touch.

Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Call: 717-827-6266

Or you can send me a letter if you prefer something analog:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next conversation is from guest host David Bilbrey, who sat down with John Seed to talk about Saving the Los Cedros Biological Reserve.

Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and your community by capturing carbon wherever you can.

Resources
The Carbon Farming Solution
Project Drawdown
Perennial Solutions

The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri
Agroforestry at Virginia Tech
IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Trees on Farms by RJ Zomer, et al. (PDF)
Savanna Institute
Steve SolomonGardening When It Counts
John Jeavons – Grow Biointensive
Legal Pathways to Carbon_Neutral Agriculture by Peter Lehner and Nathan Rosenberg (PDF)
Diet for a Small Planet

Interviews for More Information
Modern Agricultural Systems with Dr. Laura Jackson
The Savanna Institute with Keefe Keeley
The Market Gardener with Jean-Martin Fortier
Radical Roots Farm with Dave and Lee O’Neill
The Forest Garden Greenhouse (Jerome Osentowski)

Nov 30 2017

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1810 – The Suburban Micro-Farm: Designing for Neighbors and Small Spaces

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My guest today is Amy Stross, blogger at TenthAcreFarm.com and author of The Suburban-Microfarm. I wanted Amy to join me for an interview to hear her perspective on creating integrated spaces where people are and will continue to live for the foreseeable future: in cities and suburbs.

http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Episode1810.mp3

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Drawing on her years of experience in the landscape and her neighborhood, Amy shares what we can do to grow in small yards and gardens by considering our edges, looks at the difference we can make in our pantry if we grow for ourselves or in our wallet if we grow for market, and also shares her thoughts on what the future of permaculture holds as the ethics and principles are put into practice by people adapt these ideas to where they are and through their interests.

You can find out more about her and all she spoke about at tenthacrefarm.com/permaculturepodcast.

What do you think of what Amy shared with us today? How are you building a longer table instead of a higher fence?

Let me know. Leave a comment in the show notes or get in touch.

Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Call: 717-827-6266
Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next conversation is Oliver Goshey. He and I settle in to talk about natural building and designing for disasters.

Until then, take care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Spring Fundraiser
As we enter Spring, I’m running a small fundraiser, known as The Car Drive as I need to replace my 14-year-old minivan with 218,000+ miles. If you love this show, whether you’re new or been with me a long time, I’m asking you to donate $1 for every show you’ve listened to. It will really help.

For anyone who donates during this campaign, the artist Lindsay Wilson has created a series of nature-inspired one-of-a-kind mixed-media prints, which I’ll be giving away to some donors.

Click here to learn more about the fundraiser

Give online by going to paypal.me/permaculturepodcast

Or send something in the mail.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

See more of Lindsay Wilson’s art at curvedcanvas.com

ReGen18
Now that David Bilbrey officially joined me as a co-host instead of his occasional role as a guest host, we’re working on getting him to some events to network and interview people who coincide with his interest in the intersection of business and permaculture.

The first of those trips is to travel to ReGen18 from May 1 – 4, 2018, in San Francisco, California, to connect with speakers dedicated to his interest: weaving together business and permaculture to transition to the world we want to see.

Will you be at ReGen18? If so, email david@thepermaculturepodcast.com and let him know.

Would you like to go? Use the following link to register and save 30%.

Register for ReGen18 as a Permaculture Podcast Listener

Resources
Tenth Acre Farm – Page for Permaculture Podcast listeners
Cincinnati Permaculture Institute

Apr 10 2018

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1820 – The Soil Food Web with Dr. Elaine Ingham

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Today’s guest, in an interview recorded by co-host David Bilbrey, is the microbiologist and soil researcher Dr. Elaine Ingham.

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During this conversation, David and Elaine explore the microbiology of the soil, the impact of this life on the health of our plants and agricultural system, how we can be citizen scientists, and the power of a microscope to bring all these ideas together, right in front of our eyes. Underneath it all is the importance of healthy, living soil for human well being, as individuals, participants in a community, and citizens of the world.

Find out more about her work on soil microbiology at soilfoodweb.com and on her classes and other work with Environment Celebration Institute at environmentcelebration.com.

David and I have partnered with Dr. Ingham and Environment Celebration Institute to make her courses more accessible to permaculture practitioners. If you’d like to take one of her online classes, use the promo code permaculturepodcast at checkout to save up to 50%. By doing so, you also help to support the podcast.

Stepping away from this conversation, I’m reminded of several past interviews that focused on citizen science and nutrient-dense foods, with Dr. Ingham’s talk with David adding the importance of soil microbiology and what we can do to support a healthy soil biome. As permaculture practitioners we can blend scientific research – both our own and that of others – with our Earth care practices.

To continue these conversations and the exploration of these ideas, you’ll find links to the related interviews, including those mentioned above, below.

What do you think of what Dr. Ingham is doing? Do you use a microscope in your exploration of the world? Have you taken one of her courses?

Let me know. Leave a comment in the show notes, call: 717-827-6266, send me an email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com or contact David: david@thepermaculturepodcast.com or drop a letter in the post.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, there is another shorter episode coming out in a few days, which is a conversation with Leslie Crawford about her new children’s book Sprig the Rescue Pig. After that is Sarah Bir at the end of the month, to talk about her book The Fruit Forager’s Companion.

Until then, spend each day exploring your soil while taking care of Earth, yourself and each other.

Resources
Dr. Ingham’s CV
Soil Food Web
Environment Celebration Institute
Dr. Ingham’s Online Classes
Ecological Monograph (1985 – PDF)
EcoThinkIt

Additional Interviews
Nutrient Dense Foods with Dan Kittredge
The Citizen Scientist with Stephen Harrod Buhner
GoBotany! and Citizen Science with Elizabeth Farnsworth

Jun 20 2018

Play

1905 – So You Want To Be A Modern Homesteader with Kirsten Lie-Nielsen

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In this episode, Kirsten Lie-Nielsen, author of So You Want to be a Modern Homesteader, joins me to share her journey in becoming a modern homesteader and the advice she has for anyone interested in pursuing a similar path. Residing in Maine, I like her story because of how she and her partner had this dream and began on the land they were on. Continuing to develop their skills, in a space that was definitely not a farm, they spent this time seeking out the right piece of property for their goals.

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Through our chat together Kirsten shares what and why she and her husband focused on when moving to the land. That she earns an income off the farm, and what they are developing to make one on it. The value of a partner who shares your dream, which she has in her husband. The relationship we have with our animals, including what develops from bottle feeding a baby goat, when your geese imprint on you and having a guardian dog as part of your family. Engaging your local community, while also leveraging social media to stay connected, learn new skills, and promote your farm and farm business.

We get into quite a bit in our time together, which also reminded me of how technology is not always the most reliable at the end of a rural lane. You’ll hear a few places where we have less than perfect audio, but those are minor compared to the wealth of information Kirsten shares with us in this conversation.

You can read Kirsten’s blog and learn more about her journey at HostileValleyLiving.com, and you’ll find her book at newsociety.com.

In cooperation with New Society Publishers, I’m giving away a copy of her book to a listener on Patreon. For those of you who support the podcast there, you’ll find this in your feed beginning February 18th.

Not a Patreon supporter? That’s okay, this drawing is open to everyone. All you need to do is register with Patreon and leave a comment in the link below. This giveaway only runs through February 28th, so head over there today.

Book Giveaway: So You Want To Be A Modern Homesteader

While lauding Kirsten’s book, I mention that I like the questions she asks to help you perform a self-assessment and decide whether or not this really is the path you want to pursue, something we don’t talk about enough within the permaculture community. Those questions can help you with preparing for rural life, understanding the seasonality of living on a farm, the reality of raising children on the homestead, and more.

A few of those questions, from the chapter on Skills and Resources for Rural Living, include:

What is your plan for keeping food fresh or preserved?
How will you bathe and get fresh drinking water?
How will you keep your animals warm in winter?

As you read each chapter and answer those questions, if you want to learn more and dig deeper, Kirsten provides a relatively comprehensive list of books for each topic. From the same chapter, some of the books she recommends:

The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
Raising Goats Naturally by Deborah Niemann

I’m a fan of her suggested reading because many of the books are ones I would personally recommend from my own library, or have been suggested by guests at one point or another.

Overall, if you are called to the land, you can learn a lot from Kirsten, her blog, and her books.

I missed her at Mother Earth News Fair in PA this past year, as I was hanging out with Jereme Zimmerman at the time talking mead, but look forward to meeting her this September and sitting through some of her presentations. If you can make it to that or any of the other events, she’ll be at, seek out the opportunity. If not, read her work.

After listening to this episode, what do you think about making a move to a homestead? Have Kirsten’s insights changed your views? Will you need to take some time to build your skills?

Let me know.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Or if you still like to seal an envelope and mail a letter, that address is:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next episode is a conversation with Zev Friedman of Co-operate WNC as we sit down to talk about mutual aid and the scale of cooperation. That’s out on February 27 for Patreon supporters and regular release on February 28.

To go with that episode is a giveaway for copies of Peter Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid and The Conquest of Bread.

Until the next time, consider whether or not a homestead is right for you and your plans, while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Feb 20 2019

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1803 – Jacqueline Smith: Animal Agriculture, Regenerative Enterprise, and Central Grazing Company

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In this episode guest host David Bilbrey sits down with Jacqueline Smith, the founder of Central Grazing Company, to talk about her entry into the world of animal agriculture, after having no previous experience with farming or even family ties to a farm or the land.

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They then talk about Jacqueline’s experience building up Central Grazing Company, using a slow money loan, into a regional farm to consumer business. They close with her mission of using animals, agriculture, and business to create regenerative ecosystems.

Find out more about Jacqueline and her work at CentralGrazingCompany.com. In addition to a link to that, you’ll also find information on slow money and other organizations and movements mentioned during the conversation in the resource section below.

Visit our Partner: North Spore Mushroom Company for all of your mushroom needs. Use the code PERMACULTURE at checkout to save 10% on your entire order.

Also be sure to follow them on Instagram @northsporemushrooms for great mushroom growing tips and advice.

I’m thankful that Jacqueline joined David for this conversation because of the way a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, a small initial investment, and a good bit of effort can create an ethical company that aims for social and planetary good. We don’t have to follow the existing models or old ways of being. We can take inspiration to give it a shot, try something different, and maybe, just maybe, change our little piece of the world.

I also always enjoy the conversation that David leads because of his interest in the intersection between permaculture, the land, and business, from his years studying our design discipline while working professionally in sales. How he asked questions like whether or not Jacqueline would want to take her company and make it a national brand, or keep it regional. Would they become an umbrella for others to work under, or simply as models to create other regional farm- to-consumer supply chains. How she became involved with and used slow money to build up Central Grazing Company.

I compare that to how I would have spoken with Jacqueline, if I were in the host seat rather than David and how I imagine I would have focused more on her background and transitioning to farming, lessons learned from her first business, and how that influenced her ethical choices, like ensuring all the producers are animal welfare approved.

David reminds me that we all have a voice and a perspective, and it is in dialog between ourselves, earth, other people, and the other-than-human, that a unique story arises. That by having the conversations, we elevate ourselves and the way we can communicate with one another, and live a richly rewarding life of interconnectedness.

If you are interested in starting a business or telling the stories of others, get in touch.

717-827-6266
show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Or drop something in the post:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next episode is my conversation with Emma Huvos about place-based outdoor education and her work at the Riverside Nature School.

Support The Podcast
Make a One-Time Donation
Become an Ongoing Listener-Member at Patreon

Resources
Central Grazing Company
Central Grazing Company (Instagram)
Animal Welfare Approved
Savory Institute – Land to Market Program
Limits, Our Future, and Slow Money with Woody Tasch(Permaculture Podcast Interview)
Slow Money with Nancy Thellman (Permaculture Podcast Interview)
Slow Money Institute
Slow Money NE Kansas

Jan 30 2018

Play

Interview: David Holmgren – RetroSuburbia

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In this episode recorded by co-host David Bilbrey, David Holmgren returns for the first of a two-part conversation about his latest book RetroSuburbia.

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Visit Our Partner: Food Forest Card Game

This work and the discussion today looks at how people are and can adapt in-place, as individuals and communities, by retrofitting where many of us live: in the spaces around cities, the suburbs.

Throughout David Holmgren shares how we found ourselves in the suburbs and the importance of getting out of the debt, commute, and consume treadmill. Together, David and David also discuss self-reliance, the revitalization of suburbia, and understanding and applying the context of where we live to the creation of our solutions.

You can find David Holmgren, his work, and his books at holmgren.com.au. From there you can also buy RetroSuburbia! online, to have shipped wherever you live in the world.

To go along with this episode, I also have a giveaway thanks to David and the folks at Holmgren Design, Permaculture Design Magazine, and PermaculturePrinciples.com.

I have a copy of RetroSuburbia! and copies of the 2020 Permaculture Calendar to share with listeners. I’ll be giving the book and a calendar away to one listener, and one copy each of the calendars to two others.

You’ll find this giveaway here at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast starting on October 10th, 2019 and running until October 30th, 2019.

If you’d like to make sure you get a copy of the calendar for yourself or to give to friends and family, you’ll find those at permacultureprinciples.com. This year the calendar features awesome images to illustrate the principles of permaculture, thicker print stock, and better print quality. You get all of that for just $11.95 US, with 100% of the sales profits going to the Permafund, a charitable organization supporting permaculture projects around the world.

Any conversation with David Holmgren leaves me with enough to ponder for weeks and months to come after I first listen, and new thoughts arising each time I revisit the interview. Until the release of the second half of this conversation comes out in a few weeks, I’d like you to consider the ideas of replication and context for the design and refit of the suburbs.

How does where you live change and shape what you can accomplish? This includes things like what you would grow in your gardens. The rules and regulations that determine where you can live and who you can live with. Whether calling on help for repairs can come from your own sweat equity, the capitalist economy, or an informal network of support. And what sustainable solutions are permitted or illegal.

Think about those for now, and we’ll revisit this in the closing notes of the next episode.

From here, the next interview is the second half of the conversation with David Holmgren. Until then, spend each day retrofitting suburbia, while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Fall Fundraiser
If you enjoy this show, you can help it to grow and continue to explore the edges of ecological design and what it means to practice permaculture in the landscape, our lives, and our communities by donating today.

Give online at paypal.me/permaculturepodcast
Become an ongoing supporter at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast
Or by mail:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Oct 10 2019

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1838 – Mushrooms and Mycology with Lindsey Bender

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My guest today is Lindsey Bender, the chief mycologist for Field and Forest Products, Inc., a mushroom spawn and supply company located in Wisconsin.

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I met Lindsey at the Pennsylvania Mother Earth News Fair in 2018 when I stopped to check in with Laura of Field and Forest, who I’ve gotten to know over the years through phone calls asking questions about mushrooms and other products and meeting one another at the fair several years ago. This time Lindsey was along for the trip. Once we started talking about all things fungi, she started answering some of my questions in very technical ways that lead us to talk about her background. Through that I learned she became a mycologist after many years studying biology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, which we get into in more depth during her introduction.

In this interview, you’ll hear about her work on keeping the genetic lines of the fungi used for spawn production healthy and experiments related to the interactions between fungi, plants and soil microbiology. She also shares why some mushrooms are commercially viable, and others are not, including some of our favorites like morels and why those cannot reliably be grown from spawn, and different ways to shock fungi to force fruiting and induce mushroom production.

Whether you are new to mushroom cultivation or been growing for years, there’s something here for everyone to learn more about fungi and mycology.

Find out more about Lindsey and Field and Forest Products, Inc. at fieldforest.net.

What did you think about this conversation with Lindsey? Does it change your view of mushrooms, mushroom growing, and what is possible?

Let me know. Leave a comment in the show notes,

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next conversation is my interview with Fred Provenza as we talk about his book Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us About Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom.

Until the next time, spend each day learning more a fungi and taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Resources
Field and Forest Products, Inc.
Three-Season Mushroom Gardens (Video)

Nov 30 2018

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1806 – The Woman Hobby Farmer with Karen Lanier

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Karen Lanier shares what she learned while writing The Woman Hobby Farmer, a book that helps us look inside of ourselves and to decide whether we are ready to farm and to ask the question, “Why do I want to farm?”

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That core question arises from Karen’s life experiences with an aunt who farmed, continuing through the interviews she conducted with women farmers, including some folks, to my delight and surprise, who I’ve spoken with over the years.

Taking those stories and lived moments, Karen shows the importance of showing up, participating, and most importantly listening. Though we may come from a particular place regarding agriculture and farming, we have a lot to learn from our friends, neighbors, and family, who picked up the plow before us.

Find out more about her and her work at kalacreative.net. There you can also purchase your own copy of The Woman Hobby Farmer and find more information about her upcoming documentary.

Patreon Giveaway: The Woman Hobby Farmer

What I love about this conversation with Karen is the reality of what it means to farm, and the need to make the right decision of whether or not we want to. There is a physical toll that comes from farming.

A dear friend of mine in the community is facing that knowledge right now and considering how to pass their farm along to someone else to manage so they can “move to town” while continuing to teach the next generation of farmers.

An interim space for many of us is a garden. With a little bit of land and a little bit of time we can provide food and security for ourselves, but that discussion and those numbers are a conversation for a different episode.

Suffice to say, we should take a stark look at whether or not deciding to start a farm is our best path.

Thankfully, as we discussed, Karen provides tools, worksheets, and stories, for helping to make that very serious choice.

The other side, as mentioned, is that Yes, you can make a living at this and there is plenty of evidence for that possibility. Some of those include past interviews with Jean-Martin Fortier and Joel Salatin, or what I’ve personally witnessed from Susana Lein or Holly Brown, but there is a price that comes with it. Many people who farm, by the numbers, do not bring in a great deal of financial income, that is a reality of this, especially as things scale up and more money is spent on tools, equipment, and labor, but there are other possibilities that arise by shifting in this direction.

Finally, my favorite insight into all of this is to show up and listen. Get yourself to farms. Find on-farm training sessions. Go and open your ears. Attend agricultural conferences if you can, and not just ones on organic or regenerative. See if your local extension office or land-grant university has meetings. Join The Grange, the full name of which, as I learned while writing this, is The National National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.

These folks are our allies. Many of them, especially ones like The Grange, want to promote the science of agriculture and community resilience, ideas that should seem common to any permaculture practitioner.

We have a lot to learn from them and to share. Show up. Participate. Be a part of your local community.

You, and all of us, benefit from working together for the future that we want to see.

What did you think of this conversation with Karen? Does it give you a different perspective on what you do and don’t know about farming and agriculture?

Whether you have answers to those or just more questions, I’m here to listen to give more insight if I’m able.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Or Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next episode is a conversation with Jill and Brad of Desert Harvesters to discuss their new bioregional cookbook, Eat Mesquite and More! Together we dig into developing a deep sense of place and connection to land and culture through our native and wild foods.

Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to see, by listening to Earth, yourself, and your community.

Resources
KalaCreative – Karen’s Website
The Woman Hobby Farmer
Wildlife in Your Garden

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service
Pensylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
PA-Wagn
Women, Food and Agriculture Network in Iowa
National Ladies Homestead Gathering

Past interviews related to this episode
Holly Brown
 Island Creek Farm with Holly Brown

Susana Lein:
 Community Building (Clear Creek Roundtable)
 Making Mead, Natural Building, and Permaculture Farming
 Community and Traditions

Feb 28 2018

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1829 – People & Permaculture: Trauma Informed and Radical Self Care with Jessi Bloom

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Nearly every episode of the podcast, including this one, ends with the final statement, “Until the next time, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.” What does it mean, however, to take care of ourselves, or one another, in a meaningful way?

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That question forms the central point of this interview with ecological landscape designer, speaker, and author Jessi Bloom. She shares her personal story of becoming Trauma Informed, ways we can work on healing ourselves through mental and physical health routines, how we can help others by taking a Mental Health First Aid training, and what we can do to create sacred spaces and use plants, plant-based medicine, and daily acts for our overall happiness and wellbeing.

This work isn’t about a day at a spa or a simple vacation to recuperate, but how you can heal yourself and create a life that supports and nurtures you.

Find out more about Jessi and work at jessibloom.com and her books, including Creating Sanctuary, at TimberPress.com. You’ll find those and links to trauma awareness training and mental health first aid in the resource section below.

What do you think of this conversation with Jessi?
What do you do to take care of yourself?
Have you attended a course in Mental Health First Aid or to become Trauma Informed?

Let me know. Leave a comment below or get in touch:

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next episode is out on September 10th, which is also my 39th birthday, and is a conversation with Jereme Zimmerman about his new book Brew Beer Like a Yeti: Traditional Techniques and Recipes for Unconventional Ales, Gruits, and Other Ferments Using Minimal Hops.

Until the next time, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Support the Podcast:
Donate Online.
Become an ongoing Patreon Member.

Resources
Jessi Bloom
NW Bloom Ecological Services
Timber Press
Trauma Informed Care Project (Offers Trainings)
Mental Health First Aid

Dave Boehnlein
Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead
Tilth Alliance

Aug 30 2018

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1913 – Farming and Foraging a Complete Diet with Rob Greenfield

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My guest today is the adventurer, activist, and humanitarian Rob Greenfield. Rob joins me to talk about the Food Freedom project he launched in Orlando, Florida, where he is growing and foraging for all of his nutritional needs.

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During the conversation Rob shares what brought him to the project, some of his choices along the way, just how strict he is when he says he grows or forages all his food, and the potential to accomplish these goals, of a 100% self-procured local diet, in other climates.

Find out more about Rob, his work and other projects, including those mentioned during his introduction, at RobGreenfield.TV

In this conversation, I mentioned one of my favorite authors for growing our own food, Steve Solomon, and his book Gardening When it Counts. Because of the influence of that book on my views over the years, I’m giving away a copy over at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast. That giveaway starts on May 8th and runs through May 18th, 2019, so head over there and leave a comment today to enter.

As Rob also encourages us to forage, I’m also giving away a copy of Sam Thayer’s The Forager’s Harvest. Sam remains one of my favorite foraging authors and educators as his books stem from years of practice and refinement on the land and in the landscape. You’ll also find that giveaway at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast starting on May 18th and open for at least 10 days.

Two things continue to resonate for me as I worked on editing this interview, and as I put the finishing touches on the show. The first is the project-based approach that Rob takes in these deep immersions, whether for this particular take on food, or when he wore all the trash he created as part of his bike journey, which you can see in the initial picture at his website RobGreenfield.TV.

This project focused exploration is something all of us can use as a model to dive into a subject we’re interested in, whatever that may be. We can pick one thing and see what we can learn about it, how far we can go, and the lessons we can pick up in a fixed amount of time. Maybe we want to spend the rainy season for our location learning to harvest water. Or to take a growing season to explore a particular plant from seed to harvest in different conditions in our garden. Or to take a year and see how little electricity or fossil fuels we can use.

By creating conditions that test ourselves, we can learn more about our wants, needs, and limits, safely and productively that will, hopefully, lead us to better ways to honor the ethics of permaculture when our time with a given experiment comes to an end.

The other side that sticks with me is from near the end where we talked about replicating this project in different climates. Given that humans populated the globe long before the prevalence of agriculture and subsisted through hunting, foraging, and, to borrow the language from M. Kat Anderson, tending the wild, why can’t we procure all of our food from our local environment?

Yes, if this were a full-time endeavor, as Rob is going through, it may mean we spend a lot more time on growing, gathering and preparing food, but what if we use that as an end goal and work our way back to where we are in the moment? To start by buying from our farmer’s markets and co-ops while learning what we can about wild and forageable foods. To take the suggestions of Sara Bir and look for the abandoned fruit trees in our neighborhoods, or ask our neighbors if we can harvest from what they have. Each step brings us closer to a local, nutritious diet.

If we find we cannot gain much of our food in this way, why not? What are the legal, environmental, or social factors keeping us from doing so? What can we do to change these limitations, personally and within our community?

What are your thoughts on seeking 100% of your own food? Can you imagine doing this in your local environment? What skills or resources would you need to obtain to make these choices?

Let me know by leaving a comment in the show notes or dropping a letter in the mail.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next episode is my interview with spoon carver and Christmas Tree coppice farmer, Emmet Van Dreische, about his work and new book Carving out a Living on the land.

Resources
Rob Greenfield
Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food – Day 111 Update (YouTube)
National Farmers Market Directory (USA)
Trash Me
Green Riders
Free Ride
Orlando Permaculture Meetup Group
Shad Qudsi / Atitlan Organics

May 10 2019

Play

1734 – Permaculture as Activism: Saving the Los Cedros Reserve with John Seed

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As I was reminded of in a recent conversation with Emma Huvos, we protect what we love. As the ethics of permaculture call for us to care for Earth and people, then practicing permaculture can be a political act requiring activism.

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In this conversation facilitated by guest host David Bilbrey, John Seed shares his work of nearly 40 years to preserve landscapes all over the world, beginning first in New South Wales, Australia to save rainforests. He and others in those early days created the many direct actions now used by activists and protestors all around the world including tree sitting or chaining oneself to industrial equipment.

From there he moves to his current work with the Rainforest Information Centre and the Los Cedros Reserve to save the rainforests of Ecuador.

Find out more about Los Cedros at http://reservaloscedros.org/, and the Rainforest Information Center at rainforestinformationcentre.org.

Given all the names and organizations John mentioned you’ll find a number of additional links in the resource section below, including to the Save Los Cedros petition so you can get involved.

I posted a question on the Facebook page for the show back in early November asking

“Should permaculturists get involved in politics?”

And received a number of responses that ranged from, “Politics and permaculture = incompatible” to “Absolutely. Everyone should get involved in politics. If we leave it only to those who are attracted to it, we get exactly the current situation.”

My own personal perspective and why I was interested in David’s interview with John rests closer to that second answer: we should all be involved in politics and action. As a permaculture practitioner, my focus continues to be on the philosophical underpinnings of this holistic systems-thinking approach paired with the social, economic, and, yes, political change we can create through intentional design.

Though I see the world through this lens of political and social work, I also understand that we should engage in the activities we are called to. We only have so much time in our lives to work on the issues that matter to us.

If you have a limited interest in politics but live in a democratic society with elections, vote. If you want to go a step further and help preserve rainforests, get involved with the Rainforest Information Centre. If you feel working on, or in, politics holds the most possibility for you to affect change, become a lawyer, run for office, or work to enact policy changes at your municipal, state, province, national, or the international level.

One one of the things I love most about permaculture is the breadth of possibilities available to us. Use your knowledge and ability to create the world you want to live in.

While you’re doing that, know that there are tens of thousands of others doing the same thing, in their own way, alongside you.

If there is any way I can help connect you to the resources you need, answer your question, or help you get involved, email, call or write.

show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
717-827-6266

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Also be sure to look for the show on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

From here, the next episode is an interview with Maddy Harland, the editor of Permaculture Magazine, to discuss her new book Fertile Edges, and look at her more than 25 years in the center of the permaculture community.

Until then, take care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Resources:
Save the Los Cedros Reserve Petition
Los Cedros Reserve (Reserva Los Cedros) / Jose DeCoux
Rainforest Information Centre
Rainforest Action Network
Earth First! Worldwide
Earth First! Journal
Dave Foreman (Wiki)
Mike Roselle (Wiki)
Randy Hayes (Foundation Earth biography)
Friends of the Earth
Gary Snyder (Poetry Foundation)
AusAID – Australia’s Aid Program
Work That Reconnects NetworkJoanna Macy

Dec 10 2017

Play

1839 – Reclaiming our Nutritional Wisdom: Nourishment with Fred Provenza

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My guest today is the renowned animal behaviorist Fred Provenza, who joins me to talk about how we can reconnect with the foods that feed our bodies and reclaim our nutritional wisdom.

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Visit Our Partner: Food Forest Card Game

Drawing on decades of research with animals, upon retirement from Utah State University he turned his lens towards human beings to pull together the best studies and his own personal journey to provide a way we can begin to eat well for ourselves by outlining where we’ve gone wrong and what we can do to make a positive change.

You can find Fred’s book, Nourishment, at chelseagreen.com.

What do you think of what Fred shares with us today? Can you see the relationships between flavor-feedback, culture, and alternative availability on our nutritional wisdom

Let me know.

Leave a comment in the show notes, call 717-827-6266, email: show@thepermacutlurepodcast.com, or write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018.

Resources
Nourishment

Chemical Ecology (Wiki)
Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani
Edward R Murrow’s This I Believe (Wiki)

Dec 10 2018

Play

1904 – Rob Avis on the Essentials of Rainwater Harvesting

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Verge Permaculture 2016
Gavin Young Photography

In this episode of The Permaculture Podcast, Rob Avis, of Verge Permaculture, joins me to talk about rainwater harvesting.

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This conversation is based on his new book from New Society Publishers, Essential Rainwater Harvesting. Rob wrote this book along with his wife and Verge Permaculture Partner, Michelle. Though they began their professional careers as engineers designing solutions in the oil fields, they now live on a productive permaculture homestead in Alberta, Canada, and use that experience to create and share all the formulas, calculations, and components needed to create a productive system for capturing clean, healthy water.

You can find more about Rob’s work at VergePermaculture.ca, and his book, Essential Rainwater Harvesting at NewSociety.com. You’ll, of course, find links to those and other resources, including his Rainwater Harvesting Toolkit, in the Resources section below.


To go with this conversation, In cooperation with New Society Publishers, I’m giving away a copy of Essential Rainwater Harvesting. That drawing runs from February 8th through at least the 18th. To enter, all you need to do is follow the link below and leave a comment in the post. I’ll then randomly select the recipient once this giveaway closes.

Book Giveaway: Essential Rainwater Harvesting

In the book, Rob and Michelle break down what we need in order to install a rainwater harvesting system, and they back that up with their professional experience and the sources, that lead them to their conclusions. They also hold the additional need to understand the liability and risks of such a system as engineers who put their stamp on a design. I mention this latter part as one of my earliest lessons in rainwater capture was just how heavy a rain barrel, even a 50 gallon one, can get—over 400lbs/180kils—and what we need to consider when placing them, such as a solid foundation, so they can be productive and not create any hazards for the user or surrounding neighbors.

One of the mystifying parts of rainwater harvesting for me, in the beginning, was calculating just how much water would fall on a given area and the necessary size for a storage container to hold it all. Once you start doing those calculations you quickly find that a lot of water, whether you count the volume in liters or gallons, comes off of a roof or parking lot with just a centimeter or half-inch of rain. Accounting for that, how your surfaces or gutters divide and divert those flows, and where they’ll go can help to understand how to use this resource around your home or in your landscape.

And with Essential Rainwater Harvesting, you’ll find all the details for that and so much more.

Which is a long way to say, I like this book and like the others in the Essential series from New Society Publishers, think you will too.

What did you think of this conversation with Rob? Do you have questions for him? Would you like to hear more about this work or his other projects at Verge Permaculture?

Get in touch:
show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
717-827-6266

And for those of you who still like to put a stamp on an envelope, I love finding your mail in my mailbox.

The Permaculture Podcast
PO Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next conversation is with Kirsten Lei-Nielsen to talk about whether or not you should become a homesteader.

Until then, spend each day making smart use of your resources while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
Verge Permaculture – Rob and Michelle Avis
Essential Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater Harvesting Toolkit

Peter Coombes – Urban Water Cycle Solutions
Dr. Anthony Spinks PhD Thesis on Biofilms and Sludges

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA)
North American Rainwater Harvesting Code

Feb 10 2019

Play

1809 – Pushing Back: A Precautionary Tale with Philip Ackerman-Leist

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Visit Our Episode Sponsor: Harvesting Rainwater

The guest today is Philip Ackerman-Leist a professor at Green Mountain College and author of A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement, from Chelsea Green Publishing.

http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Episode1809.mp3

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I’ve wanted to speak to Philip for a number of years, ever since first hearing him in an NPR piece about Green Mountain College. At the time I enjoyed the way he spoke about food and food issues, particularly the turn of phrase, “anonymous, pre-packaged meat” when referring to the way we are disconnected from the animals and plants we eat when purchasing them from a grocery store.

Our conversation begins with how he came to farming and teach at Green Mountain College and then move into the story of Mals, a farming community in Italy that pushed back against the ingress of modern industrial agriculture. Throughout the conversation you’ll find suggestions for what one can do to engage in local, state, or national political action.

If after listening to Philip you have questions or comments, leave a comment below or get in touch.

Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Call: 717-827-6266
Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next interview is with Amy Stross to discuss how to grow in small spaces and work with our neighbors, pulling from her experiences at Tenth Acre Farm and writing her book, The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People.

Until then, spend each day pushing back against the forces that destroy the world you want to see, and take care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Spring Fundraiser
As we enter Spring, I’m running a small fundraiser until April 20. If you love this show, whether you’re new or been with me a long time, I’m asking you to donate $1 for every show you’ve listened to. It will really help.

For anyone who donates during this campaign, the artist Lindsay Wilson has created a series of nature-inspired one-of-a-kind mixed-media prints, which I’ll be giving away to some donors.

Click here to learn more about the fundraiser

Give online by going to paypal.me/permaculturepodcast

Or send something in the mail.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

See more of Lindsay Wilson’s art at curvedcanvas.com

ReGen18
Now that David Bilbrey officially joined me as a co-host instead of his occasional role as a guest host, we’re working on getting him to some events to network and interview people who coincide with his interest in the intersection of business and permaculture.

The first of those trips is to travel to ReGen18 from May 1 – 4, 2018, in San Francisco, California, to connect with speakers dedicated to his interest: weaving together business and permaculture to transition to the world we want to see.

Will you be at ReGen18? If so, email david@thepermaculturepodcast.com and let him know.

Would you like to go? Use the following link to register and save 30%.

Register for ReGen18 as a Permaculture Podcast Listener

Resources
A Precautionary Tale (Chelsea Green Publishing)
Philip Ackerman-Leist (Green Mountain College Faculty Page)
Toppling Goliath: How Mals became the first town in the world to outlaw pesticides
Green Mountain College
Brunnenburg Castle (Wiki)

Mar 30 2018

Play

Interview: Michael Judd – For the Love of PawPaws

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Today, Michael Judd joins me to discuss his newest book: For the Love of PawPaws: A Mini Manual for Growing and Caring for PawPaws – From Seed to Table.

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During this in-person interview, we start with what he’s currently working on, including where he’s gone with natural burials and his exploration of chestnuts as a way to plan for the future. From there we talk about North America’s largest native fruit: the PawPaw. During the conversation that follows, Michael shares the resurging interest in this tree and fruit. The development of named cultivars and improvement of PawPaw genetics thanks to growers like Neal Peterson and Jim Davis. We also touch on growing your own PawPaw, as well as the flavor and nutrition of the fruit, and end with what you’ll find if you make it to his annual PawPaw festival, which recently celebrated its 4th year.

Find out more about Michael, including his latest book For the Love of PawPaws, his homestead, and other work at ecologiadesign.com. You’ll also find links to that, the nurseries mentioned, and much more, in the resources section below.

Also, in the Patreon feed at patreon.com/permaculturepodcast, you’ll find two giveaways. One for his book, For the Love of PawPaws. I also have a giveaway open for a copy of David Holmgren’s Scenario Planning for the Future. Both of those are open until October 10th, 2019.

What I love about this conversation and all the times I’ve spent with Michael, is his go do it attitude and desire to instill that feeling in others. If you find something you love, you can learn enough to get inspired, and then go begin. Whatever you’d like to accomplish in permaculture, through successes, failures, and moments of great joy, take that first step and see where the journey leads you.

If I can ever assist you on that journey, please get in touch:
Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Or write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next interviews are a two-part series with David Holmgren discussing his book Retrosuburbia! and what we can do to prepare the communities we live in for the future.

Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by enjoying PawPaws, learning more about the native fruits in your regions, and taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Fall Fundraiser
If you enjoy this show, you can help it to grow and continue to explore the edges of ecological design and what it means to practice permaculture in the landscape, our lives, and our communities by donating today.

Give online at paypal.me/permaculturepodcast
Become an ongoing supporter at: Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast
Or by mail:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Resources
For the Love of PawPaws
Ecologia Design
Planting and Growing Chestnut Trees (PDF)
Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change – David Holmgren
SilvoCulture: Nuts for the Future
Custard Apple
NPR: The Once-Obscure Fruit is on its way to becoming PawPaw-Pawpular
Neal Peterson / Peterson Pawpaws
Deep Run PawPaw Orchard / Jim Davis
Lee Reich / Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden

Paw Paw Nurseries

West Farm Nursery (New Jersey)
Peaceful Heritage Permaculture Nursery (Kentucky)
Twisted Tree Farm (New York)
Edible Acres (New York)
Food Forest Farm (New York)
Rolling River Organic Nursery (California)
Grimo Nut Nursery (Ontario, Canada)
Edible Landscaping (Virginia)
Red Fern Farm (Iowa)
England’s Orchard (Kentucky)
Blossom Nursery (Arkansas)
Hidden Springs Nursery (Tennessee)
Burnt Ridge Nursery (Washington)
Raintree Nursery (Washington)

Past Interviews with Michael Judd
Honoring the Dead and Holding the Dying
Starting Out and Getting Involved with Permaculture
Edible Landscaping
Michael Judd’s Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence Keynote Address

Sep 30 2019

Play

1811 – Designing for Disasters with Natural Building

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My guest today is Oliver Goshey, founder of the regenerative design and natural building company Abundant Edge, and host of the Abundant Edge podcast.

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During this interview we talk about natural building and designing for disasters, including the nature of and increase in these problems; the role of our ecological impacts on what is occurring; what we can do to prepare ourselves for these eventualities; a better definition for what we should call a disaster; what we can do personally and systemically to bring about preventative change so we can be proactive rather than reactive; and why we need to abandon the concept of sustainability.

Quite a lot to cover, but all applicable to your daily permaculture practices.


Oliver and I did have another conversation not long after recording this one, in which he recorded me for an episode of the Abundant Edge Podcast on how we can live regeneratively without abandoning society.


For Patreon supporters, I’m giving away a copy of the book Oliver mentioned, The Hand-Sculpted House (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002). Look for that in your feed on Wednesday, April 18, and I’ll draw the winner on Thursday, April 26.

Not a Patreon supporter but want to enter? Go to Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast, select the reward level that suits your needs, and sign up today.


Get in Touch with the Show
Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018


Support the Podcast

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, have you made a one-time donation?

I ask because for with all the episodes released since 2010, totaling millions of downloads, this show exists thanks to the generosity of around 500 people, total, who have donated in the last 7 years. That is an average of just 1 listener per episode giving their support.

Will you take today to make a difference for permaculture?

Make a one-time donation online by going to: paypal.me/permaculturepodcast

If you prefer to send something in the mail, that address is:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018


Resources
Abundant Edge
Abundant Edge Facebook Page (Company)
The Abundant Edge Facebook Page (Podcast)
Cob Cottage Company
Cob Cottage Company Apprenticeship
The Hand–Sculpted House (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002)

How to live regeneratively without abandoning society with Scott Mann, – – where Oliver interviews me.

Why Cape Town is Running Out of Water, and Who’s Next (NatGeo)

Apr 20 2018

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1914 – Carving Out a Living on the Land with Emmet Van Driesche

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My guest today is Emmet Van Driesche, author of Carving Out a Living on the Land: Lessons in Resourcefulness and Craft from an Unusual Christmas Tree Farm. He joins me to share his life transitioning to farming. How he became a Christmas tree farmer, who coppices softwood balsam firs rather than cutting and replanting. How he earns an additional on-farm income through spoon carving. And we end with his thoughts on planning for long term succession, both of the land as he considers how to leave this patch of earth for future generations, and the process of transitioning a farm between non-family members, as he took over responsibility and ownership of the Christmas tree farm from his mentor Al.

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You can find Emmet’s work at emmetvandriesche.com, his Instagram at emmet_van_driesche, and his book Carving Out a Living on the Land: Lessons in Resourcefulness and Craft from an Unusual Christmas Tree Farm at ChelseaGreen.com.

In cooperation with Chelsea Green, I’m giving away a copy of Emmet’s book over on Patreon. That opens on May 20 and runs through the end of the month. This giveaway is open to everyone, all you need to do is leave a comment in the post. You’ll find that at  Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast.

As a permaculture practitioner, what I like about Emmet’s work, beyond coppicing softwoods, is the practical long-term, multi-path approach to his plans. He’s created a diversity of income from the farm that allows him to continue to work there by taking what started as trees and wreaths supplemented with an off-farm income and expanded to spoon carving, planting basket willow, and encouraging the growth of deciduous trees.

He’s also considering future generations in his land management and successions plans. Helping to return the farm to hardwood trees—for his near-term use as shade—creates additional ecological and economic value. By stewarding the ground today, should someone decide not to farm Christmas trees here in the future, the land takes on a different shape that new eyes can look on with wonder and consider the many possibilities at that moment and form their own view of what the future holds.

If each of us could use Emmet’s example and plan holistically for the future, even one generation ahead, what a more beautiful, verdant world we could have.


If you enjoyed this conversation with Emmet and would like to learn more, pick up a copy of his book Carving Out a Living on the Land: Lessons in Resourcefulness and Craft from an Unusual Christmas Tree Farm from Chelsea Green Publishing.

If you have thoughts on this episode and want to continue the conversation, leave a comment, or drop something in the post.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Until the next time, spend each day enjoying the crafts of your labor, your care of the land, all while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
Carving Out a Living on the Land
Emmet Van Driesche
@emmet_van_driesche (Instagram)
National Christmas Tree Association
Sidehill Farm

May 20 2019

Play

1826 – Essential Earthbag Construction with Kelly Hart

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Our guest for this episode is the carpenter, architect, and builder Kelly Hart. He joins me today to talk about Earthbag Construction, the subject of his recently published book Essential Earthbag Construction from New Society Publishers.

https://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Episode1826.mp3

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Learn more about my Moment of Need

In this interview, Kelly walks us through many of the steps required for building with earthbags, including the practical needs of what bags to use, what you can fill the bags with for thermal mass or insulation, some of the tools and equipment you’ll need, establishing a foundation, laying the courses, tying each layer together, and also how to secure your doors and windows.

After you’ve listened to this interview, you’ll have a basic understanding of how to use earthbags for construction. With a copy of Kelly’s book you can learn the rest.

Find out more about Kelly and his work, including his DVD A Sampler of Alternative Homes, at naturalbuildingblog.com, and his book at NewSociety.com.

I like this interview because Kelly invites us to try our hand at building with earthbags. I find that invitation in, to try, to make mistakes, and to learn, incredibly powerful and empowering.

We can start with simple structures, like an above-ground root cellar or domed storage shed, to get comfortable with the necessary techniques before proceeding to something more complicated. With the way earthbags go together we can stack, pull down, and try again, with our first structure serving as an in-depth learning experience.

This is also an inexpensive technique, making it affordable and accessible in ways other methods, where mistakes can be costly, are not. Looking at the cost of supplies and some sample projects, 1,000 of the polypropylene bags that Kelly mentioned, are less than $400. Another $80 for a 440-yard roll of 4-point barbed wire.

From there you’ll need rebar, lumber, windows, doors, and your tools, but over and over again I found many owner-built earthbag homes, all over the world, for under $10,000, in all shapes and sizes.

Multi-story. Rectilinear. Rounded. Any combination you can imagine. As a lover of cob and the feel of Earthships, there is something about the earthbag as a base that appeals to me.

Its natural building meets LEGO.

Earth risen into walls and offering us security, in a structure we can build with our own hands.

I can think of few things more comfortable than that.

What do you think of this conversation? Has this changed your thoughts on building with earthbags? Is this a method you’ve used?

Let me know.

Leave a comment in the show notes, or get in touch.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:

The Permaculture Podcast.
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next regular episode is a conversation with Ben Goldfarb to talk about his book Eager and the role of one of the world’s greatest ecosystem engineers, the beaver.

Until then, spend each day creating the world, and homes, you want to live in, while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Resources
Essential Earthbag Construction
Natural Building Blog (Kelly’s Website)
A Sampler of Alternative Homes (Kelly’s DVD)
Nader Khalili (1936 – 2008)
The $50 and Up Underground House Book (undergroundhousing.com)

Jul 30 2018

Play

1837 – Permaculture play, design considerations, and a casual conversation with Karl Treen

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My guest today is Karl Treen of Food Forest Card Game. He joins me to share where his life has gone since our interview last year.

https://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Episode1837.mp3

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A longtime permaculture practitioner, Karl is one of the people whose work I follow off the air and I find quite a bit of inspiration from what he’s doing with his card game and working on implementing his designs in an urban environment where he lives in Rhode Island near the Atlantic Coast here in the United States. Though we’ve never met in person, knowing Karl as I do we wound talking as soon as we connected without a formal start to the interview. As a result what you’re about to hear drops directly into the conversation, but is not where we began nor ultimately where we ended when I turned off the recording.

Where we do pick up is a few moments after he shared that he made a move to a new house with a larger yard and how this change influences his permaculture work. Along the way, we talk about a variety of thoughts. Those include different uses for his game inside the permaculture or school classroom; accepting that we can’t know everything and with that what we can do to be better teachers and designers; and why Instagram is our favorite place to learn and share new ideas, and some folks he recommends following.

Find out more about Karl and his work at foodforestcardgame.com. While you are there consider picking up a couple of sets of cards as stocking stuffers for the holidays and introduce your friends and family to permaculture design.

I also recommend following Karl on Instagram. As we mentioned there at the end of the interview, you can find him at foodforestcardgame. In his feed, you can see images from his mushroom logs, which he inoculated a few days after recording this interview in early November. You’ll find links to his Instagram account, his mushroom project, and the people he mentioned worth following in the show notes.

To go with this interview, I’m giving away a deck of Food Forest Card Game cards and a copy of Mary Appelhof’s Worms Eat my Garbage.

I like sitting down with Karl to talk about his work because I find what he’s doing, even after his many years of practice, reflects the experiences of other permaculture folks who work a job, have a little bit of land and are doing the best they can. As with his conversation about composting and black soldier flies, we have many decisions to make on what works best for us, our design, and goals. Yes, he has the perfect start to growing the fly larva, but at this time there are other places to focus his time and energy.

Though he’s studied permaculture; created a design and education aid for the community, and remains connected with myself and others; he still finds inspiration from others. By focusing on a particular area for practice, he expands his knowledge, and direct experience becomes an in-depth resource for anyone who contacts him, while still absorbing what interests him from others.

Similarly, as I continue down my own path, my own role is influenced by sitting in the chair as the show host, to have conversations with guests, read the latest books and newest articles, and act as a curator of information about permaculture. To pull upon all these connections to help you find the people, books, organizations, and resources that help you meet your goals. As one of my teachers used to say, to be a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage.

Continuing to stay in touch with Karl and others in our community, I’d like to have more casual conversations like this. We can learn so much from the informal understanding of the day to day lives of others putting the ideas of permaculture into practice.

If there’s someone who appeared on the show in the past that you thought I had a good conversation with and you’d like to hear back on the air for something less formal, let me know.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next conversation should be my interview with mycologist Lindsay Bender of Field and Forest Products.

Until the next time, spend each day creating the world you want to live in my playing games, applying design to your life, and taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Visit our Affiliates Page for a discount on the Women’s Permaculture Guild Permaculture Design Course, Classes with Heather Jo Flores of Food Not Laws, Herbal Medicine from Susquehanna Apothecary, and with Rebel Garden Tools, the best hand tools for gardening and forest farming.

Giveaway
Worms Eat my Garbage and a set of Food Forest Card Game Cards

Resources
Food Forest Card Game
Foodforestcardgame on Instagram
Haskap Edible Honeysuckle
Karl’s Mushroom Inoculation
Patrick Whitefield

Instagram Worth Following
The Permaculture Podcast
That Vinegar Guy
Greenwood Farm
Veggie Garden Vermont

Nov 20 2018

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1825 – The Wildcrafting Brewer with Pascal Baudar

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Author, teacher, and forager Pascal Baudar joins me to discuss his exploration of primitive brews and fermentation, the basis for his latest book The Wildcrafting Brewer.

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He shares with us the way we can combine local ingredients as flavor, with water, sugar, and yeast to create sodas, beer, wine, and mead with local flavor and sense of place. If you are familiar with his first book, The New Wildcrafted Cuisine, then you know his thoughts push the limits of what we might think of when considering what to toss into our brew pot. Taking these methods, he again takes us in an unexpected direction that goes from the social drinks we might expect, to discuss how we might consider making culinary, healing, or even psychotropic beverages.

Find out more about Pascal and his work as a forager and teacher at urbanoutdoorskills.com and his books, including The Wildcrafting Brewer at ChelseaGreen.com.

Visit our Partner: Acres U.S.A.

Stepping away from this conversation, though he and I spoke about brewing and making wild-flavored beverages, I’m thinking more generally about how easy it is to complicate and over-analyze our journey and arrive at a place where the results we wish to accomplish gets lost in a messy process requiring more work than needed.

Pascal shows us that with his primitive, or as he also says archaic, brews and how the modern steps, and commercial flavors, limit the range of experiences we create as we scrub and sanitize our pots and fermentation vessels, or leave our brews alone; watched but untouched as the liquid transforms from sugary concoction into alcoholic elixir.

How often do we do seek this same sterile approach in our other work, only to find the effort falls flat because of a singular direction and only considering one way?

What if we tried more simplicity and creativity in our work as permaculture designers, and in our relationships and initiatives for community building? Can we strip away the unnecessary and arrive and something more concise, clear, whole, productive, and enjoyable?

I think so, and the skills of creating wild foods and beverages provide a place where we can safely explore these patterns, before searching for similar details in our other work.

What do you think of this conversation with Pascal? Leave a comment in the show notes, or get in touch with me if you would like to discuss this further.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next regular episode is with Kelly Hart to discuss his book Essential Earthbag Construction.

Until then, explore the wild and the uncivilized, while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Resources
Outdoor Urban Skills
The Wildcrafting Brewer
The New Wildcrafted Cuisine
Chelsea Green Publishing

Jul 20 2018

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Surviving the Future with Shaun Chamberlin

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(Originally Released: December 10, 2016)

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Today is part two of the conversation with Shaun Chamberlin (Part 1 ), editor of Lean Logic and Surviving the Future, on the work of David Fleming. This time we focus on Shaun including his background, current activities, and what it means to bear David’s Legacy.

Along the way, the conversation touches on a variety of subjects related to our work in the modern world, including the role of education, the apolitical need for action on the future, and what we can do to live inexpensively and with directed intent. This is candid, on both of our parts, as we share more of our own private stories as much as the public.

Find our more about Shaun and his work at DarkOptimism.org.

Sponsor
We’re able to keep the newsletter, email and voicemail going with support from our partners like Joel Dufour and the great people at Earth Tools in Kentucky. If you are a small scale professional farmer or permaculture practitioner you’ll love their line of walk-behind tractors, implements, and parts from manufacturers like BCS and Grillo. If you’re a gardener, check out their full line of high-quality hand tools from DeWit, SHW, Barnel, and more.

I chose to partner with Earth Tools because they are owned and operated by a small-scale farmer and his family. With their hands-on experience and understanding of the tools we need on our farms and in our gardens, and with affordable pricing, they make high-quality tools accessible to everyone. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for the gardeners in your life, this is it. Find out more about their complete line of tractors and tools at EarthTools.com.

Resources
Lean Logic   (Chelsea Green Publishing)
Surviving the Future   (Chelsea Green Publishing)
Get both books for $60 .  (Chelsea Green Publishing)

Dark Optimism (Shaun’s Site)
Lean Logic: The Work of David Fleming (Permaculture Podcast Interview)

Schumacher College
The Moneyless Manifesto  – Mark Boyle
The Dark Mountain Project
The Transition Timeline
The Happy Pig , Ireland. (Permaculture Magazine UK)
The Power of Time Off  (TED Talk)

Dec 10 2019

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What About Christmas? with Ethan Hughes

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(Originally Released: December 14, 2015)

Enjoy this episode? Become a Patron.

(Source: dreamstime images)

http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Episode1554.mp3

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In this conversation, that arises from a listener question posed by Amelia, Ethan shares ways that we can transform our holiday experience from a consumption-driven exchange to one where gifts are given based on need or in service to others. He also stresses the importance of communication so that we can create new traditions that honor ourselves and the perspectives of our loved ones.

Hearing what Ethan shared with us, how will you transform your holidays? What new traditions will you create? What conversations will you have to have to make this happen?

I want to hear from you. Leave a comment in the show notes here, or get in touch with me directly. Call: 717-827-6266 or email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Also, if you haven’t heard already, Ethan and I are writing a book together, called The Possibility Handbook: A Toolkit for Transformation. To support the creation of this book, I’m running a listener exclusive crowdfunding campaign. By pledging your support now you can receive early access to the manuscript as it is written, hear the audio we record that serves as the basis for the book, and view pictures and video taken at The Possibility Alliance. If we can raise $5,000 I’ll head to The Possibility Alliance January 16 – 23, 2016 to begin recording. Find out more, including the topics we’ll cover, at www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/book

Until the next time, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Dec 01 2019

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Lean Logic: The Work of David Fleming

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(Originally released: November 20, 2016)

http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Episode1643.mp3

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My guest today is Shaun Chamberlin, the editor of Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It and Surviving the Future, both of which are based on the work of the late David Fleming (1940 – 2010). The conversation is as much a discussion of these books, as it is a celebration of the life of David Fleming, who we get to meet through a series of clips throughout the interview.

Without hyperbole, I see these two volumes as some of the most important recent texts for any permaculture practitioner, from recent convert to long-standing experts, to add to their library. David, through the careful clarifying editing by Shaun, has created the resources that bridge the landscape and our communities, from food to transition, in an apolitical, accessible way, covering topics from Abstraction to Yonder. Self-referential, you can open Lean Logic to any page and be lead on a trail of connected thoughts to lead you to ideas that initially might seem unrelated, kind of like going to Wikipedia to look up swales and before you know it three hours have passed and you are now reading about the health risks of tritium, except in a book where everything is related to the resiliency necessary to create a world where humans can survive whatever the future may hold.

Enjoy this first conversation with Shaun. He returns for the second half on December 10.

Get in Touch
Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Resources
Lean Logic (Chelsea Green)
Surviving the Future (Chelsea Green)
David Fleming (Wiki)
Shaun Chamberlin
The Transition Timeline

Rob Hopkins and The Transition Town Movement
(Interview)
Transition Network
Transition US
Richard Heinberg
Michael Meacher (Former UK Environment Minister)
Ron Oxburgh
LeanLogic.net (First publication of David’s manuscript)
The Dark Mountain Project
Jonathon Porritt

Nov 25 2019

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Climate Change and The Path Ahead

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(Originally Released: May 25, 2017)

Giulianna Maria Lamanna, of The Fifth World , drops a huge two-part question on us in this episode, a continuation of the MAPC 2016 Q&A.

1. Are there people in the permaculture community talking about climate change and the impact of global warming on invasive species?

2. Is it our responsibility as permaculture practitioners to create new ecosystems for the changing climate?

http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Episode1716.mp3

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This conversation leads to thoughts on preserving native ecosystems, the creation of novel ecosystems, the role and influence of exotic species, human disturbance, and the forces of erosion. We’re also asked to examine our own  role we have in tending the wild, and what responsibility, if any, we have to domesticated species such as chickens?

In doing so, can we take back the stewardship of our own habitat?

Voices you’ll hear include:

Eva Taylor of Ironwood Farms
Zach Elfers of Nomad Seed Project
Ben Weiss of Susquehanna Permaculture
Jason Godesky of The Fifth World
Nicole Luttrell of Wind Song Farm
Claudia Joseph of New York Permaculture Exchange
Seppi Garrett
Dale Hendricks of Green Light Plants
Dr. Christopher Huvos

Get in touch
show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
717-827-6266

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Instagram
Twitter

Podcast Needs

Living in the Gift, as Ethan Hughes reminds me, requires asking for our needs to be met.

The following are some things I could use right now to make continuing the podcast easier:

– A laptop capable of running the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, including a full HD (1080p) screen, 8GB RAM, and an i5 processor. Due to the amount of data I handle, a 512GB HDD or larger would be great. Any specs above those are golden.

If you would like to discuss or know more about any of these, feel free to send me an email.

show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

If you are able to give towards any of these efforts:
https://www.paypal.me/permaculturepodcast

Drop something in the mail:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Or via BitCoin, my wallet address is:
193R8iDwyqN4EmqzWBabMQgwLU4T2ovwVB

Resources
MACP 2017 Event Information and Tickets

Timothy Lee Scott , author of Invasive Plant Medicine
Tao Orion  (Her Facebook Page)
1535 – Beyond the War on Invasive Species , my interview with Tao.
1321 – David Homgren on Permaculture. An Interview.

Nov 12 2019

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Interview: David Holmgren – RetroSuburbia (Part 2)

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This episode looks at what brought David Holmgren to the present moment and writing RetroSuburbia. From David Bilbrey’s questions, David Holmgren shares the past and ongoing influences that guided the development of permaculture from those first days in the 1970s through to how this work continues to grow to the current day.

https://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Episode1920.mp3

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You can find him, his work, and his books at holmgren.com.au and RetroSuburbia at Retrosuburbia.com. There you can also buy the book to have shipped wherever you live in the world.

Visit Our Partner: Harvesting Rainwater for Drylands and Beyond

I find that self-reflection, assessment, and awareness can lead to new insights and breakthroughs. These allow us to take our practices further. At the end of the last episode, I started this process by asking you to consider a series of questions about the context of your current on-the-ground situation. From that space of the structures that surround us, let’s take this consideration a bit more personal.

Given the questions David Holmgren answered today, how could you use the influences of your past, and what you’ve learned about permaculture, to create and integrate new solutions into your life? What kind of novel personal social-system can you create? What kind of synergies exists between what you already know and where you want to take your practice? Who inspires you that you could seek out to learn more? What related fields are pushing the edge of current knowledge that you could draw ideas of inspiration?

How can you, with time, radically transform your use of permaculture into a more personal, embodied, everyday practice?

If there’s any way I can connect you with what you need to take your practice further—by interviewing someone in an upcoming episode, connecting you with a particular resource, or anything else that comes to mind—feel free to contact me. Together we can see where the conversation leads.

From here, the next episode is a guest post from Michael Commons, read by me. After that is an episode looking at the current state of the podcast and where, after nine years, I’d like to take things from here and how I’d like you to join me on that journey.

Until then, spend each day retrofitting suburbia, while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Fall Fundraiser
If you enjoy this show, you can help it to grow and continue to explore the edges of ecological design and what it means to practice permaculture in the landscape, our lives, and our communities by donating today.

Give online: paypal.me/permaculturepodcast
Become an ongoing supporter: Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast

Or send something in the mail:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018


Resources

Holmgren Design
RetroSuburbia
Aussie Street (YouTube)

Jeremy Lent : The Patterning Instinct
Making Permaculture Stronger
Novel Ecosystems
Imaging a World Without Growth
Michel Bauwens : Peer 2 Peer Foundation
Patrick Jones – Permapoesis
The Commons with David Bollier (Permaculture Podcast Interview)

Su Dennett
Bill Mollison
Howard T. Odum
Haikai Tane

Oct 29 2019

Play

Interview: David Holmgren – RetroSuburbia

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In this episode recorded by co-host David Bilbrey, David Holmgren returns for the first of a two-part conversation about his latest book RetroSuburbia.

https://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Episode1919.mp3

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Visit Our Partner: Food Forest Card Game

This work and the discussion today looks at how people are and can adapt in-place, as individuals and communities, by retrofitting where many of us live: in the spaces around cities, the suburbs.

Throughout David Holmgren shares how we found ourselves in the suburbs and the importance of getting out of the debt, commute, and consume treadmill. Together, David and David also discuss self-reliance, the revitalization of suburbia, and understanding and applying the context of where we live to the creation of our solutions.

You can find David Holmgren, his work, and his books at holmgren.com.au. From there you can also buy RetroSuburbia! online, to have shipped wherever you live in the world.

To go along with this episode, I also have a giveaway thanks to David and the folks at Holmgren Design, Permaculture Design Magazine, and PermaculturePrinciples.com.

I have a copy of RetroSuburbia! and copies of the 2020 Permaculture Calendar to share with listeners. I’ll be giving the book and a calendar away to one listener, and one copy each of the calendars to two others.

You’ll find this giveaway here at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast starting on October 10th, 2019 and running until October 30th, 2019.

If you’d like to make sure you get a copy of the calendar for yourself or to give to friends and family, you’ll find those at permacultureprinciples.com. This year the calendar features awesome images to illustrate the principles of permaculture, thicker print stock, and better print quality. You get all of that for just $11.95 US, with 100% of the sales profits going to the Permafund, a charitable organization supporting permaculture projects around the world.

Any conversation with David Holmgren leaves me with enough to ponder for weeks and months to come after I first listen, and new thoughts arising each time I revisit the interview. Until the release of the second half of this conversation comes out in a few weeks, I’d like you to consider the ideas of replication and context for the design and refit of the suburbs.

How does where you live change and shape what you can accomplish? This includes things like what you would grow in your gardens. The rules and regulations that determine where you can live and who you can live with. Whether calling on help for repairs can come from your own sweat equity, the capitalist economy, or an informal network of support. And what sustainable solutions are permitted or illegal.

Think about those for now, and we’ll revisit this in the closing notes of the next episode.

From here, the next interview is the second half of the conversation with David Holmgren. Until then, spend each day retrofitting suburbia, while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Fall Fundraiser
If you enjoy this show, you can help it to grow and continue to explore the edges of ecological design and what it means to practice permaculture in the landscape, our lives, and our communities by donating today.

Give online at paypal.me/permaculturepodcast
Become an ongoing supporter at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast
Or by mail:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Oct 10 2019

Play

Interview: Michael Judd – For the Love of PawPaws

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Today, Michael Judd joins me to discuss his newest book: For the Love of PawPaws: A Mini Manual for Growing and Caring for PawPaws – From Seed to Table.

https://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Episode1918.mp3

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During this in-person interview, we start with what he’s currently working on, including where he’s gone with natural burials and his exploration of chestnuts as a way to plan for the future. From there we talk about North America’s largest native fruit: the PawPaw. During the conversation that follows, Michael shares the resurging interest in this tree and fruit. The development of named cultivars and improvement of PawPaw genetics thanks to growers like Neal Peterson and Jim Davis. We also touch on growing your own PawPaw, as well as the flavor and nutrition of the fruit, and end with what you’ll find if you make it to his annual PawPaw festival, which recently celebrated its 4th year.

Find out more about Michael, including his latest book For the Love of PawPaws, his homestead, and other work at ecologiadesign.com. You’ll also find links to that, the nurseries mentioned, and much more, in the resources section below.

Also, in the Patreon feed at patreon.com/permaculturepodcast, you’ll find two giveaways. One for his book, For the Love of PawPaws. I also have a giveaway open for a copy of David Holmgren’s Scenario Planning for the Future. Both of those are open until October 10th, 2019.

What I love about this conversation and all the times I’ve spent with Michael, is his go do it attitude and desire to instill that feeling in others. If you find something you love, you can learn enough to get inspired, and then go begin. Whatever you’d like to accomplish in permaculture, through successes, failures, and moments of great joy, take that first step and see where the journey leads you.

If I can ever assist you on that journey, please get in touch:
Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Or write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here, the next interviews are a two-part series with David Holmgren discussing his book Retrosuburbia! and what we can do to prepare the communities we live in for the future.

Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by enjoying PawPaws, learning more about the native fruits in your regions, and taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Fall Fundraiser
If you enjoy this show, you can help it to grow and continue to explore the edges of ecological design and what it means to practice permaculture in the landscape, our lives, and our communities by donating today.

Give online at paypal.me/permaculturepodcast
Become an ongoing supporter at: Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast
Or by mail:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Resources
For the Love of PawPaws
Ecologia Design
Planting and Growing Chestnut Trees (PDF)
Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change – David Holmgren
SilvoCulture: Nuts for the Future
Custard Apple
NPR: The Once-Obscure Fruit is on its way to becoming PawPaw-Pawpular
Neal Peterson / Peterson Pawpaws
Deep Run PawPaw Orchard / Jim Davis
Lee Reich / Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden

Paw Paw Nurseries

West Farm Nursery (New Jersey)
Peaceful Heritage Permaculture Nursery (Kentucky)
Twisted Tree Farm (New York)
Edible Acres (New York)
Food Forest Farm (New York)
Rolling River Organic Nursery (California)
Grimo Nut Nursery (Ontario, Canada)
Edible Landscaping (Virginia)
Red Fern Farm (Iowa)
England’s Orchard (Kentucky)
Blossom Nursery (Arkansas)
Hidden Springs Nursery (Tennessee)
Burnt Ridge Nursery (Washington)
Raintree Nursery (Washington)

Past Interviews with Michael Judd
Honoring the Dead and Holding the Dying
Starting Out and Getting Involved with Permaculture
Edible Landscaping
Michael Judd’s Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence Keynote Address

Sep 30 2019

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Scaling up with Blacksheep

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My guests for this episode are Joshua Hughes and Amanda Wilson of VerdEnergia Pacifica and Blacksheep Regenerative Resource Management.

https://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Episode1917.mp3

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On the ground practitioners of permaculture practitioners engaged in restorative business, Joshua and Amanda are the founders and, respectively, the CEO and CMO of Black Sheep Regenerative Resource Management. Together they’ve co-managed VerdEnergia Pacifica, a permaculture farm, education, and resource center in Costa Rica, for the last five years

They join me today to discuss how they are scaling up Blacksheep Regeneration Resource management. We also continue the earlier conversation from earlier interviews with Joshua about creating a compassionate future, the role of regenerative investing in saving and repairing the land, and the transitional ethics required in this period of change.

Find out more about their work at weareblacksheep.org and verdenergiapacifica.org.

The work Joshua, Amanda, the rest of their team, farmers, and friends, are doing through investment and direct commercial action reinvigorates farms and saves the land around them from further destruction and devastation. Listening to this story, I’m reminded that we can all engage in the act of restoration as permaculture practitioners by purchasing a piece of land, if we are able to do so and use the skills we gain through understanding ecological design to build soil, and restore functioning ecosystems that benefit people and the other than human.

If we don’t have land but do have the economic resources, we can share our financial capital with the people and organizations that have those abilities. Donate or invest in land restoration or management projects like Blacksheep Regenerative Resource Management. Buy the plants for your backyard from nurseries you trust and believe in. Sponsor a scholarship for a Permaculture Design Course.

We have the greatest ability to change the world when we work together. Folks like Amanda, Joshua, and myself, are here to help you find a way to make a difference, each in our own way.

If you know someone engaged in work you believe in or have your own permaculture farm or project, please let me know so I can continue to curate that information and make it available to other listeners. Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

You can also use that email address if you have any questions for me, or if you think I can help you get connected to resources that will aid your project.

From here the next interview is another live conversation, this time recorded with Michael Judd, to discuss his latest book For the Love of Paw Paws: A Mini-Manual for Growing and Caring for PawPaws – From Seed to Table. After that are two episodes with David Holmgren.

Until the next time, use your resources in the restoration of degraded land, while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Fall Fundraiser
This episode starts the annual Fall fundraiser. If you enjoy this show, you can help it to grow and continue to explore the edges of ecological design and what it means to practice permaculture in the landscape, our lives, and our communities by donating today.

Give online at paypal.me/permaculturepodcast

Or by mail:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Resources
Call Joshua: 503-898-2163
Blacksheep Regenerative Resource Management
VerdEnergia Pacifica

Earlier Interviews with Joshua Hughes
Permaculture Politics and a Compassionate Future
Regenerative Investing
Transitional Ethics

Sep 19 2019

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Broad Impact Permaculture

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“What have you seen through your lived experience and via your increasing network that gives you not only aspirational hope, but also “perspirational” perspective & confidence of moving past demonstration projects and moving toward broader-scale impact?”

Posted by Christopher Kopka during the May Ask Me Anything on Patreon.

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I don’t see the land and agriculture-based permaculture movement pushing past the point of small or demonstration projects in the near future because of the expense and labor required to create, manage, and harvest from fully integrated systems. Compared to modern agriculture, the tools currently do not exist to scale-up without a large investment in human labor, which drives the price of on-farm production. Farm labor is skilled labor and we must not only train those people but also pay the costs up-front. Compare this to spreading the expense over years with leased machines or purchasing farm equipment on credit.

I do find hope in the projects that exist, however, in showing us a way forward as we answer the question of labor costs compared to mechanized production. All the farms I’ve visited created an abundance of food, and importantly financial income, on a small scale. The two most integrated, Island Creek (pictured above) and Salamander Springs, focused growing on around 1 acre (.4 hectare), required three people working 35-45 hours per week to operate from sowing seeds in Spring to the Fall harvest, while training the interns and assistant in integrated farming practices.

Island Creek grew a large market garden of foods including annuals of corn and greens, while growing perennials and strong self seeding plants such as figs, leeks, garlic, and Egyptian onions. Salamander Springs focused largely on a Three Sisters garden, with different varieties or corns, beans, and squash, supplemented with Spring ephemerals foraged and tended on the property, and a small garden full of onions, brassicas, and greens to extend and supplement the season long income.

The largest I visited, Radical Roots Farm in Virginia, operated on five acres. Even though they used a small walk-behind tractor, this farm, run by Dave and Lee O’Neill, included multiple on-farm interns throughout the year. It’s been several years since our interview and my tour, but at the time it took around 7 people with light mechanization to operate the farm from seed to harvest. The O’Neills also enhanced their regular farm income with a nursery business.

From what I’ve encountered at these farms and in other conversations, the successful farms were in the right place while receiving financial support and growing slowly. Holly at Island Creek received the land she farms on as a wedding present and her husband operates a prosperous roofing business. Susana Lein at Salamander Springs purchased an inexpensive piece of hard Kentucky hilltop for not a lot of money and built up over many years. Though I do not know the intricacies of the O’Neill’s origin story, they were successful business people who found ways to grow the nourishing foods they wanted to by supplementing their on-farm vegetable income and living frugally with what they had, again building up over the years.

I mention these examples as they sit in a place of—and as I’m reminded by Taj Scicluna’s thought for a 4th ethic for permaculture—transition. I’ve said before, on the podcast and elsewhere, that I don’t think permaculture will be the system that directly changes the world, but I do see this system of ecological design as a model of how far we can go and what will get us to the next steps. We now are the pioneers who push the envelope and help existing groups and those who follow us to create the new world we imagine, with systems yet to be discovered or named.

These edges are where I find inspiration as permaculture practices influence larger projects. Some examples of those include Dickinson College and Farmers on the Square; Hilltop Urban Farm; and City Repair Project.

Years ago I lectured about permaculture at Dickinson College, which also runs a large organic farm. At that time I had engaging conversations with the professors, and in the times since, the farm staff continue to integrate more regenerative practices. Those often focus on intentional design and positive ecological impacts. I continue to visit the farm which encourages local agriculture through a CSA, but also on-site energy production and waste recycling through the production of biochar, biogas, and effluent fertilizer. The farm also participates in a weekly farmers market, Farmers on the Square, in downtown Carlisle, PA.

The first time I went to the market, there were only a dozen or so vendors selling vegetables and a few value-added products such as jams and jellies. Now the market spreads across the square in Carlisle and is filled with vendors selling fresh produce and vegetables, as expected, but also bakeries with fresh breads; meaderies; wineries; cheese makers and dairy purveyors. A wander through the market over the years moved from a few fresh food stuffs to a whole diet available for sale without going to a grocery store.

Another example is the 501(c)3 non-profit Hilltop Urban Farm, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The director, Sarah Bexendell, is a permaculture practitioner and brings her knowledge of permaculture and experience in city and urban planning to the work of the farm. Through these actions, Hilltop Urban Farm helps to create youth farms, incubator farm projects, and also reach farmers markets throughout Pittsburgh.

Or, there is City Repair Project, founded by permaculture practitioner and teacher Mark Lakeman (Interview 1, Interview 2). Using the elements of permaculture design CR helps communities reclaim local culture, power, and joy in a way that influences street art and engagement.

These groups, using business funds, governmental money, and institutional  influence, have a broader reach for those of us interested in creating greater regenerative approaches with wider cultural impact. Partnering with groups such as these in our own area, serving on boards, and participating in the local community allow us to bring our ethics and principles to the forefront of the conversation.

Jul 31 2019

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Caring for Bees

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2018 was terrible for beekeepers, with up to 40 percent of hives across the United States dying off, one of the worst losses since we started tracking honey bee health. Recently, the USDA suspending the Honey Bee Tracking Survey indefinitely. Earlier this year, the bee-harming pesticide sulfoxaflor, sold under the trade names Closer and Transform, which has been banned since 2015, was approved for emergency use across 14 million acres in the United States.

With these multiple threats for honey bees, and indeed all our insect pollinators, what can we do?

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Searching for answers and to understand colony collapse disorder and what was killing our bees, in 2013 I reached out to Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp a research scientist with the University of Maryland and former Chief apiarist for Pennsylvania.

In this re-mastered release of that conversation, Dennis shares what he’s learned investigated bee dies off ever since Dave Hackenberg, a beekeeper with hives in Pennsylvania, first reported large colony losses and coined the term colony collapse disorder in 2006. Dennis shares more about the ongoing loss of bee colonies in the United States and elsewhere, which continues even now, years after this conversation, as well as the role of bees as pollinators in our food supply, and what we can do to support honeybees and native pollinators.

Find out more about Dr. vanEnglesdorp’s work by watching the TED Talk “A Plea for Bees“.

Stepping away from this conversation, years later, I still enjoy how precise and technical the conversation became regarding the research and issues surrounding bees, while still remaining accessible. For all of his work and research, I never felt like Dennis spoke over our heads. Part of that, I imagine, come from his love and passion for bees. Listening to him describe the co-evolution of flowers and pollinators reminded me of the beauty of nature, why I love this work, and why each of us should care for a little space of our own so we can build a better world that includes habitat for pollinators and the other species that also call this world home.

If you have any thoughts on this episode, please leave a comment, or drop something in the post:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Until the next time, spend each day making the world a better place while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources:
Dennis vanEnglesdorp, PhD
Dennis vanEnglesdorp: A Plea for Bees (TED Talk Video)
Bee Informed Partnership
Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae (Research Article)

Jul 13 2019

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1916 – The Adaptive Habitat Program

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(Pictured: The Design Squiggle, by Damien Newman as mentioned in this interview. CC BY-ND 3.0 US)

Today I’m joined by Rob Avis and Takota Coen, two Canadian permaculture designers and teachers, who, working together, created a systemized approach to permaculture and landscape design. This process, called The Adaptive Habitat Program, reduces drudgery and simplifies complexity by using the best information and techniques currently available from permaculture and related disciplines.

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To understand their process, they lead us through the problems they identified, and the five steps that take us from understanding and clarifying our vision through to incremental implementation and managing your resources.
And that was Rob Avis and Takota Coen. Find out more about their work and start your journey with the Adaptive Habitat Land Design Program at ContourMapGenerator.com. You’ll find a link to this, Google Earth Pro, and other resources, including my first interview with Rob about rainwater harvesting, in the show notes.

As mentioned at the end, this interview is an introduction to this process. I’d like to have Rob and Takota back on to dig deeper into each of the design steps and continue the conversation about how to codify and further the profession of permaculture design. To that end, if you have any questions for Rob, Takota, or me, leave a comment in the notes for this show, and we can include your thoughts in future episodes.

—–

For the summer, I’m stepping back from social media and other online outlets to focus on some behind the scenes projects, so if you would like to get in touch with me directly, the best way to do that, other than leaving a comment, is to drop something in the mail.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Until the next time, trust the process that brings your work into the world, while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
The Adaptive Habitat Program
Contour Map Generator (Get Started Here)
Google Earth Pro
The Design Squiggle

Verge Permaculture (Rob Avis)
Coen Farm (Takota Coen)

Essential Rainwater Harvesting with Rob Avis (Interview)

Jul 05 2019

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1915 – Rising Earth Immersion

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In this episode, my guests are Meg Toben, the co-founder and director of The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain, and Jimi Eisenstein, one of the facilitators for the Rising Earth Immersion course. They join me to discuss this ten-week, on-site intensive offered at The Eco-Institute, located near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Together they share not only the course contents—including three core pillars of the program earth connection, people connection, and inner connection—but also the impact that having such an immersion holds for our ability to embody what we learn. To put permaculture into practice, through an outlined program with further group direction from participants.

The course also offers a container to experience community with others seeking a similar opportunity so that students can take the lessons learned about how to live together back out into the world as they seek their own path and right livelihood.

Find out more about Meg and Jimi, The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain, and the Rising Earth Immersion at eco-institute.org.

I like what Megan, Jimi, and the rest of the staff at The Eco-Institute and the Rising Earth Immersion program are doing to create a space to live the principles of permaculture through a variety of activities that focus around core pillars that touch on the ethics of ecological design. From caring for Earth by tending the land and saving seeds, to caring for people by learning the breadth of what is necessary to live in community and operate a homestead, to sharing the surplus of various forms of personal and institutional capital. Learning to undertake radical self-care through morning practices that keep us grounded in our body, mind, and spirit.

Through all these practices we learn together, heal ourselves, and live our ideals into the world.

Do you know about other immersive or transformational experiences like that offered at The Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain? Have you gone through a program you would recommend? Let me know.

Leave a comment in the show notes, or drop something in the post.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Until the next time, seek out the educational experiences that nourish your mind, strengthen your body, and feed your soul, while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
The Eco Institute
Rising Earth Immersion
Llewelyn Vaughan-Lee
Della Duncan – Upstream Podcast

May 29 2019

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1914 – Carving Out a Living on the Land with Emmet Van Driesche

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My guest today is Emmet Van Driesche, author of Carving Out a Living on the Land: Lessons in Resourcefulness and Craft from an Unusual Christmas Tree Farm. He joins me to share his life transitioning to farming. How he became a Christmas tree farmer, who coppices softwood balsam firs rather than cutting and replanting. How he earns an additional on-farm income through spoon carving. And we end with his thoughts on planning for long term succession, both of the land as he considers how to leave this patch of earth for future generations, and the process of transitioning a farm between non-family members, as he took over responsibility and ownership of the Christmas tree farm from his mentor Al.

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You can find Emmet’s work at emmetvandriesche.com, his Instagram at emmet_van_driesche, and his book Carving Out a Living on the Land: Lessons in Resourcefulness and Craft from an Unusual Christmas Tree Farm at ChelseaGreen.com.

In cooperation with Chelsea Green, I’m giving away a copy of Emmet’s book over on Patreon. That opens on May 20 and runs through the end of the month. This giveaway is open to everyone, all you need to do is leave a comment in the post. You’ll find that at  Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast.

As a permaculture practitioner, what I like about Emmet’s work, beyond coppicing softwoods, is the practical long-term, multi-path approach to his plans. He’s created a diversity of income from the farm that allows him to continue to work there by taking what started as trees and wreaths supplemented with an off-farm income and expanded to spoon carving, planting basket willow, and encouraging the growth of deciduous trees.

He’s also considering future generations in his land management and successions plans. Helping to return the farm to hardwood trees—for his near-term use as shade—creates additional ecological and economic value. By stewarding the ground today, should someone decide not to farm Christmas trees here in the future, the land takes on a different shape that new eyes can look on with wonder and consider the many possibilities at that moment and form their own view of what the future holds.

If each of us could use Emmet’s example and plan holistically for the future, even one generation ahead, what a more beautiful, verdant world we could have.


If you enjoyed this conversation with Emmet and would like to learn more, pick up a copy of his book Carving Out a Living on the Land: Lessons in Resourcefulness and Craft from an Unusual Christmas Tree Farm from Chelsea Green Publishing.

If you have thoughts on this episode and want to continue the conversation, leave a comment, or drop something in the post.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Until the next time, spend each day enjoying the crafts of your labor, your care of the land, all while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
Carving Out a Living on the Land
Emmet Van Driesche
@emmet_van_driesche (Instagram)
National Christmas Tree Association
Sidehill Farm

May 20 2019

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1913 – Farming and Foraging a Complete Diet with Rob Greenfield

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My guest today is the adventurer, activist, and humanitarian Rob Greenfield. Rob joins me to talk about the Food Freedom project he launched in Orlando, Florida, where he is growing and foraging for all of his nutritional needs.

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During the conversation Rob shares what brought him to the project, some of his choices along the way, just how strict he is when he says he grows or forages all his food, and the potential to accomplish these goals, of a 100% self-procured local diet, in other climates.

Find out more about Rob, his work and other projects, including those mentioned during his introduction, at RobGreenfield.TV

In this conversation, I mentioned one of my favorite authors for growing our own food, Steve Solomon, and his book Gardening When it Counts. Because of the influence of that book on my views over the years, I’m giving away a copy over at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast. That giveaway starts on May 8th and runs through May 18th, 2019, so head over there and leave a comment today to enter.

As Rob also encourages us to forage, I’m also giving away a copy of Sam Thayer’s The Forager’s Harvest. Sam remains one of my favorite foraging authors and educators as his books stem from years of practice and refinement on the land and in the landscape. You’ll also find that giveaway at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast starting on May 18th and open for at least 10 days.

Two things continue to resonate for me as I worked on editing this interview, and as I put the finishing touches on the show. The first is the project-based approach that Rob takes in these deep immersions, whether for this particular take on food, or when he wore all the trash he created as part of his bike journey, which you can see in the initial picture at his website RobGreenfield.TV.

This project focused exploration is something all of us can use as a model to dive into a subject we’re interested in, whatever that may be. We can pick one thing and see what we can learn about it, how far we can go, and the lessons we can pick up in a fixed amount of time. Maybe we want to spend the rainy season for our location learning to harvest water. Or to take a growing season to explore a particular plant from seed to harvest in different conditions in our garden. Or to take a year and see how little electricity or fossil fuels we can use.

By creating conditions that test ourselves, we can learn more about our wants, needs, and limits, safely and productively that will, hopefully, lead us to better ways to honor the ethics of permaculture when our time with a given experiment comes to an end.

The other side that sticks with me is from near the end where we talked about replicating this project in different climates. Given that humans populated the globe long before the prevalence of agriculture and subsisted through hunting, foraging, and, to borrow the language from M. Kat Anderson, tending the wild, why can’t we procure all of our food from our local environment?

Yes, if this were a full-time endeavor, as Rob is going through, it may mean we spend a lot more time on growing, gathering and preparing food, but what if we use that as an end goal and work our way back to where we are in the moment? To start by buying from our farmer’s markets and co-ops while learning what we can about wild and forageable foods. To take the suggestions of Sara Bir and look for the abandoned fruit trees in our neighborhoods, or ask our neighbors if we can harvest from what they have. Each step brings us closer to a local, nutritious diet.

If we find we cannot gain much of our food in this way, why not? What are the legal, environmental, or social factors keeping us from doing so? What can we do to change these limitations, personally and within our community?

What are your thoughts on seeking 100% of your own food? Can you imagine doing this in your local environment? What skills or resources would you need to obtain to make these choices?

Let me know by leaving a comment in the show notes or dropping a letter in the mail.

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next episode is my interview with spoon carver and Christmas Tree coppice farmer, Emmet Van Dreische, about his work and new book Carving out a Living on the land.

Resources
Rob Greenfield
Growing and Foraging 100% of My Food – Day 111 Update (YouTube)
National Farmers Market Directory (USA)
Trash Me
Green Riders
Free Ride
Orlando Permaculture Meetup Group
Shad Qudsi / Atitlan Organics

May 10 2019

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1912 – Tacit and Embodied Knowledge with Melissa Peet, Ph.D.

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In this episode, David Bilbrey sits down with Melissa Peet to talk about her work in learning to trust one’s inherent knowledge. As the first of a two-part conversation, she provides the background to her research and establishing trust in our personal understanding; that which we already know and that which others might draw out of us through education or transformational experiences.

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In the second half of this interview, out in Mid-May, David and Melissa discuss more of her process and the methods for discovering and embracing our embodied knowledge.

Find an archive of David’s podcasts and other work at ecothinkit.com.

Melissa’s ongoing research, exploration, and workshops with The Generative Knowledge Institute is at generativeknowledge.com.

Though I can’t speak directly to Melissa’s research and methods, as I do not know them well enough, I am reminded of two points learned during my Permaculture Teacher Training, and while studying Environmental Education at the graduate level: The role of a teacher, and approaching education holistically.

During both my teacher training and Environmental Ed studies delved into what a teacher does,  and that teachers do not impart knowledge—you don’t just plug it into someone’s head—but instead act to draw out a student’s love, desire, and interests, so they can be self-directed, while the instructor provides the resources needed for the pupil to deepen their own understanding.

Yes, there is a base amount of knowledge needed before we can self-direct, and my impression of this through reading the literature and working with children, is the elementary school years provide the core skills of reading, writing, maths, and communication, that students can then build on through guided rather than dictated activities. Once this core curriculum is understood, the role of the teacher moving forward is a guide on the side, rather than a sage on the stage.

When it comes to a holistic approach to education, especially at the elementary and secondary levels, there are two authors whose work I continue to go back to from the Environmental Education field that influences my thoughts on what we need to do as parents, concerned citizens, and educators, to create meaningful, holistic programs. The first is David Sobel, who stresses the importance of play and exploration, particularly for younger children. The other, David Orr, who write about overall views on what education should be and how the kinds of reforms necessary to get us there.

If you would like to get started with understanding more from these authors, I recommend two from David Sobel: Beyond Ecophobia and Place-Based Education. From David Orr, there is nothing better than Earth in Mind, though do look for the 10th-anniversary edition. 

Though ostensibly about the natural world, once you begin to learn more about the entire environmental education field, you realize that the real focus is on holistic, life-changing experiences. These authors, combined with trusting our own interests and knowledge, hold the potential for lasting and systemic change that makes greater understanding and care for the world, our selves, and each other possible.

If you have thoughts on this or follow-up questions for Melissa, call 717-827-6266, email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com or write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Until the next time, embody your knowledge while taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
The Generative Knowledge Institute
EcoThinkIt
Wholeness and the Implicate OrderDavid Bohm
Black Male Initiative at University of Central Oklahoma
David Orr
David Sobel 

Apr 30 2019

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1911 – Kevin Jones on Regenerative Business and Impact and Investing

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This episode continues co-host David Bilbrey’s exploration of regenerative business and permaculture as he sits down with Kevin Jones to talk about Gather Lab, Transform 19, and the need to create something more than a conference, but rather events that include action. In the case of Transform 19 those are modeled in the form of various labs where participants come together to assist organizations and businesses ready to launch, expand, or go to scale. Kevin and David also talk about Impact Investing, which focuses on mission oriented investing so we can think like a philanthropist while acting like an investor.

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As Transform 19 is still a conference at the core with these labs as a central component, Kevin also shares some of the speakers and other offerings at the event. You’ll hear about a number of people and projects you may want to explore further and connect with from all over the globe.

You can find more about Kevin’s work with Gather Lab at GatherLab.net and Transform: Climate, Communities, and Capital, which runs from May 22 – 24, 2019, in San Francisco, California, at TheTransformSeries.net

—–

Though Kevin gives us quite a bit regarding the various ways he and others focus on business development, impact investing, and what to expect from Transform 19, what I think about from this and my own experience is that burst of energy we have—the anticipation and excitement—leading up to an event, the fall off afterward, and what we can do to keep the momentum and possibility for change going once we’re no longer together.

Kevin uses a lot of technology to accomplish this goal, through conference calls, Slack instances and custom software. For those of us not plugged into those resources I think of Facebook events and Meetup groups, or even just posting meeting details to an Instagram account or Twitter, to bring us and keep us together. To me, however, the most important part is ongoing face-to-face time together, where we consistently show up.

As we have our meetings and conversations after an event, we need to continue learning the stories of those around us, whether a personal anecdote or, like Kevin and his folks are doing with Transform, the stories of successful professionals; the people who did the work, overcame the struggles, and found a way forward. Can we, as Kevin himself mentioned at the beginning of the interview, openly talk about the fact we failed? To share that the journey along the way is more than just our successes and we have other lessons to learn through failure, such as the temperament Kevin’s wife brings to their businesses that balances his thoughts and energy.

The further I dig into my own focus with permaculture, social permaculture and community development, the more importance I place on getting to know one another, through silly stories like the origins of a nickname; to conversations about what breaks our heart; how we fell in love with a piece of land; or discovered the calling and created a business that changed our lives.

We all have stories of success and failures. Those stories matter. What are your stories?

—–

If you’d like to get in touch and share your thoughts on this interview or anything else in the archives, call: 717-827-6266, email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com or write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

Until the next time, invest with meaning, spend time face-to-face with others, and share your stories while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Resources
Gather Lab
The Transform Series
B Corporation (Certification)
Regenerate Illinois
Root Capital
The Democracy Collaborative
Lotus Foods
Guayaki
Indigenous Designs
Iroquois Valley Farmland

Interview: Theory U and the Emerging Future with Otto Scharmer
Interview: Responsible Business, Responsible Entrepreneur with Carol Sanford

Apr 20 2019

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1910 – Horn Farm Center Q&A

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In this conversation moderated by Ben Weiss of Susquehanna Sustainable Enterprises and Robyn Mello of Edenspore, Jon Darby, Alyson Earl, and Wilson Alvarez discuss their work at Horn Farm Center and regenerating the land. This includes how they came to sustainable agriculture; the dream projects they’re working on; how their ancestral and cultural history impacts their work and thought processes; and close by taking questions from the students assembled for the ecological design course.

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I’d like to thank Ben and Robyn for inviting the podcast to join them for the day so we could share this with you, and to “Photographer John” Staley for making the trip, as I was unable to attend.

I love the shared story of these three presenters speaking around these common questions, and why I like to include conversations like these, and the others over the years on the show. Together, a multitude of voices address the same series of inquiries.

Though any moment, given question or particular response, leads to greater reflection, the one that stays with me leaving this interview regards the inquiry into one’s ancestral history and how that impacts our work and view of the world.

As the descendant of Appalachian Hillbillies and a 19th-century German immigrant, I often find myself considering the ways that familial culture brought me to where I am today. How stories of growing up poor in West Virginia lead my mother’s family to focus on people. Often folks I did not know, and remain unsure if we were related by blood or by marriage, we called family. Anyone who would join us for a meal was free to eat with us. From those roots how came to care about individuals and the community we create.

One immigrant, my great-great-grandfather Mann arrived in the second half of the 1800s, where came to Pennsylvania and fought in the American Civil War, before settling with an American wife in southern Maryland to farm. They taught his son how to farm, who then taught my grandfather, who taught my father. Though I did not grow up on the land, as my family no-longer farmed by the 1980s, the soil still ran through me, as we planted seeds. Dug in the ground. Planted trees in the yard with my father on Arbor day so that by the time I was a teenager there was the shade to sit under, even if branches lacked the height to climb.

I’ve carried those times, those stories of past generations, and experiences for my entire life and see them all as leading me directly to this path of creating The Permaculture Podcast, and retaining a love of Earth, people, and to share the bounty of life.

Do you have any stories like these which lead you to your journey? I’d love to hear from you.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next episode will be the one with Kevin Jones, after having to move the release schedule around a little.

Until then, spend each day living into your gift, remembering the stories of your ancestors, and hearing the new tales of you community, while taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Resources
Wilson Alvarez on Biomimicry, Landcare, and The Reintegration Project
The Reintegration Project Tour (YouTube)
Rewilding with Wilson Alvarez and Ben Weiss
Zone 4 Permaculture with Wilson Alvarez and Ben Weiss
Restoring Eden with Wilson Alvarez and Ben Weiss
Right Livelihood with Ben Weiss, Dave Jacke, and Charles Eisenstein
Getting Right with Ourselves and Building Community featuring Ben Weiss & Dave Jacke
Susquehanna Permaculture Round Table (Part 1) featuring Jon Darby and Ben Weiss
Susquehanna Permaculture Round Table (Part 2) featuring Jon Darby and Ben Weiss
Permanent Multi-Culture with Robyn Mello
An Introduction to Philadelphia Orchard Project featuring Robyn Mello
Philly Roundtable Q&A (Part 1) featuring Robyn Mello
Philly Roundtable Q&A (Part 2) featuring Robyn Mello

Apr 10 2019

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1909 – Essential Rammed Earth Construction with Tim Krahn

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My guest today is Tim Krahn, a Canadian engineer, builder, and author of Essential Rammed Earth Construction from New Society Publishers.

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Tim joins me to share his thoughts and experiences with rammed earth as a natural building method. This includes the distinction between raw and stabilized rammed earth and how rammed earth can reduce the amount of cement required for a long-lasting wall. Tim also gives an estimate of the price difference between stick-built walls and professionally installed rammed earth, while acknowledges that natural building is a growing but still niche field. We close with a discussion of the importance of valuing our time when considering the cost of erecting a building or other project to come to the real price for any of our work.

You can find his book, Essential Rammed Earth Construction at NewSociety.com. Below you’ll also find links to the earlier interviews from the Essential series and natural building, including the conversations with Bob Theis who we mentioned in this episode.

I’m giving away a copy of Tim’s Essential Rammed Earth Construction, a $40 value, here on Patreon.  That giveaway runs from March 28 to April 8, so leave a comment today and all you need to do is enter a comment in that post.

Enter the Essential Rammed Earth Construction Giveaway

As Tim works full-time as a professional engineer, the best place to find his thoughts and knowledge about Rammed Earth are in this interview and his book. If you do have any questions for him, please forward those to me here at the show, and I can send them to Tim for a follow-up interview.

What I love about natural building, which Tim reinforces in this interview, is the flexibility and forgiveness of the materials and techniques compared to stick-built homes. Whether stacking earthbags for a dome, filling tires for an Earthship, or ramming earth for a wall, at many steps along the way we can put things up and tear them down again, trying different ideas and learning as we go. Though the costs may be more expensive when we account for our time, we can learn a lot along the way about what satisfies our physical or aesthetic needs.

By being involved in the process, we become connected to the spaces we build and what it means to inhabit a place.

What do you think of natural building? What techniques and materials have you used where you are? I’d love to hear more about your projects and accomplishments.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Write:

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next interview is an interview with Kevin Jones, recorded by co-host David Bilbrey.

Until the next time, consider all the natural techniques you can use to design and build the world you want to live in while taking care of Earth, yourself and each other.

Natural Building Interview
Essential Rammed Earth Construction

Natural Building and Design with Bob Theis
More Natural Building with Bob Theis

Rob Avis on the Essential of Rainwater Harvesting
Essential Earthbag Construction with Kelly Hart

The Mudgirls Natural Building Collective
Natural Building, Community, and Opportunity with Clare Kenny of The Mudgirls
Natural Building and ThePoosh.org with Eric Puro
Natural Building with Cliff Davis
Natural Swimming Pools with Eddy Garcia

Mar 30 2019

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1908 – Trees of Power with Akiva Silver

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My guest today is Akiva Silver of Twisted Tree Farm in Spencer, New York. He joins me to talk about his life and the experiences that lead to his new book Trees of Power from Chelsea Green Publishing.

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Starting with his beginning as a tracker and forager, we move into his work on getting his farm started, and some of his favorite trees. Among those, we dig in deep about chestnuts and hickories. We also touch on what we mean by the word farm. Creating his families on-farm income on three-quarters of an acre. How foraging and tending the land extends the space we might consider our farm. How we can harvest more food than we can imagine by going to those places and spaces where others might not consider looking for food.

Akiva also shares the joy of propagation and the many ways we can do this from cuttings to grafting to layering, and how we can significantly diversify our plant genetics by growing out our selection from seeds.

Whether you are growing, planting, or just enjoy trees, there is a lot to learn from this interview.

Trees of Power Giveaway

You can find Akiva, his farm, and work at twisted-tree.net and you can find his book, Trees of Power, at chelseagreen.com. You’ll find links to those and many of the resources Akiva mentioned, such as Empire Chestnut Company, in the Resources section of the show notes.

Though Akiva runs a farm that propagates thousands and thousands of trees each year, what stands out for me is the passion that comes through in his voice from his connection to Earth that he developed that through foraging and tracking. His experience shows that we can use these skills as a way to foster and deepen that connection.

I feel that doing this is essential because we need to love something to care for it. If we can have that experience at a younger age, it can lead to a lifetime of meaningful action on our part to take responsibility for our choice and the impact on Earth, other people, and our ability to return the surplus.

Foraging is one of the best skills for this that we can learn, and also share with others, especially children. Time and time again I see this in my own kids, as my daughter seeks out violets and my son the brambles, to harvest flower and berries from the yard or when we go for a hike. It instilled a curiosity to wonder what this mushroom is, and can they eat it? To borrow my camera to take a picture so we can find out more about that little bush we’ve never seen before. This started when they were pre-school age and continues now as they prepare for their pre-teen years.

Anyone can benefit from learning to forage. As a hobby, it is simple and low-cost that can reap incredible rewards and is worth taking your time to, even if it’s only for a few hours on a couple of weekends a year.

If you’d like to learn more about foraging, though I know some great foragers locally, the best person working in our broader region of the United States and writing about their experiences is Sam Thayer. As Akiva mentioned, Sam wrote the forward to Trees of Power and has appeared on The Permaculture Podcast in the past. His books are just incredible and take you through many of the different ways you can make use of a wide selection of plants, beyond only the edible parts. Even if you don’t live in areas where the particular plants he details grow, his thoughts on foraging ethics and what to consider while walking the land make each book worth much more than the cover price.

Sam Thayer is at foragersharvest.com, and you can find a link to our interview below.

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Along the way on this or any of your journeys, if I can ever help, please let me know.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next interview is a conversation with Tim Krahn about the essentials of Rammed Earth construction.

Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by foraging, propagating trees, and taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
Twisted Tree Farm
Trees of Power (Chelsea Green)

Tom Brown Jr. Tracking School
The Graves Tree – Arthur Graves Chestnuts
Empire Chestnut Company (Route 9 Cooperative)

Interview: Foraging with Sam Thayer

Mar 20 2019

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1907 – Permaculture Action Network with Ryan Rising and Leah Song

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Today’s guests are Ryan Rising, of Permaculture Action Network, and Leah Song, of Rising Appalachia, who join me to talk about how they use the work on-stage and off to organize communities to participate in a permaculture action day. How they blend permaculture and activism with music and merriment.

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From their experience bringing together more than 13,000 people to over 90 action days, they share how we can learn more, get involved, and make a difference.

You can find Ryan’s work at permacultureaction.org and Leah at risingappalachia.com.

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Though I interviewed Jasmine Saavedra about the Permaculture Action Tour in 2015, it was my friends in Kentucky—whom you’ve heard in the in-person conversations recorded at the Clear Creek Schoolhouse—who helped get this conversation together. Thank you, Leah Van Winkle and Michael Beck for helping to set all this up.

What I’m left with stepping away from this conversation is a reminder of David Fleming’s Lean Logic and how in those pages he calls on the need for celebration and carnival if we plan to have a joyous and bountiful future. But, we can have that now, and Ryan and Leah and all the rest are working on making this a possibility. The first is through the permaculture action days. We can take this further, however, through related movements like slow music or slow food and celebrate and enjoy the bounties of life and our ability to share a space or a plate with others, a part of our everyday lives and ongoing rituals.

This is social permaculture in motion, working with people so they can work the land. As they care for one another, they can care for Earth.

If you are an organizer, or just interested, get in touch with the Permaculture Action Network and see what you can do to create or join with one of the regional hubs. Look for the artists, artisans, and allies that can come together and share the surplus with one another.

Need help along the way? Get in touch.

Call: 717-827-6266
Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Write:
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

From here the next conversation is with Akiva Silver, as we sit down to talk about his new book, Trees of Power, as well as foraging and the power of Chestnuts and Hickories.

Also, I’d like to thank Dusty Eddy for editing the interview audio for this episode. I’m considering bringing him on as the full-time engineer for the show, so let me know what you think about this more conversational approach to the editing that he took.

Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by organizing within your communities, celebrating with music, and taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Resources
Permaculture Action Network
Rising Appalachia
The Slow Music Movement (Huffington Post)
Lead to Life
Extinction Rebellion
Sonic Bloom Festival 

Mar 10 2019

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