Mar 042015
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

My guest for this episode is Dan De Lion, a forager, teacher, and permaculture practitioner from New Jersey who runs the excellent website ReturnToNature.us.

During our conversation today Dan and I discuss the intersection between foraging and gardening, cultivated foods and wild human nutrition, and how we can bring about a slow revolution by trading our time and money for our well-being and that of our community in a way that starves the more destructive elements of our culture of the nutrients it needs.

That sounds like a lot to cover, and it is, but the pace is a steady and even one thanks to Dan’s measured and thoughtful consideration of each point that we cover.

You can find out more about Dan and his work at ReturnToNature.us. Check out his schedule of upcoming classes and if you get a chance, consider taking one.

One of the points that stuck with me from this conversation is that we are all still members of the natural world, even as much as we feel separated from it at times. We can use foraging and permaculture to reconnect to natural systems and cycles by shifting our time and energy away from commercial production and consumer anesthetics to nourishing traditions of food and community.

Along the way we can foster relationships with plants so that as much as we use them, they use us to scatter seed and disturb soil. As we improve our understanding of the natural world, by building up our mental database of plants, including their uses, we foster knowledge and ethics that allow us to move more intentionally through our actions which encourages ever slower and smaller solutions.

As I mentioned during the interview, permaculture and the change necessary to make a lasting difference will take lifetimes and be delivered upon the generations we will never meet, but we must begin today if we haven’t already. I’ll be reposting Matt Winter’s The Gift for release this Saturday, March 7 for folks to listen, as a reminder of the get rich slowly approach we should have when making design choices, including what it is we will put into our bodies as food or medicine.

If there is any way I can assist you on your path, please get in touch.

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

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

Finally, Jen Mendez of Permiekids.com, who I will be interviewing and getting interviewed by in turn in a few weeks, has an upcoming Edge Alliance on Sunday March 29, 2015 from 7 to 8PM Eastern. Join Jen to discuss Rites of Passage for Young Children.

Next week I return with an interview with Stephen Barstow, author of Around the World in 80 Plants.

Until the next time spend each day building a better world by taking care of earth, your self, and each other.
Resources:
Dan’s Website
http://www.returntonature.us

Dan’s Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/ReturntoNatureSkills

Sam Thayer’s Books
http://foragersharvest.com/books/

Sam Thayer’s Interview
http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2013/samthayer/

Arthur Haines’ Books
http://www.arthurhaines.com/books/

Arthur Haines Interviews
http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2013/arthur-haines/
http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2014/arthur-haines-2/

Steve Brill’s Books
http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Books.Folder/Books.page.html

Leda Meredith’s Northeast Foraging
http://ledameredith.net/wordpress/northeast-foraging-120-wild-and-flavorful-edibles-from-beach-plums-to-wineberries/

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms
http://www.amazon.com/National-Audubon-Society-American-Mushrooms/dp/0394519922

Peterson’s Guide (Recommended with Reservations)
http://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Edible-Wild-Plants/dp/039592622X

Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide
http://www.amazon.com/Newcombs-Wildflower-Guide-Lawrence-Newcomb/dp/0316604429

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Feb 252015
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Jasmine Saavedra of the Permaculture Action Tour.

During our conversation we talk about the tour and how it can be used as a model to expand the reach of permaculture to even more people through music and art, and use the energy created from those programs to create regenerative activities the next day. Using this model Jasmine and her team were able to impact thirty-three cities in forty days, holding a concert one evening and creating permaculture installations the next by plugging in to attendees and having them lend a hand. These were not small efforts, however, as they reached thousands of people in each city, and generated thousands and thousands of hours of volunteer outreach. As you’ll hear I was rather impressed by the results.

One other thing you’ll hear is the quality of our internet connection, as I reached Jasmine while she was in Guatemala and over some less than perfect wifi, requiring multiple calls and the use of several different internet cafes. Still, things turned out pretty good and this is well worth the listen.

You can find out more about her, the organization, and the tour at permacultureaction.org. The campaign for the forthcoming film is at Permaculture Action Tour Film (IndieGoGo). As this episode goes out there are 16 days left for that fundraiser and they are over halfway to the goal. Go lend a hand if you are able.

Walking away from this conversation I’m reminded of a common question I receive, “How can we make permaculture more mainstream?” If that is the direction you want to go then what Jasmine and the rest of the folks involved in the Permaculture Action Tour are doing is a way to accomplish that. Use music, art, and entertainment to cast a large wide net and draw people in and then engage them with what it is that we do. Share why it matters and how it can make a difference to attendees. Let them know about what is already happening in their backyard that they might not know about. Invite them in to our world.

As you create that invitation, consider the importance of training and how that can help make what you are doing, wherever that may fit into the community, more effective. The success of this tour speaks volumes for the the individual roles, experience, and education of the team members. If you want to do community organizing, take a workshop. Look for a class in marketing. Spend some time on YouTube watching videos on the subject at hand. Find ways to improve your mind so that you can in turn change the world. You can do it. I believe in you, so go, get out there. If you need a hand along the way, get in touch.

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

Or Write:

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

Before bringing this episode to a close, I would like to thank Jay, John, Jill, Brad, Phillip, and Ewelina for supporting the podcast via Patreon. Your assistance really helps. If you would like to know more about that program, and what you get for signing up to lend me a hand, go to Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast and check out the reward levels.

Until the next time, take care of earth, your self, and each other.

Resources

 

 

 

A Permaculture Action Tour
A Permaculture Action Tour (Facebook)
A Permaculture Action Tour Film (IndieGoGo Campaign)
The Polish Ambassador

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 Posted by at 08:00
Feb 182015
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Patrick Shunney, a timber framer from Kearneysville, West Virginia.

In this interview we talk about his background and how he came to timber framing, how this type of building differs from a modern stick built home, how to get started in timber framing, a review of the basic tools needed to begin, and the role that engineers and architects play in the design and approval of these builds. We wrap up with some resources for you to learn more and his final thoughts on the aesthetics and craft that go with the skills in building this way.

I became aware of his work when a listener, Emma, reached out to me to offer to host a roundtable discussion at her farm, The Riverside Project, outside of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, later this year. As we traded messages she said it would be best if we waited until after her timber framing workshop, which got me interested in talking to Patrick who is working with her on that project.

If you would like to take the timber framing workshop and learn about this craft from Patrick and other timber framers you will find more information at this link: http://www.theriversideproject.com/timber-frame-workshop

Your assistance as a listener helps me to go record live events like the round table at Emma’s farm in September, 2015, and to take Photographer John along with me to document things like the timber framed pavilion. If you are in a place to make a one-time or ongoing contribution you can find out how at: www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

If there is any way I can be of service to you, please get in touch.

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

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

Spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
Timber Framers Guild
A Timber Framer’s Workshop by Steve Chappell

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Feb 112015
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Holly Brown of Island Creek Farm, a small permaculture farm located in Huddleston, Virginia.

Holly and I sat down at her home on a mild day in October to talk about her origins as a farmer and what it is like to run a permaculture based farm on imperfect farmland in western Virginia complete with heat and humidity during the summer and the occasional hard freeze in the winter. On less than one acre farmed organically the farm supported herself and two interns financially, while keeping three restaurants stocked with vegetables, provided fifteen CSA shares, and also fed herself, those interns, and her extended family. She even had enough left over to give to local food pantries. She accomplishes all of this while married with two children, and without the use of insecticides, herbicides, or any tilling. I learned all of this in our time together recording the interview and while we ate lunch and spent several hours walking around her farm. That time together was incredibly inspirational to me and gave me a better understanding of what we can accomplish with the right systems and support.

My time with Holly really stuck with me, even now several months later, because this was the first time I saw a farm that was integrated and operating in a way that I would want to run a farm when consider creating my own permaculture demonstration site. Her farm showed the possibilities I read about in books like Peter Bane’s The Permaculture Handbook, while remaining true to her own ideals.

Holly invited me into the home she shares with her husband and two children, a modest place compared to most of the houses I’ve seen in America, more reminiscent of the ideas you’ll find in the books by Lloyd Kahn, though not quite that small. In the time after the interview she and I shared lunch together, a curry consisting of on-farm vegetables with yogurt she made from local raw milk and a salad containing something like 12 different kinds of lettuces. We then walked around and she showed me her successes and failures, including two different gothic arch greenhouse frames, one of which was strong and supportive that Holly demonstrated by doing a pull-up on, and another that wavered in the wind a bit.

If anything, visiting Holly gave me hope that we can build productive permaculture farms that feed people. That we can use little urban, suburban, and rural spaces to grow the food necessary, in an ecologically responsible manner, that can make a real difference. From that she, and the conversation with Rick Williams, inspired me to do even more, in this space and in the soil. We can create a bountiful world for our selves and all life on earth.

Trips like this to visit Holly at Island Creek Farm, and the Virginia tour as a whole that allowed me to speak with Trish Wright, Rick Williams, and Lee and Dave O’Neill, are all possible because of listener support. Your gifts to the show allow me to keep this podcast going and to meet with people and bring back all the information and photographs that go with it. Please consider making a one-time or ongoing contribution by going to: www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

As long as I am able I will be here to assist you on your permaculture path so please reach out to me if there is anything I can do for you.

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

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

The next episode, out on Wednesday, February 18th, is a conversation with the timber framer Patrick Shunney about how to get started in timber framing, and his appreciation for the skill and artistry of the craft.

Until the next time, take care of Earth, your self, and each other.

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 Posted by at 08:00
Feb 102015
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

A quick update regarding the podcast.

In 2014 I decided to shift the show fully to a gift economy. To do that and be more transparent about the needs of the show, I’m moving to Patreon for recurring donations. That way you can see exactly what the podcast is receiving for each episode and how, together, we can expand on this work through the various milestones to create more episodes and reach further into the world and share the voices of more permaculture practitioners. Through this system the podcast remains free to download for thousands of people all over the world via iTunes, Stitcher, the website, and other sources, but gets the support it needs from the patreon members. Those patrons receive various rewards for their generosity. For anyone who signs up at $1 per episode you get early access to interviews and other public. Benefits increase from there and include things like member exclusive interviews and videos, my direct contact information, supporter only Q&A shows and more.

This allows me to grow what the podcast is doing including taking the show on the road to record more live events and round tables, taking Photographer John with me to document what’s happening with pictures and video tours of places like Radical Roots, Lick Run, or Island Creek Farm so you can see more permaculture in action.

We can do something different and create the world we want to live in.

Find out more about this program at: www.patreon.com/permaculturepodcast

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 Posted by at 09:00