Jul 252014
 
 

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This episode is a state of the podcast release, with some information on where things are going, what I’ve got going on, and where you as a listener would like the show to go.

After the outpouring of feedback several months ago I’m back on track, but know that I can’t sit back and relax and just let things go without keeping you in the loop.

I am at the point where creating the podcast in the current format of 2 permabytes and 1 long interview is becoming routine and on schedule. There are enough interviews recorded, and outlines started, to get us well into the end of the year with both, while continuing to record guests and put together more permabytes.

I connect with more potential guests later this year when John and I go to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, as members of the media from September 12th through the 14th, 2014. We’ll be posting live and nearly live material throughout. We’ll also be at CHABA-Con in Bridgeton, New Jersey October 11th, 2014, and are figuring out the details of going to the Permaculture Open House being offered by the Fingerlakes Permaculture Institute September 6th.

The podcast is on track and does not want for content and I’m in a good place to keep the content coming with your support.
Also, the entire archives of the show are currently available through iTunes or your favorite podcast app. From episode one all the way to this latest permabyte, you can now download everything that’s on the server. I’ll keep that data available as long as I can so grab everything if you want it.

Here is the link to the RSS feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/thepermaculturepodcast

From there, a few points.

First, I’d like to know what more you would like from me and the show at this point. What would make your permaculture journey easier or more interesting that I can share in a future episode? Where would you like to see the show go? More content? Different content? Only permabytes? Only interviews? What works for you? What doesn’t? I ask because I’m the cusp of some different ideas but want to stay true to you, the core of listeners, and give back more value to you that builds on top of what is already here.

Second, I’d like to take the podcast on the road and help to support local permaculture practitioners and events as a speaker and to host live interviews and round table discussions in your area, and to support those efforts on a gift economy. I’m looking at anywhere within about a 4 hour, or 200 miles, radius of Harrisburg, PA, which includes more or less all of PA from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, down into the northern panhandle of West Virginia, all of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey, most of New York state, and Virginia as far south as Richmond or Harrisonburg. If you’re interested in something like this, let me know so we can make arrangements.

Finally, a long term goal of mine, if there is interest in that direction, is to create an open-source permaculture news team. I’ve got a model in mind of having a small production team that can cover permaculture events whenever and wherever they are happening, and bring them back to you. I’ve run the numbers and the price to have employ up to 4 people in this capacity, and pay them a living wage, is considerably more affordable than I originally imagined.

Traveling to events such as the Mother Earth News Fair and CHABA-Con are some test runs for this idea, so you’ll see more of the pieces of this idea over the coming months. Expect a full announcement about that project this fall.

If you have any thoughts, concerns, or would like to setup an event, let me know. Together we’ll keep this permaculture party going, and
going, and going.

E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266
Skype: permaculturepodcast
Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

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

(Episode: 2014Byte0725)

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 Posted by at 12:00
Jul 232014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Rafter Sass Ferguson, a permaculture practitioner and PhD student who is researching self-identified permaculture farms. Our conversation today looks at the state of his work and of permaculture research in general, as well as some of the challenges we face in broadening the impact, accountability, and acceptance of permaculture.

Find out more about Rafter and his research at: liberationecology.org

What stands out to me from this interview is, again, our importance of doing research as practitioners. To be involved. To experiment. To try new things. To figure out what does and doesn’t work where we are and share that information with others. We have the tools in our hands and in the permaculture literature to create an abundant world that can tackle some really big problems, but much of that gets cast aside because of the barriers and hurdles we have to overcome to get there.

It’s why I take a long view on spreading the word and getting permaculture out there. I’d rather offer a life changing impact on a few people, like the person who wrote in saying that they were no longer a bigot and more accepting of others because of the interviews with Rhamis Kent, than have this podcast be a fluff piece for ten times as many people who just listen and move on. I wake up every day wanting to make the world a better place for everyone. For me, my children, my friends, my family, and for you, and people I haven’t met yet, and people who aren’t born yet. We have the most amazing set of tools. Now all we have to do is use them.

I’ll step down from my soap box now and leave you to your time.

If you’d like to get in touch, here are the usual ways.

E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266
Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

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

(Episode: rafter2)

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 Posted by at 10:00
Jul 212014
 
 

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This episode looks at a number of resources that are available to identify plants.

Before we begin however, I’d like to thank Jen Mendez at Permiekids.com for sponsoring this episode. Permie Kids is a solutions-based, do-ocracy community designing a holistic early childhood and primary education with our children that empower in learning and life. The community believes that the solution, the only ethical solution to borrow from Bill Mollison, is to take responsibility for ourselves and our children. This means valuing each individual, be they child or adult, and creating an inherent permanence in our learning culture.

This community is a collection of educators including parents, teachers, grandparents, mentors, and children that take responsibility together to collaborate and design a personalized holistic education with children that is passion-driven, project based, and grounded in the scientific methodology that empower people to care for themselves, others, and the earth. It is not about teaching children to “do” permaculture in the landscape, but do live a permaculture life regardless of where their passions take them.

You can become a part of the solution and learn more by going to PermieKids.com and joining the community, check out the podcast, and share in the surplus of community knowledge and ideas. Jen also offers free 1 to 1 mentoring for anyone who would like to bring this information into their lives with their children and grandchildren.

I really like what Ms. Mendez is doing. It fills in a gap that too few people are addressing and her work fits in with my long term view of The Plan. Where her early childhood and primary education ends, my desire for permaculture based, skills oriented, experiential education of young adults picks up. It’s really good to see these synergistic developments in the permaculture community and makes me hopeful for what the future holds.

Plant Identification and Uses

I want to look at three different types of plant identification sources: online, books, and in-person.

Online there is a community that I recommend anyone who is on Facebook gets involved with, that is the Plant Identification and Education group. It’s a closed group with over 6,000 members who really come together to post information and help people solve plant ID issues. I’ve learned quite a bit in the last few weeks of being a member. I recommend anyone who wants to delve into this subject goes there and gets involved. Read, explore, and learn more. A link that and all the other resources mentioned can be found in the show notes.

For online websites I would check out Go Botany! From the New England Wild Flower Society. I’ve interviewed Elizabeth Farnsworth who is involved with this project and they’re doing a lot to get good information out there. Also, if you contact the GoBotany team you get in touch with a real human being who is personally involved in the project. This site is at gobotany.newenglandwild.org.

Next is the Plants for A Future site at PFAF.org. The amount of information is nearly overwhelming and includes a data where you can search to find plants to meet a specific need. As a permaculture practitioner this site is indispensable for filling in the gaps of a design and finding something to fill a particular niche.

Another good identification site is the Discover Life wildflowers page. This provides a key where you can click the various characteristics and narrow down what you have. There are also pictures to go with each of the botanical meanings, and explanation keys. If this is your first time working with identifying plants and you want an online resource, this is where I would start.

Next is the USDA PLANTS database found at plants.usda.gov once you have an idea of what it is you have in order to find out more information on it. There are links here to see a list of the plants in a given state, and to learn about the endangered plants of the U.S. These endangered plants, to me, are ones we should seek to preserve in our own state.

The final resource to look for is to see if you state or territory has a natural heritage program. Using your favorite search engine, enter in the name of place where you live followed by natural heritage program and see what pops up. In the U.S. my understanding is that most states have a natural heritage program or something similar. The Pennsylvania site includes information on plant communities, aquatic communities, county inventories, interactive maps, species lists, the climate change vulnerability index, and more. I’ve learned an incredible amount about not only my state but my local region by looking through the many many resources there.

From online resources, I move to books. This is an area where I have limited knowledge, so turn to a list from Nathan Carlos Rupley, which has a foraging and re-wilding focus. His list includes:

  • Abundantly Wild by Teresa Marrone
  • Ancestral Plants by Arthur Haines
  • Backyard Foraging by Ellen Zachos
  • Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel
  • Dandelion Hunter by Rebecca Lerner
  • Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas
  • The Forager’s Harvest by Sam Thayer
  • Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants by Steve Brill
  • Nature’s Garden by Sam Thayer
  • It will Live Forever by Beverly R. Ortiz

I have three of these, those by Sam Thayer and Arthur Haines, in my personal library. There are also copies of each of those books floating around in the Traveling Permaculture Library Project. On order are copies of Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel and Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas after seeing these two recommended over and over again. Another series of book I recommend are those by Euell Gibbons. Stalking the Wild Asparagus and his other works are classics and worth reading.

Even with all those resources available, I recommend that you connect with local or regional plant identification or use groups. Things to look for include native plant organizations, garden clubs, primitive skills folks, herbalists, or anyone else who is doing the kind of things you are interested in. If you’re practicing permaculture start with the closest permaculture group you can find. That’s how I’ve gotten in touch with so many people doing different things. Ask questions, ask around, connect, and you’ll be surprised what you can find.
If you try and try and can’t locate someone local, let me know. I’m always available to help you and know a lot of people in the community.

Finally, with any of these resources, no matter how much you trust the site or author take your time and double check against more than one resource to insure you have it right. Slow and steady wins this race and you’ll learn more from it.

Get out there, observe, learn more about the plants around you and how to use them. While you’re out there, take someone with you so they can join in the joy of these experiences.

Is there anyway I can help you on your path, or you can help me in return? Get in touch.

E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266
Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

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

(Episode: 2014Byte0721)

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 Posted by at 12:00
Jul 182014
 
 

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This episode is a short conversation with Adam Brock, of The GrowHaus, who is also one of the organizers of the upcoming North American Permaculture Convergence.

The convergence will be held August 29 – 31, 2014 at Harmony Park in Clarks Grove, Minnesota. Tickets are currently on-sale. Find out more at:

http://northamericanpermaculture.org/

I don’t know if I’m going to make it to this event. If you know you’re going to be there let me know and we can work together and have you cover the event for this podcast.

Get in touch:

E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266
Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

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

(Episode: 2014Byte0718)

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 Posted by at 12:00
Jul 162014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Mark Shepard, author of Restoration Agriculture.

As you might expect from this show we start with his biography and background, work our way through a call to action for permaculture practitioners and a need to be realistic in our efforts, and finally wrap up this conversation by discussing his work of restoration agriculture. Don’t worry though, this is the first piece that Mark and I recorded together, so there will be more on this subject to follow, including listener questions in episodes two and three.

I’m can produce episodes like this one, and those that follow in this series, because of your support. You allow me to schedule large blocks of time to have expansive candid conversations with interesting guests for the good of the permaculture community and beyond. If you value this show and these experiences, and I think you do since you choose to tune in, then support the show. Go to www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support to find out how.

I found this interview, and the other time I spent with Mark, delightful and challenging. He asks hard questions and proposes solutions that at first glance seem difficult, but that ultimately are necessary to doing this work in a meaningful way and getting beyond the “feel good” actions of a little here and a little there. The potentially unstable future posed by weather wierding and climate change requires action.

Now.

As part of that, and because I don’t believe in asking anyone to do something that I wouldn’t or haven’t done, I’m going to take up Mark’s challenge to eat a diet free of annual grains and annual legumes for 30 days. Actually, I’ll be doing it for 31, from August 1st through the 31st, 2014. Will you join me in this journey and see what the experience is like in a world of mass produced foods and perceived scarcity? Together we can show the possible abundance that lurks beyond the shelves of our local supermarket.

Expect a month or so to pass until the next of these pieces with Mark, and the final one to come out in late September or early October.

Also, Jen Mendez at Permie Kids is holding a series of online discussions via Google Hangouts that she’s calling Edge Alliances. This is a way for permaculture practitioners and educators to come together and discuss ideas, share experiences, ask questions, and propose solutions. Sunday, July 20th she is examining self-empowerment and self-defense, and on Sunday, July 27th the conversation will look at Forest Schools as a model for childhood education. You can find out more about these at:

http://www.permiekids.com/community-collaboration/

Are you practicing restoration agriculture? Or just want to talk permaculture? Let me know:

E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266
Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

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

(Episode: MarkShepard)

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 Posted by at 09:00