Oct 222014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Mark Shepard, owner of New Forest Farm and author of Restoration Agriculture. This is the final piece in a series of three interviews Mark and I recorded to talk about Restoration Agriculture practices and to answer listener questions.

 

Restoration Agriculture with Mark Shepard (Part I)
Restoration Agriculture with Mark Shepard (Part II)

In this episode we discuss four topics based around listener questions.

  1. What is Mark’s “Oil Cartel?”
  2. What place does keyline design have on a small scale site?
  3. What techniques does Mark suggest for water retention on a flat area?
  4. What tips does Mark have for starting seedlings where you are unable to water daily or weekly?

I enjoyed these conversations because of the different voice and perspective that Mark brought to the table. These really expanded my thoughts on how we can practice permaculture in many different ways underneath the same umbrella. Mark focuses on large scale agricultural restoration. My focus is on communication and outreach. We each have a role to fill.

Where do you see your niche in the permaculture community? Where do you fit into this big puzzle of creating a better world? Is there any way I can help you find your fit? I’d love to hear from you.

Support
If you value this show and the work of the podcast in spreading the word of permaculture to the world, lend your assistance in supporting these projects. Share links posted to the Facebook page, facebook.com/thepermaculturepodcast, with your friends or followers. Retweet messages sent from @permaculturecst. Leave reviews on iTunes or your favorite podcast sites. The show can also use your financial support, either as a one-time or ongoing monthly contribution. Find out how to do that at: www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

Get In Touch
E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266

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

Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

(Episode: MarkS3)

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 Posted by at 09:00
Oct 152014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Ethan Roland, a permaculture designer and a founder of Appleseed Permaculture. Along with his writing partner Gregory Landua, Ethan is the author of the article Eight Forms of Capital, as well as the book Regenerative Enterprise, which expands on the ideas of the original piece.

Ethan and Gregory’s work on the Eight Forms of Capital is one of the pieces that most influenced my perspective on permaculture and the different ways we can engage the various aspects of our lives to live and practice more fully what it is we love. Though financial capital is often the focus, and in our system we do need money to live, there are many ways we can create abundance in our lives.

Where this material kind of unhinged me from the system that currently exists was in understanding how much value there is in our non-financial capital, and how appreciating someone’s work doesn’t need to be in the form of a direct financial exchange. The first thank you I ever got for this show was a box containing three bottles of my favorite hot sauce, Secret Aardvark Trading Co. habanero. Or receiving an email from someone about how the podcast changed their life. Or the time someone send pictures of Ghost Pipe flowers growing on their property not far from where I live. Now I know definitively where they are and want to go visit and see them next year when they rise again, adding to my experiential and intellectual property with that plant.

Something else I’m coming to understand, which I’ll follow up on when the interview with Ethan’s mentor Carol Sanford comes out in a few weeks, is about what my core abilities are. I’m not well versed or skilled in marketing or raising financial capital. That’s not where my skill set is. I’m good at building other forms of capital, in particular social. I talk to people, make connections, and draw out the stories from others. That’s where my calling is. To make the other pieces of this work viable, I ask for help from others. I appeal to you, the listener, to help support the show. I also leave the various ways to contact me out in the open so I can give back what I’ve learned to you, to help you on your path. In the end there is a value exchange that occurs for everyone involved. I like that.

With that introspection around the eight forms of capital comes a personal understanding of our strengths and weaknesses that touches back on what Ethan said about building an ecosystem of businesses that support and grow one another. Some of us are really good at making money. Others are really good at teaching, design, implementing in the landscape, organizing, storytelling, and on and on. As permaculture practitioners let’s help one another.

I’m here to help you connect with the stories and voices you might not hear otherwise, so you can find what works for you and get down to your work. I want you to find and fulfill your calling so you can live a life of abundance. Let’s talk and make that happen.

The Show is On The Road
The show is on the road and I will be in Roanoke, Virginia, from October 20th-22nd, 2014, interviewing farmers and local permaculture practitioners. I am also delivering a presentation, “Permaculture: Creating a Better World by Design” on 630PM on October 21st, 2014, at the Roanoke Natural Food Co-Op at Grandin Village. If you’re in the area I’d love to see you there or at any of the other events I’ll be attending.

Support
If you value this show and the work of the podcast in spreading the word of permaculture to the world, lend your assistance in supporting these projects. Share links posted to the Facebook page, facebook.com/thepermaculturepodcast, with your friends or followers. Retweet messages sent from @permaculturecst. Leave reviews on iTunes or your favorite podcast sites. The show can also use your financial support, either as a one-time or ongoing monthly contribution. Find out how to do that at: www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

Get In Touch
E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266

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

Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

(Episode: 8forms)

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 Posted by at 09:00
Oct 082014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Brad Ward, an Agriculture Technical Consultant at ECHO, a faith based development program. Brad also is a trained permaculture practitioner, receiving his permaculture design certificate from Andrew Millison and Marisha Auerbach in 2012 through the online program at Oregon State University.

Brad came to my attention on a recommendation by Eric Toensmeier, originally as a possible guest for the Faith and Earth Care series, but in setting up the interview with Brad, he and I spoke quite extensively about development aid and how permaculture can be used to ask better questions. In turn that allows us to reform our efforts to meet people where they are at. That forms the basis of our conversation. Along the way we also touch on the personal struggles and transformation that comes from wanting to aid others in a meaningful way. As with the conversation with Rachel Kaplan, there is a lot of internal work to bring change out into the world.

Whether you have an interest in international development or not, quite a bit of this conversation applies equally to our internal landscape, as well as the business of permaculture. Asking the right questions, and stepping out of our normal frame of reference, changes the quality of our practices. Listen to this interview with Brad and let me know what you think, and how I might assist you on your path.

Two other things that stand out from this conversation were Brad’s reference to Pandora’s Box, and the artificial busyness of life. One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is that myth of Pandora’s Box and how there was something left in the box after all the evils of the world were released, Elpis, the spirit of hope. Though hope wasn’t released, I don’t see that as a negative side of the story, but that we each carry hope, Elpis, inside of us. I know I do with me every day. I am an optimistic person and see the future as bright and abundant, but that we have to take the path seriously and work towards it. Myself, people like Brad, each and every one of you who listens to the show, we are all part of that abundant future. I’m here to use my hope to help you on your path. We can do it.

The other piece, is the artificial busyness of life. Something Brad Lancaster asked me to do a show on was how I live a full life with so many things going on, and roles filled. A big part of that is overcoming the distractions. I let go of the mindless brain-numbing entertainment that Brad mentioned. I disconnected from advertisements. It took a lot of work, and there are still times I catch myself consuming media, but when I do notice what I’m doing I put it down and move to something of meaning.

With that I continue to use permaculture to design the way I live my life so that I live with intent. Nearly everything I do is a conscious choice. With that comes an acceptance of what matters and what needs to get done or can be left for later. There’s something beautiful about spending an evening with my children and being completely present in their lives. To ask a friend how they are doing, and creating a space where I’m not trying to fill the space until I can speak again, but to listen and really hear what they have to say. You’re life becomes your own and, as Mark Lakeman spoke to, you inhabit your own story. That’s the big picture idea of what it’s like to let go of that artificial busyness. I’ll put together something that goes through my process of getting to this point so you have something more practical to use in your own life.

The world is beautiful and abundant. Let us be stewards of a bountiful future by taking care of Earth, our selves, and each other.

From here next week’s interview is with Ethan Roland, of Appleseed Permaculture, to discuss the Eight Forms of Capital and Regenerative Enterprise. The following week, on October 22nd, is the third and final piece with Mark Shepard on Restoration Agriculture.

The Show is On The Road
The show is on the road so that I can go report on events of interest to the growing movements to build a better world, and to continue to spread the word of this wonderful system of design we call Permaculture. Next up I’ll be going to CHABA-Con, in Bridgeton, New Jersey, on October 11th, 2014 where Lester Brown, of the Earth Policy Institute will be the keynote speaker for a day of lectures, discussions, and tours on how to transform the world we live in.

The last of the currently planned trips is to Roanoke, Virginia, from October 20th-22nd, interviewing farmers and local permaculture practitioners. I am also delivering a presentation, “Permaculture: Creating a Better World by Design” on 630PM on October 21st, 2014, at the Roanoke Natural Food Co-Op at Grandin Village. If you’re in the area I’d love to see you there or at any of the other events I’ll be attending. More on those as they are scheduled.

Support
If you value this show and the work of the podcast in spreading the word of permaculture to the world, lend your assistance in supporting these projects. Share links posted to the Facebook page, facebook.com/thepermaculturepodcast, with your friends or followers. Retweet messages sent from @permaculturecst. Leave reviews on iTunes or your favorite podcast sites. The show can also use your financial support, either as a one-time or ongoing monthly contribution. Find out how to do that at: www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

Get In Touch
E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266

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

Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

(Episode: BradWard)

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 Posted by at 09:00
Oct 062014
 
 

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Photographer John, Layne, and I had an incredible time at the Mother Earth News Fair. Thankfully we had three days to enjoy ourselves, from Friday, September 12th to Sunday September 14th, 2014, or we might have been a little overwhelmed, there was so much going on. During our time there we had a chance to meet with or talk to a number of people. If you have a chance to attend one of the Mother Earth News Fairs, as they are held in multiple locations throughout the country, please do. They are well worth your time.

Here are some of, but by no means all, of the highlights.

First up was Michael Judd, author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist. We had a chance to interview him and hang out some throughout the show. Michael was very generous with his time and even more dynamic in person than when we sat down an interviewed in the past. If you are near Frederick, Maryland, he is someone worth looking up. As I live not too far from Michael, I want to go visit again and do another formal interview. You can checkout his design company and find more information at: Ecologia Design.

Next we sat down with Tradd Cotter who was just as engaging in person as he was in the interview that came out in early September. We sat down for a while and talked about medicinal mushrooms, which was the second of our videos from the fair. Once the camera was shut off he hung out with us for another hour talking mushrooms and we dug deeper into why it’s important for people to own the knowledge to change the world. He also joked with Layne and John when they showed up to photograph one of his presentations. If you get a chance to take a class with Tradd or see him speak at a conference, do it. It’s well worth your time. John, Layne, and I also have an invitation from Tradd to go visit him in 2015 and tour the facilities at Mushroom Mountain.

There were also Jason and Sera Drevenak of the North American Bushcraft School. Located in Hedgesville, West Virginia, they are not too far from my hometown of Hagerstown, Maryland. Together they offer a number of primitive skill workshops and classes which are right in line with the re-wilding that Ben Weiss and Wilson Alvarez advocate. Jason is a gifted and engaging teacher who lives this. Jason and Sera tan their own hides from road kill, and forge their own bushcraft knives. Of all the workshops I saw, Jason’s on primitive firemaking drew one of the largest crowds I of any of the non-keynote events. People stood around the edges of the stage area four and five deep. I’m planning to go down and take some classes at the North American Bushcraft School sometime, or at least go visit.

I also spoke with Matthew Goldfarb of Fruition Seeds. He and Petra Page-Mann (no relation to me that I know of), have one of the coolest plant breeding programs around that I know about. I heard about their work when talking with Matt Stillerman and Michael Burns at the Fingerlakes Permaculture Site Tour, and after seeing their company in the program wanted to grab them for a few minutes.

Matthew and Petra are working to create open-pollinated heirloom varieties that are adapted and resilient in local conditions, unique to the bioregion in which they are developed. I purchased several packets of the Insectary Blend of seeds to plant next year as part of our 2015 garden.

Three Rivers EVA – The Western PA Chapter of the Electric Auto Association – had a variety of electric vehicles on-site ranging from custom built cars, trucks, and bicycles, as well as factory products including a Tesla Model S.

Sitting up near the electric vehicles was Tara Whitsitt of Fermentation on Wheels. This is a food and fermentation education project that travels the country teaching people about nutrition in a converted bus. If you’ve read any of the books by Sandor Katz, you have an idea of the jars and crocks filling the bus. She had kimchi, kombucha, water and dairy kefir grains, and many many others in a well-designed stable rack allowing everything to remain in the open and on display. Once she’s settled into an area for a few days I want to sit down and have a chat with her.

Uncle Mud was running ongoing cob and plaster natural building workshop that was very hands-on and kid friendly. One of the pictures I took here was of a small girl putting plaster on the wall. The man speaking to those around him encouraged her to pull and play while he talked with the other people around him. As a parent I liked the openness and willingness to allow her to learn and experiment.

I also met some others folks along the way who are doing good work and I’ve reached out to them for interviews, including Dan Chiras, of The Evergreen Institute and author of the Natural Home, and Lloyd Kahn, author of numerous books on tiny houses and hand built homes, including the incredible Shelter.

While at the fair I also had a chance to sit down with Jen Mendez of PermieKids.com and we talked about permaculture, education, and podcasting for a while. She’ll be joining me on the show as a guest.

Some interesting products and organizations from the event.

Airhead Composting Toilet. I liked this unit for the small size and easy to empty liquids container. Compared to some other companies the price was rather reasonably at under $1,000. If I were going to purchase something for a tiny-home installation, of what I saw at the show, this is the one I’d go for.

Brooder Bottle Cap. This is a simple ball valve design that fits to a plastic soda bottle, whether 20oz or 2 liter, to water chickens and other animals. It strikes me as an appropriate technology because of the simplicity and durability, I also have been reading about a move in commercial chicken operations to move towards bottle feeding and this is an inexpensive way to do so. Al, the owner, was generous with his time explaining the idea behind the products as well as how to train your chickens to use them. He also wants to create a 501©3 that can produce these watering bottle caps for distribution to developing countries and disaster areas. Retail at the show was $5.95 for a pair.

Chatham University, located in Pittsburgh, PA, was onsite and handing out information regarding two interesting degree programs. A Bachelor and Master of Sustainability. If you are involved in permaculture and would like some additional education to support your work, something I’ve found useful in the credentialed society in the United States, this is a direction worth investigating. Another suggestion for a program is the one I’m enrolled in, which is a Master of Park and Resource Management at Slippery Rock University.

Patrick and Matthew of Go Sun Stoves were there demoing products. I’d talked to Patrick last year so it was good to see him there and to meet Matthew. They both met at a Permaculture Design course and worked on developing their innovative solar oven. I want to pick one of these up and spend a year cooking with it through all seasons and conditions and see what living with this type of solar cooker is really like.

With the idea of using natural and renewable resources, an interesting wood splitter onsite was the WoodOx Woodsman. Having watched my father put an axe into his foot, twice, as well as splitting wedges fly when struck off center, these three and four way splitters are tools that safely handle the task of preparing firewood for a self-sufficient homestead.
Mushroom Sources:

At the event were two purveyors of mushroom spawn and supplies. One was mentioned by Michael Judd when we sat down and spoke, which is Smugtown Mushrooms out of Rochester, NY. The other was Back Bone Food Farm in Oakland, MD. If you’d like to try someone else, here are other options.

Finally, I’d like to give a personal thanks to Brandy Ernzen, the PR Manager for Ogden Publications. She made the entire experience of working the Mother Earth News Fair easy and simple.

That ends the report from the Mother Earth News Fair by the crew at The Permaculture Podcast. We shot some other video along the way, which I’m working on as time allows. Keep checking out the YouTube channel for the show, as well as the Facebook page.

If you enjoyed this type of show, help us create more like it by supporting the podcast. Find out how to make a one time or ongoing contribution by going to www.ThePermaculturePodcast.com/support.

Until the next time, create a better world each day by taking care of Earth, your self, and each other.

Get In Touch
E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266

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

Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

(Episode: MENF2014)

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 Posted by at 12:00
Oct 012014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Rachel Kaplan, the co-author, along with K. Ruby Blume, of Urban Homesteading. She is also a permaculture teacher and practitioner, as well as a licensed marriage and family therapist from northern California. Our conversation today covers all of these roles, and more, as we talk about re-patterning ourselves and permaculture to be more intentional and deliberate in our work.

We also spend some time talking about women in permaculture, as I spoke with Karryn Olsen-Ramanujan, and on breaking down the barriers of understanding others and insuring we are diverse in our inclusion and practices. Rachel also shares with us the upcoming PDC she will be teaching, along with Delia Carroll, Cassandra Ferrera, and Kyra Auerbach, as part of the 13 Moon Collaborative, a new model for a 13 month long course that allows time for the course material to become a part of your internal thoughts and external practices. Find out more at:

13MoonCollaborative.com

Our conversation today reminds me that we all have a voice and a place in the permaculture community. It part of what I love about creating this podcast and sharing what other have to say with the world. We add to the chorus of people who spend each day creating a better world. That includes your voice. Go, do your work, and add your voice to the conversation.

Resources
Urban-Homesteading.Org
13 Moon Collaborative
Walking Elephant Theatre Company

The Show is On The Road
The show is on the road so that I can go report on events of interest to the growing movements to build a better world, and to continue to spread the word of this wonderful system of design we call Permaculture. Next up I’ll be going to CHABA-Con, in Bridgeton, New Jersey, on October 11th, 2014 where Lester Brown, of the Earth Policy Institute will be the keynote speaker for a day of lectures, discussions, and tours on how to transform the world we live in.

The last of the currently planned trips is to Roanoke, Virginia, from October 20th-22nd, interviewing farmers and local permaculture practitioners. I am also delivering a presentation, “Permaculture: Creating a Better World by Design” on 630PM on October 21st, 2014, at the Roanoke Natural Food Co-Op at Grandin Village. If you’re in the area I’d love to see you there or at any of the other events I’ll be attending. More on those as they are scheduled.

Support
If you value this show and the work of the podcast in spreading the word of permaculture to the world, lend your assistance in supporting these projects. Share links posted to the Facebook page, facebook.com/thepermaculturepodcast, with your friends or followers. Retweet messages sent from @permaculturecst. Leave reviews on iTunes or your favorite podcast sites. The show can also use your financial support, either as a one-time or ongoing monthly contribution. Find out how to do that at: www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

Get In Touch
E-mail: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com
Phone: 717-827-6266

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

Facebook: Facebook.com/ThePermaculturePodcast
Twitter: @permaculturecst

(Episode: RachelKaplan2)

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 Posted by at 12:00