Mar 252015
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

My guest for this episode is the rewilder Peter Michael Bauer, from Portland, Oregon, who is also a trained permaculture practitioner who studied under Toby Hemenway.

Peter is the executive director of Rewild Portland, an environmental education non-profit that uses hands-on workshops and classes to teaches earth-based arts, skills, and technologies. He is also a regular contributor to rewild.com and the rewild.com facebook group.

During this conversation we talk about permaculture as a tool for rewilding, examine the impact of government and empire on our ability to take care of the earth and ourselves, discuss the meaning of civilization in the context of earth repair and permaculture, and our individual roles in creating useful change.

You can find out more about him and his current work at rewildportland.com. I would like to have Peter back on the show to continue this conversation and wrap up some thoughts that we touched on, but did not have the space to expand during this first conversation. If you have questions for him after listening to this show, let me know and I will include them in the follow-up we will have in a few months. You’ll also find a number of resources below.

I walk away from this conversation feeling that the act of practicing permaculture is the beginning of a life that is less civilized and a lot more wild. The more I have conversations with people like Peter, or Dan De Lion, or Ben Weiss and Wilson Alvarez, or read the work of authors like Derrick Jensen, the less and less I can sit back and be mild behind the microphone.

I don’t talk about my personal perspectives much, but these guests and their ideas spark that loud and boisterous side of myself as I grow tired and weary of the destruction and damage that is happening and want to see all of us pick up our tools and find out own salvation from this damaging culture that pushes us away from one another by telling us who to fear, why we can’t trust our neighbor, and must always be suspicious. We’re told to question science because it might tells us something we don’t like or can’t bring ourselves to accept because it conflicts with some preconceived world view. That because one of you is a republican and another is a democrat that those political leanings are so big that you can’t get along and realize that one’s guns and the other’s gays aren’t our problems, but are used as issues that drive a wedge between us and push us apart so those in power can stay there and dictate to us what is best, while serving their own self interest. That we are anesthetized with a news cycle of entertainment and shocking headlines. We are in the middle of ecological collapse and we’re told to spend our time worried about who is going to win some televised contest, or that a terrorist group thousands of miles away is going to come onto this soil and ruin our way of life when every day we listen to the people who are already ruining it for us. Those same people who tell us to be afraid and that we can’t change what’s happening anyway so should go back to our comfortable homes and turn up the heat if the winter is a little cold, or install a new air-conditioner if the summer’s seem hotter than normal, and ignore the droughts in California because the north-east got a record snow falls this year.

I’m tired. I’m tired of living in fear and listening to messages of scarcity. I’m tired of holding on to hope like it will make a difference, because it won’t. Action. Action will make a difference.

I love this world and each and every one of you so much that I want to see a place where we can all come together and live the best lives we can, in the world we want to see, even if we disagree over what that might look like, but to do it in a way that takes care of the earth, so we can have a home that we can live on indefinitely for ourselves and future generations. That we can take care of ourselves, and grow a little food to make sure we can eat and not go hungry, and to grow a little extra to feed our neighbor, regardless of what their religion, race, or creed might be.

That we can live, and love, and work together and give a damn about the difference we can make and tune out the messages that say we’re not enough, we are not good enough, that we can’t save the salmon, or reverse climate change, and that we should continue to trust in those who lie to us every day so that they can remain in power when we, each and every one of us, is powerful and capable of bringing about incredible change.

Rewild yourself and be free.

Whatever road you are on, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. Things might change with the podcast, I don’t know yet, but whatever happens I will continue to make myself available to anyone and everyone I can help. Call me. 717-827-6266. or Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com.

If you have some surplus and you can throw a little something my way, I’d appreciate it, because this podcast is all that I do for a living right now. Learn more at www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support or at www.patreon.com/permaculturepodcast

If you haven’t already you should join the Traveling Permaculture Library Project by emailing your name and address to Matt Winters, who is the new librarian for the project. You can reach him at:

librarian@thepermaculturepodcast.com

By doing so you will receive a random book related to permacutlure, the natural world, or the environment. All I ask is that once you receive a book and read it, to email Matt back and pass it along. Each book includes a sticker in the front cover with more information to make this process easier. The next books I’ll be shipping off to Matt for the library are:

Greg Marley Chanterrel Dreams, Amanita Nightmares
Beattie, Thompson, and Levine Working with Your Woodland
Richard Mabey Weeds
Stephen Barstow Around the World in 80 Plants

Until the next time, spend each day creating a better world, the world you want to live in, but taking care of earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
Rewild Portland
Rewild.com
Rewild.com Facebook Group
Wilderness Awareness School
First Nations
Decolonization (Wiki)
Pacific Northwest Foraging by Douglas Deur
Keeping it Living by Douglas Deur and Nancy Turner
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

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 Posted by at 08:00
Mar 182015
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

My guests for this episode are Violet Brill and her father “Wildman” Steve Brill.

Violet and Steve are foragers from New York. Violet assists her father on his plant tours, leading groups of people and teaching them about wild edibles. “Wildman” Steve, in addition to his tours and workshops, is the author of multiple books on foraging including Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places, The Wild Vegan Cookbook, and Foraging with Kids.

We use beginning foragers, including children, as the focus for this interview. We mostly discuss plants and mushrooms that are easy to identify and do not have any poisonous look-similars. We do include an example, which is wild carrot versus poison hemlock, to show that with care and a firm understanding of a plant you can identify and safely harvest edibles. We must pay attention however to do so.

As this is part of the series on foraging and wild foods, once you’ve listened to this episode I recommend going back through the archives and listening to the other shows including those with Dan De Lion, Sam Thayer, and Arthur Haines. Together they will provide you with a well rounded perspective on how to come to a knowledge of plants in the wild.

You can find out more about Violet and Steve at wildmanstevebrill.com. Also, if you have an iOS or Android smartphone, check out Wild Edibles and the Foraging Flashcard series. They are reasonably priced ways to begin learning more about wild plants wherever you are, and Wild Edibles is a go-anywhere field guide.

This interview reminds me of the role that a teacher can play in building confidence for a student to explore further. It was a friend of mine who mentioned Steve during a conversation she and I were having about foraging plants to make wild teas, as she had taken a class from him. Going on a foraging trip like this can allow you to taste some of these wild foods in a safe way and begin to have an understanding of the plants, without just grabbing a field guide and just trying to go out to eat. You get that first experience and can then learn and research more before going out solo. So slow down, take a few classes, spend time with your field guides, and then get started on your own.

I also like Steve’s approach to not forcing Violet to share his diet, but allowing her to explore her options while ensuring that she eats good healthy foods along the way. I see this as also extending to the way we teach our children. Include them in your activities, but also include yourself in theirs and encourage and support them to pursue their own interests, or help them to find mentors and teachers who can.

In this conversation Steve also provides solid simple encouragement to gradually begin eating this way. This reinforces slow and small solutions in all that we do, from dietary to landscape changes. Take a few bites of something, see whether you enjoy it or it causes a bit of upset, then decide whether more is right for you.

Finally, there was Steve’s story of Joe foraging for mushrooms and the importance of asking if we can harvest something. In the more specific sense, by contacting a landowner, but also by observing the plants around us and asking ourselves whether or not this is the right environment to harvest from. If there are only one or two plants, then perhaps we should leave them alone, or if they are rare encourage growth by dispersing seed and coming back in later years to see if there is enough to harvest.

From a permaculture perspective one of the reasons I love foraging as an activity comes from my exploration of the environmental education writers such as David Orr or David Sobel. Both of them talk about establishing a sense of place, a connection to where we live. Rather than teaching children, or for that matter adults, about the plights of far off places, let us foster an understanding of our own bioregion and biome. Foraging is an active activity that gets us out into the world looking at what grows there. While trying to identify one plant, by slowly reading and integrating our field guides, we are likely to begin to recognize non-edible plants, as well as rare or interesting medicinals. We begin to know, understand, and then care for this space more fully by returning to nature and the wilder world, and in the process begin to rewild ourselves.

From this conversation, next week is Peter Michael Bauer, of Rewild Portland, to discuss rewilding. We touch on that topic as the overarching theme, and also explore the impacts of civilization and how to prepare for the collapse we currently inhabit. It is a rather intense, but enjoyable, interview.

If you haven’t already you should join in the Traveling Permaculture Library Project by emailing your name and address to Matt Winters, who is the new librarian for the project. You can reach him at:

librarian@thepermaculturepodcast.com

By doing so you will receive a random book related to permacutlure, the natural world, and environment. All I ask is that once you receive a book and read it, to email Matt back and pass it along. Each book includes a sticker in the front cover with more information to make this process easier.

If at any point along the way I can help you, get in touch. Call: 717-827-6266 or Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com.

I’m also continuing to look for opportunities to take the show on the road and to record more live in-person interviews. Use that phone number or email address to get in touch if you would like to host or have someone in mind to get in touch with.

Finally, a few announcements before drawing this episode to a close.

This show, as I mention in the introduction to each show, is completely listener supported. So I need your help to keep the show on the air. The best way to do that right now is through recurring contributions with Patreon. Because this show exists in a digital world, I’ve reworked the rewards and the goals to make them more reasonable and clear, including the goal of raising $2700 a month to make this show a full time endeavor. I’m want to reach that goal by June 1 of this year, and am currently at $68 a month.

Please sign up if you are able as all support is now on a monthly rather than per episode basis and you can become a patron of the podcast for as little as $1. That entry level support allows allows you to receive episodes early and without commercials. You won’t hear announcements like this in the Patreon episodes, or from sponsors should I take any on. You can find out more about that, as well as where I’m at and what my goals are, at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast

If you are not in a place to give, I completely understand. I’ll keep on keeping on as long as I can, and you can always lend a hand by sharing links with your friends. Retweet or reply to tweets on twitter, where I am @permaculturecst, or join in the conversations on facebook. Facebook.com/thepermaculturepodcast.

From here I have a class announcement for my friends and colleagues Wilson Alvarez and Ben Weiss. They’re running a Permaculture Design Course in Harrisburg Pennsylvania beginning in April 25 and running on weekends through October.

I’m also looking to go back through the archives and re-release some more “Best Of….” episodes with new introductions and endings to share some of the more popular guests in new ways. Let me know if there are any particular episodes that stand out to you that you would like to hear as part of that series.

That about covers it for now. Until the next time, spend each day creating a better world, the world you want to live in, but taking care of earth, your self, and each other.

Resources
Wildman Steve Brill
Wildman Steve Brill’s Books

Dan De Lion’s Interview
Sam Thayer’s Interview
Arthur Haines’ Interview (1)
Arthur Haines (2)

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 Posted by at 08:00
Mar 112015
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

My guest for this episode is Stephen Barstow, author of Around the World in 80 Plants.

Today we talk about his incredibly diverse garden in Norway where he grows over 2,000 edible plants in a rather small space. We begin with his background and how he came to have an interest in edibles, from his beginnings as a foraging vegetarian, through to his beginning to eat and collect plants from wherever he traveled. He shares with us his love of edible ornamentals, or what Stephen calls edimentals, and he also recommends some to start with when first beginning to introduce more of these species into your garden. One of my favorites, not mentioned in the interview proper, are nasturtiums.

What’s incredible to me is that Stephen is growing so many different varieties on such a small amount of space, which echoes what I learned from Holly Brown, and yet he’s doing it in a northerly climate. Less than a quarter acre, or 1/10th of a hectare, and he has over 2,000 different plants. At 64 degrees North latitude.

I knew that was fairly far up, but didn’t have a real understanding until I compared it to other cities and saw that this is the same latitude as Fairbanks, Alaska. I took this a step further and checked the Koppen-Geiger climate classification and confirmed that where Stephen is corresponds with other Northerly latitudes, yet he’s growing all these plants. It’s just amazing.

I’m including the copy of this book, which I received from Chelsea Green, in the Traveling Permaculture Library project. If you haven’t joined that cycle of giving yet, email your name and address to Matt Winters, who is the new librarian for the project. You can reach him at:

librarian@thepermaculturepodcast.com

Regardless of where you live, you can grow some of your own food. You can design for your space, your climate, and take steps towards self sufficiency and creating a better world, whatever that may mean to you. You can move a few dollars from one system and into the systems you want to intentionally support.

If at any point along the way I can help you, get in touch. Call: 717-827-6266 or Email: show@thepermaculturepodcast.com.

I’m also continuing to look for opportunities to take the show on the road and to record more live in-person interviews. Use that phone number or email address to get in touch if you would like to host or have someone in mind to get in touch with.

Finally, a few announcements before drawing this episode to a close.

This show, as I mention in the introduction to each show, is completely listener supported. So I need your help to keep the show on the air. The best way to do that right now is through recurring contributions with Patreon. You can find out more about that, as well as where I’m at and what my goals are, at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast.

If you are not in a place to give, that’s fine. I’ll keep on keeping on as long as I can, and you can always lend a hand by sharing links with your friends. Retweet or reply to tweets on twitter, where I am @permaculturecst, or join in the conversations on facebook. Facebook.com/thepermaculturepodcast.

From here, I have a class announcement for my friends and colleagues Wilson Alvarez and Ben Weiss. They’re running a Permaculture Design Course in Harrisburg Pennsylvania beginning in April 25 and running on weekends through October. Search for Downtown Harrisburg Permaculture Course on Facebook to find more information on the events page, or follow the link in the show notes.

Coming up for the podcast I have interviews with “Wildman” Steve Brill on foraging, Peter Michael Bauer on Rewilding, and I’ll be sitting down with Jen Mendez, of PermieKids.com, to record a two part interview. I’ll interview her for the first half, which will appear on this show, and then she is going to interview me for the second half the will appear on her podcast. It should be fun.

I’m also looking to go back through the archives and re-release some more “Best Of….” episodes with new introductions and endings to share some of the more popular guests in new ways.

That about covers it for now. Until the next time, spend each day creating a better world, the world you want to live in, but taking care of earth, your self, and each other.

Resources:

Edimentals.com (Stephen’s Website)
Around the World in 80 Plants (Chelsea Green Publishers)
Around the World in 80 Plants (Permanent Publications)
Sturtevants Edible Plants of the World (PDF. Large File)

Downtown Harrisburg Permaculture Course

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 Posted by at 08:00
Mar 072015
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

A picture of Wintershaven

A view from the pond at Wintershaven in the early 21st century.

This episode is a re-release of the story written and recorded by Matt Winters, the librarian for the Traveling Permaculture Library Project and a graduate of my first online Permaculture Design Class.

This story was his response to an assignment to imagine what each student’s design site would look like over time. To step forward 100 years and then work back to the present. Through this he they could explore how, when, and why to implement various pieces of his design, and that it could carry on once he was no longer part of the process.

Here Matt answers all those questions in an engaging narrative that shows the power of storytelling.

From feedback I’ve received over the years since the initial release of this episode in November of 201, many of you have connected with the long view that Matt took in considering how his choices now can impact his family for many generations to come. I listen to this piece from time to time, and read the story copied below, as a reminder to slow down and remember that the changes I make today will echo down through history. I have a responsibility to myself and to future generations.

Enjoy.

The Gift

Allene awoke to the sound of the song bird at her window again. The cool spring breeze from that window was beginning to warm with the early morning rays of sun. Carried on the breeze were faint traces of the perfumed blossoms of the fruit trees in the backyard food forest. She got up and quickly dressed as she knew her chores would need to be completed before her mother allowed her to start her studies.

Being self-schooled Allene had read about the educational systems of the past and pitied those poor children in their government schools of long ago. They were never able to delve deeply into the subjects that interested them most – for Allene it was nature.

She threw open the back door of her home and put on her garden work boots before heading to the shed to fill the feed bucket for the hens. Her routine was to carry the feed down to the hen house and exchange it for the day’s egg harvest – hens willing. Along the way she would walk through the “garden” where her dad tended some annuals in amongst the many varieties of perennial food plants. She would pick anything that looked past its prime and add that to her feed bucket as an extra incentive for the one or two broody hens. She had learned to pick her battles.

The hens provided plenty of eggs for the family and the surplus was sold to pay for their feed which supplemented their foraging. But on this land it wasn’t just the hens that enjoyed a bountiful foraging experience. Allene had heard the stories of when her ancestors settled this land over 100 years ago and how they had laid out a plan for building a sustainable homestead that would feed their family for generations. Now, as she looked at the land around her she tried to imagine what it must have been like for her great-grandfather those many years ago.

He had named the homestead Wintershaven – after the family name, and while his original plans had been modified many times by his descendants the overall goals remained the same. Each year at the annual harvest festival when family and neighbors gathered at her home, Allene listened to the telling of the story and stared hard at the pictures on the wall of her family’s dining room. She could almost hear her great-grandfather speaking the story himself.

On her tenth birthday she had been given access to the family archives and had read her great-grandfathers words in his own (sloppy) hand writing. It was from those words that she had found her life’s calling. She realized at that time something she had only vaguely sensed up to that time – that all this was for her.

The laying boxes were empty of hens today as she stood on top of a block her father had placed for her to be able to see in the top boxes. Reaching in to each box she retrieved the eggs, some of which were still warm from their recent laying and placed them gently into her basket. She filled the feeder as the hens scrambled around her feet cackling at her quietly as if to fill her in on the day’s news. They became very excited as she tossed some over-ripe fruit and wilted greens to them and she watched as they worked out their literal pecking order.

Before returning to the house she looked up to survey the trees overhanging the chickens’ yard. There were mulberry trees that were taller than any structure on the farm – their fruits ripening in the morning sun. She knew that as the fruits began to drop into the pen her feed bucket would get lighter as the chickens filled up every day on the bounty dropping from the sky. That had been part of the plan, laid out those many years ago in an effort to address the looming issues of the failing society of which her great-grandfather was a part. Every plant, every structure, every land feature should have multiple functions – he had written.

The mulberries provided shade for the chickens and protection from hawks. Its fruit would feed the chickens in times where feed was hard to come by. The leaf drop would mulch the soil and add to the chicken manure to revitalize the ground when the chickens were shifted to their other paddocks. Wood from the mulberries was used for structures throughout the farm – even her crib had been made of mulberry wood and later recycled as a brooder for baby chicks. Produce no waste had been one of the often quoted phrases in her family for generations.

Past the mulberries she could see that the new understory plantings she had helped her father put in last fall were growing well. The hazels were bright green amongst the many varieties of cane fruits and herbs. Beyond that the older fruiting trees, may haws, paw paws and young pecan trees were now fully leafed out and benefiting from the recent rains. The land beneath these trees undulated gently in a series of catchments that slowed and retained the rain as it fell and moved across the landscape. The term her great-grandfather had used was “swales” when he dug those ditches so many years ago.

Allene had been almost 9 years old before she realized these types of changes to the land’s shape were not natural occurrences. At first it had bothered her that someone would mess with nature in that way, but as she visited neighbors’ farms around the area she noticed the ones doing well all had similar earthworks of differing ages.

The abandoned farms at the end of the road had none of these but the land there was still barren from the 20-year drought her grandmother told her about and no one had lived on those farms since. Several folks had talked of rehabilitating those places but with only shovels and strong backs to work with it would take years to do what her great-grandfather had done in mere weeks – back when the oil still flowed. But it took that drought back in the 70’s and the decline of cheap energy for Allene’s family to realize the value of the land they had inherited.

Allene shook her head to clear the daydream she was enjoying as she stood in the chicken yard with hens pecking about her feet. She picked up the egg basket and the feed bucket and headed back to the shed. After securing the shed she brought the eggs in to the summer kitchen just off the back porch of her family’s home and proceeded to clean then sort the eggs. The ones that were uniform in color and shape she would place carefully into well used cartons to take to the neighbors on the mid-week delivery list. The others she left in the basket placed in the indoor kitchen for her mother to use for the day’s meals. Just a few more chores and she could return to reading that “new” old book from her family’s library.

She hurried out the door again and was met this time by a huge hairy monster of a dog that proceeded to “kiss” her all over. Baxter was as excited as Allene was annoyed by his affections. The dog was part of the homestead and a hard worker, but he seemed to like interacting with his human –pack members as much as he enjoyed protecting the feathered ones. After what she thought was a thorough ear scratching Allene continued on her mission up the hill to the solar well house. The pump was humming quietly as the sun tracked higher into the sky and the storage tank was filling nicely. The family used this water for irrigating the kitchen garden in the front yard and it was Allene’s responsibility to open the valve from the storage tank to the irrigation system for 20 minutes each morning (unless it had rained the night before).

The irrigation system was something her great-grandfather had written about but never had the time to implement in his lifetime. In fact, it wasn’t until the electric grid went down for a whole year and the water from the rural water district stopped flowing that her grandfather was forced to install the solar well pump and storage tank. Her father told her he had been her age at the time and complained bitterly at the amount of work he was tasked with. As part of the project they also ran piping throughout the property for irrigation – completing this project just 5 years before the great-drought. It was a large part of what saved the homestead from the fate of so many others at that time. Her father learned his lesson and reminded her of this anytime she complained about hard work.

Her last chore was Allene’s favorite. For the 20 minutes it took to irrigate the kitchen garden she was tasked with the daily foraging walk. Retrieving her big basket from the summer kitchen counter she headed out on a well-worn path that would take her to the back of the family’s property and back. Her fondest and earliest memories as a young child were of toddling along with one or both of her parents as they daily walked the trail around the property to retrieve whatever was in season at the time. Tending a struggling plant here, chopping and dropping some branches there to let in light for the plants below, finding hidden gems of nature everywhere – enjoying the goodness of the land was her favorite thing in the whole world.

Her parents would patiently teach her as they walked together, what plants were good to eat and when, what plants had special needs and how to meet those. She learned the names of the plants and trees and helped transplant out whatever the family had decided to add that year. Most of what they planted was merely propagated from cuttings or seeds collected elsewhere on the property. It was their responsibility, her father had said, to plant the trees that their grandchildren would eat from. But she came to realize early on that planting a tree was not enough to insure its success. She learned about companion plantings and guilds that her family had developed over the years to give each plant a better chance of success by meeting its needs with a nearby planting.

Her grandmother called it, their “garden of eatin’”, and what a garden it was. Chestnuts and pecans formed the upper canopy layer with large old oaks filling in a few gaps. Allene marveled at how those oaks were probably growing here when her great-grandfather purchased the land and began its transformation. Multiple varieties of multiple species of multiple types of fruit trees and nut trees formed the understory. She could see the peaches and plums were already fully in bloom as the bees from her mother’s hives buzzed about lazily. The almonds and the edible dogwoods were just starting to develop blooms.

Climbing these understory trees she could count 6 different types of vining plants including muscadine grapes, hardy kiwi, maypops, and hops that her dad used in brewing his nasty beer. Squirrels darted amongst the vines and up the trees and chattered at her in protest as they did every morning. Shrubs surrounded most of the trees and some of these would produce fruit for the jellies and jams she would make with her mother in the coming months. Below these shrubs there were culinary and medicinal herbs whose Latin names she still struggled with but whose uses she could recite like her life depended on it – and sometimes it did.

Every day there was something new to see or learn about. Many was the day she would spend the afternoon researching some pest or plant she had come across during this morning walk – thank goodness for her family’s extensive library of books about the natural world. Every day she would return to her home with her basket filled with delicious foods for the family meals that day. On many occasions her mother would leave her a note to gather certain medicinal plants to use in her practice as she went about caring for the others in the community. Sometimes her father would have her check his traps along her walk – a job she hated but understood its importance.

As she would grow and learn she would come to realize that these walks were really a walk back in time. For her the path had always been one of provision and sustenance but she knew it had not always been this way. Some of the trees she planted with her parents last year wouldn’t provide food for anyone for 10 years or more. Some of the trees she harvested from were older than her father and had been put here for this very purpose – to provide abundance for her family by those she had never met.

She knew enough about the greater world around her to know that she had been given a gift by her ancestors in the way they had tended this land. She knew it was her duty to continue this tradition for those who would come after her. The weight of that responsibility was lifted each day by the joy she felt as she explored the path laid out before her. Allene hurried along, gathering good things as she went. She was looking forward to getting back home so she could blow the dust off that old book she’d found in the family’s library with her great-grandfather’s hand written notes in the margins. It was a book about a subject called Permaculture, and she was eager to learn what that meant.

(Used with permission from Matt Winters.)

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 Posted by at 08:00
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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