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This episode is the second half of a two-part Susquehanna Permaculture Round Table discussion that took place at my friend Seppi’s house on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Since Charles Eisenstein had to leave after the first recording, this piece features Ben Weiss and Dave Jacke as the panelists, and includes several members of the live home audience joining in to share their thoughts and questions on the topics at hand.
With a mixture of humor and honesty we continue talking about how to become right with ourselves and others in order to find and build community, and right livelihood. Be sure and check out the first episode, which includes Charles Eisenstein on the panel, if you haven’t heard it already.
You can find out more about the panelists from this session at their respective websites. susquehannapc.com for Ben, and edibleforestgardens.com for Dave.
If you would like to study with Dave he is teaching a 9 day intensive course on Forest Garden Design from October 2 – 11, 2015 at Feathered Pipe Ranch, near Helena Montana. This is the first time in three years that this course has been offered in the United States. This all inclusive class allows students to learn how to mimic forest ecosystems that include a number of valuable characteristics including stability and resilience. As with the recent interviews with Dave this have expressed, you can also expect this course to explore the human side of design including the social and economic elements. Participants will also have the opportunity to design multiple forest garden, including one for the course site as well as for the 6th Ward Forest Garden Park to be installed in Helena.
Find out more about this course at insideedgedesign.com/upcoming-events, or via the link in the show notes.
So, I’ve been resting on any kind of extended commentary about all of this until after the second half, this piece, came out, which included brevity with the ending for the conversation with Penny Livingston-Stark, because all three dealt a great deal with that personal or inner landscape work.
My personal work in that direction has lead me to understand more fully my personal niche and role. As much as I may desire to be a certain type of person, as indicated in this conversation, I’m not. At the end of the day I’m your friendly neighborhood podcast host, teacher, and network builder. It’s funny how hard it was to come to terms with that, but the more I do so the easier this work is.
The three hours or so of material, and conversations held with others in the time since, left me in a place where the answers to the questions at hand lead to more questions and more conversations. Alexis’ interest in building community in Reading. My interest in right livelihood and turning the podcast into a full-time career. Ethical purity, and the imagery Charles set forth about being a good person at the end of the the first round table segment.Then two days after this I had a big conversation with Wil and Eli and Jono in-person and we talked about many of the things covered in the last few podcast episodes and what it means to live right with yourself, to be honest, and to make it all work, which in turn moved us towards community. I looked back through the responses to the listener poll I posted a while back, and recurring themes that advertisers are okay by you if that means that I can keep doing this, and that people were looking for more than a podcast to be a part of, but for a larger project. The anger you heard me express at the beginning of this conversation, after years of it being something consuming in my youth, is now a source of creativity and energy.
Coming out of this I’m approaching certain individuals within the community searching for appropriate sponsors to turn the podcast into something more. I’m also working with a number of retailers and others in order to add more value for recurring Patreon members. Currently there are 10% discounts available at Field and Forest Products, and PermieKids for folks who join that service at $5 or more per month.
But that is just about the show. The more interesting part comes with a different project. One way or another I am building a permaculture center and community that can focus on education and research in a completely legal manner, that in turn become an incubator and model for other such projects, and locate it in an area near other cities and communities where there are ordinances and zoning issues that need to be resolved in order to be created, to solve some of the underlying problems when everything we want to do is illegal and there are structures in place that keep us from living in community with one another.
At the moment there is a piece of property in my township that is currently available for purchase that is nearly perfect for this purpose. Over 15 acres with a portion is zoned commercial with several buildings including a house, and the rest is high-density residential. It is near multiple interstates and highways, an international airport, a train depot, and bus station. It is within day-trip distance from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Balitmore, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
I am also already involved in local politics as I sit on the Parks and Recreation Board for the township, know many of the gatekeepers, and have been involved in changing ordinances. I’ve already begun working with my law firm to investigate the possibility, and working with others in the Susquehanna Permaculture community to keep the energy going while I work on some of the nuts and bolts details.
I’ve reached out to The Possibility Alliance and ThePOOSH as a sort of sanity check to see if this is a reasonable thing to do and the feedback they shared was that this is the kind of example site that is needed because it exists where people are. Community leaders from throughout the region can be invited to drop in when it is convenient and see what is happening. Multiple perspectives and thoughts can be shared from the individuals and families working and, in the long term, living onsite.
But I can’t do this alone and need the broader permaculture community to raise the funds to make this happen. Being me, of course, I want to do it a different way and not run a go-fund me or other electronic crowdfunding campaign. Let’s use a low-tech, high-touch approach.
If you are in a place to assist with this launch call people you know and tell them you are in support of a project that can help to create the world you want to live in and you are asking the person on the other end of that call if they can give in support of the same. Or write them a letter expressing your desire to see something like this come forth into the world.
Give them the firstname.lastname@example.org address if they can send something via PayPal, or the mailing address for the show if they want to give by post:
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018
Spread the word and let people know what’s happening, what we are doing here together.
Join in the permaculture center and community conversation here:
If you have any questions about this call: 717-827-6266 or email: email@example.com.
From here I’ll be a guest instructor at Jude Hobb’s Teacher Training, in cooperation with Beyond Organic Design, the evening of Sunday June 28, 2015, at the Commons in Brooklyn. I believe that evening is open to the public so if you are in the area and want to stop by my lecture is from 730pm to 9pm. More information about that is at beyondorganicdesign.org.
August 20 – 23 I’ll be at Radicle Gathering in Bowling Green, Kentucky, running a Permaculture question and answer session on Friday afternoon, a community vision workshop on Saturday morning, and delivering the Saturday night keynote address. Eric Puro of ThePOOSH will also be there as the Friday night Keynote speaker. If you are in the area come out and join in the fun of workshops, live music, and a whole bunch of people coming together to explore how to build resilient communities. radiclegathering.org.
September 12, 2015 I’ll be at the RiversideProject recording a live permaculture round table. September 18 I’m looking to return to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania to check out this year’s event. More details on those two as I get closer to those events. I am also in touch with the organizers of the Urban Permaculture Conference, being held in NY, NY from October 23-25 about covering and presenting at the event.
If you are an organizer who would like me to come cover or speak at your event, drop me a line through the usual means.
Until the next time take care of earth, your self, and each other.