Nov 192015

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Image Source: Dillon Cruz (


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Today’s episode continues the faith and earth care series through a conversation with Dillon Naber Cruz, one of the co-instructors of my Permaculture Design Course in 2010. Dillon was also one of the first guests on the podcast back in 2012 when the show moved to the regular interview format.  Then we talked about the idea of paying permaculture forward through our actions. Today we delve into his perspective on the intersection between Christianity and Permaculture, a subject he is exploring intensely during his preparations to enter seminary.

Heading into this interview, I’d like to begin with my thoughts on what follows.

These conversations about Faith and Earth Care generate the most feedback I’ve ever received on any of the topics presented on this podcast. As our community continues to discuss whether permaculture is just a design system or a movement, and the role of spirituality has in that dialog, this material is of ever more importance. You’ll find that Dillon expands on this through a personal view on his faith, mixed with a call to apply the moral teachings of Christ with the ethical entreatments of permaculture.

Having known Dillon for a long time, I expected this to be a passionate conversation, and it defnitely is. More so, I never found him to hold back, mince words, or shy away from expressing political views, and he definitely doesn’t today. Anyone is likely to find a few moments in this conversation that are a little uncomfortable, but left with a lot to consider once we reach the end.

This interview came about from a series of articles, titled The Christian Call to Earth Care, that Dillon wrote for his blog that blend together faith, politics, and biblical scholarship. You can read those and more of his work at:

As I opened the episode with my views on this interview, there are no more to follow, but you can get in touch with me and share your thoughts by phone at 717-827-6266 or by emailing:

If you’d like you can also drop something in the mail, and we can correspond by post.

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

And a few announcements.

The Possibility Handbook, a project with Ethan Hughes, continues. Ethan confirmed with me that January 16-23, 2016 we will record a series of new interviews together at The Possibility Alliance as the draft manuscript of the book. This listener exclusive fundraiser to make this project happen is seeking to raise $5,000 by the end of this year. That’s less than six weeks away and we’ve got some distance to go to get there. If you would like to hear and see more of Ethan’s passion and perspective in the world, in a guide to create the world you want to live in, make a pledge today.

Also, would you like to spend three weeks in Costa Rica learning permaculture with Joshua Peaceseeker and other instructors at Joshua’s farm, Verdenergia? You still have time to enter the drawing to win this opportunity.

Until the next time, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

From here on Thursday, November 26, Sandor Katz joins me to talk about wild fermentation. After that, on December 3, Brad Lancaster returns to discuss the Desert Harvesters, community, and urban water catchment.


Creation Care, Neighbor Care, Future Care (Dillon’s Website)
The Christian Call to Earth Stewardship
The Christian Call to Earth Stewardship II: Permaculture Jesus?

The Possibility Handbook Crowdfunding Campaign
Costa Rica PDC Drawing

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 Posted by at 09:00
Nov 122015

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Image Source: WMU Gibbs House Website


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My guests for this episode are Derek Kanwischer, the Project Manager for the Office for Sustainability at Western Michigan University, and Joshua Shultz, the Permaculture Program Coordinator at Gibbs House. Our conversation today revolves around Gibbs House and the work of the Office of Sustainability at WMU to practice permaculture onsite, including research and implement, and create a demonstration model of sustainable practices. We also talk about student fellows that live and work at Gibbs house, including the research projects, as well as funding, and the involvement of the university.

If you are interested in permaculture that involves education, policy, research, or demonstration, this is a show to listen to.

What I liked about this conversation was the way in which universities can get involved to advance permaculture, without needing it to be a core part of the curriculum, but a place for students and others to research and explore in ways that connects with their academic study. Both sides win.

I also wonder how programs like the one at Gibbs House and WMU can influence larger movements on college campuses regarding sustainability. Will these ideas gain traction? Is there a place for higher education and permaculture to mingle? Or should they remain separate?

What are your thoughts on the intersection of academia and permaculture? Let me know. Leave a comment or get in touch.

Call: 717-827-6266

You can also drop something in the mail.

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

And few short announcements.

As this show comes out, the listener exclusive crowdfunding campaign to create The Possibility Handbook, a project with Ethan Hughes, is underway and thank you to everyone who supported this effort so far. If you would like to hear and see more of Ethan’s passion and perspective brought into the world make a pledge today.

Also, time is running out to enter the drawing for a Costa Rican PDC at Verdenergia, being offered by Joshua Peaceseeker and other instructors. You can still enter but time is limited so get your’s in soon.

From here, next week I visit with an old friend and one of the earliest guests on the show, to talk with Dillon Nabor Cruz in another release in the Faith and Permaculture series. After that Sandor Katz joins me to delve into the wild world of fermentation.

Until we meet again, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

Western Michigan University Office of Sustainability
Gibbs House
Cedar Creek Permaculture Farm (Joshua’s Personal Site)

The Possibility Handbook Crowdfunding Campaign
Costa Rica PDC Drawing

Four Seasons Farm / Elliot Coleman
Jean Pain (Wikipedia)
Galen Brown
Galen Brown’s Compost-Energy Systems

The Island School
Cape Eleuthera Institute

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 Posted by at 08:00
Nov 052015

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My guest for this episode is Peter Michael Bauer, who returns to share with us his thoughts on the distinction between human versus conservation rewilding, and a critique of what they get right and what they get wrong as we develop the understanding and language to discuss these broad, far reaching views on how to undo domestication of people and of the land. Peter also shares a bit more detail on the nature of rewilding, how people come to this subject through different movements, and how the nature of un-domesticating humanity is still something being explored, because each of us exists in the modern world and with that face different choices framed by the larger culture we are a part of. Quite a bit just to introduce where the conversation goes, while still barely scratching the surface of what we cover.

You can find more of his work at his personal website, Urban Scout. Peter is also a regular contributor to and the Rewild Facebook group, and his educational nonprofit is

A few announcements, before my thoughts that close out this episode.

The first is that in order to make mobile browsing easier, especially through podcast apps like iTunes, there is now a resource section in this episode with clear links to all the information and offerings mentioned in the episode so you don’t have to look for in-line links to find anything. You can expect to find this as a regular feature in episodes moving forward, and I’ll backfill older episodes as time allows.

As this show comes out there are just over three weeks remaining until the drawing for the permaculture design course at Joshua Peaceseeker’s farm, Verdenergia, in Costa Rica. You can still enter, but the drawing is limited to not more than 50 entries, so get yours in soon.

I am also running a listener only crowdfunding campaign to support a trip to The Possibility Alliance (should I call it The Possibility Handbook?) where Ethan Hughes and I sit down to record tens of hours of audio for the creation of a book that digs in deeper to his philosophy and perspective. If you like Ethan’s interviews support this project by making a pledge today.

Adam Brock is also writing, People and Pattern, which has a crowdfunding campaign that ends on Friday, November 6. Let’s push his goal way over the top by supporting this project. You can find out more about his work on social and economic permaculture by listening to our interview from 2013, Invisible Structures with Adam Brock.

If you’d like to get in touch with me and the show, call 717-827-6266 or email:

Final among these announcements, there is a bit of swearing near the end in this conversation, just to let you know in case you listen at work.

I entered this conversation with only a cursory knowledge of conservation rewilding and speaking with Peter reinforced a simple point that is made self-evident with permaculture: people are a part of all the systems we design. Even as we might work to design ourselves out of direct impact, the act of design is a human practice. So is reintroducing wolves to the American Midwest. Yes, they were once native there and we removed them, but we also changed the environment they are returning to. The place they came from will never be what we might project onto it through our vision and actions.

This kind of influence is not limited to the modern era. We have an anthropological and historical record that stretches back for tens of thousands of years that shows that humanity modified the environment for our use. We are social animals and tool makers with big brains and an intelligence that allows us to change the world. Let’s use that gift for the benefit of all life, starting with our own.

Question the cultural stories you hear, including the news and the beliefs you grew up with. See how those narratives serve the hierarchies that seeks to keep you tame. Reconnect with the land, even the heavily modified city environments. Find what lives there, what grows there. Get to know the names of the plants, animals, and fungi so you can learn more about them, including the yields useful to you and other life, but remember that the name is not the subject being named and there is more than we can hold in our thoughts. As you do this, tend to that space, care for the life that inhabits the area, including your family, friends, and neighbors. Share food and new stories together. Take action in the ways you are able, but put yourself out there. Make some noise. Show others what they are capable of. Show how they can tend themselves and the land.

We are more than the worst decisions our culture ever made. Let’s go make some better ones, that takes care of earth, ourselves, and each other.

Episode 1513: Rewilding Permaculture with Peter Michael Bauer
Urban Scout
Rewild Facebook Page
Rewild Portland

Costa Rica PDC Giveaway
The Ethan Hughes Book Project (The Possibility Handbook?)
People and Pattern Crowdfunding Campaign
Invisible Structures with Adam Brock

Rewilding North America by Dave Foreman
The Biggest Estate on Earth by Bill Gammage
Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson
Restoring the Pacific Northwest
Feral by George Monbiot
Keeping it Living, edited by Doug Deur and Nancy Turner
Tom Brown, Jr.
Anarcho-Primitivism (Wikipedia)
Reclaim Rewild (scribd)

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Oct 292015

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My guest today is Lisa Rose, author most recently of Midwest Foraging, which was supposed to be the basis of our conversation and we do touch on that some, but also spend our time telling stories about family traditions; place and the lands we each feel connected to; and how foraging and food can return seasonality to our lives, along with a host of new flavors, once we leave the grocery store behind. There’s also a digression in the middle about nocino, an Italian sipping liquer, which you can find a recipe for at Lisa’s site, Burdock and Rose, and pick up a copy of her book at Timber Press.

When it comes to Midwest Foraging I agree with the quote from Sam Thayer that graces the cover, “A beautiful book that any forager in the Midwest will want to own.” As there is an overlap in plants from this book to where I am in the Mid-Atlantic, it’s a good addition to those book shelves as well.

The layout and format leads to a book that you can, as Dan De Lion recommended, spend time with to leisurely browse and read to build a familiarity with plants which you can then begin to recognize as you go about your daily walks or journeys into the landscape.The entries, which are arranged alphabetically around a common name, include the latin binomial name, very important for proper discussion and identification, along with which parts are edible, a short introduction, and one to a few color pictures. Common features you’ll find in many field guides include descriptive text, how and what to gather, how to eat the plants, and, where necessary, cautions about poisonous plants that have similar identifying features.

Where this book stands out from some earlier field guides is the inclusion of information on where and when to gather, very important for knowing the right time of year to look for a particular plant; and notes about future harvests. This latter portion in particular caught my attention because using those entries we can wildcraft ethically to insure plants are available for ongoing use and so we can tend to Zone 4 and the wild places.

With 115 plants included, Midwest Foraging covers a lot of ground and is a good first choice for a beginning forager in the region covered. For more experienced folks with a larger library this is a valuable companion to include with your other field guides.

Add a copy to your library by ordering from Timber Press or your local retailer, where the book lists for $24.95.

If you enjoyed this conversation with Lisa and would like to add your thoughts to the discussion, or your own review of Midwest Foraging, leave a comment below. You can also contact me if you have any questions or if there is a way I can assist you on your permaculture path by emailing or calling 717-827-6266.

As this episode comes out a reminder that there is less than a month until the drawing for the Permaculture Design Course at Joshua Peaceseeker’s farm Verdenergia in Costa Rica. You still have time to enter, but as this is limited to not more than 50 entries, get yours in today!

An update on those show notes for mobile users. Whether you use iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, or another podcast catcher, thanks to some feedback from listeners you will now see the complete show notes in the episode feed. That includes links to make browsing and connecting easier when you are on the go.

Part of that update did required a change to the RSS feed for the podcast, so if you go into your app you will now see it includes the 75 most recent episodes available, or a little over a year of content. If you want to explore deeper into the past shows, you will find the available past episodes on the archives page.

If you haven’t heard the episode yet, I recently announced more information about the book I’m writing with Ethan Hughes. If you like his work and want to support that creation, more information is available at

Another book in need of our assistance is from past guest and good friend of the show Adam Brock who is writing his treatise on social permaculture, People and Patterns. That campaign is at:

From here for the next interview Peter Michael Bauer returns to discuss human versus conservation rewilding.

Until then, eat some wild foods, learn about plants, and spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

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Oct 282015


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This page is to officially announce that Ethan Hughes and I are writing a book together, and to support this project I’m running a campaign with Ethan’s permission that is only available to listeners of the podcast and people in the know. If you’re listening right now or found this because someone shared it with you, you are one of those people.

Ethan approached me about this project several months ago as he’s been asked to do something like this in the past, but never felt comfortable before. The times that he and I spoke together, however, created the right space to collect all his thoughts, while I act as the audience to ask questions that add to the final breadth of material we cover.

In doing this Ethan is giving the manuscript and rights to the material to me as a gift to share with the world and to support the podcast. In doing that I want to give back to him by insuring that this material is accessible by offering it on the podcast website where it can be read online for free, and also as a low cost e-book, and in a print form that meets the ethics of permaculture. This alone is quite a task and why I ask you to help me bring his passion, story, and perspective into the world.

Our plan begins with me visiting Ethan this Fall or Winter to have a series of recorded conversations structured around a class Ethan created that focuses on how to live intentionally, and includes information about the on the ground reality of living with the deep intent as he has chosen as a way of life; the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of his work, The Possibility Alliance, and how that can build community; and communicating in order to resolve conflict.

His talk can take up to 15 hours when he’s the main speaker, and together we expect to record 30 to 40 hours of audio during our time together. Under normal circumstances, that is quite an endeavor, but on a farm with no power and without taking a computer with me so that I might honor how the community lives, it becomes a more interesting challenge.

For that reason in this initial campaign my goal is to raise $5,000 to purchase equipment designed for high quality recording in the field that doesn’t require large quantities of disposable batteries, a backup recorder to insure we capture all the audio, and a round trip train ticket to and from La Plata, Missouri. As a stretch goal, raising $7,000 allows me to purchase and take along a DSLR camera and associated equipment to record video and take pictures. Anything raised beyond these goals that aren’t used on the project will be donated to The Possibility Alliance as a gift from you and this podcast community to theirs.

The pledge and reward levels are:

Pledge $10 to receive an early final copy of the ebook, including an advance copy before the manuscript goes to the press, inclusion of your name on the thank you pages of both the electronic copies of the book, as well as to exclusive stretch goal pictures and videos.

Pledge $50 to receive a signed copy of the final printed book, early access to draft and final chapters, transcripts of the audio files, and everything at the lower levels.

Pledge $100 to receive a signed copy of the final printed book; access to all the audio interview files and all the stretch goal photos and videos; and everything at the earlier levels.

As this is a listener exclusive campaign, early access to the ebook, the chapter drafts, transcripts, audio, and video are only available to those who support this campaign.

The current expectation is to have the early access materials, including audio and video, to you by the Fall of 2016, though with ongoing rolling releases from the time I return to when everything is complete, with the final printed book releasing in the first half of 2017.

Financial support isn’t the only way to assist this project. Tell people why a book from Ethan Hughes matters to you. Share the link to this campaign on social media. Get the word out so we can all benefit from having his experiences and knowledge available to everyone in the permaculture community and beyond.

Link them to:

You can use the links at each level, or those below, to connect to PayPal today.

Pledge $10
Pledge $50
Pledge $100

Or if you prefer you can send something via the post to:

Ethan Hughes Book
℅ The Permaculture Podcast
P.O Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

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 Posted by at 09:48