Aug 182014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Michael Judd, a permaculture practitioner from Frederick, MD, and the author of Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist. You can here his first interview on the podcast here: http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2014/michaeljudd/

I recorded this conversation when I visited Michael to discuss his book. You will find a link to that first interview in the show notes.
During this interview we talk about a wide variety of subject regarding getting ones hands dirty with permaculture, both figuratively and literally including his work with international permaculture in Nicaragua as part of Project Bonafide, as well as professional permaculture and just getting out there and doing the work, whether in the landscape or whatever else your dream might be.

I’m left feeling a bit blown away from putting this episode together because of the raw energy of the conversation. Get out there. Find what you love. Do it.

Overall I enjoyed this conversation because of the give and take, the dialog, that occurs by being in person with someone to record the interview, as you’ve heard here or with Ben Weiss and Wilson Alvarez, or in the Susquehanna Permaculture Round Table discussion. Help me meet more of these great guests and increase the level of candor in the conversation by supporting the show. Find out how to make an ongoing contribution by visiting:

Find out more about Michael and his book at his website, Ecologia Design.

www.ecologiadesign.com

Class Announcement
Jen Mendez at PermieKids.com has the following Edge Alliances coming up.

Sunday, September 7th 6:00-7:00 p.m. (EST) *NOTE: THIS IS A NEW DATE

Collaborate with other educators and parents from Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) on the following questions:

• What does it mean to be a mathematical person?
• What have we, the educators, experienced throughout our lives that have helped us develop a playful attitude and curious nature towards mathematics?
• How can we explore and approach math with children in a way that meets them not only where they are, but also where they are going?

Sunday, September 21st 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)

Meet Kelly and educator from Mother Earth School and Marissa, a PERMIE KIDs parent, educator, and founder of PermaCognition who recently attended the Advanced Permaculture for Youth and Child Educators program, and join us for a lively discussion on the following questions:

• What sort of knowledge, concepts, or skills are needed to have a solid foundation as a permaculture youth and child educator?
• What sort of things are integrated into the environment of a permaculture-minded educator?
• How does our own and our shared story influence us as educators and our children? How can we use storytelling as an educational tool?

Can I help you get started in permaculture? 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: MichaelJudd2)

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Aug 152014
 
 

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This episode continues the Back to Basics series by looking at Principle 10: Use and Value Diversity.

Before we begin, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped keep this show on the air by making a one time or ongoing contribution to the podcast. An ongoing monthly gift of $5 a month, less than $1 an episode, makes a huge difference, so imagine what $10 or $20 a month gift could do. Find out how to contribute at: www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

I’d also like to thank Richard Telford for allowing me to use his permaculture principle icons in illustrating this series of podcasts. Richard designed these for Holmgren’s Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability and I’m very honored that this work can bear these images. He’s also the designer of the Permaculture Calendar which will be out later this year. In the U.S., as I understand it, you’ll be able to pick those up through the Permaculture Activist. Find out more about Richard and his work at: permacultureprinciples.com. I also have two copies of his calendar to give away. If you’d like to enter to win a copy of your own, send me an email with the subject “Calendar” between now and September 9th, 2014. I’ll draw and contact the winners on my birthday, September 10th and we can celebrate together through the giving of gifts.

Principle 10: Use and Value Diversity

This principle bears the subheading “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and is, to me, a call for multi-functional and non-singular elements in our designs, be they landscape or community oriented.

In the landscape Use and Value Diversity allows us to prepare for disasters, whether by climate and weather problems like drought or rain, from disease and pests. In the former case, that includes insuring we select species that can survive the broadest range of environmental impacts.

Using diversity also allows us to preserve biodiversity and the natural heritage through acts like saving seed and passing it along, in turn creating new interesting varieties in our own that are adapted to where we live, or saving plants, or heritage breeds of animals, like
I spoke with Marisha Auerbach about regarding the rabbits she raises.

That diversity in plantings, especially when intermixed, help us to build our associated guilds so that various elements in the system support one another. This also includes integrated pest management by inviting in pollinators and predatory insects. There is a lot we can do when we overcome singular plantings, both in numbers, so not just one of something, but also in varieties to include.

In our community, we need a diversity of people and skills to prepare for tomorrow and what the future holds. Not just permaculture folks who work in the landscape, but people who know how to handle disputes, provide guidance, build roads, bridges, houses, repair those things that break from high tech to low, modern foragers to go into the wilderness and bring back foods and medicines that heal out bodies alongside the doctors with vaccines to further ward off illness. With those skills come different ways to create solutions because of life experience and worldview. Think of all the times you’ve worked on an issue and someone else comes in and in a moment has an answer from something they’ve encountered before. Or you’ve called on someone with more experience to solve something. That all stems from our community and culture and who we have become as individuals and each one of us matters in the diversity required to make a difference.

In ourselves we can look at what we do and what we love in our lives and develop our skills and talents towards those in a broad way. Enjoy telling stories with your friends, but work as a framer? Perfect. Do both. Do them well. Think about all the hats you wear, all the roles you fill, all the things you do. Which ones would you want to become an expert in? Be specialized where you can do the most good, and then add the other skills to be functional and able to fill in where you’re needed in your own life and in the lives of others and your community. To quote Robert Heinlein, from Time Enough for Love,

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

This is what we each need to be capable of to build a beautiful bountiful world whether we are building in our landscape or in our community.

But this diversity as presented by Holmgren is not random. It is selected for. Chosen. Developed. Inculcated. Designed. Yes, there can be random elements and unknowns may crop up, like the massive amount of dill currently growing throughout my garden in the summer, but we are still practicing design and making decisions. An example of this is the intentional meadow I’ve let rise up again this year from the plants already there. Among that is chicory, plantain, and burdock, but I also planted cranberry viburnum, black gum, three types of willow, elderberry, and two coppiced rock maple. To this I will add comfrey next Spring when dividing plants, and anything else picked up from the conservation district or my local perennial plant seller.

With this thought of plants comes something else David points out on page 216, that as a means of restoration we can look to revegetation and indigenous restoration. That is to return plants to the landscape, and allow for some random experimentation from a place we might call ignorance, as well as returning plants to traditional or native habitats.

In considering this I look to Ben Weiss and Wilson Alvarez and their practice of tending the wild. They are local examples of people embodying what it means to bring diversity back to that intersection, Zone 4, that rests between humanity, Zones 1 through 3, and the Wild, Zone 5. Through those practices we establish a rhythm and pattern to the world that links us back to Principle 1: Observe and Interact. Our action becomes more intentional and we become more aware, or conscious, of what we do. This is very helpful to our individual practices and our work on the small scale. Their methods and systems are how I imagine us working to maintain diversity and still provide for many human needs on the small, homestead scale.

More broadly there is Mark Shepard and his work of Restoration Agriculture. Here is a way to feed large groups of people in a diverse integrated way, which goes back to my visions of a permaculture world and an ongoing need to take care of who is here and what we have through a variety of small to large scale means.

Overall diversity is a good thing that adds to the landscape, our communities, and our lives. We cannot exist in a monocrop of plants, people, or ideas, so use and value diversity in all the things you do, and know that you are not alone. In addition to myself there are many other people who listen to this show and practice this work right alongside you, even if you don’t know them or ever met. We are here to help.

Can I help you create a better world? 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: 2014Byte0815)

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 Posted by at 12:00
Aug 132014
 
 

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My guest for this episode is Jono Neiger, one of the organizers of the Permaculture Institute of the North East, and a partner at Regenerative Design Group, LLC.

In our conversation we touch on his practices as a professional designer and some of the business of that, permaculture education, collaborating with colleges, and the need to develop one’s own niche.

If you enjoy this episode, support the podcast by making an ongoing monthly contribution to the show. Find out how at www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

There is a gotcha question in the middle of this episode that put Jono on the spot. I ask him what percentage of his work with the Regnerative Design Group, LLC, would he consider permaculture. I didn’t mean to put him in that space like that, but I appreciate his ability to respond to the question in the way he did by addressing the question, “What is Permaculture?” I find his perspective points out how varied permaculture can be. This is a system of design, not a dogma. There is no rote description for what it looks like. We all practice it in our own way, and need experience to design well in whatever niche it is that we fill.

This conversation also reinforces what I continue to learn by speaking to more individuals who have practiced permaculture for years: there is plenty of room underneath this umbrella of design than just design and teaching, but we need to find our own way forward. Our own fit. We apply permaculture to what it is we do that we want to do, not ourselves into the models of permaculture that we already see.

The more that I walk down this road the less my work is about landscape design and about communicating permaculture to the world through this podcast and other media. Ever more I am a permaculture journalist and producer. What roles do you see filling when you combine your life with permaculture?

Class Announcements

Jen Mendez at Permiekids.com is continuing her EDGE Alliance series via Google Hangouts.

Thursday, August 14th 7:00-7:45 p.m. (EST)

Jeanne from Move & Groove, helps us explore how and why to integrate music into our lives as a way to build community. In this Edge Alliance, we will explore the following questions:

• How do children experience music?
• What is a normal musical development process for children?
• What are some ways we can integrate music into our lives?
• How can music help our children connect with themselves and their communities?

Sunday, August 17th 12:15-1:00 p.m. (EST)

Amy from Supporting the Unschooling Life and Amy Child’s Happiness Consultant, inspires us to explore the idea of and the social-emotional components of alternative forms of education. In this Edge Alliance, we will explore the following questions:

• What is happiness?
• How can we develop an education based in freedom, trust, and fun?
• What are some emotional challenges to educating and learning this way?

There are also spaces still available in the Open Enrollment Online PDC. Contact me if you would like more information or to register.

Taking the Show on The Road

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I am taking the show on the road, and now it begins.

Coming up on September 6th, 2014, Photographer John and I attend the First Annual Finger Lakes Permaculture Tour. We’ll be touring a number of sites between 10am and 4pm before attending a reception at 6pm. As I record this there are currently twelvee sites available to tour. If you are able come out please do. You can find out more at Fingerlakespermaculture.org. Full Event Page:

Finger Lakes Permaculture Tour

September 12-14, 2014, Photographer John and I attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, PA at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort. He and I, along with his assistant, are arriving late Thursday the 11th, and staying through until the close of the event on Sunday, so be sure to look for us or send me a note if you are going to be in attendance and we can see about saying hello somewhere. Or maybe we can do a flash mob reception somewhere on-site (are those still a thing?).

This is my first time attending and by every indication it’s a massively good time. Guests this year include Joel Salatin, Stephanie Tourles, Ed Begley Jr., Barbara Pleasant, Dan Chiras, Barbara Damrosch, and many many more. Find out more information about this at:

motherearthnews.com/fair/Pennsylvania

Last of my currently scheduled late summer and early fall tour is CHABA-Con on October 11, 2014 in Bridgeton, NJ. Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute will be a keynote speaker and festivities start at 7AM with a run in the Park with Mr. Brown, followed by lectures and round table discussions in the morning and early afternoon, with street theater in the afternoon, drumming in the part from 5:30 until dusk, and wrapping up with “An evening of Cabaret with Jane Seaman” from 8 until 10pm. Come and see how a town in New Jersey is facing a changing world by raising awareness and taking action. More on this event at:

CHABACON-2014

If you have an event, project, or site you would like me visit and cover, I am availabile in late October through December, 2014 for field reporting so contact me and we can work out the details.

Get in touch with the show:

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: Jono)

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 Posted by at 12:00
Aug 112014
 
 

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This episode is my call out to the community for assistance. I’m looking to find a pair of individuals to work with me, part-time, to learn all of the aspects of producing the podcast.

This request goes out because my life changes next fall, in 2015, and I want to insure this podcast goes on even if I can’t be at the helm one-hundred percent of the time. My intention is to continue producing interviews and articles, but how regular that will be it is too early to say. Now the design process of permaculture is applied so that the show may go on.

I want to train a pair of individuals in all aspects of running this show from writing and editing, to producing and posting. That includes what equipment to use, contacting and scheduling guests, editing guidelines and techniques. Everything involved in the process is yours if you would like to learn it. At this time I expect this process to take five hours per week, per person over the next year to develop the skills needed to make this happen.

If you are interested in this position, you can apply by creating and submitting a two page article on a permaculture topic you enjoy and by producing a fifteen minutes or less Permabyte, recorded and edited by you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

This is an ongoing submission process that will remain open until two candidates are found.

Interested in this opportunity? 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: 2014Byte0811)

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 Posted by at 09:00
Aug 082014
 
 

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This episode is my thoughts on what a permaculture world would look like.

Before we begin I would like to thank everyone for supporting the podcast. You’re assistance keeps this show on the air, so if you’ve considered making a donation, please do. Find out how at thepermaculturepodcast.com/support.

A Permaculture World

My ideal permaculture world draws from some of what we have, and blends it with permaculture into a vision of what could be. To break this down I’d like to look at four aspects of society: governance, food, electricity and technology, and education. Each of these are small vignettes regarding the vision, not a complete idea of what this would look like fully fleshed out, given the shorter format of the Permabyte. If you’d like something longer on any of these, or another topic, let me know.

Throughout all of this my underlying thoughts revolve around the Zone model from the smallest most personal spaces where we hold the most influence, outward into larger systems where we impact with less power.

Governance

I again look at re-forging a closer community connection to our homes. I see less importance in the nation-state, and more in bio-regional congresses composed of smaller delegations of people that live there. These include community and neighborhood associations that look out for the well-being of fellow citizens. Less laws that restrict the choices of people to make their own choices and take action. With that, however, comes a need for things like nonviolent communication and restorative justice where we can handle things peacefully and make prisons a place of last resort. I like systems consensus building, an informed electorate, and democracy.

Food

We must eat to live, and so in this vision of a permaculture world people would grow at least a little something in their own space, even if that is herbs on a window ledge. If more space is available, then more food could be gardened for. The hub of food production in my mind, however, is at the neighborhood level, where people can come together and build community over shared meals, and food trade. I live in a situation like this right now where neighbors, family, and friends, trade various garden raised foods with one another. It’s not enough to subsist on, by any means, but it’s a start to what this model can look like. Add to that by continuing to support and expand on farmer’s markets and voting with our dollars by moving away from supermarkets.

From there I still see larger producers practicing things like restoration agriculture outside of major population areas, and food to continue being shipped from place to place to fill in gaps and provide a network of support for the smaller, local systems, just on a greatly reduced scale.

Electricity and Technology

When it comes to energy and technology I’ll admit being heavily biased towards wanting to keep the lights on and the internet running, but as I’ve adjusted to being more and more of an animal this summer, I go to sleep not long after the sun goes down and am back up around the time the sun rises. That’s the perfect way to take advantage of solar power along with a minor off-grid storage capacity that can be backed up with a mains tie-in. If we can slow down the pace of the dominant need for speed of our culture, then I see these kinds of patterns returning to nature and needing to use less energy. Combine those reductions with regionally distributed power we can keep things going and power, more efficiently, an abundant future. The work of organizations like Interfaith Power and Light, or the vision of the 2000-watt society, are places to consider how we can imagine a different future that is actively moving forward.

Because technology is so inexorably linked to electricity, and I am putting all of this together on a computer and use a smartphone, I put tech into this category, particularly electronics and telecommunication. Though I don’t see things like replicators from Star Trek and the like in our future, I see places where we can marry together high and low tech to do some amazing things. In order for that to happen, however, we’ll need systems that are user-repairable and people in the community with the skills to do so. Part of that rests in how we handle education and creating generations of well-rounded descendants.

Education

The last of the pieces on this I come to is education. How do we teach our children in a permaculture world? At home. That’s where it starts. Each day by having children as a part of our activities, showing them the larger world, connecting them with nature, sharing permaculture as a way of seeing the world. If they should go off to a private or public school, then let them go to a place where all the teachers are trained in care for the earth, care for themselves, and care for each other. There they can learn about the world, the history, the people, math, and science in an integrated holistic way. Should they decide to move on to higher education, that could still be an option, and there this form of thinking and seeing the world, as a whole, and in parts, with critical considerations made about their choices, they continue to grow and spread their thoughts in a way that we, right now, do not fully understand. The work of Jen Mendez at PermieKids.com, or Kelly Hogan at the Mother Earth School, or the Norwegian Forest Schools, or the writings of David Orr and David Sobel all provide models for education that breaks the barriers of the current school systems. Those are places where I turn to as I look for creating a better way forward for my youngest children.

Permaculture is the big umbrella covers all these incredible models. How do we get there? That’s the fun part, and I don’t have an answer yet, but the place we begin is by working together to create the world we want to live in so that others might see our acts of leadership and follow along.

What are your thoughts on a permaculture future? Where would you like to go? I’d like to hear from you.

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: 2014Byte0808)

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