May 282013

Click here to download the episode.

My guest for this episode is Ben Falk, owner of Whole Systems Design, LLC, and author of the forthcoming book The Resilient Farm and Homestead.

Ben FalkHe and I talk about his route to permaculture, the work of Whole Systems Design, the book, and his 10 acre farm, where he performed the research for the book. Along the way we talk about how and where design happens, the design process, the role of active versus passive observation, and some of the 75 patterns and principles that emerged from his work that makes it into the book.

I’d heard of Ben but didn’t know what he’s been doing, though a friend of mine in the local permaculture community thinks highly of his very active research into resilient systems. Then a listener suggested I contact Ben for an interview, with some others seconding the recommendation, so I knew this was someone I needed to speak with.

And I’m thankful that I did. Ben has a firm grasp of the design process and the experience necessary to make implementation happen through his role as a professional designer. Also, he’s walking the road necessary to expand the community’s knowledge of what does and doesn’t work while paying attention to the unique needs of someone living in the North-Eastern United States.

If you are interested in his book, you can see the table of contents on his website. When purchasing the book, please consider buying it directly from Ben or the publisher, Chelsea Green.

The Resilient Farm and Homestead (Chelsea Green)
About The Resilient Farm and Homestead (Whole Systems Design)

Ben Falk
Ben Falk on Vimeo

Whole Systems Design, LLC.
Permaculture Design Courses with Ben and Whole Systems Design.
Whole Systems Design (Facebook Page)
Whole Systems Design (Youtube Channel)

Dr. John Todd
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)

  One Response to “Whole Systems Design and the Resilient Farm with Ben Falk”

  1. […] 5. Whole Systems Design and the Resilient Farm with Ben Falk– Ben Falk is a permaculturist who, like Ethan Hughes, wouldn’t flinch if the system as we know it broke down overnight. The homestead he designed for himself is completely self-reliant, other than a generator he uses as a backup heating source for showers until solar panels can be bought (by now, I’m sure he has them, since this episode is over two years old). But unlike Ethan, Ben makes a living from his rugged resilience through a design firm called Whole Systems Design, LLC. When I first came across Ben’s website a year or so ago on accident, I thought to myself “this is what I want to do” as I watched a video of him using a scythe to cut a cover crop and his design team talking about the completely self-reliant and closed loop homestead systems they design, build and inhabit. Here is the video: […]

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