My guest for this episode is Dave Jacke, ecological designer, teacher, and co-author, along with Eric Toensmeier, of Edible Forest Gardens.
Excepting Misters Holmgren, Mollison, and Hemenway, Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier were two of the authors whose names were well known in my local permaculture community, and I added their two-volume set to my library as early as I could afford to. Dave was one of the first guests I wanted to have on after relaunching the show, but it took me this long to finally get our schedules to mesh and make it happen. In the end, I think it was worth it, even with some of the audio issues we encountered along the way. He was open and honest, leading to a great deal of candor in the conversation, so much so that I had to edit out some things both of us said that were better left as a personal exchange, not for airing in public. You still might be surprised by what we both agreed to leave in.
We begin, as always, with his background, and move into a discussion of his work and permaculture, including a critique of the material, how we can build more sustainable systems by engaging our social structures and intentionally designing them, and wrap with some listener questions and his final thoughts.
During the conversation we touched on the idea of being impeccable with your word. That phrase “Be Impeccable with Your Word” comes from the book The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. I don’t know how you’d classify this book, as it’s cataloged under Philosophy, Mental Health, and Social Science, but the four ideas include not only be impeccable with your word, but also Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best. They sound pretty straight forward, but the author spends time working through each of them and how they relate to freeing ourselves to be able to take care of ourselves, and use that centered personal space to begin building the social structures we need to build to keep systems working. Check a copy out from your library, give it a read, and let me know what you think.
Also, check out Dave’s website at edibleforestgardens.com for more information, including worksheets and errata available for download, as well as upcoming events. One of those that may be of interest to recent and upcoming Permaculture Design Course graduates is a teacher training to be held in Tennessee from March 21-30, 2014. One of his co-teachers is Cliff Davis, a past guest on the show. This course focuses on whole systems and designing educational ecosystems. If I could make it, I’d be there, but it looks like I’ll have to wait and see if he offers this course again in 2015. If you go, let me know about your experience.