My guest for this episode is Robert Kourik, a landscape designer whose books have been influential on permaculture through the years. Some of those titles include: Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally, Roots Demystified, and Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates. Find out more about Mr. Kourik and his work at RobertKourik.com.
Our conversation looks at how landscape design has changed over the years, moving towards more sustainability, while also looking at the practical aspects of design and meeting a customer’s needs. That, in turn, leads to some thoughts on practicing permaculture. Throughout, Mr. Kourik includes references to his own research and experience over the years, including some of the technical details.
One of my favorite thoughts from this interview is his notion to “not inflict ourselves on clients”. That we can’t go in with pre-conceived notions of what techniques to use. This goes back to that thought of “It depends,” as shared with us by Dave Jacke and so many others, when asked what to do with a particular site for any given client.
There is no one way to do this. There is no universal technique or strategy. What is universal to permaculture is the ethics and principles that lead to on the ground ideas. By observing the landscape, interacting with the client, and developing small and slow solutions, we can use our expertise to meet the needs of others.
If we want to meet the needs of others, we need to meet them where they’re at.
Dr. Alex Shigo (Tree Pruning and Arboriculture)