My guest for this episode is Ethan Roland, a permaculture designer and a founder of Appleseed Permaculture. Along with his writing partner Gregory Landua, Ethan is the author of the article Eight Forms of Capital, as well as the book Regenerative Enterprise, which expands on the ideas of the original piece.
Ethan and Gregory’s work on the Eight Forms of Capital is one of the pieces that most influenced my perspective on permaculture and the different ways we can engage the various aspects of our lives to live and practice more fully what it is we love. Though financial capital is often the focus, and in our system we do need money to live, there are many ways we can create abundance in our lives.
Where this material kind of unhinged me from the system that currently exists was in understanding how much value there is in our non-financial capital, and how appreciating someone’s work doesn’t need to be in the form of a direct financial exchange. The first thank you I ever got for this show was a box containing three bottles of my favorite hot sauce, Secret Aardvark Trading Co. habanero. Or receiving an email from someone about how the podcast changed their life. Or the time someone send pictures of Ghost Pipe flowers growing on their property not far from where I live. Now I know definitively where they are and want to go visit and see them next year when they rise again, adding to my experiential and intellectual property with that plant.
Something else I’m coming to understand, which I’ll follow up on when the interview with Ethan’s mentor Carol Sanford comes out in a few weeks, is about what my core abilities are. I’m not well versed or skilled in marketing or raising financial capital. That’s not where my skill set is. I’m good at building other forms of capital, in particular social. I talk to people, make connections, and draw out the stories from others. That’s where my calling is. To make the other pieces of this work viable, I ask for help from others. I appeal to you, the listener, to help support the show. I also leave the various ways to contact me out in the open so I can give back what I’ve learned to you, to help you on your path. In the end there is a value exchange that occurs for everyone involved. I like that.
With that introspection around the eight forms of capital comes a personal understanding of our strengths and weaknesses that touches back on what Ethan said about building an ecosystem of businesses that support and grow one another. Some of us are really good at making money. Others are really good at teaching, design, implementing in the landscape, organizing, storytelling, and on and on. As permaculture practitioners let’s help one another.
I’m here to help you connect with the stories and voices you might not hear otherwise, so you can find what works for you and get down to your work. I want you to find and fulfill your calling so you can live a life of abundance. Let’s talk and make that happen.
The Show is On The Road
The show is on the road and I will be in Roanoke, Virginia, from October 20th-22nd, 2014, interviewing farmers and local permaculture practitioners. I am also delivering a presentation, “Permaculture: Creating a Better World by Design” on 630PM on October 21st, 2014, at the Roanoke Natural Food Co-Op at Grandin Village. If you’re in the area I’d love to see you there or at any of the other events I’ll be attending.
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The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann
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Dauphin, PA 17018