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This episode is a look back over 2014 and the guests that garnered the most responses from listeners, as well as some of my favorites, and the guest who I have received the most comments in the history of the podcast.
If you are someone new to the show or have been listening for some time, this is a good primer on episodes to go back and listen to and get a feel for what you will find in the back catalog. If you’ve been listening for a while you may have already heard some of these or, if you are like me and have listened to all the hundreds of episodes in the archives, you might can check out some of the great shows in the archives.
I did not want to do a normal top five or top ten list, so left how many folks to feature up to chance and rolled two six-sided dice to see how many to select, then of the one most popular guests was actually a duo, leaving us with the top 9 most interviewees of this year. In no particular order, and with a brief description of the interview, they are:
Marisha Auerbach who joined me to discuss urban permaculture and the role of preserving bio-diversity in that space.
Ben Weiss and Wilson Alvarez were on the show several times and talked about their Rewilding efforts, and to answer listener questions about their 2013 interview “Restoring Eden”. You can hear more about the piece that started it all through this link: Restoring Eden
Natasha Alvarez and I sat down to talk about Permaculture as Revolution and how, through her project The Year of Black Clothing, she found more love for the world and how to take action to protect Earth. Listen and find your own connections to this place we call home and how to make a difference in your own way.
Eric Puro of ThePOOSH.org discussed the organization, natural building, and finding solutions from local resources. He also encourages anyone who wants to do this, or any other kind of permaculture work, to go out there, get your hands dirty, and get digging.
Rhamis Kent (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) was the first guest in the Faith and Earthcare series. Through multiple episodes Rhamis provided an open perspective on Islam and the tenets of faith that leads us to understand how this religion implores the faithful to care for the earth and one another. If your main exposure to Islam is through the nightly news, give this one a listen and gain a better understanding of this faith.
Adam Campbell (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) spent nearly three hours with me discussing permaculture and education and the operations at the Peace and Permaculture Center where he lives along with other members of the Possbility Alliance.
Tradd Cotter joined me to discuss his latest book, Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, an incredible work that demystifyies mushrooms and makes the practice of propagation and remediation more accessible for anyone interesting in playing with fungi.
and finally that brings us to
Mark Shepard (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) whose interview on a single day yielded nearly three hours of finished material spread across three episodes of the podcast. He shared with us his background and, through the lens of listener questions, the practices of restoration agriculture.
My personal favorites from this year, excluding any that may have already been mentioned above, include Byron Joel, for having such an honest conversation with me and still allowing what became very personal and private to be made public. Rachel Kaplan, my first interview guest ever, for coming back onto the show after all these years for another great conversation. Two other interviews that really strike me are the ones with Karryn Olson-Ramanujan and Derrick Jensen. Both of those conversations challenged my perspectives in ways that I wasn’t ready for, and I still reflect on how to make permaculture more accessible and diverse, while also fitting it into the larger context of protecting and repairing the earth.
In looking back over 2014 there remains one final question. Who was the biggest guest of all time on the show? Was it someone from the past year? No. That was someone who has not appeared since 2013, Ethan Hughes (Part 1: Radical Possibilities) (Part 2: Practical Possibilities). His conversations then and in 2012 about the Possibility Alliance really inspired many listeners to make changes in their lives and reach out to let me know of the impact it had. The work of all the members of the Possibility Alliance and Stillwater Sanctuary to live without petrol or electricity speaks to an authenticity in living our lives that many desire to move towards.
Those conversations with Ethan Hughes continues to influence my way of thinking and is one of the many reasons for moving the podcast and my online permaculture work towards a gift economy. If you are a student looking for a Permaculture Design Course, let me know. If you are a permaculture teacher organizing a class you want to spread the word about, let me know. If you are an organizer planning a permaculture convergence, a permablitz, or some other permaculture gathering or project, let me know. As I always say: I am here to help.
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Dauphin, PA 17018
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I hope you are having a happy New Year in 2015. I’ll join you next week with another interview. Until then, take care of earth, yourself, and each other.