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This episode is an interview with Taj Scicluna, the Perma Pixie, about her development of a permaculture business, and the work required to be a small business owner. Along the way we also talk about education, and some of the differences between Australian and American training, including the work to formalize the permaculture design certificate. You can find out more about Taj and her work at ThePermaPixie.com, which includes her calendar, blog, videos, and lots of other information.
What I like about this conversation is hearing that there is a movement afoot in the world to take this work of permaculture and find ways to make it more available and accessible through existing systems. To professionalize our practices. To provide opportunities that help fund education and make permaculture more accessible through programs that already exist.
Another piece of this is Taj’s sharing of a potential 4th ethic, the ethic of transition. I like this idea, and am considering including it in my own practices, as it continues the thread discussing the space between personal responsibility and the systemic issues we face within the culture we come from that extends directly into the practice of permaculture. Though we might encapsulate this in the existing strategy of appropriate technology, I find that this stands stronger as an ethic, because it provides a place to work through the world we live in at the moment, so we can build the framework of the world we want to live in.
In that, each of us have choices to make. What will we use from the old system to build the new? For some that includes formal education in the university model as it stands. To others that means accepting an informal process that provides different opportunities. In permaculture, that could be embracing the Mollisonian approach to a Permaculture Design Course, underneath the umbrella of a group like PRI or PINA, while others are creating new programs that deliver the similar content in a different way that includes things like new Ethics or principles that build on the earlier material, or focused on a particular subset of the community such as activists or community organizers. Others still might live in the gift while others use capitalism. While one rejects flying another might use flight as a way to teach the world. Live without computers or electricity as a model for others, or embrace these technologies to share those ideas with the world.
In making these choices, deciding how to move forward as individuals, we need to start talking about what we are doing as a community, inside and outside of permaculture. What works? What doesn’t? Where do we feel included? Where do we feel excluded? How are we our own worst enemies? Is organizing formally drawing you in to do more? Or are you feeling rejected because of the emerging structures? Where do you see examples of racism? Sexism? Where can we be allies to one another and come together to make a real and lasting difference?
You are not alone. I am not alone. We’re all in this together. Let’s work on making the world a more bountiful place.
If there is anyway I can help, get in touch.
Or, if you want, send me a letter.
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018
From here the next interview is with Rachel Kaplan of the 13 Moon Collaborative, and after that Jerome Osentowski from Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture joins me to talk about his book The Forest Garden Greenhouse.
Now a quick update behind the scenes of the show. I’m back from The Possibility Alliance and it was an incredible time. Ethan and I recorded over 14 hours of raw audio, 10 hours of video, and I took nearly 1,000 photographs, many of various documents detailing the various ideas at the PA, and dozens of pages of notes. The editing, sorting, and sifting have begun to bring the book into reality, and I’m leaving early access to the book and the ability for listeners to pledge to the project open. Find out more at:
I am also now setup and operating from Seppi’s place and am integrating into this space. Alongside Seppi, our collective four children, and our other housemate Eric, we are learning what it means to live in community, not just as roommates or people who share space. Already, in less than a week, rituals, roles, and schedules are emerging that mutually support one another. It’s interesting to live with, for, and alongside other people, as opposed to just sharing space. Like tonight, as this episode goes out, I’m making a pasta dinner for everyone in our community, along with my unwife joining us as well.
Moving forward with producing the podcast, working on the book, and living with Seppi and the other cast of characters, I’ll continue to add updates and experiences like this to the show. You can always find the latest and greatest in each new episode.
Which will finally bring this episode to a close. All my best to you. Until the next time, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.