My guest for this episode is Ethan Hughes and we talk about Permaculture and Radical Possibilities.
Ethan lives on a electricity and petrol free homestead covering 110 acres. Our conversation was conducted over one of the few pieces of technology at the site, a landline telephone located in a space that is separated from the rest of the living area.
Ethan, his wife, and the others who share the homestead with them operate the on a gift economy. The short and quick way to explain this is that they give gifts freely and have others give gifts in return, though not necessarily on a one to one or quid pro quo basis, which we clarify more fully in the interview. Though it initially sounded impossible to me, they are able to do this and support 9 full time adults and 2 children on the site, while still receiving over 1500 guests through their space for tours and classes.
I wanted to call this episode Radical Simplicity, but changed it to Radical Possibilities because the powerful message that came through from the conversation was the power we have to create change when we open ourselves to the numerous of opportunites available and of human beings ability to creativily solve problems, especially when guided in a meaningful way.
Overall this interview challenged many of my previous notions about the personal requirements to transform the world. Many of the examples I encountered previously dealt with people who spent years saving, paying off debt, and then leaving the western lifestyle of working to live, though they retained a certain level of wealth and financial independence. Ethan made his changes utilizing non-financial capital, relying on friends, neighbors, and other contacts to do good work. He and the community he lives in made, and continue to make, choices that allow them to live freely on very little of money, but with lives full of abundance.
Ethan and his community are an experiment and this lifestyle may not work for everyone. Please do not compare your life and choices to his or anyone else. Take the steps necessary to live your better life by your own making.
David Holmgren’s 12 Principles of Permaculture
1. Observe and Interact.
2. Catch and Store Energy.
3. Obtain a Yield.
4. Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback.
5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
6. Produce No Waste
7. Design from Patterns to Details
8. Integrate Rather than Segregate
9. Use Small and Slow Solutions
10. Use and Value Diversity
11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal
12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change.
Ethan’s Contact Information
The Possibility Alliance
85 Edgecomb Road
Belfast, ME 04915
Contact the Show
Email: show (at) thepermaculturepodcast.com