The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1232: The Permaculture Handbook: An Interview with Peter Bane


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    My guest for this episode is Peter Bane, author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country. We talk about his background, the book, his upcoming tour schedule, and he answers two listener questions. The first is about how much Zone 5 Wilderness we need for sustainable civilization. The second is a discussion of the third permaculture Ethic: Fair Share.

    Book Tour Dates and Locations
    Friday, Dec. 7th: Columbus, Ohio.
    A free lecture at Ohio State University from 7-9pm in the Agricultural Engineering Building, Rm 100 located at 590 Woody Hayes Dr.

    Saturday, Dec. 8th: Cleveland, Ohio.
    A permaculture seminar from 1-3pm. For more information contact Jonathan Hull: 330-559-4628

    Sunday, Dec. 9th: Dundas, Ontario.
    A permaculture workshop at Old 99 Farm, 1580 Old Hwy 99, Ontario, from 1-5pm. Contact Ian Graham for more information: 905-537-0163

    Monday, Dec. 10th: Ithaca, New York
    A free lecture at the Cornell Cooperative Extension at 615 Willow Street, Ithaca, from 7-9pm.

    Tuesday, Dec. 11th: Albany, New York
    A free lecture at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany at 405 Washington Ave., Albany, from 7-9pm.

    Wednesday, Dec. 12th: Montpelier, Vermont
    A lecture at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, 130 Main St, Montpelier, from 7-9pm. A donation of $3-5 is requested.

    Thursday, Dec. 13th: Brattleboro, Vermont
    An author reading and book signing at the Brattleboro Food Coop, 2 Main St., Brattleboro, from 1:30-3pm. Please bring a lunch.

    Thursday, Dec. 13th: Amherst, Massachusetts
    A free talk at Food for Thought Books, 106 N. Pleasant St., Amherst, from 6-730pm.

    Friday, Dec. 14th: Brooklyn, New York
    A free lecture at The Commons Brooklyn, 388 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, from 7-9pm.

    Saturday, Dec. 15th Philadelphia, Pa.
    An urban permaculture workshop co-taught with Phil Forsyth. This will be held at the Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Dr, Philadephia, from 1-4pm. The contact is Phil Forsyth: 917-371-0547. You can also visit the workship page at the Arboretum’s Website to register. The cost is $20.

    Saturday, Dec. 15th: Philadelphia, Pa.
    A free lecture at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, from 7:30-9pm.

    Sunday, Dec. 16th: Harrisonburg, Va.
    A free talk at The Clementine Cafe Lounge, 153 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, from 7-9pm.

    You can also check out Peter’s updated tour schedule at

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    3. AlunAlun
      June 19, 2017    

      I found one of Peter’s answers resonated so well, I was moved to write it down. Little did I know that it was so long. As I went to the effort of typing it up, here it is for others to share, its ~25mins in. Apologies for any mistakes:

      The question was along the lines of whether you average working class could buy an acre and make it work financially:

      “I don’t think that the finding is original to me, I’ve cited other people who have done the experiments more rigorously, there’s a fairly large body of people who have turned away from conventional, middle class careers, towards farming, small scale farming, because they wanted to work outdoors, they wanted to work with their hands, the wanted to be creative problem solvers, they wanted to be self employed, you know, often these were people at a stage where they were empty nesters or at a turn in their career path or in some other way had the freedom to make that choice; but still, in their doing that, they made a deliberate turn away from higher levels of income and conventional privilege, in favour of quality of life. So that’s what I’m highlighting in the book, because I think, while some people be wise (and I’m prejudiced in this way) be wise in choosing that path while they still can and others will be abruptly bumped into it and might like the consolation that recognising “Oh, well I could make an acceptable living and do what I like now that I’m unemployed, now that I don’t have my job with TNT or Bank of America or whatever or because I’ve been laid off and this will continue because the conventional economy is contracting and it doesn’t have any other choice, its got to contract along with energy supplies. It’s been in a contraction and we’ve had that hidden from us by political and economic manoeuvring over the last.. ..over you’re lifetime and more. So now this is the choice people are faced with, we go on in this game of musical chairs where the masters of the universe keep throwing a chair out the window every now and then and some of us have to fall to the floor and get trod upon, or some of us walk out of the room, or jump out the window (it’s on the first floor by the way), it’s not that harsh to do now and I’m encouraging as many people as possible to make the steps back away from this hypnotic trance dance that’s going on that keeps drawing our life energy into it and get out, start putting our marbles outside, our eggs in another basket so that when the walls of that place fall down we won’t be inside it”

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