The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1361: Exploring Urban Permaculture With Mark Lakeman


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    This is the second interview with Mr. Lakeman. If you haven’t heard it, please listen to his first interview before digging into this one.

    In this conversation we talk about permaculture and our city landscapes. Part of this is examples of how to rebuild our communities and bring people together, as well as understanding further the story we inhabit and how we can use permaculture to understand our own story and build regenerative cities. With the places Mark took the conversation I did my best to hang on and enjoy the ride.

    Sometimes I’d like to go through an interview and reflect on it point by point, and give a full breakdown of all my thoughts that come from a given conversation. But if I did that, I’d only release 8 shows a year and they’d be 8 hours long. I’d become more like Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History rather than this weekly show with so many guests. Because of that I’m left with only so much to say at these end of show wrap-ups without becoming long winded.

    So in this case, and paired with the last interview with Mark, are three pieces that I scribbled down about wanting to cover further: Regeneration by addressing whole systems, becoming a facilitator for other people, and using permaculture to inhabit your own story.

    When it comes to regenerating the world around us by addressing whole systems I think back to the interview with Michael Pilarski, which had quite an impact on me. I almost think of his idea about “cleaning up our own little piece of the world” as a principle to approach how to get all the work done that rests before us. To that includes beyond the landscape and the wild, to be involved in our local community, building relationships with neighbors, and by engaging others. I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to start breaking down those interpersonal walls is by remembering that kindness costs me nothing and it can bring joy and delight in the world for others. I’ve been surprised what a difference this makes for my relationship with others and taking the time to make a space for someone to be open, honest, and vulnerable. If this isn’t something you’re comfortable with, and I realize that I am an extroverted person by the nature of what I do, then what are others ways that you can open doors and space for others, and show kindness in your own way?

    That idea of each of us having our broad niches, as David Holmgren implored in his interview, and to step away from the specialization that Mark spoke of in our conversation this time, is another place where we can reach out and aid is by becoming facilitators for other people. Each of us have skills and abilities we can share with others. I want to insure that each and everyone of you can find a path that works and gets you where you want to go.

    To do that requires to find your own story and inhabit it. I know we don’t all have the same opportunities in our lives for different reasons, that some of us have been damaged by life, physically, mentally, emotionally, but we can work on ourselves and grow and be the people we want to. Take the time to use the principles of permaculture and look at yourself. If you need help, get it. If you can help others, provide it. Though it may be many years spent doing something we don’t enjoy so we have a bit of time and money to pursue our real interests, we can get there. My own path took over a decade. Let’s work together to make sure your journey doesn’t take that long, or, if it does, that you are able to enjoy every moment of it.

    Other episode you may enjoy:
    Invisible Structures with Adam Brock
    Dave Jacke on Permaculture
    Exploring Permaculture with Larry Santoyo

    Mark Lakeman
    The City Repair Project
    The Planet Repair Institute


    1. RLM McWilliamsRLM McWilliams
      February 6, 2014    


    2. RLM McWilliamsRLM McWilliams
      February 6, 2014    

      ” …’Cleaning up our own little piece of the world’ as a principle on how to approach getting the work done, that rather than trying to do a whole lot, by doing a little we can make a big difference.”

      A major antidote to a sense of overwhelment, powerlessness, and even fear of not being adequate – knowledgable enough, capable enough, skilled enough. It is good to be reminded that every little bit that we can do, that we DO, does matter.

      Thank you ‘Dr’ Mann! And Mr. Lakeman. And all the guests who have given of their time and experience.

    3. Bronwyn NorrisBronwyn Norris
      September 12, 2015    

      Wow.. awesome .. Mark said Most Eloquently everything I have been thinking about our loss of Village/ Community and trying to explain to my kids and friends for YEARS !! Thank you for this!
      Wow.. all of it even down to the re-purposing business was like hearing my thoughts brought to the words I could never quite Find.

      I could listen to him for Hrs.. might have to find a passport and a cushion and just sit at his feet a while :))

      Thank you Both for this and the first amazing talk .
      B :))

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