The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1479: Ecological Culture Design with Dave Jacke


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    My guest for this episode is Dave Jacke a designer from Massachusetts and author, along with Eric Toensmeier, of Edible Forest Gardens Volume 1 and 2. Today he joins us to discuss Ecological Culture Design.

    Dave is a returning guest to the show. You can hear about his background and how he came to do this work in his initial interview. If this is your first time listening to Dave I recommend you start there to get a feel for the level of candor you’ll hear in this episode.

    This is an open and honest conversation about the four components of Ecological Culture Design:

    • Technology
    • Resources
    • Social and Economic Structures
    • Cosmology

    We discuss how we must include these elements in our designs for permaculture systems. These areas matter because these are the pieces we must work with in order to bring the so-called “Invisible Structures” of permaculture to the forefront. Dave and I end the conversation with a constructive critique on what it means to organize, practice, and teach permaculture.

    In preparing this episode Dave and I both listened to the audio before it went out on the air and he asked that I correct his statement about Tantric philosophy. In the interview he said, “the perceiver, the perceived and the object of perception are one.” What he meant was “the perceiver, the perceived and the process of perception are one ,” a subtle but big difference.

    I agree with much of what Dave has to say in this episode. We cannot keep calling the non-landscape portions of our design invisible, or they will remain there, on the outside, away from view. We need to communicate about them differently in order to understand them and make them a part of our larger designs so that what we do can continue long after our ability to maintain or consult on a system is gone.

    For much the same reason the Designers’ Manual only the beginning. Yes, every permaculture designer should have a copy in their library as a reference, and to understand some of the early vision as expressed by Bill Mollison, but in additional to that book we need a large library of materials to reference and cross reference and research to create good designs. With that I would like to see a new edition of the Designers’ Manual written every decade or so as an encyclopedia of permaculture that can include more information about what we’ve learned over the years, but written as a collective cooperative piece by the community that takes the best of what everyone has to offer, and focuses on their areas of specialty, to create a book with multiple perspectives and voices. Get Dave Jacke and Ben Falk to write about formal design, Jude Hobbs and Andrew Millison about permaculture education, Marisha Auerbach and Rachel Kaplan to cover urban permaculture, and Karryn Olson-Ramanujan and Adam Brock on social permaculture. Those are just the names and topics off the top of my head. The Designers’ Manual as written by Mollison is over 500 pages. There’s room for many authors to contribute to such an effort.

    If you’d be interested in contributing to something like this, maybe we can get a proposal together and create a new manual for the 21st century.

    Whatever your permaculture plans, I’m here to help.
    Call: 717-827-6266

    The Permaculture Podcast
    P.O. Box 16
    Dauphin, PA 17018

    Ecological Culture Design: A Holistic View (PDF)
    Dave Jacke
    Edible Forest Gardens and Permaculture with Dave Jacke (Dave’s first interview on the podcast.)


    1 Ping/Trackback

    1. December 22, 2014    

      Stupendous. So many echoes of our own conversations and modeling (making mistakes on paper). David has a vision of an Ecological Culture Design framework which encompasses Permaculture is a sub-set … he coalesces many ideas that have been free-floating in my own mind/body.
      I am very interested in contributing to an evolved Designer’s Manual and would like to be included in future communications regarding your proposal.
      Thank you.

    2. Grant CurryGrant Curry
      December 27, 2014    

      Cosmology at the core – absolutely!

      We should be rigorous about testing cosmologies if they are so important. Taking on a cosmology because it is “cool” or feels good is as likely to succeed as planting a tropical plant in the desert. Let’s find cosmologies with a good track record (at least 2-3000 years) and make sure we don’t confuse traditions of men with functional beliefs.

      Lets pursue this critical work post haste.

      The Permaculture Provision Project is making that its central focus and its what gets us most jazzed! We willbe focusing on these kinds of issues when we host The 2015 Colorado Permaculture Convergence this Memorial Day weekend. Come join us if you’re able.

    3. […] of tools and techniques available to an individual or community for the purpose of land-management. Dave Jacke explains this idea in depth in his interview on the Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann, and I have heard this idea reiterated in works by Starhawk, Charles Eisenstein, Derrick Jensen, […]

    1. The Need for Landless Permaculture | Susquehanna Permaculture on May 14, 2015 at 14:57

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