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My guest for this episode is Penny Livingston-Stark.
I’ve been aware of Penny and her work since I started formally studying permaculture five years ago, and she has remained one of the most suggested guests for the show, often by her former students who have themselves appeared on the podcast. I think I’ve talked to more people who have studied with her than of any other permaculture instructor thus far.
When this interview was originally scheduled Penny and I talked about using her work in international permaculture as a focus for our discussion, but instead turned towards the idea of peacemaking. Drawing from her experiences using permaculture and ceremony for conflict resolution we discuss the need for inner landscape work in order to build community and move the practice of permaculture forward. Or, to put it another way, how we have to get right with ourselves so that we can better our use of the ethics and principles to create lasting change that cares for this planet we call home and all the inhabitants.
She is clear to point out, however, that permaculture as a design system is not a metaphysical one, nor does she include those ideas in her teaching, rather that a deep exploration into natural systems invites a further examination of our connection to the world around us and the nature of life and other living beings. These ideas set the overall tone for our conversation, but we also discuss the need for experimentation and the cultivation of useful skills.
This interview, though not planned as such, serves as a buffer and connection about the discussion of right livelihood embodied in the two segments of the recent round table conversation recorded at Seppi Garrett’s, of which the next piece is out on June 24, 2015. My only regret is that in this recording there is a bit of noise at some points, but they do not detract from the breadth or meaning of what Penny shares with us.
You can find out more about Penny Livingston-Stark, the Regenerative Design Institute, and Commonweal Garden at regenerativedesign.org and commonweal.org. If you are interested in the Permaculture Institute of North America, that website is at pina.in.
Penny also wanted me to share with you that she has an upcoming Permaculture Design Course that will be taught in cooperation with The Kul Kul Farm at The Green School in Bali from August 7 – 23, 2015.
So that you might learn more about The Green School site, I’ve included a pair of videos below including one from John Hardy, a co-founder of this organization, and one from his daughter, Elora.
I’m still mulling over this conversation with Penny and the round table with Ben Weiss, Dave Jacke, and Charles Eisenstein. There is a thread here that touches on some of my own challenges as a changemaker, but there is still more to hear on this before I share my thoughts about everything at the end of next week’s show.
Until then get in touch and let me know about your journey and where you are. Call: 717-827-6266 or email: email@example.com.
Coming up I’ll be a guest instructor at Jude Hobb’s Teacher Training, in cooperation with Beyond Organic Design, the evening of Sunday June 28, 2015, at the Commons in Brooklyn. There are still spaces available for this class that runs from June 24 – 30, 2015. More information about that is at beyondorganicdesign.org.
August 20 – 23 I’ll be at Radicle Gathering in Bowling Green, Kentucky, running a Permaculture question and answer session on Friday afternoon, a community vision workshop on Saturday morning, and delivering the Saturday night keynote address. If you are in the area come out and join in the fun of workshops, live music, and a whole bunch of people coming together to explore how to build resilient communities. radiclegathering.org.
September 12, 2015 I’ll be at the Riverside Project recording a live permaculture round table. September 18 I return to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania to check out this year’s event and hang out with Tradd Cotter. More details on those two as I get closer to those events.
If you are an organizer who would like me to come cover or speak at your event, drop me a line through the usual means.
That gonna wrap this episode. I’ll join you next week to close up that round table. Until then, take care of earth, your self, and each other.
John Hardy’s Ted Talk: My green school dream
Elora Hardy’s Ted Talk: Magical houses, made of bamboo