The Permaculture Podcast

    1613 – Philly Round Table, Part 1

    Philadelphia Round Table

    Click here to download the episode. | Open Player in New Window

    My guests for this episode are Nate Kleinman of the Experimental Farm Network, Paul Glover the founder of Philadelphia Orchard Project, Robyn Mello of Philadelphia Orchard Project, and Kirtrina Baxter of Public Interest Law Center, in this first of the Philadelphia Round Table conversations, recorded earlier this year at Repair the World. During the discussion, they share with us ways in which cities provided numerous opportunities for permaculture practitioners, as well as visions of why working in urban spaces is important to the future of creating an abundant, regenerative world.

    Before we begin, a few thanks.

    The first is to Dirk McGurk, for being the man with a plan who organized this event. It’s been a while since I was in Philly, and Photographer John and I had a good time wandering around the neighborhood before the event and spending time with everyone who came out.

    The second is to Jamie Bright of Chakra5 Studios, out of Burlington, Vermont, for letting me demo the microphones that were used in this recording.

    Third, are the sponsors, including Your Garden Solution, and the sponsors of the day, Good Seed Company and PermieKids.

    Good Seed Company has been in business for over 40 years and believes we have an inalienable right to open pollinated, non-GMO seeds for common use. These are the seeds saved by our ancestors for thousands of years that can sustain us today, and contribute to a bountiful future for the generations yet to come. Find out more about the rich history of this company and the importance of seed saving at, or shop the catalog of ecologically grown organic seeds online.

    PermieKids, created by permaculture practitioner and educator Jen Mendez, is a resource to inspire and nurture those teachers, parents, and families interested in incorporating permaculture education into the lives of children in the community or at home. Though the site Jen offers a free ongoing podcast where you can learn about transitioning to a rich, ecologically sound life that includes children and learning at every step of the way. If you want to dive deeper you may be interested in her Community Experiential Education by Design program, or Edge Alliances. Find out more at

    Finally, I’d like to thank you, the listener for your ongoing and continued support of this show through your donations, sharing of links with friends and family, and taking the time to call, email, or write in letting me know how this work helps you. Together we make a difference. Thank you.

    I’m grateful for what the panelists share with us today because of the unique role that cities can play in our lives. Growing up on a rural dead-end street, the beginning migration to the exurbs of the small city of Hagerstown, Maryland, where I called home throughout my childhood, there were always large connected lawns, with houses fully inhabited. My neighbors didn’t move until they sold a house, and there were no vacant lots. Land there, as with where I now call home, was expensive and rarely available. Farms butted up against well manicured lawns and no one I knew at the time grew a garden. Yet in Philadelphia and other cities like it, is an opportunity to walk short distances to find many neighbors and open spaces, and to find old plants, and breed new ones, adapted to the spaces more and more people will inhabit in the future, and to care for the people around us; to understand the historical and cultural underpinnings of issues like access to land, systemic racism, and oppression so that together we can mitigate those vectors on cultural and individual abundance.

    Along the way if I can assist you, wherever you call home and whatever leg of the journey you are on, get in touch. My phone number is 717-827-6266 and email is You can also reach me there if you would like to organize a round table recording like this where you live. I’m always open to traveling to meet others doing this good work and to share other thoughts and voices with the world.

    If digital means are not your preferred way to reach me, you can also drop something in the mail. That address is:

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

    From here I’ll be on the road in April, returning to Berea Kentucky and the Clear Creek Community. While there on April 23, 2016 we’re holding Spring into Permaculture hosted by Clear Creek Schoolhouse. The day starts at noon and heads on into the evening with a potluck and in-person recording of the podcast, and Jereme Zimmerman, author of Make Mead Like a Viking, will be there teaching a meadmaking workshop from 1 – 3pm. Find out more at

    After that, on June 18, 2016, is the Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence outside of Charles Town, West Virginia, hosted by Emma Huvos of The Riverside Project. The keynote speaker for this day is Michael Judd, talking about his experiences as a permaculture practitioner, and there will be classes and workshops on Living in the Gift, Animals in Permaculture, Broadacre permaculture, whole systems learning, as well as plant walks and tree ID sessions. As this event is limited to 100 tickets, pick yours up today at

    Next up is an interview on Integral Nonviolence with Chris Moore-Backman.  

    Until the next time, spend each day working with one another to create a world of abundance by taking care of Earth, yourself, and each other.

    The Good Seed Company
    Your Garden Solution


    Nate Kleinman
    The Experimental Farm Network
    Experimental Farm Network (Facebook)
    Experiemental Farm Network (Instagram)

    Paul Glover
    Citizen Planners
    Los Angeles a History of the Future
    Patch Adams

    Robyn Mello
    Philadelphia Orchard Project

    Kirtrina Baxter
    Public Interest Law Center
    Garden Justice Legal Initiative
    Grounded In Philly
    Black Permaculture Network
    Black Permaculture Network (Facebook)


    Permies United (Facebook)
    Occupy Vacant Lots
    Soil Generation

    Clear Creek Schoolhouse
    Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence (Information and Tickets)

    Connect with the Podcast:
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    On Twitter

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