The Permaculture Podcast

    1731 – Peace, Permaculture, and The Gift with Kai Sawyer

    Image: Kai Sawyer at the Peace and Permaculture Dojo.
    (Source:YouTube: Peace and Permaculture Dojo Tour)


    “The more generous we are, the more relaxed we’ll be, the more wealthy we’ll feel, and the more gifts these will cycle.” – Kai Sawyer


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    As we embody our values and live ever differently, how do we change the communities we are a part of as we become ever more apart from them?

    This is one of many thoughts I have as we enter this conversation with Kai Sawyer, as we look at his life as a practitioner embracing peace, permaculture, and the gift economy to bring about social and cultural change in Japan.

    Find out more about Kai Sawyer and his work at:

    Tokyo Urban Permaculture
    Living Permaculture

    Something Kai wanted me to mention, that didn’t make it into our conversation is the ongoing impact and questions as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant meltdown.

    Something I didn’t know, that Kai shared in his follow-up email, is that Fukushima prefecture was one of the leading organic food growing regions in Japan.

    What happens then, to the organic or natural farmer who carefully and with a lot of love, grew beautiful soil for decades that is now contaminated with cesium 134 and 137? Who will buy their produce? Who will help them rebuild their entire life?

    Also in Fukushima prefecture was an innovative permaculture project at Iitate village that sought to redesign the community using permaculture to reverse the process of rural depopulation, to keep residents in this rural location rather than heading to the cities.

    To Kai’s knowledge, it is the only initiative of the kind in Japan, one where an entire village was a permaculture design site. As you might imagine, the proximity to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the ways the wind blew, high levels of radiation fell on the village, and their entire village was evacuated by the government.

    A project to preserve the community, destroyed by a single disaster, responded to with modern practices now so ingrained they seem traditional and the only path forward.

    How could this situation have been different if more communities in Japan were transformed by the whole systems design of permaculture and a chance to the cultural and social structures and consciousness?

    As we grow as practitioners, how can we change these ways of thinking and organizing in our own communities and, in turn, change the way they are governed and inhabited?

    If you have thoughts on this or anything else Kai and I spoke about, I’d love to hear from you.

    Call: 717-827-6266

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

    From here the next interview is with Robyn Rosenfeldt, as we talk about the newest Australian permaculture periodical, PIP Magazine.

    Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in by taking care of Earth, yourself, and your community.

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    Tokyo Urban Permaculture
    Living Permaculture
    Peace and Permaculture Dojo Tour (Spring 2017) (YouTube)

    The Center for Nonviolent Communication
    Nonviolent Communication (Wiki)
    Moved By Love, the Memoirs of Vinoba Bhave (Read Online at
    Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead
    Humanure Handbook / Joe Jenkins

    Iitate, Fukushima, a village scale permaculture project in Japan, evacuated due to the events at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plants.
    Living On The Edge of Fukushima

    Necessary Simplicity, the first two interviews with Ethan Hughes combined into one.
    The Art of Frugal Hedonism, an interview with Annie Raser-Rowland about simplicity and living well.

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