The Permaculture Podcast

    1735 – Permaculture in Perspective: Fertile Edges with Maddy Harland

    To know where we are headed, it’s important to know where we are and where we come from. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his book Strength to Love, “We are not makers of history; we are made by history.”


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    With that in mind, in the conversation that follows Maddy Harland provides a 25 year retrospective on permaculture as viewed through her role as the longtime editor of Permaculture Magazine, which has been encapsulated in her new book Fertile Edges.

    Find out more about Maddy Harland and the magazine at You can order a copy of her book, Fertile Edges, from if you are in the United Kingdom, or if you are in the United States.

    For more on the people and organizations mentioned during our conversation, look to the resource section below.

    Visit our Partner: North Spore Mushroom Company for all of your mushroom needs. Use the code PERMACULTURE at checkout to save 10% on your entire order.

    Also be sure to follow them on Instagram @northsporemushrooms for great mushroom growing tips and advice.

    I enjoyed my time with Maddy because of her long history in the permaculture movement and getting to hear, directly, about her role as a curator of so much useful information for our community. Permaculture continues to exist and grow because of her efforts and the team at Permaculture Magazine. Generations of permaculture practitioners came to the movement by picking up a copy at the newsstand.

    That includes me. Though I found permaculture in the 90s when I started exploring sustainability, primitive skills, and rewilding in the mid-2000s an issue of Permaculture Magazine was in a stack of periodicals gifted to me so that I could see what was happening in the world. That inspired me to continue my search for a Permaculture Design Course, and lead me to Susquehanna Permaculture, Ben Weiss, and Dillon Cruz. At the end of that class, I started this show.

    Simply put, this podcast exists because of Maddy’s work with the magazine; editing so many great books, like the ones from Patrick Whitefield; and co-founding Permanent Publications that made those books available to the world.

    Her work provides me and other permaculture podcasters, video producers, bloggers, and authors — those members of our community who were often not part of those first or second waves of permaculture education and outreach — with a foundation to search out the voices, farms, designers, and scientists to expand and push the edges of permaculture.

    Maddy continues that legacy of curation and inspiration with Fertile Edges, a collection of her wisdom that provides a view into the past, present, and future of Permaculture. If you are new to movement or were one of Bill Mollison’s first students,  this is something well worth having. Pick up a copy today.

    After listening to this interview, where do you see the permaculture movement right now? Where do you see our future heading?

    Let me know. Leave a comment below or get in touch.


    Or drop something in the post:

    The Permaculture Podcast
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    Dauphin, PA 17018

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    From here, the next episode wraps up the end of the year with a look back over 2017 and my plans for 2018. After that, the first interview of the new year is with Wilson Alvarez to discuss Biomimicry and Landcare: The Reintegration Project.

    As this is the last interview of the year I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

    Until we meet again, spend each day by taking care of Earth, yourself, and celebrating with your community.

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    Maddy Harland
    Permaculture Magazine
    Permanent Publications

    Fertile Edges
    Permanent Publications (U.K.)
    Chelsea Green (U.S.)
    Permaculture in a Nutshell
    Permanent Publications (U.K.)
    Chelsea Green (U.S.)
    Earth Care Manual
    Permanent Publications (U.K.)
    Chelsea Green (U.S.)
    People and Permaculture
    Permanent Publications (U.K.)
    Chelsea Green (U.S)

    UK Permaculture Association
    Patrick Whitefield (Wiki)
    Graham Bell
    Chris Dixon (UK Permaculture Association)
    Chris Marsh (UK Permaculture Association)
    Max LindeggerCrystal Waters
    Looby Macnamara
    Aranya (Permanent Publications)
    Charles Dowding
    Stephanie Hafferty
    Albert Bates (Peaksurfer)
    Mayan Mountain Research Farm / Christopher Nesbitt
    Polly Higgins / Eradicating Ecocide

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