I've been listening to Paul's podcasts and watching Geoff Lawton's videos for a while now I've noticed David Holmgren never gets mentioned.
Just wondering if there's a 'thing' I'm unaware of. I get the impression from David Holmgren's talks and writing he has no issues with Mollison. He speaks of him fondly.
Or is America just not really aware of him.... he's definitely not as prolific as Mollison.
Literally just curious. Nothing will change how much i love listening to Paul's podcasts and his permaculture voices talks. (I'm working my way through the podcasts backwards, its my breakfast thing. I don't like to think about what will happen when I hit 001)
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 5 years ago
I've noticed David Holmgren never gets mentioned.
I believe that a lot of this comes from the fact that Dave sort of left the movement for several years, while Mollison remained active, at the forefront. Also, once Dave returned to the spotlight, he seemed to be more focused on the political aspects than on the actual 'nuts and bolts' of setting up a permaculture site.
I consider Dave to be the originator of permaculture - it was his brain child.
Dave gave a lecture, as a college sophomore, that 'Professor Mollison' sat in on.
It caused Bill to have an "Aha moment", where he realized that he had been looking at the problems backwards for decades. The two of them then teamed up and fine tuned the systems.
Dave was the originator, while Bill was the promoter.
(People are generally more likely to give credibility to a professor than a sophomore.)
I thought that was probably all it was.
David once said if he had just gone around and planted masses of oaks and bunya nuts, he might have done more good for the world.
Personally, I think teach a man to fish...
2) This is one of the divisive discussions common in permaculture, some people falling on the mollison side and some on the holmgren side. In the end it doesn't really matter, but people seem to like drama in their lives I guess.
3) For what it's worth, Geoff Lawton teaches in his PDC that the origin of permaculture is from a Field Note taken by Mollison in the late 60's (well before Holmgren met Mollison) in which he wrote "I think we could design systems that are more productive than nature itself". It's said that he shopped around the idea with various professors in various departments and everybody said great but did nothing. The "ah ha moment" when meeting Holmgren could have been just that finally he found someone capable of understanding the importance of what he wanted to bring about and someone with the time (working on his thesis) to bring it about, collaboratively.
4) Holmgren says that permaculture came out of his discussions with mollison and the whole lot got put into the first two books.
5) The nature of the first two books (Permaculture One and Two) are a little different in that they are more theory than the prerogatives to action that were eventually expressed in the Designer's Manual, which came after the first series of permaculture courses.
6) Holmgren came out with a book "Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability" and sort of broke back onto the scene, after a hiatus on his Meliadora(?) farm. Perhaps he needed come clout, so he started using the "co-originator" title to get people to remember why he is/was important (note: I believe he is important with or without the title). He wrote a couple essays in the interim, but nothing really substantial, as he was more interested in developing his demonstration site.
7) There's another discussion of the PRI and Permaculture Institute where Geoff Lawton is inserted as sort of carrying the Mollison Torch. Holmgren I think doesn't want to take up the responsibility for promotion and travelling and all that, so Geoff has sort of taken that up.
Where all these facts leave us is pretty much neither here nor there. Figuring out who or what 'created' permaculture is kind of a dead end. Does it start with someone's first thought? Does it start with a Manual? Does it start when two people start talking about it? Does it start when those two people make a book? Does it start when someone gives a speech?
All very boring questions which lead to nowhere.
As for the podcast, somewhere around the Geoff Lawton podcasts, Paul discusses this in detail and presents the various quandries associated with the founding of permaculture.
In the end, I think there's a LOT of mutual respect among all of those people involved (David, Bill, Geoff) and they just occupy different roles, no one role better than the others.
My two cents.
ps: The david holmgren site seems much more robust than every before, lots of videos and such. Good for him!