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pollinator
Posts: 1460
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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How can a family of four, living on a 1/4 acre incorporate permaculture and provide a significant amount of food for thier family.
I get questions like that all of the time.

I'd like to be able to tell them:

You need X amount of chickens for protien (eggs), plant X amount of food producing trees to create a canopy, X amount of potatoes/tomatoes etc.  Grow X amount of these items vertically etc.

I want to promote permaculture to these people rather than something like square foot gardening because I feel that permaculture will do more to turn the sterile resource sucking subdivisions into a haven for pollinators, birds, amphibians AND people.  Using permaculture even the burbs could be a place where all animals could benefit. 

I also believe that permaculture adapts more readily to your average Joe or Jane who has to work a full time job - there seems (to me) to be less work involved.
 
steward
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Finally getting back to these requests and convinced Paul to make podcasts about books (added magazines) which we recorded on our Oregon trip. There will be three in total that should be out over the next couple weeks.

Hope to add some responses to a few of the more general questions from this thread as well.

There are some questions we have not addressed from here because they were either partially addressed in previous podcasts, or they are of the "it depends" variety.

So much of where to start, what plants and animals to grow, what guilds to create, etc. depends on personal preference, local climate, land circumstances, soil ph, and on and on that the best answer really is "it depends."

Even so, I'll still see if I can tease out some ideas from some example scenarios if Paul is willing, though I can't promise anything!

Any other topics folks might want Paul to rant about in a podcast?
 
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as an apartment dweller and a truck driver that travels all over the lower 48 for about 4 weeks at a time i feel that my  options for involvement in permaculture is extremely limited. could you do a podcast that focuses on how people in similar situations like me can be involved in permaculture? also could youreview the product being advertised on the radio called aerogardens. www.aerogarden.com. i imagine others would enjoy reviews of other gardening products as well.
 
Posts: 174
Location: Berea, Kentucky
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I would love to see you interview Jason Fields, from the urban farming guys. He was on tsp and has some great vids on youtube. I would love to hear more on his community building model.
 
Posts: 68
Location: Flathead Valley Montana
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water harvesting off roofs with hugelkultur and how to do grey water systems during winter.  Also wheat is the majority of tasks in fall for capturing the winter waters, planting nitrogen fixers, cover crops, etc.  What would Paul do in the fall?
 
Posts: 63
Location: Northwest
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I like it when you go to someone's farm/garden and they talk about what they are doing and learning.
 
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Love love love intentional community stuff. Waiting for intentional community podcast #3 

More on dictator-style, feeding everybody year-round off the land, perfect scale (20 per house seems to be best?) More people than that, then you can't all join one table for dinner. I think constant casual interaction is critical to maintain a sense of community. No better place to do that than dinner.
 
Andrew Greaves
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jocelyn, i think the best way to handle those " it depends" questions is just to list all the factors to consider that do depend. then we can start answering the questions for ourselves and maybe that will spur a trip to the nursery, or a question on the forum.

for example, if the factor that depends is climate and type of soil, then the pod person ( one who listens to podcasts) can come to the forum and say i live in the mojave desert and my soil is ........ etc what does the forum reccomend?
 
Posts: 2
Location: South Oklahoma
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RitaSparrow wrote:
I like it when you go to someone's farm/garden and they talk about what they are doing and learning.



I agree with Rita.  I've had a few "I can do that" moments from all of the podcasts.  I'd like to hear more of what Paul does on his land. 
 
gardener
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This is a response to Podcast 064 Deviating from the norm part 1.  I was going to start a thread, but thought it would fit better in here.  You moderator types may decide different

Anyways, moreso than any other of your podcasts (and I think apart from the book list ones, I have now listened to them all) I found myself mentally shouting "Yes! Right-fucking-on!" to the ways in which Paul differentiates himself from the "masses", because I experience many of the same philosophical 'conflicts'.  Specifically:

1) Capitalism.  That's how we're wired.  We are not homogenous drones working for a shared common goal (eg: bees / ants / communists); we have individual needs and motivations.  Most people's needs are to provide for themselves and their family, some people (generally after their needs are met) are motivated to help others.  Significantly, they are all going to have different ways they choose to do that.  Those people are noble and above average - and more power to them!  Some people will even forgo their own needs in order to help others ... they are crazy (that's an eco scale reference )

2) Activism.  I think this is real simple, and basically boils down to laziness.  It takes less effort to complain about an existing thing than to come up with an alternative.  Coming up with alternatives (even if it's just getting an idea out there, much less some physical proof the idea works) requires effort, ingenuity, and (most importantly) actually understanding the problem in the first place.  I just about fell out of my chair recently when a newspaper was reporting on public sentiment on a social justice issue by the number of "likes" a Facebook page (decrying the objectionable status quo) had received.  First off, it's so almost effortless to say "X sucks, they should totally do better than X", and secondly, I'm going to round down to two decimal places here and say it IS effortless to "like" that.  Essentially, if that represents the depth of your commitment to the cause, then you have none.  I was attracted to permaculture because it says "Here's a good way of doing stuff", not "Industrial Agriculture is bad!  Follow me on Twitter"

3) Drugs.  I think that potheads reduce the credibility of permaculture as a sustainable system of agriculture (which, as far as I'm concerned, is its most important facet).  I think that an association with illegal activity reduces its credibility too.  Hemp as a fiber product?  I'm sure it's totally awesome, and as soon as the message isn't (more often than not) coming from a guy with bloodshot eyes and dreadlocks, I'm sure more people will listen.  You know who I think of whenever I hear the "Wait wait wait, turns out they used to use weed for rope and shit ... let's try and legalize that instead!" argument?  Dennis Hopper's character in Apocalypse Now.

4) Spirituality / music / hugs.  Pretty much the same argument as 3.  Was it Fukuoka that said (something like) don't try and fight nature, just nudge it in the right direction?  Well, guess what?  Mainstream society is part of nature too, and follows the same rules.  If you show up trying to sell them the permaculture package, and it's full of weird shit that freaks them out, then they won't buy the package and all the practical world changing possibility goes with it.  It's noble to want to save the world, but if that involves changing other people's behaviour rather than just your own, then you've got to fit inside their frame of reference.  You can get through to people with non-threatening things they can actually relate to like "save money" and "no pesticides".  That may well be the gateway (and I say this as someone currently standing at the gate, wide-eyed and fearful of the barefoot world that lies beyond) to opening their mind to some of the more esoteric stuff in permaculture land, and who knows, maybe they might want to sing songs with you and have a hug.

There was probably more stuff I furiously agree with, but I can't remember what it was now ... I think the military-industrial-complex must be slipping genetically modified glyphosphate into my nightcap bongs.

PS: Also, on the topic of tiptheweb type ideas, maybe the "ickyness" would hurt less of the person had to pay more to espouse it.  I suggest every participating page have two buttons "That was awesome! (give a nickel)" and "I hate you and everything you stand for, you ignorant fuck! (give a dime)".  Personally, I can listen to vitriol all day if I was being paid for it...

Keep up the good work, and I'll be sure to Like it on Facebook, you know ... if I have time.
 
pollinator
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And having now listened to 'deviation Part Two', I can say why Paul impresses me so much....I'm on the same page, mostly (my favorite acronym is DGARA as in "(I) Don't Give A Rat's Ass".)

--I've found many folks who just cannot make 'small talk', and feel the loss of the desired social meld.  Finding a like-minded who can provide the 'sharing experience' is a blessing for them..... and Paul makes sure this forum is aimed toward that kind of communication   Calling it a 'defect' does highlight it's downside, but I like to think of it more as a distinct communication 'style'. 

--I think our capitalist culture deliberately and religiously teaches us (in many ways) that we are basically competitive, violent, selfish and terminally discontent -  where as science is now showing us the obvious...our real pleasure comes from cooperation, peace and sharing.  (See Frans de Waal, Jeremy Rifkin, etc. on 'empathy', for starters.)  Hume was wrong about "brutish" primitive life.  I don't think there's anything wrong with productivity per se...either money or food commodities...it's what we do with the actual surpluses that tells the tale (and, of course, how they are achieved).

--After many marches, campaigns, meetings, etc., I too am sick of the constant "Ain't this/that awful!!" liberal dirge - true though it all is (and maybe the untutored need to hear it, but..).  And disappointed that there is so little interest in the alternative ways of operating - we will have to do an end run around the behemoths sooner or later, ala permaculture, Transition Towns, heterdox economics, etc. so that's what we need to be learning now... but try suggesting that subject matter at a progressive book club.

(Ala this, I think Buckminster Fuller was right... a frontal assault will not work and only plays into 'their' hands via 'divide and conquer' - he said "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  Maybe replace 'model' with 'picture/story' and 'obsolete' with 'unattractive'.... ?"  He said this pre-permaculture, btw.)

And, again, thanks Paul for having the courage to be your good and decent self  
















 
nancy sutton
pollinator
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Oh, and maybe that theoretical Goth Guy contributing only ideas could be the unorthodox thinker who ends up saving tons of labor... not likely, I admit, but often it's the person who is 'outside' of the common experience who sees the real possibilities.....but also might be hard to dump if common wisdom turns out to be accurate
 
Posts: 184
Location: Mineola, Texas
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Hey, I just want you to know that I love the podcasts, I learn a lot from them. (more at the beginning as I started from idiot level Wheaton ECO-level .06) So just know that you are making a huge difference in my life anyway.  I have listened to all of them, even the ones that weren't on my "interesting" list.

I'm currently relistening to podcasts 9, 10 & 11 "Making the big bucks with Permaculture" (About raising deer?  i think not!) and I am sharing these with my wife as we have a long term goal of become farmers of a nice 40-60 acre tract someday soon.

She is worried (as am I, if I have to be honest about it) that we will screw something up, make mistakes, fall on our faces, and lose what capital (read "go Broke" we have before we are actually able to make it a going concern.

As a loyal listener, I'd love it if you addressed such a concern. I think that the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most of us from diving into the unknown.
 
R Hasting
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I'd like Paul to interview Mark Shepherd. I've heard a couple interviews of him, but the person doing the interview isn't really understanding what the conversation is about.
Mark would be a good source for "permaculture making money" and in food foresting.
 
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With many of us seeing our growing season coming to an end perhaps some podcast on some fall/winter activities would be a good idea.

Overwintering animals
Site preparation for dormancy
Food storage
Crops that can be harvested all season
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Bumping this thread back up for more podcast requests! Apart from interview requests, here are some questions from folks following the real sounding name request.

Richard Hasting wrote:
She is worried (as am I, if I have to be honest about it) that we will screw something up, make mistakes, fall on our faces, and lose what capital (read "go Broke" we have before we are actually able to make it a going concern.

As a loyal listener, I'd love it if you addressed such a concern. I think that the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most of us from diving into the unknown.



Gary Abshire wrote:With many of us seeing our growing season coming to an end perhaps some podcast on some fall/winter activities would be a good idea.

Overwintering animals
Site preparation for dormancy
Food storage
Crops that can be harvested all season



Did I miss any other questions in this thread that haven't been covered yet? (Again, as part of Paul wanting to encourage a healthy community, the requests should be from real sounding names.)
Any new questions?
 
Posts: 66
Location: Nova Scotia
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If Paul (or someone he can interview) has any experience of anaerobic digesters for methane production I'd love to hear about it. Seems to me that biogas is part of the energy future and thus quite important for permaculture.
 
Posts: 155
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Methane production would be a fantastic subject for a podcast.

Great guys to interview would be Steven Harris or Jason Field (Urban farming guys)

aman
 
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Can Paul talk about his thoughts on backyard ponds for rain storage and food production.
 
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thoughts on pedal to petal and similar business models? the ICE on the road can be a bear in north idaho and other areas I am sure. Id like to take some parts of the way they do things and perhaps add egg delivery and could the food scraps possibly be all the supplemental feed the chickens would need?
 
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Some ideas:

1) I would like to hear a podcast with Helen Atthowe about her. What is her story? Why vegan? How does she think veganic is sustainable, etc. I know that jack spirko says it would be like nails on chalkboard but I would be interested in hearing what she has to say.

2) more podcasts on suburban permaculture. 1/4 acre lots fenced. What can we do to maximize the space?

3) some lists of top tens. Top ten trees. Top ten ground covers. Top ten herbs. Top ten veggies. Top ten things he would do to a backyard. For all of them, a why would be great too.

4) how should I use clover in my backyard? Tossed amongst grass? As grass? In my veggie beds? A lot? A little?

5) is there a resource (book or website) that gives lots of detail about permaculture plants by region? I live in FL so my plant choices are much different than Paul.

Tim
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Lots of good questions! You guys sure delivered!
 
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In one of the podcasts, I think with jack spirko, the idea was brought up to come up with a 'this is how you get started list' for different climates. The premises was that not everybody wants to dive into learning head over heal, or for that matter, go as deep as Paul does, but still want to get going. I know that patience is part of the process, and education, but sometimes it feels the more you read, the less clear it becomes how to start.
So, I second the list of plants and methods for different growing areas and also how to apply this principals to sub/urban situations.
Loving the podcasts and learning a lot! And this forum.
 
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Topic: Permaculture Advocacy

Audience: wheaton eco scale 2 (30% of purchased food is organic and let's assume has no access to a garden)

Question: "How could you image getting to a world where permaculture is a household word?"

Background:
I think it is pretty cool that over the last 20 years the word 'organic' has become a household word and pretty much everyone knows that it is better to buy organic over conventional even if they seldom do. What I find most surprising is that these same people could not imagine something better than organic. I love Paul's HUSP story and in that same vein, I would like to imagine a story which takes today's reality as a point of departure and paints a picture over x amount of years resulting in making permaculture a household word. I would be less interested in a story of permaculture replacing the organic labeling or permaculture becomes a calling card for some "return to the land" movement. But by taking what we know today and the through the strength of permaculture's practical applications it becomes recognized as a counter to industrial food production EVEN if it is not viable one. I optimistically estimate, if we could get 600 million* people to the embody the following meme, we would have reached the goal:

"Yes, organic is the best thing going right now, but man, if we could just get our hands on some of that permaculture stuff!!!"

I would love to hear Toby's eloquence applied to the question.

*For my calculations goto: http://www.permies.com/t/11322/permaculture/honey-you-please-pass-permaculture

 
pollinator
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at this time I have such a problem downloading the videos, and some of the audios, that I feel almost wrong in asking for any topics.

My main interest right now is food forest gardens in zone 4/5 temperate areas, like mine....and also more info on the perernnial vegetables and how to go about finding them, if people really think they taste good, are growing them, etc. I'm ordering a bunch of the ones I've been reading about this past year like Good King Henry, Tree collards, etc...to experiment with them here in our cold area
 
R Hasting
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Bumping this thread back up for more podcast requests! Apart from interview requests, here are some questions from folks following the real sounding name request.
Any new questions?



Hi Jocelyn, Every day that there isn't a Paul Wheaton (and Jocelyn too) podcast downloaded on my phone is a sad day for me. It has been over a month now

As I see it, Paul should have toasted the CFLs in the experiment, and it would be great to get an update on that.

I appreciate all you do. Thanks,

rh

 
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How about a podcast/video on how to save to seed?

Seems key to becoming independent of seed companies, and adapting varieties to our own plots of earth.

Maybe more than one would be needed to cover different kinds of plants??
 
Tim Eastham
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Bumping this thread back up for more podcast requests! Apart from interview requests, here are some questions from folks following the real sounding name request.

Richard Hasting wrote:
She is worried (as am I, if I have to be honest about it) that we will screw something up, make mistakes, fall on our faces, and lose what capital (read "go Broke" we have before we are actually able to make it a going concern.

As a loyal listener, I'd love it if you addressed such a concern. I think that the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most of us from diving into the unknown.



Gary Abshire wrote:With many of us seeing our growing season coming to an end perhaps some podcast on some fall/winter activities would be a good idea.

Overwintering animals
Site preparation for dormancy
Food storage
Crops that can be harvested all season



Did I miss any other questions in this thread that haven't been covered yet? (Again, as part of Paul wanting to encourage a healthy community, the requests should be from real sounding names.)
Any new questions?



How about a podcast on fungi? I have had some discussions with some people on another thread about recovering chemical-laden property with fungi. I haven't heard Paul talk much about fungi and they seem like a very important addition to a permaculture system.
 
pollinator
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Paul and Jocelyn go over some listener questions in this podcast. They talk about gardening, greenhouses, and starting from scratch doing something you love. podcast
 
pollinator
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Hi Paul,

I emailed you a couple of questions, and you asked me to post here with a view to podcast material. Here goes. 1) Assuming the clay and sand were present on site, what would your opinion be of making the structure of a WOFATI out of compressed earth block and/or rammed earth, to the end of extending the lifespan of the structure? Or are they specifically designed to return to the soil? 2) Are you familiar with the concept of time-banking, where people trade blocks of their own time helping eachother and keep track of it, to trade with others equitably? What is your opinion of such a plan? To these two, I will also add 3) What problems do you foresee trying to use a direct democratic system in an intentional community, with a view to easier interaction with the outside world and easier interaction with higher levels of government? In a farm community, say, focused on permaculture food production, what do you think of setting everything up as a business, paying people with food and/or shares of the company, with the founder/owner maintaining a controlling share to do an endrun around founders' syndrome?
I just want to say thanks again, you probably don't hear it enough.

-CK
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Tonight, Paul and I made a podcast to answer questions from these folks with real sounding names:
--Gary Abshire (might be a repeat?)
--Brenda Groth
--Joshua Msika
--Chad Ellis
--Casey Halone.

I'm not sure when this podcast will be published. Stay tuned!

Next on our list are questions from:
--Troy Ostrander
--R Hasting
--Denise Lehtinen
--Tim Eastham
--Chris Kott (whose questions might take an entire podcast by themselves! )

There have been some technical "hiccups" in producing the last few listener request podcasts, and some questions might have been lost. Please feel free to ask again if it seems we skipped your topic.

I'm going to start a separate thread of podcast interview requests.
 
Chris Kott
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Jocelyn,

If it's alright, I'll keep posting them. It seems every time I get a question answered, either by reading an entire thread or by asking questions in that thread, three pop up. Hopefully they're the kind you guys like to answer. Do you tell people they're being nuisances, or does Paul just boot them?
-CK
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Chris Kott wrote:Jocelyn,

If it's alright, I'll keep posting them. It seems every time I get a question answered, either by reading an entire thread or by asking questions in that thread, three pop up. Hopefully they're the kind you guys like to answer. Do you tell people they're being nuisances, or does Paul just boot them?
-CK



Keep 'em coming! That sounds like some good investigative learning.

Just no guarantees and when we'll answer the questions, exactly.

 
Suzy Bean
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Paul's latest listener question podcast : podcast 112
 
Suzy Bean
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Paul and Jocelyn cover more listener questions in this podcast. Some things they talk about include Paul's food rating system, (similar to Jack Spirko's Agritrue), eco-labeling, nurture vs. nature, recycling, legality of things like the clothes line, and pirating copyrighted material.
 
Chris Kott
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Hi all,

I am posting this here because while I know Paul is really big on promoting hugelkultur, and I've heard him say on podcasts at least once that the only land he seems to be able to find in an affordable price range, if in all other ways suitable, seems to always be too steep for cultivation. I know that this potential solution has limitations, and that if a species of wood with a long lifespan in a hugelbed isn't used for structure (say black locust or some variety of cedar/cypress) that you'd be encouraging your bed to go see your neighbours downhill, but has anyone proposed using huge hugelbeds anchored on the contour lines of a steep hill to create terracing? Jack Spirko noted on Paul's podcast where they talk about observing how trees fall naturally in forests how they seem to collect along contour lines. I think that this is a natural example of what I'm proposing. I think that if this is a good idea, it may be podcast-worthy. I also think that if this is a hilariously terrible landslide-waiting-to-happen, that Paul might use it to comedic effect.

Keep up the phenomenal work!

-CK
 
Chris Kott
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Oh, and I just listened to podcasts 113 to present. For the record, I probably SHOULD have entered my name as "Christopher." I am male. I'll try to keep in mind that if you're going to read my questions aloud, I'll try somehow to make my questions sound less pompous.

All my questions were answered, and well. Thank you, by the way. But I feel it important to stress that I'm not looking for you to answer in any specific way. I asked in a couple places what your opinions were on certain topics, and that is what I was looking for, and that applies to anything I ask. This is not a right/wrong answer thing.

As to why I wanted those questions addressed, if we're going to guide the discussion at all, I think it useful to have questions about things that solve the problems Paul seems to come back to, like the founders' syndrome thing, giving unique communities more effective voices or tactics in larger communities, making money with permaculture, that kind of thing.

As to future podcasts, I wanna hear Paul and ernie and erica talk about seasteading! And if Paul has a thought about the idea I posted earlier about hugelkultur used to form terraces on slopes that would otherwise be too steep to use, I'd love to hear that too.

Great stuff! Thanks!

-CK
 
Chris Kott
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I just thought of two things.

Thing the first: You people do everything you can to please your loyal listenership, and we love you for it. But a post suggesting podcast material is not a demand, and you need only air it if you feel like it. That said...

Thing the second: I posted earlier that I wanted to hear a podcast with Paul talking with Ernie and Erica about seasteading. What I'd like to hear about specifically is anything about mariculture (aquaculture at sea if there's any question). Conversations on the forums suggest to me that most seasteaders would essentially be salty hunter gatherers, and I was wondering if there was anything you've come across regarding farming the sea.

Oh, by the way, "...cult in permaculture...", I like that, permacultists, hmm, wonder where that came from?

One thing I hear in your podcast that I like and don't hear a lot of elsewhere is when you talk about greed, about ideas of entitlement, and about how there are ideas that work really well when everyone acts nobly, and how the best ideas go pear-shaped when opportunistic assholes (the bad kind) take advantage of the situation (an example from the podcasts are situations of hijacked intentional communities and founders' syndrome, for instance).

Thanks!

-CK
 
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It would be cool to hear you interview Brian Bankston (the Keyline Cowboy). If you haven't heard of him, he travels around the Midwest with his keyline plow using it on various farms to bring their soil back to life. Thanks for the podcasts, they're awesome. Also, if you get any flak for reading too much from the books you review, I went out and bought gaia's garden as a result of your podcast series, so there's proof that you have boosted sales...
 
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Location: Southern Finland
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Phil Hawkins wrote:T
2) Activism.  I think this is real simple, and basically boils down to laziness.  It takes less effort to complain about an existing thing than to come up with an alternative.  Coming up with alternatives (even if it's just getting an idea out there, much less some physical proof the idea works) requires effort, ingenuity, and (most importantly) actually understanding the problem in the first place.  I just about fell out of my chair recently when a newspaper was reporting on public sentiment on a social justice issue by the number of "likes" a Facebook page (decrying the objectionable status quo) had received.  First off, it's so almost effortless to say "X sucks, they should totally do better than X", and secondly, I'm going to round down to two decimal places here and say it IS effortless to "like" that.  Essentially, if that represents the depth of your commitment to the cause, then you have none.  I was attracted to permaculture because it says "Here's a good way of doing stuff", not "Industrial Agriculture is bad!  Follow me on Twitter"



While I definitely agree with you Phil that the number of "likes" on Facebook doesn't really tell anything I however have to say that not all activism is effortless or boils down to laziness. I have been an "activist" and sometimes still feel the need to become one. But to tell you the truth, I don't have the strength to be a full time activist. It takes so much time and effort and you have to be extremely strong mentally to be able to handle the constant losing. Because most of the time you are losing. What you are protesting against will get built/ done no matter how much you campaign against it.

Example: I do not want to count the times I've been protesting or gathering names against building a new nuclear power plant in Finland. Every time we have lost. It doesn't matter how many names we get in petitions or whether the Greens are in parliament or not, the nuclear power plant always gets a permission from the goverment in the end.

The fact that I just don't have the strength to fight a lost battle ALL the time is the reason I was drawn to permaculture. Permaculture is physically and intellectually much more demanding than activism but I feel it is emotionally and mentally A LOT easier than activism. It is so much more rewarding to be doing something positive, using your hands, seeing tangible results.

Because of the positive energy I get from doing "permaculture stuff" I now have more mental strength to take the bad news and I can be an activist every now and then.
 
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