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Podcast 118 - How to Dive In to Permaculture

Cassie Langstraat
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Credit: Brian Walker

Paul hosts listener Josiah Wallingford, advising him on the dive into permaculture.

Before this, however, Paul speaks to listener comments expressing hopes for future podcast guests, styles and topics by suggesting that listeners follow Wallingford’s example and start their own RSS feed. Wallingford explains how an RSS (rich site summary) feed is a customizable web subscription to literary and multi-media content from multiple sites or sections of sites that delivers it all to a single “channel” or “feed” on your site according to your preferences of author, media type, content matter, etc., to which someone of like-minded preferences as yourself might, in turn, subscribe. Paul adds how this kind of cross-networking can only strengthen everyone’s respective knowledge "empire," because RSS feeds direct interested audiences to content authors’ own sites. Wallingford encourages people to produce their own content and RSS feeds as a method of personal growth in distinguishing personal ideals and success strategies. Paul and Josiah remind us that mutual respect for authorship is vital for internet communities’ productivity and expansion. Simply because content is monetarily “free,” does not imply that it should be aggregated and distributed in bulk on torrents or other platforms that do not lead audiences back to the source of such content, in this case, permies.com and richsoil.com, where audience participation is needed for more quality content to be viably produced.

Paul and Josiah continue to discuss threshold concepts in building a permaculture farm. Essentially, Paul conveys the following observations:

To manage larger parcels of land according to permaculture techniques, some help beyond that of one’s partner / spouse is required, at least for basic upkeep, and possibly to supply special skill sets, lest one “suffer under the weight of one’s own desires.” If one raises herd animals, someone must be on hand 24 – 7 to rotate them between paddocks. A hybrid arrangement of private and communal spaces might be a practical place to begin when accommodating on-site help.

A gradual transition into permaculture might allow you to: Accumulate skills and knowledge necessary for maximal self-sufficiency, accumulate funds sufficient for the initial transition period between acquiring land and building lucrative systems on it and gauge commitment levels of all persons involved, thereby minimizing the risk of the inherently difficult transitioning from wage-slavery and indebtedness to permaculture. Paul suggests reading the books

Early Retirement Extreme, by Jacob Lund Fisker, and Mortgage Free, by Rob Roy, as guides for this transission. Intentional communities of all imaginable sorts exist, and might provide a stepping stone toward determining which type of social and functional interactions are appropriate for your personal permaculture ideals. The website ic.org is a good place to begin looking. Paul warns of the ubiquitous drama that characterizes many communities and suggests PDC’s (permaculture design certification courses) as a good way to experiment with functional community living over a short time without as much drama, and reminds everyone to “be portable” before settling into any long-term community living arrangement.

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