The Permaculture Student

A resilient, abundant future starts with permaculture education.

The 5 Steps to an Abundant Future, Live at Golden Coast Mead - Episode 63

Matt PowersComment

How are we going to reverse Climate Change?

How are we ever going to navigate the soup of names and terms within the regenerative space? What if we focused on ACTIONS not LABELS?

That's the entire idea behind the 5 Steps: list what actions will reverse climate change & guarantee an abundant future for all. The 5 Steps are: Build Soil, Grow Forests, Restore Oceans & All Water, Restore Biodiversity, & Rewild Human Culture! It's really just that simple! That boils down all of permaculture into a simple set of steps we can communicate to anyone.

From there Frank Golbeck had the idea that we have locals representing the 5 steps speak after I did and you can hear for yourself how it went right here:

If you'd like to start your own 5 Steps event in your town or city with me as host, please contact me at Matt@ThePermacultureStudent.com

How do I start a Regenerative/Permaculture Business?

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What's your Passion?

Are you into mushrooms? Cows? Holacracy? Helping the elderly? Working with kids? Gardening? Regenerative workers come in all fields and serving both the earth and people. Find what makes you smile wider than you thought your mouth could stretch! What gets you wired more than coffee ever could? What gives you meaning?

Find a Need

What needs are there in your community? What are the stressors in your life that others share? How does your passion fill others needs? Can you connect the two?

Alignment

When we align our passions with our business with serving people and our bioregional ecosystems, we see incredible things happen. The integrity that all of us desire naturally arises out of doing what you believe in: that rightness or congruency is rooted there. We must walk the walk and talk the talk in public and behind closed doors, in times of ease and stress, with loved ones and with strangers. We must be one consistent message both to ourselves and the world. Only then will our regenerative message be its most clear, loud, and inspiring. Find your alignment and then hammer out a rhythm... and join the new course where we are learning to do this in a group I facilitate with others who have been doing this for years as well as starting out. 

If you feel called to this work, please join us in the Regeneration:

Justin Bithel of Abundant Gardens - Episode 62 - An Abundant Future with Matt Powers

Matt PowersComment

Matt Powers is joined this week by Justin Bithel of Orange County California to talk about how bees can solve climate change & how we need to make it easier for everyone to work with bees. His amazing hive can be constructed without glue, nails, or screws. It's marine-quality wood too!

Check out his hives here: 
www.abundantgardens.org/shop/
Discount code is in the podcast (listen close!)

So easy my 5 year old built it!

Subscribe to An Abundant Future with Matt Powers on iTunes here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/permaculture-tonight/id996293969?mt=2

What if You Could Create Three New Tomato Varieties a Year? What if We All Could?

Matt PowersComment

A Natural Twist of Fate

Brad Gates of Wildboar farms didn't start out with intention to change the tomato world, but a natural twist of fate intervened. Brad Gates started out conventional and switched to organic and heirloom when he experienced their quality, taste, resiliency, and marketability, but that's not what changed tomatoes as we know them though it allowed for the opportunity. By just being an organic farmer, Brad's fields allowed pollinators to access his tomato flowers which led to a striped heirloom cross (what would become Black & Brown Boar) that would inspire him to become a tomato breeder. Since then, he has moved from putting stripes to anthocyanin blushes on every size and color tomato he can find - totaling over 60 new tomato varieties in 20 years.

Black & Brown Boar - one of his first! click the image to learn more.

Black & Brown Boar - one of his first! click the image to learn more.

What does this mean for me and you?

Making new varieties is not that hard! When I visited Brad at his Napa Valley farm a couple years ago, he shared with us how we all can make our own unique varieties. Not talking about adaptations to local climates, but truly NEW and UNIQUE varieties of tomatoes. It just takes doing the work of the pollinator first hand.

This same concept works for peppers and eggplants in the nightshade family (with potatoes you have to let them flower and then produce seed - YES there are true potato seeds!). For the EASIEST introduction to how hand pollinating works, start with squash (winter, summer, pumpkin, etc.). Their flowers are gigantic and obvious. With peppers and tomatoes, you may have to use a paint brush or tickle them with your finger as some do. 

Breed Your Own Varieties! - click on the image to see more from The Permaculture Student 2

Breed Your Own Varieties! - click on the image to see more from The Permaculture Student 2

I've been working on new varieties and landraces of corn, mustard, kale, amaranth, and squash for several years. They are fun and easy to work with. The plants tend to grab the most useful traits out of the mix offered when crossing. It gives a plant that's been bred "true" for so long a sudden burst of genetic options to upgrade in the face of the new climate, management, or other condition. This is why Brad Gates' tomatoes are so disease resistant; they latched onto the disease and pest resistance of the original wild tomato used in the cross. They are superior to other tomatoes. I can even throw sow them without adapting them to my area or throw sowing for a season - they just thrive. We can all make incredible new varieties possible OR make the impossible adaptations of yesterday possible today with microclimates and permaculture sense.

"Impossible Corn" - Pisscorunto/Chuspi Sacred Valley Peruvian Corn. Grown for the first time to seed in Coarsegold, CA.  Photo Credit: Laura Stilson/BakerCreek.

"Impossible Corn" - Pisscorunto/Chuspi Sacred Valley Peruvian Corn. Grown for the first time to seed in Coarsegold, CA.  Photo Credit: Laura Stilson/BakerCreek.

Impossible to Adapt

Little did I know but when I bought one pack of each type of rare corn I could from Joseph Simcox's Explorer Series I'd be doing something no one else had. I read online that it was daylight sensitive, and I figured I'd plant it under the shade of giant oak trees on the shady side of a hill that only got direct sun in the afternoon. The silks matched the pollen release & it stayed dry and hot enough long enough. It took a a full seven months from planting soaked seed in May to harvesting the whole plant in November (210+ day corn) - then a month of hang drying the entire corn stalk with the corn still wrapped and attached for the most mature seed possible.

In addition to trying to adapt these corns, I crossed two varieties: K'uyu Chuspi & Pisscorunto. This gave the cross a choice between a wider variety of genetics to use to adapt to the new hemisphere, elevation, and sunpath. None of the other plants were successful like these were, and the area they were in isolated the two varieties to their own rhythm and clock - nothing was as late as they were! The second year I grew this variety, it shaved an entire month off its timetable. It's the 3rd year adapting my Impossible Purple Speckled Corn, and I'm hoping this year the corn does well in our test sites all over North America. If it does, it truly has adapted fully to our hemisphere in only two seasons!

It wasn't hard at all.

I soaked the seeds overnight, planted them in a cleared area (on swales on a hill), and watered them with a sprinkler on a timer initially - that was all I did. Later in the season once the silks came out, I pulled the sprinkler and hand watered and flood irrigated the swale in rotations (I could leave the flood irrigation on a timer and walk away and water the deeper root systems not just the surface). I cut the stalks at their base to leave the root zone (rhizosphere) intact and then they were hang upside down to dry under an awning for a month. You can do it too. You just need the long growing season. I hope to cross my peruvian corn with painted mountain corn to get the short and fast growth habit - both are flour corns.

You too can make your own adaptation or cross in your own garden this season. There's still time; flowers are forming as you read this. Speaking of projects, you can help me with one of mine: I'm trying to turn traditional native american popcorn all purple. I crossed Cherokee White Eagle flint corn with traditional native america white and yellow popcorn. By selecting for just purple when seed saving and planting, we increase the amount of cobs with purple and the percentage of those cobs that are purple seed. 

If you'd like to work on this project with me, you can acquire seed here: http://www.thepermaculturestudent.com/seeds/landrace-popcorn

If you'd like to work on this project with me, you can acquire seed here: http://www.thepermaculturestudent.com/seeds/landrace-popcorn

Everyone can be a Plant Breeder.

Plant Breeding using Traditional Means is the Future.

We can Bring Back Biodiversity 1 new backyard variety at a time.

We need everyone. If we just had a 100 hobby breeders following Brad Gates' rate and example, we'd have we'd have 1200 new varieties of tomato in just 4 years. Imagine if we did that with all the food types? We need to, and it'll be fun, fascinating, advantageous on so many levels, and delicious!

Join us in the Regeneration of our Food Biodiversity! 

Coming Soon! Brad Gates Online Courses & Books!!

PS: Another component of this would be wild biodiversity, foraging, and helping foster habitat as part of our daily living, but we'll save that for another blog ;) - Matt

Brad Gates, Creator of 60 New Tomato Varieties in 20 Years - Episode 61 - An Abundant Future with Matt Powers

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Summary

Brad Gates of Wildboar farms in Northern California talks with Matt Powers about starting out and how he found his way to organic, heirlooms, stripes, and even anthocyanin splashed tomatoes! Brad shares us his rationale behind his work and the incredible discoveries he's made along the way. 

Brad started out working on a conventional tomato farm and witnessed firsthand the difference between it and organic. When he saw the health of the plants (and higher survival rates), Brad switched to organic. When he saw and tasted heirloom tomatoes he was converted, and when he realized you could save the seeds, he was hooked. Only by a natural accident did Brad start down the road of breeding tomatoes. First it was stripes for Brad, then it was the anthocyanin blush from a wild tomato cross that created an entire new branch to the tomato family. 

Today, Brad teaches classes and talks on tomatoes and tomato breeding with a new book and new courses on the horizon. Follow Brad's work on his site and on social media.

Brad Gates' Wild Boar Farms homepage:
wildboarfarms.com

Here are the GameChanger Tomatoes that were turning points in Brad Gates' Career!! Grow the Best Tomatoes Available: 

The Porkchop:
wildboarfarms.com/product/pork-chop/

The Black & Brown Boar:
wildboarfarms.com/product/black-brown-boar/

Berkeley Tie Dye:
wildboarfarms.com/product/berkeley-tie-dye/

and one of my favorites - Black Beauty:
wildboarfarms.com/product/black-beauty/

Permaculture vs Permaculture Design - Herein Lies a Confusion... & a New Solution: the Permaculture Mastery Checklist

Matt Powers2 Comments
Photo by Matt Powers.

Photo by Matt Powers.

Micro vs Macro

Permaculture design ethics and principles range in definition, wording, and scope, depending on which co-creator of the word permaculture you adhere to, yet the reality is that the cultures Bill Mollison and David Holmgren studied and distilled their ideas from used Permaculture as a lens - as a way of seeing everything, not just gardening or tree crops. In other words, the distilled concepts that Bill and David were playing with came from cultures that would recognize their "examples" of permaculture in action as part of giant interconnected whole which encompassed their culture, daily lifestyles, ambitions, and limitations. They didn't see all these things as separate - permaculture was a holistic reality to them. If you didn't partner with nature to any extent, you soon found yourself living in a wasteland and starving - which is not to say the last 10,000 years of "civilization" are not a long chain of ecological degradation via agriculture and natural resource liquidation: the examples that inspired by Bill and David were long-standing cultures with regenerative skills. For me, I saw the principles being applied to everything, making it a HUGE concept, but maybe that came out of my permaculture design course itself...

Natural principles, the 3 ethics, and regenerative design principles can be applied to almost anything. I applied it to gardening in a recent course. It can be applied to business, architecture, alternative energy, and much more. Image by Matt Powers.

Natural principles, the 3 ethics, and regenerative design principles can be applied to almost anything. I applied it to gardening in a recent course. It can be applied to business, architecture, alternative energy, and much more. Image by Matt Powers.

Permaculture as an Adjective

Geoff Lawton was likely the first person I heard use permaculture as an adjective, not just a noun - I was in his online PDC in 2014. Permaculture is often used as a synonym for regenerative action. Often after a PDC, students "see" permaculture in all sorts of places despite those things being designed without permaculture in mind - like the way Sepp Holzer adopted the term because someone convinced him his work qualified as permaculture. Geoff is also a leading example in the perpetual innovation of the PDC model - recently he launched the PDC 2.0 despite having the most popular PDC online course in the world already! Permaculture has been transforming into something beyond just the original 5 principles of Bill Mollison's big black book to David's expansion to 12 principles - it is a regenerative lens, a way of seeing the world.

The Fibershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities and business establish and maintain a localized soil to soil garment and textile industry. It is truly a permaculture non-profit. Image from The Permaculture Student 2, by Matt Powers.

The Fibershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping communities and business establish and maintain a localized soil to soil garment and textile industry. It is truly a permaculture non-profit. Image from The Permaculture Student 2, by Matt Powers.

Beyond or Within the Permaculture Umbrella

Many teachers, renowned practitioners of all stripes, and students alike recognize permaculture as being a lens through which all regenerative practices from Bokashi to Holistic Management to Vertical Ocean Farming to Regenerative Investment can be seen in an organized system. Permaculture is simply seeing the world through nature's eyes - using nature's systems and cycles to solve problems and to beneficially and regeneratively take care of people and environmental systems. That means we see permaculture an attempt to map the holistic system of syntropy - fully knowing that we can only humbly estimate the infinite and complex interplay of in situ natural cycles and processes at work on any given site. This allows for permaculture to mature beyond the "design science" strictures and makes it a unifying movement that organizes all regenerative work into a framework of ethics, principles, and practice.  

Designing our sites is often the first step in a long journey of adaptation in our lives, landscapes, and communities. Illustration by Wayne Fleming from The Permaculture Student 1.

Designing our sites is often the first step in a long journey of adaptation in our lives, landscapes, and communities. Illustration by Wayne Fleming from The Permaculture Student 1.

A PDC is an Introduction to Design & Permaculture, the Concept

A PDC is 72 hrs of information. There are 180 school days in a typical school year with usually means you are with your students once a day for 45 minutes. That's 135 hours of learning on that one subject in a school year - a PDC is like a semester of information that usually is condensed into a 2-week experience tied to homesteading skills that can be hands-on but sometimes they are purely informational. It teaches skills and the concept of intentional design and analysis while it introduces ecological understanding and historically backed common sense. For many it is like a breath of fresh air while for some it sounds a lot like common sense, just iterated and intentional. The PDC is amazingly transformational for most who take them, but it is only step 1 in a process that evolves past the PDC. Many who have taken PDCs do not go on to share their information or even implement their designs. The list of reasons for why are many, but it is likely because the PDC stops at the design and the homestead. Many instructors have suggested or used permaculture as more than a set of design science steps, but few have expanded its meaning and application likely because many felt there was no medium to do it through or example to follow. 

The Permaculture Student 2 organizes a wide spectrum and diversity of regenerative practices into a cohesive, organized system that is easy to understand and connect to a path of higher learning. I created it to serve this need - for students to see past the PDC and apply permaculture to everything.

A Permaculture Mastery Checklist

Criteria-based assessments are ancient and effective - you learn by doing, and by doing, you gain mastery. It is simple. We can add a checklist of skills or activities that nearly every permaculture teacher could/should/would know how to do on a global level and then perhaps additional climate-specific checklists. The local biome's own checklist can only come from local experts. Higher level mastery will ALWAYS come from local masters who have had the time and experience in that biome: in every area there are endemic species and climate considerations. Feel free to start your own checklists, to download mine, to modify it, or to invent something else entirely new. The more we discuss and reflect on teaching, learning, permaculture, and the needs of our people and environment, the more we will improve at doing those things. 

Please Note: If you've read this far, YOU ARE AWESOME!! Thank You!

Permaculture Student Mastery Checklist 6.jpg

Join our Mailing List & Download the Mastery Checklist: 

Have a great week! Tune in Monday for a New Podcast Episode on An Abundant Future with Matt Powers on iTunes & Soundcloud, Wednesday for the Seed & Book GiveAway 4pm LIVE on Facebook, & Friday for another new blog right here. Thank you for reading!

-Matt Powers

Natives, Invasives, Names, & Choices

Matt Powers1 Comment

Are you eating Natives?

While some rush to protect wild plants from humans even approaching them or interacting with them in a natural context, most plants need interaction to thrive. We've already removed the majority of biodiversity and put in means to prevent easy reconnection (fences, roads, suburbs, pollution, desertification, extinction, etc.) Many plants if not grazed or browsed upon will not thrive. Animals are needed, and we too are animals and part of nature. We are at fault for removing, displacing, or poisoning these ecosystems, so we must clean them up and restore them.

In order for native plants to be valued, they must be part of our lives - we not only protect what we love, but what we include in our daily lives. A superb example of this concept is found in Sean Sherman and his work as the Sioux Chef to reimagine and revive native american cuisine - he is an inspiration. Sean is Oglala Lakota and a chef that recognized the connection between diabetes in the native american community and food - using the traditional ingredients of his culture's diet, Sean is helping heal his community. On top of that, he is preserving and protecting native plants through their recognition as food and having value in his own community as well as by the great many people and communities in contact with his work. 

"Blossom Moon Second course: Smoked Turkey Cranberry Pemmican Soup • Wild Rice Cake • Fiddlehead Fern • Popcorn Shoot • Sorrel • Cranberry Wojapi Broth" by Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef. http://sioux-chef.com

"Blossom Moon Second course: Smoked Turkey Cranberry Pemmican Soup • Wild Rice Cake • Fiddlehead Fern • Popcorn Shoot • Sorrel • Cranberry Wojapi Broth" by Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef. http://sioux-chef.com

Pascal Baudar is doing similar things: connecting communities with their local "terroir" - the local territory's flavor! 

"Raw Country Elderberry Wine" by Pascal Baudar 2017. https://www.facebook.com/pascal.baudar

"Raw Country Elderberry Wine" by Pascal Baudar 2017. https://www.facebook.com/pascal.baudar

What's Invasive?

Many people lament the plight of our Native Plants being overrun by Invasives - they will pour huge amounts of emotion, resources, and chemical into the defense of this concept of purity being tainted. It is essential anthropogenic in its conception: foreign invaders are moving in and taking over! The real problem with this idea is that - in terms of biodiversity - everything at one point was invasive. I recall Toby Hemenway talking about how Douglas Fir trees were invasive less than 2,000 years ago, and that makes sense - how does Darwinian or even Syntropic Evolution work? Every adaptation would be labeled "invasive" right? Making the concept itself anti-nature at its core. 

Are you eating Invasives?

Pascal Baudar teaches foraging all over the world. He was raised in Belgium and lives now in Los Angeles. He even teaches students how to eat invasives and natives in such a way to promote native habitat and biodiversity. His work is often controversial in the No-Touch world of native plant enthusiasts and ecologists who believe in only non-action and observation as ways to interact with nature (which assumes that humans are not part of that system which is ludicrous as well as climate change requires non-action rather than action).

In reality, there are no Invasives: All are Invasives. The same goes with Nature & Humanity: Humans are part of nature, not separate. The global landscape has been affected and shaped by human activities long before the industrial age exponentially increased it though it was long recognized hundreds and thousands of years ago that human activity (agriculture) was destroying landscapes. What we need to do is flip our behavior upside down and start living syntropically.

The concept of eating invasives extends outward and embraces this idea that you consume your problems turning them into food, making the problem a solution. How can we Eat the Invasives in our own lives, systems, and designs?

"Weeds and insects Dandelion salted, rinsed (to remove some bitterness) and steamed. Foraged and pickled mustard seeds (black mustard, mediteranean mustard, etc...). Sesame oil and soy sauce for dressing. Roasted grasshoppers (Chapulines) - Shaved aged Parmesan." by Pascal Baudar. https://www.facebook.com/pascal.baudar

"Weeds and insects

Dandelion salted, rinsed (to remove some bitterness) and steamed. Foraged and pickled mustard seeds (black mustard, mediteranean mustard, etc...). Sesame oil and soy sauce for dressing. Roasted grasshoppers (Chapulines) - Shaved aged Parmesan." by Pascal Baudar. https://www.facebook.com/pascal.baudar

Names Have Power

When we give something a name like Invasive or Native, we automatically create division and build in value-judgements wherein nature there is only fluid change over time and no good/bad roles to be had. Instead of honoring and respecting these plants as individuals, whether wanted or unwanted, we fail to recognize that they indicate soil conditions, climate change, disturbance, pollution, and more. Looking holistically, we can readily see that the local climates are changing dramatically all over the world and native plants are suffering. Invasive or destructive insects, fungi, bacteria, or plants are an epidemic in forests across the globe. They are drawing those natives (which are often in a monoculture of evergreens for timber) down to the soil to restart the system (often earlier in succession, so we get pioneer species that show up: weeds and invasives). All these ecosystems are rebooting - we have to prevent this if we are to survive as a species. 

What Patterns will you Choose to Adopt?

The hour is later than we can grasp, but there's still time to blunt or prevent the environmental disaster that looms in the near future. It is now that we must intentionally adopt new patterns to become what we need to be to change what must be changed. Eating invasives and natives, planting natives in our systems, partnering with nature and using whatever plants work regardless of origin to reverse desertification and sequester carbon are all critical steps to take now in our own systems, cities, and towns. Whatever dislocation exists in our communities and between peoples and governments, banks, and/or corporations must be addressed soon to make widespread change. The good news is people are waking up - looking for change. The time is here to open their minds to the greater patterns that play around us continually in the natural world. Now is the time for garden, food forests, soil building, composting, mycoremediation, phytoremediation, restoration, regeneration, and much much more. The time is now, and the regenerative field is a wide open space just waiting for hard-working, ethical, and informed individuals to take charge. 

You can use my courses and books to learn more about how to live regeneratively and see with the eyes of nature: http://www.thepermaculturestudent.com/course-signup/ 

You can learn to forage with Pascal Baudar by following his work here: https://www.facebook.com/pascal.baudar

If you would like to learn more about Native American culture, cuisine, ethnobotany, and more, check out Sean Sherman's work: http://sioux-chef.com

The Green Belt Movement & The Story of Wangari Maathai - a Reading from The Permaculture Student 2

Matt PowersComment

Here's just one of several videos I'll be releasing to celebrate the release of our new book: The Permaculture Student 2!!! I have 2 other new books (for younger audiences), but this one is a real game changer (for high school, college, & adult audiences) - lots of new information setup in a new organized holistic format.

What is Possible? The Regenerative Economy

Matt PowersComment

What is Possible?

Most folks have no idea what is possible simply because they are unacquainted with the natural systems and cycles of our natural world. They cannot imagine natural solutions to complex modern problems because they have never seen or heard of such solutions. More than anything else, our goal with our business and educational resources is to bring these initial suggestions and solutions into the collective consciousness, so that we can start to think creatively and with a full understanding about our world and our actions in it. Only then will we arrive at the solutions we truly need. We will likely not find permanent or even longterm solutions from our current small pool of minds - instead, we will inspire those that will come up with those solutions by our actions, discussions, and struggles. That being said, we have to plan as if we can find those longterm solutions to access our best answers to the current problems & then we tinker and revise to get better solutions. It is a process of adaptation and improvisation. 

The Regenerative Economy

The regenerative economy is simply one that facilitates the regeneration of degraded landscapes while supporting businesses or families economically. These could be farmers, beekeepers, ranchers, orchardists, and more.  The economic measures for progress could be based around the sale of carbon credits, product sales, leasing the land to other regenerative ventures, the sale of public or private shares in the company, the land, or the products, and even the levels of natural capital and their changes over time(calculated as biodiversity levels, soil depth, soil organic matter, water retention, etc.) While it may sound like a hyped up version of stock in timberland which is slow to mature and cash in, regenerative land-flipping can happen within a few years - from barren to biodiversity-rich in only three to five seasons. The bottom line in the regenerative economy is always one that reflects linked growth in the environment and the quality of life for all people involved and affected.

What If? 

What if we fomented a speculation craze on degraded land? A system in which groups could buy or lease abandoned farmland, desertified wilderness, and poorly managed public lands, restore that land, run a business regeneratively on that landscape, and then buy or sell stocks once mature after less than 10 years time - leaving a thriving business and ecology in their wake. If we could start flipping land like this, we’d see a boom of regenerative jobs using the same modalities as the prior economy but with additional new roles.

Not so Unrealistic…

These ideas aren’t so far fetched as private investors and individuals have been doing this very thing for decades already: buy land, restore it, and sell it. Many folks practicing permaculture find this to be the case. There are many famous worldwide examples of farmers or companies with regenerative transition plans for restoring a landscape and making money - Ernst Gotsch in Brazil and Willie Smits in Borneo both have a tropical successional system to do this. In the temperate climate, there is a longer time scale for investments to mature, so instead of a 4-5 year adaptation, we have 10-20 year adaptations. These provide a spectrum of investments and maturation rates that are local and climate specific. 

What about superbly degraded land? We have examples of restoration there too with real investors with real payoffs - a prime example being the World Banks water restoration project on the Loess Plateau & the revegetating of rural China. Neal Spackman’s work with the Al Baydha Project is also a prime example - it can profitably scale up to regreening the entire Saudi Arabian peninsula’s coast. We just need to make a system that opens up these isolated operations into a market where investors can plug in money that’s already in the system.

We Can Change

What if 401k’s invested in regenerative land flipping? What if Wall St. started speculating over the relative value of the 3.5 BHa worldwide that is desertified if it was restored? What would that do to the economy? The environment? Jobs? Prospects for the future? We can change the game we are playing - we just have to consciously break the pattern. It starts with investing our time and money in regenerative businesses and actions.

Our Permaculture Legacy is Bound to the Rising Generation via PermacultureVelocity

Matt PowersComment

Via Permaculture Velocity where I was guest blogging:

"What’s fastest way to spread permaculture?

What’s the longest lasting way to spread permaculture?

Education seems to be the agreed ‘fastest way’ in our community though by example is cropping up now, but we focus primarily on adults and sometimes large groups like governments. I worry that it might not be a lasting change if we simply change the adults, even if we change all adults. As a high school teacher, I know that most kids don’t even have a section of psyche to house permaculture in yet; they’re mostly too caught up in drama, grades or entertainment. If these are the new voters in 2 or 3 years, how are we going to compete against their apathy & ignorance? They’ll just bulldoze over our food forests when we dieor make them illegal and then do that while we live, or any number of things. We need to have the rising generations join us in this ecosystemic and cultural rebirth.

…but how would that work?"

continued:

http://107garden.com/blog/2015/6/1-permaculturelegacy

Our Permaculture Story

Matt PowersComment

I found permaculture a long way down the road of fighting my wife's cancers (thyroid & melanoma). It allowed me to test my food and soil to prove their safety and quality. I was able to see how I could achieve my vision of living off the land for food and medicine (though we'll never be able to produce our own thyroid replacement hormones). Perhaps if we'd been able to know these things earlier we would have been able to save her thyroid and be free of perpetual testing of her T3 & T4 levels, but we missed that window. We hope our experiences can help others avoid our painful experiences. I could spend a book on this depressing topic, but suffice to say, permaculture gave me hope and a clear set of actions that I could take to change the situation we were in, so we don't have to dwell on the hardships of the past, only the solutions today.

Using Geoff Lawton's online permaculture design course which is endorsed by Permaculture cofounder Bill Mollison, my soils became rich and loamy within only a few months. Generational farmers began paying me to show them how I did what I did. Water retention continued through August despite the drought turning the garden's soil hydrophobic last August. For the first time gardening here I began to get a yield without fences. Permaculture was the missing piece I was looking for all along. Beyond that I also saw that permaculture design applied to the way we organize a business, do a presentation, manage a relationship or design a farm. As a connective design science, it effortlessly explores the overlap between disparate ideas, techniques & technologies to create new solutions to our ever increasing set of new problems. We have a toolkit here to help us weather climate change and invest in a stable future, but we have to take action. We cannot hope for the few thousand dedicated & effective permaculturists to do it all alone; we must all join in the effort and put our shoulders to the wheel. This is the great work of our time as John D. Liu puts it, and we have a chance to take part. Let us start now and never hesitate.

Let us plant trees that we may never eat the fruit thereof everywhere we can.

MP