Toby Hemenway joins me to talk permaculture – how permaculture has changed and how we can work more permaculture into our lives.
[blockquote cite=”Toby Hemenway” type=”center”]”When you are doing work of value, people will support you in a variety of ways, not just money.”[/blockquote]
[blockquote cite=”Toby Hemenway” type=”center”]”How do you know if you’re on the right track? When resources start to gather around you.”[/blockquote]
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- It really benefits anyone in almost any field to be able to think in whole systems. Someone who embraces permaculture can do a lot more than teach and design property. Apply permaculture techniques and principles to what you do.
- Find good mentors. Many people want to help others. You just have to ask.
- Some standard economic training is good. You can get a great toolkit and then apply it however you want. Standard training is a tool, a means to an end if you goal is ecological design.
- Catch kids while thinking in whole systems. Before they are trained out of it into compartmentalized thinking.
- Starting with soil fertility and building organic matter is a good idea. It is almost a universal panacea along with being careful with water.
- Move to the highest generalization. For example, do you want to open a store, or do you want to make a living providing good products for your community.
- Find the things in life that you are really good at and do those things. It gives you good feedback and then you start building confidence and making forward progress.
- Want to transition careers? Find ways to make it less scary – lower expenses.
- “Rather than becoming a permaculturist, apply permaculture to the things that you are really passionate about and your really skilled at.”
- “Find people who are profiting doing that thing that you want to do with a permaculture twist and work/help/support or be mentored by them.”
- “Arrive a technique, don’t impose a technique.”
- “How do you know you’re on the right track? When resources start to gather around you.”
- “When you’re doing work of value, people will support you in a variety of ways, not just money.”
Trojan Horses, Recipes and Permaculture
by Toby Hemenway
“The Transition movement seemed to catch fire right from the beginning, and I confess that its success made me, as a permaculturist, a bit envious. Here was a program for converting to a post-oil society, created by a permaculture teacher using permaculture principles, and it seemed to be becoming better known and more highly regarded than permaculture itself.
Over a thousand towns have adopted Transition plans, national Transition organizations have sprung up in dozens of countries, and the Transition Handbook offers a clear implementation plan for energy descent, while permaculture lacks formal national and even regional centers in most places, and is a word that not only few people have heard, but one that many practitioners can barely define well enough for others to grasp.
What was it that made Transition so comprehensible, exciting, and respectable, while permaculture seemed diffuse, slow-growing, and smelling a bit of patchouli oil?”
Read the full article at Toby’s PatternLitteracy.com.
Books by Toby Hemenway:
The first edition of Gaia’s Garden sparked the imagination of America’s home gardeners, introducing permaculture’s central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.
Many people mistakenly think that ecological gardening—which involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plants—can take place only on a large, multiacre scale. As Hemenway demonstrates, it’s fun and easy to create a “backyard ecosystem” by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
- Building and maintaining soil fertility and structure
- Catching and conserving water in the landscape
- Providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals
- Growing an edible “forest” that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful. Best of all, once it’s established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work that’s needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden.
Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food—connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways—applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design, illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns, and suburbs.
The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures. Hemenway lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs for food, water, shelter, energy, community, and livelihood in sustainable, resilient ways. Readers will find new information on designing the urban home garden and strategies for gardening in community, rethinking our water and energy systems, learning the difference between a “job” and a “livelihood,” and the importance of placemaking and an empowered community.
This important book documents the rise of a new sophistication, depth, and diversity in the approaches and thinking of permaculture designers and practitioners. Understanding nature can do more than improve how we grow, make, or consume things; it can also teach us how to cooperate, make decisions, and arrive at good solutions.
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