Liberation Permaculture by Toby Hemenway.
This episode is the rebroadcast of Toby talk from PV2 in March 2015.
Permaculture offers more than a path to a sustainable and just food system. It can move entire segments of our society off the radar screens of state oppressors and help return equality, abundance, and justice to people while restoring healthy ecosystems. This talk will tell you how.
Here’s a hint on how that’s possible. If you can’t measure it, you can’t tax it.
Enjoy it, I hope it gets you thinking.
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Key Takeaways from Toby Hemenway:
- Permaculture systems are difficult to measure. Is that a good thing? If it is hard to measure then it is hard to tax and control.
- “Once you learn to read the land, I have no fear of what you will do to it, or with it. And I know many pleasant things it will do to you.” Aldo Leopold
- “Wildlife can be restored with the same tools that had heretofore destroyed it – fire, axe, cow, gun, and plow.” Aldo Leopold
- Some of the old farming settlers were wise enough to leave a percentage of their farms as prairie because they could relay on a yield in times of drought.
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.