Very excited about this event next month. Please join us! Free, no registration required. Details below. Participatory ecology as movement. Grassroots movements like agroecology and permaculture prioritize direct engagement with the environment. Through practices of growing food and managing natural resources, they work to transform human-environment relationships from the ground up–and transform society in the process. How do grassroots ecological practices connect with broader visions and strategies for collective liberation? Participatory ecology as research. At the same time, a growing number of food, environment, and agricultural researchers seek to bring their work into alignment with these movements–shifting resources of methodology, knowledge, and institutional capital into the service of transformation. How can research, within and without institutions, support the vision and strategy of these movements? This symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, and movement activists, each of whom defy easy categorization into any one of these categories. We will use this unique forum as an opportunity to […]

April 20th @ Haverford College. Beyond the Grassroots: Participatory Ecology ...

The complete list of instructors is finally up, the schedule is nearly finalized… and I’m just getting more excited about this course. As far as I know, this is the first course ever to focus specifically on the permaculture – research connection. (I’d be happy to be proven wrong, let me know if you’ve heard of another.) First, the updated flyer. After that, more about course content and instructors. For more information or to register, please email permacultureresearch2016@gmail.com. One thing I’m excited about is how this course has been influenced by my time with the Climate Change Impacts and Modeling research group here at University of Lisbon. This is the most transdisciplinary and action-research orientated environment I’ve ever been part of. Thanks to my collaborators and colleagues, the course will be as much about applying permaculture thinking to research projects, as it is about using research methods to investigate permaculture […]

Update to Permaculture Research Design Course

Each summer for the last five years, I’ve had the privilege of teaching a permaculture design course with Steve Gabriel of Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. He’s an inspiring, dedicated, and thoughtful teacher. I’m happy to say that he’s also part of the crew of up and coming permaculturists who are helping reconnect permaculture with scientific research. He’s currently working on a book on forest farming – the cultivation of crops in the forest understory, with Cornell professor Ken Mudge. They are running a crowdfunding campaign in order to visit and document forest farming operations across the US. Their work is worth your support. Check out a podcast interview with Steve, by Scott Mann over at Permaculture Podcast. Then head on over and check out the short video and other info at their crowdfunding campaign. You won’t regret it.  

Forest Farming with Steve Gabriel

From the fine people at Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute – with whom I teach every summer. The Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute (FLPCI) and The Permaculture Institute of the North East (PINE) are delighted to offer four fellowships for the upcoming Permaculture Design Certification course (PDC) offered this summer, in upstate New York from July 26th through August 11th. This fellowship is both need-based and merit-based. It aims to support community organizers, educators, and activists to share their permaculture knowledge with their communities. We encourage fellows to use their earnings as seed money for community-based permaculture education and activism. Women, people of color, and individuals from other historically marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply. We will begin selecting applicants on a rolling basis after April 17, 2013. More information can be found at http://FingerLakesPermaculture.org _______________________________________________

This just in: Permaculture Fellowships for Organizers, Activists and Educators

Details and registration here: http://www.financialpermaculture.com/ Some thoughts on making the investment: • $657 for 5 full days (and evenings) with an (ahem) star-studded 16+ person teaching team is impressively cheap. • Food is included in that figure – lodging is $165 for dorm-style, $60 for camping, or you can arrange your own. • If you enter LIBECOL at registration, they’ll knock $80 off your tuition. • Scholarships are available. • If you refer others to the event, your tuition will be reduced by 10% of whatever they pay. I’m teaching this workshop for expenses only* because I’m excited about this format and teaching team – and because, as I’ve mentioned in other posts – I think it’s getting at the heart of the economic bottleneck that regenerative businesses are facing. I think it’s going to be an amazing event. *Expenses, in this case, means that I’ll be provided with food and lodging, […]

Scholarships available for Financial Permaculture!

Permaculturists face a wicked contradiction. We want to create, and support the creation of, businesses and organizations that point the way toward a new way of doing things. If we want to claim that permaculture is ‘design that meets human needs while increasing ecosystem health,’ then we need to be able to demonstrate how the enterprises we design are meeting this description. Otherwise, our ethics aren’t meaningful, and the claims we make about the value of permaculture aren’t credible. The trick is that these enterprises also have to thrive right now, under industrial capitalism. If no one but the independently wealthy can use permaculture systems to both survive the current society and transition to whatever comes next, then permaculture isn’t much help at all. I don’t want to make lifeboats and pleasure gardens for the rich, and I don’t want to have to wait until after the apocolypse for permaculture […]

Toward Financial Permaculture: New Farms in the Old System

Here is a lightly-revised version of “Putting Some Teeth in the Permaculture Ethics,” originally published on my old website in 2010 (then republished on this revamped site last August). I’m revisiting it here because it’s been on my mind, as I prepare for teaching at Financial Permaculture 2013, Jan.21-25, in Miami. This course is addressing one of the big gaps, and areas of great innovation, in the evolution of the permaculture framework. We are in the grips of a paradox. In order to designing projects and businesses that can help regenerate landscapes and communities, we have to design projects that are socially and ecologically sustainable. But these projects must also be able to thrive right now, in our current society that often seems to reward exploitation and destruction before anything else. Reconciling this contradiction in our design work requires new ways of thinking, above and beyond the tools that permaculture […]

Teeth in the Ethics (revisited) – toward Financial Permaculture

Teaming up with Eric Toensmeier and a fearsome team of permaculture & local economy mavens to teach this innovative course next month! Hosted by the amazing folks at Earth Learning. We’ll be designing four enterprises for real-world implementation: farm, cafe, commercial kitchen, and food hub. You can probably guess which design team Eric and I are on? Click on the image to view at full size, and click here to learn more and register.

Teaching @ Financial Permaculture: Jan 21-25, Miami Dade College