Episode-1170- Phil Williams on Creating a Profitable Permaculture Business

Phil Williams' Permaculture Garden

Phil Williams’ Permaculture Garden

In 1997, with one business partner, Phil Williams started and grew a mostly residential landscape construction and maintenance company from $0-$5 million plus in revenue in 8 years.

They sold the company in early 2008′ because Phil felt they were riding the housing bubble, but also because he felt the business model was unsustainable.

After that Phil went to weatherization trade school and became an energy auditor, building analyst, and a weatherization contractor.  He learned a lot about efficient building and retrofits, but really he just wanted to spend time in his garden.

Phil got hooked on permaculture in 2011, and obtained his PDC in 2012, and has been working on his own permaculture design site for the past 2 years. Phil has been documenting the process on his site which is FoodProduction101.com

Phil joins us today to discuss how to create a profitable business installing and maintaining permaculture gardens.

Join Us As We Discuss…

  • How a permaculture company can out compete a “landscape company”
  • Why the current landscape industry is dying a slow but sure death
  • The major reasons new landscape businesses fail
  • What do really successful landscape companies have in common
  • Some of the biggest challenges in the landscape industry
  • Are existing landscapers aware of permaculture gardens
  • Why landscapers  don’t want to install and maintain edible landscapes
  • The most profitable type of landscape or maintenance work
  • The least profitable type of landscape or maintenance work
  • What types of communities will pay for this type of service
  • Which types of communities typically won’t pay for this type of service
  • How you could sell permaculture to suburban upper income HOA type community

Resources for Today’s Show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

60 Responses to Episode-1170- Phil Williams on Creating a Profitable Permaculture Business

  1. Jack,
    Thanks for allowing me to connect with the TSP community! I hope this info helps some people out.

  2. Jack, Great show, really enjoyed yours and Phil’s view and opinions about permaculture and getting it into the places where it can make a huge impact. Like both of you guys stated, there are great opportunities for the entrepreneur here. Can’t afford enough land for that farm to do a CSA or make great food available in your area , why not use the properties you maintain to “return the surplus” You know a good permaculture system will have surplus. Just a thought!

    • Clyde,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the show. I think you would have no problem taking some of the produce home from the permaculture properties you are maintaining if you had an agreement with the client to pick the produce and leave half for them on their front stoop. I bet a lot of clients would take you up on that.

  3. When your guest was talking about racism…classic freudian slip… when he talks about a black worker and says, “…who was actually a realy good worker.”

    Shows we still have a long way to go in this country to eliminate racism.

    Joe

    • Joe,
      Everyone has bias’, no doubt about that. I was referring to the fact that he was “American” born, as I stated in the interview, about Americanized workers being less productive. I would be careful throwing around such inflammatory comments without knowing me.

  4. “Shows we still have a long way to go in this country to eliminate racism.”

    Disagree, he was speaking of a worker about whom a customer had called and said “I don’t want him on my property”. In that context it makes perfect since to clarify that this was a very good employee not some bum likely to have caused trouble for the customer.

    I have no sympathy for racism, but I’m also sick and tired of this society where we’re supposed to believe racist undertones are hidden behind every statement and decision made by specific subsets of the society. It’s BS, and highly conceited, to imagine that you can discern the motives and beliefs of someone else based on YOUR interpretation of one sentence.

    • Modern Survival

      Agreed Jake! Saying I had a black guy that some actual racist didn’t want on his property and he was a really good worker, isn’t racist at all.

      We live in a society now where if you mention a person’s race (as long as they are not white) you are branded a racist. If I say a guy is white or Hispanic or Asian it is no different to me then saying he was tall, or what color hair he had or say what clothing he was wearing. It is simply part of how I would describe the individual.

      I am frankly totally fed up with the bullshit around racism! Racism is pretty clear when it is intended and if it isn’t clear you know what, it doesn’t really matter.

      Notice no one called racism about the fact that we said white guys tend to not want to do this type of seasonal work? Now they shouldn’t but if I am okay making a negative comment about a person of one race, then damn should it not be okay for me to make a fing POSITIVE comment about someone of another race?

      It has gotten stupid to the absurd. You want to start to really making a difference in the whole race issue, here is where you start.

      Stop using the word American with ANY adjective proceeding it followed by a hyphen. Until we do that, any talk of getting past this issue is nothing but bullshit.

      If anyone wants to call me racist go ahead but frankly if you do it to my face you might want to duck pretty quick after you do so. I would rather you make some sort of racist comment about me, than to call me something I simply am not.

    • The New Mike

      @Jake

      My thoughts exactly. Glad you stated what you stated because I was going to if you didn’t. Your last sentence is packed with worth contemplating wisdom as it applies to this particular situation and many others.

      I feel as though I am becoming very acutely aware of the overly hubristic nature of our particular society, (if I may display my own hubris through my observations/generalizations), and have noticed how much more we should listen and contemplate, rather than say what is, or is not (particularly regarding complex unsettled issues).

  5. Jack and Phil good comments on children. My children wanted a snack so my wife told them to go to the garden and pick blueberries. They couldn’t get outside fast enough. I am amazed at how engaged my children are in the garden at 4 and 3 years old. We also picked wild blackberries around our house and they couldn’t have been more excited to put food on the table for the family and hunt for free food around the house. We shouldn’t discount the knowledge children can attain from “backyard” food production.

    • The New Mike

      Yeah no kidding! I was thinking about my property and how I know for a fact kids would MUCH rather go climbing trees and beating each other with sticks, tree branches and pine cones, than play in a yard.

      Not sure if I’ve ever seen a good fort in the middle of a yard before…

    • I agree, I’d never really thought about it, but big stretches of open yard aren’t that great. 20 years ago when I was a kid playing with my friends outside we’d use the open front yard to play football, soccer, etc. But that was a small area and we generally only spent time there in the fall and winter when it wasn’t 95+ degrees outside. Where we REALLY liked playing was in the unmaintained land nearby, where the vegetation was so thick we’d be crawling on hands and knees to get to the latest-greatest hide-out, fallen tree, whatever. Unfortunately playing in the “woods” was discouraged by our parents for fear of snakes, I hope I’m more accepting of the risks that are part of growing up with my kids.

      • Lawns are definitely important as we played soccer, baseball, football, frisbee, etc in the yard growing up too and I am doing that with my kids. But the subdivision I grew up in was built out of a fruit farm. So we always had a small apple orchard in our back yard and some of the vacant lots had grapes. We also had a lot of forested area to play in. You really can’t explore in your front yard for very long so the diversity was a lot of fun for me and I already see that in my kids. Our biggest worry isn’t snakes it’s poison ivy in the woods. To Jack’s point in another episode we were always “trespassing” somewhere but nobody cared as we knew most everyone within a 2 mile radius and that included creeks, rivers, forests, etc. We had a lot of places to get lost and explore.

  6. No was called a racist. I pointed out that your guest made a racist comment.

    To speak about race, mention a person is black and then say, “…who was actually a really good worker.” Is a racist statement. It backs a negative stereotype that blacks are lazy.

    Neither of you read what I wrote. Jake and Jack are off base because they did not read the words I wrote and decided to address something completely different.

    Joe

    • “To speak about race, mention a person is black and then say, “…who was actually a really good worker.” Is a racist statement. It backs a negative stereotype that blacks are lazy. ”

      That is your interpretation. I offered a different interpretation that I think is sounder based on the evidence available to us. I suppose you could be right, but I doubt it, and it really seems odd to me that you’d first leap to that conclusion and then decide to make a discussion out of it as if you know the contents of the guest’s mind.

      You’re like the poverty obsessed perma-culture crowd Jack talked about in this show. Except your race-obsessed. In both cases there’s a myopic fixation on a “virtue” of very questionable value (poverty or political correctness) which leads the affected individual unable to see the bigger picture by which they might actually be able to get stuff done and bring about the improvements they claim they want. The people doing the LEAST to combat racism in this country are the ones saying “tsk tsk” to people like Jack’s guest, who obviously had no problem hiring and defending his employees of any race. If you want racial harmony, stop trying to find racism under every phrase, it’s usually not there. And even in the rare cases where it is, you can do a lot worse than just having a thicker skin and saying “well that’s his problem, not mine” and going on about your business instead of trying to fix a person’s prejudices.

    • It’s unfortunate that this is a focus of the comments. Jake, Mike, & Jack, thanks for your comments. Again, I made the “He was actually a good worker” qualification because of the comments I made earlier about Americanized workers being less than stellar. Tony was one of the few none Latino workers we had that worked out. Wow, what nonsense.

    • Modern Survival

      @Joe this is typical full of shit nonsense, you said that,

      “To speak about race, mention a person is black and then say, “…who was actually a really good worker.” Is a racist statement.”

      Well if you take ONLY that statement and ignore the context PERHAPS but if you look at the totality it had nothing to do with the man being black other then the actual RACIST customer who made the thing an issue.

      What Phil said is most American workers (American is not a race) were not good workers in his business, his comment that this man was a good worker was a qualification that he was an AMERICAN THAT WORKED HARD, not that he was black.

      You know what take your victimized divisive bullshit elsewhere!

      If you are smart enough to write coherently (and you are) then you should be smart enough to take shit IN CONTEXT not out of context.

  7. Brett Nutter

    Hey Jack just wanted to thank you for reading my mind, I am a disabled veteran who is being discharged soon and all your work in permaculture inspired me to try my own permaculture business. I have yet to listen to the podcast, but I am thrilled you did this interview.

    Thanks for the inspiration and everything you have taught me.

  8. There are only racist statements if the person making the statement is being racist, to bring up that someone black and a good worker isn’t racist, it’s just stating the facts, it’s people who twist things around to make the statement racist

  9. Denise Williams

    I agree that if you are marketing permaculture, it does not even need to be called that. It just needs to be done. Permaculture is wonderful for the environment and people. I hope to see Whole Foods regulars realize that there is something out there that goes way beyond organic food, nutritionally. These suburbanites will also acquire at the very least a harvesting skill to boot! Once this group gets tapped in I think there will be a huge ripple effect.

    • It’s harder than you think but I agree, I have been trying to tap the Wholefoods Central market crowd for over a decade you might be surprised that most of the people who shop there are just being trendy

      • Denise Williams

        Hey Shannon,

        I understand what you mean about places like Whole Foods being trendy. Do you think that even if these folks have the stuff growing in their back yard that they will not use it or do you think they will not even want to have it there? I’m wondering if the edible landscapes (permaculture) could be the next trend.

  10. I don’t think the discussion on workers has been looking at the REAL problem. Here in Vermont I have heard for years about farmers not being able to find people willing to work on the farms because of the hard work. In my opinion the cause of this is government willing to pay millions of people to NOT WORK. Many of the seasonal workers for the Apple orchards here come from Jamaica. They are legal workers brought in to do work most local people will not do. Most of these workers come back to the same orchard year after year, good people who are great workers. They are willing to do jobs that many people in this country will not do.

    The problem of who are better workers is not race, it is what culture do they come from and how hard are they willing to actually work rather than get paid for sitting in a chair.

    • Modern Survival

      @Bob again man “American” isn’t a race it is a nationality.

      Americans are white, black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. we are one of the worlds real melting pots. There are plenty of black Americans and white Americans and Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans and every other race you can think of that are Americans that don’t want to pick oranges and won’t do it. If you can find the full episode of this piece by Morgan Spurlock you will see why https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg3WFt72RM8

      Your explanation is simply far to limiting. You are basically saying Americans are lazy apart from race because of welfare and if that wasn’t the case we would line up to do work like this. There is some truth to that, if people either worked or starved then more people would do whatever work they can get. Yet hard work isn’t the issue, seasonal and moving from place to place is a bigger one that Americans don’t want to do. Not only must you kill yourself for a low wage you must move every so many weeks and almost never be home.

      Your explanation is “Americans are lazy”. That is really weak. Here is why, am I lazy? Seriously am I lazy?

      When I was 15 I back packed across destroyed mining areas and scavenged enough copper to buy a car and pay a year of insurance by my 16th birthday.

      I joined the Army at 17 and served in the Airborne for 3 years.

      I worked my way up in corporate America and broke the 6 figure barrier by 28 with no college degree.

      After that I founded multiple companies and created jobs for many people.

      During that time I built TSP by working at 4 AM to get the next days show ready.

      That is a very small part of my history of working my ass off. I have worked in a bootleg coal hole, dug miles of trenches by hand, walked from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire on the Appalachian Trail, etc.

      I am not bragging, I am just making a point, flat our am I lazy?

      If you say yes, tell me the names of 20 people you know that have done significantly more in the last 25 years.

      Why do I point this out, because I am not lazy and if picking oranges or apples and moving every few days to keep doing so and living the way these workers do paid 50 dollars an hour, I would not do it. I wouldn’t do it at this point for 100 an hour, hell at this point I wouldn’t do it for 500 an hour.

      Now when I was 21 and just out of the service if there was a job paying 50 an hour to pick apples or nuts or lettuce would I have done it. Yep and I would have busted my ass, made as much as I could as quickly as I could and moved on to something better for me as fast as possible.

      Frankly it isn’t just that we have welfare in America that keeps us from doing some of this work, it is FLAT OUT that we have BETTER OPPORTUNITIES. That is a discussion many that bash immigration don’t really seem to want to have because it leads into a place with zero easy answers.

      If we improve opportunity for all, who will do the work no one wants to do?

      My answer is if we decentralize the food system and people at least harvest say 40% of their own food, it won’t be hard to fix. That requires a major shift in society though doesn’t it.

      • The New Mike

        While I”m not necessarily agreeing that Bob was saying Americans are lazy (And slighting you) I do 100% agree with the better jobs being available. (Money isn’t everything with a better job)

        To be honest the government paying people not to work, could be a better opportunity than picking oranges (as dumb as that might sound). Obviously it depends on how the person spends their time. (I don’t agree what so ever in government payments and the sort, just making the logical statement).

        This podcast was actually great for making that point. Phil brought up a great point about being able to move on and do other things and freeing up your time, rather than you having to do everything all the time (to include things you don’t really care too much about). I am the kind of person where when I say to myself “What do I really want in life” I have no choice but to answer “do whatever I want to do” because that’s my personality. Essentially I stay happy when whatever I am doing is new challenging, and teaches me new skills (usually from scratch). There are a lot of people who are like this, but there are definitely a lot of people who are not like this. Some people are content working at (for example from past experiences) Lowes night stocking, making enough money to have your own apartment, enough money to buy any of the newest video games, and just hanging out drinking/smoking weed on your weekends eating fast food playing games. (In otherwords “not progressing” but being vegetative). Look at people who deliver mail and would really rather not have another job (cushion is what they want, not experience).

        That is one thing I really like about “permaculture.” I get a little aggravated when my wife jumps in front of me in defining permaculture to other people because she takes the (probably appropriate approach) and just says “its a gardening thing.” (She knows better but would rather have the person get the gist and move on rather than talk about specifics). There is so many spaces to explore and try out new things, which is extremely exciting.

    • Let me say one thing, it is like you say, How You Were Raised, I worked for a family owned Plumbing company in Louisiana back in the 90′s and we had people who were tunnelers, they dug by hand with a shovel under a house to expose the plumbing, we then went in and fixed the problem and the tunnelers filled it back in, These guys made $100 per cubic foot, the best of them had been doing it for 50 years and he was an old black man who worked alone, so can we please get over this race shit….it drives me crazy!

  11. Great show! I really enjoyed the discussion on this topic and took a lot of great points and ideas from it.

  12. I think there is a real good opportunity, if one were interested, to learn about perennials, nitrogen fixing legumes, fruit and nut trees and the like that work well in a specific area and start a nursery that supplies these types of plants specifically for permiculture land rehabilitation. There really seems to be a “drought” of information on plants and their regional uses.

    • JonnyC,
      I agree, there is opportunity in this space. It becomes even more exciting if you are growing some of your own plants out to install.

    • The New Mike

      Johnny C what a great friggin point.

      I’ve been thinking about how I can… ramp up and build a business in this area of Louisiana and that gives me some really really good ideas. I don’t want to be tied down with a “nursery” (there are plenty here, much bigger and better) but I doubt one that focuses on restorative/improvement projects.

  13. I’ve been looking at Phil’s site and the posts about building swales. If Phil is still watching, how did you get/do the topo survey in the first image in this post?

    I am planning something similar on 3 acres. My brother is a surveyor and is going to give me a tight grid survey of my property and show elevation. He can do everything but I’m curious how you got yours done.

    Great show.

    • The New Mike

      I am also interested. It more or less looks like you did it by hand after surveying.

      I am also interested in why you chose a mini-excavator. Ben Falk routinely uses one as well, and I”m curious why you chose that over a typical backhoe? Is there something I should know about the differences? I’ve seen that those particular excavators normally have shorters arms (can’t get as deep) and are significantly more expensive (to purchase). I was eventually looking at the difference between purchasing a mini-excavator or a backhoe.

      • Chris Harrison

        Re: mini-excavators — As someone who has worked in construction and engineering since the mid-90s, any kind of excavator offers significant advantages over a backhoe. They’re much more stable on uneven ground, can track over rough terrain that wheeled vehicles can’t, and they don’t require outriggers so they can dig-and-move at a rather quick pace. The only real advantages offered by a traditional backhoe are that you can drive them on roads without a trailer for short distances, and that they are a combined excavator and front-end loader.

        • The New Mike

          Thanks for the reponse Chris. I definitely have zero experience with them. I definitely considered that its ability to get into rough terrain has to be alot better. I can see the stability thing since its sitting pretty much all the way on the ground rather than high up in the air on big tires.

          The only issue I have now is towing. I just looked up my F-150 SuperCab’s towing ability… and yeah.. no, thats probably just not going to work. I could probably be “ok” but It would be cutting it way close.

          That would pretty much mean that I’d have to buy another truck, trailer, and the device. Or, I buy one have it delivered, and it stays in the neighborhood until the truck/trailer situation is fixed. (I could probably live with that). I definitely doubt anybody in the neighborhood has one of these guys, so it would probably be a great community item.

      • Mike,
        I second Chris’ statements on the mini x over the backhoe. The big thing for me was the compact nature of the x, and the ease of digging and moving quickly. Of course if you need a front end loader, a backhoe is also providing that. I have a tractor for that, so I rented the excavator.

        Incidentally, I have another 1000 linear feet of swales that I am putting in later this summer, and I will be using a larger excavator with a tilt bucket if I can find one, so I can make nice angled cuts to cut down on erosion of the sidewalls. Also, I am not planning to fill these ditches with organic material, as it is a bit expensive.

    • Bluprint,
      I did the contour lines the most inefficient way possible, with an A-frame level, and a wheel measurer. I spent about 20 man hours measuring and mapping. A laser level would have been easier. Google earth can also be helpful.

      • The New Mike

        Well hell you’re proving Jack right about A-Frames. I definitely went and bought a laser level and there is no way I’d use anything else if I had a choice. I laser leveled surveyed my entire open acre backyard in about an hour. I didn’t map it though. I did have plans to do that.

        Right now I used Google earth to trace the contour lines, but I know they’re not “perfectly accurate” to the ground. Especially since GE isn’t broadcasting (as far as I know) when the data was taken. I’m almost positive the elevation data was produced before the house, or at least before my workshop was built (in 2005, 2006).

  14. Chris Harrison

    Phil, thanks for sharing all of your experiences and insights regarding how to get this kind of a small business going.

    Jack, thanks for having Phil on for this discussion. A great episode!

    And FWIW, I took a PDC last year and agree with you both 100% regarding the futility of the “poverty mindset” of so many people involved in permaculture.

    • Modern Survival

      I would say that is even mitigated by two things.

      1. Excavators with rubber tracks

      2. Excavators with loader type attachments, basically a big bucket

      The machine we used here had both, check it out,

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIFB2mXTMfY

      You will see the loader style bucket on the ground, sadly the machine had a malfunction and switching them out became impossible.

      Also note how fat I was, this was before paleo had fully kicked in.

    • The New Mike

      @ Jack

      Hilarious, the last time I watched that video I thought that was a much much bigger device, and now seeing it again with much smarter eyes… its not so much. Very cool.

      Yeah i was just looking up mini-exavators, and I kind of take back what I said, I’m seeing them all day long for less than backhoes. To include ones with rubber tracks.

      • Modern Survival

        That isn’t even a mini that is about the smallest full size machine they make, I think it is about 26,000 pounds or 13 tons, you would not pull it with a pick up, not a F150 anyway.

        A mini (a true mini) is smaller then a full sized back hoe, there are also mid sized machines in the 9-12 thousand pound range and they are about perfect for many small to medium projects.

        • The New Mike

          Yeah I definitely could see it wasn’t the mini ones. I can only imagine how expensive one of those guys are. I like looking at the “regular” excavators. Pretty much 80k used. But then again unless I was producing at least 80k in value (plus time), it wouldn’t even be close to worth it.

          The ones I was looking at were basically 7-10k pounds. I looked up the rough estimates of the towing ability of the 5.6 liter and its basically about 10k. (Its a half ton, so go figure). I’m sure with the 250 I’d have no issues towing a small excavator.

          I like the idea of getting a mini excavator because its affordable enough, and small enough for me to feel ok going around ripping up my landscape and trying new things. The one thing that sucks about doing everything by hand is you definitely have to think very very long and hard about trying something because it might take you a seriously long time (and energy) to do. Like this “small garden pond” (about 30 x 5) I’m putting in right now. I realized the power of eating a good breakfast/lunch (I didn’t). I was exhausted in about 30-40 minutes of banging around in the compacted clay. I was going to put it in months ago, but decided I’d just rent a small excavator or small tractor with a backhoe on it.

    • I agree on the “poverty mindset” as well. Where I live, those into permaculture seem to pay too much attention to the intangible aspects of it and beating drums instead of the most useful aspects of food forests.

  15. Just wanted to say I have a pear tree in my backyard that doesn’t produce tasty fruit so I don’t pick any of it. At first I was not looking forward to cleaning up all of the fruit the would eventually fall on the ground. Well to my surprise there was no fruit on the ground to clean up. The suburban wildlife clean it up for me. I guess they are hungry enough to eat the nasty pears in the food desert we’ve created.

    So I kinda chuckle when I hear someone say they don’t want a fruit tree because of the mess they need to clean.

    Cheers

  16. Phil Williams, Thanks so much for doing this show.
    Jack, Great show, love your insights, while I certainly don’t always agree, they make me think. Might have to incorporate some of the thoughts presented here.
    New Mike, digging equipment and the trailers to haul them get heavy quick, and for me, with mine and others lives on the line, I try and err on the side of too much truck rather than not enough.

    For those of you doing the smaller scale stuff, consider a dingo or other brand of “mini Skid Steer” They are readily available to rent and try, we have found them to be a fantastic addition to our landscaping business that are an awful lot more capable than we initially thought. We do have a bobcat, backhoe, tractors and rent excavators when needed but day in day out the dingo goes out on landscaping jobs.
    I would also suggest starting with a true Toro Dingo as most folks find the controls the easiest to use.

  17. Regarding people who don’t want the hassle of ‘cleaning up’ the organic produce (garbage) from a productive landscape element, maybe it opens up a dual-sided business opportunity; A Landscaping CSA. You have the landscaping activity then you send your guys in to clean up/harvest the production and either sell it as part of a CSA/Market Garden or donate to a food bank.

    A great example of the more problems you have the more elegant the solution.

  18. So when do you apologies for being wrong about Rob Gray and MM? Lots of people who you told to buy silver from you and Rob are out money… do you have anything to say about this ??? I for one am owed about 900$ that might not seem like a lot but to me its my savings and I worked hard for 2 months to save that extra $ while poeple like you and Rob scam us. Shame on you Jack!

    • Modern Survival

      Well, actually NO ONE I TOLD TO BUY SILVER is out of anything, period. Every order that has come into TSP from two weeks and back is filled all orders since are being processed. I guess you are so delusional that you really think MM is out of business just because Chris said that?

      So right now I’m about to publish today’s show then go over to Dallas, meet Rob, pick up my silver and discuss many things including the Republic Metals lawsuit and discuss exactly how we go forward and continue doing business together as long as I can be assured no legal action will put any pending orders in jeopardy.

      But that can’t happen because MM is out of business and shut down right? God you people will really believe anything won’t you. So if today I post a brief Youtube video of the mint making silver rounds and shipping orders this very day what will you say then. Fricken idiots!

      As for Chris’ side of this and SBSS etc, don’t ask, I don’t care, as I said in my final video on it I am DONE with that, period. Not my fight not even a fight for a dog I own, done, the end, over, out.

      The only reason I even responded here is that the claim that the mint is out of business is false and said claim does effect me. How stupid will you guys look this afternoon, I ask you?

  19. Thank you for responding, I have been calling the mint for 2 days and no one picks up the phone, If I am wrong and get my silver I would love to apologies to you!!! I would love to see the video Jack I am just frustrated and angry and if I am out of line or wrong i truly am sorry this Chris Duane guy is scaring me with his last video and the mint not taking calls…..

  20. Phil,
    Thank you for doing this interview with Jack. I was listening intently and thought it was cool that you too lived in Central PA. Then to hear you took classes at Penn Tech, I had my ears on as I graduated from there as well.

    I’d really be interested in a followup show where you discuss house placement and house design (structure and systems) with permaculture principles in mind. We will be building a new house in a few years about 2 hours from you, so these topics are always on my mind these days.

    Thanks again!

    • Derek,
      Thanks, I appreciate it. I am certainly not opposed to putting something together in regard to house design in the temperate climate. I will have to put some thought into that. Jack did have a building analyst, that does what I used to do on the show a few months ago. I can’t remember his name though. I bet if you did some searching you could find it. He did a really good job.

      • I assume you mean this episode with Jacob Neilson? I remember listening to that, and thinking it was good stuff, but just didn’t give me everything I wanted. It left me feeling there was definitely more to be discussed. And I think the permaculture end was what he was missing. Jacob talked about energy efficiency, but when you incorporate permaculture principles into a house design, I think you would have a winner. I’m not an expert in either field, but I think that could be what I felt was missing.

        • This podcast, as for so many others, was completely speaking to me right where I’m at. Super helpful, great discussion.

          @Phil you mentioned a book to Jack about 3/4 the way through the podcast. Was that by Jacob Neilson?

          Thanks again!

        • @ Phil – Just took another listen and heard it was Toby Hemingway. Thanks!

      • Jared,
        You are correct, the book is Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway. Great book for suburban and urban permaculture. I refer to it often.

  21. Derek,
    Good point. There are a few pieces missing from my building analyst training that permaculture addresses, especially when setting up a new house.

  22. Chris Dunlop

    Absolutely loved this podcast episode. For about a year I have wanted to ditch my 60 hour work week and start building gardens for people. Listening to this podcast gave a lot of perspective I hadn’t thought of. On a side note; I am one of the many that do live in a HOA, and after two years of beating down doors the HOA have greed to a community garden. So those that are out there It is a possibility. Our garden will be 42×18; and If all goes well, our community of 31 homes will be able to increase the size. Thanks so much to the both of you!!!!!!!

  23. Phil greetings from Arlington Va, Ive been around the landscape business just curious what company did you own if you can say.