Episode-1308- Geoff Lawton on Building a Future With Permaculture — 34 Comments

  1. I can’t wait to sign up for the PDC this year. Can’t wait to hear about an MSB discount. I’d do it without the discount, but no sense paying full price when you don’t have to…

    • Jack, when will you know/announce if there will be a MSB discount? I’m also really excited to sign up–I couldn’t do it last year, but this will be my year!

        • Well yes I do have an MSB discount set up for the coming PDC, it will be a 100 dollar discount but you can’t sign up until it is available.

  2. Starting a niche Gulf Coast Nursery is my #1 intermediate goal. I’m bringing in as many different species and cultivars as possible right now (taking a package a day of trees/bushes right now). There is absolutely nothing here in Louisiana for specialized unique food nurseries. There are just about no varieties of plants that and crafted and well known here (except ponchatoula strawberries). What is odd though is how much this area is all about…. what is unique here. That is one reason why everybody plants native plants so much. What is crafted here is all by LSU. Usually its just the same old stuff.

    I came across Just Fruits and Exotics and knew that this is what I needed to do. Even online there just seems to be a dirth of specialized varieties. Gulf Coast (high humidity, medium heat) this is especially the case. They have a high heat/humidity elderberry that was crafted a few miles away from the site! (I talked to them on the phone about it).

    And while I’m going to work on creating these cultivars, they’ll also not be trade marked as well.

      • Sorry, not this time. We’re looking at going to the bee workshop though. Although its going to be iffy because we have at least one pregnant goat that is supposed to be due about that time.

        • Due to concerns about people not getting bees after it, we may be iffy on even doing it just an FYI.

  3. Love listening to Geoff… And sure hope that homeschool idea he mentioned comes to fruition. Great show as usual.

  4. As a Permaculture Designer and listening to Geoff speak. I am being to wonder if being a Permaculture Designer/Consultant will be like a Computer Programmer i.e. the field will be flooded with PC Designers. What do you think?

    • I would say I hope so but I doubt it. Design is something a bit harder to master than code. There are a ton of PDC grads that are doing up their own area and may one neighbors. To really be good at consulting you have to develop far more than just Permaculture skill sets.

      • As a ‘coder’ of thirty years, you should see some of the designs I’ve had to turn into code 😉

  5. This was a great interview. I agree with Geoff that you need to draw in the commercial scale Farmers and Ranchers for the permaculture revolution to get over the hump and become main stream. I bought my ranch 2 years ago and am beginning to put permaculture into action on it. I was VERY interested to hear that the Natural Resource Conservation Service (previously the Soil Conservation Service) was getting interested in Permaculture. That makes it much more likely that I can get approval for some permaculture earthworks on my Federal grazing leases. The NRCS is the Rancher and Farmer’s best friend in government. I hope that he will take them up on their request as they are extremely influential in american agriculture and hold the purse strings to the government check book for matching funds for farm/ranch improvements and drought relief aid. Geoff – PLEASE TAKE THEM UP ON THEIR OFFER!!!!!

    • I agree. When he was talking about this I was thinking it would be really interesting to see a video or hear a discussion with Geoff on building out a conversion from modern agriculture to food forest agriculture over time, allowing the farmer a time-based plan to shift from one to the other.
      As was mentioned someone currently growing a hundred acres of wheat can’t just stop producing wheat, put in a permaculture design, and survive for the years it would take the food forest to really get rolling. If there was guidance on how to do the transition slowly, maybe over 5-10 years, so the farm continues to produce some income during the transition it would bake it an easier pill for farmers to swallow.

  6. Another great interview with Geoff. I took his Online PDC last year and highly recommend it for anyone looking for certification. He also produced videos to answer questions we submitted, which expanded our knowledge of Permaculture. He is one of the best teachers I have had, and I’ve had quite a few over the years. I love how he focuses on solutions and what we can personally do to make a difference, (kind of like Jack 🙂 ).

  7. A quote attributed to Gen. Omar Bradley goes like this, “Amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics.” So how can Permaculture as a food production system(s) be profitable from a logistical stand point. Some of the biggest names in Permaculture make their money selling education and inspiration, but not selling food. Is Permaculture viable as business selling food?

  8. Excellent interview Jack. I took the first Geoff Lawton online PDC, and my wife is going to take this second one. I’m going to watch!

  9. Oh, please tell me when that homeschooling curriculum based on Permaculture is ready. I just started homeschooling my kids (7 & 10). I didn’t re-enroll them in our government funded school this past September….all because of an interview you had over a year ago with Laurette Lynn. I was crying during that interview (yes, I know emotional female). I thoroughly searched and read all the information that I could find on homeschooling to see if I could do it. I finally took the plunge off the well-known and safe cliff into the unknown abyss this past fall…and I’m never looking back. Anyway, in my search for a curriculum, the only ones out there, that are easy to follow for a beginner, are oh-so religious (nothing against this, it is just so saturated with it). There are no really good secular curriculums. And since I love gardening and learning about permaculture, this would be perfect! Loved the interview. Would love to come to your workshops, but I’m in Michigan, only one of us is working at this time, and well, 2 young children. Patience and perseverance.

    • You could try Oak Meadow. It’s very Waldorf-y, and a good core to add your own extras too, though everything is included. You may find the math to be a little slow though.

  10. Thanks Jack and Geoff.

    This was just an incredibly info packed podcast.

    Future looks bright.

    A Premier interview!!!

    • Anyone know what this next PDC from Geoff @ end of March will cost?
      I don’t understand why it is so hard to get a price for budgeting purposes?


  11. At around 45 min into the interview Geoff mentioned a sweet potato but did not name it. Does anyone know which species he would be referring too.

  12. How much was the PDC last year? We are trying to budget for taking the course this year and need a number to start with.

    • I think it was like 950ish but I got a discount for MSB of over 100 bucks, working with Geoff now on how we will do so again this year.

  13. Geoff mentioned Ray Archuleta of the NRCS. Here I at the first Oklahoma Organic Conference listening to Ray speak. Many things he saying are very permaculture but he hasn’t said the word.

  14. Jack,

    A great interview, particularly how it’s gets into the conceptual placement of “permaculture” in the whole of social culture and education. On the question of how to explain permaculture in the category of just saying, the concept that made permaculture click for me was, “bio-mimicry,” which neither Geoff nor yourself mentioned.

    I have a few links that weren’t in the show notes that I found quite valuable, if anyone wants to follow them.

    Geoff mentioned the great work of Ray Archuleta at the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Here’s a presentation that Ray has given to farmers and colleagues all across America:

    While there I saw another NRCS presentation by Dr. Jill Clapperton, on soil health. It was a little scientifically difficult to follow at times, but from time to time throughout it were gems of understanding that could help homesteaders avoid mistakes when building their biodiversity, and in the end you couldn’t tell her from a permaculturalist, with a lot of science behind her. Most of the presentation was about cover crops, how, when and where to mix ’em.

    Finally, just the home page of the USDA, NRDC. It is a little intimidating but some browsing and searching should find homesteaders plenty of valuable info.

  15. Did anyone catch the name of the nursery Jack ordered his paw-paws from? (I planted a couple twig like baby paw-paws last year and I don’t think they survived the northeast winter).
    P.S. I took the Geoff Lawton PDC and thought it was very good, but I need some hands on before I will feel comfortable consulting.