Presenting: Permaculture Adventures Overseas

For the first time ever, I have finally complied and will be presenting a series of slides and video of my permaculture adventures in foreign lands over the past two years.

Where does the next bridge lead?

Bamboo bridge on a permaculture farm in Northern Thailand

Next Saturday, August 17, I’ll be presenting a bit of a snapshot of the last two years of my life… From visiting permaculture projects on the island of Moloka`i, three months working with Geoff Lawton himself at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and nearly a year laying foundations for permaculture movements throughout SE Asia.

This is a completely free and open invitation I’m super excited to share with everyone! We’ll be projecting photos and video after the sun goes down so please show up on time to get the most out of this experience.

This event will be hosted through ape99 at the Permaculture Park in East Austin.
Please sign-up for the ape99 Permaculture Meetup group to RSVP and get more event details.

One lucky person who signs up and attends this event will receive a FREE PASS to the Introduction to Permaculture weekend that Daryl and I will be facilitating the weekend following. We’re also offering a $25 discount to those who sign up for the Permaculture Intro weekend through the Austin Permaculture Guild website.

Why take a Permaculture Introduction course?

Maybe you’ve already taken a full PDC so why take an Introduction to Permaculture Course? Well, each and every permaculture course is going to be different. Permaculture is such a broad subject that Geoff Lawton himself says “…the longer you do permaculture the more you realize what you DON’T know. By this logic,” he says, “Bill Mollison actually knows the least about permaculture because he’s been doing it the longest!” I think that is a great and very humbling way to look at what we are engaged in learning and sharing together.

Rice Harvest Time

Bagging up the season’s rice harvest at Rak Tamachat Permaculture, Central Thailand

No matter how long we’ve been doing permaculture we all still have so much to learn from each other. Taking a Permaculture course is an opportunity not just to refresh knowledge that you might have already encountered but to learn through another’s experience. New discoveries and best practices are being added to the permaculture nexus all the time.

Having traveled around the world learning from experts such as Geoff as well as cultures in areas of the world that are still much more connected to their indigenous knowledge and roots, I’m excited to teach and share what I’ve learned along the way and I’m also excited to invite you to share your experiences with Permaculture. We all have something to gain from working and learning together. As my good friend Daryl always says: “Permaculture is best played together.”

Re-Mineralizing Soils with Bio-Fertilizer

Working with damaged soils can be a huge challenge. In the world we live in today, it’s hard to find soils that haven’t been damaged through agricultural or urban misuse. If you are one of those lucky few who stumbled on a piece of land that already had pristine, rich deep and loamy soils than rejoice because you need not read any further… Still here? Yea, thought so. Most of us in permaculture design are working with or at least, have started out with, damaged, desiccated, mineral depleted, lifeless soils. One way or another, we have been tasked with reviving our soils from generations of abuse. But how do we return the basic building blocks of life to the soil quickly and efficiently so that we can get on with the high yielding polycultures we keep dreaming about? Enter – Bio-Fertilizer!

Continue reading

Out of the morning mist…

Over the past nine weeks I’ve participated in the construction of an agricultural dam, a swale, a couple of terraces, a large urban garden, several compost piles, 1000 liters of compost tea, an aid proposal to a Nepalese orphanage, and 600 square meters of food forest. Aside from exploring a nearby rainforest, swimming in the ocean and the occasional night at the local pub… it’s been a non-stop permaculture marathon!

My mornings generally start around 5:30 am. I have no alarm clock… in fact, my means of telling time here are incredibly limited. Nature tells me when to rise, a bell rings when its time to eat or take a break and the end of the day comes when my eyelids are too heavy to stay open (usually fairly early… depending on how my day has been spent).

Imagine The Abundance – Urban Gardens

Imagine, you’re perusing the Sunday paper, thumbing through various articles, world news, sports, opinion pieces… yea, we’ve all been there. What feelings arise for you as the images pass by your eyes? Article after article, world news and local… everything seems so dismal.

In disgust and with a freshly drained world view, you fold the paper up and drop it back down on the table. Just before you look away and try to forget the morning sorrow, a small advertisement catches your eye.

FREE GARDEN
DESIGN & INSTALL

Continue reading

Interning on Zaytuna Farm

Over the past three plus weeks myself and 15 other cohorts have been fully engaged in farm life. And, although there are several aspects of this lifestyle that you might expect out of a typical farm experience (i.e. milking goats, turning compost, planting veggies, etc…) this is far from a typical farm!

Leaning back

Kicking off the adventures right, these last two weeks have felt the equivelent of a month’s worth of activity. Aside from not blogging on this page, here’s a little taste of what I’ve been up to since my last blog post:

The adventure officially kicked off on Saturday, July 30 with the most inspirational display of community love and togetherness. Yes, it was a party. To call it an epic party might even qualify as an understatement. It was beautiful in all regards and elevated my spirit beyond any previous frame of reference.

After the explosion of love that was the end of July, the first weeks of August have been a whirlwind of organization and development. Not entirely centered around the development of my personal upcoming adventures (fortunately, much of that organization is already in place) but rather the organization of Community Cultivators.

Somehow, I’ve successfully managed to occupy more of my time on this development than my 40+ hours a week at Wheatsville. As you can imagine, a lot can get done in a couple of weeks with full time project development. A key to the future will be figuring out a way to make this work a paid gig (or at the very least, a self-sustaining one).

Recognizing the community had reached an obvious inflection point, the consensus could be felt hovering in the air and floating on the breath of every conversation… it’s time to get organized!

One meeting, two meetings, committees, defined roles, events, a list of projects, timelines… Engagement, involvement, inspiration, encouragement, excitement! These are but a few of the happenings I’ve been blessed to witness over the past two weeks… and, above all else, the deep understanding that we’ve only barely begun to scratch the surface of potential with in this thing we call Community!

From reading this blog it’s easy to extrapolate that this is about all I do. Well, yea… but what else is there? Follow your passion! There is no time to waste on anything that doesn’t feed your spirit!

I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a community of people as passionate about life as I. But I didn’t find that by sitting around my living room in apathy. Bare your passion to the world. If you don’t find your community, Cultivate it!

Yes, it takes time and it takes commitment… the benefits are well worth your efforts!

And now, I set myself out to embark on an adventure that will carry this passion around the globe. Life is as much about cultivation as it is about exploration.

Until then, leaning out: giving the community the opportunity to find its own identity and build its own narrative.

Separating myself has to be one of the most challenging parts of this whole process. So many beautiful things on the horizon.

From a continent away I will look on and watch how we grow together even while separated by great distance.

Blah blah… none of this is what you came to this blog to read. You want to hear about my adventures. Well, stay tuned. The adventures have just begun.

32 days from Honolulu. 42 from Kona. 52 from Molokai. 59 from Australia. and 64 from complete permaculture immersion!

Next stop… Douglass, Texas?

The start of an endless summer?

In terms of seasonal progression, the first day of summer is still about two weeks away but you wouldn’t know it by the weather in Central Texas! It’s hot and getting hotter and the reality of this endless summer is beginning to sink in.

Just as the high temperatures here in Austin start to wane, I’ll be headed to the southern hemisphere. If the Australian Spring is anything like the Springtime weather we get here in Texas than my summer will likely continue unabated.

From there, the hot summer winds seem to be blowing me in the direction of Thailand. I’ve already bought a ticket, and, to satisfy the terms of my ETA (similar to a visa) I have to leave Australia by mid-February… Just when things will surely begin cooling down… on to the heat of Southeast Asia!

Who planned this trip anyway? Endless summer… what was I thinking?!

I was probably thinking, “Opportunity of a lifetime. See the world. Practice permaculture. Share abundance.” The logistical details of seasonal relief had obviously escaped me. Or, the excitement of these unbelievable opportunities overrode my sense for climate comfort.

Thanks to the amazing support of friends and family, I have the feeling all this summer heat is going to feel like a nice cool breeze. The generous folks at Eagles Nest Outfitters, for example, have set me up with some great gear to help me weather the elements. What better way to spend a year of summer than hanging out in a sweet hammock? How about hanging out in a sweet hammock with a rainfly and mosquito net?

In addition, I want to again thank all the people in my life who have contributed, in one form or another, to this epic adventure. Because of your love and support I’m seeing a whole world of opportunities opening up in front of me, the abundances of which I have every intention of sharing with you all!

My deepest thanks!