Making Permaculture Stronger



by collaboratively identifying and addressing its weaknesses


  • In dialogue with permaculture designer Scott Gallant on the practical and professional realities of a more living design process – Part Two of Two (e42)

    31/05/2020 Duration: 47min

    Scott Gallant The second half of my initial conversation with Scott Gallant from Porvenir Design where Scott asks me questions about my facilitatory approach to professional design consultancy work. Enjoy and if you missed episode 41 I'd recommend checking that out first. Also a heads up that in my next chat with Scott we'll be reviewing Porvenir Design's Holistic Context you can check out in advance here.

  • In dialogue with permaculture designer Scott Gallant on the practical and professional realities of a more living design process – Part One of Two (e41)

    23/05/2020 Duration: 46min

    I was delighted when Scott Gallant from Porvenir Design emailed me earlier in the year: Hi Dan,I wanted to reach out and introduce myself after having (finally!) stumbled upon the MPS project. I just wrapped up listening to the Phase 2 podcast and I am all in!A quick jot about myself, my name is Scott Gallant and I am a permaculture designer and educator based in Costa Rica. I've been deep in this field for 10 years, 8 of which were spent managing a farm and building out my curriculum at a well regarded site called Rancho Mastatal. In the last few years I've been full time in the design/install business here in Latin America with my firm, Porvenir Design. Tropical agroforestry and permaculture education are really my burgeoning areas of expertise. I've had the chance to lead or co-teach 14 PDCs and countless short courses, and have been fortunate enough to be interviewed for a number of podcasts over the last few years. I set this scene to let you know that I am all in, although I resonate deeply with your

  • Holistic Decision Making (e40)

    16/05/2020 Duration: 57min

    VEG's context Hey all so today I share a little bit about holistic decision making - the whole-oriented decision making practice I have adapted and evolved from Allan Savory's Holistic Management decision making framework. I've had a bunch of folk requesting more info about this lately and I'm feeling it very relevant to this historical moment when many of us are making big decisions about the shape of our lives and enterprises moving out of the first wave of coronavirus. Hope is helpful - happy to share more on this in due course if so and I'm also running a free two-hour webinar about this stuff on May 30, 2020 you can learn about here. You can find more info here and there is a series of articles a bunch of people have found helpful here. Here's our family context which I refer to along with VEG's context above. Here's an old vid where Adam and I talk about the impact of this stuff on our business (during a workshop we had Darren Doherty come and run for us):

  • Weekly Report with Anna Lena: Dan’s practical adventures with Living Design Process (e39)

    09/05/2020 Duration: 22min

    Hey all. I am excited to be here trying out yet anther new experiment in making this project as accessible and practical and interesting as possible. You see I've recently started becoming friends with a group of graduates of Schumacher college. Mainly Anna Lena from France and Ahmed from Bahrain. Anna Lena and Ahmed initially reached out, having come across some of my stuff on Living Design Process online. They sensed resonance with their own inquiry into what they are calling dialogue with place. After attending one of their online gatherings, the resonance was confirmed, and we all felt potential in continuing to explore the obvious synergies. So we had this lovely emergent conversation just the other day where the idea emerged of checking in weekly and sharing for ten minutes or so what's alive in us relating to our our practical projects. Where I realised I could release my bit where I share about my design process adventures here. Potentially as a weekly sort of update. This fits in with th

  • Continuing the conversation with Simon Marshall (e38)

    07/05/2020 Duration: 48min

    This episode is the second half of the conversation started in Episode 37. In which permaculture designer Simon Marshall and I explore ways he can evolve his practice in desired directions (and I have some useful realisations about how I'll evolve my approach to this kind of conversation in future).

  • Simon Marshall and Dan Palmer on evolving one’s permaculture design practice (e37)

    01/05/2020 Duration: 35min

    This episode marks new ground for this podcast. I share the start of what will become a several-episode conversation working with permaculture designer Simon Marshall. Simon reached out and asked if I'd help him explore ways we can evolve his practice in desired directions. In this episode we set the scene and in the next episode we'll dive right into the business at hand. I hope you enjoy this new direction for the podcast and huge thanks to Simon for being up for giving this a try. In this episode we set the scene and we'll get down to work proper in the next episode. You can visit Simon's existing website here and here are some design illustrations he shares in the chat (and that I reference there by image number). Image One Err, let's call this a continuation of Image One Image Two Image Three

  • Holding multiple wholes and approaching essence on the path toward regeneration with Bill Reed (E36)

    22/04/2020 Duration: 57min

    I'm so happy to know Bill Reed (from Regenesis Group) and to have him back on the show for the second time I've had someone on for the third time. If you listened to either of the prior chats you already know you're in for a treat. Thanks again Bill and I'm already looking forward to interview number four.

  • Jason Gerhardt returns for a third episode (E35)

    15/04/2020 Duration: 01h03s

    Jason Gerhardt teaching Such a pleasure to reconnect and get back in resonance with Jason after quite a while in this free-flowing conversation. We talk the current pandemic, ways of responding individually and collectively, and continue our themes around design process and story of people/place. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did and thanks so much for the comment from permaculturalist Wesley Rowe that listening to this is "like peering in on conversations I have with friends" :-).

  • Further Applying Carol Sanford’s Four Levels of Paradigm to the Coronavirus Crisis and to Permaculture (e34)

    02/04/2020 Duration: 32min

    In this episode I reflect on how the four levels of paradigm Carol Sanford shared in episode 33 apply both to my experience of navigating the coronavirus crisis and to permaculture as a whole. Hope you get something out of this and here's to our collaborative evolution toward regenerating life together. A few links: Carol Sanford's siteBuy the Regenerative LifeThe video of Chris Martenson from Peak Prosperity that I refer to in the chatThe Making Permaculture Stronger patreon page

  • Regenerating Life with Carol Sanford’s Four Paradigm Framework (E33)

    24/03/2020 Duration: 01h12min

    Carol Sanford mid-sentence during this episode... Such a deep honour to have Carol Sanford return to the show after the wild ride that was episode nineteen. In this episode Carol takes us deep into one of her living systems frameworks - that of the four paradigms she calls value return, arrest disorder, do good, and regenerate life. This framework has challenging implications for permaculture, and as I explain I am excited with the clarity I believe this framework can bring to our individual and collective efforts to navigate the current global coronavirus pandemic. I will be using the platform of this podcast to look at the current situation through a process lens for the foreseeable future. All other bets are off for now. Check out Carol's website here, her new book The Regenerative Life here, her seed communities here, and the Deep Pacific Change Agent Community (that I am part of) here. The white paper she mentioned can be read in a series starting here, and she has a Regenerative Paradigm web

  • Nested Communities of Permaculture Design (E32)

    10/03/2020 Duration: 39min

    Here we are. Hovering on the cusp of Phase Two of this project. Toward the end of 2019, we set the scene by way of chopping down a certain tree. We then disappeared for a while.1 We took a breath. We pondered. We came back. It is time to start navigating the path ahead, starting right here, right now. Before we take an actual step, however, let us metamorphose into birds and catch an updraft to consider relevant patterns from up high. In other words, we'll zoom out to get a sense of some of the things we'd like to make true of our subsequent steps forward. Toward this end, I ask you to bear with me as I explore a fresh framework for thinking about different ways of relating to permaculture as design. This arose after a previous framework led me to the question of "what is a community of practice, anyway?" Looking up that phrase led me first to the distinction between a community of practice and a community of interest and second to the related notion of a community of inquiry. Together, these three t

  • Article on Generative Transformation in Permaculture Design Magazine (e31)

    01/03/2020 Duration: 40min

    That's right, the February 2020 issue of Permaculture Design Magazine features an article by my good self on the topic of generative transformation (and the below chart). Adapted from a series of past posts here on Making Permaculture Stronger, editor Rhonda Baird invited a contribution and this topic felt like a natural fit with the episode's focus on emergent design. I can't wait to get my hands on the whole issue and if you feel the same way go order a copy here or subscribe and support their great service to the permaculture community. As a prelude to this project picking itself back up again after an unexpectedly long summer hibernation (on the surface at least!), I share both a PDF of the article as it appeared in the mag and I've recorded a podcast episode where I read the article out for your listening pleasure. I also include Rhonda Baird's excellent opening comments from the issue's editorial: Emergent design was one of the leading takeaways for me from our issue exploring Design Proces

  • Ben Haggard on Potential and Development in Permaculture and Beyond (E30)

    03/11/2019 Duration: 01h10min

    In our first ever conversation, Ben Haggard of Regenesis Group shares his history with and perspective on permaculture. This episode catalysed waves of reflection that are blowing my mind. Yes, I was struck with the profound clarity and depth of what Ben shared. Then the sheer resonance of the relevance to exactly where Making Permaculture Stronger is at - well that pretty much knocked me off my seat. You could say I'm still climbing back up off the floor :-). I don't know about you, dear listener/reader, but I have the real sense that this conversation is itself a nodal intervention in Making Permaculture Stronger's ongoing evolution. It is like I can feel the energy shifting and growing and generatively transforming throughout my entire being and hence the being of this project. New levels of Will are awakening. I mean I use the terms potential and development (who doesn't) and before this chat I would have said I had a fairly clear, coherent grasp on what they are. Not any more. I was alm

  • Exploring the Role of Maps in Permaculture Design with Jason Gerhardt (E29)

    26/10/2019 Duration: 29min

    This episode shares the continuation of the conversation Jason Gerhardt and I started in Episode 25. While we refer back to the below framework I was playing around with at the time we mainly explore drawing and mapping in relation to permaculture design as well as topics around certification, not needing permission, and more. Oh yeah at the start I refer back to this post where I explore generative transformation as an attitude not something dogmatic as regards to map or not to map. Jason directs the USA’s Permaculture Institute and Real Earth Design and I just love being in touch with him and having him as a colleague in this work and these adventures. Stay tuned for much deeply exciting stuff in the pipeline. Phase Two is about to kick in big time and I am going to need you to get involved. Finally here's the place to voluntarily donate some of your hard-earned cash to this project. It makes a massive, huge difference even if just $1 per month so thanks if you even consider it let alone act

  • Introducing Phase Two of Making Permaculture Stronger: Collaboratively Developing Permaculture’s Potential

    18/10/2019 Duration: 22min

    So what does my recent discussion of the problem with solving problems look like in relation to the trunk in the Permaculture Tree diagram? Well, the way I have come to see it is that the whole trunk is itself an imposition. What, wait, what? I believe the whole above-ground part of the permaculture tree has been growing from a grafted-on collection of design process understandings that were imported from outside.1 Imported from places like industrial design, engineering, architecture & landscape architecture.2 Because the scion wood and the rootstock were not a compatible match, the graft never really properly took. Indeed, as a result of it being there at all, the latent energy around permaculture generating its own process possibilities has either remained dormant in the roots, or been overruled by the DNA of the grafted-on material. You see where I am going with this. I don't want to continue trying to patch up a trunk that in so many ways is a distraction from the work I'm here to

  • Introducing Phase Two of Making Permaculture Stronger: Recapping Phase One

    20/09/2019 Duration: 20min

    Making Permaculture Stronger is about to cross a pivotal threshold in its evolution as a project. Let me explain... This project launched three and a half years ago with the intention to be... ...a space where permaculture practitioners come together with a spirit of strengthening the design system aspect of permaculture by clarifying its weaknesses and coordinating efforts to address them. ...where... The best way I know of strengthening something is to identify weak links and then to direct energy toward making them less weak. An early requirement for the project was to create a framework for thinking about all the different aspects of permaculture. Some way of holding the whole so that weak links could be honed in on and strengthened... Permaculture Tree (take three) Remember this? I sure do. I still find it helpful way of mapping out how all permaculture's different aspects sit in relation to one another. I introduced my original illustration here and what follows is a new (draft)

  • Exploring Developmental Pathways for Permaculture Designers with Jason Gerhardt (E25)

    13/09/2019 Duration: 52min

    I'm sure you'll enjoy this rich, deep yet lively second conversation with Jason Gerhardt (first chat was here). Jason directs the USA's Permaculture Institute and Real Earth Design. As it turns out we continue exploring the ordering framework I introduced in Episode 24. Here's the framework diagram, slightly updated thanks to a suggestion from Bill Reed. Or download as pdf here. Oh yeah I also mention this recent recreate of Making Permaculture Stronger's purpose that Joel Glanzberg helped me with and that uses the pattern I explored with Bill Reed here: MPS inspires creative exploration and dialogue around permaculture design in a way that develops our ability to think and act creatively as and with community to effect the large scale systemic change we need. Oh yeah Jason mention this amazing white paper on the four levels of Regenerative Agriculture by Ethan Roland Soloviev & Gregory Landua. I can't believe I haven't read this yet. Do check it out if you've not seen it and leave a comment t

  • Exploring a Framework for Thinking about Permaculture Design in conversation with Meg McGowan (E24)

    31/08/2019 Duration: 01h01min

    I'm excited to share here the beginnings of a (Carol Sanford inspired) framework in my second conversation with perma-powerhouse Meg McGowan (the first was here). It is a framework I feel is going to inform much of Making Permaculture Stronger's evolution moving forward. Here is a preliminary sketch laying it out as a starting point to crash test and improve together (or download as pdf file here). Huge thanks to Meg for taking the time to help me share and start developing it. Oh yes in this episode I also share my brand new project Designing for Life that will be developing in conversation with Making Permaculture Stronger moving forward. Exciting times my friends, exciting times! Visit Meg's blog here, the interview on the other podcast she mentioned here (episode three), her pyramid of wisdom here (note: compare with this). You can also go listen to the mentioned chats with Carol Sanford and Joel Glanzberg and Bill Reed by clicking on their names (where you'll find further links to their sites and

  • Bill Reed on Aligning around Purpose, Levels of Thought, and Transforming the World (E23)

    17/08/2019 Duration: 01h05min

    Hey all. In this episode I share my second conversation with Bill Reed from Regenesis Group and the Regenerative Practitioner Seminar (our first chat is here). It is a conversation I highly recommend in which we look in detail at several aspects of how the rubber hits the road in the regenerative development or living systems approach Bill works with. I also get a bunch of things off my chest at the start around bumping this whole conversation up a notch and inviting your input into where and how Making Permaculture Stronger evolves from here. Hope to hear from you (whether via a few bucks via our patreon page and/or your reflections and suggestions in the comments below or through the contact page). I have to say all this focus on the likes of Bill and Joel Glanzberg and Carol Sanford is starting to rub off on me. I have noticed that the language I use is on the move, the thoughts I think are on the move, and even my entire understanding of what the heck Making Permaculture Stronger is and could be abo

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