Episode 29, Peter Bane 2020 – Climate Cooling We Can Believe In!
Today’s guest is Peter Bane who is the president of the Permaculture Insitute of North America, he wrote the Permaculture Handbook, literally, he has built and lived in eco-villages and self-sufficient homesteads for decades. and has taught dozens and dozens of courses and workshops all over the world. He’s the real deal, as you’ll soon learn.
We’ll jump right into the conversation; we were talking about the self-sufficient suburban permaculture homestead in Bloomington, Indiana that Peter and Keith spent years building and is currently for sale.
- Healthy Soils Symposium, Feb 24 and Feb 25, 2017
- Permaculture Teacher Training, Mar 5-10th 2017
- Creating the Local Food Economy Mar 31st – Apr 3rd, 2017
- More Courses with Peter Bane
- Permaculture Institute of North America
Opening: Red Dust by Zero 7
Closing: Krishna Das – Sri Argala Stotram – Show Me Love
- Peter and Keith’s Amazing Permaculture Homestead for Sale in Bloomington, Indiana
- What would Peter do as President of the US
- Climate Change Current Status
- We have 10yrs to make massive changes
- Increasing Green Cover
- Planting Trees
- Rehydrating the Landscape
- The topic of Peters upcoming Book
- How we can restore hydrological cycle
- Michael Kravcik success story https://www.theflowpartnership.org/people-and-water/
- The power of many small simple dams, and swales
- The importance of Overflow in ponds
- The Climate can kill us, but we know what to do to avoid it
- The Miracle that is Living around us
- Massive Restoration Effort needed
- Does Peter Pray?
Levi: You have a bomb house that is set up like suburban house. Do you want to explain a little bit about that house because it’s so amazing?
Peter: Oh my goodness! Oh yes, well you know, we went there and found this place completely bare (like all that’s falling down two old ranch that’s sort of 50s or 60s) and it’s surrounded by a totally flat landscape grass, a few dying trees that was 10/11 years ago and we just went and plowed into it to make it energy efficient and for example landscape and to add facility and capacity to it. So by the time we got slowed down (that is when the county sued us and we decided to just back off from investing any more money in the situation that we didn’t have any control over), we had foot solar panels on the roof. We had given it many outdoor rooms including a beautiful new covered porch and an outdoor kitchen. We had gone to a point where our power production was more than the amount we use in the course of the year of electricity. We were (inaudible) so we were running in the years backwards coming out net ahead every year a little bit. We switched over to wood heat with wood stoves. We built two wood sheds, filled them up had 10 cords of wood stored, put up a 10,000 gallon cistern ferrocement cistern and then when we built a barn (small barn utility structure) we had another 4,000 gallon cistern and intertied those that feed for 6 hydrants by gravity and we put up a thousand square foot greenhouse and then another 300 square foot greenhouse. Start growing a year around which we were doing successfully. We reckoned towards the landscape to manage water so that nothing leaves until the whole area is in flood. We, you know, brought in tons and tons and tons of mulch, changed the organic matter levels in the soil dramatically. Planted 50 fruit trees (maybe more), an edible hedge all around the whole lot. Fenced it against deer, rebuilt the old falling down shed for utility space so we’ve got a nice space for our garden tools and recycling and this and that.
I don’t know. What else can I tell you? It was a great place. I t still is a great place. I think these people who looked at it were very jazzed that they might get it. If they haven’t had the some anxiety, justifiably that the county would be obnoxious and cause all kind of problems, they would have bought it and we would be in contract right now and moving towards the sale. Monroe County has overplayed its hand. It’s got a bunch of people working for it who are either absolutely outright corrupting crooked or you know really sketching the edge. I think they just misplayed it. They’re gonna lose badly here but I don’t know when and what it’ll take to get there and I got calls out to a couple of attorneys. I’ve got friends looking for attorneys for me. We haven’t found the right person but somebody is in practice in Central Indiana who can do this.
Levi: Yes maybe if they’re listening too to this.
Peter: Maybe if they’re listening to this.
Levi: In the area, then.
Peter: Yeah. Contact Peter Bane. I don’t know if that answers your question, Levi, but you’ve seen it though.
Levi: It does, yeah and it’s a beautiful place. It was wonderful to be a guest.
Peter: Not to mention the deck where you jumped off of you know!
Levi: Very sturdy deck. I will definitely vouch for the sturdiness of that deck. Of course, everything else they built is built to last for sure and the living room is what I remember. The stone.
Peter: Very nice tile.
Levi: But it was heated by the wood stove, right? They had radiant floor heating that was tied into the wood stove.
Peter: Yeah, and you can’t see it. It doesn’t matter to the people living there or us or anything but the tunnel mass we did in that flab wasn’t concrete (well there was 3 inches of concrete there enough to hold up the tile). It was the old shingles from ripping it off the roof when we repaired the roof and put on metal roofing. So we entombed them rather than taking them to the dump. So there they are working away, still being thermal mass still heating it in winter, evening out the ups and downs of the fire, capturing all the waste heat going up to the chimney. Very elegant systems.
Levi: That is beautifully done. So I have to ask then on that note, if you were the president of the United States, Peter Bane, what would you do?
Peter: What would I do? Oh right now. Probably I won’t overlap much with the one who is claiming the office at the moment. I would work really hard to get a carbon tax put in place cause we’ve got this ship to burn from carbon squanderers (to people who are thrifty) and help cut the total amount we’re putting in the atmosphere. I would also re-energize the natural resources conservation service and/or wed it with something like this or a Peace Corps equivalent effort to get people out. Planting more trees. I would shift agricultural subsidies over to organic production and cover cropping and transition away from chemicals and tillage cause we’ve got to stop that. We’ve got to put water holding carbon back in the soil. Pull it out of the atmosphere. We need to plant I don’t know how many trees. A trillion trees maybe? Let’s just let’s aim big. Maybe not all of them in the United States but certainly a lot.
Levi: Yeah. So what you mentioned there with the water is, from my understanding, the topic of your next book that you’ve been researching and writing.
Levi: So could you share a little bit about what you’re discovering?
Peter: Well, I think most of the listeners here in the podcast will understand the global warming, the planet’s heating up because of human activities it’s causing climate change and that climate change is not just warming it’s also crazy ass cooling like we had two to three years ago winter with the polar vortex.
Levi: Right weather weirding?
Peter: Weather weirding, yeah I mean the jets stream was distorted because too much heat in the arctic was pushing the cold air mass down over North America so we got slammed and The Great Lake froze up in the first time in 40 years. People mocked at it because they think, ‘oh it’s not really warming but actually it’s just displaced chill’, and we got unbelievable heating in the arctic melting, of the ice caps up there open water in the winter (unheard of during any historic periods). Then in the Californian drought we’ve got the Syrian Civil war growing out of a long term drought that drove the farmers out of their land and into the cities where they found no support from the government and they started agitating and lo behold! Civil war broke out and then what did they do? They spilled into Europe and neighboring countries with worldwide ramification. That’s one country that was torn apart from climate change. We’ve got a lot more in store because we’re just looking at the front end of things. The problem with salvation thus far has been the oceans have absorbed a lot of heat. The biosphere is still absorbing a lot of the CO2 and mitigating the rise, although, its way up the levels that have risen beyond anything we’ve seen in millions of years. But the real heating effect the real downstream awfulness has yet to come. We’re just getting the tip of it. This is a big iceberg and I can certainly say this is Titanic. It can destroy nations. It can destroy world civilizations. If we don’t get a grip on it very soon (we maybe have 10 years to really do effective work), we are looking at a 2040s and 2050s scenario that’s gonna make Donald Trump and his administration look like penny-ante gamblers which is pretty much what they are. They’ll almost be forgotten it’ll be so bad. We have got to cool the planet and we’ve got to cool it fast. That’s the gloom and doom. We’ve got work right in front of us.
The good news is human impacts on climate have been significant as far back as 7,000 years ago. They’ve been dramatic in historic times. Mostly, unconscious and passive. So for example, when the Europeans brought diseases (as your friend Albert Bates wrote about, our mutual friend Albert, in his book The Biochar Solution) and killed off 60 to 90 million Native American farmers. The reforestation on carbon rich soils. They’ve been cultivating the Amazon in Central America and in the Mississippi Valley dropped carbon level in the atmosphere about 10 parts per million and that effect persisted for 200 to 250 to 300 years. So that was an accident. It was not intended. It’s not something we want to repeat. But replanting trees, storing carbon in grassland soils through proper grazing (managed intensive grazing) and restoring wetlands could do an enormous amount to increase green cover on the planet.
That’s the gist of this message and what the book will be about. We have to extend green cover over areas where we don’t have it and that means everything from edges of the Sahara to the tops of flat buildings in our cities, plant trees, build up carbon content in soils so we can hold water so we can cycle water into vegetation and transpire it up into clouds which will reflect incoming solar radiation. We’ve got to increase the albedo of the planet and not using chemicals from the airplanes but using raindrops and snowflakes naturally nucleated around the bacteria that live in the stomata of tree leaves. Aerobacter (a billion tons of them in the atmosphere) need to augmented. We need to increase cloud cover and reflect heat back. We can lower the temperature even before we get really a lot of purchase on carbon draw down although that too can come pretty fast. Anything that holds back water makes it available for more year round flow, for more availability in soils, for more green growth is what we need to do. There are some great examples that have been done in Slovakia with EU money in the highlands in recent years. Plus, we have a long legacy of soil conservation and CCC work in this country during the Roosevelt administration during the great depression era when the government actually paid people to repair the land. We need to do it again, that’s for sure.
Levi: You said in Slovakia there was some positive example?
Levi: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that one so do you mind elaborating?
Peter: There’s a group of hydrologists there working through the University and later with the government who– The name most widely circulated outside Slovakia is Michal Kravcik. K-R-A-V-C-I-K. You can probably find some links to his work online. But they have done just the most beautiful and fantastic array, not they alone but they have overseen selling up a program hiring thousands of people (ordinary villagers, people in towns without jobs). To go out in log cribs, lay in boulders, make swales put dams in mountain drainages and the motivation they sold it on was big and bad flooding in the highlands but Kravcik understood that that water needed to be kept high up in order to perform its function in the hydrologic cycle. He’s advanced the wild and (I hope to see) proven thesis that run off from the continents, namely from urbanization and agriculture, is contributing maybe as much as 40% of sea level rise. But in any case, his amateur engineers have done just the most amazing array of diverse work building check dams and water-holding structures and small impoundments and soils and dykes and you name it all over the uplands of Slovakia. They got an immediate test. They began this work in 2010 and 2011. There were again very heavy rains and flooding, which had been catastrophic 2 years earlier, was much mitigated, much less damaging.
Peter: So it’s working and it means water is available for more year round flow and that therefore have better crop production, better forest growth, better grassland management, all that available. We need to do the same thing.
Levi: Can you explain the mechanics of how that works? The actual storing the water higher on the landscape.
Peter: Think about wetlands. What do wetlands do? They’re all they form naturally along all streams their swampy low areas that fill up with water and act as buffers to stream flow. So when it’s heavy, they take the overflow in floodwaters and hold it temporarily and let it slowly go back into the stream. When it’s dry, that water keeps feeding the stream. So we need the check dams and all of this earth working that Kravcik’s program caused to be done in Slovakia created many sponges, many reservoirs (small, tiny, sometimes, the size of a bedroom) in streams, in drainages, in low fields. Wherever it looked expeditious to do it, they were holding water back. That water then is available because they don’t just sit there. Water always flows. It’ll be held back for a while. It’ll infiltrate down through soil. As it moves through soil, it becomes available to trees and grasses downhill, downstream further. So, it’s very basic. This is advanced sandbox. Lots of people could do this and the amazing thing to me was seeing the diversity of styles of buildings. People doing crisscross, log cages, check dams made out of stone, weirs, swales running zigzag across the landscape on contour, low fields created like detention basins you know, in the countryside but in strategic locations where floodwaters could be held for a few days and until they’re infiltrated. That’s our problem. We have enough moisture but it runs away too fast and that leaves landscapes impoverished and parched during the dry cycles of the precipitation year. So we’ve got to even out those cycles by increasing water storage when it’s available. The place to start is where it’s already concentrated and high up in the landscape, ideally, because there you can control it without overflowing the structures. Further down (as you well know) if you try to dam a big river it’ll just blow out. You can’t do that at low cost but you can work up in the hills and at the tops of bridges and on flattish ground that is also the tops of watershed very, very easily, very inexpensively with hand tools or simple machinery and quickly make a big difference. So you can think about it as building a whole lot of ephemeral ponds. It’ll fill up every time it rains and slowly release water after it. We’ve got the same effect from a good green roof. That’s why a lot of Central European cities have mandated green roofs rather than expanding their storm sewers. You just hold it up on top of the building and let it trickle out and then you don’t need bigger pipes. It’s a very hard strategy.
Levi: Can you maybe share some experiences you’ve had building check dams and ponds and this type of earth works?
Peter: Well, I built a handful of ponds and many number of swales and they work. It’s easy to get water to be stored behind an earthen dam. You just compact soil if it’s got enough clay in it. There’s some basic procedures and an awful lot of bulldozer operators know how to do it so these are not really a satiric skill. They’re pretty widespread across the countryside in sectors of the population but we don’t practice them. There’s a lot of people who don’t know what to do. Natural resource conservation service has implemented a lot of ponds on farms across country. They understand the value of these things. I’m not sure that they’d go to quite as the same extent that I might but maybe they do and in some cases I’m sure they do. You want to look for opportunities to create water source where there isn’t any so it’s not like damming up a flowing river. It’s more dry but it rains sometimes and then you have runoff. I’ve built ponds in the North Carolina hills. I’ve advised on ponds in Northeast Ohio. I’ve built little ponds in our landscape in Bloomington, Indiana and I’m sure not done building earthworks but right now I’m just trying to get the ideas out so that people could understand.
Levi: I remember that reminds me of something Karen Olson Ramanujan taught during the advanced protocol course I took with you guys a couple of years ago now in Akron, Ohio, which you mentioned that you gotta be pretty careful with ponds because if they blow out, if you don’t do it right and the blow out they can cause serious damage to structures. All that water.
Peter: Oh, sure yeah. This is not a kind of job to do that you’ve never done before on a big scale. I think people need to have some good advice but neither is it something that requires high priced engineering necessarily.
Peter: A lot of the skills are well distributed, as they say, amongst practical machinery operators. When you build a pond, you want to be sure you understand what the size of its watershed is. How much water could potentially come down in a heavy rain event and run off. What state is the catchment area? Is it wooded? Is it grassed? Is it bare soil? Each of these will have different coefficients of run off. Trees, the least, bare soil than more, pavement the most. So you have to determine what’s the potential runoff in any likely event and how much might wind up in the pond. So then you have to provide always, always, always an overflow. You can only temporarily slow water down. You can’t really keep it permanently. So you always have to have an overflow (even tanks need an overflow). As long as water can flow in it has to be able to flow out. What happens in your basic plumbing? Is that right? You could just turn the tap on in the bathtub and there wasn’t an overflow drain above the level of the floor of the tub. It will be all over you bathroom and down in the basement pretty soon.
Peter: But you know, plumbers know how to put that in so every bathtub has an overflow drain and every pond needs an overflow which is protected against fast flow by being covered with grass and/or with rock (heavy rock) like riprap, cobblestones size and it needs freeboard. Freeboard is the distance between the planned level of the pond and the top of the dam. Usually 2 or 3 feet depending on the volume of the dam and that’s the sort of surge protector so that if there is a huge downpour, summer storm or autumn flooding or something and the whole catchment starts to run water towards your pond then it can take that first wave without blowing out the dam and direct it to the spillway where it can leave safely. You never stop. You can’t stop the rain but you have to plan for the events that seem remotely likely.
Peter: And don’t put your house downstream from the pond. Or the pond directly above the house. Off to the side, please.
Levi: Yeah, yeah. Very good point. I guess jumping back to the main theme you know regarding restoring the watershed and planting all these trees to reverse climate change. If you had to hazard guess, if you were the president and we’re moving at the pace that we could potentially move at, how long would this process take?
Peter: It’s really. How long would it take? Well, I think in an all hands on deck approach that we could accomplish this in a relatively few years, certainly inside of a decade. But that’s like giving me the pen and the authority to order it out. Politically, I’m not sure things work that way or what. But it may not depend on what the president says. In fact, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. Not that it wouldn’t help if the president was backing this but I think it depends on actions across the broad front. This is the sort of that can be organized locally, regionally, nationally and basically at every scale. Now, it’s gonna be more effective if we can work with people at large land holdings because the impacts will be bigger, faster, which is why I think we need a key leverage point. It’s to mobilize financial support and education and guidance for farmers and ranchers who have large loss of land under their sway.
Levi: Right now there’s a lot of a public displays of resistance going on which is very beautiful to see. I think before the information revolution it was easier to be ignorant of the pain and degradation that our modern industrial systems are inflicting upon many populations and the natural world itself. You had to kind of dig a bit to find the uncomfortable truths. But now you almost can’t help but be aware.
And especially since our earth doctors; climatologists, geologists, biologists, and other scientists are all in agreement on the terminal diagnosis for our species if radical changes aren’t made quickly. And so it feels like our whole culture has been going through the stages of grief. The first stages are disbelief and denial, so we were mostly processing this stuff privately you know under the surface. But now it seems like we’re finally moving out of those first stages and have progressed into the stage of anger. Which is of course much more in your face and outward. So it’s actually good to see us moving through and processing this heavy stuff as a culture. It’s sort of like our culture anti-bodies are kicking in.
So Peter, in your time on this earth living amongst the human beings here, what do you think is the path through change and back towards life?
Peter: Oh my. Well I put my money largely on education, advocacy. I think we need to change minds and hearts. It’s not just minds and it’s not just information that needs to be different. There is better information out than most people have but it’s the understanding of it so what we need is real knowledge and that knowledge is also heart centered. People have to feel that there they have a stake in a life on this planet. They have to understand that they are part of the life on this planet. So that’s what I have always tried to do in my teaching, work and in my writing and that’s largely where I am gonna continue doing my work. I’m an okay engineer. I put in roads and ponds, I build houses and fix things. Mostly that was proof of concept for me. YEah know how to do that. Now, I cannot talk about it authoritatively. There are a lot of good engineers. There are lot of good bulldozer operators. There are a lot of good farmers who know how to run machinery and plant seed. The skill base exist. It could be expanded. But I think you know for me, the leverage point is one of advocacy. First, we have to get these radical ideas out in front of people. Yes, the climate can kill us if we don’t get a handle on it in a few years and we could. Here’s how and it’s really basic and it can make our agriculture more profitable, it’ll make our cities greener and cooler and more comfortable and more beautiful, it’ll return life in all sorts of forms.
Levi: It’ll heal our bodies.
Peter: It’ll heal our bodies because better soil mobilizes the right ingredients to move into food so it will start eating more and more nutritious food instead of the food that’s killing us because it has nothing left in it, because we’ve killed the soils. A part of the message on soils is that they are like the lining of our gut. They’re inhabited by positive supportive organisms if we’re healthy and in the case of the soil, that’s largely mycelial fungi connecting the plant roots and mobilizing mineral nutrients that the plants need. The fungi have the intelligence to cater the profile exactly to what plants need and leave behind heavy metals and leave behind excesses and get the right stuff to the plants at the right time. If only we don’t chop them up with our plows and our roto-tillers. We’ve got to end tillage in agriculture and we’ve got to soon.
Levi: And so then the stomach microbes, they act like the mycelium. They help us absorb all those nutrients.
Peter: Yes. In our guts, in our intestines. The probiotic beneficial microbes that live with us and that largely form a separate form of intelligence that we benefit from make available the right kind of nutrient to our bodies they help regulate what the intestines allow into the blood and when you don’t have them then the gut leaks and people get all kinds of terrible problems from that.
Levi: Yeah, and there are some soil born organisms that are actually good for our gut and so by eating like fresh garden produce or locally grown produce you’re getting that live culture of basically soil organisms into your gut .
Peter: If it’s crawling around in the dirt, get them too.
Peter: They get them early in life and frankly all kinds of physical touch and affection transmit a lot of really useful things too, not just the message that you are loved but here’s the microbes you need. Kiss kiss.
Levi: Oh, isn’t that beautiful.
Peter: I think so. I think it’s remarkable that healthy human culture and healthy ecosystems can work in concert that way.
Levi: It is.
Peter: Yeah, it’s a miracle going on all around us and we’ve just got to wake up and see it and maybe shake a few people out of their sloth.
Levi: We are so easily dazzled by our clever technological innovations, like smart phones and fighter jets, but the technologies that nature has devised are clearly far superior, in complexity and elegance! Plus life has been around for billions of years. The technologies we’ve become dependent on are mostly just a few generations old, maybe a few hundred years. And we have yet to come close to creating anything like the human brain, which is amazingly complex and organized and energy efficient (runs off solar energy from plants) and its fully compostable and recyclable, and self-repairing and self-replicating. So clearly we need to appreciate and understand natures work much more, and especially stop destroying it to replace it with our inferior products, which fall apart after a few years without replacement parts or maintenance.
I don’t know where to go from there I ran out of questions. I mean there’s tons to cover.
Peter: I’m astonished! You’re doing so well.
Levi: You’re doing so well! Did you want to run a– did you want to go more in depth on your topic of the water cycle? In carbon sequestration?
Peter: Well, one of the things that will be harder and a little bit slower to achieve but needs to be in the picture to anchor this whole thing is the transformation of our broad open spaces into (what should I say) savannas? In many cases we want to go from green fields to savannas and from the degraded woodlands into better forests and from brown cities to green cities. So we have a lot of trees to plant. A lot of trees. And they should be working trees. Hedgerows, buffers along our streams and channels, edible forest, edible parks, edible boulevards. Everyone of the (however many it is) 50/60,000 miles of four lane interstate, six lane interstates in this country should have strip forests running through it. Enough of this milling grass crap. They graze sheep along the taxi ways at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. The Dutch understand not having enough land. They fought for every acre they’ve got and they use it. We’re just so land rich we’ve just we’ve squandered it. We need to not just use the land but we need to actually use it to our highest aim. We need to get forests putting microbes back up in the atmosphere to make clouds and make the rain and reflect sunlight so we can cool ourselves and that’s gonna take a whole lot of change and perspective on people’s heart. Particularly land managers. You know, we need to be starting to reforest Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Levi: Aside from electing you president (although I’m not saying that’s not a viable option)–
Peter: You might vote for me if I got on the ticket?
Levi: Oh hell yeah, what. But the question is, can you handle the position?
Peter: I don’t want that position. I want to be able to make this happen without getting press conferences or having secret service drive me around. I want to work with people where the work is being done.
Levi: Which is what you’re doing.
Peter: I’m trying. I don’t have a big enough audience yet but I’m working on it that’s why the book. It’ll help.
Levi: Well, do you want to share a little bit about the workshop coming up?
Peter: So February 24th and 25th in Yellow Springs, Ohio, I and several other people will be leading a symposium on soils (healthy soils) and these subjects will be discussed. The aim chiefly there is to build a regional alliance of practitioners. People in universities in extension, organic farmers, other farmers, urban activists and engineering people, academics, anybody who can lend to the cause, ordinary folks. So, the website is communitysolution.org and people can learn about it. I’m sure that some places are still available. That’s just the nearest thing of that I’m doing.
Levi: Your workshops are amazing. I’m going to keep going to them even if I’m hearing the same thing over again which I probably won’t cause I always learn a crap ton when I go to your workshops and of course all the teachers and all the other students, everyone is there bringing it all together.
Peter: You’ll be interested in another. We’re still working on the city of Akron and the region to try to bring these ideas to fruition through public policy.
Peter: We’re in discussion with them now about permaculture. Seven or four city officials, engineering staff and the like. We haven’t scheduled it yet. We’re still trying to line the ducks up but it’s gonna happen. In the meantime, I’m back there teaching a design course to build the troops on the ground. People can talk about this stuff and advocate for it in the community. So that’s a little legacy of what you already had your foot in and then I have 2 other courses coming up for permaculture graduates on teaching a teacher training on March 5th-10th which you know about.
Levi: I will be there.
Peter: There are places available still in that for those who would like to become more adept at advocacy and education. We know a lot and it will be a rich and intensive learning experience. Then at the end of March (March 31st), 4 days in Brooksville or near Brooksville, Florida which is Hernando County (which is north of Tampa and west of Orlando). We’re going to do, me and Jono Neiger and Koreen Brennan are leading an advanced design studio on local food systems and how they might be put together, who the players are, how do you do it. We’re gonna work with actual stake holders in the region to help. This is a kind of hybrid between a workshop and an activism because we’re really gonna try to lean into that community which seems to be right for it. Developing these facilities that it needs a food hub, more organic farms that works for distribution, outlets, buy- in from public institutions like schools and hospitals and so on. So, that’ll be four days in Florida at the end of March and early April should be very nice and again the details are at permacultureactivist.net look up courses and you’ll find them there both that and the teacher training.
Levi: Yes, and I’ll also gonna put it on the plug for your original book “The Permaculture Handbook” which is chalk full of amazing practical experiential knowledge.
Peter: That book was written based on our work in Bloomington 10 years more or less designing that suburban farm, a well gardened farm on two thirds acre. Very robust resilient systems and lots of unrealized potential.
Levi: Are those bees still over there or down there?
Peter: I’ve moved to be in Michigan. I have my bags up here now.
Levi: Okay. Okay.
Peter: And no they’re not. They did their job while we were there but–
Levi: But the space can accommodate bees?
Peter: The space accommodated three hives of bees at one point. I could have done more if I’ve been willing to place them on the neighbor’s property because they were quite open to it. I just only get so many hours in a day.
Levi: Sure. Is there anything else you wanted to share?
Peter: Well, I hope your audience will pick up on this essential message. We have to put climate center, climate mitigation efforts front and center. That’s everybody’s business, everybody’s business and the answers are available. We know how to do this. We’ve got to cool things out to damp out extreme weather events its flood, fire, storm and drought that are our four horsemen today. We can unhorse them if we will start storing water in the landscape.
Levi: And we will also be looking out for you on the next presidential ticket, Mr. Bane?
Peter: President of what remains to be seen. I already have one presidential office. I’m president of the Permaculture Institute of North America.
Levi: There we go. Join that country.
Peter: Every permaculture activist and designer and teacher in North America lift their game and become more capable and more professional and more effective because our communities sorely need that. That kind of leadership.
Peter: Check us out at pina.in. P-I-N-A dot I-N.
Levi: Cool. Awesome. I’ll put links in the show description as well and thanks again. I really appreciate it Peter. It’s a lot of fun and I learned a ton and just this joy.
Peter: Well, keep having fun with it Levi. You’re better at it than you were a year or two ago and that’s saying a lot.
Levi: I appreciate it.
Peter: I think this podcast is going places.
Levi: Well thanks Peter. I appreciate that.
Peter: Nature is there to help us.
Levi: I have a question. Do you pray?
Peter: Do I pray? My prayer is action prayer. Yeah, I think a lot. I put and devote my attention to the things that I think are important and I act on what I believe. So, I don’t know how other people pray. They pray in lots of ways but I think the main thing is to open the heart that’s the like Catholic imagery of Jesus with the heart pulled open. It’s like that action. That’s prayer. When prayer is constant, that’s devotion. That’s the religious life. We all need to pray. We all need to open our hearts. We need to open our hearts to nature and to other people.
Levi: And live it, yeah.
And I think it is kind of scary to open up your heart like that, just because there is so much pain. And so by opening up your heart you’re exposing it to all this pain and suffering. But, I don’t know, I think we experience pain for a reason. It motivates us to heal the source of that pain. That healing force that rushes in when you experience pain, sort of like the anti-bodies that come in is love. So I think it’s only by exposing our hearts to the pain of the world that we’ll be able to access the deep love for this whole miraculous mystery of life, to actually be able to heal it.
Alright, man well I’ll let you go.
Peter: Good! Well, we’ll see you in March if not before.
Levi: Have a good night. Give my love to Keith.
Peter: I will.
Levi: and everyone else. All the living beings that are all around you.
Peter: and within me.
Levi: and within you too, that too. Alright, we’ll catch you later.
Peter: Ok Levi. Bye bye.