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Podcast 067 - Kelly Ware on Spreading Permaculture

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Paul Wheaton sits down with Kelly Ware, and she wants to explore the topic of how to infect people's brains with permaculture. Paul explains how Kelly invited him to sit with her at a booth to help her persuade people to understand more about permaculture. After a long talk about how to get permaculture into the brains of people in local communities, Paul squirmed out of the offer by talking about how his efforts were already doing that to some degree, although he admitted it could be better.

Paul asks Kelly about her business model and what are her plans to make money from sitting at booths. Kelly explains the exposure may lead to consulting, teaching, become a permaculture niche specialist, or promoting/selling developed permaculture properties.

Paul comments that although they are all valid ideas, he feels that the way it is being done it won't pay out very much. Paul mentions communities like transition towns, who have good intentions and want to spread permaculture without expecting any money in return and the problem they face is having people in their community who want to implement change but they do so with a lack of knowledge of permaculture, ending up using toxic methods like intensive pesticides that end up harming their community instead.

Paul brings up the notion that there are a lot of people who go to great lengths to spread awareness about permaculture and better horticultural practices. Paul also gives the example about how at the same event there would be a person speaking about how awesome GMO's are, and how Kelly has the opportunity to use that talk to insert permaculture into it so people in the audience could possibly see a better way.

After some discussion about how trying to persuade the GMO audience or speaker into loving permaculture and changing their ways would probably turn out bad due to the fact that a lot of people associate permaculture with strange hippy ideas or because there are not many permaculture farms that are feeding mass populations, making it difficult to make the case for permaculture in that audience, especially since it takes such a large effort to explain permaculture properly.

Paul brings up that if you use smaller amounts of positive permaculture information it could attract more people under the permaculture umbrella since it is easier to understand in smaller amounts in the different areas it might interest people. For example Paul suggests using the work of Sepp Holzer at a booth to entice people into perhaps seeing there is a different way to do things despite the many challenges that are out there.

Paul expresses how the difficulty in taking up booths locally, transition movements or permaculture guilds that are handing out flyers is that it comes across as preachy or too much information that people can't relate to or understand easily. He gives a few ideas of different ways you could spin it with relatable information about how to make people's lives easier instead, that would ultimately lead people learning about permaculture.

Paul and Kelly discuss how to properly throw a permaculture event, the importance of advertising and how it would be much more effective in spreading the word about permaculture because more people would find out about the event and permaculture in general when they wouldn't normally have known they wanted to go. Kelly brings up community and adult education programs and their potential to spread permaculture.

They go over different ways to network within the local community, like writing for local blogs or local newspapers which then turns the conversation to the topic of copyright infringement and what's okay and what's not okay when sharing and using Paul's articles. Paul then gives the idea that it would be great if there was a resource of permaculture articles that could be bought and used collectively in different media outlets without worrying about copyright infringement.

Kelly shares how she has started a thread on permies.com called, How to add permaculture to local mindset?” and Paul encourages people to go to this forum and share their ideas.

They finish off talking about the importance of developing email lists, and trying to come up with more ideas in the forums to spread the word about permaculture to local communities.

Relavent Threads

Kelly Ware on Permaculture Gatherings
How to Add Permaculture to the Local Mindset
Increasing the Velocity of Permaculture

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I think it was this podcast that Paul mentioned an issue with a video that was given to him to use, the video was sideways. Cyberlink Power Director allows you to rotate the video. Not sure what you use Paul but I thought I would throw that out there.
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Really energizing and brilliant!
I wonder what cross-pollination might come of looking at the 10-year-plan model of getting an idea out into institutions as a profession...
I posted about this under meaningless drivel.

or a food forest-like succession plan of spreading an idea: include elements that aren't directly marketing but are like "nitrogen-fixers" for supplying the marketing elements; include perennial elements as well as some annuals, but have the annuals there initially as transitional tools (for example, paying a professional event promotor who isn't a permaculturist is a one-time expenditure analogous to an annual plant; then later hiring a permaculturist who can do that job well while keeping the money within permaculturist circles is more like investing in a perennial)...
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I was recently listening to this podcast, and I think the way Paul describes spreading permaculture might be a good tactic.

Combining this with the video I love referring to of Paul's 2013 Keynote and the work that happened with the Permaculture Playing Cards, I think this podcast is really getting at the idea of spreading permaculture "bricks" to as many people as possible. (just like the playing cards try to do, just how information was organized in the keynote, and just how the helpful peices of advice were described in the podcast).

A way i think this could be done is kind of like how Paul mentions the Jehovah witness pamphlets as a way to get people into permaculture:
-we could take a "brick" of permaculture, explain what it is, how it works, and then mention how this is related to the word permaculture

I think this could take the form of maybe:
-posters that convey a strong point (with a little text) (I think the CrimethInc posters are a good example of pointed messages, so maybe jerry-rig thsi style for permaculture)
-small pamphlets or zines (a few good examples:Sheet Mulching, Vermicomposting, Mixed Vegetable Gardening, Healthy Forests and Deer, Compost)
He got surgery to replace his foot with a pig. He said it was because of this tiny ad:
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