The time has arrived, dear readers, to venture again into our own version of the wilderness to explore things more intimately, more vividly, more extremely. As we might have mentioned before, 2/3 rds of the Amyitis crew have decided to temporarily leave our beloved city of San Francisco to re-vision our path in agriculture. While the adventure of Amyitis has been an education in itself, we see the value in revisiting some more classical types of experiential education. For better or for worse, we hope to bring back a new insight to our practices here in the city by taking an intensive peek at green thumbs the world over.
After my recent journey into permaculture with Kevin Bayuk and David Cody (who begin their winter PDC next week) my inspiration drove me to dive more deeply into the world of holistic thinking and design. Permaculture had its origins in Australia out of necessity in the 1970’s. Brackish soils and paralyzing drought were some of the issues dooming Australian farmers and landowners everywhere. A, then, slow-moving idea (or more accurately a group of ideas) called permaculture housed a group of time-tested, environmentally conscious, and highly productive strategies and techniques under one set of clear principles. Nearly 40 years later, permaculture has now become a fast growing and ever-more widely accepted design strategy having communities, courses and certifications available globally. One of these communities is the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia run by Geoff and Nadia Lawton. Designers using permaculture’s design lense strive to create and encourage systems that are beyond sustainable; regenerative. People like Geoff have spent a lifetime training them. I have decided to spend 10 weeks on Geoff’s farm to learn to see through this lense a bit more and gain a mastery of some of the more popular techniques made famous by permies. I hope to return empowered and inspired to see Amyitis through to its next phase.
Katie Conry has taken advantage of her work situation to explore S. E. Asia and beyond willingly working on organic farms in places like India, Malaysia, and Nepal. I feel encouraged and inspired that Katie’s interest in food has driven her forward both in the world of the blogosphere and into the garden. I trust Katie will also come back inspired and ready to apply her energy with a new lense. We wish her well and await her safe return.
Eben Bell will be here to take care of your Amyitis queries, comments, and collaborations. Look for him at the Free Farm Stand on Sundays in the Mission, or perhaps you local Mission street corner. Keep posted as Katie and I will be sending posts from the Southern Hemisphere.
Until then, Happy Gardening!