Tag Archives: permaculture sf

Bon Voyage!….For now.

” The use of our bodies for work or love or pleasure, or even for combat, sets us free again in the wilderness, and we exult” -Wendell Berry

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!



San Francisco + food movement + tomorrow

Hoping to spend tomorrow discussing sustainable & safe food systems? Well, you have *two* intriguing events to choose from December 1st 2009.

The first promises some controversy. Our friends at Slow Food SF are organizing a panel discussion featuring panelists from both sides of the food movement aisle.

The Slow Food SF Eat In, September 2009

Starting at 6:45pm at the S.F. Public Library’s Koret Auditorium (100 Larkin & Grove) the panel will feature Douglas Gayeton (author of the book Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town),  Sarah Rich, Sam Mogannam from Bi-Rite, farmer Casey Havre, chef Michelle Fuerst, and Slow Food SF’s very own  Dava Guthmiller. After this spirited debate Slow Food will be hosting a book signing/exception/reception at 18 Reasons in the Mission. (Via Mary Ladd & SFoodie)

Looking to learn more about Permaculture in the Mission tomorrow? Look no further! December 1st 7-9pm Movie Night @ The Red Poppy Art House (2698 Folsom Street @ 23rd Street) will be showing the Geoff Lawton  film, Introduction to Permaculture Design (What I’m sure will be)  a spirited Q & A will follow the screening with Kevin Bayuk and David Cody answering your questions.  Given David Stockhausen’s recent and very positive experience with Permaculture this event is too tempting for us to pass up. Hope to see you there!

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Class act.

Now I plant more Fava beans and use more mulch. Find out why

For those of you that enjoy my blogging voice, I apologize for its absence.  It has been a small while since I have posted.  And as you may already know, my good friend Katie has graciously taken the helm in my stead.  But, it is my “stead” that compels me to write to you now. The subject at hand is one of drastic importance for me and for all of us.  If you are not interested yet, keep reading anyway.

The reason for my sparse blog presence has mostly because I have been immersed in my recent permaculture class with Permaculture SF. It is not for the fact that the class kept me too busy to blog, but more that I was (and still am) completely inspired and changed by this class, its teachers, and my fellow students; so much so that I have since dedicated my time, thought and effort to the principles and practices I gathered there.  In fact, with no offense intended toward my favorite UVM professors, I feel downright comfortable saying that it may be the single most rewarding class I have ever taken to date.

A good class doesn’t just transmit information, it changes the way you think.  While I am tempted here (with all of this empty white blog space beneath me) to convey some of the specific lessons from my experience, I would rather say that this class and my cohort transformed the way I see my environment, my world, and my community.  And now I see that this new lense as the most valuable tool I walked away with.  I now look at Amyitis differently.  I see our mission, my mission, as transmogrified.  You see, permaculture is not simply about learning techniques and strategies but about, what my teachers David Cody and Kevin Bayuk like to say, “overstanding” the issue.  To translate, to overstand is to interpret the whole system, understand more deeply.

I learned that, Amyitis has been utilizing some permaculture strategy since its inception, but its scope has maybe been too narrow, its berth too wide.  What I write now is to urge anyone and everyone to take a permaculture design certification class in your neighborhood or city.  If you are an engineer, a foodie, a home gardener, or even business strategist, this class will change your life.  If you are luck enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area you can be lucky enough to take a course with Kevin and David, HERE. They also have a blog you can follow if you like.  Don’t waste any time.  The Spring PDC starts January 13th 2009 in Potrero Hill.

Hey you may find yourself in a picture like this one, smiling your little face off.


2009 Fall Urban PDC Graduates.



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