Is permaculture still relevant to small farms and local food security? With Loren Luyendyk of Permaculture Intl.


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Permaculture has done an incredible job of raising awareness of natural land management techniques and teaching people to observe and read the patterns of the natural world to inform their interactions with the environment, but it often gets criticized for being impractical when it comes to apply its methods to profitable farming enterprises. There’s a long running line of questioning on this show, especially when I’m speaking with producers and farmers about where they have to compromise their choices for the earth with the needs of their businesses and the efficiency required to turn a profit, so to help me to get to the bottom of this paradox I spoke to Loren Luyendyk a Certified Teacher of Permaculture, with over 17 years of practical experience in Permaculture Design, Sustainability, and Horticulture. Loren has also studied and has loads of experience in the fields of Organic and Biodynamic Farming, Arboriculture, Agroecology, Keyline Design, Holistic Management, Natural Building, and The Soil Foodweb. is also a founding partner of Permaculture Design International, an international design collaborative, with the express goal of increasing the professionalism and adoption of permaculture globally, especially with larger scale projects.  He and his wife Aubrey Falk co-founded the non-profit organization Surfers Without Borders in 2008, which promotes practical solutions to ocean pollution through regenerative design. 

In this interview we break down some of the important ways that permaculture can be applied, especially to small farms, not only to improve the health of the ecology on the site, but also the financial bottom line of the business owner. Loren explains how a lot of common practices and teachings in permaculture like crop diversification, building soil health, and harvesting water on site can make a huge difference in the viability of a farm. We also talk a lot about what a regenerative food system might look like at the community level and how people can get started wherever they are by taking simple steps in the right direction. Towards the end we also nerd out on all the amazing plants and foods that grow in our respective climates since both north eastern Spain and south western California are analogue climates to one another there’s a ton of overlap in what we see and grow around us


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