Pantry Paratus Radio, Episode 010
Interview with Paul Wheaton of Permies.com Part I
I have to admit, I like the perks of a job as much as the next man. So when I got the opportunity to interview Paul Wheaton, editor of Permies.com and the biggest name in Permaculture in the US, I jumped at the chance. I have had the pleasure of meeting Paul in person, and Chaya got to attend a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) that he was serving as an instructor at this summer.
Paul was very generous with his time, and so we divided up this interview into two parts. Whether you have been gardening for years or have been wondering what Permaculture even means, pull up a chair and listen in as we have a chat with a great thinker. Here is the first part of getting to talk to the mighty, the glorious, the amazing Paul Wheaton.
We talk about:
-Paul’s Bio: transition from straight gardening to Permaculture (when he was not trying to launch a rocket into space)
-Understanding the Design in Permaculture Design
-Permaculture for the lazy—letting nature drive
-Paul’s warmest memory with cast iron
-Regaining the wisdom of our ancestors
-Adopting Permaculture as a way to buy your freedom back and check out of the game
-A self-sufficient lifestyle as a gift to your future self—a measure for safety (hugelkulture, rocket mass heaters, WOFATIs, etc)
-Analysis paralysis by observing nature to understand that the algorithm is very complex!
-Homesteading and agriculture is perpetual innovation, when things go really bad is when you do your best thinking
-There still are intelligent innovative people out there actually doing good things. Some of the gentler people have been silenced and the rest may seem cantankerous because they constantly have to fight back “the corporate message.”
-Does Paul want to write a book or does he envision Permies as his living anthology for Permaculture?
-Why should bad people stop being bad? Why should they listen to you?
-Evaluating communication across different knowledge sets rather than beating people with sticks
-The Wheaton Eco scale (it’s a logarithmic scale by the way)
[Editor’s note: Wow, you really see the genius of Paul Wheaton here]
-You want to make sure that you are handing bricks to people to build a better world and not throw them at peoples’ heads
-How is the land search going? Will the Permies.com empire be able to achieve world domination from the hollowed out volcano with submarine access from Missoula, MT?
-What is Paul’s vision for the land? What are Paul’s goals?
-Paul is interested in displaying some of his innovations instead of taking something with toxic ick and making it better so that you can grow food on it
-Paul wants to take the land and divide it into thirds: first piece will be Permaculture (10X Organic); second piece will be Symbiculture (10X Permaculture); last third will be H.U.S.P. [Horticulture of the United States of Pocahontas] (10X Symbiculture).
-Could Permaculture be the last frontier? Paul wants to explore H.U.S.P. to see what are the benefits for mankind—very awesome concept
-The grand Symphony of Seed and Soil Tour is shaping up to be epic—what is it going to look like? How did the devious plot hatch? Will there be random unaccounted for dogs on the land whale?
-Paul and Art Ludwig are finally going to meet! Paul has lots of stuff to hash out, should be good—cannot wait to listen in on that conversation (via podcast).
-Jocelyn has been setting up speaking engagements all throughout the tour: Paul details the stops on the trip—wow!
-Paul was open to my idea of people donating seeds to Paul at every stop to help get the land project going.