Geomorphology, Permaculture, and The Good Work
The Great Simplification #64 with Andrew Millison
Not so long ago, humans were 100% tethered to the energy flows and constraints of the natural features around us. The carbon pulse of the last few centuries has weakened that tether allowing us to live beyond the constraints of our local environments. But as the one time bonanza of fossil energy subsidizing our lifestyles declines, we will need to re-tether our communities and lives to the land once again. Today, I am joined by permaculture expert and educator Andrew Millison to unpack how we can better design our societal infrastructure and agriculture to be more attuned with the water, solar, and “geomorphic” conditions of our local surroundings.
Andrew Millison is an innovative educator, storyteller and designer. He founded the Permaculture Design education program at Oregon State University (OSU) in 2009. At OSU Andrew serves as an Education Director and Senior Instructor who offers over 25 years of experience, and a playful approach to regenerative design. Andrew is also a documentary videographer who travels the world documenting epic permaculture projects in places such as India, Egypt, Mexico, Cuba, and throughout the US. You can view his videos and series on his YouTube channel.
When critical resources become scarce, it will be more important than ever that communities learn to do more with less. By focusing on resiliency and stability through systems thinking, permaculture is a design system which does just that. In a world that often feels beyond our control, how can we use permaculture design to work with the land rather than against it, and regain agency in our local food, water, and social systems?
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Just got around to finishing this interview. What a legend! I’ve been immersed in the permaculture world for a decade now but admittedly have seen very little of Andrew’s work thanks to being more a book learner than a YouTube learner but I did watch one of his pond building videos one time and it was such a complete bottle of info that I needed to go nowhere else. I’ll check out his India preview now. Sounds like India is calling strongly for you now Nate, get on that plane!
I was a bit disappointed by the way Andrew Millison downplayed David Holmgren's role in the development of the permaculture design system. He presents the story in a way which isn't entirely accurate. Holmgren was at least a co-equal partner in developing permaculture, not a mere "student" working marginally in the background.