Saturday, February 4, 2012

urban permaculture

Somewhere in the early summer I headed off to a permaculture workshop in Albany NY (also good excuse to see my friends in the quaker community).

The workshop was being lead by Dave Jacke and Keith Zaltzberg, well known permaculturalists, with assistance from Skott Kellogg, co-founder of the former Rhizome Collective in Austin Texas. The mission of the weekend gathering was to transform the household and yard of my friend Alice, whom I had met at the Rhizome’s Albany RUST training the year prior.

Pretty interesting weekend, lots of brainstorming, demos, work crews, and presentations. All three of the workshop leaders are incredibly knowledgeable and accomplished; they great job of putting together an engaging program based on instruction and action.

I contacted Alice in advance of the workshop and asked if i could bring up a pump i had made since back in the states. She said she thought it would be fine, and so i did. This was a mistake. First off, this thing was ridiculously overbuilt and clunky, and getting it from Philly to Albany was a little cumbersome. Secondly, i can see pretty clearly, in hindsight, that it was fairly opportunistic of me to drag this thing along. I was definitely enthusiastic about what i had learned, and was looking anywhere and everywhere to try to create more opportunities to make more machines and promote Maya Pedal. But, to be entirely frank, it was a little inappropriate of me to try to interject my agenda into someone else's program.

I'm sure Dave and Keith saw through my ruse, but they were nice about it and carved out 15 mins for me to show the thing off and talk about Maya Pedal.

I was really pleased to get an email after the workshop from a fellow attendee asking to collaborate in the albany area, unfortunately, timing didn't quite line up- i would be on a west coast road trip. A road trip, that unbeknownst to me, was my moving to Oregon.

A rocket-stove heated compost-tea maker (i think). The big barrel in the foreground sits atop the bricks and is heated by small kindling.

Sharon, one of the attendees and a neighbor of Alice, had an awesome terrarium collection. I was really into it.

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