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Episode 053: Realizing Permaculture's Breadth and Depth with Scott Mann

Sep 15, 2020

This week we have a very special guest with us on the podcast, Scott Mann who is a renowned Environmental Educator and Producer of the Permaculture Podcast. Scott is such a great resource and has decades of experience in the regenerative and permaculture sphere. If you would like to get to know Scott better, you can definitely catch him on social media, which he shares at the end of the episode, or email him directly at [email protected].


Also, there were quite a few people and resources Scott brought up in the episode…


Karryn Olson - Regenepreneurs

Scott’s permaculture teaching instructors:

Andrew Millison - Permaculture Rising

Jude Hobbs - Cascadia Permaculture


These are the interviews that changed his perspective on permaculture, all from 2013.

Exploring Permaculture with Larry Santoyo

Edible Forest Gardens and Permaculture with Dave Jacke

Participatory Culture & Community Building with Mark Lakeman

Exploring Urban Permaculture with Mark Lakeman

More Than Just the Land

This was such a timely episode, just last week we were discussing the need to balance out our permaculture practices so that we’re not focusing too much on the Earth Care side of things. Scott brings up the concept that permaculture is much more than the land, and we couldn’t agree more. It isn’t only about the garden, the CSA, or the soil regeneration, (though those things are also EXTREMELY important, don’t get us wrong…) permaculture is about an impact-driven lifestyle. It’s about the communities, the cultures, the families, the individuals, the mindset, it encompasses it all. And yet is that how we’re living it? We hope that you are always striving for greater balance here, as we all are. 

Not Just a Niche

I have heard from many people their aversion to the term “permaculture” or “permie” because they imagine the term overly niche, or perhaps they had a run-in with an individual or group within the permaculture community that left a bad taste in their mouth. As a permaculture community, we need to make sure this isn’t happening. Scott mentions in the podcast that at its core, permaculture is when you “Take responsibility for ourselves and what we’re doing.” Without getting into the nitty-gritty, the unique terminology, or the niche communities within the movement, this is really what we’re all trying to do to some extent or another. Some people are just more aligned with their efforts than others. Maybe we need to think less of the permies vs. everyone else, and more of showing people how to live a little more aligned with the principles and ethics we know and love. 

Finding Your Niche

In previous episodes, we’ve talked a lot about finding your niche and embracing it. However, Scott’s message in the episode is less about discovering your niche, and more about taking what you already know and love to do and using that to add to the movement already in motion. Whether you’re a lawyer, software developer, homeschooler, or whatever, it all can fit in under the “permaculture umbrella” if done with the right spirit and in balance with the ethics and principles. Scott says, “The language of design stretches through so many industries,” and we wholeheartedly agree. Work with what you’ve got, where you’re at, and use it to add to the global permaculture conversation.

Further Integration into Your Lifestyle

We could all be applying permaculture better and more fully into our lives. Doing this will add to our life’s peace, balance, and positive impact on the world around us. But how do we step into this more? We have seen so many times (and experienced ourselves) when people try to throw themselves into it all at once and walk out dissatisfied and disillusioned. Rather, the best way to further integrate permaculture into your lifestyle is to take permaculture’s own advice and use slow and small solutions. Scott recommends starting with a habit. Take one new habit into your life that will add to your alignment with permaculture, whether that’s starting something new, or making an existing habit or activity a bigger part of what you’re doing. Give this new habit 30-60 days to really stick. Once you’ve got it down, increase your focus, or add another positive habit and continue to move forward slowly and steadily as you further align yourself with a permaculture lifestyle. This is truly the way to lasting, positive change in your life. 


As we wrap up this episode, we hope that you will all see yourselves as a necessary part of this larger movement, and get out there and show those around you they are a part of it too.


Keep Growing!