Andrew Millison posted a recently finished video that he and I produced together on the Beaver State Permaculture site. Andrew is an instructor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, a designer of Permaculture systems, a family man, and a really cool guy.
What exactly IS permaculture, you might ask? Andrew tells me:
Permaculture Design is a method of landscape planning that can be applied at scales from the home garden to city block to village to farm. It is an ethically based whole-systems design approach that uses concepts, principles, and methods derived from ecosystems, indigenous peoples, and other time-tested practices to create sustainable human settlements and institutions. Although rooted in horticulture and agriculture, Permaculture design is interdisciplinary, touching on a wide range of subjects including regional planning, ecology, animal husbandry, appropriate technology, architecture, and international development.
To demonstrate Permaculture principles in action, Andrew took his summer class on a “Perma-trek” to Portland, Oregon, and I went along to document it all. We checked out the ReBuilding Center, met up with local Permaculture practitioner Connie Van Dyke, had lunch at the People’s Co-Op, and ended the day with urban place-maker and activist Mark Lakeman. Mark showed us around his neighborhood and presented a powerful slideshow, both quite amazing things, but don’t take my word for it: have a look at the video!