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A living laboratory for a sustainable human future.

What Is Permaculture?

Our world is always looking for things to be boiled down to a soundbite. Sometimes complex things can’t be conveyed in a summary or a sentence. I recently found a phrase from an article entitled The Indigenous Science of Permaculture by Rohini Walker that, for me, conveys the essence of Permaculture:

“An indigenous science of working in partnership with cycles of nature.”

The wisdom of this sentence is so important.

Two reasons we’re offering the upcoming Decolonizing Permaculture series are:

  1. To emphasize that permaculture’s origins emerge from indigenous technologies and practice. Permaculture has not been great at accentuating that important point, which can often look like appropriation, extraction, and arrogance.
  2. To acknowledge that sometimes when disconnected folks embrace permaculture, they can implement it with a colonized mindset. This can often look like encouraging perfection, black and white thinking, and systems that are not fully in integrity.

During the workshop series, which runs for five Saturdays from May 22 to June 19, we’ll explore the permaculture principles through an equity lens with three amazing instructors. You can meet two of the them — Amakiasu Turpin-Howze and Tyson Sampson — in this interview:

Sera Deva interviewing Amakiasu Turpin-Howze and Tyson Sampson
Please check out the workshop description and instructor bios of Amakiasu, Tyson, and Lee on our website. We’re so excited to be offering this series.

Martin Prechtel is a mentor and dear teacher to several people at Earthaven. He says:

“Every individual in the world, regardless of cultural background or race, has an indigenous soul struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment created by that individual’s mind. A modern person’s body has become a battleground between the rationalist mind — which subscribes to the values of the machine age — and the native soul. This battle is the cause of a great deal of spiritual and physical illness.”

Blessings on all of our journeys to wellbeing. Whatever path we are walking.

Amakiasu Turpin-Howze, Decolonizing Permaculture, indigenous science, Lee Warren, permaculture, Tyson Sampson

NikiAnne Feinberg

NikiAnne (she/her) was born and raised on a horse and cattle ranch on the ancestral lands of the Salinan people in the Central Coast of California. She currently lives at Earthaven Ecovillage on unceded lands of the Catawba and Cherokee (Tsalagi) people. Her ancestors come from Eastern and Western Europe — France, Germany, and English Isles as well as Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia, from Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. Throughout the last two decades, NikiAnne has been immersed in community and in service to a wide range of educational endeavors focused on nature connection, personal empowerment, and community resilience. NikiAnne considers herself the grease and glue – that which helps things run smoothly or holds things together. Before co-founding SOIL in 2012, she worked and traveled through much of Asia, the Americas, and Europe, which made her formal education at George Washington University in International Affairs come alive in ways that can only happen through personal experience and relationships. Collectively, these experiences have undeniably shaped her cooperative cultural values and commitment to supporting leaders to think, feel, act and design from a foundation rooted in interrelationship. No matter what she’s teaching, NikiAnne is always on the same mission: to raise awareness of our whole selves – gifts, passions, blind spots, shadows – and help those whole selves find and fill niches in their communities. This is how the web of life is woven, and the fabric of culture repaired. She’s especially eager to support those in transition – between vocations, stages of life, and stories of world and self. Within this context, she is particularly passionate about community grief tending and death care midwifery.

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