Minutes from 10/25 Meetup

Woodstock Permaculture Meetup October 25

The Woodstock Permaculture Meetup on Oct. 25 drew several new people, many new to permaculture. The interest in the community is growing. Keiko Sono opened the meeting with the suggestion to form a Google group and she has set up a blog for us: https://woodstockpermaculture.wordpress.com
Keiko introduced our guest speaker, Peruvian native and permaculturist Wolf Bravo from the Rondout Valley Permaculture Meetup.

We introduced ourselves to the group and noted our permaculture interests and skills, and other skills that may be helpful. Skill-sharing is a primary goal among the group. Several people presented specific problems with their crops or land-related issues with the intention of learning permaculture solutions. Permaculture principles (‘permanent-culture’) and edible forest gardens were discussed in brief and will be explored in greater detail in future meetups. Projects we may explore include an in-depth workshop on swales for rainwater management and erosion control, graywater usage, changing lawn to garden using ‘lasagne’ layering techniques rather than digging and soil turning, raising goats or chickens, mushroom collecting and cultivation, greenhouses and propagation, growing grains in the garden, soil studies, balanced natural landscapes and self-sustaining environments, sustainable food systems, straw-bale building and changes in building code, alternative energy, beekeeping, and programs for children.

Our guest Wolf Bravo came from Peru 21 years ago where he learned farming from his grandmother and also learned the value of the Incas. Environmental problems including the melting of glaciers inspired him to move north to learn about permaculture and connect with other groups such as The Pachamama Alliance and Transition Towns groups. Wolf explained that Transition Towns came out of the Permaculture movement but became a social experiment disconnected from nature. It is important to put nature first and and to remember that we are nature. If we want to create a resilient community, each of us must become resilient. He sees these challenging times as an enormous opportunity to do things right this time. Wolf cited David Jacke (Edible Forest Gardens) speaking about the need for community and collaboration and the efficient transfer of energy. The same as Permaculture regenerates ecosystems, we as a community regenerate. We need to create an ecosystem of our own people. What we do here affects the whole world. In nature there is collaboration. Everyone in a group will have their own ideas but the groups we create should be based not on competition but on collaboration that will create social justice and harmony in our community and in the world.

What next:
Workshops to be held at each other’s locations will be limited at this time of year. Seasonal things that can be done now include garlic planting and food preservation.
It was decided that the next meetup will be a workshop on fermentation for making sauerkraut, kefir and other fermented foods. Wolf will also do a segment on how to sharpen knives. Connections will continue with the Woodstock Transition Town group and it was suggested that connections develop with the local anti—fracking group.

Resources cited:

Paul Stamets, mushroom cultivator, author of “Mycellium Running”

TED Talks Mycologist Paul Stamets lists 6 ways the mycelium fungus can help save the world

Rondout Valley Permaculture meetup

The Mid Hudson Mycological Association

The Pachamama Alliance

Appleseed Permaculture / Ethan Roland Permaculture teacher

Hearty Roots CSA

Edible Forest Gardens / David Jacke 

Author Michael Pollen

Minutes provided by Deborah Day


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