I had the chance to talk with Erik Knutsen, co-author of The Urban Homestead and co-steward of the dynamic blog site Root Simple, about the work we’re up to with the 13Moon CoLab, Permaculture from the Inside Out.
Our permaculture course privileges the voices and expertise of women in a(nother) overwhelmingly male-dominated field, and we focus on the third, and perhaps most difficult permaculture ethic of all: People Care. Which is sometimes termed Social Permaculture to distinguish it from the purely land-based redesigns for which permaculture is more justly known. We notice how Ethic 1: Earth Care comes easily to folks identifying as ecologists or gardeners or environmentalists; and Ethic 2: Fair Share comes easily (at least theoritically) to Socialists, Anarchists, and other agents of social change, but that our general sticking point (personally and culturally) is always Other People. We have no real technology problem but we do have a problem getting along with one another in any meaningful way. Here lies the crux of our social change dilemma. And as per, the design work starts from within.
Erik and I share a lot of overlaps in our lives–from our commitment to urban homesteading, to our desire to spread the good word, and our constant inquiry into living the “good life” here at the end of the American empire. He’s a funny and feeling-ful person. We were joined by Kelly Coyne, his partner in urban homesteading goodness, for a really nice talk about what we’re up to, what the movement’s up to, and how to get involved, wherever you are. Check it out.