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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Truthout interview with permaculture expert

Truthout interview with permaculture expert

A former member
Post #: 18
During my 2 week course on permaculture design we saw the film mentioned below & copied here - "Power of Community" on the remarkable, as they call it...
Dear all,

It's Francesco who told us about this interview - link below.

During our 2 week permaculture design course with Charles and Julia in the spring, they showed us the film mentioned below "Power of Community," on Cuba.

I wouldn't mind seeing it again, -- perhaps at one of our winter monthly meetings.

As Kelpie Nelson said -
"What an amazing example that is of a country that just suddenly had its fossil fuels, its fertilizers - all of those taps - turned off, including its market for its exports, when the USSR collapsed. I don't know if you've seen the video "Power of Community." It shows how now the farmers are the most revered and respected people in the community. They are the ones who have the most money."


David H.
Oxford, ME
Post #: 217
I own the Cuba film and have shown it twice in Portland with good responses.
A former member
Post #: 76
Have you all forgotten that Maine has its own permaculture 'experts' in Helen and Scott Nearing?'

There are plenty of films devoted to their philosophy--which is well suited to Coastal Maine; and hundreds of people who adopted their lifestyle and live 'off the grid'.

I grew up around Amish and Mennonite farms that have flourished for over 300 years and are as productive as ever, and nearly self-sufficient---horses, limited use of electricity and many of you are ready to give up your phones and TV's in the name of 'self-sufficiency?

CUBA apparently has realized it can't do everything itself and has returned to importing phosphates from Florida--a tampa company.
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 137
I think there's alot to admire about Helen and Scot Nearing. And much of what they did would certainly be kindred to permaculture. I was a big "nearing-head" about 15 years ago and I still have more to learn from what they did.

However, I was struck on on my last visit to their place how their big, cold stone house was NOT oriented to the sun in any way whatsoever! It's primary glazing was to the view, gorgeous as it was. Even the interns covering that day said the place is a b**** to heat - something like 8-10 cord per year. Nice and cool in summer, however!

I would also say that self-sufficiency [very important in many ways] does not necessarily equal permaculture. I think permaculture stresses connection to the community more than the nearing style of things did...connections between parts of the community that are also trying to operate in a sustainable way. For example, I won't be able to meet all my needs from the 1/3 acre here BUT I am part of a CSA nearby, work closely with my neighbors on things, etc....

Anyway, love the Nearings, but just my two cents:)
A former member
Post #: 85
..ah, but the gardens were spectacular!

I see your point, however Scott was in his 60's or older and built a stone house by hand...I believe his philosophy was to use what he had available and stone was abundant or wasn't it cleared from his gardens? Or maybe only stone would keep out his mosquitos?

Weren't the Nearings something of iconoclasts and political refugees from Vermont; not the kind of people who'd join a grange or food coop?

I love the concept of contract market gardening; it works well with Crystal Spring Farms and where my friend lives in Washington Cnty. Maine once had processing coops to deal with the sudden onslaught of ripe fruit and veggies---apples, blueberries, and corn are several I'm familiar with. Community has all but died out; Permies are rediscovering it once again!
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