Net neutrality, and a universe below…

Hi, this is Geoff,

I know that many of you are getting ready to ring in the New Year, so let’s keep this short and jump right in to this week’s Friday Five…

Even Playing Field: Net neutrality is critical for a number of reasons, and is of specific interest for those of us trying to spread information about permaculture as rapidly as possible. The internet has become the ultimate communication system and we need to keep access on equal footing. A decent overview of “what’s next” after this month’s problematic repeal in this piece by the New York Times.

Seed Savers: On a recent camping trip I ran into my good friends Jude and Michel Fanton. Although they have more or less retired, they created the Seed Savers Network which does important work preserving heritage seeds. Their classic book, The Seed Savers Manual, is one of the best permaculture books I have ever come across. Worth checking out.

Tire(d) Fence: Here is an interesting bit of recycling, upcycling, and reuse.

A Universe Under Our Feet: “This cosmos is only now revealing itself as a result of scientific discoveries based on better microscopic imaging and DNA analysis. There is much still to learn, but it boils down to this: Plants nurture a whole world of creatures in the soil that in return feed and protect the plants, including and especially trees…The awareness of this biosphere should change the way gardeners think about cultivating plants and heighten everyone’s understanding of the natural world. In other words, don’t ever call it “dirt” again.” A well-written article that serves as a great reminder that we never really feed plants directly, but rather, we feed the the soil ecosystem that then facilitates a transaction that feeds the plants. A very different way of viewing plants and “mere dirt,” yes?  

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute, ably curated by PRI’s editor, Jason Freibergs (thank you, Jason!):

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share in the comments below.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


PS: I’ll be starting another on-the-ground PDC in the next couple of days. 2 weeks later, we’ll be rolling out with our Permaculture in Action training. If you’ve done a PDC and would like to take things to the next level, feel free to check out the details here.

2017-12-31T19:14:33+00:00 Blog|5 Comments
  • JoEllen Stevens

    I just want to point out something of which you may or may not be aware. There is a sizable segment of the more conservative/libertarian part of our US population who care a lot about permaculture, hugelculture, sustainability, and self sufficiency. We raise our own foods, have terrific gardens, keep livestock, can homegrown foods, ferment, hunt, and develop our land in a manner consistent with the natural earth’s processes. We also have food storage and root cellars.
    That said, many of us also believe in free market principles and think those principles, rather than governmental control, are in the best interests of us and others. The libertarian portion, in particular, wants small government and for people and companies to manage their own affairs.
    I just wanted to tell you this, because you may not know who some of your population is, those who listen to you and follow your teachings, and it is just something I wanted you to be aware of.

    • Bill Crandall-TA

      Point taken, JoEllen. A point that I myself would make is that the market is not more or less regulated or under more or less government control with or without Net neutrality: it is just differently controlled.

  • bri

    I’m back in Brazil for a few weeks and nice to see some of the Brazilian poor peoples creativity. Tyre-fence. It really boils down to necessity. Although the tyre-fence may well last longer than timber in that climage due very hungry woodworms .You could probably still buy some flip-flops (thongs to you Aussie folks) made out of old tyres in Brazil. A crafts market in Belo Horizonte sold them. In Brazil they will fix anything before going and buy a new one. I’ve watched someone repair a loudspeaker – I never thought they could be repaired until I lived in Brazil. Dismantle my car radiator that had a leak, fixed it all up good as new – not a new radiator put in! They still will put a rubber plug in a punctured car tyre, which they did in the 1960’s in the UK but not anymore, they’ll sell you a new tyre. Mrs puntured a fridge icebox while trying to clean off the ice (yes, do not use a knife), a man came and soldered the hole and refilled it with gas good as new. There’s a lot of stuff to learn when faced with necessity and when you learn the trick realise how horribly wasteful the world is.
    Seed savers…thanks for that, heaps of info to dig into.

    • Bill Crandall-TA

      Yes, here’s to ingenuity and to retrofitting. And I remember a very nice pair of Mexican huaraches de llanta that served me well for a good few years.

  • For Goeff and all of us. ENJOY.
    The Chicken Tractor Boogie