Fishing, herbs, and mudslides…

Hi, this is Geoff, I had a family birthday this weekend and took a bit of a break to go deep sea fishing, so I hope you enjoy this mid-week Friday Five.

Speaking of Fishing: As much as we had a great time this weekend in the open waters, I think it’s common knowledge that our oceans aren’t doing too well: “When freediver Janeanne Gilchrist noticed an increase in the amount of debris washing up on the shores of her favorite diving spots, she decided to do something about it.” Read the full story and check out some of Janeanne’s incredible art-as-protest photos here.

Herbs: Isabell Shipard passed away in 2014. Many of you may be familiar with her work, as she was the best herbalist I have ever met. I had the great honor of working with her for many years and we supported each other’s work. My mentor and permaculture founder Bill Mollison said of her: “Isabell has always been the source of plants and advice for many of us, her admirers. We can be proud of her encyclopaedic work (Acerola to Yucca) on plants, which includes a vast reference background, as well as practical advice. Shipard on Herbs is destined to be one of those foundation books that will be in print for the next century.” A site has been set up detailing Isabell’s work that is worth checking out here.

Favorite Facebook post this week: “One of the last great examples of pit agriculture in a remote part of the Algerian Sahara.” And an incredible photograph by George Steinmetz.

Vive la France: A fantastic overview of a remarkable “get cars off the streets” campaign that Paris has been waging over the past couple of decades: “Wrap your head around this: in terms of mode share, driving within Paris city limits has dropped about 45 percent since 1990, according to a recent paper in the French journal Les Cahiers Scientifiques du Transport. Meanwhile, the share of cyclists has increased tenfold over the same timeframe. Transit’s mode share has risen by 30 percent.” Full article with detailed stats and key takeaways can be read here. Great job, Paris!

California Mudslides: Some people have asked me if permaculture has something to say about the calamities that have plagued California these past couple of months. It’s a very large and complex topic, but what I can say (briefly) is that ecosystems create stability, which creates fertility, and in permaculture design we have always had a component of design for catastrophe central to our connected disciplined approach. This piece in the Washington Post earlier this month outlines just one of these connections, namely, how the Thomas Fire led almost directly to the later, deadly mudslides.

That’s it for the Friday Five.

As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share below.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


PS: When we started these Friday Fives almost two years ago (!), these mailouts made up the bulk of the content we could share with the world, so we did our best to send these out to you weekly.

But over these past two years, we’ve added a massive library of free material at The Permaculture Circle (TPC), as well as compiling all previous Friday Fives (just under 90) here. So rather than overwhelming you with these week in and week out, our goal is to get you the Friday Fives approximately 2-3 times per month. Based on the feedback we’ve been getting, this seems to be the “sweet spot” – frequently enough to remain interesting and relevant without feeling like too much. I know that you already receive a lot of mail, so I want to make sure that the Friday Fives remain something special and appreciated.

And if you feel like even more permaculture in between Friday Five mailouts, be sure to check out TPC, my Facebook page, and a few other things that we’re working on behind-the-scenes that I’ll be announcing in the months ahead.

Have a great rest of the week!

2018-01-31T08:41:41+00:00Blog|2 Comments