152: Matt Powers on Regenerative Living
Making a difference through social permaculture and gardening with a new curriculum.
Matt is an experienced teacher, family guy, author, consultant, farmer, seed saver, plant breeder, musician, blogger, & permaculturist. He frequently speaks at conferences, colleges, schools, and events about permaculture and education.
Applying his years of working as a teacher writing curriculum from scratch using online classrooms, Matt has opened an online program to accompany his textbook series: The Permaculture Student
Focused on starting resilient small businesses and homesteads from scratch, students of all ages and families learn through weekly collections of videos, worksheets, coloring pages, projects, activities, & critical thinking with teacher’s guides, recipes, plant focus, seed saving.
In This Podcast: Greg meets another permaculture enthusiast in Matt, who after a significant wake-up call regarding the health of his wife decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle for him and his family. This decision led him on the path to education and gardening which he combined with a new understanding of regenerative design to become an activist of permaculture education. In this interview, he tells how he is bringing permaculture teachings to new areas and students. His enthusiasm in infectious, his message is inspiring, and his curriculum is accessible.
Listen in and learn about:
- How his life was simple and easy going as a musician until his wife was diagnosed with cancer
- What changes they did in their lifestyle to help make it healthier
- Some of the research they did, and the farms they visited to learn and educate themselves
- How his soil can be 140’ F in the summer and he is still growing food
- How he used on-contour swales to catch water for his property
- Changing the difficulty of what he was doing from challenging-to-easy by a few steps of restructuring his land use
- Using a brix meter to determine the nutritional value etc of the vegetables
- Permaculture is a design science that uses the patterns of nature to provide beneficially for both people and the ecosystems that all life relies upon
- The difference between sustainable and regenerative
- Sustainable is keeping things ongoing regardless of whether it is right or wrong
- Restoring just returns things to the way it was
- Regenerative is doing no damage and consistently moving towards a higher expression of biodiversity
- Social Permaculture how to use the curriculum he offers in further directions
- The multiple translations of the curriculum into other languages
- How he created the curriculum for permaculture
- What his experience as a teacher prompted him to do with the permaculture curriculum
- Other languages of the curriculum include Polish, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and French
- How he managed to get the curriculum translated to the other areas using permaculture core values
- The culture change that occurs with permaculture ethics
- The story of David and Bill and the origin of permaculture ethics
- How this curriculum is available online into a holistic permaculture course
- Some of the themes in the program
- PDC is a permaculture design course that is 72 hours long exploration of permaculture
- How the social permaculture can be developed by and from the garden
- The spiritual connections that happen with respect for self, garden, soil, and nature
As well as:
- How he attempted to start a permaculture school in Sebastopol and did not have enough students to pay the bills, but turned it around to reach more people by going online
- What drives him is the fragility of life and how he could lose a loved one at any moment, so he lives his life so that he and his wife can live to be grandparents, and that he can live ethically free
- His advice is: do not be satisfied with what you have – go out and make it better, to go out and do actions to make the world a better place.
How to reach Matt:
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