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The Abundant Edge: Permaculture, Natural Building, and Regenerative Living

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Join us each week as we explore the worlds of permaculture, natural building, and regenerative living by interviewing industry leaders, artisans and innovators

Join us each week as we explore the worlds of permaculture, natural building, and regenerative living by interviewing industry leaders, artisans and innovators
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Join us each week as we explore the worlds of permaculture, natural building, and regenerative living by interviewing industry leaders, artisans and innovators




Meet the team that's making cob legal, an interview with members of the Cob Research Institute: 133

Today’s episode is very important in that there’s a limited window of time for those of you, especially in the USA who care about natural building and want to see cob and other natural building materials legalized and approved by building authorities to help this happen. An incredible opportunity is coming up in the last week of October, which is just over a week from now when members of the Cob Research Institute, some of whom you’ll hear interviewed in a minute, will present a proposal for...


The essential guide to lime. Plasters, paints and cretes, with Aulya Bingham from "The Mud Home"

I’ve talked about many different building materials through this series, but one of my all time favorites often gets overlooked because it isn’t commonly used as a structural element. Lime in all of its various forms as a plaster, paint, mortar, grout, poured floor or even in newer applications like hempcrete, has so many advantages and applications in just about any style of natural or conventional building. That’s why I reached out to the “Mud Witch” Atulya Bingham, who’s been interviewed...


Benito Steen of "The Nito Project" on exploring new natural building techniques and teaching around the world: 131

Today’s guest, Benito Steen is one of the people that I’ve most had requested from you listeners to do an interview with, in large part because of the success of his YouTube channel called “The Nito Project” where he works with his younger brother Panther to make beautiful educational videos on natural building techniques, earthen plasters and even the japanese method of making polished clay balls called Dorodango. Benito is the first of my guests who grew up in natural buildings since his...


The best options for home scale renewable energy with Dan Chiras, author of "The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy: 130

We’re now well into this on-going series on natural building and design, and we’ve covered bamboo building, rocket stoves, design at the building and community levels, and so much more already. One of the biggest topics that I haven’t yet explored on this podcast and has always interested me is the subject of renewable energy. Renewables have been in the media for a long time both branded as a solution to our collective reliance on fossil fuel energy and also criticized for being too...


Does aircrete have a place in natural building and regenerative living? With Daniel Allen of Tiny Giant Life: 129

Until getting to know Daniel and his understanding of building design and healthy living, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do an episode on aircrete. I’ve focused only on natural building techniques and materials up until this point because I honestly believe that nature provides all the materials we need to build high quality and healthy structures. But since Daniel comes from the perspective of natural building experience and because I like to remain open to new ideas and not become too much of a...


Limecrete and renovating old homes with natural materials, with April Magill of RootDown Design: 128

I finally had the chance to do a follow up session with one of my favorite natural builders, April Magill. She’s not only an accomplished architect, builder, and educator through her company “Root Down Design” and the American College of the Building Arts, she’s also constantly experimenting with new techniques and materials as you’ll hear in this episode. Back in the first interview that I recorded with April, we dissected rammed earth and how she was working to revive the craft for all its...


The architecture of healthy communities and designing for connection, with Mark Lakeman of Communitecture: 127

As I continue to explore the topics of natural building and ecological design in this ongoing series, I had the pleasure of speaking again with Mark Lakeman. Mark has been a big inspiration to me through the architectural work he’s done at the community level, and in exploring what it takes to design neighborhoods and gathering places that help humans to reconnect to their sense of place and overcome the colonial infrastructure that continues to separate us from each other and from...


The most efficient stoves in the world and how to make them, with Kirk "Donkey" Mobert of Sundog School of Natural Building: 126

In this continuation of the series of regenerative building and design, I checked in with a good friend of mine and a hero in the rocket stove and masonry heater sphere. Kirk Mobert, more commonly known as Donkey, is the founder of the Sundog school of natural building in northern California and has literally been on, and in, the ground through the development and maturation of rocket stoves and all of the innovations and advances for the last 20 odd years. This session might be a little...


The incredible potential of bamboo and building design for the tropics, with Trey Abernethy of "Natural Building Costa Rica:" 125

Continuing with this series of exploring natural building materials, design techniques and traditions, I spoke with my friend Trey Abernethy, a long-time builder and now a bamboo craftsman. For over a decade Trey worked in the industrial building trades before moving to Costa Rica where he took a bamboo building course with Rodolpho Saenz that changed his trajectory. Trey now co-teaches bamboo building techniques with Rodolpho and designs and builds for clients in Costa Rica. In this...


Everything you need to know to get your natural building off the ground, with Chris Magwood, founder of the Endeavour Center: 124

I’ve been looking forward to speaking with my next guest for a long time now. Chris Magwood is the founder and director of the Endeavour center, which provides experiential education at the intersection of high-performance and natural building. Chris is a self proclaimed building “omnivore” who experiments with any and all materials and techniques he can get his hands on. He has dedicated his career to making the best, most energy efficient, beautiful and inspiring buildings without wrecking...

Designing regenerative landscapes for wildfire ecologies, with Erik Ohlsen, founder of Permaculture Artisans: 123

Today we’re back with Erik Ohlsen, founder of both Permaculture Artisans, one of the preeminent ecological landscaping companies in the US, and the Permaculture Skills center a vocational training school that offers advanced education in ecological design, landscaping, farming, and land stewardship. Erik is also the author of several books including “The Forest of Fire,” Activate Your Joy,” and most recently “The Ecological Landscape Designer” an essential manual for anyone aspiring to make...


regenerating nature in the Arctic circle and the shortcomings of permaculture with Moli "The Permaculture Viking:" 122

Today’s conversation was recorded back in the last few weeks before I left Guatemala when I had a chance to sit down with my good friend and fellow permaculture educator, Mordur G’ott, but we all call him Moli.Mörður or Moli is a permaculture pioneer in Iceland who has been travelling between countries to learn and share what he knows. In Iceland he has hosted multiple events and PDS's with legendary teachers like Albert Bates and Robyn Francis among others. In this session Moli and I speak...


Pioneering ecological design in the tropics with Scott Gallant of Porvenir Design: 121

In the last few episodes I’ve spoken to a number of designers and business advisors who’ve specialized in regenerative business planning and ecological work, and today’s guest many of you may remember from the very early days of this podcast. In this episode I had the pleasure of talking with my friend Scott Gallant. It's been almost three years since we spoke on this podcast and he was one of the first 20 interviews that I did back in season one. When we spoke last he was just starting out...


Permaculture business planning for the modern economy with Joe Goerbert, founder of Brainhive: 120

In this session I had the pleasure of sitting down with a good friend of mine from my time living back in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Joe Görbert is a German-born, tech enthusiast and hails from more than a decade as startup and business impact consultant. During his finance and accounting studies he started working as a business writer and he travelled far and wide as a digital nomad, often speaking and holding workshops for retreats and events. In 2007 Joe founded the business planning agency...


Unlocking your true potential in regenerative business with Pete Widin of The Epic Eco Designer: 119

As I continue to explore the myriad options that exist for profitable regenerative work, I keep coming back to the business aspects of impact and integrity entrepreneurship. One of the people that I’ve come to rely on for professional perspectives in this sphere is Pete Widin, Founder of the Epic Eco Designer. I had the chance to catch up with him for today’s session where we explore many aspects of the personal and external challenges of finding holistic success in an ecological...


Leveraging the block chain and decentralization for environmental regeneration with Gregory Landua of Regen Network: 118

Building on the theme of profitable ecosystem regeneration, I spoke to Gregory Landua, CEO and co-founder of the Regen Network. Gregory has worked in ecosystem regeneration for a while. Formerly working as the CEO of Terra Genesis, nova chocolate, the Regrarian’s platform and Gaia University. He is also the co-author of the groundbreaking book Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multi-Capital Abundance, and of The Levels of Regenerative Agriculture, In this interview Gregory gives an...


Running a professional ecological design company, with Daniel Halsey of Southwoods Ecosystem Ecological Design: 117

One of the most common concerns I hear from the regenerative community is how someone could make a good living while working directly on projects that regenerate our planet. While there are many different ways to do this, it seems that the dominant narrative in business tells us that the most profitable job prospects are those that are destroying our natural world. Exploitative petroleum companies post record profits while unethical banking practices pay out massive bonuses and manufacturing...


Can eating meat be ethical and good for the environment? With Meredith Leigh, author of "The Ethical Meat Handbook:" 116

We’ve reached the last episode in this month’s focus on fixing the food system. In the last three weeks we’ve talked about how co-op grocery stores offer real hope for transforming the supply and distribution of food by offering an alternative to the monopoly of the grocery giants. We’ve covered the power and importance of indigenous food and land management, and we’ve also explored the joys and realities of growing your own food on a residential scale. To round this all off, I had the...


The joys and realities of growing your own food at home, with Crystal Stevens, author of "Your Edible Yard:" 115

Continuing with this month’s focus on fixing the food system, I wanted to go back to basics and discuss the practicalities and challenges of growing your own food with just a modest sized yard. I reached out to Crystal Stevens who is an author, an artist/art teacher, a folk herbalist, a regenerative farmer, and a Permaculturist. She is the author of two award-winning books, Grow Create Inspire, and Worms at Work. And is also releasing a new book with New Society publishers yearly next year...


The power and importance of indigenous food, with Sean Sherman, author of "The Sioux Chef:" 114

In continuing this month’s focus on fixing the food system I had the pleasure of speaking to a personal hero of mine, Sean Sherman, author of the “The Sioux Chef.” Sean has been the recipient of a First Peoples Fund Fellowship, the Bush Foundation Fellowship, National Center’s 2018 First American Entrepreneurship Award, 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award. Sean has been cooking around the US and internationally for the last 30 years and...