Creating a Permaculture Guild - Kate Heiber-Cobb


Episode 20, Creating a Permaculture Guild with Kate Heiber-Cobb



Topics Covered:

  • Creating the Madison Area Permaculture Guild
  • Successful Community Permaculture Projects
  • Challenges with community projects
  • Permaculture in Traditional Higher Education
  • Permaculture vs. Sustainability
  • Large Public Infrastructure works gone WRONG
  • Disdributed, small-scale, low-complexity solutions
  • Kate’s backstory and how Permaculture put it all together
  • Her love of teaching
  • Advise for getting started having a positive impact
  • Mentoring
  • Finding Your Niche
  • Curbside bike composting
  • The Great Turning
  • Kate’s Vision for the Future
  • Gracefully stepping in with solutions as collapse unfolds
  • Emergence
  • Upcoming Permaculture Courses and Opportunities

Today’s guest is Kate Heiber Cobb, who created and runs the Madison Area Permaculture Guild out of Madison Wisconsin. She is a Permaculture teacher and educator, and has done a lot with bringing Permaculture to urban regions. Today we talk about her story, how she created the guild, projects they’ve done and lessons learned along the way. It keeps getting better the deeper into the interview we go so make sure to listen to the end! 

CLICK HERE –> Upcoming Permaculture Courses and Events near Madison, WI

OR HERE –> Upcoming Permaculture Design Course in Northern Michigan

Recently I was studying up on some philosophy and came across Aristotles 3 types of knowledge. I thought it was interesting it how it could be applied to Permaculture. By the way, Aristotle was an old Greek dude that lived a few hundred years before Jesus and wrote a lot of profound stuff.

The first type of knowledge he called “Episteme.” It means “to know” in Greek. It is related to scientific knowledge. This type of knowledge is Universal, invariable, context-independent. Basically its facts and figures type knowledge. In the context of permaculture, this would be…

The second type of knowledge is “Techne” which is the Greek word for craftsmanship, craft, or art. This is the type of knowledge you only get from years of hands-on practice with a skill or trade. So clearly in permaculture ….

The third type of knowledge is “Phronesis.” It means Practical wisdom. It is related to Ethics, so it’s oriented towards action more than just spouting a bunch of words and abstract ideas. (Which Aristotle was so very good at by the way.) This is more the realm of what I’m calling “Heart Food.” It’s the one that knows how to put it all together; how to put things in their right place; in their proper relationship. It’s having perspective.

I think to be a successful person you need to have a good amount of all of these, and know how to use them in concert with one another. When I was listening to Kate in this interview I could hear how she weaves all of these various types of knowledge together. This is the type of whole systems thinking that we need more of. It’s being able to zoom in on specific details of a process or pattern, then zoom out to see how those details affect the big picture. That’s why they call them visionaries I think. Because they have that clarity of perception of the invisible forces that shape and influence our physical world. And this only comes when, like Kate was saying, you take the time to slow down, be still, and listen.

Thank you for taking the time to listen in to today’s podcast. We got more on the way, at the Permaculture Realized Podcast.