Monday, September 01, 2008

Permaculture Podcasts: Ah, what technical ages we do live in. The computer is master, the Internet king, we even have virtual friends now, via this blog. On of them turned into reality this week when Gabrielle picked up Kristen, l’ arpent nourricier (lit: “the nourishing small plot of ground”) and his wife Christine at the local train station. We’d struck up a relationship via blogging, emails and shared interests and they’d offered to come and help out for a week in return for lodging. It was going to be a “holiday” for them, with their young son Camille enjoying a week with his grandparents. We spent a very happy time together. The photo shows the three of them waiting for the train to take them home, Camille was happy to be reunited with Mum and Dad but clearly not enjoying his moment of celebrity.

It’s been a very rich week, of which you’ll be reading more, but one thing that I’ve learned about, via Kristen, is podcasts. I’ve heard of them but never taken the effort to find out what they are, how one gets hold of such a thing and how I might use it. Think of a podcast as a radio show (even though some of them are produced specifically as podcasts, available only on the Internet) recorded for playback at your convenience on your iPod or MP3 player. Kristen had first suggested them when he watched my video reports
of a days harrowing in neighbour Paul’s tractor, where I described listening to music on my iPod to make the repetitive day a touch more interesting: why not take the opportunity to listen to educative agricultural debate, he asked?

I’d like to be able to give you simple instructions to get you started but, with the wide variation in computers and personal music players, that’s beyond me. You could do worse than start with the Wikipedia explanation of a podcast.

I’ve spent today down in the workshop, trying to get everything arranged all neat and tidy before I start building work on our barn conversion to expand our holiday gite accommodation and listened to several interesting podcasts from The Land Stewardship Project (suggested by Kristen).

To get you started, here’s a podcast (from Agricultural Innovation, Inc.) of an interview with one of the founders of permaculture Bill Mollison. Bill tells us how permaculture came about, how to conserve water and soil, and a number of other things. If you like that, just go Googling for “podcasts” and “your subject of choice” … happy listening.