in March 2014, I had a chance to go to the permaculture voices (PV1) conference in Temecula CA. This is my list of amazing speakers that blew me away. I’ll give a brief overview of what I saw and my impressions of the speakers.
When the videos of PV1 are available, I’d highly recommend watching any of these presenters presentations.
Stand Out, Super Awesome, Best presenters/presentations:
#1) Elaine Ingham - Building Soil Health
She did a 3 Hour talk (!), which I missed(!) due to a few other speakers that I wanted to check out. I did have the chance to see her speak for an hour.
In that hour, Elaine had 110% of my attention (the 10% was my day dreaming about soil biology). She had a lot of pictures to go along with her talk. I had no idea how crucial good fungal growth is to the health of soil. (1+:1 fungus to bacteria is the sweet spot. i.e. 100:1 is a old growth forest, 0.1:1 can only support weeds)
#2) Willie Smits - Village based Permaculture. This was incredible. If you aren’t familiar with Willie Smits (I sure wasn’t, Go watch this.), This talk was basically about the incredible technology and planning his group throws at the devastated lands in Indonesia. Recipes! Sugar Palms!
#3) John Todd - Restoring the waters
John had an awesome presentation of how his company cleans up damaged waterways. They install plant and fungal systems to clean waste water from black water to oil spill damage.
#4) Joel Salatin - Stacking Fiefdoms
Joel… Well, he is Joel If you haven’t seen him speak before, pop open youtube and start clicking through some of his videos. Most of his keynotes were business focused. This one had some key phrases that stuck with me: “Assume abundance” when looking at anything (land, business options, etc.). This is where the fiefdom’s come in. At Polyface, and probably just about anywhere, there are easy ways to carve out a place for yourself as long as you keep your eyes and mind open to the opportunities.
#5) Adam Klauss - Bio-Dynamic Farming
Adam and his wive Alison run Bella Family farm in Western Colorado. Adam’s talk explained some of the science behind bio-dynamic farming. I missed his talk about the Brown Swiss cows he uses, and why he loves them.
#6) Mark Shepard - Ally Cropping and Silvopasture.
Mark has a great saying he throws around: S.T.U.N (Sheer Total Utter Neglect). As in his farm management style.
#7) Paul Greive - Using social media to generate farm revenue
Primal Pastures is his family farm that uses various technologies to promote and he had a great presentation sharing a bit about what how and why he uses what he does. Coming from a technology background, his choices are excellent from a usability(They are all simple to get good results) and standpoint,
#8) Rob & Michelle Avis - Starting a permaculture based business
Rob’s presentation dealt with the business aspects of running a design business. He talked a bit about bringing your “description” of you or your business down to a few simple sentences. And make it so a sixth grader can easily understand.
#9) Jack Spirko - Building a profitable Permaculture business
I’m not familiar with Jack’s podcast, I’ve listened to maybe half of one, but he really seems to know business. His talk mentioned the Elevator pitch (explain your business in two sentences) and that when starting a business, get a CPA and tax lawyer involved(unless you are one, then just get the other). Great talk, very dense in information, I can’t wait to listen to this one again.
#10) Greg Judy - Multi species Grazing
Greg is from “my neck of the woods”. He farms over 1400 acres in north central Missouri. And… Not much of it is actually his, it’s leased to him, sometimes for free.
This talk was on multi species grazing(Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, etc.). Greg spoke about different breads he likes and his livestock dog preference. He also went in to the business side of leasing land from out of towners. Make them happy and make them part owner in the herd. Who doesn’t want to be a “rancher”?
#11) Javan Bernakevitch - Finding your Niche
"Don’t be busy" i.e. outsource the stuff you can’t, don’t want to, do. Javan had a ton of great information on narrowing down things to find your niche. Namely, find what you Enjoy, are Good at, and find Enriching. Once found, Do it.
This is another talk that was so dense, I really need to see his presentation again to really “get it”.
That’s it. There were a ton of incredible speakers that I missed. When the videos are released I’ll try to catch up on the ones I missed. Diego has also pulled together some excellent podcasts related to the content at permaculture voices.
Related Articles from other folks:
From Al at carterpermaculture: https://carterpermaculture.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/big-changes-with-little-risk/