Journey into Permaculture

Vinson Corbo

Creating a permaculture minded homestead can be a challenge without a mentor. Go on a Journey into Permaculture every week with your guide, Vinson Corbo, permaculture enthusiast and entrepreneur, as he shares inspirational stories, books, tools, tactics, including interviews of permaculture authors, enthusiasts, influencers, and scholars. Explore in design, creation, & inspiration. Join the experience that will help you excel your endeavors in sustainability and permaculture.

This podcast is for all the homesteaders, DIYers, off grid, conservation minded, farming, gardening, teachers, and activists of sustainable movements. Those just beginning your homestead, a more independent and self-reliant life journey, or already going down the path of permaculture, this program has something for all walks of experience.

What is Journey into Permaculture?
Trailer 1 min 42 sec

All Episodes

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohelleben (Hardcover) | (Kindle) | (Audible) | (Apple Book) | (Apple Audiobook)How do trees live? Do they feel pain or have awareness of their surroundings? Research is now suggesting trees are capable of much more than we have ever known.  In The Hidden Life of Trees, forester Peter Wohlleben puts groundbreaking scientific discoveries into a language everyone can relate to.  In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders, of which we are blissfully unaware.  Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group.  Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown lives of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that ecofriendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.  After a walk through the woods with Wohlleben, you'll never look at trees the same way again. TED Talk | How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard (Youtube) "A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes. Intelligent Trees - The Documentary (Vimeo) Trees talk, know family ties and care for their young? Is this too fantastic to be true? German forester Peter Wohlleben ('The Hidden Life of Trees') and scientist Suzanne Simard (The University of British Columbia, Canada) have been observing and investigating the communication between trees over decades. And their findings are most astounding. 'Intelligent Trees' features the main observations that are covered in Peter Wohlleben's book such as the stump that has been kept alive by it's neighboring trees, the old tree-couple that looks after each other, the Mother Trees that suckle their offspring, etc... Special about this film is, however, that it goes beyond observations and claims, but match them with the latest underlying Forest Science Research. The Secret Life Of Trees /Amazing Nature Documentary/ High-Quality /Unusual Animals, Birds, Plants (Youtube) | (Vimeo) Great mini-documentary about trees, and animals that interact with them. Support this podcast

Aug 2020

12 min 18 sec

Thanks for liking the podcast on the (facebook page)! We've a twitter profile also (@Jpermaculture). If there's anything you liked about this episode, write to us via fb or twitter and I'll make sure to give a shoutout on a future episode. Also, (take a look at our shop), there are a handful of permaculture related items, if you purchase anything, it will directly support this show. This is my first raised bed garden update from early-spring to mid-summer. I considered it a failure, but it would only be considered a failure if I give up, which I don't plan on doing. I will continue to sow seeds for the rest of the season and take this as a learning season. I had a low germination rate, and a lot of seeds germinated, but didn't grow more than the cotyledons. They were stunted and some were yellowing as well. The leaf compost I bought from a local garden center may not be the best material as the yellowing and stunted growth point to nutrient deficiencies. The material may be composting still, which ties up nutrients, but next time I will get a different product my local garden center offers called "ori-grow". My garden only gets 5-6 hours of direct sunlight, so I expected some slow growth, but not this slow. This spring began perfectly, however, the over 90+ degree days for 37 days in a row have made the early-spring crops bolt. Some plants did germinate and provide a harvest, which I'm still harvesting. Since most bolted, I don't have much to harvest, but now I will have more seeds to plant for next year. The plants will drop seed into the seed bank in my garden, and I will collect some to sow next year as well. A market gardener would rip out plants that have bolted as they won't make the leaf growth desired to harvest and sell at a market. I prefer the seeds so I have to work less in the future. I also had volunteer plants in my garden, where I mostly kept. They help balance the ecosystem around the garden. In my case, the Japanese beetle was more attracted to plants that are considered weeds instead of the plants I wanted to harvest. They really liked the raspberries, but the beetles munched on amaranth and Virginia creeper instead. Thanks for following JiP on (facebook), (twitter), and (joining our email list)! Support this podcast

Jul 2020

12 min 30 sec

The A-Frame Level is a common permaculture tool for a permaculture designer. This easy to make tool is intended for on-contour projects. Earthworks projects such as swales, ponds, hugelkultur mounds, and food forest planting, plus more are made on-contour. An A-Frame Level can be made out of leftover lumber or lumber can be bought. Straight pieces of debris from trees or shrubs on your property can be used to make the A for the A-Frame Level, which is the least costly option. The level needs a plumb-bob or an object tied to string at the top of the A to center itself into the center of the A to identify the contour line as you move across your property with a flag or another object as a market. I've seen A-Frame levels with bubble level at the center line of the A-frame to be extra certain of the calibration. Watch this (video) as an example on how to make your A-Frame Level out of tree or shrub materials from Oregon State University. Formal (Plumb bob) for A-Frame. A (Toolbox bubble level) can be put onto the A-Frame Level to confirm the calibration of the level at the mark made on the center of the A. There can be a small bubble level permanently attached to the A-Frame Level too. ( (bubble level pack)) The (Johnson Level) - Hand Held Sight Bubble Level can be purchased online. It's small, but needs at least two people to properly mark the contour line on your land. An A-Frame Level is easier to use, as it only needs one person to mark contour lines. The Johnson level is much easier to transport, however. Support this podcast

May 2020

4 min 37 sec

Now that we've a few episodes posted and tons of listens around the world, tweet to us on Twitter (@JPermaculture) share your favorite episode. I'll give you a shout out in a future episode! This episode covers zone and sector analysis in a permaculture planed design is based on the (Permaculture Desingers' Manual )by Bill Mollison. Every plan uses zone analysis. The purpose of considering zone and sector analysis, it is primarily every-preserving for the whole site. Each component that needs more time and energy should be placed closer to the home, or zone 0. Each zone considers management of how to capture energy that is passing through the site as well, including; water, sun, wind, or even fire. Each zone is a circle, and each circle is larger from the center. Zone 0 (the house or the village) This zone considers good house design. A greenhouse or glasshouse can be incorporated on the south side. Other considerations include earth-building one's home with a thatch roof, sod roof, or roof garden. While this building method can outlast modern building, it is not legally allowed in most locations. Growing components will be made of natural material and will eventually degrade, like bamboo for trellises to guide vining plants. Don't let vining plants take onto the sides of the house, which will create premature degradation and expensive to replace. Companion animals will be found in the home, although avoiding the idea of having a pet, the animal should serve a purpose within the design plan. Zone 1 This is the most frequently visited zone and located right outside of the home, and is within 20 feet. This space has complex techniques that most arranges nature to suit out needs. The space is fully mulched and frequently worked with annual plantings that are replaced frequently for consistent harvest to serve the kitchen. Culinary herbs are also grown nearest the home to best support use in the kitchen. Chicken laying boxes will be found in this zone, but their run could be found in zone 2. In the home garden, seedlings and young trees are prepared and grown for outer zones. Mother trees may also be tended and used for grafting and cloning methods. Other animals included in this zone include fish, rabbits, guinea pigs for food production. You'll have water catchment tanks that are collected from the home's roof to be preserved and used within this zone. Zone 2 This is less intensively managed compared to zone 1. Growing spaces will still be present, but with a focus on perennial growth instead of annual growth. Trees within an orchard or food forest will be spot mulched. Larger animals will be found here, or their shelter is located in zone 2 while their range is in zone 3. The larger animals include cows, goats, pigs, and sheep. Smaller structures will be placed here such as ponds, hedges and terraces. Zone 3 This is the 'farm zone' where commercial crops and animals are used for sale or trade. Soil conditioning comes from zone 2. Trees are naturally growing, or little pruned in inter-planted orchards. Zone 4 This zone is managed for wild food gathering. Plants are selected based on their volunteer and natural habitat. Wild foraging include wood gathering for wood stove fuel. Extended pasture or range will be available to larger animals. Hedge rows are used to manage the microclimate, which impacts the inner zones. Wind energy may be used to life water out of dams to irrigate the inner zone 3. Zone 5 This is an unmanaged zone, kept wild and use for observation and meditation on the natural space. This zone is used to continue to learn the rules of nature that are present relative to the site in this zone. Support this podcast

May 2020

10 min 31 sec

This episode covers Permaculture Principles by David Holmgren's book " (Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability)". Another form of Permaculture Principles can be found in Bill Mollison's " (Introduction to Permaculture)" and. Also mentioned are the Design Considerations from Bill Mollison found within " (Permaculture: A Designers' Manual)". Also mentioned in the description, Will Hooker's (augmented permaculture principles) ( (NC State University Permaculture Class/Lecture series)). His Permaculture Principle version combines both David and Bill's principles. Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren: Observe & Interact Catch & Store Energy Obtain a yield Apply self-regulation and accept feedback Use & Value Renewable Resources & Services Produce no waste Design from patterns to details Integrate rather than segregate Use Small & Slow Solutions Use & Value Diversity Use Edges & Value the Marginal Creatively use & Respond to change Want more depth to the principles in this episode? (This free download) further explains each principle, written by David Holmgren. Permaculture Principles found within Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison: Relative location Each element performs many functions Each important function is supported by many elements Efficient energy planning Use biological resources Energy cycling Small scale intensive systems Accelerating succession & evolution Diversity Edge Effects Design Considerations: Work with nature, rather than against it The problem is the solution Make the least change for the greatest possible effect The yield of a system is theoretically unlimited Everything gardens Augmented Permaculture Principles by Will Hooker - combines both Mollison and Holmgren's principles. Observe & interact Relative & connections Energy Cycling Each element performs many functions Each function is supported by man elements Efficient energy planning Small scale intensive systems Use edges and value the marginal Accelerate succession and evolution Use & value diversity Using biological resources Permaculture Ethics: Care for the Earth Care for the People Share the Surplus: Produce Time Energy Support this podcast

May 2020

12 min 18 sec

I want to cover the question "Where do I start?" I've seen this question frequently on social media outlets. I'm going to use quotes from Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, the founders of permaculture, to help answer this question. Permaculture means 'permenant-culture'. It's much more than 'permenant-agriculture', as many would otherwise define the word. There's much more to this movement than agriculture, it's a multi-layered and conscious design on methodologies of sustainability. "The conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems" - Bill Mollison "Traditional agriculture was labor intensive, modern industrial agriculture is energy intensive, and permaculture-designed systems are information and design intensive" - David Holmgren "People frequently ask how much land they need for self-sufficiency. The answer is 'As much as you can control'. Any more and you lose self-sufficiency. Let alone the ability to produce an excess. If people ask 'Where do I start?' Then the answer is always, 'At your front doorstep.'" - Bill Mollison What purpose do you want your land to serve? What will you be able to contribute to your land? You will need to create a permaculture plan that will give an overall view of what the land could look like in the end of your journey. However, this will likely change as it goes because permaculture is a dynamic system. Create goals that you wish your land to provide for you. Above all, before doing anything, observe the functions of your land and how it will be able to make way to reach those goals. Don't make any major changes in the land, especially things such as permanent buildings or features. As you learn more about your land, it may have not been placed in the right place. As you build your permaculture plan for your property, you will need to learn as much as you can about permaculture, other alternative agriculture methods, and environmental sustainability. You may consider a Permaculture Design Certification, which is at minimum a 72 hour class. Many of the best permaculture teachers are talking at in a world-wide conversation that will better create a curriculum that all share, and standardize the PDC moving forward with the movement. Don't rule out animals to help establish your permaculture plan at your property. Chickens naturally scratch and till grass to eat bugs and other vegetation. Over time, they will scratch and till the vegetation to bare ground. As you give them tomatoes and other seed bearing fruits or vegetables, they will spread the desirable volunteer seeds for you. When you move the animals, the seeds will germinate and start your first garden. You could plant additional seeds after moving the animals as well. Goats will eat away overgrowth, and virtually any plant is on the menu, including poison ivy. Don't pet your goat after they go into a poison ivy patch, however! Goats are great for clearing the overgrowth for other animals to succeed their place and change the land according to your plan. Pigs are great for rooting plants and bugs in the soil. They will get rid of pesky plants that you wish to get rid of from the roots. Pigs will also wallow in the ground naturally in a hole where a future pond will be. This will create a natural compaction to keep water in the pond instead of it slowly seeping out quickly. There are many ways to use animals to help do the work for you. Once you have studied permaculture thoroughly, created a plan that you will work towards on your property that will ultimately meet goals you've created, as well as identified the time commitment involved, you are well underway to starting out right from your doorstep. Think of starting out as a tree growing, the growth starts in the soil then occurs upward and outward, from the inside out. The first ring started in the middle (your home) and then outward from there. The last ring was the last year's growth,... Support this podcast

Apr 2020

9 min 38 sec

The (Permaculture A Designers' Manual) by Bill Mollison is the most in-depth resource in permaculture design, and best for those deeply committed to the implementation and understanding of the movement. Join me as I explain every chapter briefly. While the book is in-depth, it offers everything a designer needs. It's not an easy read cover-to-cover, but more of an essential manual to understand the workings of each part of permaculture and how they work together to make the concept function properly in your area. (The Permaculture Designers Manual) (Available in print only) Support this podcast

Apr 2020

13 min 13 sec

The broad fork, digging fork, and pitch fork. This episode explains 3 different types of "forks". It also covers till vs. no till and why a broad fork is better than a tilling method. Most of the episode covers what a broad fork is, how to use it, and when you should use a digging fork and a pitch fork. These tools are a great addition to your shed, but all have a different purpose. Tilling is a common practice in traditional agriculture, however, it is detrimental to soil life. Over production of the land with gas powered tractors, tilling more than ever before had helped cause the dustbowl. Now the average American farm is dependent on fossil fuel based artificial fertilizers to keep the land productive. Without these, the industry would suffer greatly, revealing the soil has degraded to just dirt. The broad fork keeps the soil intact and builds soil health over time. Eventually you won't have to use one after several seasons of using a broad fork. There are three broad fork makers to keep in mind when buying one: (Meadow Creature), (Treadlite), and (Johnny's Seeds). My personal favorite is the Meadow Creature broad fork design because it is made of all-metal, however Treadlite offers replacement metal handles. Join our (Patreon) for exclusive content; bonus episodes, member exclusive polls and be able to ask me your Permaculture questions, also free downloads that aren't offered in the free show. You will also have access to the archive of the free show as episodes are replaced every year. Our (email list) will keep you up to date on permie books on sale online, and other goodies about permaculture. Support this podcast

Apr 2020

12 min 5 sec

My Journey into Permaculture starts with a kitchen garden, usually put in Zone 0 or Zone 1 in a permaculture design. Most of the episode is about 4x8 foot beds that can be made from materials at a local home improvement store. These beds can be expensive upfront, but if you price out the beds over the years of using the beds, the price is much cheaper. Plus every year you harvest homegrown produce. Raised beds are the easiest way to add depth of organic soil within the first season of growing. Raised beds are best for difficult soils to work with a broad fork such as; rocky soil, compacted hardpan of clay, and contaminated soil. Raised beds can be quick to setup, and can keep animals out easier than a garden row. Fences will need to be kept in mind for larger herbivores and animals, such as deer. Materials for a 4x8 foot raised bed include: 2x6 boards, hardware cloth or landscape fabric, 4x4 posts or metal plates with nails for bracing the boards, and 3 1/2 inch deck screws. Get a (bed extender) to haul extra long boards for your bed. Alternate raised beds include using a garden barrel design, an up cycling method. Perfect for the urban garden patio, given it can handle the weight. There is a company that makes these in a perfected design called The Garden Project. Their product is more expensive than DIY, however. A stacked rock garden is great for herb spirals. They are a perfect Zone 0 kitchen herbs garden, mine are pungent smelling, which means deer stay away. A keyhole garden is traditionally made with stacked rock also, and has built in compost section for an extra fertile garden bed. The (Big-Bag-Bed) is a big textile air pot that is great for a first-time raised bed garden that is easily taken with you in a temporary living situation. You can accompany this raised bed with the (Compost Sak), made by the same company. They both need to be in a level ground area, and best not on a deck with neighbors below you. An (even better mobile composter is the GeoBin). Stay in touch and (join our email list). Thanks for tuning into my Journey into Permaculture, see you next time! #Permaculture #growwithme #sustainability #agriculture #selfsufficiency Support this podcast

Apr 2020

17 min 9 sec

This trailer explains how Season 1's episodes are organized by sub-series. Episodes are posted at random and each episode can be organized into one of these general topics: Book Reviews Tools and Reviews Permaculture Principles and ethics Permaculture Plants - episodes focused on one plant that are great to include in design My personal Journey into Permaculture The Why - environmental issues that bring reason to practice sustainability and permaculture. Looking forward to posting plenty of episodes for you to enjoy. See you there! Support this podcast

Mar 2020

55 sec

I wanted to share some words of encouragement for those that are thinking about starting a journey into permaculture, and to those who have already started. For those just thinking about starting... just start! Every garden was started by just one plant. Make mistakes, that is part of becoming a master. You got this, I believe in you! For those of us who already have a homestead or have a permaculturally designed space. Perhaps the layers of the design may have shown some difficulties. Remember, our famous friend Bill Mollison says, the problem is the solution. Try to flip the problem around, and there you will find the solution. A homestead isn't built in a day, this is a long journey, and takes time. Can't wait to share more words of encouragement on this journey! Support this podcast

Mar 2020

1 min 54 sec

Have you checked out our website ( Go ahead and take a look! The webpage with all of our episodes and social media links also features a 2 acre hugelkultur farm that I made from scratch with the landowners. There are many benefits that hugelkultur methods provide for raised bed farming. One benefit from burying the downed trees after clearing the land to start the farm, the tree's wood are used in the long-term plans, which they provide nutrients for the plants grown in the beds. These 'hugels' offer more benefits that I can explain in one of our full episodes. This sustainable agriculture method may be a great addition to your permaculture design. The land is also slightly graded to allow water to fill up the pond naturally, and this farm produces everything that you would think a farm cultivates. I can't wait to grow with you as we Journey into Permaculture! Support this podcast

Mar 2020

1 min 58 sec

Welcome to Journey into Permaculture! If you're tuning in as this episode posts, we will be able to journey into permaculture together as I have a newly acquired agricultural space. I have plenty of permie experience by watching tons of youtube videos, getting a permaculture design certificate, reading and owning a bunch of books, as well as, building other's farms, and helping establish permaculture principles on others farms. If you become a Patron, on ( you will be able to steer the show based on your interests and suggestions. I'm looking forward to highlighting what listers are also doing on their Journey into Permaculture, as well as mine. Thanks for tuning in, see you there! Support this podcast

Mar 2020

1 min 24 sec

Welcome to Journey into Permaculture! We explore the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to permaculture - in our backyard, and around the world. Creating a permaculture minded homestead can be a challenge without a mentor. Go on a Journey into Permaculture every week with your guide, Vinson Corbo, permaculture enthusiast and entrepreneur, as he shares inspirational stories, books, tools, tactics, including interviews of permaculture authors, enthusiasts, influencers, and scholars. Explore in design, creation, & inspiration. Join the experience that will help you excel your endeavors in sustainability and permaculture. This podcast is for all the homesteaders, DIYers, off grid, conservation minded, farming, gardening, teachers, and activists of sustainable movements. Those just beginning your homestead, a more independent and self-reliant life journey, or already going down the path of permaculture, this program has something for all walks of experience.  Exclusive content only on Patreon. We also have affiliate marketing links that support the show. Thanks for supporting Journey into Permaculture! Support this podcast

Mar 2020

1 min 42 sec