[permaculture] kinship gardens and permaculture

miekal and dtv at mwt.net
Wed Apr 2 14:13:37 EST 2003

On Wednesday, April 2, 2003, at 12:09 PM, Toby Hemenway wrote:

> On Wednesday, April 2, 2003, at 08:55 AM, mIEKAL aND wrote:
>> I have a really hard time seeing these as mutually exclusive binaries.
> There's certainly some overlap between kinship and permaculture 
> gardens, but no one that I know of has explored how extensive it is, 
> or whether the criteria of one can meet those of the other--are they 
> useful for each other?

But how could one possibly know unless you embrace a spirit of 
experimentation & opening yourself as a designer to the possibilities 
the biological universe has to offer?

> Plants that are closely related evolutionarily may not work well 
> together or be useful to a human gardener.

You mean like species of cornaceae, sambucaceae, asteraceae, 
lobeliaceae, fabaeae, rutales, rosacease, or malaceae?

> So diversity for diversity's sake--

Is this what kinship gardening is?  To me it is an opportunity to 
observe & work with plants & genetics on a root level.  Root as in root 
level like having access to the code which runs a machine.

> growing a lot of species from one genus, say--isn't a compelling 
> reason from a Pc perspective, though it's what Mushroom would like to 
> see people do (along with lots of other things).

Until this week it has never occured to me that kinship gardening is 
anymore outside the realm of permaculture than things like seedsaving, 
organic philosophy, composting, companion planting etc.

> Other useful ideas for permaculture being suggested by kinship 
> gardening: If you know of two closely related genera that have 
> qualities close to the one you're looking for, say a fiber strength or 
> flowering time, you could use the kinship relationship to locate a 
> genus or species intermediate to the two and see if it's got just what 
> you want.
> There are also great potentials for crossing not-too-distantly related 
> but little-known species/varieties to yield new traits. I'm sure with 
> a little thought we could come up with more


> One interesting observation is that although Mushroom's kinship maps 
> feature a vast array of species, the ones he is actually growing and 
> is most excited about are domesticated varieties; same with Gabriel 
> Howearth's, for the most part. So even in the rarefied realm of 
> kinship gardens, there's a strong practical note.

arent domesticated varieties species that have been selected for 
disease resistence, hardiness, food or resource production, color, 

> I think Alan Kapuler should be awarded a MacArthur fellowship.


> The fact that he has to scrape up a meager living seems nearly 
> criminal; his work is on a par with Nobelists, and offers the world a 
> lot more than does the latest subatomic particle. His Peace Seeds 
> Journals are expensive, it's true, but they support his work, so I've 
> bought them all, and I ain't rich. I doubt if he will develop a 
> website--he's too busy farming and researching--but some kindhearted 
> developer out there ought to think about putting his work on the 
> internet so more people can have access to it.

Sounds like a perfect job for one of our interns.  We just need the 
permission & the materials.

co-evolutionary kinship permaculture,


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