[permaculture] Chain saw in a box

RiverValley madhava at fidalgo.net
Thu Apr 3 00:49:21 EST 2003

Anyone ever used this tool?


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Toby Hemenway 
  To: permaculture 
  Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 10:09 AM
  Subject: Re: [permaculture] kinship gardens and permaculture

  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? Plants that are closely related evolutionarily may not work well together or be useful to a human gardener. So diversity for diversity's sake--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). But one way to use Mushroom's work would be to pick unusual and rare species from genera or families that are known to cooperate (say, a grain, a legume, and a cucurbit, other than the usual corn-beans-squash) and try them in a guild. 

  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.

  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.

  For a look at my book on ecological gardening,
  Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, visit


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