[permaculture] 2030

Robert Waldrop bwaldrop at cox.net
Sat Jun 23 23:55:26 EDT 2007

Food is fundamental to life.  Without food, we 
die.  I think that growing your own food is the 
most powerful political action one can do this 
year.  It is accessible to nearly everyone. 
That's why my motto is, [INSERT monocle in left 
eye] "Virst, ve start vith ze FOOD. 

Thus, "gardening discussion," is in fact a very 
powerful political discussion.  Exchanging ideas 
and etc about food production is essential to 
"clarification of thought".

Food production is also universal.  It cuts across 
all dividing barriers of race, class, religion, 
and ordinary partisan politics.  For example, in 
the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, we have 
fundamentalist Baptists and lesbian Wiccans.  Not 
to mention the Catholics and Unitarians and 
atheists and Buddhists and the occasional lawyer 
or two (actually we have several).  We even have a 
state senator.

If we decided there was a partisan politically 
correct requirement to our membership, we would 
probably only have two members and he and I 
wouldn't be talking together.  Instead, we leave 
all of our baggage at the door and come together 
around a table of fellowship that is loaded with 
locally produced foods.  The table was even made 
in the neighborhood.  That, I think, is a very 
powerful political statement.  most of these 
people wouldn't even be talking with each other, 
much less working together so effectively, if this 
hadn't come along.  It is a testimony to the power 
of food to unite, to weave new connections, and to 
challenge the powers that be at a place where the 
have no defense whatsoever. And if you've read 
your Sun Tzu, you know that his advice is to 
"hasten quickly and attack where you are not 

We don't lack for issues to divide us these days. 
We're finding in Oklahoma that food can be a tie 
that binds us together in bonds of community that 
are almost lost in the partisan divisiveness of 
modern life.

We haven't set a date for our next workshop, but 
it will probably be in May 2008.  It will be in 
conjunction with one of the delivery dates of the 
food coop.  Those who attended the 2007 workshop 
were unanimous in their opinion that being there 
for Delivery Day was one of the most powerful 
aspects of the presentation.  It really has to be 
seen to be believed.

One of the things that I have learned in 3 years 
is something of the extent of the challenge of 
creating a local food system.  we are 3-1/2 years 
into this, and our monthly gross sales are at 
$40,000, which is a lot, but that is just for 
about 400 households.  And the state of Oklahoma 
has a million plus households.  That's a lot of 
scaling up.  We constantly run out of items as it 
is now.  Locally produced vegetables are in 
constant short supply.  That's why I've started 
another cooperative organizing effort to organize 
worker owned cooperatives to grow vegetables on 
urban plots for direct sale to the public and also 
through the coop.

Bob Waldrop, OKC
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tommy Tolson" <healinghawk at earthlink.net>
To: "permaculture" 
<permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2007 4:43 PM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] 2030

> Robert Waldrop wrote:
>> I think that it is highly unlikely that you are
>> aware of everything that permaculturists are 
>> doing
>> in the world, so this statement seems more like 
>> "I
>> am More Green Than Thou" rhetoric" than 
>> rational,
>> informed discussion.  It is personally 
>> satisfying,
>> no doubt, but does nothing to build community.
> Thanks for your response.  I'm running a race 
> with ignorance and death,
> not with you or anyone else on this list.  I 
> know what I know and it's
> just one very small part of the collective 
> knowledge.
> I'm responding to posts on this list that say, 
> outright or not, that
> politics is off-topic on-list, rather than to 
> the sum total of all the
> work permaculturalists do in the world.  This 
> seems to me a gardening list.
> I don't find "Greener than thou" in any way 
> satisfying.   I read about
> your class in starting a food co-op too late to 
> attend but think that's
> the sort of thing that needs to be done on a 
> large scale now to have the
> infrastructure in place when the oil spigot 
> turns off and industrial
> agriculture collapses.  When are you doing it 
> again?  Earth, and
> probably nature, will survive humans, but 
> extinction is so needless, if
> we apply Permaculture principles to liberate 
> ourselves and the remains
> of planetary life from the dark forces of 
> dominion.
> Smiles.
> Tommy Tolson
> Austin, TX
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