Ben Falk returns to ReWild Yourself Podcast to add his perspective to our invasive species conversation series! Ben lives in an intentional, resilient, forage-able ecosystem on his homestead in Vermont's Mad River Valley that he designed and continues to evolve. As someone who works closely with his local landscape, he is intimately enmeshed with both native and non-native invasive species and has valuable input on this complex issue.
Ben — an innovative permaculturist and intentional ecosystem designer — developed Whole Systems Design as a land-based response to biological and cultural extinction and the increasing separation between people and elemental things. Life as a designer, builder, ecologist, tree-tender, and backcountry traveler continually informs Ben’s integrative approach to developing landscapes and buildings. Ben has studied architecture and landscape architecture at the graduate level and holds a master’s degree in land-use planning and design. He has conducted more than 300 site development consultations across the US and abroad, and has facilitated dozens of courses on property selection, permaculture design, and resilient systems. Ben is also the author of the award-winning book the Resilient Farm and Homestead.
In this episode, Ben and I grapple with some of the critical questions of the invasive species conversation: Who has the right to be considered native to a specific ecosystem when we are all native to this planet? Can we eat our way out of the invasive species problem? How do we define natural? Ben brings a balanced viewpoint to our invasive species series. He believes — as do I — that the conversation on invasives can be hugely advanced by active ecosystem participants (rewilders!). Tune in, and let's continue to be conscientious participants in the conservation of our ecology!
- Show Introduction:
- Hunt + gather updates: Striper and mackerel fishing, squirrel hunting, acorn gathering and pack basket making
- Introducing Ben Falk
- Ben’s permaculture intentional ecosystem
- Food yield on Ben’s homestead
- The processing that goes into a permaculture ecosystem
- Backstory to Ben’s viewpoints on invasive species
- Invasive species and native local plant communities — who has the right to stay?
- Thoughts on eating invasives
- Creating forage-able landscapes
- Tying a bow on the invasive species conversation
- Defining what’s natural
- Ben’s prognosis for the future of the landscape
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RESOURCES FROM THIS SHOW:
- Koviashuvik Local Living School
- Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources by M. Kat Anderson
- Bill Mollison - "father of permaculture"
- Daniel's Rosa rugosa post on Instagram
- Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration by Tao Orion
- Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience by David I. Theodoropoulos
- Japanese Knotweed
Supplementary ReWild Yourself Podcasts:
Ben Falk developed Whole Systems Design, LLC as a land-based response to biological and cultural extinction and the increasing separation between people and elemental things. Life as a designer, builder, ecologist, tree-tender, and backcountry traveler continually informs Ben’s integrative approach to developing landscapes and buildings. His home landscape and the Whole Systems Design studio site in Vermont's Mad River Valley serve as a proving ground for the regenerative land developments featured in the projects of Whole Systems Design. Ben has studied architecture and landscape architecture at the graduate level and holds a master’s degree in land-use planning and design. He has conducted more than 300 site development consultations across New England and facilitated dozens of courses on permaculture design, property selection, microclimate design, and design for climate change. He has presented workshops at venues ranging from Bioneers to the Omega Institute and has consulted on projects in various countries and across much of the United States. Ben is the author of the award-winning book the Resilient Farm and Homestead.