A very practical discussion with part two to follow in a couple of weeks.
Welcome to the first Beyond Organic NZ Tour podcast, of an interview with Stefan Sobkowiak and myself, James Samuel. Together, and with the support of Air New Zealand, Ooooby and Ecostore, we’ve organised a 28 day tour from Matakana to Central Otago, offering a total of 20 public talks and workshops.
Stefan Sobkowiak has recently come into the limelight after the two hour Permaculture Orchard film was made about his Orchard, Miracle Farms. In it he describes the why and the how of transitioning a commercial monoculture orchard first to organic and then beyond to a diverse polyculture, that transcends the need for insecticides, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides, whether chemical or organically approved, by creating a balanced system which is designed for less work, more yield and more fun!
Now on with the interview (with links and workshop participant comments below – not to be missed).
Why people keep coming to Stefan’s workshops
Here are some of the things workshop participants posted on Facebook, in response to the question, what are the things you learned, that got you most excited.
- Training [rather than pruning] trees – for greater yield sooner.
- Interplanting the fruit trees with support species.
- The gift of practical ideas to take home and implement immediately.
- Connecting with others over good food. The conversations with people who share common ground.
- To be able to show [others] that someone else is doing what I want to do.
- Planting varieties according to harvest dates.
- The striking good looks and warm voice of the presenter.
- Creating something beautiful, emulating nature, that is also very practical.
- The multiple layers of the system.
- The grocery aisle concept – for ease of harvest and maximum sales.
- The paradigm shift that occurs when one realizes that “I can do this too”.
- Your enthusiasm and dynamism is contagious.
- Simplicity, clarity, common sense, humour.
- Demonstration that working with nature is more profitable.
- Growing your own tree nursery for planting and profit.
- A way to make the chaos that is a healthy ecosystem into a sensible business model.
- And lecturing with a cat on your head, that was pretty good too…
This two hour interview makes for an important addition to the knowledge shared in the Permaculture Orchard film. In it Stefan talks about the next piece of the puzzle, soon to be released from Miracle Farm.
The podcast which has just come online, would have gone longer if Stefan hadn’t excused himself to join a scheduled conversation with John Allan of APW and myself. We needed to talk about the Masterclass Stefan will be leading at Unitec Auckland next year, as part of the Beyond Organic NZ Tour.
For New Zealanders the survivalist concepts that are promoted in the lead-in may seem foreign, and you can of course skip them and jump to 8m:40sec, or you may wind up asking, what’s happening in the USA? There will always be a multitude of responses to the increasing uncertainty and rapid change that is underway across the world – as we each experience it. [thank you Chris for your thoughtful reply to my choice of words here].
Now, onto the 2-hour interview with Stefan Sobkowiak and Jack Spirko on The Survival Podcast.
Up front we hear about Stefan’s background and having a Masters degree in both Biology and Landscape design, before learning what got him inspired to set up a Permaculture Orchard. We find a man with a deep desire to maximise the positive impact he can have on the world around him, and as the minutes turn into hours, we start to appreciate the gifts he’s offering.