Permaculture & Policy
This dynamic presentation shares patterns and strategies to harvest, integrate, and enliven free local resources—such as rain-, grey-, and stormwaters; sun, wind, and shade; along with soil fertility, wild foods, and community fun—in a way that generates far more potential than the sum of their parts. Scarcity is re-visioned into abundance simply through creative cycling and utilization of what is already at hand. Costly and consuming habits and infrastructure, disconnected from their surroundings, are reoriented and reconnected to maximize enriching opportunities that mitigate climate change while lifting health and joy.
You’ll see many examples of such transformation, including how once-dying wetlands and creek flows are being regenerated with simple hand-built structures made of on-site materials; how ancient sun- and shade-harvesting sites are informing passively heated, cooled, and powered modern homes and retrofits; and how once-blighted, overheated neighborhood streets are being rejuvenated into thriving greenbelts of water, people, wildlife, art, food, and celebration by planting once-drained stormwater, seed, and yard prunings.
Will show how laws & policy have been changed in many states to legalize, incentivize, and mandate low-cost, safe, gravity-fed, tankless greywater-harvesting & dark greywater-harvesting systems, and stormwater harvesting systems (such as curb cuts to capture street runoff). And how inexpensive site-built composting toilets have been legalized in Arizona. All this enables fully permitted homes with no sewer or septic hookups, since all on-site “wastes” have been transformed to harvested resources, resulting in the natural sequestering of carbon and fertility within the climate-extreme-mitigating soil-carbon-sponge.
This talk is both an invitation for you to engage and partner with your natural surroundings and community, and a treasure map showing you the way—by planting the rain, dancing with the sun, growing fertile shade, and more—to live as one of your community’s inspirational sparks!
Brad Lancaster is the author of the award-winning Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond and co-founder of DesertHarvesters.org. Since 1993 Brad has run a successful permaculture education, design, and consultation business focused on integrated regenerative approaches to landscape design, planning, and living. In the Sonoran Desert, with just 11 inches of annual rainfall, he and his brother harvest about 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year on an eighth-acre urban lot and adjoining right-of-way. This harvested water is then turned into living air conditioners of food-bearing shade trees, abundant gardens, and a thriving landscape incorporating wildlife habitat, beauty, medicinal plants, and more. The goal of his book series and overall work is to empower his clients and community to make positive change in their own lives and neighborhoods—by harvesting and enhancing free on-site resources such as water, sun, wind, shade, community, and more. It’s catching on, as evidenced by tens of thousands of practitioners and demand for Brad’s work around the world.