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Gardening Our Way Through Calamity with Will Bonsall: PYP 401

Will Bonsall is a self-described “back-to-the-land hippie homesteader,” and author of two extremely important and prescient books: Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening, and Through the Eyes of a Stranger, an adventure novel that explores what a sustainable society might look like following what he calls “the calamitous times” of the 21st century.

I took the gardening book off the shelf as soon as my family and I returned from South Africa, as we were several weeks behind in setting up the garden for this year, and I foresaw a need to grow “calorie crops” like wheat, buckwheat, corn, and sunflowers in addition to the usual tomatoes, basil, okra, pepper, onions, eggplant, and summer squash.

The introduction of the book caught me off-guard, as it was speaking specifically about the societal collapse that is occurring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not specifically as in “coronavirus from Wuhan in March 2020,” but in terms of the cascade of breakdowns that will threaten our food and energy supply, and leave people to fight over scarce resources.

All of a sudden, self-reliant, veganic (without animal inputs like bone meal and manure) gardening, felt like an imperative. I wanted to share Will's perspective with you, now that it's so obviously urgent.

The other reason I wanted to get Will back on the podcast is to shamelessly plug his decades-long Scatterseed Project, which you can think of as a Noah's Ark for horticultural biodiversity. Will has been saving heirloom seeds for about 40 years, and is caretaker of a vast and unimaginably valuable repository of genetic diversity. All of which we'll need as the climate changes, new pathogens emerge, and we'll have no idea which genetic stock will be able to survive, thrive, and feed us in the future.

When I reached out to Will to ask him to talk about Scatterseed, he confided that he wasn't confident about its long-term survival due to lack of funds. This alarmed me.

So I want to ask you, dear listener, to listen to the interview and, if your situation and resources allow, become a patron of Scatterseed and allow this work to continue.

As far as I'm concerned, Will's 40-year labor of love is one of the great treasures of human civilization, and its loss will deal a grave blow to our chances of rebuilding after the present series of calamities.

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.

Links

Scatterseed Project

Support Scatterseed on Patreon

Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening

Through the Eyes of a Stranger

Will's first appearance on Plant Yourself

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Anthony Dissen – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Christine Nielsen – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Wayne Pedersen – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – RuthAnn Funderburk – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Martha Bergner – Susan Ahmad – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Kelly Michiya – DeAnne Norton – Bonnie Lynch of Plant Happy Oregon – Sabine Kurtzhals – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Tanya Lewis – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Valerie Pelletier – Peter W Evans – Colleen Harrison – Justine Divett – Joshua Sommermeyer – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Valarie Hummel – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Günter Schmid – Marjorie Lewis – Kelly Moulden – Tricia Adams – Ian Cramer – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Rachelle Kennedy – Diana Goldman – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – Hollie Butler – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Olga Szydarowska – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – for your generous support of the podcast.

Disclosure

This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive amazon gift certificates from your actions on such links.

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Tip Jar

This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by . Click the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – RuthAnn Funderburk – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Martha Bergner – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Bonnie Lynch of Plant Happy Oregon – Sabine Kurtzhals – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Justine Divett – Joshua Sommermeyer – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Valarie Hummel – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Ian Cramer – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – for your generous support of the podcast.

Disclosure

This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive compensation from your actions on such links. It don't cost you a dime, tho.

3 comments on “Gardening Our Way Through Calamity with Will Bonsall: PYP 401

  1. Robyn says:

    I really appreciated hearing Will Bonsall’s wisdom about seed saving and striving toward self-sufficiency. I was on the verge of donating to support his worthy cause until he came out with his rather disgusting comment about lockdown protesters being stupid and therefore deserving to get sick and even die from SARS-CoV-2 (I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist). Do the people in this video https://youtu.be/2cmPhUAXsU0 all look like morons who only care about going out for a beer or getting their hair done? People all over the world are waking up to the giant fraud that has been perpetrated on us, and demanding that the outrageous violations of civil liberties be terminated immediately and the economy be reopened so they can get back to earning a living, going to the gym, and visiting their friends. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is in the same ballpark as seasonal flu, and we’ve never shut down the whole of society for the flu before, even in particularly bad flu seasons.

    1. Howard says:

      I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree here, Robyn.

      1. Robyn says:

        Disagree about what? The mortality rate being in the same ballpark as seasonal flu? That’s not in dispute; see https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/. Or are you disagreeing about people who are protesting against the violation of their civil liberties being stupid and deserving to die? Please elaborate.

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