Convergence Spotlight: P.I.N.E.

PINE LogoThe Northeast Permaculture Network is a decentralized body of people — farmers, teachers, designers, organizers, authors, researchers, extension agents and other permaculture enthusiasts — who in a diversity of ways are working toward advancing permaculture design principles and ethics as a new cultural paradigm. We apply and integrate permaculture-aligned skills and principles at home, in our communities, towns and cities; in our businesses, livelihoods and relationships.

Starting in January 2005, permaculture activists throughout the Northeast have been meeting and actively creating a network for mutually supporting each other and advancing permaculture solutions among the wider public in our region. They sought to identify existing resources and create beneficial relationships among them; to envision and design ways to share experiences, information, and resources; to identify and meet each other’s needs.

At initial organizing meetings, which employed a consensus-oriented visual voting scheme, six themes emerged as regionally-relevant goals and priorities:

  1. Increase connection among people practicing, teaching, or otherwise involved in permaculture in the Northeast.
  2. Support, create, and inform the public and each other of permaculture demonstration projects.
  3. Spread “bio and brain matter”! That is, establish plant and seed banks or databases to share plant knowledge and genetics. Develop resources so that we know “who has what where” and “who needs what.” Develop a system for barter, for collaboration on breeding and improving appropriate varieties for the region, and for advancing awareness and knowledge about under-acknowledged multifunction plants.
  4. Support and advance permaculture and forest gardening through research, scientific trials, and case studies.
  5. Develop and organize regional conferences and events.
  6. Reach out to the broader sustainability movement, marginalized groups, and a “mainstream” audience, to share and further develop permaculture knowledge and skills.

Over the years, an annual summer gathering or ‘Summer Convergence’ has emerged as a tradition;  a variety of regional-scale online resources have been developed, including a listserve, wiki, NING and blog; the Apios Institute was formed to support research, design, and practice of regenerative perennial agriculture for our region/climate. P INE was formally incorporated to serve and strengthen our regional network.

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