The Rondout Creek and the Wallkill River, border the flat plain of sandy loam (the remnants of glacial melt) that is distinctive to the Tillson area. Rosendale has an agricultural history in addition to the famous Rosendale cement mines (1825-1910). IBM influence the entire upstate region and their departure in 1994 from Kingston left a jobs vacuum as well as polluted landscapes. Agricultural and cultural endeavors are numerous in the area and many artists have found refuge in the scenic landscape. The contrast between what came before and after is more noticeable as time passes and more NYC dwellers realize what a beautiful place this is to live. Rosendale does a good job of listening to all voices; as in most places, inclinations are at both extremes of the political spectrum. Permaculture practice engages with both social and material concerns and during this period of divide it is critical to recognize the basis of constructive conversation. We all have common needs and gardening has the potential to bridge differences. For me, open communication is a principle goal.

February 23, 2022

We are entering new territory with pressures looming at every turn. Economics, safety, justice and the environment are uncertain. Stay positive – spring will come! Humans have survived countless tortures and this section of our history is remarkable, though not unique. Adaptation is a strategy for success and permaculture is uniquely suited to this moment.

June 21, 2020

Hi Everyone,

As we move through the first wave of Covid-19 and look at the states where cases are rising sharply, try to stay focussed. Numbers have declined where people were careful about contact and have risen where awareness and acknowledgement have lapsed. Think hard about what risks you are willing to accept – we have many choices to make, physically, conceptually and emotionally.

The Black Lives Matter movement has grown exponentially during our interrupted continuum. Reality has shifted – is this the paradigm shift permaculture doctrine has advocated for for decades? Gather your strength and center yourselves. This is a time of great stress and perhaps, permaculture’s time to shine. We need to teach Non-violent Communication methods and practice them. How do we maintain dialogue? When is the correct time to discontinue dialogue?

Our political divide has widened to extremes. When people overtly say that systemic racism – the aftermath of Colonial expansion – is not present in our society, institutions and habits, they are experiencing a different reality than mine. A false reality has been steadily evolving through what we watch, hear and know. When we know something, it is easy to find information to support that view, since all information is instantly available. This happens on both sides of the divide. Practice critical thought and comparative analysis to determine the integrity of the opinions and facts that shape your views. Seek-out varied sources.

We entrench our beliefs through our media intake, supporting that which we already believe, as much as learning anything new. All news has always been biased: some omit pertinent information, host obscure experts or cherry pick “facts”. Journalists are wrongfully under attack and threatened. It is also apparent that our code of ethics in news reporting across mediums, has changed. Be careful! And remember to search for news from representatives and media in your local neighborhood, since this is where empowerment begins.

How to Grow with Our Changing Times
Educate yourself about anti-racism.
Identify what you believe in and be aware of who you are.
Don’t try to win arguments. Dialogue if people ask and if you have time.
When you meet intolerance, know that change will come hard or never.
Semantics matter. Choose your words carefully.
Remember that status and territory are our part of our biological directive.
Assess the risk and set your limits internally.
Take responsibility for your actions and their effects.

Our energy is strong – this is a moment when all things are possible. 

Stay well!

Director, NYPE