~~ Rural Permaculture ~~

Rick Valley

Making Sustainable Legal:

How can we craft equitable rules to permit sustainable farming communities?

Land use zoning laws for agricultural zones in Oregon and the Pacific NW are often prohibitive of multiple residents or communities both living and working on the land. While the goal of these laws is to keep agriculturally zoned land exclusively for agriculture instead of development, they have a host of unintended consequences, such as forcing farm workers to travel great distances to the farms they work on. What is needed for a transition to a sustainable future are zoning laws that allow for the express development of village/community living on agricultural land.

This presentation will explore the legal transition to this more sustainable system of community farming and land-stewardship. 

Rick discovered Permaculture at Breitenbush in 1981 upon returning to Oregon from living in the Andes and Sonoran desert. His first decision was to start a bamboo nursery, and took his PDC after meeting Bill Mollison at IPC II at Evergreen State College in 1986. Doug Bullock was a classmate and Michael Pilarski was a guest instructor. Rick began teaching permaculture in 1987 with Michael at the first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in Canada, Belize and Alaska.

Rick also taught in the first PDC at Aprovecho (bilingual English/Spanish), and also taught the first urban PDC in Portland, at On Going Cohousing. For 10 years he helped the community of Linnea Farm on Cortes Island, BC develop their permaculture design and programs, and was the landscape manager at Sunlight Community in Portland until 1999. Rick introduced permaculture to Lost Valley Education Center and has taught there since1990, where he has been a resident and head land steward since 2004.

Besides teaching and consulting, Rick is a partner in Earthkeeper Landscaping LLC (OLCB #9722) and writes on permaculture and related subjects when he can.

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