Events venue: gatherings/ parties / weddings

Welcome to some features of Goffin Land and the developing farming infrastructure. Agricultural barns with auxiliary uses at times for festivals, weddings, conferences, workshops etc.

Gray’s Barn


Great ceilidh in this space at Off Grid Festival


Upstairs in Gray’s a space awaiting a mushroom project


Attempted Connection ECC Councillors

Latest mail first then back to snail mail to councillors 25.6.2018


E-mail 30.6.2018
LS1 / The relevance of the Local Plan to the Goffin Land Green Tourism Proposal

Dear Councillors,

Following my letter of last week

On the basis that LS1 policies of the Local Plan for the Goffin Land area are valued as a guide to the aspiration of the Exeter Labour Party.

I note key extracts and their relevance to the project which is to create environmentally responsible tree houses, cabins, lodges with welfare facilities for all year round availability in very sensitively located spaces on a working farm.

The green tourism facilities will be synergistically linked to the overall Goffin Land project which seeks to open the door to practical knowledge of wide ranging aspects of sustainable regenerative farming, woodland management, permaculture / organic growing, eco sanitation, green building, energy efficiency and renewables  all linked to healthy living and wellbeing.

There are 96 acres of meadow and woodland and the overall project is envisaged as low key with dispersed activity spread over the year. The intrinsic merit  of the gently rolling hills and the ecological integrity of the biosphere will enhanced not harmed. There will be extremely limited visual impart apart from an occasional tipi or marque.

The eco accommodation business will be a major financial input to the allied activities causually related to the attraction of Goffin Land as a green tourism destination. It will facilitate drawing people from UK and Europe to Exeter for third party organised educational / learning events that Goffin Land could host. These potentially range from specialist youth mindfulness teacher training courses, third age health and wellbeing courses, healthy food preparation / cooking courses to physical fitness and eco building techniques.

What will the eco visitor accommodation do for the overall project?

Create a stable corner stone, financially and philosophically, in the development of  the regenerative farming and auxiliary activities. Be a beacon in marketing the Goffin Land project and provide essential accommodation for educational, therapeutic and recreational activities. Provide additional income for local workers synergistically engaged in allied activities and events to be featured as attractions for the overall Goffin Land project. 

The opportunity for the last EU economic support grant for the South West is open and I have applied for the tourism infrastructure facility which offer 40% of capital cost to successful applicants. Naturally planning permission is essential.

Relevance to LS1


Biodiversity [11.18] [11.19]

Background notes for your information:

It should be noted that the land is hilly grade 3 agricultural with clay based soil that has been trashed by tenants over 30 years. It is not, as specified in the Structure Plan policy C014, “the best and most versatile agricultural land”. However the objective is to make the land as agriculturally / horticulturally productive through ecologically responsible permaculture inspired practices

Existing and projected Natural England grant support for Goffin Land is anchored on all points relating to the conservation of the natural environment in the Local Plan LS1 including:

* Chemical free farming, horticulture and market gardening combined with a long term regenerative farming strategy focused on rebuilding soil structure and nutrient content.

* Conservation and enrichment of field hedges, the meadows, woods and goyles of Goffin Land. In co-operation with Natural England a revitalisation of the swards is planned to create legume and herb rich grazing meadows. This provides for deep rooted growth that will offer support for birds and other wildlife.

Notes on heading at 11.20 follow describing existing and projected benefits related to the Goffin Land overall project.

LS1 states at 11.20

Nature conservation and the protection and creation of a healthy natural environment is beneficial in many ways. A diverse and healthy natural environment is good for people, local communities, social stability and the economy. Benefits include:

Scientific study;

Farming / horticulture.  Small farms need to be innovative in application of new and rediscovered techniques and processes plus use of new technology and equipment both in regeneration of soil and habitat and in adapting to climate change. All essential for the sustainability of the small farm sector. 

* The overall project is linking with  Landbase [] in this area including research into water management, sward enrichment for biodiversity and sustainability along with a wide range of related issues. 

* Professor Shepherd at Exeter University is a specialist in soil studies and is interested to co-operate to further his scientific research as well as sharing the knowledge in educational events on Goffin including sustainable methods of regeneration and enrichment of the structure and nutrient value of the soil on Goffin Land.

* Potential educational links are developing with Greenpeace Exeter University Research Unit related to the above.

* Greenpeace Research Exeter University for monitoring  pesticides in air, water quality from Pin Brook and potentially bee research from hives in process of being established on Goffin Land.

* Possibilities of linking with other Exeter University departments for social, therapeutic, psychological study of utilising outdoor activity as an alternative to pharmaceutical and office based counselling. In the immediate term this depends on funding not yet sought.

Community access;

* Under the umbrella of the Biophilia Community Association, Muddy Mums and Dangerous Dad forest school events were trialed in 2017. Funding is required with respect to the local Mincing Lake  catchment area. Understanding of the benefits of forest school activity and location proved a barrier.  Co-operation with Eastern Fields to open doors is a potential but this is long term as is similar potential with Devon Wildlife Trust.

* Educational, recreational and therapeutic activities are planned including scouts and a permaculture course set for October. Engaging the residents of Beacon Heath / Pinhoe / Whipton has proved difficult and needs adequate funding as it is non commercial activity. Trials are planned for activity events including fitness, yoga etc.

It is envisaged that co-operators with the Biophilia Community Ass. will be available to assist in non commercial activities targeting those in need of a helping hand in the neighbourhoods just below Goffin Land.

Light but targeted footfall for specific activities is envisaged.

Educational use;

* A major objective is to share knowledge gained in researching and applying new and rediscovered practices to regenerate the soil and meadows on Goffin. I am working with Landbase who’s principle organiser is currently the manager at River Cottage Farm Axminster. 

* It is planned to develop an ongoing co-operative research and development relationship both regards farming / husbandry and horticulture as the basis for courses and workshops to be held on Goffin.

* The Biophilia Community Association is focused on potential to engage with local people, the young, single parents and ex service personnel in particular. “Education” in the sense of engaging people in therapeutic, heuristic activity across the board is a major goal of the overall journey on Goffin Land. Funding for early stage physical and mental health support has been cut to be bone over recent years but is very much part of the overall identity of the project.  (This is separate from the eco accommodation enterprise but will receive support from  the commercial activity)

* Engagement with local schools is again separate from the eco accommodation enterprise. I’d be pleased to discuss with councillors potential to engage with schools / youth and have been encouraged by academics at Exeter University including Greenpeace who express interest in “taking the massage out there”. This however is low key engagement but all part of the learning experience.

Improving the character of the area;

* The land is now home to a large number of insects and bird life. Five years ago it was largely devoid of this life. The core objective to make the land a beautiful bio-diverse oasis for nature and to share that with people within the farm / countryside rural setting i.e. not to create a theme park thus in fitting with the next LS1 requirement

Enjoyment by the general public of nature conservation sites (except where access would be detrimental to key wildlife interests);

* This will be a major aspect of sharing knowledge and encouraging people to align more closely with nature – the biophila relationship.

Non-participatory benefit 

* It is envisaged that knowledge of the ethos and activities on Goffin Land will stimulate awareness and interest in idea of biophilia and the related healthy food, permaculture, therapeutic, wellbeing aspects of the Goffin Land journey. It is hoped longer term to develop small food box schemes for delivery in Exeter. This activity will rely on knowledge and approval of the efforts on the land.

* With Exeter forecast to be one of UK’s fastest growing cities (Gross value added) the eco lodge / green tourism project can highlight “value added” of a broader social / ecological significance.

*Goffin Land can positively contribute to the image of Exeter as a forward thinking city with an attractive environment coupled to a budding social eco – economic framework.

Economic investment

* The project requires significant investment. The SW Growth Grant will be a significant contribution. It will create jobs and better paid ones if the RPA grant application is successful along with planning approval from ECC. However it is hoped that the project engages / co-operates with local residents where ever possible

Green tourism

* The project is to create environmentally responsible tree houses, cabins, lodges with welfare facilities for all year round availability in very sensitively located spaces on a working farm.

* The green tourism facilities will be synergistically linked to the overall Goffin Land project which seeks to open the door to practical knowledge of wide ranging aspects of sustainable regenerative farming, woodland management, permaculture / organic growing, eco sanitation, green building, energy efficiency and renewables  all linked to healthy living and wellbeing.


 [28.06.2018] 38 St Leonards Avenue Exeter EX2 4DL  – Tel 07985 065224

Proposal for Change for 96 acres of farm land at EX4 inline with aspirations expressed in ECC Local Plan LS1

Dear  Cllr

Briefly, as I know you have little time to read kilos of documents:

I’m advised by ECC Planners to approach ECC politicians regarding a pre app for a “green tourism” project auxiliary to a farm/educational enterprise I’m developing on Goffin Land EX4

An introduction follows to overall project which echos the aspirations of the Labour Party Local Plan. I trust it will be of interest. Attached details of eco tourism proposal  re SW Growth grant application.

As political representatives it seems appropriate to refer you to issues that are core concerns & motivations for my activity on Goffin Land.

Small farmer food production in UK is shrinking due to corporate market control and cheap imports. Cheap is measured by UK price tag not the heath and wellbeing of British consumers eating nutritionally poor foods filled with sugar, fat, salt  and chemicals. Cheap is measured by price tag not by the effects on indigenous peoples of Africa, S America or Asia where toxic chemicals and employment laws are lax. Or the loss of UK local jobs and livelihoods. Or the environmental expense of transportation including the much publicised effects relating to climate change. 

Not trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs – I know the Labour Party, locally and nationally has policies on these enormous issues. Think globally act locally is a theme I’ve adopted as you have in serving the local communities to the best of your abilities within the system, seemingly structured, to make your lives and Labour Party policies as difficult as possible.

Goffin Land and my aspirations for it, offer sound possibilities for acting locally in relation to the issues outlined above. My base project, small scale regenerative farming is challenging in light of the above mentioned corporate control of food. A therapeutic “care farm”  with forest school arena is virtually impossible without grant funding.

Therefore I seek to create synergistic allied activities to stimulate and support social, research and educational aspects of the overall project.

I seek support related to planning permission for the project.  I’ve applied for the 40% SW Tourism Infrastructure Grant. If available along with planning consent, it will give an unrepeatable lift to the overall project on Goffin Land.

I recognise the weighty effect of history for councillors being approached by a stranger seeking support re planning issues. I’ve sought to use the planning system and the power of the Local Plan to get approval for various permissions necessary for the project’s success. However I’m advised by ECC Planners that Local Plans are intended as a barrier to development rather than a guide. I’m advised to seek political support in the first instance and thus this missive. 

I’m not a natural lobbyist and wanted to avoid the relationship of seeking political support but am advised that I must seek your active approval. I’m someone who believes that “another world is possible” and committed to “act locally” as best I see able to open the door to routes towards that other more enlightened world.

I hope you will have a look at the project to understand the potential. 

I’m going to e-mail details of planning requirements with some notes from LS1 as it relates to Goffin Land.  I trust these will explain the benefit to Exeter of the charted course I’ve set for the land.  Naturally I will be delighted if you have questions and or would like to visit Goffin Land to see for yourself.

Kind regards

Attached to above:

Green Tourism Project details incl grant application outline 

The project is to create environmentally responsible tree houses, cabins and lodges with welfare facilities for all year round availability in very sensitively located spaces on a working farm.

The SW Growth application includes 3 tree houses. 5 two person and 5 four person timber cabins. These will be to mobile / caravan specification not fixed to the ground or connected to sewage systems. They will be build of durable local timber by local craftsmen/women to a high ecologically responsible standard.

It is also desired to build a reciprocal framed round house with 50% cordwood / bottle walls – i.e. half the wall space open to the elements.

There will be need for shower / washing-up dishes facilities of timber, possibly log construction.

Examples of the style of construction are posted on the Goffin Land web site. There is also an example of a stone age dwelling posted however this would be a future phase dependent on the economy both locally and nationally.

The green tourism facilities will be synergistically linked to the overall Goffin Land project which seeks to open the door to practical knowledge of wide ranging aspects of sustainable regenerative farming, woodland management, permaculture / organic growing, eco sanitation, green building, energy efficiency and renewables  all linked to healthy living and wellbeing.

What will the eco accommodation do for the overall project?

Create a stable corner stone, financially and philosophically, in the development of  the regenerative farming and auxiliary activities. Be a beacon in marketing the Goffin Land project and provide essential accommodation for educational, therapeutic and recreational activities. Provide additional income for local workers synergistically engaged in allied activities and events to be featured as attractions for the overall Goffin Land project. 

BCA Launches Wildwood Workouts

Green Tourism

Some examples of desired style of tree houses and lodges











Choose your own natural Christmas tree

Natural Norway Spruce  –

the original Christmas tree


Sunday 3rd, 10th and 17th of December – Noon till dark – come for tasty snacks, tea and cake and look around to choose the tree you like. You tag it for cutting, wrapping and collection or make a deal to cut it yourself and go. Trees from £20 to £40

Documentary films are a offering of hope – yes some dark tales but also the joy of being in touch with a hidden world of active  dissent and dedication to work toward a brighter future. More info here.

Raising money for the Biophilia Community Association to supplement Muddy Mums, Dangerous Dads and Goffin Boffin concession rates and the  outdoor adventure, mindfulness, laughter, yoga and other activities currently run at a lost. The objective is to open the door to to deep personal growth and a more sturdy way of being with ourselves – on our own and in company of others.   To stimulate enlightened awareness for people to be in touch with the methods and practices that can tune our bodies and minds for best advantage to deal with the realities we face day to day.



Outdoor Fun & Games

Sunday October 1st – Muddy Mums:  See on FaceBook

Saturday October 21st – Dangerous Dads:  See on FaceBook

Muddy Mums: Sun Oct 1st –

As it’s the first Sunday it must be time for Muddy Mums Goffin. This session is all about Autumn, with a woodland walk to find blackberries to make ink for drawing and hopefully small blackberry pies over the fire. If there is not enough Blackberries, we will be digging up clay to make tree guardians and clay Goffins. What would yours look like?

Cost: £5 per family (First term deal, normal £10 per family).

Meet at Grays Barn, Goffin at 1pm. Finish 4pm.

Parking and toilets available.

Launch of Dangerous Dads: Sat Oct 21st –

Calling all bubbying scientists, join us on Saturday 21st October 1-4pm for the launch of Dangerous Dads Goffin. But not only that but you will have the chance to build your own bottle rocket and launch that. Which Father and child team will build the best rocket. Please bring your own bottle (2ltr fizzy drink bottle)

There will also be silly science actvities and popcorn around the fire.

Normal price £10 per dad and children. However for our launch event, if you bring friend (dad or male carer then £5 each).

Meet at Grays Barn, Goffin at 1pm. Finish 4pm.

Parking and toilets available.

If you have any questions, please connect on FaceBook

Land Courtship Workshop at Land Base

A skill-share event exploring innovative approaches to land access.

Land Courtship – trials and tribulations in the quest for mutually co-operative relationships between unequals.

Focus on land seekers with limited savings, experience or track record

Land seekers require security of tenure and sufficient time to learn new skills whilst striving to build a viable business in a very difficult corporate controlled market place. Term contracts can be a double edged sword. Land seekers may seek partnership or investment from the custodian for infrastructure and machinery. Land seekers often need affordable accommodation connected to the land. They require low outgoings for living, the land, water and other capital items necessary for their project. Crucially they need a durable co-operative relationship with the custodian of the land.

Custodians of land are cautious not to be saddled with incompetent game players that are versed in the art of sophistry. Tenancy contracts serve this purpose in more “business” relationships. But in sharing / collaborative relationships custodians will be advised to have rights to remove people that prove to be dreamers rather than diggers with integrity driven by realisable dreams.  Custodians usually expect something tangible in return for the use of land and possibly infrastructure such as polytunnels,  machinery and buildings. Crucially they need a durable co-operative relationship with the users of the land.

Individual situations vary enormously. Experienced farmers / market gardeners with investment capital v aspirants with passion and little else. Land owners with eco / social commitment v retiring farmers or “investors” wanting income and security of their land for future posibilities.

John Yates – who am I?

I’m a DFL who has spent a life time fighting against political / economic / social wrongs – as I see them. I’ve always believed citizens must fight for the future they believe in and not just against corrupt authority. Permaculture for local  food production / sale suggests to me a much wiser way to be with the land and nature, of which we are part.

Goffin Land is my commitment to fighting for a brighter future for our off spring to inherit . It’s part of my commitment to fight against what I believe is wrong with our world.

I’ve spent five years seeking partnerships on Goffin Land, 96 acres of meadow and woodland in Exeter City.  Apart from a couple of expensive false starts I’ve not got beyond an initial “blind date” with the exception of licensing 80 acres of grass to a local Devon family for Devon Reds and sheep. This has mostly been a constructive co-operative arrangement.

What to expect from me on the 7th Oct?

A generalised look at the above realities as they may present to “unequals”. I will briefly sketch some of my experiences then offer attendees the space to have a conversation in small groups – 4 or 5 – to answer some questions that my experience has posed to me. Some examples below. They maybe updated as I reflect on the opportunity to learn from land seekers.

After 20 minutes or so participants can share their thoughts in plenary then swop tables /spaces to chat with others for 20 minutes more –  then share again with all in a closing plenary.

What might be realistic steps and boundaries through a business / social courtship stage?

How might an “engagement” be framed?

What is a realistic time frame to assess the trades offs and synergistic benefits of a trial “marriage”?

How might third parties be involved to give creative structure to a courtship?

More about me

I believe food is a key issue for our society in multiple ways. Control of money supply by a few has created the monster food corporations so destructive of  health, land and biosphere. I believe money is the principle mechanism that in the hands of a few has created the dystopian world enslaving us in chaos and crisis. Control of money creation is central to the control of land by a few and the human conflicts ensuing.

Why should it be in 2017 that never before in the field of human conflict have so few controlled the lives of so many?

Money seems to me to have been a key to human co-operation and evolution. If money creation was controlled by a society aspiring to a permanent culture – Care for the Earth, Care for the People,  Share the surplus –  then what a lovely future we could hand down to coming generations.

Aloha  …..   John Yates 16.9.2017

Alt life style opportunity – Exeter City Permaculture and Politics

Hello Unique Visitor,

Thanks for your interest in the advert.

It’s early days for this project which I’ve always seen as a way of exploring the realities of co-operation. Permaculture is a corner stone of the overall project. I believe the basic frame work of permaculture can be harnessed to nurture an evolving co-operative structure.

With 96 acres of meadow and woodland inside the Exeter City boundaries there are a host of ways to develop income bearing activities – to share knowledge about practical ways to live on the land – earn sufficient income to purchase necessities from the commercial world – raise families – open doors to the young so they might build their own “owner’s manual” to their body and mind – have fun – gain greater enlightenment etc.

Some of my dreams  ……

Aquaculture, biochar, bees/honey, mushrooms, maybe Black Soldier Fly etc. these would have a synergistic relationship to market gardening – chickens, pigs and recreational and therapeutic projects.

All the food related activities have a synergistic relationship to the potential for “wild wood feasts” for income and to “share the surplus” with local fellow citizens.

The Off Grid Festival I hope will become a regular event. There is potential for running the bar, selling food and beverages to augment income from market gardening and allied activities mentioned above.

In the few years I’ve been setting up the basic infrastructure on Goffin I’ve spent endless hours listening to dreamers but not come across too many diggers i.e. striking an agreement and getting stuck in. Most have been seeking a slice of a countryside dream for themselves and whether conscious or subconscious there has been an underlying opportunist “gaming” for engagement here.

I’m seeking fair and just mutually beneficial co-operation. Involvement on Goffin will depend on skills, commitment, outlook – and of course a solid contract.

I’m a very angry old man that believes this world does not have to be like it is for coming generations. I believe we live in extremely dangerous times.  However, human knowledge has reached a level where we have mastered technology to provide all we need. We do have to live more gently on the Earth and then there is space for a fulfilling, creative, enriching life – even though we are 7 / 8 billion.

I believe we belong to the Earth – the Earth doesn’t belongs to us.

Give me a ring. I may have to phone you back on Skype as the signal is poor on parts of Goffin.

John Yates  17.7.17


Evolving 96 acre experimental care farm on course as oasis from dystopian world via permaculture principles. Needs experienced singles or couple for horticulture, poultry perhaps goats, pigs. Space to run income generating courses. Permaculture qualified would be big benefit. Money / work exchange depends on skills / social ethics / motivation. Potential “cottage industry” courses / workshops  linked to NHS social prescribing for stressed, depressed, single mums, teenagers. Contract carpentry / ground work possible additional income.  Initially statics available or camper space.  John / Goffin Land: 07985065224

A green approach to a new economic paradigm

The world of banking and monetary systems can seem too much to grasp as but John Kenneth Galbraith points out:

“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise or to evade truth, not to reveal it”

The concept of money: the tragedy and the hope

When you open your mind to the question it is actually quite simple. Small groups millennia ago usurped the concept of “money” – which was a token of exchange value – by sophistry and deception. They deceived people into believing it was a commodity (along with land and labour) See intro to Polany – What is Money?

The Lakota N American indigenous  people have a saying:

“Money is only made possible by those that produce”

Our Banking System – A Ponzi scheme

On inspection we see that the global economy today is an arcane and glorified Ponzi scheme based on the exponential growth of fiat debt. The core problem mathematically is usury or interest charges.

Modern debt money is typed into existence out of nothing by private banks and as the interest on the principle is not existing in the societal “money pool” more debt has to be created to enable repayment.

When the Amsterdam bank institutionalised this con trick in 1600’s, by handwritten ledger entries, it led to rapid expansion of the European economy – the exploitation of South and North America and indirectly the Industrial Revolution. The core problem politically is that the world it creates is in the image and for the benefit of the unaccountable private families that control the banking system.

The current debt based money system is based on exploitation of people and planet and it is inherently exponential.  It therefore necessitates an insatiable and rapacious consumption of the natural systems that sustain us.

“The greatest short coming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”

A.A. Bartlett, physicist.

The synonym for usury is slavery

It also forces us to carry a quite unnecessary burden of interest charges on absolutely everything – government finances, education, housing, food, hospitals, technology, consumer products, clothing, recreation etc. We pay bank owners a % on every monetary transaction we make throughout our entire lives. Only the bankers and their owners benefit.

The Green Party’s Money policy

The Green Party has now taken an enormous step forward by inviting us all to step outside the entrenched dystopian (for the majority) political and economic status quo. Now we have the opportunity to change the notion and structure of what we call money.

The Party is urging us to work for an equitable, honest and sustainable social system that can transcend the existing corrupt economic paradigm. This new social system will move beyond the bankers measures of progress – based on GDP – which in the words of Robert Kennedy:

“measures everything, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

The banking / debt crisis

Economic thinking should have been shaken up in 2008 with the financial collapse but instead governments propped up the whole corrupt edifice. Since then, the US Green Party has led the way in adopting radical monetary policies. The UK Green Party followed in 2013 voting for similar radical new monetary policies.

These policies are the work of many money reformers over the years including American Monetary Institute and our own James Robinson, founder of the New Economics Foundation.

In short, the Green Party will take the power to create money from private banks, passing that power to public hands. It will radically diminish the negative effect of interest charges on our society. The national currency will be issued largely free of debt or interest by the state, at a national and local level. These policies will arm the British people with the greatest opportunity to create an enriching, equitable and sustainable future for us and our children.

”The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but also the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity”

Abraham Lincoln

Real Money

Real money, created by and for the people, will be directed to environmentally and socially beneficial areas such as: a radically revamped education system shaped by Finnish ideas , renewable energy, social housing, agriculture, horticulture, a massively expanded market gardening system reflecting the ideas coming from the UN, Russia  and other sources.

That means taking back the power to feed and sustain ourselves – local food production, owned by locals, to feed local people healthy chemical free food – local production of energy, there is no problem as the technologies / sustainable practices are known – and shelter, new and refurb, using local materials, energy conservation design and local skills as appropriate to gain local control for durability and beautiful socially enriching environments.

A local & national banking system will provide loans / investment for public capital projects, affordable mortgages, loans / funding / micro-credit for students, for benign market activity and massive support for community and small businesses, and provided wider ownership is thereby furthered, for private capital investment – creative, enriching, sustainable investment –  benefiting all society.

Now we have a political party with an “economic approach” which can regenerate our Earth by nurturing a biosphere that is safe and healthy for us all to live, create, play and learn in harmony rather than destructive competition and conflict.

I hope the reader will be inspired study more. Without a broad societal understanding of the money system there can be no hope of meaningful change.

We live in very dangerous times. The MONEY POWER and the system it controls is the material mechanism at the root of our problems.

“An immense power & despotic economic dictatorship is concentrated

in the hands of a few – no one can breathe against their will”

Pope Pius xi (1931)

He was right about the dictatorship but was he wrong in his defeatism?  I’ll remind you of the words of Steve Biko:

“The greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

Of course that raises the question as to how we perceive oppression – are we relatively “comfortable” Europeans actually free?

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free” 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We can be truly free. We can open the door onto a wonderful new chapter in the evolution of our species if we control our money system and make the system transparent for all to see.

Money is the key to changing our world, we are the lock

John Yates

Custodian of meadow and woodlands in Exeter City, Fields of Dreams.

[Please note that the 2015 Green Party manifesto presents some of the above as policies for Green MP’s to campaign for if elected to Parliament. The full power of the Party’s conference policies can only be achieved by mass involvement in demanding that the obsolete banking system be replaced by an accountable national treasury controlling money for the good of all

Finding out more:

For several years I screened Money as Debt – a basic introduction to usury and money. Many found it transformed people’s understanding of money. I found Steven Zarlenga’s book  “Lost Science of Money” influential in grasping the historical context.

An introduction to: Just click away  ……

* recommended articles, reviews, page pamphlets,

* web sites,


Google reveals many films and video shorts.

Above all you have to inquire yourself to make the change.

What does permaculture have to do with politics?

Maddy Harland & the Permaculture Team brilliantly and courageously address this challenging and extremely pertinent question in the 2016 Autumn editorial.

The editorial exposed the mainstream media’s Orwellian role in shaping distorted world views and spinning political / cultural submission to mammon. Maddy asked us to “stand back from our current economic and political system and seek true democracy” or  face destruction.

If we can rise to the challenge and make time to reflect on what “lies in plain sight” – both the blatant dishonesty of our rulers and the reality of their rapacious, bankrupt, corrupt,  destructive status quo – then, and only then, the amazing potential for a just, enriching, ecological respectful “permaculture world” is there to be released.

Because permaculture guides us to work with rather than against nature, it is critical that we know intimately how nature works. We are part of nature and nature can involve conflict and domination of one species over another.

With the internet our species has, at last, the tools to see how authority works primarily in its own interest. For the first time  ever 99% of citizens have a means to communicate across tribal boundaries outside of the control of the ruling systems.

The culture of open source sharing is growing fast. Knowledge is power but one has to open ones mind to challenging information – and take the time to check it out.

Knowledge of self sufficiency in providing food, power, shelter (free of corporate control) and most importantly, insight into the framework of our dystopian political structure –  is readily available to us.

Taking the framework of permaculture as a guide – especially in spotting patterns, it should be plain to see that control of the money system and usury, (the abuse of  “lending” tokens of exchange value – money – at interest)  is central to the enslavement of our species.

The basic mechanism of money was ours. Second to language it was trust in exchangeable tokens representing human productive value that was the catalyst for the rapid evolution of our species allowing division of labour and synergistic trade. This “pollination” and fertilisation mechanism was usurped by despotic power and cultivated through specious trickery turning money into a commodity – and then creating it out of thin air as debt with interest charges.

In permaculture earth based growing systems we look for patterns, relationships, identifying dominant species for given conditions, soil, water, climate – we look for synergistic co-operation and marvel at the beauty and utility (for humans) of nurtured  nature.

As bees are vital in the cross pollination and fertilisation of our crops so money (as a token of real exchangeable value) is vital to the cross pollination of knowledge and the fertility / productivity of society. Presently it is controlled by corrupt unaccountable authority.

A new future, locally controlled and participatory society, (“true democracy”) shaped by Bill Mollison’s principle of care for the soil, care for the people, share the surplus, is very “growable” once we control our money.

Who is “we”? The pattern of patriarchy tells of “leaders” and followers (mostly led up the garden path).  Surely authority must be granted only if based on competence, transparency of actions, honesty and accountability? In the same way agriculture / horticulture / livestock rearing et al need a root and branch transformation so does our political system.

Humans and nature are part of an inseparable whole. By connecting deeply to our place in the natural world, we remember our ultimate belonging and awaken our vision and unique genius.

So called “representative democracy” can only be effective if a much larger percentage of the citizenry take direct responsibility.

We have to design and cultivate our own system based on our permaculture values, where a significant number of citizens are dedicated to a form of social responsibility that is both above and inclusive of self interest.

As Maddy writes (Ed. PM91)  “We are called to be radical” .

And so back to the money system the key to another world that most readers of the Permaculture Mag feel they are digging for. Why can we not operate our own “fair shares” money system?

US and UK Greens have adopted a radical approach to managing our money system. It requires you the reader to take time to investigate, check and become familiar with the subject. We are creatures of habit and the multiple crisis we face require us to break habits, perhaps of a lifetime, to investigate the core mechanism which is both the tragedy of our current world and the hope for a brighter future.


“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise or to evade truth, not to reveal it”

John Kenneth Galbraith

But when you open your mind to the question of the money system it is actually quite simple. As Frank Zappa said “the mind is like a parachute – it only works when you open it”

A step by step guide to understanding the money system is here.…economic-paradigm

There are links to videos, books, short essays – to many sources of info  to grasp the issue of money it is crucial that you yourself investigate as you do in planning your garden, woods, allotment etc.

”The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but also the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity”

Abraham Lincoln

“We can live easily on the Earth – The solutions are embarrassingly simple”

Bill Mollison  1928 – 2016

Yours in peace   …..  John Yates

[Custodian of Goffin Land Exeter]