Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Urban Projects.

I am in Jordan, where the monthly average wage is 300 Jordanian dinar. To put that into perspective, a phone card for one month cost me five dinar. But buying a car is the same as it is everywhere. Their major issue here is water. They have little rain, with an average of under 300mm a year. They use underground aquifers, and they say that will only last for another 20 years. Jordan is also one of the most peaceful and hospitable Arabic countries, so they take in many refugees — with the last wave of over 10,000 coming from Syria.

The earth surrounding me in the capital, Amman, is dry and rocky. Olive, citrus and fig surround the city. When people say plants need to be tough to survive in dry regions they sure as hell must have been talking about these. I couldn’t imagine they could bear fruit, but they do.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

It’s possible to drive a herd of buffalo right off a cliff. First Nations people did just that in a place in Alberta called, appropriately enough, “Heads-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump”.

Whereas a single buffalo, when chased, will dodge about and quickly change direction, a herd instead runs together and acts as if a slower more primitive organism is in charge. Individuals take their cues from the individuals around them. If everyone around you is running the same way you are less likely to change direction. So individual buffalo don’t pull out, but run off the cliff together.

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Posted by & filed under Compost, Food Plants - Annual, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Urban Projects.

Welcome to no-dig gardening. This is a tutorial which is written in a form of questions and answers. Questions will lead you on a path, and answers will give further directions. I want to share with you seven years of experience with no-dig gardening which gives abundant yields and improves soil life and quality year after year.

First we will take a look at natural patterns, weeds and learn about soil protection. What is the best mulch you ask? How can we simplify the mulching process? We will explore how to take care of an established garden, what we can do for Autumn/Winter production, and finally, how to prepare for new season and how to establish new garden areas without digging.

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Posted by & filed under Peak Oil, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Voices from the Gaslands is a series of short videos of people whose lives and businesses have been damaged by the coal seam gas industry in Queensland.

The videos showcase the harrowing stories of individuals who have suffered a range of impacts from health effects, stress and depression, to loss of production and water bores that are drying up.

Gas companies have spent millions of dollars to perpetrate a myth that landholders in Queensland are living happily with gas — but watch ‘Voices’ and you’ll see that nothing could be further from the truth.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, GMOs, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Thanks to a reader for sending this along to us. I don’t normally like to publish posts that reflect negatively about a particular person (I can think of only one other instance when I have, and that was about the results of a man’s work, as is largely the case here), but I feel that the video above is such an example of sickening excess that it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

And challenge the preeminent power of corporations to defy governments elected by the people.

by David Morris


Scots rally for independence. (By Martainn MacDhomhnaill under a Creative Commons license)

Since 1945 the number of nations has soared from about 60 to more than 180.  The first wave of new sovereign states came with the decolonization movement of the 1960s and 1970s; the second in the early 1990s with the break-up of the Soviet Union.  If Scotland votes for independence it may ignite a third wave.  Dozens of would-be nations are waiting in the wings:  Wales, Catalonia (Spain), Flanders (Belgium), Brittany (France), the list is long.

In 1957 in his classic book The Breakdown of Nations economist and political scientist Leopold Kohr persuasively and rigorously argued that small nations are the natural order because throughout history they have served as the engines for enlightenment, innovation, mutual aid and the arts.  The large nation state, he argued, is not a product of improved efficiency but of superior force.

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Posted by & filed under Peak Oil, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

by Emily E. Adams

Even master chess players can miss a great move when they have been primed to look for a different one. To explore this phenomenon, researchers tracked master chess players’ eye movements when given chessboards with different layouts. With the first board, players could reach checkmate using a familiar move. When given the second chessboard, the players’ eyes kept looking at the pieces involved in the familiar move instead of scanning the whole board. In effect, the initial solution blinded them to new and better opportunities.

In a similar fashion, the world has become blinded by oil and gas as the familiar ways to run the economy and so is proceeding to look for them in hard-to-reach places like the Arctic, even as the costs mount and the returns diminish. An example of the world being set in its ways was the announcement on August 28th that Royal Dutch Shell, despite many setbacks in recent years, submitted plans to the U.S. government to again drill for oil offshore of Alaska as early as summer 2015.

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Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fermenting, Processing & Food Preservation.


Photos: Ingrid Pullen

If you are lucky enough to come to PRI Zaytuna Farm you will be shocked with the abundance of produce we are harvesting from the renowned main crop (above). During the last year we’ve been managed by our Australorps — they dictate our weekly schedule. Monday morning is the compost mob move (the "chickens on steroids" as Geoff likes to call them), and Tuesday morning every fortnight is the garden mob move. The compost mob are making compost that’s going to be used on the gardens that the other mob leave behind! It’s like a chicken amusement park down there in the main crop, and our job is to keep them amused!

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

A personal witness to the devastating demise of wild pollinators and other species as glyphosate herbicides increase in the environment.

by Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA

In March 2006, UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) announced the closure of its wildlife research centres [1], a decision opposed by 99% of 1 327 stakeholders. Monks Wood centre, which hosted BBC’s Spring Watch, pioneered work on DDT and pesticides in the 1960s, and more recently revealed how climate change is affecting wildlife, with spring arriving three weeks earlier. The research centres were also involved in assessing the impacts of GM (genetically modified) crops on wildlife, with findings contradicting industry claims that no harm would be caused.

In response to that and to the unexplained disappearance of birds and invertebrates (such as bumblebees, honeybees and other pollinators), we set aside one acre of the field next to our house in South Wales to make a chemical-free nature reserve.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.


The Jordan Valley Permaculture Proejct (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’)
in November 2013

We are pleased with the overwhelming response we’ve had in bookings for the PDC we are starting on October 4th, 2014, at the ‘Greening the Desert’ project in the Dead Sea Valley in Jordan. We have a few places still available so are announcing an extension to the Early Bird Discount (up to October 3, 2014) to give people interested the opportunity to join us in this once in a lifetime experience.

The PDC will be followed by a month long internship with Geoff and Nadia Lawton, which will be the second at the Greening the Desert Site. The internship will be packed with class and on the site practical work at this one of a kind educational demonstration site.

For more information please follow the links below:

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings, Urban Projects.

The first permaculture festival in Italy took place from the 5th to the 7th of September, 2014, in the medieval town of Bolsena. The location was awesome.

Why a festival? For the simple joy of sharing. And that is what we saw and lived.

Discussing with Luca Puri, who had the idea for this great event, we actually came to agree that the festival was a permaculture design laid out throughout the center of Bolsena. The town became part of a project that redesigned the streets, their function, view and shape.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, Society.

I’m sure you’ve heard that everyone – or, at least, everyone who cares – will be marching for the climate this weekend. If you’re not marching, then you’re not doing anything at all, or so we’re told.

False dichotomies aside though, I won’t be marching this weekend. I’ll be taking action instead. I agree with Chris Hedges: the march is nothing more that street theatre. It won’t lead to any policy changes; it won’t wave a magic wand over corporate ecocide; and it sure as hell won’t get middle-class white folk to give up their privilege and downshift. It will be a colourful (well, mainly blue t-shirts) climate-themed street parade, complete with back-slapping and high-fiving over how amazing the climate movement is for managing to get so many people outside on a weekend for a stroll around a city.

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