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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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Trees.


Click the ‘CC’ button to choose subtitles (English and French available)

Alihuen means big tree in the language of the indigenous Mapuche peoples of Chile. When Jeroen Beuckels decided to settle in the rural Chepu province of Chiloe with his wife Grecia this name was not taken lightly, for the farmland which it would represent has undertaken massive transformation from pasture to thriving forest.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Urban Projects.

The Austin City Council unanimously passed an amended version of the Holly Shores Master Plan on the evening of August 28th, which includes Phase One (<1 acre) of the Festival Beach Food Forest!

It may sound far-fetched, but the newly-passed, 99-acre Holly Shores Master Plan includes an edible forest garden, free and open to the public, on a patch of parkland just east of I-35. Adding to the already bustling local food movement in Austin, the Festival Beach Food Forest (FBFF) is a pilot project to grow fruits, nuts, vegetables and herbs on city-owned land, using novel low-water and low-maintenance methods.

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Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Introduction

The 21st of September will be International Day of Peace. It may seem a little premature to declare that world peace is due to break out by the end this month. I do not deny that the amount of killing and death and war and torture and death and coercion and abuse and death all over everywhere can be overwhelming. Nor do I deny that considering this it is a natural assumption to believe people are sinners, destined for extinction. However, I do argue that compassion is as much a part of human nature as cruelty.

There is evidence that humankind did not always live violent lives. In fact, I assume most people reading this article are not habitually violent, and do not desire to watch someone suffer. All animals have the capacity to enrich the lives of others. We have the capacity to be both selfish and kind. What matters is which quality we chose to focus on; bringing that quality into focus within ourselves, the world, and our children.

Here I have collected an array of research demonstrating that there is a positive potential within each social group and person. I argue that humans can learn to build societies which are not founded on the expectation of organised violence. Here are seven reasons why world peace is possible. You won’t believe your own strength of belief: There is at least some hope.

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Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society.

If the ozone hole had been discovered ten years later, governments are likely to have done nothing.

In The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins, a comedy made in 1971, Spike Milligan portrays Sloth as a tramp trying to get through a farm gate. This simple task is rendered almost impossible by the fact that he can’t be bothered to take his hands out of his pockets and open the latch. He tries everything: getting over it, under it, through it, hurling himself at it, risking mortal injury, expending far more energy and effort than the obvious solution would require.

This is how environmental diplomacy works. Governments gather to discuss an urgent problem and propose everything except the obvious solution – legislation. The last thing our self-hating states will contemplate is what they are empowered to do: govern. They will launch endless talks and commissions, devise elaborate market mechanisms, even offer massive subsidies to encourage better behaviour, rather than simply say “we’re stopping this”.

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Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees.

Many of the most successful gardens we’ve propagated have been as much luck and accident as they have been my astounding wits. We’ve made lots of special garden beds, no-till expressions of fertility and decomposition, but often times it’s the rogue plantings, the spots where seeds have fallen from a pocket or simply tossed away as compostable refuse, that turn out to be the most bountiful. Here are some of the impromptu, inadvertent strokes of genius we’ve had recently.

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