People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Harry Byrne Wykman December 24, 2011
In 1899, Peter Kropotkin, anarchist geographer, detailed a vision of ‘the factory amidst the fields’ in which the ‘two sister arts of agriculture and industry’ are joined to meet the needs of all and to give each worker an opportunity for ‘brain work and manual work’. Never have more supportive material conditions prevailed for the realisation of Kropotkin’s vision. The advent of ‘personal fabrication’, presently most fully realised in the fab lab (fabrication lab), provides “widespread access to [the] modern means for invention” which have historically been limited to large capital.Comments (5)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 14, 2011
As an addition to the last post, where Ryan Harb tells us all about his work getting permaculture demonstration gardens growing in universities in the U.S. of A., here’s a great update, and excellent news, on this project:Comments (1)
Community Projects, Conferences, Demonstration Sites, Education, Education Centres, Land, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Permaculture at U.S. Universities – UMass Amherst Case Study
Ryan Harb gave this 1-hour talk at the Tenth International Permaculture Convergence (IPC10) in the Wadi Rum desert in southern Jordan in September 2011. Here’s a little background to get you interested:
UMass Amherst transformed a 1/4 grass lawn on campus into a thriving, abundant, permaculture garden during the 2010-2011 academic year. Learn how this student-led project can be easily replicated and spread to other campuses, institutions.. any piece of land for that matter. UMass Amherst is one of the first university’s undertaking a project like this, directly on campus, and supplying the food to its dining commons.
Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Phoebe Lines December 8, 2011
by Phoebe Lines, BOS (Being Of Service) Team for the Permaculture Challenge
The Byron Permaculture Challenge gang creates a No-Dig
garden for the young people at the Byron Youth House
Our apparently disaffected Byron Shire youth, it would seem, are in fact a hotbed of movers and shakers, changing the world one Permablitz at a time!
This November the Mullumbimby Community Garden launched The Permaculture Challenge, a program designed to inspire and empower a new generation of young people to reconnect with the power of nature and the shared vision of our sustainable future.
Over the past few weeks two teams of brilliant young leaders from Mullumbimby High, Shearwater and Byron High have been getting their hands deep in the earth and putting their heads and hearts together to shake up some world changing ideas and practices.Comments (1)
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
I recently had a brief email conversation with someone (a person whose name I shall omit), and I’d like to share it with you to get your thoughts. Perhaps I’m opening a can of worms here, but I can’t help myself. I am opening this potential can of worms for three reasons:
- I personally often feel frustrated that too many permaculturists are mixing subjective spiritual/metaphysical/religious elements into their courses, and are thereby helping to ensure permaculture is relegated to the periphery rather than — as desperately needs to happen — being taken up broad scale by all people everywhere, regardless of their culture and preferred belief system.
- I’m very curious as to the kind of responses/feedback I’ll get, as it will help me gauge how likely we are to be successful as a movement that is supposed to be trying to help (all) the people of the world get onto a path with promise.
- I want to take this opportunity to get people, and particularly permaculture teachers, thinking carefully about the principles and appropriateness behind what they include in their courses, and what they don’t.
Now, before I proceed further, I want to clearly express that I have nothing against spirituality — indeed, it is clear that mankind’s lack of spiritual development is a central cause of our modern woes. Spirituality goes beyond hedonism and living for the moment, and becomes inclusive of concepts of altruism and objectivity and can lift a man above his baser instincts to drive him to become a force for good in the world. Man’s spirituality grants him the ability to think beyond necessity, beyond desire, so he can make decisions based on principle. Where I take issue is that people are taking their own subjective views on spirituality — including elements that are belief-based only, and therefore unprovable — and are blending it with the provable, observable science of permaculture. Teaching concepts that are not scientifically provable not only undermines that teacher’s own credibility, but, when presented in a course titled with the word ‘permaculture’, then also undermines the credibility of all permaculture teachers.
The conversation began thus:Comments (305)
Building, Land, Society, Village Development — by Oyvind Holmstad December 6, 2011
The problem is that we are adapting to the wrong things — to images, or to short-term greed, or to the clutter of mechanics. These maladaptations are known as “antipatterns” — a term coined not by Alexander, but by software engineers. An antipattern is something that does things wrong, yet is attractive for some reason (profitable or easy in the short term, but dysfunctional, wasteful of resources, unsustainable, unhealthy in the long term). It also keeps re-appearing. Sounds like our economy and wasteful lifestyle? — Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros
CC Gjøvik, an example of a multilayered antipattern
The permaculture focus is on tracking patterns in nature and design, to create pleasure for ourselves and to find good examples for the world. Patterns work in a multitude of connections with their surroundings, and the more connections there are, the richer are the pattern languages the patterns are part of.
Unfortunately, although our pattern languages might have a deep poetry, not all people feel attracted to their harmony (meaning "the quality without a name"). Today’s disconnected people are attracted by antipatterns, this is because they are profitable or easy in the short term, and human nature is greedy and lazy. We are short term thinkers — in a world of competition the winner takes it all, and today’s capitalism is all about materialism.Comments (5)
Community Projects, Markets & Outlets, Social Gatherings, Village Development — by Matthew Lynch December 2, 2011
Hana Farms, Hawaii, 2007
- 1 roadside stand in a Costco tent (above)
Rebekah (Ucellini) Kuby, Permaculture Designer and Community Activist, remembers when this community enterprise began:Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Fungi, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Swales, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Many thanks to Jeremy, Christina, Erik, Lamia and Kristen for all the work that went into creating the French translation subtitle file for both Parts I & II of the Greening the Desert video below. As a result, I’ve been able to upload a version suitable for your French-speaking friends and family, should you have some.
After clicking play, click on the ‘CC’ button at bottom
of the video to enable the French subtitles
And, a big thanks must also go to Frank Gapinski for the Greening the Desert Part I video that has turned so many on to permaculture concepts. It’s amazing the impact a few minutes of video can have on the world!
P.S. Because of the hard-coded English subtitles in the original version of the video embedded above, English speakers would be better to watch it instead.Comments (1)
People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Chowgene Koay December 1, 2011
Community cooperation models the same design of Nature for self-prolific and self-sustainable systems. Through beneficial partnerships with each other we too can unlock the unlimited potential within each other through community cultivation.
Soil, light, darkness, and the cool refreshing gift of water. In all, they are supporters of life.
Soil bacteria, fungi, and insects infiltrate every niche and space in the underworld creating a rich soup of goodness for our plants known as humus (grow chick peas or garbanzo beans with herbs and spices to make hummus). Which leaves us with the critical question of how do you prepare the soil?
It depends, but this post is about community in relation to soil and gardening. (Give me some time and I’ll write about soil another day.)Comments (0)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Kenneth Gronbjerg November 17, 2011
A holistic and most outrageous concept being turned into reality in Denmark.
From: Sepp Holzer’s Permakultur, Leopold Stocker Verlag, 2008
Fresh is the concept for an organic, living supermarket in cities and villages, where instead of taking the items off the shelf, the customer harvests the produce directly from raised beds!
It is a system that works with nature rather than against it.
By harvesting, the customer contributes to the work of producing to such a large extent that the produce can be offered at a never before seen quality and price. It’s almost for free. This is what you may call a win win win situation!Comments (7)
Courses/Workshops, Land, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Theron Beaudreau November 16, 2011
The Urban Consultancy and Design Course experience at the Permaculture Research Institute.
Imagine, you’re perusing the Sunday paper, thumbing through various articles, world news, sports, opinion pieces… yea, we’ve all been there. What feelings arise for you as the images pass by your eyes? Article after article, world news and local… everything seems so dismal.
In disgust and with a freshly drained world view, you fold the paper up and drop it back down on the table. Just before looking away and try to forget the morning sorrow a small advertisement catches your eye.
DESIGN & INSTALL
Free garden? Sounds too good to be true. But it’s about the only positive thing you’ve seen this morning. What have you got to lose?
What you don’t know is that, behind the scenes, there are 20 knowledge-hungry permaculture students waiting to get out of the classroom and get their hands dirty in your very own backyard!Comments (15)
Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, gave this inspiring talk to Occupy Wall Street, which is actually about growing “the bright side of the force”. This Star Wars inspired theme I couple with “the handicap principle“, which has a “bright” and a “dark” side; the selfish and the cooperative. Animals generally use just one of these forces in gathering acceptance and status, while humans are capable to use both or choose one. Or they don’t actually choose, they use the part of the force which is easiest to achieve within the current design of our societies. Unfortunately we have chosen to grow “the dark side of the force”, today growing these evil powers mainly through the ideologies of modernism and capitalism. As a result, community is almost gone.Comments (0)
Building, Consumerism, Economics, Society, Village Development — by Nikos A. Salingaros November 14, 2011
Interview by James Kalb of The Philidelphia Society, August 2011
Home sweet home?
Nikos Salingaros, the mathematician and architectural theorist, recently published a new book, Twelve Lectures on Architecture: Algorithmic Sustainable Design (ISI Distributed Titles, 2010). It’s a somewhat expanded set of notes for a series of lectures he gave a couple of years ago on architecture and urbanism. As such, it gives a clear if rather spare presentation of ideas he’s presented before.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 11, 2011
Murad Alkufash is a dedicated permaculturist. Considering where he lives, he must be. Or, perhaps because of where he lives he must be — as permaculture is a truly logical, and the only really lasting, solution to the problems surrounding him. Murad lives in the West Bank, and directly under one of the largest illegal settlements in Palestine. The biological and climatic environment he faces is quite challenging, yet the political environment is even more so. It’s one of the most complex political environments to be found in this tired old world.
Murad attended the recent Tenth International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (IPC10), and gave the following presentation on his work at the convergence in the Wadi Rum desert. As well as the video below, if you want a bit of background on Murad and his situation, you can read a feature post I did on this a while back.
- Download Murad’s presentation (27mb PDF)
- Letters from the West Bank – Seeds of Hope Scattered from the West Bank’s First PDC
Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Village Development — by Xavier Fux November 10, 2011
by Xavier Fux
Deep in the jungle of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pygmy communities had lived for generations as hunter-gatherers. When the Kahuzi Biega National Park was created in 1970 by the Congolese government, the Pygmies and other local communities were expulsed from the forest, their ancestral land, without receiving any compensation or any land to settle in. They were left without a home. Over time, they were allowed to live on private property at the edge of the park, near other local communities but without any right of ownership over the land. This situation created a huge life obstacle for Pygmy communities, because land is the basic means of subsistence in the area. Currently, they rarely have access to the forest that constituted a vital area for their culture and traditions, and where they could collect food, health, means and shelter.
The Pygmies had never farmed before. They were hunters and gatherers and depended on natural resources in the forest for subsistence. Birds and guinea pigs constituted their intake of protein, and they gathered fruits, nuts and collected honey from bee traps they set up in trees.Comments (12)