Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Lily Bunker February 7, 2013
Nelson Mandela once said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Help to change the world by changing one life — the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project’s very own Assistant Manager and Agriculture Training Specialist, Hilda Cangoma. Your contribution, large or small, will help Hilda become the first local woman in the Manda Wilderness region to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate. She will use this new set of skills and expertise to train others in permaculture at the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project and share her knowledge in Mbueca, her home village in northern Mozambique.Comments (2)
Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Village Development — by Dimitri Devyatkin January 30, 2013
Lebensgarten — Garden of Life — is a community located in Lower Saxony, Germany. Built on the site of a former Nazi arms factory, the community has 62 houses. Lebensgarten has a large permaculture park, in which agriculture and human settlements are modeled after nature. This video features interviews with Declan Kennedy, Roland Wolf and others. The video is by Dimitri Devyatkin, 29 minutes, in English.Comments (0)
Building, Eco-Villages, Energy Systems, Land, Retrofitting, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Marcin Gerwin
Marcin Gerwin: In many cities there are problems with traffic jams. The streets are clogged with cars and as a response mayors build new roads or widen the streets. Old buildings are demolished to make way for new lanes so that a highway running through the middle of the city could be built. Would you say that this is the right way forward?Comments (0)
As 2012, “The Year of the Farmer”, came to a close, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest insights into the country’s ageing farming population tells an urgent and cautionary tale that was largely overlooked.
Critical Human Succession
Today the average Australian farmer is 53 years old (with 25% over 65) and the issue of ‘structural aging’ (Barr, 2012) confirms that the next five to ten years will be critical in terms of the succession planning that determines who will manage and control the production of Australia’s domestic food supply as well as the $32.5 billion farm export market that has contributed so significantly to the economy.
With farm businesses becoming increasingly more complex, moving away from traditional farming practices toward business management, and with the worldwide need for farm outputs to grow by an estimated 70% by 2050, these farming businesses face significant challenges in ensuring that the current generation will want to succeed them.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Village Development — by Lesley Byrne January 29, 2013
Fishing boats on Rasinga Island, Kenya
I was invited by PRI Kenya to teach a special PDC course in December 2012, tailored to small rural farmers — 50% women, 50% men — on Rusinga Island, Kenya. The entire course was taught in English and Luo, the native language on Rusinga. One of the biggest challenges was to keep it simple and still adhere to the most essential elements of permaculture principles and methods that are relevant to their lives, while not lecturing with big words or overwhelming the farmers with too much information, as we as Westerners, however good our intentions, often tend to do. There was no fancy equipment, no slide shows, no electricity, just the basic blackboards and large pieces of paper and markers and lots of hands-on exercises.Comments (6)
Community Projects, Markets & Outlets, Village Development — by Rob Avis January 28, 2013
by Rob Avis
Crystel Vultier is a true local food purveyor for her home town of Canmore, AB. Over the past several years she has been instrumental in creating the Canmore Community Garden which now provides plots for over 100 gardeners in the city and area. She has also created a project called Farm Box which sources local and organic food directly from farmers in Alberta and BC, and distributes it to 130 families in a weekly CSA program, as well as making the abundance of healthy produce available to the whole city through a booth at the local farmers’ market. Watch how one person’s potential to create positive change is realized through hard work and permaculture tools, and see how quickly the ripples have spread to effect her entire community.Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 10, 2013
Those who read Bad News, and Good News, for Greece, It’s Time to Re-Ruralise and Greeks Reclaim the Land to Ease the Pain of Economic Austerity will want to follow up with this encouraging video.
For the last several decades, modern society has been shaped by Big Business with a very narrow focus combined with an ill-thought-through economic system. The wonderfully ironic aspect of this is that in industry’s quest for ‘more’ — at any cost, and with little regard for medium- to long-term interests for people and place — it becomes increasingly unpleasant and/or impossible for the average guy on the street to endure the resulting circumstances. Hardships are piling up onto hardships — causing, or forcing, many of us to reevaluate what we want out of life.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Village Development — by Andy Homer
Imagine if we could help someone change their life for the better permanently, in under three years. Or imagine being in direct contact with the people on the ground, turning their semi-desert home back to an abundant food forest using permaculture, perhaps even going over and helping out…. Imagine being able to offer advice and expertise, or just encouragement and support, while a family solves their problems. No middlemen, no expenses taken out, no bureaucracy. If only!Comments (8)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Development & Property Trusts, Eco-Villages, Economics, Education Centres, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 9, 2013
You’ll enjoy this little video, a nice collage of thoughts and scenery and developing community integration. This is Kotare Village in the North Island of New Zealand, where PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute) is making excellent headway into creating a model community where freedom of individual expression is combined with cohesion of collective purpose.
And, to help put Kotare village into some kind of historical context, I thought I’d juxtapose it against the video below — where you see the kind of life ‘the system’ gives us instead…. The reality of the constant struggle in the ‘daily grind’, with little to no feeling of personal satisfaction, and little hope, should make one appreciate the fantasic opportunity places like Kotare Village offer — a life with meaning, developing resilience and security, and health of body and mind. Places like Kotare Village can serve as templates to emulate as we make the long-overdue shift towards relocalising our supply lines and putting life back into our lives.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Village Development — by Oliver Lovell December 21, 2012
This article was originally published on the Post Growth Institute Website.
Farmers planting nitrogen fixing trees on their farms
As a group challenging the growth paradigm, one of the most common questions that we hear is, ‘But don’t we need economic growth to lift the poor out of poverty?’. While growth has been successful to this end in certain ways, there are also some unwelcome consequences of growth. We prefer to ask other questions, like ‘Do we need to target economic growth to help those in need?’ and even better, ‘How are people currently breaking the poverty cycle in sustainable and inspiring ways?’. This piece demonstrates how a group of incredible people are doing just that.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Village Development — by Andrea Joswig
Since 2011 the Adunni Susanne Wenger Foundation in Nigeria, in Cooperation with the German NGO SONED Brandenburg e.V., built up the Environmental Education Centre called Permaculture Forest Garden at Gberefu Island, in Badagry, Lagos State. Beside the sustainability of the local environment, the project’s focus is on health care, food security, nonviolent communication and the support of democratic processes. Permaculture Forest Garden is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and The German Foundation Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken. The beneficiaries of the project are the inhabitants of the surrounding settlements, students, teachers, farmers and landowners from Badagry and Lagos.Comments (0)
Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Development & Property Trusts, Economics, Ethical Investment, People Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Village Development — by John D. Liu December 20, 2012
John D. Liu
I’m often asked “What can I do to help?” to restore the Earth. Over the years I’ve struggled with the answer.
Sometimes I feel like it is unfair to ask me what someone else should do because even if I told them what I thought they probably wouldn’t do it. I think that each person should look inside their heart and decide what they will do.
However, gradually I’ve come to see ecological restoration as the “great work” of our time — the one most important thing that all the people who are alive today need to understand and do together. I’ve come to realize that to do restoration at scale requires some very specific skills and also requires a type of lifestyle change. It also requires a change in the way we perceive work and the economy.Comments (26)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Land, Project Positions, Village Development — by Lily Bunker December 14, 2012
In an isolated corner of northern Mozambique great things are being done. A demonstration farm run by the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project, an offshoot of a local trust organization and set in the picturesque region of Manda Wilderness, is held together by the efforts by five local staff and an occasional international volunteer. The farm acts as a platform for teaching villagers agricultural techniques and serves as an experimentation ground for testing new farming methods and yielding a new variety of crops.
I came to Manda Wilderness in early October as a volunteer, and was immediately impressed by the scale of the farm and the commitment of the staff. After working on other projects within the sixteen communities of the Manda Wilderness region, I have recently spent my time working directly at the farm, developing projects based on methods of permaculture with other volunteers as we strive to increase the farm yield in sustainable and efficient ways.Comments (3)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Eco-Villages, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Education, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 12, 2012
Editor’s Preamble: Despite the title, I’m no longer in Ladakh. Indeed, it was way back in August 2009 when I was there, so this article has been a long time coming (thanks to work on the WPN keeping me too busy, amongst other things!). I keep the ‘Letters from…’ part of the title to make my international reports easier to find.
I came to Ladakh with the purpose of profiling positive solutions for the Sustainable (R)evolution book project (still a work-in-progress, for those wondering), but quickly discovered that the kind of ‘development’ I found in Ladakh was more suitable to profile for another kind of book instead — one steeped in lessons gleaned from mistakes, rather than one focussed on shining examples of solutions in action…. This is another reason I haven’t written this article until today….
A Ladakhi woman and her barley.
What’s wrong with this picture? Read on to find out….
All photos copyright © Craig Mackintosh
High up in the Himalayas, in India’s disputed and militarised northernmost state, Jammu & Kashmir, lies the sparsely populated region of Ladakh (map). It is one of the highest inhabited places on the planet, and also one of the driest. One of Ladakh’s claims to fame is that it hosts the highest drivable road in the world — where it crosses the Ladakh Range at 5578 metres. And, despite its high altitude, the dryness ensures the upper parts of the region barely see snow cover over the long, cold winter months.
Sometimes known as ‘Little Tibet’ (the ancient Ladakhi dynasties came from a Tibetan lineage), Ladakh is a worthy subject for permaculture discussion, as despite its inhospitable terrain and cold-arid desert climate, the Ladakhi people, historically, not only survived amidst their high altitude elements, they had actually improved the landscape over centuries of habitation and agricultural use, whilst living in (mostly) peaceful habitation with each other.Comments (19)