Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops — by Robert Cork February 19, 2013
Foodwatershelter’s 2012 Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in Arusha, Tanzania was a great success. In 2013 you have two opportunities to join the growing number of people around the world who are improving their self-reliance and learning concepts for sustainable living through permaculture techniques. Join us for our first ever Kiswahili PDC between the 8th to 19th April 2013, or between 17th to 28th June 2013 for our English PDC.
Based on the response and changes to people’s lives from the 2012 course, you can expect both these courses to fill up quickly; so don’t delay in applying for a position. Hear what others had to say before committing to two weeks of intensive learning, an incredible networking opportunity, and an internationally recognised qualification.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems — by Alex McCausland February 14, 2013
In rural Africa it’s pretty hard to come by fuel sources which are a good alternative to wood. Gas is too expensive. Kerosene is also pretty expensive and quite a dirty fuel anyway. Wood also has the advantage that it burns quite slowly so that you can slow cook over a fire for several hours just feeding it occasionally. If you did this with gas it would cost a fortune. In a place like Ethiopia you can also have a local worker leave a valve open overnight and come down to find an empty canister in the morning. So like most people around here, we still cook with wood. One day we may get a biogas set up going and be able to produce our own methane gas on a continual basis (see ‘Biogas’ section at bottom of this article for an example). That would really be true sustainability but we have not yet reached a capacity to be able to develop that scale of infrastructure at this stage.
The problem we are faced with is that this area is getting badly deforested. Women trudge past our site on the road day in, day out, carrying piles of firewood back to their villages or to peddle at the market — literally carrying away the forest on their backs. It’s not healthy and it’s not sustainable. So as a permaculture demonstration site in this area, what have we got to showcase as an alternative? Well, there are two strategies we employ: 1) get as much utility as possible out of any unit of wood fuel – so reducing the overall consumption, 2) use the parts of the plant/tree which can re-grow quickly (coppice) and hence can be harvested at a sustainable rate.Comments (7)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Land — by David Spicer February 8, 2013
Recently I received a photolog update on the Wadeye permaculture project in the Northern Territories (see previous posts here and here), where myself and other great permaculturist were employed by Earth Ethics to install a permaculture garden system. I like to describe the earthworks as the bones of the system and the living components — pioneer species, fruit trees, cover crops and ground covers — the muscle and flesh. As you’ll see by the most recent pic at bottom, the site is getting well ‘fleshed out’.
Installing swale and level sill spillway
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)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Alex McCausland January 31, 2013
There are those points in life where it’s all up-hill struggle, when you know there’s so much to be done that it’s not even worth contemplating it all, you just have to keep your eyes on the ground in front of you and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Then there are those times when you seem to be drifting, there’s no challenge and no real satisfaction, you just roll along the path in front of you passing what goes by. Then, very occasionally, are those fantastic moments when you reach the top, the peak of a mountain, or, perhaps the foot-hill of a mountain, when you are able to stop, take a breath and admire the views of this fantastic spectacle we call life and feel a bit of satisfaction that you have achieved something, got to the peak of the challenge you were set. And that is really what makes it all worth-while. It’s those moments which we strive for, and its knowing that such moments lie ahead which keep us going, through the challenges, toil and even drudgery of every-day life.Comments (0)
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)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Joseph Lentenyoi January 24, 2013
PRI Kenya starts the Laikipia Permaculture Centre, with the theme: Permaculture for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability in Kenya.
School children using most of their time fetching firewood from great distances
Location: Laikipia County, North of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya
By putting up a permaculture training centre, this would translate into direct education on food growing, indigenous tree propagation leading to return of forest cover, water harvesting and conservation strategies, henceforth leading to a healthy community, self reliance and a self sustaining life that we desperately need in the developing world.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education, Education Centres, Urban Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 23, 2013
Watch the video above, and be inspired. I suspect that if many of our schools had been incorporating this kind of permaculture education over the last few decades, the world would today be in a far better situation, as many of the adults and young adults of the present generation would now already be eco-literate doers and changers. But, let’s not talk about what could have been, but instead do what we can to get permaculture education into a school near you….Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 18, 2013
On my last visit to Zaytuna Farm, in May 2012, I had the great pleasure of meeting Joseph Lentenyoi, the lead person behind the establishment of PRI Kenya. We sponsored Joseph by covering his flights and putting him through our 10-week Internship, to help him get permaculture systems on the ground in Kenya and beyond. You’ll meet Joseph and hear this thoughts and learn a little about some of his work in the video above.
Joseph has a very interesting background, coming from a Maasai tribe. The Maasai are nomadic pastoralists that traditionally have no knowledge of agriculture. It’s ironic that, through learning about permaculture from a PDC that Geoff Lawton taught in Tanzania back in 2007, it’s a Maasai tribesman who is the leading force to bring permaculture demonstration sites and education to Kenya.Comments (13)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Urban Projects — by Salah Hammad January 15, 2013
Our one month long internship at the Greening the Desert Project (the ‘Sequel site’) just ended. Ten students arriving from seven different countries were part of the first internship to take place at the project site in the Dead Sea Valley in Jordan. This will be a journey through pictures on what Geoff, Nadia, the interns and the WWOOFers were up to.Comments (7)
Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Seeds — by Laura Thabet January 14, 2013
Last October, in the run-up towards World Food Day, a seed bombing event was co-organized in Cairo in collaboration with Nawaya. Nawaya is a start-up social enterprise focusing on agriculture as a core driver for rural development — but not just any agricultural system. Nawaya specifically promotes ecological farming practices whereby Egyptian rural communities become stewards of their local environment and agro-ecological resources. This is a long process of awareness-raising and marketing to change farming practices. Consumer ignorance and apathy to what is available has lead people to choose Chinese big white garlic cloves over the small purplish highly potent Egyptian variety.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Village Development — by Andy Homer January 10, 2013
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)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Salah Hammad January 9, 2013
Shibam: UNESCO World Heritage site
I was recently privileged to be part of the team that accompanied Geoff and Nadia Lawton along with Mr. Tashi Dawa in a very interesting consultancy in the Southern Yemen, specifically The Hadhramaut Valley, or Wadi Hadhramaut.
Geoff was invited by the “Reconstruction Fund of Hadhramaut and Al-Mahra” to give his opinion on what could be done in the valley in terms of flood mitigation and water harvesting from a permaculture point of view.Comments (10)
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)