Community Projects, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, Plant Systems, Village Development, peak oil — by Anthea Hudson March 7, 2012
Building, Community Projects, Consumerism, Economics, Land, Society, Village Development — by David Bollier
I have been asked to address what the commons might have to say about urban spaces and urban life. The short answer is, a lot!
First, the language of the commons helps us assert a moral entitlement to public spaces again. It lets us challenge the unholy alliance of politicians, developers and professional architects and planners, and insist that city spaces serve our needs as ordinary people. This means, first of all, that commercial considerations cannot crowd out vital common purposes – as we see when the market or authoritarians take over.Comments (0)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education, Education Centres, News, Society, Urban Projects — by Ryan Harb
We did it everyone! It is now official. The UMass Permaculture team will be heading to the White House on March 15! This has been an amazing and inspiring week to see the voting results unfold and be in the center of it all. I can’t thank everyone enough for the support you’ve provided us with.
I’d like to share some reflections for how this week has been for me personally.Comments (7)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Urban Projects — by Ryan Harb March 3, 2012
Further to the last post on our UMass Amherst Permaculture project potentially being spotlighted by the White House and MTV, here’s the latest — we were leading the race but another project unexpectedly gained 20,000 votes today and has taken over first place due to their project being featured in USA Today. We are thus making a big final push to get permaculture back on top and I think we can do it!
Please take three seconds to vote here — make your vote for "UMASS Amherst Permaculture Initiative – Ryan Harb, University of Massachusetts at Amherst"
Please also note:Comments (5)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Land, News, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Andrew Beard March 1, 2012
In the Beacon Hill community of Seattle a revolutionary community garden is being developed to feed her people. The Beacon Food Forest is transforming a previously unused piece of public land into a vibrant food forest filled with hundreds of different varieties of edible plants, fruits and nuts. The seven acre plot uses perennial crops and sustainable methods rooted in permaculture to create a source of food available to all.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Developments, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Elin Lindhagen February 28, 2012
FMNR workshop, Feb 2012, Kenya
Rusinga Island is situated in Lake Victoria in the Western parts of Kenya. It is known for its prehistoric findings of primate fossils dating from 17 million years ago and for being the birthplace of the famously assassinated Kenyan politician, Tom Mboya, whose scholarship fund enabled Barack Obama’s father to study abroad. Not too many years ago it was still known to be a beautiful forested island, rich in unique bird species and with access to great fishing. Today the island is considered a vulnerable ecosystem with marginal agricultural land, leading one author to call it ‘one of the driest and most environmentally marginal agricultural zones in the region’(1).
Rapid population growth in the 1980s led to intensified pressure on natural resources such as trees and fish. At the same time, other communities started coming into Rusinga’s fishing waters to exploit the fish resources. Fish stocks started declining and the fishermen of Rusinga were forced to start looking for other ways of making an income. Many turned to agriculture but the Luo’s on Rusinga were traditionally fishermen, not farmers. Trees were cut down to make houses for a growing population, firewood to feed an increasing number of hungry stomachs and charcoal to make an income. Within a generation, what was once a richly forested island had become bare — suffering increasing droughts, soil erosion and crop failures due to the loss of trees.Comments (1)
Community Projects, Consumerism, Food Shortages, Land, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Wyan Carter
My partner and I have recently bought a house in Melbourne. I’m proud to say that we have deliberately avoided any pressure to buy a large house; our entire property is 170 square metres, and at least half of that is garden. I realise that’s not tiny, but it’s plenty smaller than places owned by a number of my friends and family. One of my cousins has recently built a house on a block of land, and his house alone would swallow our entire property three times over.
But as proud as I am of our small house mentality, I’ve started to realise that this does put some serious constraints on our ability to be independent and self-sufficient. Personally I’ve never been that committed to the dream of being self-sufficient on a good sized, rural block; I’d much rather be community-sufficient within a city suburb. But I don’t want to be vulnerable to crises and shocks, and growing food, fibre and fuel yourself is a big part of reducing that vulnerability.Comments (2)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education, Education Centres, News, Urban Projects — by Ryan Harb February 25, 2012
I’ve got some incredible news to share with you! The permaculture initiative that I facilitate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA) has been selected by the White House as a finalist for the Campus Champions of Change Challenge award! This means we are in the final round and the general public is now voting for which teams will get a trip to the White House (judges selected 15 projects from more than 1000 applications!) The top 5 winners also get featured on a television program called ‘The Deans List’ on MTV.
Imagine the potential this has! This is by far the most important thing that I can be doing for the world right now — I truly feel that in my heart.
We have only 1 week to tally as many votes as we can – voting ends Saturday, March 3 at 11:59PM est (New York time!) Here’s a short description about the student group that I oversee, and how to vote:Comments (21)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Richard Higgins February 23, 2012
In January 2010 Richard Higgins, founder and CEO of Well End Permaculture International, arrived at the epicentre of the Haiti earthquake in Port au Prince.
We sat the visiting NGOs down to lunch just to the left of this picture
(see next picture, below). Each double pallet contained 1,200 fresh
human wastes and nobody had any idea they were there
After arrival in Haiti I presented my researched technology at various WASH cluster meetings at the UN information site, near the airport. After the third presentation — made before the meetings had started, I was spotted by the regional director for Water and Sanitation for Latin America of the NGO giant CRS (Catholic Relief Services).
One week later I began work in a contracted position to set up a pilot project at the Sainte Marie Community Convent for the remediation of the toilet waste and other refugee camp generated wastes, into fertilizer, for 200 people.Comments (5)
Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings, Village Development — by Penny Pyett February 22, 2012
Sponsorship opportunity in permaculture: businesses, local groups, entrepreneurs, consultants & trainers.
Dear Permaculture Practitioners and Local Groups
National Permaculture Day (NPD) showcases the practices of permaculture to the public. Businesses and local groups show permaculture in action — through markets, demonstrations, ‘open houses and gardens’, and local events in city and country.
The day has run nationally for three years, supported first by individuals and local groups, and last year by a grant of $17,900 from the federal government. It is part of the developing move for a national presence for permaculture.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, DVDs/Books, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Monika Goforth February 18, 2012
Gillian Leahy (a documentary maker) and Terry Leahy (permaculture researcher) are making a film about the Chikukwa project in Zimbabwe.
This is a feel good story out of Africa. For the last 20 years an amazing permaculture project has been working in Zimbabwe. Where once the people of the Chikukwa villages suffered hunger, malnutrition and high rates of disease, this community has turned its fortunes around using permaculture farming techniques. Complementing these strategies for food security, they have built their community strength through locally controlled and initiated programs for permaculture training, conflict resolution, women’s empowerment, primary education and HIV management. Now they have a surplus of food and the people in these villages are healthy and proud of their achievements. Their degraded landscape has been turned into a lush paradise. This film shows how this has happened.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 17, 2012
USAID Permaculture Technical Brief
The growing food crisis has struggled to stay in the headlines since being highlighted broadscale in the mainstream media back in 2008, but it moves apace regardless, and I can assure you it will continue to do so, likely at a frightening rate. A 2012 Save the Children report shares that "Half a billion children could grow up physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years because they do not have enough to eat" (BBC).
With this in mind, it’s excellent news that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID — "the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid" Wikipedia) is moving to incorporate permaculture design into its aid work for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). They’ve just released a technical brief (right) to help expedite this.
From the document:Comments (10)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Project Positions — by Samuel Bonello February 15, 2012
In November of 2011 I was participating in a class as a student at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in NSW, Australia. It was the PDC Teacher Training Course taught by Geoff and Nadia Lawton. Five weeks later my wife and I were on a plane to Yemen to assist in teaching a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course.Comments (2)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Millo Magnocavallo February 11, 2012
I have seen a possibility and a lot of factors that are working in favor of this possibility, so it has motivated me to start working on my idea. It’s about collaboratively re-occupying and regenerating abandoned rural land, starting here, where I am in Portugal. Since I know of no other cases of this here in Portugal I will be starting with my own land as a lead case study, lead example or pilot project for lack of a better term. I am currently in the process of investigating this further, but let me explain the idea….Comments (36)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Land, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Elspeth Brock February 9, 2012
Ilma Lever Gardens garden designed for wheelchair access
When working in various gardens for community usage I found we often needed to consider access for gardeners of a range of abilities without compromising the overall function of the design. I want to outline some things I have found useful to make spaces disability-friendly whilst also maintaining the permaculture principles of multiple use values and productive landscapes. Access issues you may need to consider include wheelchair movement, limited bending, blindness, unstable gait from stroke or acquired brain injury.
Many permaculture systems are beneficial as they already aim to reduce the amount of physical labour e.g. no dig, animals doing the work for you, zoning, etc. So here I will focus on more specific elements.Comments (3)