Aid Projects, Community Projects, Podcasts — by Sustainable World Radio August 7, 2012
Julious Piti is a Permaculture designer and teacher, organic farmer, and conflict facilitator based in Zimbabwe. Julious has been using permaculture in Africa to restore the health of both land and community. A founding member of the Chikukwa Ecological Land Trust (CELUCT) and now the Director of PORET (Participatory Organic Research Extension and Training), Julious’ work shows that degraded land can be transformed. PORET supports farmers in dry-land areas and works to address hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. In 2007, PORET won the Zimbabwe National Environmental Award.
Click play to hear the interview!Interview with Julius Piti Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Lucie Bradley August 4, 2012
During June this year Tanzania hosted its second ever permaculture design course. Twenty-eight participants from around the globe gathered in the bustling northern town of Arusha for 11 wonderful days of learning and sharing. The Australian based non-government organization (NGO) FoodWaterShelter (FWS) initiated the organization of the PDC, motivated by their desire to see permaculture spread into wider circles throughout East Africa through the ‘ripple in the pond effect’.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Project Positions, Society, Village Development — by Ben Humphrey August 2, 2012
The Annapurna Range from the beautiful Pokhara Valley,
the future site of MVEF
For two months in late 2010 I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Sustainable Agriculture Development Program of Nepal (SADP). Situated in an ‘off the beaten track’ valley of Central Nepal, the demonstration farm is surrounded by unreal beauty, including the very prominent Manaslu Massif (group of Himalayan mountains) of the main Himalayan Range, alongside another range visible from the Valley which marks the border of Nepal and Tibet. Many late afternoons were spent watching these Himalayan ranges turn from brilliant white, to orange to vibrant pink as the sun set – something that should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’. The terraced fields found throughout Asia flank the floor and sides of the valley, and the tops of the valley are largely forested – a source of timber for the community and invaluable habitat for illusive animals that call it home — leopards and possibly the odd tiger included (but that’s a story for another time).Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Energy Systems, Land, Society, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Alice Gray July 28, 2012
It was on the second week of the PermaNegev course that I arranged a visit to the small village of Herbaiet a Nabi in the south Hebron Hills. We were going to inspect the renewable energy installations put in place there by the Israeli NGO Comet-ME (www.comet-me.org), and to gain a better understanding of the politics of dispossession that form the ever-present background to the lives of the rural Arab communities of the Palestinian West Bank and the Israeli Negev. Since our focus for the week was ‘sustainable living: harvesting resources and managing wastes’, this fitted in well with the program, and was a great opportunity for students to see permaculture principles being applied on a number of levels, in a very challenging situation. As it turned out, the trip worked even better than I had originally planned, and gave much food for thought, some of which I am still digesting!Comments (5)
We will be offering another Permaculture Course at the Bustan EcoKhan this summer. Sign up now to study permaculture in the Negev Desert!
Intensive Permaculture, Arabic and Middle Eastern program at the Bedouin village of Qasr A-Sir.
The 6-week intensive permaculture course allows participants to work closely with the indigenous Bedouin community of Qasr A-Sir in a merging of ancient traditional practices with cutting-edge permaculture design. Practice natural building and organic agriculture, while learning Arabic, taking Middle Eastern studies, going on field trips throughout Israel, immersing in the Bedouin way of life. Come together with international participants in a collaborative effort that bridges cultural and religious schisms.Comments (0)
Community Projects, Developments — by Rafter Ferguson July 25, 2012
Participation in Permaculture is a web survey designed to help us learn about who is doing permaculture, how we are participating, and how it’s affecting our lives and landscapes. It’s part of a emerging phenomenon: doing research to systematically track and assess our impacts.
Holmgren and Mollison broke up with institutional science back when they forged the permaculture perspective and birthed a movement. They had good reasons for doing so — in the 1970s, there was virtually no scientific research to support the practical proposals they were making. Science wasn’t ready.
For the past 34 years, permaculture has largely stayed on the track of an independent grassroots movement. If you search the massive databases of peer-reviewed scientific literature, there is almost (but not quite) zero mention of permaculture. That’s not a criticism of permaculture’s history — we’ve been busy growing a movement, project by project.
But the separation between permaculture and science is becoming more and more arbitrary and unnecessary. Over the past three decades, parallel disciplines to permaculture have emerged and matured within the scientific community: agroecology, agroforestry, ecological waste and water treatment, resilience science, participatory research methods, and much more. All of these approaches have accumulated an invaluable and impressive body of empirical research and theory. Science is ready. Now we need to show up.Comments (4)
Community Projects, Ethical Investment — by Christian Shearer July 20, 2012
WeTheTrees.com has just officially launched their permaculture crowd funding platform, bringing a new and exciting tool to the permaculture world, and an ability to easily and creatively raise funds. This platform helps organizations and individuals around the globe gather the resources needed to meet their goals.
Effort, desire and passion do not tend to be limiting factors for the students and practitioners of permaculture. The ability to dream, design and use information and imagination does not hold back the permaculture community. The greatest limitation almost across the board is often that of economics. With access to the right resources, including those in the form of dollars and cents, the individuals, and the movement as a whole, could be achieving much more and be that much more effective at achieving their goals.
With this in mind, the launch of permaculture’s first and only crowd funding platform brings renewed optimism to many in the movement. WeTheTrees was designed specifically to bridge the gap between idea / design and the resources needed to make it happen.Comments (5)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by George Monbiot July 17, 2012
This is the fate of young people today: excluded, but forbidden to opt out.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
Hounded by police and bailiffs, evicted wherever they stopped, they did not mean to settle here. They had walked out of London to occupy disused farmland on the Queen’s estates surrounding Windsor Castle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that didn’t work out very well. But after several days of pursuit, they landed two fields away from the place where modern democracy is commonly supposed to have been born.Comments (7)
72-Hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course: Permaculture for the Rural African Environment, Konso, Ethiopia
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Alex McCausland
This 13-day practical and demonstrative PDC will take place in Konso, south Ethiopia, from September 10th – 22nd 2012, at Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge. It will have a special focus on the application of permaculture to communities in the developing world. It will involve practical demonstrations both from Strawberry Fields’ own model permaculture site and from schools sites in the area which are participating in the Permaculture in Konso Schools Project. There will also be the chance to do field trips into other climate zones in the Ethiopian highlands.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Land, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Alex McCausland
Two hundred kilometers south of Addis we turn left at a little town called Achamo, and dive off the tarmac into a dusty, bumpy adventure somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the green rolling steppes of the south Ethiopian countryside. This is my first foray into Hadiyya country. We’ve just passed Siltie, my own tribe (by marriage). We’re en route into the deep south, but this little foray off the usual 14 hour slog down to Konso is going to be something different. The countryside is all populated. Open farmland, mostly beans and maize, dotted with little settlements. Donkeys, gangs of skinny cattle and groups of bearded men out on a Sunday morning stroll punctuate the forty minutes of grinding along the rough climes of the roadway, till we pull into the dusty market town of Bonosha. I call our contact, Tegene, and tell him we’ve arrived. He sends a couple of local lads to show us the way. They jump into the back of the car and direct us out of town. As it turns out, I’m off to do my very first commercial consultancy as a permaculturalist. It’s quite exciting really.Comments (8)
Building, Community Projects, Land, Society, Urban Projects — by Jay Walljasper July 13, 2012
Why we need parks, streetlife, squares, markets, trails, community gardens and other hang-outs more than ever.
by Jay Walljasper, On the Commons
All photographs © Craig Mackintosh
It’s a dark and wintry night in Copenhagen, and the streets are bustling. The temperature stands above freezing, but winds blow hard enough to knock down a good share of the bicycles parked all around. Scandinavians are notorious for their stolid reserve, but it’s all smiles and animated conversation here as people of many ages and affiliations stroll through the city center on a Thursday evening.
A knot of teenage boys, each outfitted with a slice of pizza, swagger down the main pedestrian street. Older women discreetly inspect shop windows for the coming spring fashions. An accomplished balalaika player draws a small crowd in a square as he jams with a very amateur guitarist. Earnest young people collect money for UNICEF relief efforts. Two African men pass by, pushing a piano. Candlelit restaurants and cafes beckon everyone inside.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Urban Projects — by Bonnie Freibergs July 12, 2012
If you live in the northern hemisphere and want to take a course with Geoff and Nadia Lawton, but don’t want the expense and carbon footprint of travelling to Australia to do so, then consider heading to Jordan, site of the last International Permaculture Conference (IPC10), instead. Here you’ll get world class permaculture instruction, a taste of permaculture project aid work experience, whilst also gaining valuable cultural immersion experiences — all at the same time!
Upcoming courses in Jordan — click the links to find out more and to book:
- 27 October — 10 November, 2012: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
- 10 November – 7 December, 2012: The Dead Sea Valley Permaculture Project (aka Greening the Desert – the Sequel) Internship
- Solving All the Problems of the World – in a Garden
- Letters from Jordan: ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site Contrasts Against Jordan Insanities
- Greening the Desert II
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Podcasts — by Pietro Zucchetti July 11, 2012
Chris Evans, who co-created the invaluable Farmers’ Handbook, has lived and worked in Nepal since 1985, co-founding the Jajarkot Permaculture Project, which successfully spread new ideas in line with existing cultural traditions. Chris started his career as a VSO volunteer in a community forestry programme in Nepal after graduating in Forestry in the UK.
Based in the remote western district of Jajarkot, he quickly realised the shortfalls of international development and so in 1988, when he came across the concept of permaculture, he embarked on an ambitious alternative. Starting with a local friend, £500 and an acre of degraded farmland in the district centre of Jajarkot he founded a demonstration and training centre which grew organically into the Jajarkot Permaculture Programme (JPP) — a diverse array of projects spanning 4 districts, 65 villages, 8 resource centres (working farms), 120 staff and volunteers, and a membership of 12,000 farmers.
Click play to hear the interview!Interview with Chris Evans Comments (0)
Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Seeds, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 10, 2012
Current evidence indicates that New Zealand may well be "the youngest country on earth". Possible fellow competitors for this claim are Greenland, Iceland and Madagascar. All of these landscapes were so isolated they managed to avoid human settlement until relatively recent times. But these entrants in the competition look to be a couple of centuries behind — all being settled prior to 1000AD, unlike New Zealand, which is believed to have had no human presence prior to 1200AD.
With campaigns and videos like the one at top, New Zealand has managed to generate a kind of green aura around itself. Stunning Lord of the Rings landscapes, pristine snow-capped mountain ranges, dripping forests, clean rivers and an outdoor lifestyle to kill for, all spring to mind amongst millions of people worldwide who have never been there, but dream of going. It is a gorgeous country, to be sure, but that’s not the whole story….Comments (3)
Community Projects, Compost, Consumerism, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Processing & Food Preservation, Recipes, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Trees, Urban Projects, peak oil — by Anthea Hudson July 3, 2012
I doubt many would disagree that food is one of the most important things that we are going to need to become reconnected to, in times to come. Without a reliable food source, much hardship can be predicted and even potentially losses of life. In the future, food security will probably rely much more on sources of our own creation, by producing food ourselves and establishing networks with others in our community.
We will also need to acquire the knowledge to put these food systems into practice. It’s one thing to have wheat seeds to plant, but wheat doesn’t grow and become bread by itself. We have to know, and become proficient in, the processes involved in whatever we plan to produce — preferably before there is an urgent necessity to do so!
The activities below will introduce your children (and you!) to some of the principles and practices of creating food resilience.Comments (8)