Category: Society

Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better

feat Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better

Lawns were a European invention, England to be precise, and they were the undertaking of the fabulously wealthy, seeking to bring the glade closer to home. Originally, they were cultivated with more useful (though not necessarily used) plants like chamomile or thyme. However, the trend moved towards closely cropped grasses, first maintained by grazing sheep then by men with scythes and finally, eventually, moving along (in fast forward) to the […]

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Why It’s Better to Use the Slow Approach to Charitable Permaculture Projects

An abundant expanse of food—flax, chia, beans, corn, quinoa, mustard, etc.—growing at Project Somos in Guatemala. It feeds at-risk families every day.

I began working with international nonprofits about eight years ago, first as an English teacher in Palestine and Guatemala. Having elected to retire early (at about 35) from the teaching game, I’m now regularly approached by organizations interested in including permaculture projects in their game plan. For me, this switch has been very exciting. I am able to continue to work towards a better future for and with others, while […]

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Age of the Farmer

Age of the Farmer

Age of the Farmer was directed by Spencer MacDonald in collaboration with photojournalist Eva Verbeeck. It is a beautiful six-minute documentary on a growing numbers of young farmers reclaiming American soil. Enjoy! Farms featured in the film include: Earth Candy Farm Plenty Wild Farms Skyberry Farm Hoe Down CSA at Tulaberry Farm Yummy Yards Growing Veterans Beacon Food Forest

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If That’s Not Permaculture, What Is?

Keyhole Hugelkultur - feat

I call myself a permaculturalist, a word that still doesn’t officially register as valid on my spell check. I read about permaculture daily, and I write about it weekly. I’ve been asked hundreds of times by strangers, friends, and family to define permaculture, and to varying degrees, I’ve done so with practiced proficiency. I often find myself listening to permaculture podcasts, enthused by unusual topics—how to grow mushrooms in the […]

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Our Year of Permaculture: Learning As We Go

Our Year of Permaculture: Learning As We Go

It wasn’t far into 2015 that my wife and I decided we were ready to start the search for our own plot of land, a place in which we could pursue all of our permaculture fantasies, the integrated house and sprawling food forest, interconnected water catchments and abounding kitchen garden, composting toilets and off-grid energy sources. It was time to do it ourselves (and, more so, for ourselves) with a […]

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Knowledge does not Equal Understanding

Knowledge does not Equal Understanding

The common expression about a person being “stuck in his ways” is correctly used to describe someone who can’t or won’t change his habits that he’s developed over time. But today, it seems we can easily apply this label to society as a whole when it comes to changing long-ingrained habits that are rapidly depleting our planet’s resources.

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Whose Space is Space? Asteroid Mining Rights Raise Questions

Whose Space is Space? Asteroid Mining Rights Raise Questions

President Barack Obama ushered in a new era of U.S. law—an era in which the American President has taken a stand on how mining rights in space may work in the future. The new law grants private companies the right to any materials they mine from the moon and asteroids, potentially painting space as a capitalistic free for all. Ostensibly, the bill is intended to serve as motivation for the […]

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Capture Seasonal Spirit in a Card

Capture Seasonal Spirit in a Card

As the year comes once again to a close, many of us find ourselves preoccupied with thoughts of the holidays—especially the gift giving (and receiving) aspects. Of course, there are always many reminders from different quarters that the “reason for the season” is not material, yet it’s still difficult to find a way to redirect that focus. Our advice to you this holiday season is to choose a proactive way […]

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Permaculture While Renting

Permaculture While Renting

Permaculture is short for permanent culture. How can one think permanently when renting is all about the temporary?

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Food is Free Laneway in Ballarat

Food is Free Laneway in Ballarat

A film about the Food is Free laneway that was started by Lou Ridsdale in Ballarat. The laneway allows people to drop of excess food for people to take for free.

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What is Degrowth? Envisioning a Prosperous Descent

What is Degrowth? Envisioning a Prosperous Descent

This is a transcript of my keynote address presented at the ‘Local Lives, Global Matters’ conference in Castlemaine, Victoria, 16-18 October 2015. Other keynote speakers included Rob Hopkins, David Holmgren, and Helena Norberg-Hodge. Introduction Thank you for that introduction, Jacinta, good morning everyone. I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of this land and to recognise that these have always been spaces of teaching, learning, sharing, and […]

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Humanure Is No Laughing Matter

A Sign of the Times (Courtesy of Cory Doctorow)

It’s something that becomes more and more unsettling for me the deeper I look into the issue. With every morning constitutional, with every quick run to the bathroom, the majority of industrialized humanity is carelessly waging war on the environment. In harsh but accurate terms, we are pillaging and polluting the planet in the most idiotic of ways. The way we’ve come—and much of the underdeveloped world still seems to […]

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