Posted by & filed under General.

004 gardens at honeycomb valley farm rosella patch

We are seeking expressions of interest from an individual/s interested in setting up their own organic, permaculture or biodynamic market garden business/s within Honeycomb Valley Farm, Nabiac, NSW.

We have land available (initially 3 acres to 15 acres of the 90 acre farm with potential for more – this is a separate area to where tourists currently enjoy established gardens) plus water from a 3 megalitre dam available for nominal lease for a person/people/group who would like to run their own professional organic market garden business/s from the farm. We also have some equipment available for agreed usage cost eg: small Kubota 26hp with detachable bucket & rotary hoe.

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Posted by & filed under Medicinal Plants, Plants.

Chamomile-Bunches

Chamomile Bunches

It has crept up on us slowly, perhaps without the initial intentions of what we are now left with: prescription medicine. Medicine, for all of the valuable attributes it provides, has been an equally destructive force. Like the chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture, the onslaught of fix-it-all antibiotics and a pills-over-health mentality has put us in more need of more and stronger medicines to combat the highly involved bacteria, infections, diseases and viruses.

Why is it that, in a time when technology has advanced so far, there are notable escalations in allergies and chronic diseases, namely in the first world? It’s counterintuitive, and many of us out here in the real world are catching wind of what may be the cause: Too much technology. Food, once believed to be a health promoter, has become a detriment. Medicine, once believed to be curative, often comes with so many side effects it hardly seems worth “getting better”.

And, herein may lie the answer, an old adage that seems to be cropping up more and more frequently these days: Let food be thy medicine. Of course, it starts with prevention, a daily dose of fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (and minus the excess sodium, syrup and processing), to have healthy immune systems. Thus, in our permaculture gardens, we are growing quality, organic food, thick with nutrients that they’ve gotten from the rich soils we create. It’s a good start.

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Posted by & filed under Community, General.

Imagine a place that people can go to get through their problems and prepare their selves to restart a new life. Imagine that these process includes learning a permacultural way of understanding the reality. That’s what ARCAH’s project is working to reach in a therapeutic community (CT) SP- Brazil.

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View of our permacultural yard in the CT

ARCAH is a Brazilian NGO who’s vision is to be efficient and to offer quality support to social projects and business focused on the reduction and, where possible, eradication of homelessness through programs developed from productive occupational therapy on self-sustainable farms.

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Posted by & filed under Economics, Energy Systems, General.

Solar-Zaytuna-Shed

Zaytuna Farms Solar Panels on the Shed Roof

My Intentions in writing this article are to share with you my personal experiences of ten years of research as a consumer and a potential customer, just wanting to do the right thing for the earth when it comes to having a cold beer and a cool house while living in Sydney by supplying my property with a renewable energy source in the traditional manner; that is, using small roof top P.V solar arrays and a Bi-Directional, grid feed inverter.

Now as any good permaculture teacher would say to most questions you throw at them, I am about to answer this question in the same manner;

Q. Is going solar the best thing for the earth when it comes to my power needs? A. “Well it all depends – on the weather; wether you do or wether you don’t !”

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Posted by & filed under Community, Economics, Events, Resources & News, General, Health & Disease, Population, Society, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

This is a film about a bunch of ordinary people caught up in a modern day multinational “gold rush” to secure and exploit coal seam gas.

With endorsements from:

“If you care about our country, see it!”

- Alan Jones

“No Australian voter should miss this film”

- Bob Brown

Fracking is an issue that is presenting difficult questions for all of Australia’s political parties, but at its heart is a very human drama. What we find is that smouldering resentment has turned conservative country people to civil disobedience. Politicians with their snouts in the trough are caught off-guard not knowing who to support.

Our central character is Dayne Pratzky – a knockabout pig shooter building a simple home on his block of land in Central Queensland. One day the gas company comes calling and demands access to his land for gas mining. Dayne is told he has no right to refuse access to his land, and so begins his journey as a reluctant activist that will take him around the world.

Dayne introduces us to the people drawn into a battle that is crossing the ideological divide, bringing together a peculiar alliance of farmers, conservationists and political conservatives. Along the way Dayne finds love, tragedy and triumph as he battles to save his community from becoming an industrial wasteland. There are laughs, tears and near death experiences, and a raft of colourful Aussie Bush characters.

But it’s the underlying theme that is critical: Who owns our land? Who owns our future? Can we balance competing claims for our water, food and energy and still preserve the environment?

One thing is certain: the rush to extract Coal Seam Gas is changing our way of life and forcing us to ask tough questions about what we value.

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Posted by & filed under Animals, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, General, Livestock, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals.

In Part One,Tom Kendall from PRI Sunshine Coast, shows you the daily process of feeding the bio digester to make biogas.

Biogas is mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen.

In this he shows the routines in the morning with the cows and how to ensure the manure stays uncontaminated.

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Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Community, Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, General, Water.

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INTRODUCTION

This is a guide to building a gravity fed aquaculture system the techniques of which can be applied elsewhere. This is such a huge subject that it really requires a book dedicated to it, so here I will tell you only what we did, but I will also point you in the direction of some great resources.

This particular system uses a passive flow of water redirected from a stream into a fish pond, that then over flows down a number of vegetable terraces, supplying them with nutrient rich water. This system was accomplished on the side of extinct super volcano in the western mountains of Guatemala, in a project known as the Yoga Forest.

In addition to the near vertical angle of the project site, we had the monsoon season to battle with, killer bees, my lack of Spanish language skills. But we also had some very skilled indigenous men, our unbending enthusiasm and lots of humor.

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Posted by & filed under Community, General, Plants.

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Pemban woman planting ‘mtondoo’ (Callophylum innophlum) for bank stabilization (Photo Zach Melanson, 2014)

The problem . . .

Tanzania’s Zanzibar islands were once a bastion of the global spice trade, an exchange that drove the world’s economy from the Middle Ages into modern times. The region, and mainly the island of Pemba, remain famous for the production of cloves – those aromatic flower buds that look like tiny claw & ball feet. Remnant clove plantations still dominate the hilly landscape across the entire western half of Pemba. During the prime harvest season from September through November their distinct perfume fills the island air.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community, Dams, General, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Water.

“When the Water Ends” tells the story of climate change conflicts in East Africa. For thousands of years, semi-nomadic pastoralists have followed fresh water sources and grazing land. They are accustomed to harsh environments and surviving with limited resources. But with the impacts of climate change, competition for water and pasture is escalating. Increased drought and decreased rainfall is fueling violent conflict over water and grazing lands.

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Posted by & filed under Education, General.

MOCE1

Maybe you heard of them back in 2012, purportedly the ‘Year of the MOOC’. But the top platforms have come a long way since 2012, with new partners and great new classes that can interest almost anyone. Interested in Science, Computing, Satellites or Math? Surely you must take a peek at the course catalogue, because there are dozens of interesting offerings. But here I would like to highlight a few current and upcoming classes that focus in and around topics associated with Permaculture.

These massive courses are free and open and offered by accredited and respected universities. Although most now do offer to sell you an official certificate, you can access and review the materials for free. Many (all at edx.org) still offer free Statements of Accomplishment, printable certificates for those that get passing grades on whatever assignments and exams the professors invent for that course. There is a lot of variability even today between courses, ranging widely in length, depth, and production quality. The two main sites, edx.org and coursera.org, will both require you to create an account with them, and then will let you register for as many courses as you want.

The ethics of openness and how it is beginning to be reflected in education is a topic for another post, but for now here are my selections. Feel free to follow the links and read more about any of the courses, and if they interest you, by all means, sign up and meet people from around the world interested in the same topic. I personally have taken more than fifteen online courses, and in my opinion the discussions are a lot better with more perspectives involved. The more conscious people there are involved, the more people that can potentially wake up, and become conscious.

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