Posted by & filed under General.

Would you like to have healthy and delicious food, beautiful surroundings, meaningful work for yourself and your family, more connection to the natural world, happy children and animals? Would you like to nurture the earth and the environment, reduce non-renewable fuel use and global warming, and help break the power of multinational corporations who exploit people, animals and the earth? Would you like to (maybe) work part-time at your job, spend more time with your family, get more outdoor exercise and do a few pleasant, interesting and varied chores? Would you like to reduce your expenses for food, energy and other needs, build your local economy and make some extra income? If any of these apply to you, you might be interested in permaculture.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings.

The European Permaculture Convergence 2014 will take place in Bulgaria this summer! It’s an event designed for the cross-pollination of transition networks throughout our diverse and abundant continent.

When?: July 25th to July 29th, 2014

Where?: N 41° 57.513′ E:24° 09.305′ (google maps)

Eco-Camping Batak is situated on the picturesque lake Lake Batak, Bulgaria, in the Rhodope Mountains — covered with centuries old pine forest and many beautiful lakes giving the visitor excellent panoramic views. Available activities include kayaking, swimming, hiking, yoga, contact improvisation and more!

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

by Janet Larsen and Savina Venkova

Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. Usage varies widely among countries, from over 400 a year for many East Europeans, to just four a year for people in Denmark and Finland. Plastic bags, made of depletable natural gas or petroleum resources, are often used only for a matter of minutes. Yet they last in the environment for hundreds of years, shredding into ever-smaller pieces but never fully breaking down.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, GMOs, Society.

Let’s face it, we are surrounded by ingenious advertisements. Whether you drive or surf the net, you will inevitably be bombarded, and most probably influenced, by them.

I invite you to look beyond what you see and remember that advertising, filmmaking and photography are powerful art forms. To illustrate my point, I have compiled two videos.

The first one will show you how easy it is to build inspiring and feel-good commercials and the second will be an actual example used by a company we all know.

Use your judgment wisely….

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Fermenting, Health & Disease, Processing & Food Preservation.

A little background and history on gut microbes.

You’ve probably already heard about how our little gut microbes (bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms) are a big deal! Maybe you’ve looked into probiotics (beneficial microbes) and eating probiotic rich fermented foods like kimchi or fermented beverages like kombucha as you started to learn the health benefits of fermented foods.

We are basically a walking microbe farm. For every human cell in our body we have 10 microbe cells! We have 100 trillion good bacteria alone living in or on us! (1)

Did you know that archaeological evidence shows that pre-homo sapiens started consuming lacto-fermented foods 1.5 million years BC? (2) That is amazing! That is before we learned how to tame fire (0.8 million years BC), before pottery was invented (0.5 million years BC) and before the species homo sapiens appeared (200,000 years BC)! (2)

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems, Land, Waste Systems & Recycling.

Adaptation – any alteration in the structure or function of an organism or any of its parts that results from natural selection and by which the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment.

Who am I if not myself?

So, you’ve decided that you would like to live a more sustainable life — filled with natural homes, gardens and fresh water among other things. This transition is one that needs to be carefully thought and felt out. There are questions such as "where am I going to live?" or "what kind of dwelling do I want to have?", "what am I going to do for an income?" among other variables I’m sure you have racing around in your head.

We are going to focus on adapting the Earthship design concept to suit your bioregion. Before you get into the actual design of the house you need to ask yourself “What do I want for myself in this life?” It could be things like health, spiritual prosperity, a broad vocabulary, financial independence; it could really be anything! Try and spend some time in a place that you feel most yourself in. Somewhere really comfortable and go over what is really important to you. What do you want people to say about you in an eulogy once you pass? What are you going to leave as your legacy?

Read more »

Posted by & filed under General.

A documentary film introducing Permaculture — designing a world where people and planet can thrive.

Why A Film About Permaculture?

Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our planet? This is the premise behind permaculture: a design process based on the replication of patterns found in nature.

Permaculture is a road map for the redesign of human systems. It calls for a culture that acts in harmony with the forces of nature and it says "let’s design an agriculture that increases the quality of life for all beings, and let’s achieve the same through our social, economic, and political systems."

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects.

I just had a lovely phone call with my sister. One discouraging note was her recent decision to finally give in and purchase some pesticide spray. (She’s usually a greenie, but as she put it, “I just want to have some plants.”)

Her tomatoes and other starts have been eaten down to little nubs several years running, despite trying various methods like beer traps and soap sprays. She’s in sunny southern California, so the tricks we learned in our mother’s garden in rainy Oregon may not entirely apply.

I was concerned of course. Not only on principle (I myself will accept garden failure or eat grasshoppers before I would spray chemical pesticides) but also from the heart, because I love my sister and her family. Their branch of my extended family is already dealing with a restricted diet due to food allergies, and the chemical and social pressures of the greater Los Angeles environment.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Land, Urban Projects.

A few weeks back Dan Palmer completed a VEG (Very Edible Gardens) preliminary permaculture design consultation in Woodend, Victoria, Australia. Here he shares the process.

The VEG Design Process

The diagram above summarises VEG’s approach to permaculture design, and unless you are particularly interested in such matters, just notice the four main phases — observation (of people and place), design (concept, then detailed), implementation, and management. Here we’ll show how we went through the first two phases with a little bit of the third and forth thrown in too (it just so happened that VEG’s Will and Josh constructed a VEG compost bay system as the design unfolded, and that they are now in use).

Read more »