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

In this short animated clip, USC Canada shares the sad realities behind the food industry. Another alarming call for the urgency to radically change the way we perceive food consumption.

Further reading/watching:

Posted by & filed under Eco-Villages, Land, Waste Systems & Recycling.


Filling tyres with trash bricks

We recently spent a month volunteering in Indonesia, on the beautiful and luxurious island of Samosir. We lent our hands to a small but emerging eco-village situated right on the shore of Lake Toba. At Eco-Village Samosir there are many projects underway, from mulching around the 3,000 newly planted trees to creating a food forest to feed the growing number of volunteers.

During our visit, we noticed that a major cause for action in Silimalombu (population: 200) was waste management and recycling. Granted this is a national issue, world wide even, but I guess for us it was more an in-your-face issue to tackle as the image of an eco-village doesn’t usually exist with a litter mentality. The community decided to ‘cope’ with the myriads of plastic bags and other garbage by supplying each home with waste bins and adding receptacles here and there in which they later burn their trash. So although the quaint village appears clean and tidy, the kids, dogs and local fishermen pay the price by inhaling toxic fumes twice a week. Not everyone has adopted the ‘dump and burn’ approach; some simply hide all their trash on the slopes of the lake, where, to this day, few people can see.

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Posted by & filed under Land.

Having been a self-sufficient farmer in the Northern Isles of Scotland and having worked for ecological charities that have helped to build permaculture gardens in arid lands around the world, I have now been living in Southern Portugal for the past fifteen years. Here we have witnessed the weather become more and more erratic and we’ve watched as European Governments try to snatch yet more money from the working people with no regard for the damage done to the natural world.

I decided that now was indeed the time to ‘Make a Garden’.


Gaia-Atlantis Peace Garden

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

This 13-day practical and demonstrative PDC will take place in Konso, south Ethiopia, from 7th – 19th, 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 form 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.

Facilitators: Alex McCausland with local assistant trainer, Asmelash Dagne, and guest appearances from local elders and intellectuals.

Dates: May 7th to 19th, 2011
Location: Konso, South Ethiopia
Venue: Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge
Cost: US$850 ($500 for Ethiopians)
Includes: course fees, food and accommodation for the period of the course
Excludes: Transport, accommodation en-route, travel insurance etc.

The Course

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Urban Projects.

Three years ago, here in California, we bought an asphalt/gravel lot with a satisfactory house and decided to call it home. We had hoped to purchase a property in the country, but that was too expensive and felt too isolated for our young family. The first place we looked at in town was a 1/3 acre lot right next door my best friend’s house. The property was covered with 50% asphalt and cement and 50% gravel. Aah, a permaculturists dream come true!

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Posted by & filed under Energy Systems.

by J. Matthew Roney

Wind energy developers installed a record 41,000 megawatts of electricity-generating capacity in 2011, bringing the world total to 238,000 megawatts. With more than 80 countries now harnessing the wind, there is enough installed wind power capacity worldwide to meet the residential electricity needs of 380 million people at the European level of consumption.

China led all countries in annual wind power gains for the third straight year, installing a jaw-dropping 18,000 megawatts for a total wind capacity of 63,000 megawatts. This country’s rise to the top of the world rankings has been swift: after doubling its wind capacity each year from 2005 to 2009, China surpassed the United States in 2010. (See Excel data.)

China’s ambitious Wind Base program will help ensure a widening lead for some years to come. Across the wind-rich northern provinces, wind mega-complexes of between 10,000 and 38,000 megawatts each are now under construction. By 2020, these "wind bases" will approach 140,000 megawatts of total installed capacity—more than the entire world had at the close of 2008.

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

I’m far from being an engineer, but to my untrained eye this looks interesting. "In a matter of months" the invention featured in the video below, created by Bulgarian scientists, might be in production — a household-scaled incinerator that can turn most household waste into usable gas. I’d hate to see people turning their waste biomass into gas (as you see in the video), but it’d be interesting to watch progress on this development for taking care of other household waste. More info here.

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Seeds, Social Gatherings.

If you’re in Europe this April, consider a trip to the Peliti Seedbank in Mesochori, Greece.

On April 21st – 23rd Peliti will be hosting the 12th Pan-Hellenic Festival for the Exchange of Local Seed Varieties.

This annual festival, organized by Peliti (www.peliti.gr) since 1999, includes farmers, activists, researchers, students and thousands of visitors from all over the world who will come to share knowledge and experience, and exchange seed. The Festival includes speeches, seminars, workshops, distribution of local seeds, eating, dancing, music, money-free barter of goods, etc. The activities take place from 11am to 5pm. Entrance to the festival is open to all visitors and it is free.

The event is made possible this year with the support of the Europe-wide Seed Campaign, as well as with the support of the Municipality of Paranesti and the Centre for Environmental Education of Paranesti.

Posted by & filed under Compost, Consumerism, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Peak Oil, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting.

Richard Heinberg not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk, as we get to see in the video at bottom. Peak Moment host, Janaia Donaldson, visits Heinberg and his partner Janet Barocco in their own venture in sustainable living in suburban Santa Rosa, California.

When they bought the place in 2001 it was a complete disaster, Richard tells Janaia, but it had advantages that drew them to it, such as being within walking distance of where they worked and shopping areas, having a large ¼ acre block and the house itself being small enough that they felt capable of remodelling and caring for it.


The ‘before’ shot

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Networking Sites, Urban Projects, Village Development.


Get yourself (and your project) onto the permaculture map!

I just wanted to share one of many expressions of gratitude we’ve received for our building and making the Worldwide Permaculture Network, launched a year ago, available to the world’s permaculturists.

Dear Geoff and team,

I am writing to advise you about an ambitious new permaculture project we are starting up in Bali this year. I have already posted a full Project Profile on www.permacultureglobal.com, under the heading Bukit Peninsula Sustainability Project. We have already attracted quite a bit of interest directly from that site, and have volunteers from around the world making their way to Bali to assist us at the end of this month.

I’d like to thank you for making the above website available to projects like ours for free — it has proven an excellent way of publicizing it and attracting interest.

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