Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

by Tamara Griffiths, Ali Ma and Delvin Solkinson

Parrots announced the dawn and we knew we were officially on farmer time!

As the week progressed people felt more and more comfortable in the group and we had built up a lot of trust. After three days of presenting on our chosen topics we had become fluid in creative processes and Robin Clayfield said we were all flying. On day six we all did our final gifts to the class, and by this stage we were enjoying the creative process of coming up with ways to get core information across in an engaging way.

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Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, Society.

The poorest taxpayers are subsidising the richest people in Europe: and this spending will remain uncut until at least 2020.

by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.

What would you do with £245? Would you a. use it to buy food for the next five weeks?, b. put it towards a family holiday?, c. use it to double your annual savings?, or d. give it to the Duke of Westminster?

Let me make the case for option d. This year he was plunged into relative poverty. Relative, that is, to the three parvenus who have displaced him from the top of the UK rich list(1). (Admittedly he’s not so badly off in absolute terms: the value of his properties rose last year, to £7bn). He’s the highest ranked of the British-born people on the list, and we surely have a patriotic duty to keep him there. And he’s a splendid example of British enterprise, being enterprising enough to have inherited his land and income from his father.

Well there must be a reason, mustn’t there? Why else would households be paying this money – equivalent to five weeks’ average spending on food and almost their average annual savings (£296)(2) – to some of the richest men and women in the UK? Why else would this 21st Century tithe, this back-to-front Robin Hood tax, be levied?

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Project Positions.

One of our readers sent this through — I thought I’d post it, as anything we can do to help capable permies get financed to continue their permaculture evangelisation is good for us all.

I don’t know more than what the website says, so will just leave you with the link. If neither of these two positions are suitable for you, perhaps you know someone who would fit the brief?

Post-doctoral on impacts of water harvesting adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa

The centre is seeking to recruit a post-doc for a project on in "Potential water resources and environmental impacts of smallholder water harvesting adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa". Application deadline 3 December 2011.

Post-doctoral on water harvesting in Sub-Saharan Africa

Stockholm Resilience Centre is seeking to recruit a post-doc in "System analysis of drivers for change of water harvesting adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa". Application deadline 3 December 2011.

Posted by & filed under For Sale, Urban Projects.

You don’t have to know her street number to find Rosina Buckman’s place. All you need is the street name. Winner of the Edible Landscape Award from Australia’s Sunshine Coast Council in 2009, her garden spills out into the nature strip, bursting with plants.

Her driveway, once a barren front lawn, is now edged with strawberry runners, passionfruit vines, chilies and edible greens.

“Before we get started, I want to show you some­thing that saved my life!” exclaims Rosina.

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Posted by & filed under Urban Projects.

Editor’s Note: Remember the cool little time-lapse video of the PRI’s recent Intern-Blitz of an urban property a few week’s back? Well, below is an update from the lucky and excited recipients of the perma-garden install, written to the designers/installers themselves. I thought I’d share the enthusiasm with all our readers also, to brighten your day. After all, enthusiasm, when on an appropriate trajectory, is the most positive of contagions.

The garden is growing absolutely brilliantly! It has certainly been keeping us busy over the last 3 weeks. I have included a couple of pics so you can see the abundant growth for yourself, although photos can’t really do it justice.

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Posted by & filed under Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation.

The Stockholm Environment Institute conducted experiments and collected data that shows the usefulness of a resource every one of us has access to — urine. When utilized as a fertilizer, urine can provide an alternative to chemical fertilizers. The impacts ripple far beyond the nutrient value of the urine; in developing regions, diverting a urine waste stream to fertilizer has a significant economic value. These benefits can easily be recognized at the individual level, and scale all the way up to industrial operations.

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Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Trees.

I thought I’d share this excellent, growing resource on edible plants for specific regions.

At time of writing the Learn Grow project has created comprehensive plant list info for the following regions:

In addition, the site has two disks available that should be of direct interest to Australian permaculturists:

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Posted by & filed under Presentations/Demonstrations.

Do you wonder about the future? Yours? Your children’s? Your grandchildren’s?

Hear Ted Trainer speak on the issues that matter.

Free ~ Free ~ Free ~ Free

Where: Mulubinba Room, City Hall, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
When: 3.30 p.m. Tuesday 29 November 2011
Who: Ted Trainer

Ted Trainer is author of The Simpler Way; The Conserver Society; Abandon affluence, etc. Ted will speak on the current unsustainable economic system, its effects on society and how we may turn this around before it’s too late.

As a teaser, see an article on this site from Ted here: Can Permaculture Save the World???

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease.

Some of you will have seen the sensational ‘news’ that the New Zealand government is planning to introduce a law that "takes away the human right to grow food". Hopefully you’ll also realise that good ‘ol everything-is-a-conspiracy Alex Jones, who has the Infowars site where the above-linked article has been posted, has a very strong tendency to instantly hop on anything that’ll make a headline, without too much investigation….

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Society, Trees.

Save Ferris! Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was a 1986 movie about a teenager, his girlfriend and best mate — all of whom were just about to finish high school and enter the adult world. It represented for them a moment in time; a very hedonistic look into their lives for just one day, where responsibility and long term planning were dismissed. I’ve always felt that it captured the spirit of the times of 1986, which also, by a strange coincidence, was the time of Morning in America, Ronald Reagan and the return of cheap energy for industrial countries. The question that I would like to know, whilst hedonism is fun, is it responsible and sustainable?

As a bit of background, I was born in the early 1970s and during the first two decades of my life, fruit tasted, well, like fruit, regardless of where it was purchased. However, slowly things started to change. Supermarket fruit stopped tasting like fruit should and started tasting like water. At about this time, I stopped buying fruit at the supermarket and moved onto the city markets. Melbourne is lucky to have the Queen Victoria Market just on the edge of its CBD (as well as a few other inner city markets) which sell fresh fruit and vegetables. Nice. It was all sorted, fruit tasted like fruit should again. However, it was not to be that way for long!

Over time the market fruit also started to taste bland and I started to get desperate for tasty fruit. I began visiting and purchasing direct from commercial orchards on the eastern edge of the city. The joke was on me because these were the same people who were selling to the wholesale markets who then on-sold that same fruit to the retail markets! It was the same fruit! I was simply cutting out the middle men. This is when I started to understand that the change was because of economics, as fruit was paid for by weight and not by quality.

So, what the heck, I gave up and started growing my own fruit.

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