Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Comedy Break, Consumerism, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

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Courtesy: Marc Roberts

If I wasn’t so used to such oxymoronic statements, I’d have already fallen off my chair after reading the below quote — in either hysterical laughter, or hysterical despair.

I am pleased to stand before you this morning and confirm that Europe is closer to resolving its financial and economic crisis and to getting back on a path of growth,” Mr Barroso said. — BBC

How can you resolve a financial crisis whilst getting straight back onto the path that put you there in the first place? It sounds like flogging a dead horse to me…. Dozens and dozens of cities are facing the frustrated occupy movement (see here and here), and yet despite the domino effect of growing unrest, the current president of the stuck-together-with-duct-tape European Union can’t see that the "path to growth" is and always will be a highway to hell.

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Posted by & filed under Energy Systems, Global Warming/Climate Change.

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute

Solar photovoltaic (PV) companies manufactured a record 24,000 megawatts of PV cells worldwide in 2010, more than doubling their 2009 output. Annual PV production has grown nearly 100-fold since 2000, when just 277 megawatts of cells were made. Newly installed PV also set a record in 2010, as 16,600 megawatts were installed in more than 100 countries. This brought the total worldwide capacity of solar PV to nearly 40,000 megawatts—enough to power 14 million European homes.

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Posted by & filed under Conferences, News.

Roberto Perez triumphantly rides a camel at IPC10,
while looking forward to hosting IPC11 in Cuba, November 2013.
Photo © Craig Mackintosh

One of the tasks for attendees of each International Permaculture Conference (IPC) is to hear bids for hosting the subsequent IPC, consider the best option and to vote on it. Cuba, ground zero for the largest peak oil rehearsal the world has ever seen, easily carried the day. So, all eyes now look to November 2013 for IPC11 — an IPC with a distinctly Cuban flavour.

If you didn’t catch it already, watch Roberto’s IPC10 conference presentation here. And, below you can hear Wes Rowe talking to Cuba’s Roberto Perez — representative of the Cuban Permaculture NGO, the Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity — about his thoughts on the winning bid:

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

All photographs © Craig Mackintosh

This is a short post to provide a central repository for people to download presentations I was given after the Tenth International Permaculture Conference (IPC10) in Jordan, which ran over September 2011.

Note: If there are presenters who haven’t passed their files to me, but would still like to see them on this page, I would ask you to send them to me on editor (at) and I’ll happily add them.

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Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Dams, Irrigation, Land, Natural Swimming, Swales, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

In this short video Geoff walks us through an overview of a small dam/fish pond installation at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in northern NSW, Australia. If you’d like to get a better understanding of the why and how of permaculture earthworks, you could purchase the Water Harvesting DVD, or, better yet, book on one of our upcoming Earthworks courses, listed in our Courses section. Small dams like this, appropriately situated and intelligently designed, can both drought-proof and flood-protect your property, whilst creating a foundational hydrological infrastructure from which can spring an abundance of biodiversity to create a foundation of resilient self-sufficiency.

For good measure I’ll throw in a few pictures that Nadia has just sent me of permaculture abundance at Zaytuna Farm. Earthworks like that shown in the footage above ensures food harvesting like this can continue at Zaytuna Farm even in the driest years, when neighbouring properties are shriveled and barren….

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Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation.

Here’s a quick note about our upcoming Intro to Holistic Management course with Kirk Gadzia that starts on the 1st of November at Milkwood Farm in Mudgee, NSW, Australia.

Having worked side by side with Allan Savory for many years, Kirk knows a thing or two about using herbivores to heal a landscape. What’s more, he’s an amazing teacher, the likes of whom I haven’t yet encountered. So it’s a pretty special opportunity to have him back.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Trees.

by Deborah Willis

Editor’s Note: There are still some places available on David Spicer’s 1-day Introduction to Portable Sawmilling course, to be held on November 27, 2011 at Edenfarms Permaculture. Click here to find out more and book.

In 2008 I purchased a Lucas 10” 30hp portable sawmill. I was following advice given to me by a well known timber worker in the forest industry.

I wanted to earn a living from my property, while at the same time enhance my forest asset. I obtained a Private Native Forestry Vegetation Plan which enabled me to operate a commercial timber enterprise, over and above normal farming practice’s routine agricultural management.

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Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Biodiversity, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, GMOs, Health & Disease, Plant Systems, Presentations/Demonstrations, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

If you didn’t catch it already, be sure to check out the previous post with Dr. Maarten Stapper’s first IPC10 convergence presentation. And, after several attempts, I finally managed to get his second presentation uploaded — you can click play above to watch this as well. With decades of experience in the farming industry, Dr. Stapper has a great deal to share, and a lot of insight to go with it.

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

Advertising trashes our happiness and trashes the planet. And my income depends on it.

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

We think we know who the enemies are: banks, big business, lobbyists, the politicians who exist to appease them. But somehow the sector which stitches this system of hypercapitalism together gets overlooked. That seems strange when you consider how pervasive it is. In fact you can probably see it right now. It is everywhere, yet we see without seeing, without understanding the role that it plays in our lives.

I am talking about the industry whose output frames this column and pays for it: advertising. For obvious reasons, it is seldom confronted by either the newspapers or the broadcasters.

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Posted by & filed under Land, Plant Systems, Society, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

I hate lawns…. Bill Mollison (‘Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution – An Interview with Bill Mollison by Scott London’)

Lawns, love them or hate them, they are one of those features of modern life that we take for granted, though we’ve long forgotten their origins. We have lawn because we’ve ‘always had lawns’, without questioning why….

Most permaculture practitioners loathe them frankly, seeing the space are valuable ground better utilised for growing food!

Now, imagine if we applied our permaculture design principles to lawns, what would be the result? Can we come up with a permaculture design rationale for the much maligned common lawn?

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

The Planetary Permaculture Pilgrimage — teacher training with some of the world’s greatest teachers — has been a collaborative effort between these amazing teachers, Delvin Solkinson and myself. The courses will run back to back in November across NSW, QLD and Victoria.

The courses with Geoff Lawton and David Holmgren have been filled but we still have places for students at Robin Clayfield’s creative permaculture teaching 6-day course and her 1-day community decision making and governance. I have done both of these courses and they are amazing, equipping me with many teaching skills and inspiration to work with student needs strengths, and facilitation methods I have used with groups. They were so good I’m doing them again!

We also have places in Rosemary Morrow’s course the following week — with her take on how to teach PDCs to students around the world. I simply can’t wait, it’s going to be spectacular.

We would love to have you join this adventure with us and become part of the next generation of permaculture teachers!

Please check out the folio (7mb PDF) and book directly with Robin Clayfield: robin (at)

For extra info you can contact me: Tamara (at)

Posted by & filed under Education, Society.

In the 1990s the Bachelor of Agricultural Science course I studied had one lecture on organic farming and a tour of a permaculture property. For one subject I delivered a presentation on biodynamics, for which I received an award for ‘bravery’. Sustainable agriculture at that time was presented as little more than the stubble retention and direct drilling technologies of conservation farming. Disheartened by this lack of consideration of ecology-based systems my path strayed from ‘conventional’ Agriculture. That was until I decided to undertake formal teaching qualifications after working as a biodynamic gardener at a Steiner school. I was disappointed to find that little had changed in terms of representing ‘alternative’ systems (organic, biodynamic, permaculture, agroforestry, etc.) in mainstream education. There are no explicit references to any of these systems in any of the syllabi that cover agricultural education in NSW high schools.

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