Back in 2008 I spent 6 weeks in Venezuela. I have a Venezuelan friend who believes as I do that permaculture could and should be a driving force for positive change. We both also believe that the Bolivarian Revolution, championed most famously by the charismatic and controversially colourful personality of Hugo Chavez, despite many serious ‘growing pains’, provides the most pragmatic model for the social transformation of humanity towards a truly just and ecologically sustainable world. Already tremendous social and political changes have taken place since Chavez was elected in 1998. Despite corporate media propaganda to the contrary, his government’s record of accomplishment is undeniable (particularly when contrasted with the dramatic economic and social decline of the so-called ‘developed’ nations and the disturbingly increasing deficit of democracy occurring in Europe and North America.)*
Hunger is rising, absolute hunger is rising, food’s badly distributed, not distributed at all often. The waste of food, the whole deal of it….it’s eh, a shocking situation, it’s just inhuman. It’s what nobody would intend, and somehow what we’ve arrived at, and we arrived at it by the erection of financial structures, totally divorced from resources. So that the fiscal economy has been a runaway system. We’ve gotta tackle that head on. That is, what I’m trying to tell you, it’s no good any longer just being an organic gardener or farmer, we have to be effective financial and political units. And we’re gonna have to face that. Just as it was very hard for us to learn to garden, then hard for us to learn to collect seeds, once the multinationals took over the open-pollinated seed market; we had to become seed growers. Now it’s very difficult, we have to become bankers. There’s no good trying to pretend we don’t have to. We can run away to the bush, build a mud hut and grow ducks in the garden, it’s not gonna do it. The coals will still be burnt, the land will still be eroded, and the forests will still be cleared for newsprint if we run away to the bush. So, there’s no escape, we’ve just gotta stop running away, stay where we are and start to face up and fight. Good, as long as you’re fully persuaded of that we can get on with the course…." — Bill Mollison, 1983 PDC (emphasis added)
The weather forecasters used by the Daily Mail and other papers don’t appear to exist.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
The talented line-up of weather forecasters at ‘Positive Weather Solutions’
Click for larger view
Earlier this month, I questioned the credentials of the alternative weather forecasters being used by the Daily Mail, the Express, the Telegraph and the Sun. I suggested that their qualifications were inadequate, their methods inscrutable and their results unreliable. I highlighted the work of two of these companies: Exacta Weather and Positive Weather Solutions (PWS).
Now the story has become more interesting: do the people from Positive Weather Solutions, making its forecasts and quoted in news articles, exist?
In a rural village at the Southwest corner of the Isaan Plateau, just over an hour drive south of Thailand’s second largest city, Korat, a band of tenacious permaculturalists have just arrived at the site of their new home.
Over the course of the next year, infrastructure will be erected, community and teaching spaces will be established and a traditional corn and rice farm will undergo a dramatic metamorphosis. The work here has already begun… and I’d like to take you along for the ride!
What better way to become more of a danger to the modern realm of earth destruction and technological torment than to team up Permaculture knowledge with Holistic Management training.
Teaming HM with Permaculture has an exceptionally powerful effect on building soils, repairing large landscapes and assisting with an holistic framework of decision making. A perfect tool to add to a PDC making you a true humus-building rebel.
The Permaculture Research Institute Turkey is planning to host three prominent events in summer 2012. First a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course will be organized in Istanbul on 30 June — 12 July, 2012; held by two legendary trainers, Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. Following the PDC, a Regional Permaculture Conference will take place in Istanbul on the 14th of July. Last but not least the PIT would like to welcome you at its field practice venue; Marmariç village in Izmir, for the Regional Permaculture Convergence – the Mediterranean, Balkans Caucasus and Middle East.
This open call aims to inform you about these events and to form an international prep team for the preparations.
Below, further explanations are provided about the events. We wanted to reach out to a group of existing contacts of the institute, in order to ask for your support. We look for volunteers who would like to join our International Prep Team (IPT).
For years, biotech agriculture opponents have accused regulators of working too closely with big biotech firms when deregulating genetically engineered (GE) crops. Now, their worst fears could be coming true: under a new two-year pilot program at the USDA, regulators are training the world’s biggest biotech firms, including Monsanto, BASF and Syngenta, to conduct environmental reviews of their own transgenic seed products as part of the government’s deregulation process.
This would eliminate a critical level of oversight for the production of GE crops. Regulators are also testing new cost-sharing agreements that allow biotech firms to help pay private contractors to prepare mandatory environmental statements on GE plants the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is considering deregulating.
The USDA launched the pilot project in April and, in November, the USDA announced vague plans to "streamline" the deregulation petition process for GE organisms. A USDA spokesperson said the streamlining effort is not part of the pilot project, but both efforts appear to address a backlog of pending GE crop deregulation petitions that has angered big biotech firms seeking to rollout new products.
It’s not as good as seeing all of Monsanto’s plants and chemicals getting taken ‘offline’, but at least I can get a little mischevious pleasure from learning that Monsanto has been on the hit-list of the Anonymous team. The following video apparently shows how Monsanto was taken offline (Note that I’m a bit slow on the uptake on this one — as the video is from the middle of last year — but since I’m in an anti-GMO mood today, I thought I’d run it anyway):
Anonymous DDOS attack on Monsanto.com
Here’s an Anonymous message to Monsanto, with transcript below:
Once you’ve harvested your natural honeycomb from your Warré (or other kind of top bar) beehive, it’s time to get some of that goodness into jars! Fortunately, like many other aspects of natural beekeeping, getting the honey out of natural comb is easy and simple, once you know how.
We’re just at the start of our beekeeping journey, but still, even though we don’t have whizz-bang equipment, we found this a wonderfully tactile and rewarding experience. It’s pretty much just a case of crushing the comb, sieving it, and bottling the results. 100% organic yum, with all the goodness of the honey still utterly intact.
As people become urbanised, they start looking at the world in urban ways. What does that car or house say about that person? How does that person’s occupation affect their social standing? People may not admit it, but they understand the answers to these questions intuitively. As permaculturalists, we need to apply these same observational skills to our permacultural adventures.
These observational skills are important for permaculture because they allow you to read a landscape. No two pieces of land are ever the same! Whether that land is in an urban area or a rural area you can gather a huge amount of information as to its suitability for your next permaculture project simply by observation over a period of time. These skills will also allow you to identify ways to adapt your land to your particular purpose.
Reading a landscape is an observational skill so I have decided to take you on a virtual tour of the mountain range that I live in and tell you what I see in the different spots that we stop off at. I will highlight things at each location that I have learned on my food forest permaculture journey, and that I hope to impart to you the reader. I hope you enjoy the tour!
Curious what goes on at the PRI Zaytuna Farm? If you live close to the farm, or are passing by, you're welcome to book yourself on a farm tour (Wednesdays at 11am only). Contact the farm manager and we'll see you soon.
We will take a minimum of 3 people at $35 p/p (groups of less than 3 adults are $50 p/p). Large groups please call to discuss pricing (at least 48 hours prior required).