Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Land, Urban Projects.

Daniel Diškanec checks out his new edible friends
Photos © Craig Mackintosh

I should have shared these pictures back in August, when the pictures were taken, but was too tied up with preparations for the Tenth International Permaculture Conference (IPC10) in Jordan. Though late, I trust you’ll appreciate them anyway.

If you didn’t catch them already, be sure to read the previous two posts on this homeless camp in the mountainous north-central part of Slovakia (here and here). It’ll help you appreciate my personal satisfaction from seeing the magic of developing abundance with this project — one that can truly use the additional health-giving produce pictured and the increased economic resiliency it brings.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development.

A holistic and most outrageous concept being turned into reality in Denmark.

From: Sepp Holzer’s Permakultur, Leopold Stocker Verlag, 2008

Fresh is the concept for an organic, living supermarket in cities and villages, where instead of taking the items off the shelf, the customer harvests the produce directly from raised beds!

It is a system that works with nature rather than against it.

By harvesting, the customer contributes to the work of producing to such a large extent that the produce can be offered at a never before seen quality and price. It’s almost for free. This is what you may call a win win win situation!

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Posted by & filed under Education, Society.

by Nelson Lebo, Centre for Science and Technology Education Research, University of Waikato, New Zealand


The profound lack of sustainable systems on our planet is of great concern to environmentalists, some of who are environmental educators and some of who are permaculturists. It can be argued that many of the problems facing the Earth and its inhabitants are caused by a lack of ecological literacy among much of the human population. Ecological literacy includes an understanding of the scientific principles of ecology, including the recognition of limits and possibilities. It also includes an attitude of care toward the environment and a commitment to act. Finally, it includes the ability to recognize interconnectedness; what some people call systems thinking.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres.

by Tamara Griffiths and Delvin Solkinson

The ultimate compliment to a teacher is when your students make you redundant. — Geoff Lawton.

Day 5

The day started with storytelling. With twists and turns, laughs and
straight faces, Geoff tells us a bit about the origin of permaculture,
steeping us in a history rich with challenges and successes.

It was a wonderful yet exhausting last day. We all were to do 10 minute presentations but with 27 students and transition time this ended up taking more than 6 hours. A storm was brewing outside while the day stretched on, building a climatic climax to the experience here at Zaytuna.

It was 11:11:11 that day so at 11:11 am we joined people across the planet and meditated for peace and sustainability, praying that permaculture be empowered to do its work in the world.

It was amazing to see how many of us had been empowered and supported to grow through this dense week of training. Truly the people coming out of the course were not the same ones that went in. We had been upgraded and tooled to go back to all our different communities and to travel to places of need to help contribute in whatever way we could to advance permaculture education and practice.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, Land, Urban Projects, Village Development.

The Urban Consultancy and Design Course experience at the Permaculture Research Institute.

Imagine, you’re perusing the Sunday paper, thumbing through various articles, world news, sports, opinion pieces… yea, we’ve all been there. What feelings arise for you as the images pass by your eyes? Article after article, world news and local… everything seems so dismal.

In disgust and with a freshly drained world view, you fold the paper up and drop it back down on the table. Just before looking away and try to forget the morning sorrow a small advertisement catches your eye.


Free garden? Sounds too good to be true. But it’s about the only positive thing you’ve seen this morning. What have you got to lose?

What you don’t know is that, behind the scenes, there are 20 knowledge-hungry permaculture students waiting to get out of the classroom and get their hands dirty in your very own backyard!

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Urban Projects.

Original asphalt

It began with a large area of asphalt and a dream of expanding our community garden. Mulberry Gardens is in Glenroy, Melbourne, Australia and operates entirely as a communal space. All members share in the upkeep and harvest the produce — which is mostly shared amongst attendees at the Saturday morning communal sessions. The number of fast food and alcohol shops vastly outweighs fresh food outlets in the area so a community garden was established to help give locals access to fresh organic produce and share the skills of growing produce.

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Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Village Development.

Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, gave this inspiring talk to Occupy Wall Street, which is actually about growing “the bright side of the force”. This Star Wars inspired theme I couple with “the handicap principle“, which has a “bright” and a “dark” side; the selfish and the cooperative. Animals generally use just one of these forces in gathering acceptance and status, while humans are capable to use both or choose one. Or they don’t actually choose, they use the part of the force which is easiest to achieve within the current design of our societies. Unfortunately we have chosen to grow “the dark side of the force”, today growing these evil powers mainly through the ideologies of modernism and capitalism. As a result, community is almost gone.

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Posted by & filed under General.

by Michael Pilarski, Friends of the Trees Society

So what is permaculture? What makes it different from: organic gardening? organic farming? sustainable agriculture? ecological agriculture? bio-dynamic farming? regeneration farming? forest gardening? Holistic Resource Management HRM? ecosystem restoration? sustainability? or natural building?

Permaculture is unique, yet at the same time includes all of the above. Permaculture is the design of sustainable human settlement. One of the most important things about permaculture is that it’s a synthesis of agriculture, ecology, and forestry. Permaculture is inter-disciplinary as will be outlined in this article.

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Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems, Urban Projects.

by Jessica Ryall

You don’t need a super-fantastic-amazing funny-looking low energy house to cut down your home energy use if you know what you’re looking for. Not every house in suburbia is a low energy house. You have probably noticed it yourself. Some homes are just naturally bright and sunny. They’re always nice to be in and mysteriously toasty warm in winter. During the summer, all the owner has to do is open the back door and a cool breeze magically flows through the house. Other homes are the exact opposite. In winter, the sun never seems to come into the windows. The cold breeze rattles the floorboards underfoot. And that state-of-the-art gas heater only seems to warm the few inches of air around it. In summer the heat is oppressive and no matter what you try, even with the air conditioning turned up all the way, it is always more comfortable under the tree outside.

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Posted by & filed under Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Regional Water Cycle, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Salination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

This excellent little video, put together by Anselm Ibing, introduces a new series on sustainable land use in Jordan. It kicks off with a concise look at historical aspects relating to Jordan’s present ecological situation. I’m now left looking forward to Part II….

Further Reading: