Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Planetary Permaculture Pilgrimage with Rosemary Morrow

by Tamara Griffiths, Ali Ma and Delvin Solkinson

Day One

It was a beautiful spring day in this incredible eco-village when we met with our hero, Rosemary Morrow, the inspiring and resilient godmother of permaculture. Teaching and travelling since March, Rosemary Morrow seems to tirelessly teach. Over 27 years she has taught in so many war zones, refugee camps and crippled countries.

Rosemary’s beautiful grandmotherly presence makes us feel at home and comfortable in the first instant we meet her. She encourages us right away to begin thinking like teachers and not like students.

We three are sooo excited to be with one of our greatest heroes.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Fungi, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Soil Salination, Swales, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Many thanks to Jeremy, Christina, Erik, Lamia and Kristen for all the work that went into creating the French translation subtitle file for both Parts I & II of the Greening the Desert video below. As a result, I’ve been able to upload a version suitable for your French-speaking friends and family, should you have some.


After clicking play, click on the ‘CC’ button at bottom
of the video to enable the French subtitles

And, a big thanks must also go to Frank Gapinski for the Greening the Desert Part I video that has turned so many on to permaculture concepts. It’s amazing the impact a few minutes of video can have on the world!

P.S. Because of the hard-coded English subtitles in the original version of the video embedded above, English speakers would be better to watch it instead.

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees.

An updated chart of basic companion plants we’ve grown successfully over the years

We recently received an e-mail from a gentleman in China looking for…

… what plants you may have in your garden that you can transplant next to your rose or your apple tree to see how they nurture each other over time.

As a result I thought I would post our own updated list of companion plants for him and anyone else interested. While I would love to say this plant or that plant are "best" I feel I must remind folks to keep in mind your climate, soil and many, many other factors that determine how well these plants cooperate together. Trial and error is the best choice to begin companion planting but the chart below should lead you in the right direction….

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Posted by & filed under Presentations/Demonstrations.

Matthew is a reformed capitalist exploring Regenerative Design Sciences at the forefront of human innovation. He spent two years wandering the planet, in search of people, places, and projects working to make our world a better place. His work in Regenerative Agriculture, Regenerative Business, and Regenerative Economic Development has taken him (so far) to Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Germany, and now Hawai’i. Matthew is the author of Regenerative Business 1.0: Beyond Sustainability and founder of The Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design.

Posted by & filed under People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Community cooperation models the same design of Nature for self-prolific and self-sustainable systems. Through beneficial partnerships with each other we too can unlock the unlimited potential within each other through community cultivation.

by Chowgene Koay

Soil, light, darkness, and the cool refreshing gift of water. In all, they are supporters of life.

Soil bacteria, fungi, and insects infiltrate every niche and space in the underworld creating a rich soup of goodness for our plants known as humus (grow chick peas or garbanzo beans with herbs and spices to make hummus). Which leaves us with the critical question of how do you prepare the soil?

It depends, but this post is about community in relation to soil and gardening. (Give me some time and I’ll write about soil another day.)

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Posted by & filed under GMOs.

An explosion of glyphosate resistant weeds forces Monsanto to run away from farmers’ rising weed control costs

by Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

Monsanto is surrendering to glyphosate resistant weeds [1], according to a new briefing by UK based GM freeze. They are spreading at ‘exponential’ rates in US farms and are increasingly documented in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Europe and South Africa.

While Monsanto grandly claims that its GM technologies help the environment by reducing pesticide use, resistant weeds springing up across the world paints a different picture. Glyphosate resistance has developed as the result of large-scale use of their pesticides. Glyphosate is the active ingredient of Monsanto’s world best-selling herbicide, Roundup.

And now, Monsanto aims to combat this serious agronomic, environmental, socio-economic, and health problem with even further increases in pesticide use.

The company is refusing to accept responsibility for rising weed costs, stating that [2] “Roundup agricultural warranties will not cover the failure to control glyphosate resistant weed populations.” Rising costs are burdening farmers across the globe.

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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 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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