Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Land, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development.

What do you do with an old church car park? Turn it into a community garden, of course! And that’s how the Ridley Grove Community Garden — a child, pet and disabled person friendly garden in the Adelaide suburb of Woodville Gardens — came into being.

The first thing they did was to bring in the experts to help clear the grass… a herd of hard working, hungry goats! Now that’s chemical free weed control… with built in fertiliser! Next came the soil building, with lots of compost and mulch, which turned a compacted surface of gravel and dolomite into fertile, productive garden beds.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Fish.

Indigenous peoples have employed various sustainable ways of obtaining food. Using a fish trap is just one of them.

by Claudette Fleming

The Kingfisher and indigenous people methods of fishing have one commonality — they are sustainable. No fish is wasted and there is always fish for tomorrow.

Traditional lowland indigenous peoples of South America most often fish daily and tend to fish only for the family and maybe other vulnerable members of the community, e.g. the elderly. Sometimes fish is preserved for future use, but fresh fish is always preferred. An advantage of daily fishing is that the catch is at its freshest. One important sustainable way to fish is to use a cell-type fish trap.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Consumerism, Ethical Investment, News, Society, Village Development.

The small community of Mullumbimby in the Byron Shire of northern NSW, Australia, is currently in the process of determining their own food supply future by purchasing their local supermarket.

This movement, which is gaining momentum daily at an amazing rate, began by chance, fate, serendipity — call it what you will. Greg Dutton, president of the local community garden approached Richard Storie, the proprietor of the local IGA supermarket, about selling the community garden organic seedlings outside the store. During this conversation he quipped, "If the seedling sale goes well I’ll be back to buy the store". That’s a lot of seedlings. Nevertheless an idea was conceived and now after a five month gestation period a movement has been born.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Compost, Fungi, Land, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation.

I’ve been wanting to do a hugelkultur bed ever since I saw an article about a village store garden where people could walk around these really tall raised beds picking their veggies without bending.

Hugelkultur is a Central European-style raised bed which uses rotting wood as its foundation. Toby Hemenway mentions it in Gaia’s Garden, offering the hot tip that he can start potatoes a month early in this kind of bed. The hugelkultur raised bed can be built in many different ways, towering as high as you can reach or in a deep trench so that the planting surface is more or less level with the ground.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Peak Oil, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

This is an interview with Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Town movement founded in Totnes, United Kingdom. The interview is about what Transition Towns mean, and how he came up with this idea as a permaculture teacher. The interview also covers how is this concept important now, during the present global crisis, and how the Transition Town movement can get involved in educating people to cope with a future in energy descent, which is starting not tomorrow, but right now! It ends with his prediction for the near future.



Duration: 23 minutes

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

What: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
Where: The Rainbow Tree, Scagnello, Piedmont, Italy
Who: You, with Aranya, Pietro Zucchetti and Ezio Gori as teachers (This course will be taught in English, with some translation assistance into Italian)
When: 19th – 28th May 2012 (72 hours over ten days)

This practical course will bring the possibility of significant and positive life changes. Although permaculture is most commonly thought about in connection with gardening & farming, its principles, ethics and design methods can be adapted and used in each individual’s own work, interests and home to bring about a more harmonious & sustainable lifestyle. Permaculture offers a perspective on all aspects of building a sustainable future. Permaculture encourages us to use our individual skills, knowledge and interests, whilst drawing on traditional wisdom, science and our innate ability to observe and learn from the world around us.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Mudlark Permaculture on the northern outskirts of Beaufort, in central Victoria, Australia, will be hosting a Permaculture Earthworks course in April from Monday 23 — Friday 27th, 2012.

Internationally experienced David Spicer will be teaching water harvesting and land repair techniques — the how to, where and why of dam, swale and spillway design and construction, laser and dumpy level surveying skills and the application of keyline and deep ripping for water infiltration.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Biological Cleaning, Land, Plant Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Overview

Effluent processing all over the world requires large amounts of energy and/or chemicals to treat the waste water, or the waste water is improperly filtered before being returned to the environment. There are a number of solutions to lessen the waste water load while at the same time producing a net benefit. Systems that include the collection of urine to be used as fertilizer and methane digesters that create fuel from feces [see ‘Biogas’ section at bottom of the just-linked article] are a couple of such solutions. Another solution — constructed wetland filtration systems for homes, communities, and industrial sectors — are efficient in both processing ability and energy requirements.

These artificial wetlands provide a near zero energy input way to treat local effluent with no negative side effects. The process is free of both chemicals and odours, provides habitat for wildlife, increases the diversity and aesthetics of any site, and, depending on the toxicity of the inflowing effluent, can potentially create a yield, such as fodder for livestock.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development.


An international student simultaneously gains permaculture knowledge and
experience, whilst supporting much-needed permaculture aid work
and project establishment —
aka: The Permaculture Master Plan.

The latest PDC at Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge was a good step forward for us, as we managed to combine and integrate several objectives and deliver satisfactory results on all of them through the course of the program:

  1. Training a group of folks from various parts of the world to be permaculture designers
  2. Giving new impetus to, and gaining quality feedback on, our school’s permaculture outreach program
  3. Developing a plan for the next stage of that program.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

In this short animated clip, USC Canada shares the sad realities behind the food industry. Another alarming call for the urgency to radically change the way we perceive food consumption.

Further reading/watching:

Posted by & filed under Eco-Villages, Land, Waste Systems & Recycling.


Filling tyres with trash bricks

We recently spent a month volunteering in Indonesia, on the beautiful and luxurious island of Samosir. We lent our hands to a small but emerging eco-village situated right on the shore of Lake Toba. At Eco-Village Samosir there are many projects underway, from mulching around the 3,000 newly planted trees to creating a food forest to feed the growing number of volunteers.

During our visit, we noticed that a major cause for action in Silimalombu (population: 200) was waste management and recycling. Granted this is a national issue, world wide even, but I guess for us it was more an in-your-face issue to tackle as the image of an eco-village doesn’t usually exist with a litter mentality. The community decided to ‘cope’ with the myriads of plastic bags and other garbage by supplying each home with waste bins and adding receptacles here and there in which they later burn their trash. So although the quaint village appears clean and tidy, the kids, dogs and local fishermen pay the price by inhaling toxic fumes twice a week. Not everyone has adopted the ‘dump and burn’ approach; some simply hide all their trash on the slopes of the lake, where, to this day, few people can see.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Land.

Having been a self-sufficient farmer in the Northern Isles of Scotland and having worked for ecological charities that have helped to build permaculture gardens in arid lands around the world, I have now been living in Southern Portugal for the past fifteen years. Here we have witnessed the weather become more and more erratic and we’ve watched as European Governments try to snatch yet more money from the working people with no regard for the damage done to the natural world.

I decided that now was indeed the time to ‘Make a Garden’.


Gaia-Atlantis Peace Garden

Read more »