Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

This is an 11th hour notice from RegenAG regarding a once-off special event 2-day practicum being held next week (14-15th Nov) on Taranaki Farm in Victoria, Australia. The very first RegenAG Practicum (RAP) and the only workshop being held this year on Taranaki Farm.

By now many of you have attended a RegenAG (Regenerative Agriculture) workshop during either the 2010 or 2011 series. RegenAG has now trained thousands of farmers across the country with our independent programs. This brief notice concerns a unique once-off event that will be staged next week on Taranaki Farm (host to the Victorian RegenAG workshops in 2010) and now home to the Australian Polyface Project.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, Education, Society.

Editor’s Note: A recent post gave us a good look at where permaculture stands in education today in Australia. In short, there’s a lot of work to do yet…. The effort outlined in this post, however, is a very positive step in the right direction. I put it up both to encourage the organisers, but also to give inspiration to the rest of you — for what you could try in your own region.

There are many ways to address a sustainable future for our region, Byron Shire, NSW, Australia. The youth Permaculture Challenge aims to do exactly that.

The Youth Permaculture Challenge (YPC) will engage 15-17 year olds who may have an interest in or passion for a sustainable future.

It will provide an opportunity for up to 50 youth to reconnect with the power of nature, learn the principles of permaculture and investigate future pathways in the 2nd fastest growing industry in Australia.

We have secured significant funding to create this program in collaboration with our youth, our schools and our community.

The program provides tangible life-skills in communication, leadership, food production, permaculture and self sufficiency and a Statement of Attainment towards a Certificate II in permaculture.

The Permaculture Youth Challenge is a collaboration between:

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Posted by & filed under Peak Oil.

by Tom Murphy, associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.

Many Do the Math posts have touched on the inevitable cessation of growth and on the challenge we will face in developing a replacement energy infrastructure once our fossil fuel inheritance is spent. The focus has been on long-term physical constraints, and not on the messy details of our response in the short-term. But our reaction to a diminishing flow of fossil fuel energy in the short-term will determine whether we transition to a sustainable but technological existence or allow ourselves to collapse. One stumbling block in particular has me worried. I call it The Energy Trap.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Here’s a sneak peek at Morocco — looking at water issues and the need to relearn traditional catchment management whilst adding in modern permaculture techniques of water harvesting and food forest development. David’s point about market gluts due to farmers all growing the same crop and harvesting it all at the same time is an important one. Diversity is stability — ecologically and economically.

Duration: 5 minutes

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, DVDs/Books.

What: A sustainable film festival
When: December 2-4, 2011
Where: Istanbul

Systemic change is only possible with the simultaneous transformation of individuals, communities and institutions that constitute the system. A system changes when the critical majority of the components reach a new level of consciousness. This is only possible when the individuals’ perception of the reality that they are in has changed, where they can establish a cause-effect relationship of the system and then see their role in the order of things.

The Sustainable Living Film Festival that we are organizing — in order to contribute to the restructuring of all aspects of life from agriculture to energy, from health to recycling and from education to economy — has a holistic perspective and it aims to;

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

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute

Between 2007 and 2011, carbon emissions from coal use in the United States dropped 10 percent. During the same period, emissions from oil use dropped 11 percent. In contrast, carbon emissions from natural gas use increased by 6 percent. The net effect of these trends was that U.S. carbon emissions dropped 7 percent in four years. And this is only the beginning.

The initial fall in coal and oil use was triggered by the economic downturn, but now powerful new forces are reducing the use of both. For coal, the dominant force is the Beyond Coal campaign, an impressive national effort coordinated by the Sierra Club involving hundreds of local groups that oppose coal because of its effects on human health.

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Posted by & filed under Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Owen’s talk here is quite fascinating. While most in permaculture will recognise the importance of mainframe design, Owen’s talk goes a step further, and dips headlong into mainframe concepts as well. If you’re one of those right-side brain type people who just loves thinking a little above and beyond and immersing yourself into a bit of creative theory, you’ll find this talk from Owen hard to pause. If it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t panic, as Owen brings the theoretical aspects back onto the ground throughout, to show how it plays out (and boy does it play out) on a tangible property he’s been working on in the U.S. of A. — in this case the large broad acre Whirlwind Farm. In essence, Owen’s talk is about restorative, resilience farming: how we can think about it, and achieve it.

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Society.

We’ve been watching our leaders sell out to corporate, extractive interests for so long, it’s almost numbingly normal to us. For example, last year, in the U.S., we saw what appears to be one of the last nails in our socio-economic and environmental coffin, that being the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned laws restricting corporate influence over politics, thereby granting corporations the right to give unlimited funding to the media campaigns of political candidates. This frees big business to 1) ensure their favourite political horse gets the kind of exposure that only multi-billion dollar bank accounts can bring, and/or 2) to use aforesaid billions to vilify any candidate perceived to be any kind of threat to their competitive dominance in the market place.

And what did Joe Citizen do about it? There were some protests, to be sure, but then people settled back in front of their televisions, and life went on. Apparently even Obama wasn’t pleased with the decision, or was that display just to make us feel like something would be done about it? Has anything changed?

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education Centres, News, Society, Urban Projects.

Editor’s Note: This article appeared as the cover story for Kenya’s main newspaper — the Daily Nation — helping give top exposure to the just-established PRI Kenya. Warren Brush (see also) sent this through, and has been the main driver in helping get PRI Kenya off the ground, or onto the ground, as the case may be. The article also appeared on Here’s hoping this new work in Kenya can help invigorate the real kind of ‘development’ that too many countries have detoured around in their search for happiness.

Click for full view

A green oasis nestles on the barren expanse that is Nairobi’s south-east end, somehow managing to blossom between kennels of barking dogs and the exhaust fumes of an auto garage.

Overflowing with colourful vegetables and flowers, the lush patch of garden breaks the grey monotony of concrete and barbed wire, and provides a home to a dozen rabbits, chickens and quail.

Owned and run by the security and courier company Wells Fargo, this garden is the brainchild of the company’s operations director, Ms Gai Cullen.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Deforestation, Education Centres, Food Plants - Perennial, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Nurseries & Propogation, Society, Trees, Village Development.

The Ghana Permaculture Nwodua Tree Nursery was created in 2007, as a means of community income and to fight desertification, erosion, and diversion of water flow by roads, through reforestation. A collaborative effort of youth, women, and men founded the community nursery, and all members of the community reap the success of the profit as well as the natural environment benefits of tree planting. The nursery started as a small production and soon blossomed into something larger, achieving the current production of over 96,000 seedlings per year.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, Dams, Land, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Swales, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Five days ago I edited together and uploaded some video files that Geoff Lawton sent through of a recent small dam and fish pond installation during the recent Earthworks course at Zaytuna Farm. Since then Geoff has sent through a few more clips that might interest you. You see, just after I uploaded the first video, Zaytuna Farm was hit by a pretty major rain event, so here you get to see how the new earthworks fared.

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.