Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease, Markets & Outlets, Processing & Food Preservation, Society.

Press Release
February 24, 2012
Contact: Liz Reitzig, Co-founder, Farm Food Freedom Coalition
301-807-5063, lizreitzig (at)

Farmer Faces Possible 3-year Prison Term for Feeding Community — Customers and Other Supporters Stand with Farmer

Baraboo, WI—Food sovereignty activists from around North America will meet at this tiny town on March 2 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, who has a court hearing that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land him in prison for three years with fines of over $10,000. The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.

Read more »

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

This article reviews perennial staple crops, a little-known group of species with tremendous potential to address world problems.

Ricardo Romero of Las Cañadas in perennial staple food forest featuring
peach palm, macadamia, air potato, banana, and perennial beans.

Perennial Staple Crops are basic foodstuffs that grow on perennial plants. These plant sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can be harvested non-destructively – that is, harvest does not kill the plant or prevent future harvests. This group of crops includes grains, pulses (dry beans), nuts, dry pods, starchy fruits, oilseeds, high-protein leaves, and some more exotic products like starch-filled trunks, sugary palm saps, and aerial tubers.

These trees, palms, grasses, and other long-lived crops offer the unique possibility of crops grown for basic human food that can simultaneously sequester carbon, stabilize slopes, and build soils as part of no-till perennial agricultural systems. Such production models seem the most likely of all regenerative farming practices to approach the carbon sequestering capacity of natural forest, because they can mimic the structure of a forest most closely.

Read more »

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

I’ve got some incredible news to share with you! The permaculture initiative that I facilitate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA) has been selected by the White House as a finalist for the Campus Champions of Change Challenge award! This means we are in the final round and the general public is now voting for which teams will get a trip to the White House (judges selected 15 projects from more than 1000 applications!) The top 5 winners also get featured on a television program called ‘The Deans List’ on MTV.

Imagine the potential this has! This is by far the most important thing that I can be doing for the world right now — I truly feel that in my heart.

We have only 1 week to tally as many votes as we can – voting ends Saturday, March 3 at 11:59PM est (New York time!) Here’s a short description about the student group that I oversee, and how to vote:

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Compost, Project Positions, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Working Animals.

Aloha. This is an introduction to my TEDx talk and my WWOOFing experience here at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm at The Channon, NSW, Australia.

I came here the day after Christmas 2011. I knew about Geoff Lawton and Zaytuna Farm from my time in Hawaii on an organic, educational farm there where I had seen the DVDs on permaculture that Geoff had made. I wanted to see what permaculture was all about. I had had an introduction to it there and so I ventured out. In my TEDx talk I mention going on a journey and it led me here to this permaculture farm and it is a wonderful experience. This has mostly been due to the people I have met here, the students/interns and the food is incredible. I tell everybody I am here for the food and chef Ish and chef Tee do a fantastic job.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Society.

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers. – William Wordsworth


by Samuel Alexander

Beyond our basic material needs for food, clothing, and shelter, how much is enough? In particular, how much money and how many possessions do we really need to live well and to be free? These are not questions that many people ask themselves in consumer societies today, but they are some of the most important questions of all.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Fungi, Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling.

In January 2010 Richard Higgins, founder and CEO of Well End Permaculture International, arrived at the epicentre of the Haiti earthquake in Port au Prince.

We sat the visiting NGOs down to lunch just to the left of this picture
(see next picture, below). Each double pallet contained 1,200 fresh
human wastes and nobody had any idea they were there

After arrival in Haiti I presented my researched technology at various WASH cluster meetings at the UN information site, near the airport. After the third presentation — made before the meetings had started, I was spotted by the regional director for Water and Sanitation for Latin America of the NGO giant CRS (Catholic Relief Services).

One week later I began work in a contracted position to set up a pilot project at the Sainte Marie Community Convent for the remediation of the toilet waste and other refugee camp generated wastes, into fertilizer, for 200 people.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear, Peak Oil, Society.

670kb PDF

Energy is never far from the headlines these days. Conflicts of all kinds — political, economic, social, military — seem to be proliferating over oil, coal, gas, nuclear and biomass.

While some interests struggle to keep cheap fossil fuels circulating worldwide, a growing number of communities are resisting their extraction and use.

While an increasingly urbanised populace experiences fuel poverty and many people in rural areas have no access whatsoever to electricity, large commercial enterprises enjoy subsidised supplies.

As increasingly globalised manufacturing and transport systems spew out ever more carbon dioxide, environmentalists warn that the current era of profligate use of coal, oil and gas is a historical anomaly that has to come to an end as soon as possible, and that neither nuclear energy, agrofuels or renewables (even supposing they could be delivered in an environmentally sustainable and safe manner) will ever constitute effective substitutes for them.

For progressive activists, all this raises an unavoidable yet unresolved question: how to keep fossil fuels and uranium in the ground and agrofuels off the land in a way that does not inflict suffering on millions?

Read more »

Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books, Seeds.

To see things in the seed, that is genius. – Lao Tzu

I guess Lao Tzu did not factor that there would be two types of geniuses born. Those, like a handful of greedy corporations, who use seeds to control, govern and enslave, and those — like traditional farmers and permaculturists — who nurture the future of humanity through them.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings, Village Development.

Sponsorship opportunity in permaculture: businesses, local groups, entrepreneurs, consultants & trainers.

Dear Permaculture Practitioners and Local Groups

National Permaculture Day (NPD) showcases the practices of permaculture to the public. Businesses and local groups show permaculture in action — through markets, demonstrations, ‘open houses and gardens’, and local events in city and country.

The day has run nationally for three years, supported first by individuals and local groups, and last year by a grant of $17,900 from the federal government. It is part of the developing move for a national presence for permaculture.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Peak Oil, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

As economies contract, a global popular uprising confronts power elites over access to the essentials of human existence. What are the underlying dynamics of the conflict, and how is it likely to play out?

by Richard Heinberg (Article originally published on

1. Prologue

As the world economy crashes against debt and resource limits, more and more countries are responding by attempting to salvage what are actually their most expendable features — corrupt, insolvent banks and bloated militaries — while leaving the majority of their people to languish in “austerity.” The result, predictably, is a global uprising. This current set of conditions and responses will lead, sooner or later, to social as well as economic upheaval — and a collapse of the support infrastructure on which billions depend for their very survival.

Nations could, in principle, forestall social collapse by providing the basics of existence (food, water, housing, medical care, family planning, education, employment for those able to work, and public safety) universally and in a way that could be sustained for some time, while paying for this by deliberately shrinking other features of society — starting with military and financial sectors — and by taxing the wealthy. The cost of covering the basics for everyone is within the means of most nations. Providing human necessities would not remove all fundamental problems now converging (climate change, resource depletion, and the need for fundamental economic reforms), but it would provide a platform of social stability and equity to give the world time to grapple with deeper, existential challenges.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants.

In this article I would like to share with you the transition Yotam and I went through from conventional hair care to a completely zero waste, home made, natural hair care regime.

I think this process is also a mirror to many other parallel transitions we have been doing in our lives on our way to sustainability, and that our society still needs to go through.

Any step you take on this path is blessed, but knowing that there is more that you can do can help in taking yourself further.

Here are the steps we’ve gone through:

Read more »