Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

We have a great video for you this week. We visit the farm of one of Geoff Lawton’s students and see all the cool features he put in place after studying Permaculture with Geoff Lawton. It’s quite a dynamic property. You’ll get to see how wind is harvested and put to work to irrigate a food forest of edible plants and timber trees, how the roads were cleverly built, and how the ponds work to build fertility. This is a master example of why students are rushing in droves to study Geoff’s Famous Online PDC Course.

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Entry to enroll in Geoff Lawton’s Online PDC Course is extended for only 24 Hours starting NOW!

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Posted by & filed under General, Global Warming/Climate Change.

Marcin Gerwin: With temperatures rising and changing weather patterns, agriculture will most certainly feel the effects of climate change. Do you think permaculture has the potential to help farmers to deal with the changing climate?

Patrick Whitefield: One specific way in which permaculture can tackle climate change is through diversity, which we emphasize. In terms of trees, one of the big problems with planting trees is that we don’t know what the climate will be when those trees mature. So if we plant a large variety of trees, lots of different kinds — some of which are suited to hotter or cooler climates — then hopefully we’ll get the ones that will survive and be still thriving in 50 or 100 years. The ones which don’t thrive can be taken out as thinnings.

In terms of the short-lived plants, vegetables, cereals, and so forth, I think that planting mixtures is important, because one of the main effects of climate change is not so much steady increase in temperature but an increase in extremes — of drought, of flood, of hot or of cold. For example, in cereals it’s probably worthwhile to sow a mixture of varieties in the field. So in a dry year one variety will do well, in a wet year another variety will do well.

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Posted by & filed under General, News.

Are you concerned about the future of food and farming in Australia?

Now is the time to let the new Federal Government know what you think.

Earlier this week, the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) made our submission to the Australian government’s Agriculture Competiveness White Paper process. The Issues paper released by the Department of Agriculture includes proposals to expand large-scale agriculture, primarily with a view to export.

Regrettably, the Issues paper has very little to say regarding the destructive impacts of the globalised food system, the constant drop in the number of Australian primary producers, the impacts on farming communities of cheap and dumped imported produce, the increasing threat of climate change, and the real constraints on monocultural, input-dependent production through dwindling supplies of non-renewable fossil fuel energy sources and other inputs.

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

Photo: Transition Heathrow

Having received some rather interesting comments on the article about Grow Heathrow, I felt it worthwhile to expand upon some of the issues surrounding the project.

As it says in my article (1), the legal situation of Grow Heathrow is far from certain and court proceedings against the people who set up the project actually began a few months into it. However, the project is still going strong almost four years later.

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Posted by & filed under Society.

In this edition of Permaculture Around Latin America, we move north once more to learn about the strange but wonderful intersection between punk and permaculture. Take a look at this video titled ‘Permaculture Punks of Mexico City.’

I did some research and it looks like the Tierra Viva Collective is currently no longer active. This blog was the only thing I could find that linked to them, and they appear to have been active in the early 90s.

Regardless of this, there’s a lot to learn from these eco-punks. As a Latin American, I have seen trash and pollution comparable to what you see in the video. I sometimes get angry that so many people associate the ‘green’ movement with an elitist version that includes costly super foods grown in the third world, expensive practices and aesthetics, brands and luxuries. It’s very important to always be mindful that permaculture needs to take place in environments like what you see in the video. In places and setups like those, the results can be explosively positive. This video might be from the 90s, but the issues presented continue to be a real problem in most of Latin America. I believe that the intersections between permaculture and social work, anti-establishment, and anti-imperialism have a lot of un-explored potential.

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Posted by & filed under Biological Cleaning, Fungi, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Natural resource exploitation affects almost every corner of the earth, and the extraction of crude oil is just one excessive example. However, when the most biodiverse region on Earth is forced to endure irresponsible drilling, the consequences are magnified. The Amazon Mycorenewal Project (AMP) is currently on the ground in Ecuador, witnessing this devastation first hand and working towards a solution.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

By embracing their critics and colonising governments, corporations engineer a world of conformity and consumerism.

How do you engineer a bland, depoliticised world, a consensus built around consumption and endless growth, a dreamworld of materialism and debt and atomisation, in which all relations can be prefixed with a dollar sign, in which we cease to fight for change? You delegate your powers to companies whose profits depend on this model.

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

Glyphosate’s metal-chelating activity causes bioaccumulation of toxic metals in the body, resulting in an estimated 400 000 cases in Sri Lanka and 20 000 deaths.

by Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

A fully illustrated and referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here.

Sri Lanka is set to partially ban glyphosate-based herbicide use following a new peer-reviewed study linking it to a fatal chronic kidney disease epidemic badly affecting the country [1]. Kidney problems have been further documented in other global regions, prompting an earlier complete ban by El Salvador late last year [2]. A complete ban was initially proposed, but due to plantation sector representatives claiming a shortage of agricultural workers that would not sufficiently manage weeds without glyphosate, the government has now limited the ban to disease endemic areas [3]. Even Brazil, one of the largest growers of glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops has now filed a law suit by Federal Prosecutors to ban glyphosate along with 8 other dangerous pesticides [4]. It is becoming increasingly difficult for government regulators and glyphosate producers to justify the use of this herbicide when other nations are banning the chemical outright in order to protect their citizens.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

During the Earthship Building Course at the farm here in India last month, I taught what I called a ‘Permaculture Primer’. I had one afternoon to summarize my 12 years of self education, my 10-week Internship and PDC with Geoff Lawton at the PRI, and somehow explain what Permaculture is, what it can do and how one could get started and continue learning until either deciding to take a course or connect with existing Permaculture networks back home. I spoke for an hour or so, then we went out and started building and planting things.

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