Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books.

A summary of permaculture concepts and principles taken from Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, by David Holmgren

It contains an introduction to permaculture, thoughts about the future of the movement and the values and use of the permaculture principles. A great way to expand your knowledge in preparation for the full length book. This PDF eBook contains interactivity that is best viewed using Adobe Reader.

Available in the following languages – free to download and share:

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

50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their homes — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school. Melissa Fleming of the UN’s refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where people can develop the skills they’ll need to rebuild their hometowns.

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Registration is now officially open for the 2015 Carbon Farming Course, to be held February 3-22, 2015 at the Taconic Retreat Center in New York’s Hudson Valley, USA. Based on your survey responses, the Carbon Farming Team chose a top-notch palette of topics and trainers for the event. Workshops include:

  • Holistic Management & Grazing
  • Keyline Farming
  • Carbon Farming Intensive
  • Financing Regenerative Agriculture
  • Living Soils
  • Restoration Agriculture
  • …and more!

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Posted by & filed under Seeds.

For many interested in permaculture, one of the first and perhaps simplest joys of becoming more involved in holistic design is the experience of being able to harvest something which you have grown yourself; whether it is pesto made of basil from your window-sill or a forest garden so packed with fruit, nuts and climbing vines that you are not sure what you will do with them all. If you have the space and are in one place for long enough, growing your own food can be a fantastically rewarding and efficient way of getting your nutrition.

You don’t need to have land to get growing. By moving the reliance of things we depend on for food into our own homes, gardens, allotments or parks — through projects with the council or local community or, if they are not keen, guerrilla gardening — we are accepting more responsibility for our health and actions, which can have an incredibly empowering effect.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Nurseries & Propogation, Seeds, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees.

Continuing from Part 1.

Sunday 21/09/14: Day 4

The group were very happy with the biole preparations we did on day 3. They were amazed that we could make fertilizer out of basic farmyard trash when they had all been paying though the nose for imported chemicals for the past years. So riding this wave of enthusiasm I hoped we would make good progress in covering the material today. Unfortunately it was a Sunday, so people were kind of half on holiday….

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute.

The amount of energy required to make 12 plastic shopping bags could drive a car for a mile.

City, state, and national governments around the world are trying to limit plastic bag litter and waste with bans and fees.

The oldest existing plastic bag tax is in Denmark, passed in 1993. Danes use very few light-weight single-use plastic bags: about 4 per person each year.

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

Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides in the world. They’ve been linked to the decline of honeybees. But scientists now say they also harm many terrestrial, aquatic, and marine invertebrates. They damage sea urchin DNA, suppress the immune systems of crabs, and affect the tunneling and reproductive behavior of earthworms. They kill off the insects that many birds, amphibians, and reptiles rely on for food. According to Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society, through the widespread use of these pesticides "we are killing the underpinning of the food chain." In human blood studies, neonicotinoids are linked to DNA damage and cell mutation.

Neonicotinoids command 30% of the global insecticide market with sales of over $2.6 billion in 2009. Manufacturers argue that their pest-fighting power is indispensable to agriculture. They were introduced in the 1990s to replace more damaging insecticides. They are systemic and absorbed by the plant, making all parts of the plant — including nectar and pollen — toxic to pests.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

In February 2011 I took over the farm, ‘Tiger Hill’, in Tasmania, Australia. The planets aligned at that time in my life as I had a deep desire to find a property that I could develop to get all of my experience and ideas toward Permaculture on the ground and create my long term vision of an educational community and demonstration site based on Permaculture design.

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Posted by & filed under GMOs.

Researchers have created conventionally bred varieties tolerant to drought and low nitrogen soils that can reduce poverty in 13 African countries by up to 9 %, far outperforming anything that genetic modification has achieved.

by Prof Peter Saunders

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

In the debate about genetically modified (GM) crops, the argument that the biotech industry and their supporters always fall back on is that whether we like it or not, we are going to need them to feed the world. Genetic modification has, they assure us, the potential to produce crops with all sorts of wonderful traits: tolerance of drought, cold, salinity and flooding, resistance to insect pests, extra nutritional value, and more.

But for the last 20 years, GM has singularly failed to convert that potential into reality. Almost all the GM crops grown have been modified to have one of two traits: tolerance of glyphosate-based herbicides and the ability to produce a Bt-toxin that can kill corn and cotton pests. In the meantime, conventional breeding, often employing modern techniques such as marker-assisted breeding, has continued to deliver the goods.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Society.

Competition and individualism are forcing us into a devastating Age of Loneliness.

What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void now filled by marketing and conspiracy theories(1). Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous twenty. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness.

When Thomas Hobbes claimed that in the state of nature, before authority arose to keep us in check, we were engaged in a war “of every man against every man”(2), he could not have been more wrong. We were social creatures from the start, mammalian bees, who depended entirely on each other. The hominims of East Africa could not have survived one night alone. We are shaped, to a greater extent than almost any other species, by contact with others. The age we are entering, in which we exist apart, is unlike any that has gone before.

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Posted by & filed under Comedy Break, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Society.

The Lorax, published in video form on our site here, is a much-loved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss — one with a strong environmental message (the original book version was banned in some schools and libraries in the US due to pressure by the forestry lobbies). Now, above, you can watch an updated version, where, I’m very sorry to say, you’ll discover that the Lorax, who formerly spoke for the trees, has now sold out to commercial interests….