Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease, News.

The full scheduled voting on a state-wide ballot for Measure 92 in Oregon to label GMO foods won’t come in until November 4th, but voting has begun, and we’re winning!

The measure would ensure that the labeling of genetically modified foods was mandatory, and that Big Food corporations along with Big Chemical like Monsanto and Dow wouldn’t be able to label foods ‘if they felt like it’ as the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association has suggested we consumers allow.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity.

A landmark study by an international group of scientists has concluded that planet Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction event comparable in scale to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The researchers found that extinction rates are currently 1000 times higher than normal due to deforestation, global climate change, and the depletion of ocean fisheries.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Society, Urban Projects.

Rebuilding the commons in an economically-divided, violence-scarred neighborhood

by Orion Kriegman

Egleston Square is a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, straddling the borders of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain (JP) in the city of Boston. High condo prices and even higher rents are pushing long-term residents, to move elsewhere. This churning of the real estate market, to be expected in a profit-maximizing system, dissolves community and acerbates race and class divides. It is now common to hear of talk of “Two JPs”-– one prosperous, highly educated, professional and largely White, and another struggling, working class, mainly immigrant and Hispanic. The story of the Egleston Community Orchard is a story of these two realities coming together.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

When unemployment figures start to decrease in many countries, economists and governments congratulate themselves on their ability to ‘stimulate’ demand.

This week, one London-based school that is devoted to teaching emotional intelligence responded by releasing a video that explores the distinction between good and bad demand, and ‘employment and misemployment’.

They have uploaded the full script of the video on their website. I found this passage particularly inspiring.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Animal Forage, Breeds, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Livestock, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.


Awassi sheep ready to go to market (and random standards inspector)

I’ve been to the Greening the Desert “Sequel” site three times now. Once was in 2011 when we were at the IPC in Jordan. Once was in 2012 when I went there to take an internship with Geoff and Nadia. This year I was able to go back there to teach a PDC myself. So I’ve seen some of the development of the site over the past three years as the trees have grown up, formed a canopy and started to alter the microclimate of the site quite appreciably. And it’s been a huge success. Most of us who came across Permaculture in the last ten years will remember the first time they saw Geoff’s original Greening the Desert video. The “Wow! That’s really possible?!” feeling it gave was an inspiration for a lot of us to get into Permaculture in the first place. For me at least, with the site also being so close to Palestine, and the Middle East conflict in full swing, the idea that we could enact some form of practical non-violent action to improve the lives of the local population by facilitating new approaches to management of resources through less input-intensive techniques than the typical western models was truly mind blowing.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Dams, Land.

Over the past year Yandoit Farm has been going through a few changes. Located in Victoria, Australia, north of Hepburn Springs, the farm has had an interesting past, at times being heavily mined for gold, with the miners living on the property, and more recently used to run cattle.

Working with an array of permaculture and regenerative agriculture designers the stewards of Yandoit Farm, Lisa and Michael, worked on designing and implementing a whole farm design to regenerate the land.

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Posted by & filed under Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.


Dutch clover cover crop between cabbage rows

Nitrogen is a component of protein and DNA and as such, is essential to all living things. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, around 97% of the nitrogen supporting life on earth was fixed biologically. Over the last century, intensification of farming, coupled with a lack of understanding of soil microbial communities, has resulted in reduced biological activity and an increased application of industrially produced forms of nitrogen to agricultural land.

In 2013, Australian grain-growers expended close to $3 billion on inorganic nitrogen (Marino 2014). Globally, over $100 billion of nitrogen fertilisers are applied to crops and pastures every year. Between 10 and 40% of the applied N is taken up by plants. The other 60-90% is leached into water, volatilised into the air or immobilised in soil.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, General, Global Warming/Climate Change.

There are many ways to describe Maurice Kwadha: farmer, entrepreneur, and climate-smart are some of them.

But some in Kombewa, in western Kenya’s Nyando Basin, used to call him a madman. Once, when he was collecting discarded milk packets at the local market, he was physically attacked by someone who thought he had lost his mind. But Maurice had a plan. And his small farm, with its burgeoning tree nursery, is the proof.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I say may those who have a loud voice speak! This is precisely what Nature Is Speaking has ventured to do — to give nature a voice (and a very familiar voice). Watch the videos below to see what I mean!

Some of the most famous American actors (from Julia Roberts to Robert Redford) have lent their voices in the name of nature. This is a global invitation to collaborate with Nature….

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

We all know about society’s over-consumption of plastic. We’ve heard again and again that it takes up to a millennia for plastics to bio-degrade (1), and consumers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year (2). And the issue of micro-plastic in our oceans in the past few years have gained awareness via social media. With all this data perpetually smothering our faces on a regular basis, it really begs the question why aren’t governments providing effective immediate solutions on a macro-scale to combat society’s rampant plastic consumption? If plastics are so costly in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, then action has to be undertaken promptly, and in this article are practical solutions as to how you can build and begin successful projects.

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