Category: Community

Design for the Human Life Cycle

by Permaculture designer, Robyn Francis (see also). Photo: Craig Mackintosh It seems to be a common failing in a society that is so peer-oriented, that people rarely seem to design and plan for the changing needs of the full human life cycle. It is easy to relate to the here and now, and the needs of our immediate, short-term future. As permaculture designers we need to consciously develop our awareness […]

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Letters from Vietnam: The Hmong People – Reclaiming Lost Skills

The Future of the Hmong People Photos: Paid for by and Copyrighted to the PRI It took a few moments for my eyes to adapt to the light. There was a single, clear incandescent bulb hanging just millimetres above my head – hanging from somewhere high in the blackness of the ceiling, from a cable so weathered it looked more like a vine than an electrical cord. But it wasn’t […]

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New Beginnings?

Click for larger view Courtesy: Throbgoblins I don’t blame old Cantankerous Frank here (at right) for getting all excited. Everyone likes to hope – and there’s nothing like a perceived new beginning to get people all agitated in a positive way, ready to pick up the ‘ol load again, and trudge forward, excitedly, into a golden new age. For myself, half of my relief over the election was just as […]

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The Flaw of Western Economies

by Marcin Gerwin, Sopot, Poland. Marcin graduated with a Ph.D. in political studies, from the University of Gdansk, Poland, with his thesis: “The idea and practice of sustainable development in the context of global challenges”. Cob House Photo, Gerry Thomasen Let’s imagine a green and responsible consumer. Let’s call him George. George lives in a sleepy town, near the center and the park where he often goes for a walk […]

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Look Locally, See Globally

It’s just amazing how many of life’s lessons can be learned in the garden. It is also amazing that even though we think we have an understanding of things they don’t truly hit home until we experience them for ourselves. I had quite a jolt last week as I searched for my bush basil. I considered myself to have a deep affiliation with the plant. It grew for me when […]

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Letters from Vietnam – Ke Village

The trip to meet the Ma Lieng people at Ke Village, Vietnam, was a bit like a chapter out of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. For starters, to reach the village I had to get ferried across a chocolate river in something resembling a dugout canoe. And, when I got there, I was met with a tribe of villagers who were almost supernaturally tiny. The river’s chocolate hue was due […]

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Letters from Vietnam – The Road to Na Sai

We catch a rare glimpse of an ancient and beautiful culture – the Black Thai people – and applaud the work of a modern day NGO who is working to help improve the lives of these noble people whilst retaining their unique identity – just as a new road threatens their natural, low-carbon existence. Black Thai Villager in Rice Fields, Na Sai Village, Vietnam Photos: Craig Mackintosh A few days […]

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Vuon – Ao – Chuong – The Traditional Vietnamese Farm

by Nguyen Van Man VAC is an acronym formed from the three Vietnamese words Vuon, garden or orchard, Ao, fish pond, and Chuong, pigsty or poultry shed. It refers to a form of domestic agriculture in which food gardening, fish rearing and animal husbandry are wholly integrated, and stems from farming methods developed in the Red River delta of Vietnam. The VAC system is a highly intensive method of small […]

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Can Permaculture Save the World???

Editor’s Note: Point one – this article is circa 1998, from the now-ceased publication Permaculture International Journal. Point two – it is now more relevant than ever, so please read and ponder. The article goes a long way towards explaining why I mix articles the way I do – some about Permaculture, some about current events, the global situation, and the desperate need for systemic social, political and economic change. […]

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Congress Confronts its Contradictions

They baled out of the bail-out, but the money will still have to come from us. It always has. by George Monbiot – journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist According to Senator Jim Bunning, the proposal to purchase $700bn of dodgy debt by the US government “is financial socialism, it is un-American”(1). The economics professor Nouriel Roubini calls George Bush, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke “a troika of […]

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A Pattern Revolution

by Warren Brush, Quail Springs All over the world, an ancient way of being has combined its elemental forces with the truths gained in the modern age to spark the fires of a new and imperative revolution. It is a subtle revolution of knowing the story of where all that sustains us comes from, and of honoring those things deeply. This revolution’s power draws from an ancient well of knowing […]

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Permaculture Volunteer Sought for Uganda

Can you imagine yourself preparing a small-scale intensive garden whilst enjoying Ugandan songs, smiles and sweet bananas? If so, this permaculture volunteer position may be for you! The Network for Holistic Community Development (NEFHCOD) is a small, non-government organisation established in 2005 in the Rakai District, Southern Uganda. NEFHCOD works to empower communities and the needy for sustainable economic development and works predominantly with those living with and affected by […]

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