Category: General

What to Expect When Volunteering on Farms (and What Farms Expect from You)

My front garden on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua “WWOOFing” has become a very common form of budget travel these days. The concept is simple enough: Workers/Travelers volunteer a few hours of labor in exchange for room and board. In your free time, you can frolic on beaches or hike mountains just as any other tourist might. It’s a great deal. It’s particularly fantastic for those of us who aren’t particularly […]

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Advice for Developing a Permaculture Internship Program

Timber-frame raisings have become an annual intern group experience There is no better way to gain hands on experience in permaculture than by spending time on an established (or establishing) site and learning what the work entails day-in and day-out. Interning on a site should provide an equal exchange of one’s labor for the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills. This is a risk mitigation strategy: it allows interns to […]

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The Importance of Eating Food

With global food prices rising (see for example 1), concerns over climate change causing major disruptions in the food supply system (see for example 2), and the dubious nature of many food additives or products (see for example 3), it is no surprise that there appears to be a growing trend towards foraging for wild food. But how can we be sure that what we pick is good to eat? […]

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Care of the Commons. Care of the Soul

Sharing is the path to a greener, more peaceful world. by Ruth Wilson Human decisions and human activities are imposing enormous costs on the life-support systems of planet Earth. Left unchecked, the results will be catastrophic for all living things, including humans. Some of the damage to life and the systems that support life is irreversible. Fortunately, the message is out there to “save the environment.” What may be equally […]

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“Gardens and Micro Farms are Cost Inefficient and Fail to Feed Society”

Photo © Craig Mackintosh People keep telling me that gardens and micro farms are cost inefficient and fail to feed society. Sometimes this information is delivered loudly and firmly with great emphasis on profit, and great personal attachment to the idea of its being true. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about how modern chemical agriculture feeds the world. This is to be expected because so few people […]

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Large Cities in USA less Green than Small Ones

Large cities emit more CO2 and earn no more per capita than small cities, contradicting the ‘economy of scale’ that makes larger cities ‘greener’ than small ones and raising doubt over claims of other benefits. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho Allometric scaling relationships in biology applied to cities Allometric scaling relationships were first discovered in biology in the relative dimensions of parts of the body, as for example brain size and […]

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Catching a Lyft – the Rising Popularity of Ridesharing

by Zachary Shahan Also known as carpooling, lift sharing, and covoiturage, among other names, ridesharing has a longer history than the automobile. But sharing the expense of getting from one spot to another gained prominence during World War II, when gas rationing limited car trips, and again in the 1970s with both the oil and energy crises. Ridesharing is a broad term and can even include instances when family members […]

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Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster

Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster […]

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Meet the Designer: Benjamin Vidmar (Svalbard, Arctic Ocean)

Inside a spare hotel room, on one of the most northern places on earth, something magical is happening. Plants are growing, worms are composting waste, and people are feeling re-connected to food in a world of mining and monetary extraction. Meet Benjamin Vidmar, Director of Polar Permaculture Solutions. Benjamin has been working on creating a permaculture system in Svalbard, part of a group of Islands in the Arctic Ocean. A […]

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Get an Invite to Richard Branson’s Necker Island: Become a Permaculture Designer, and You Might

Permaculture designers Mark Garrett and actress Daryl Hanna, Soneva Fushi, Maldives Meeting Mark Garrett I can always recall the moment I first meet someone, the impression they made. But not Mark Garrett. How many years since I met him? I just can’t say. He’s one of those understated people, always chipping away at things in the background, just merging into the background of the Permaculture world like a blue heeler […]

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Working in Permaculture

Usually people participating in a PDC have a land project which they would like to develop using the common sense design principles offered by permaculture. As a side effect, some might feel the urge to make sweeping changes to their life direction during or after doing a PDC. Often a PDC either creates the need for change, or it comes along at a time when people are open to change […]

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