Community Projects, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Earth Policy Institute May 15, 2013
by Janet Larson, Earth Policy Institute
When New York City opened registration for its much anticipated public bike-sharing program on April 15, 2013, more than 5,000 people signed up within 30 hours. Eager for access to a fleet of thousands of bicycles, they became Citi Bike members weeks before bikes were expected to be available. Such pent-up demand for more cycling options is on display in cities across the United States—from Buffalo to Boulder, Omaha to Oklahoma City, and Long Beach in New York to Long Beach in California—where shared bicycle programs are taking root.Comments (0)
Permaculture on the Mine Site and Next to the Railroad: A Free Two-Day Permaculture Workshop in the West Virginia Coalfields – a How-To and Lessons Learned
Courses/Workshops, Village Development — by Crystal Cook May 9, 2013
by the We Are All Farmers Permaculture Institute (Crystal Allene Cook, Edward Marshall; photos by PDC graduate Amanda Joy)
Participants in the We Are All Farmers free permaculture workshop
in Mingo County, West Virginia.
Why should you care about Mingo County, West Virginia?
You probably haven’t heard of Mingo County, West Virginia in the United States. And if you have recently, it may be for its new series of ATV trails named for the mythologized fighting of two local families, the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. In the case of the Hatfields and McCoys, land displacement, political differences, and resource extraction (timbering) fueled the disagreement between these two families; their fighting grew out of far more than any purported heritage of feuding. This is also the area of the United States famed for stuffing ballot boxes leading to John F. Kennedy’s election. Or, maybe you know of Mingo County’s Battle of Matewan, when coal miners shot it out with thugs hired to suppress the miners’ union. Family, timber, state lines, land, politics, and coal — certainly a complicated mix.Comments (0)
People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Stefan Boone May 7, 2013
The miracle of your mind isn’t that you can see the world as it is. It’s that you can see the world as it isn’t. — Kathryn Schulz
Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Education, Ethical Investment, Society, Village Development — by Kenton Zerbin May 4, 2013
All photos © Craig Mackintosh
In my previous article I stressed how there is no sounder thing to invest in than a) Yourself and B) Community.
In this article I want to share some of the simple ways one can invest in oneself. For some this may translate and lead to finding meaning, a career and community — after all what we are ultimately talking about here is finding connection. For some this will serve as one more swift kick in the butt to get out the door and be the change you want to see in the world. No matter who you are, I hope you find this hopeful, inspiring and informative.
Options for investing in yourself:Comments (3)
Consumerism, Economics, Ethical Investment, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Kenton Zerbin April 29, 2013
Maximum security, maximum return. Who doesn’t want that? In a world of uncertainty and change, more than a few people are reconsidering where it is they want their money.
I grew up being encouraged to save and invest in savings. The two are not the same thing. To invest in savings is to invest in money itself. To put your money into money… such a strange idea. But in a civilization bent on growth, how can your money not grow as well? It really isn’t a bad idea if you have faith that growth never ends….Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Financial Management, Village Development — by Alex McCausland March 30, 2013
Pioneering is an essential function in the establishment of eco-systems. It refers to the initial colonisation of previously uninhabited habitat by a class of species (‘pioneers’) which are specially adapted to living in the harsh conditions of an otherwise uninhabited environment. Pioneers are generally short lived with small and abundant seed and have long range dispersal mechanisms suited to their ecology. Often the seeds are wind pollinated. In habitats which are maintained in a perpetual state of degradation by over-stocking and unregulated grazing, the pioneers tend to have seed which is dispersed by animals — it may be sticky, spiky or with velcro-like micro-hooks on it — so the animals spread them around. In this kind of environment the plants themselves also support defence mechanisms — e.g. spiky, obnoxious, bitter etc., and this is why referring to someone as “a pioneer” in permaculture terminology is a veiled way of saying they may seem ‘difficult’ (as in imbued with the kind of defence mechanisms that pioneer species utilise) but nevertheless they serve an important function – that of “getting the ball rolling” so that other more sociable, lusher, greener, more palatable and cooperative species can move into the system.
Old Bill himself has sometimes been referred to as a pioneer. Most of us are well acquainted with his charm and wit! So, on that basis, I will take having being referred to as a pioneer myself as a compliment! So the point is that pioneers may not be very fluffy, kind and sociable, but without these spiny, stubborn, bitter little plants there would be nothing at all, but with pioneers, we have a chance to get succession going.Comments (2)
Seeking Support for Worthy African Participants to Attend PDC and Internship in Konso, Ethiopia in April-May 2013
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Alex McCausland March 11, 2013
Editor’s Note: As many of you know, we (the PRI) seek to spread permaculture take-up to all people everywhere, but a main focus, as we are able to finance it, is to help establish and support self-replicating permaculture demonstration/education sites in some of the world’s neediest regions. Many of you will have followed Alex’s noble and determined/persistent efforts in Ethiopia (see Alex’s author profile), and I trust you’ll see that he, his team, and the valuable work they are undertaking is more than deserving of our support and encouragement. I have personally worked hard to build traffic on this site over the last several year for the very purpose of being able to focus more eyeballs on worthy projects such as this. I sincerely hope you’ll take the time to read this post, and assist if you can. And, if you’re not in a position to help financially right now, then please at least take the time to share this page with your contacts via email, Facebook, etc. Thanks in advance to you all for your continued support!
Greetings to all of you Permaculturists out there. This is coming from Konso, south Ethiopia where we were able to establish our Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge (SFEL) permaculture demonstration site as a PRI Master Plan satellite site in January. As a PRI site we run trainings for international students, whose fees help us fund local students (i.e. students from Konso to get onto the courses we run — we mostly work with school teachers and students to start and mobilise our schools project sites) to take the training alongside the internationals themselves. We are running a PDC-Internship Combo this spring and have been promoting it here and elsewhere with updates on our work in Konso. However, much of the interest in taking these courses at the moment is coming from students elsewhere in Africa (e.g. Sudan, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, etc.) where people are not exactly swimming in spare cash either. Hence we are looking for support to offer scholarships to help these African students attend our program. For each international (African) student that attends, another local Ethiopian student will be able to take the training, working towards the development of our local community outreach program — the Permaculture In Konso Schools Project — so you would be helping two people that need funding to get PDC certified. If anybody out there has the resources and the big heart to help us in this endeavour then their reward is in the good thing that they do. Please see more info on the PDC and internship programs here and here, respectively.
Applicants seeking Support to attend the April/May PDC-Internship are:Comments (2)
Community Projects, People Systems, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Elspeth Brock March 5, 2013
I attended the Community Gardens Conference in Canberra in 2010. Myles Bremner, CEO of Garden Organic, Europe’s main organic gardening organization, was speaking about how surprised he was that in Australia there was no unified network of Community Gardens. In fact in Australia no one even knows exactly how many there are. This highlighted for me the importance of building local networks to improve the credibility of local food growing and share experiences and resources.
I wanted to share my experience of The Moreland Food Gardens Network (MFGN) in Melbourne, Australia, to show how a local network can work. It began with a group of people all somehow involved in community gardens and there are now a wide range of organisations and individuals involved, such as horticulturalists, community members, local schools, community health organisations, local council and academics.Comments (0)
SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) Turns Problem into Solution With Composting Toilets (Haiti)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 3, 2013
A few months ago I shared a three minute video from John D. Liu of the EEMP about the work of SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) — an organisation that’s doing great work in Haiti to improve sanitation in a sustainable and affordable way, whilst simultaneously turning the problem (human waste) into a solution (improving agricultural production whilst reducing the incidence of diseases like cholera). John has just sent me the latest edit from his video work on the impoverished island nation, so below you’ll find an extended look at the work of SOIL, and its context. This video makes an excellent follow-up to the article we just posted a couple of days ago: Recycling Animal and Human Dung is the Key to Sustainable Farming.
Aid Projects, Fungi, Village Development — by Lucie Bradley February 22, 2013
The desire for sustainable projects for non-government organisations and the need of reliable sources of income for small scale farmers is ever increasing in Tanzania and the ‘developing world’. Within international development ‘sustainability’ is a buzz-word often bandied round, with many communities and organisations slowly helping to transform traditional top-down development models to investing in more grass-roots, long-term, locally applicable solutions. Small scale income-generating businesses such as mushroom production may be one of many viable options for many rural Tanzanian communities gaining greater sustainability, and has captured the interest of the small NGO, Food Water Shelter (FWS), in Arusha, Northern Tanzania.
Inspired by possibilities demonstrated at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi and the apparent simplicity and low tech requirements of growing mushrooms, FWS have been growing oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp). With a commitment to sustainability, appropriate technology and practising permaculture through the implementation of income-generating food production systems, aquaculture and animal husbandry, FWS have included oyster mushroom production into their existing systems.Comments (3)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Conferences, Economics, Society, Village Development — by Bronwyn White February 20, 2013
The Economics of Happiness is a 2011 documentary film directed by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick, and John Page, and produced by the International Society for Ecology and Culture. The film has been widely acclaimed and received numerous awards but most pertinently it has linked a number of cutting edge thinkers across the globe who are building the groundswell to see the wisdom from The Economics of Happiness film translated into action. The second of three international conferences will be taking place from 15-17 March 2013 in Byron Bay, Australia and you are invited!
The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, an unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Ben Humphrey
Actual view from Mountain View Eco Farm site
As some readers may remember, I wrote an article last August outlining my experience at the Sustainable Agriculture Development Program of Nepal, and of the farm manager’s (Govinda Paudel) dream of establishing his own permaculture inspired education and demonstration farm.
Well, at long last, Govinda has managed to buy a small plot of land near Pokhara, overlooking Begnes Lake and the mighty Annapurna Range of the Himalaya, to establish Mountain View Eco Farm. Govinda has worked tirelessly to make his dream a reality – setting up a fantastic website, networking extensively and seeking out the land to build his dream. In December of last year, his parents sold some of their land in Bardiya, near the border of India, to help Govinda make his dream a reality. They plan to sell the rest of their land soon and move to Pokhara to help Govinda with the running and management of the farm in the not too distant future. Although Govinda now owns some land from which to begin developing Mountain View Eco Farm, more land is needed along with farm animals and items to make sure that Mountain View Eco Farm can become self sufficient and sustainable in the long run.
Govinda’s plan for the farm is inspiring. The objectives of Mountain View Eco Farm are basically three fold. They include:Comments (0)
Bio-regional Organisations, Courses/Workshops, Development & Property Trusts, Ethical Investment, Society, Village Development — by Neil Bertrando February 11, 2013
Giving opportunities for young people to make a living improving the world
is the great need of the hour
As more and more people in developed nations (and the USA in particular) become aware of the effects of their personal decisions on ecologies and economies at local and global scales, both the supply and demand of permaculture design education has seen a dynamic increase over the past decade. With a whole-systems solutions-oriented design concept that encourages practical application, the permaculture movement is poised to provide a positivistic world-view and skill-based design platform for the development of a society that actively improves ecosystem health while meeting human needs and improving quality of life at a community scale.
With the stage set for a fast-tracking of permaculture design education, action and implementation, I believe that there exist both social and economic bottlenecks that are being addressed through creative solutions to provide permaculture career opportunities and shifts in local governmental policy to incentivize eco-literate communities and ecologically beneficial developments and retrofits.Comments (2)
Alternatives to Political Systems, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Lisa DePiano February 8, 2013
Photo by Lisa DePiano
Permaculture as a movement has most of the knowledge, tools and resources that we need to create a regenerative society in the physical sense. Just Google ‘passive solar design’ or ‘aquaculture’ and you will find hundreds of books, articles and how-tos. Certainly we can fine tune and experiment but the harder task lies in transforming our social and invisible systems. This becomes even more crucial when we are taking permaculture out of the private realm (backyards, homes) and into the public (community gardens, business and governance).
How do you practice ‘fair share’ living in an economic system that is based on accumulation and inequality? How do you change laws to make permaculture systems legal? How do you learn to collaborate?Comments (5)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Land, Markets & Outlets, Retrofitting, Social Gatherings, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Catherine Griggs February 7, 2013
If you want to make permaculture happen, then just start. This is the story of how one garden ended up providing work, food and fun for people in the community of Gwynedd, Wales.
It was autumn, March 2012, and unemployment was at an all time high in North Wales. I was a qualified permaculture consultant wandering the lands searching for my next project, but also suffering the strain of recession. I then stumbled upon some unusual funding from an organisation called Nacro. The organisation provides paid work experience for people who are generally deemed antisocial or who are long term unemployed. The organisation had funding left for the year and needed somewhere to put it. So I went dressed, suited and booted, and proposed an idea to Nacro that would help at least three people find work in the future. Luckily the man I encountered empathised with me and I managed to secure a paid job for myself and two others, implementing a permaculture garden for three months only.
So I had 3 months to find the land and build a garden with only enough money to pay a small wage and no materials. Quite the challenge! I asked my friends Lizzy and Dwynwen if they would help and of course they were up for the challenge.Comments (8)