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Community Projects, Conservation, Irrigation, Storm Water, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Jennifer Wadsworth May 18, 2013
At 7:30 Sunday morning, April 21, 2013, people began to gather on a barren lot in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The temperature was already climbing into the 80s and the lot’s bare dirt reflected both heat and light, making lingering uncomfortable. By 8:00 AM, more than 30 neighborhood volunteers, Youth Hostel guests, Green Living Co-op members, PDC and university students were on-site, eager to start the day’s activities. They were here to celebrate Earth Day by installing a green infrastructure retrofit project in the Garfield Historic District; an eclectic neighborhood that is part of the larger Arts District.Comments (0)
General — by Serena Aurora
In Belize I took part in my first WWOOFing experience at Spanish Creek Farm. This film explains what WWOOFing is and how to take part in it. It also shows what work and activities took place at the farm. This includes; nursing a lamb, horse riding, looking after chickens, bamboo trimming, mulching, upkeep of plants and gardens, harvesting, cooking, furniture building and tool maintenance plus much more.
This film is created to promote the concept of WWOOFing and to open people’s eyes to the type of work that takes place on a farm.
I worked on the farm for two weeks. At the end of my stay I really appreciated the work that goes into running a farm. I really enjoyed working with the animals, it felt great to be in touch with nature and to know more about where my food comes from. Spanish creek farm is very well organised by the manager, Brooks. She is a fountain of knowledge and I learnt so much from her.Comments (0)
Economics, Society, peak oil — by George Monbiot
When scholars sell out, the consequences are grave.
In 1927 the French philosopher Julien Benda published a piercing attack on the intellectuals of his day. They should, he argued in La Trahison des Clercs (the treason of the scholars) act as a check on popular passions(1). Civilisation, he claimed, is possible only if intellectuals stand in opposition to the demands of political “realism” by upholding universal principles. “Thanks to the scholars,” Benda maintained, “humanity did evil for two thousand years, but honoured good.” Europe might have been lying in the gutter, but it was looking at the stars.
But those ideals, he argued, had been lost. Europe was now lying in the gutter, looking in the gutter. The “immense majority” of intellectuals, artists and clergy had joined “the chorus of hatreds”: nationalism, racism, the worship of power and war. In doing so, they justified and magnified political passions. Across Europe, scholars on both the left and the right had become “ready to support in their own countries the most flagrant injustices”, to abandon universal principles in favour of national exceptionalism and to proclaim “the supreme morality of violence”. He quoted the French anarcho-syndicalist Georges Sorel, who eulogised “the superb blond beast wandering in search of prey and carnage”.Comments (0)
Take a PDC with Geoff & Nadia Lawton – in Barcelona, Spain, June/July 2013 (Plus Optional 3-day Practicum)
Courses/Workshops — by Bonnie Freibergs May 17, 2013
This is a unique opportunity to take a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course with renowned permaculture designers, consultants and educators, Geoff and Nadia Lawton, in Barcelona, Spain. In addition, after the PDC, there will be an optional 3-day Dryland Strategies and Earthworks practicum.
Click here to find out more, and register!Comments (0)
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
This is just a quick heads up….
Last Friday I closed down registration for my online Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course. We actually filled up the course in 7 days. But we had some duplicate orders so we now have a few spots that have opened up.
So, I’m going to be re-opening the doors to the course today — Thursday, May 16th at 12:00 noon eastern U.S. time.
I’m not sure how long these spots will last, but no matter what happens I’ll be closing down registration on Friday 17th at midday.
Note: that link will not be active until we go live at 12:00 noon eastern US time.Comments (1)
Reversing Global Warming while Meeting Human Needs
— an Urgently Needed Land-Based Option
Allan Savory never ceases to amaze and encourage me. It was really great seeing him present his recent TED Talk — and we now have another opportunity to see him speak. Tufts University hosted an event where he was given the floor to discuss Holistic Management and the many challenges and successes experienced in its development.Comments (0)
Brian Halweil, publisher of "Edible Manhattan," discusses the problems with the global food system and the solutions he’s found cropping up everywhere.
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Paul Wheaton
by Paul Wheaton
Mark Vander Meer gives a presentation on soil science as it relates to forestry. I was presenting in another room at the same time, so Mark gave permission to Jocelyn Campbell to record this for me. Once I saw it, I thought it was so good, that I asked Mark if it was okay to put it up on YouTube.
Mark is a soil scientist who works as a wild restoration ecologist in Montana. His presentation focuses on soil restoration and is very much question driven.
He starts off by talking about the watershed death spiral, where the soil loses its ability to hold water. Mark identifies three main reasons for that to occur: Compaction, roads, and loss of soil organic matter. He explains that the problem results in streams and springs disappearing.Comments (2)
I was invited up to Bandusia, near Sydney, by Penny Pyett, to take part in International Permaculture Day and do some work on the site. The work was mainly on infrastructure, which is one of my strongest skills. Having spent some years working in the building and construction game, I developed a varied skill set and can turn my hand to most things. I also went to check out the site for some future workshops and courses we are planning there.
International Permaculture Day was a great success, with a turnout of 40 plus people who came to look and hear us talk about the little steps we can take to make a change.Comments (0)
General — by Owen Hablutzel May 15, 2013
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Is there a global permaculture revolution rising now?
The short answer is: Absolutely!
The wide variety of serious and increasingly complex issues confronting people and ecosystems worldwide are leading folks to seek solutions they can apply right now. Today. An increasing number of the public are recognizing the urgency of addressing these issues. At the same time the systemic inadequacy of present governance institutions to shift the current situation towards a sustainable trajectory becomes more and more obvious. People are simply past waiting for their ‘rulers’ to get their acts together. They want to be involved in meaningful and responsible actions which they can perform themselves, and in their communities, immediately. More and more folks, every day, in every culture on the planet, are pro-actively using their birthright of human agency, moving beyond merely ‘hoping’ that things work out, and passionately engaging… doing the actual necessary work to help create positive outcomes in their communities and world.Comments (0)
General — by Alana Bliss
Have you studied permaculture, are feeling inspired, and ready to begin implementing, but have a limited budget? How can you have the greatest effect, while making your money stretch?
After all that you’ve learned you’re likely filled with ideas, but if you aren’t careful, you could very well end up spending all your money and be left with several unfinished projects.
Whether at the beginning of a project, or partway through, budget can be a limiting factor or a nourishing one. How you plan your systems can either make or break the bank. Yet it is too often overlooked.
Here we will explore a step by step approach on where to focus your energy first, and how to budget for systems implementation. You don’t have to learn it the hard way!Comments (5)
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)
Biodiversity, Insects, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Working Animals — by Catherine Sullivan
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
It’s score one for the bees. Last week the European Union banned neonicotinoid pesticides for a two-year period beginning early next year.
Key findings cited evidence of the role neonics play in destroying bee populations. The ban is specifically for flowering crops as neonics penetrate plants from treated seed through to affecting flower nectar and pollen, which bees and other non-target insects feed on. Bees in particular have a high acute toxicity to the systemic pesticides. It impairs their nervous systems, resulting in disorientation, navigational problems and coupled with damaged memory, affects their ability to forage. Neonic pesticides can also be retained in the soil profile for lengthy periods.Comments (1)
Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change — by George Monbiot May 12, 2013
Corruption and short-termism are pushing us along the path of sorrows.
The records go back 800,000 years: that’s the age of the oldest fossil air bubbles extracted from Dome C, an ice-bound summit in the high Antarctic. And throughout that time there has been nothing like this. At no point in the pre-industrial record have concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air risen above 300 parts per million. 400 is a figure that belongs to a different era.
The difference between 399 and 400ppm is small, in terms of its impacts on the world’s living systems. But this is a moment of symbolic significance, a station on the Via Dolorosa of environmental destruction. It is symbolic of our collective failure to put the long term prospects of the natural world and the people it supports above immediate self-interest.Comments (5)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Fencing, Rehabilitation, Working Animals — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Almost everyone who is exposed to permaculture concepts has seen the above graphic (from Bill Mollison’s Introduction to Permaculture). It’s a great way to get people thinking about how to create whole, functional systems that use different elements (like a chicken) in combination with other elements (like those found in your garden), to save labour and increase productivity. It is for many an eye-opening concept, but one that is quickly grasped, and one that encourages observation on the products and behaviours of many other elements — be they ‘animal, vegetable or mineral’.
It’s a great lead-in to permaculture thinking.
The gentleman in the video below well exemplifies this thinking. He clearly knows how to ‘manage’ his little chicken workforce. He knows what they love to do, and he knows they’ll charge him little to nothing for it. He recognises that to get the most out of the chicken, can also mean giving most to the chicken. This is a typical permaculture win-win.Comments (3)