Compost, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Doug Weatherbee May 17, 2012
Learn how beneficial soil microbes can provide soluble nutrients and plant disease suppression to your farm or garden.Comments (10)
Aid Projects, Building, Courses/Workshops, Energy Systems, Land, Retrofitting, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Doug Weatherbee May 21, 2011
Note by Owen Hablutzel: This article from Doug Weatherbee speaks to why the skills and approach of Permaculture are becoming increasingly recognized among international development communities as being necessary and often more useful on-the-ground than conventional ‘development’ approaches for achieving often complex and practical goals in the difficult circumstances often encountered where people, livelihoods, basic needs, and struggling economies intersect. The Permaculture approach can broaden the scope and greatly increase the ‘toolbox’ available, while keeping these elements related and connected through attention to the context and larger whole. Now, more than ever, the world is ready for more Permaculture! What can you do to further prepare to meet this expanding need?
by Doug Weatherbee, Center for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Sustainability
To a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.
In many development aid projects around the world, not-for-profits (NFPs) are doing valuable work solving problems for communities and regions. Many of us who have done some sort of development aid work come to these communities with the NFP’s focus area (for example, clean drinking water, sanitation, or agricultural projects) and a set of NFP aid workers who are trained in the NFP focus area. However, when we land on the ground, in real communities and regions, the problems don’t necessarily stay contained within the narrow box of the NFP’s focus or the expertise of its workers. "The real world of people living, eating and growing food, having shelters, dealing with sanitation, having clean drinking water, staying warm or cool, creating families and communities, all of this is a rich mixture, and its problems and solutions don’t often fit into tiny neat boxes," says Jim Hallock, of Tierra Y Cal, who has experience building sustainable shelters in Haiti, South and Central America, and Africa. "When I show up in Haiti to help build a school or a clinic I’m asked about how to grow a food garden or deal with drinking water contamination."
The conundrum so often experienced is that NFP workers are unprepared to deal with aspects of the larger community or regional problems outside the scope of their skills or the not-for-profit’s focus. Sometimes aid workers need a screwdriver, and all they have is a hammer.Comments (2)