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Courses/Workshops, Presentations/Demonstrations — by David Spicer May 17, 2013
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 (6)
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)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Economics, Society, Urban Projects, peak oil — by Andrew Willner May 9, 2013
We live in dangerous times, when economic collapse, climate chaos, and peak oil threaten the foundations of society, abundance, and all we hold dear. “Business as usual” will no longer suffice, because that way leads to certain pain, peril and impoverishment.
Unspeakable acts of violence like the slaughter at the Sandy Hook school or the Boston Marathon bombing; natural disasters like Katrina and Sandy; economic uncertainty; technical failure; “peak everything;” and climate change can offer opportunities for either despair and disengagement or innovative collaboration. In the aftermath of such disasters communities often experience a surge of purposefulness to deal with the crisis. As a result, there is a need for better understanding of the specific and general resilience of communities, ecosystems, organizations, and institutions to cope with change.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Urban Projects — by Eric Seider
As we look around our planet we should need no further evidence of the urgency with which we should dedicate ourselves to establishing and demonstrating sustainable systems for human settlement. We especially should need no further evidence as permaculturists. With this in mind and with the intention of facilitating the rapid establishment of more educational, demonstration sites (aka ‘master plan sites’), The Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) would like to announce a change to the naming strategy concerning master plan sites.
We feel it would be a much more effective way to encourage the rapid development of master plan sites if we focus on local naming. Currently we have whole country denominations like PRI Australia, PRI New Zealand, etc. This creates an issue if another PRI site wants to be established within one of those countries, and we hope to facilitate as many demonstration sites as possible. Ideally the name of a master plan site should be: The Permaculture Research Institute "Property Name and Location".Comments (33)
by Danielle Wolff-Chambers and Shelley Clements
Here we are in Queensland, May 2013, half way through an Earthship build. It is the first one to be built in Australia and has been experimental in many ways. We started the build in January with a very diverse group of about 50 people ranging in experience, age and cultural backgrounds. It was run as a workshop so people could attend and participate in the build to empower those who wish to be involved in Earthships to gain the necessary skills and connect with people who have complementary skills, so as to form Earthship building teams and meet skilled allies and new friends.Comments (3)
We are very excited to announce the finishes workshop for Australia’s first Earthship in Queensland, Australia. The Earthship design concept and systems have been applied to the subtropical climate of the area. Come and see the rammed earth tyres, the can walls, the earth berm, the hempcrete roof and all other components of this Earthship.
The Earthship was started in January this year. We ran a 3-week construction workshop on our residential permaculture plot. Our Earthship Finishes Workshop gives detailed attention to bottle walls, botanical cells and many more creative applications for the flooring, walls and the bathroom fit out.
Come and stay on this beautiful piece of land, learn with experienced Earthship crew members and work on a common goal.Comments (0)
GMOs — by Stefan Boone
In the mid 1980s, scientists unlocked the genetic keys to manipulating our world. Suddenly everything seemed possible! There would be no more hunger or malnutrition; diseases would be vanquished and poverty wiped out. But twenty years on the situation looks very different. From the loss of biodiversity to health scares about GM food, the effects of genetic technology are prompting more and more debate.
Across the world, multinationals like Monsanto are meeting with unexpected resistance to their genetically modified products. But are these concerns justified? Or are activists battling the forces of progress? Renowned filmmakers Bertram Verhaag and Gabriele Krober sets out on a global journey to explore the development of genetic technology. Spanning three continents and beautifully filmed, this high quality doc hears from the scientists, farmers and activists at the heart of the debate.
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
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)
Courses/Workshops — by Geoff Lawton May 8, 2013
Hi, it’s Geoff here again.
Today I’ve got something really special for you all.
My complete online permaculture earthworks course is yours for free when you register for my online permaculture design course.Comments (2)
We are all pretty concerned these days about the ongoing battle for biodiversity and life on this planet. With new seed regulation in the EU, The Monsanto Rider in the US, the failure to prevent colony collapse of the global bee population, financial crisis, war crisis, humanitarian crisis, and probably countless other worrisome processes not on our radar yet, politics and economics prove to be disabled and defunct in setting off appropriate solutions. We find our society caught in a loop of ongoing cynical and senseless debates about a financial crisis and war on terrorism, witnessing billions if not trillions of euros and dollars being swapped around the globe, but knowing that these wasted energies won’t be able serve us any solution.
Amidst all these mind consuming and wasteful atrocities being played out against all species on this planet, we are distracted from the one big threat which is still severely ambuscading upon us in sub-visibility.Comments (9)