Posted by & filed under Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings.

“Honouring the Past, Transforming the Future: The Challenge to Permaculture”

What: 12th Australasian Permaculture Convergence
Where:
Northwest Environment Centre, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia
When: Monday, 9 March 2015 at 6:00pm — Thursday, 12 March 2015 at 10:00pm (AEDT)

Event details:

The concept of Permaculture was developed in Tasmania in the late 1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, as a positive and proactive response to the many pressing social and ecological challenges of our time. From humble beginnings, Permaculture has spread to just about every corner of the globe, is being practiced in many different climates and applied in settings ranging from urbanised cites to rural communities. Permaculture is a holistic design system for creating sustainable human settlements and is based on ethics and principles that can be applied to all facets of our daily lives from food systems, the built environment, through to governance and economics.

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Posted by & filed under Insects.


An old queen (as evidenced by her tattered wings) surrounded by her attendants

Did you know that male honeybees have no father, but they do have a grandfather? That any fertilized egg can develop into a worker bee or a queen bee depending on what the hatched larva is fed? That bees feed their young a white, protein rich substance called “royal jelly” secreted from a gland in an adult bee’s head? (We would look pretty funny if our milk glands — our breasts — were on our heads!) Hungry for more? Here we go!

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Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books.

When in the graduation celebration of a PDC in 2009 with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton, I made a promise to Bill to translate his Introduction to Permaculture book into Chinese and get it published in China, the most populous country in the world. After teaming up with Pingping Li, a professor of agriculture and ecology in China, the Chinese version of "Introduction To Permaculture" has finally been published by Jiangsu University Press. The book is in Simplified Chinese, to suit the mainland Chinese readers.

China, the place that was heavily featured in the book Farmers of Forty Centuries, the place that gave us the sage Laozi who believes in the "trinity" of heaven (climate), land and people, the place where hundreds of mullions of peasants live, who derive most of their life-supporting nutrition for the whole family from 1/4 acre small-holdings, with a surplus. During my seminars in China, brainstorming permaculture, I found that many concepts in permaculture are very easily delivered because they are viewed as "common-sense", and the techniques promoted by permaculture seem familiar to the people, or are recoverable in memory. They already had a community agriculture network, and now a permaculture farm. Most of the bits and pieces are there — what I found was missing is better integration. And this is where permaculture, as a design science, comes in. Thus I sincerely hope the publication of this book fill that gap.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

What: Regenerative Farm Enterprise Planning Workshop
Where: Shannon Farm Community in Afton, Virginia, USA
When: October 18-23, 2014
Who: With Eric Toensmeier, Rafter Sass Ferguson, and Elizabeth Ü

Register through Blue Ridge Permaculture.

Scaling up ecological agriculture is one of the critical challenges we face in addressing climate change and the global food crisis. Integrated perennial farm businesses are a key part of the solution when planned and managed effectively; join us to learn and practice how!

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Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Urban Projects.


Perennial Fruit and Herb Garden

Note: The plants listed below are as a guide — it is not a list of edible species. Please refer to culinary fruit and herb text books before using any plants in the kitchen or consuming any plants.

Not many people use their front garden. Front gardens are often laid to turf. Except for mowing the grass, or using the front door, the front garden goes largely ignored. Some people plant a mixture of plants including pollen plants which bring colour and can contribute towards the local ecosystem.

Using the following simple design, you can design and build your own garden, which will provide you with fresh and seasonal fruit, herbs for the kitchen, for delicious healthy teas, plus lovely fragrances and flowers throughout the year — with very little input. In fact this type of garden requires less maintenance than the regular mowing of a lawn.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Urban Projects.


A crowdfunded planting

As many farmers and founders of food-based businesses have discovered, crowdfunding is a tool that can enable you raise anywhere from thousands, to tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch projects that might never have gotten off the ground otherwise.

But what type of crowdfunding are we talking about? The conversation can get confusing quickly, because people use the term “crowdfunding” to refer to any of several techniques to raise funds from a large number supporters, customers, and/or any other stakeholders. Different laws apply in each case, and what might work for one project might not make any sense at all for yours. So before you start investigating options for financing your permaculture project, it pays to get clear on the three different types of crowdfunding.

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Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects.

Here is an interesting and simple-to-manage technique that will promote better root growth for your potted plants. It can be applied to plants that will stay permanently in pots or for those that will end up in your garden.

Those interested in this should also check out the ‘Air Nursery’ chapter of the Farmers’ Handbook.

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Health & Disease, Markets & Outlets.

Many farmers and growers are in massive amounts of debt. Many still want to go organic but the time and red tape needed to do so will deliver them into bankruptcy. I have outlined a few steps a farmer/grower can take to move around the red tape and speed up the process of producing and selling high quality, in demand, profitable, beyond organic food called Nutrient Dense Food (the next phase of food).

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Conferences, Social Gatherings.

by Sandra Bartram and Cheri McCabe

We must be stewards, druids of the future because we can only achieve peace through food security, and we can only have food security with healthy ecosystems that exist both upon the soil and within it.

At this time of year it is hard to get motivated to leave our gardens, but the intensive three-day Permaculture Convergence in Frelighsburg, Quebec, Canada did just that. Standing in my garden on the morning of departure, surrounded by vegetables and flowers in full bloom, I asked myself, "Why leave my personal Garden of Eden when I can turn on my computer and read all about permaculture on the Internet?" But this attitude vanished as soon as I arrived at Oneka Farm. After setting up my tent, I stood upon the hillside and surveyed the valley below. As the sun set, I looked south to the lake highlighted against the rolling, darkening hills. I heard voices in the distance as over six hundred people gathered for the opening circle. I made my way across the field to join them. Gatherings such as these have the power to reach deep into our ancient ancestry and bring forward such festive celebrations of our lives and identities. We can become connected by a spirituality that is impossible to replicate by modern technological networking.

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Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Plant Systems.

by Roger R.B. Leakey, Department of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia.

Abstract

Shifting agriculture in the tropics has been replaced by sedentary smallholder farming on a few hectares of degraded land. To address low yields and low income both, the soil fertility, the agroecosystem functions, and the source of income can be restored by diversification with nitrogen-fixing trees and the cultivation of indigenous tree species that produce nutritious and marketable products. Biodiversity conservation studies indicate that mature cash crop systems, such as cacao and coffee with shade trees, provide wildlife habitat that supports natural predators, which, in turn, reduce the numbers of herbivores and pathogens. This review offers suggestions on how to examine these agroecological processes in more detail for the most effective rehabilitation of degraded land. Evidence from agroforestry indicates that in this way, productive and environmentally friendly farming systems that provide food and nutritional security, as well as poverty alleviation, can be achieved in harmony with wildlife.

Read the full report here (1mb PDF)

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, General.


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 dog on a bluestone verandah.

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