Posted by & filed under Community, Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Education, Events, Resources & News, Food & Food Support Systems, General, Plants, Soil, Water, Why Permaculture?.


A. Introduction

A sustainability evaluation of urban agriculture (UA) projects in specific wards in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2012 (Phase I) and 2014 (phase II) has shown that 97% of the school garden were not sustainable. Most projects did not aim to empower gardeners to the point of rendering the garden autonomous. A recommendation was therefore made to test a permaculture – based model of urban agriculture and promote the latter if proven sustainable.

The proposal made is for establishing a Permaculture Design based vegetable gardening cooperative (or some such suitable entity), which, by becoming self–sufficient in term of effective resource use and able to generate both food and income for the members of the cooperative, would be both socio-economically and environmentally sustainable.

B. Overall Aims

In addition to testing the permaculture model of food production, it is aimed at building a functioning suitable entity which is based on the real empowerment of the members.

It is also hoped that this set up becomes a centre where Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) and Permaculture Design Courses (PDC) would be taught and promoted.

Finally, should the above be successfully established, it would thereby promote the localization of food production and related inputs/outputs in the ward where it would be situated.

This would fully respond to the UA survey recommendations and establish the centre as reference model for sustainable socio-economic development.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Events, Resources & News, General, Permaculture Projects, Population, Society, Why Permaculture?.

Kinship Urban Farm Tour

Join us for a tour of Kinship Urban Farm as we show a young group of students service learning in how farms work. Kinship Urban Farm is a project I volunteered on several years ago and it has developed into a full blown urban agricultural project. It’s located on 1/2 acre behind the West Pasco Habitat for Humanity Re-store at 4131 Madison Street, New Port Richey, FL. Local community members volunteer to grow fresh organic vegetables for local community to enjoy nutrient dense food. We are practicing permaculture year round in New Port Richey at this great non profit.

Check out our farm website at

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Posted by & filed under General.

Support Tom and Zaia Kendall with Daniele Bettini and Anne Blanc, to establish a Permaculture Research Institute Master Plan site in Luganville, Vanuatu. The site will be a permaculture demonstration site where we will run PDCs and longer term practical experiences for local people.

‘We aim to show them that they have such wonderful traditions and such an abundant natural environment, that they will be able to support that abundance by learning how to work with nature in the Permaculture way.’ Zaia Kendall

To support PRI Luganville, please contact info [at] for direct deposit details (replace [at] with @ in email address) or go to our crowdfunding page:


The Vision:

In 2013 Tom went to Vanuatu to teach a PDC Course to 10 local students who took this knowledge back to their villages. He returned in 2014 on a sponsored visit to do more trainings, and again saw various problems on the islands which he felt inspired to find solutions for.

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Posted by & filed under General.

Of all the countries in Europe, Spain could be arguably said to be the most destructive and irresponsible when it comes to agriculture: widely condoned cultivation of genetically modified crops (see for example 1), high-input intensive farming and notably heavy use of chemicals for fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides (see for example 2). This is especially true in Andalucía, where the most common method of agriculture is use of controlled environments requiring high chemical input inside plastic greenhouses (2).

Yet despite these trends, Andalucía is also home to some of the most inventive and experimental land-based projects on the continent, one of which is the newly opened permaculture demonstration project and retreat centre La Loma Viva (3).

Last month I spent two weeks working at La Loma Viva and finding out about the project, much of which is inspiring highly inspiring for others interested in this kind of work.


The view in full moonlight from La Loma Viva. Photo by David Ashwanden.

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Posted by & filed under Events, Resources & News, General.

NIOO Seminar: John D. Liu

NIOO Seminar by Chinese-American filmmaker John D. Liu. Title: ‘The Healing of the Earth’. The seminar took place on 26 January 2015 in the Colloquium Room at NIOO-KNAW in Wageningen.

Using excerpts from his films, Liu talks about his life’s work of convincing the world that ecosystems damaged by human activity can in fact be repaired by human activity. Why, Liu asks, aren’t more students, academics and others embracing ‘the great work of our time’?

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Posted by & filed under Events, Resources & News, General, News, Society.

I have been a regular visitor to Nepal over the last 4 years and have made a deep connection with this country, its kind hearted people and stunning environment. Permaculture in Nepal is very established and practiced by a huge amount of Nepali Farmers. This is much connected to the long term efforts of people like Chris Evans and Govinda Sharma plus many, many more.


My friend,mentor and teacher Govinda and I in South India near Auroville

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Posted by & filed under General.

This World Bank/TerrAfrica documentary showcases Ethiopia’s success in sustainable land and water management. It highlights how a landscape approach was used to manage land, water and forest resources to meet the goals of food security and inclusive green growth. The lessons drawn are relevant for other countries in the region and other parts of the world fighting land degradation and climate change issues.

This video shows the change from dry barren hillsides to healthy productive lands.

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Posted by & filed under Events, Resources & News, General, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Water.

Matt Powers takes this opportunity to provide an example presentation for my 2014-15 sophomore class’ PowerTalks.

Matt discuss the fact that maps are listing out lakes that he has never seen filled with water and talks about many items, one of which is the issues with the current water restrictions.

These issues include not being able to flush the toilet or water your own crop garden, but the fact that agricultural business’s are still able to divert water for their needs.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, General.


As rampant manufacturing and productions of goods are causing huge harm to human physical well-being, farming, ecosystems, and world climate, the sustainability movement is gaining popularity and importance among all who are concerned about the environment. Many third world countries are compromising business ethics to raise their growth of products and they are constantly ignoring the environmental issues that matter a lot to sustainability movement.

China is one of the countries that have the most polluted air in the world, however an extensive amount of the nation’s products are manufactured for the demand of products for the countries such as the United States and other countries. Now the USA and other developed countries are planning to devise new agenda and strategy to protect the environment from degradation caused by the countries that produce large amount of goods. In fact, consumers are putting pressure on the countries that flout environmental laws and policy to gain maximum profit out of their production. So the importance of sustainable environment is on the increase and many consumers are giving top priority to ethical business that safeguards sustainability of the environment. As the third world counties produce goods by taking advantage of the weak, fragile and relaxed laws and regulations existing in these countries, they do not take into consideration the protection of the environment and they cause extensive harm to the environment. Moreover poor and cheap labor available in these countries also contribute to large amount of production that have adverse effects on the environment. That is why the consumer society is focusing on ethical manufacturing and pushing the manufacturers to produce goods ensuring sustainability of environment.

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Posted by & filed under Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Education, Food & Food Support Systems, General, Plants, Soil, Water.


This is Part Three (A) of a series of Articles, that critically discuss’s the Nottinghill Forest Garden Project from Analysis – to Implementation – to Future Idea’s.

Part One can be found here.

Part Two can be found here.

2012: Consolidation & Diversification

2012 Goals

After a year full of very hard work establishing the system, it was time to begin to allowing nature to do the work for us. At first, the title of this section may seem a bit contradictory. How can you, at the same time, consolidate and diversify?

By consolidate, I mean to hold on to the gains that we made in the first year and reinforce them while concurrently reducing the amount of time and energy we would invest. The age old method
of cover cropping: hardy, multi functional species improving the soil and occupying the majority of the niches available would prove to be a valuable tool in this effort. I wanted to use the second year to increase biomass production on site and replenish the soil’s nitrogen. Expanding comfrey to widen our nutrient net was also a high priority (and is ever so easy to accomplish).

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Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Events, Resources & News, General, Water.

One of Bill Mollison’s famous quote’s is, let your site demonstrate its evolution.

Earthworks hydrology construction is one of the first big steps in getting a property established and can be an invaluable investment into its future, so it is something you want to get right. Earthworks going wrong can be very expensive and a major setback for you and your property.

We have had a bit over 12 months to watch, observe and interact with the site. We have watched how the major mainframe earthworks changed the dynamics and zoning of the site.

After observing the spillway above the overflow for around 6 months, we have decided to take advantage of current resources and install some cool aquaculture elements. This can be seen in the photo’s below:

  • chinampa
  • 150,000 litre fishpond
  • rice paddy
  • 150m of swale
  • 3 more level sill spillways

We have the ability to flood the system to form multiple storage opportunities, all of these are gravity feed we can deluge our main crop terrace, or any of the other elements, with nutrient rich fishpond water.

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