Posted by & filed under General.

Usually people participating in a PDC have a land project which they would like to develop using the common sense design principles offered by permaculture. As a side effect, some might feel the urge to make sweeping changes to their life direction during or after doing a PDC. Often a PDC either creates the need for change, or it comes along at a time when people are open to change or indeed craving it.

If one felt the urge to change their career direction after doing a Permaculture Design Certificate course, I guess the most obvious direction would be to become a permaculture design consultant. In my case, I was already a gardener and landscaper so it was a logical and relatively seamless transition for me to move into doing permaculture-oriented garden designs. In fact I had already started this transition naturally, before doing a PDC, motivated by changes which I wanted to make in my working life, in order to have it fit with my own environmental ethics and way of life.

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Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

The precision, complexity, and all-pervasiveness of natural genetic modification leave organisms and ecosystems particularly vulnerable to artificial genetic modification.

by Dr Mae-Wan Ho

Invited lecture at 1st Forum of Development and Environmental Safety, under the theme “Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture 2014”, 25 – 26 July 2014, Beijing, China.

A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here, or with the accompanying powerpoint presentation here.

The new genetics and natural genetic modification

Genetics has been turned upside down beginning the mid-1970s and especially since the human genome was announced in 2000. The tools of genetic manipulation have been advancing and improving in leaps and bounds. Today, geneticists can dissect and analyse the structure and function of genes and genomes in minute detail down to the base sequence of a nucleic acid in one single cell using ‘next generation deep sequencing’ (see Box 1 reproduced from [1]).

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Posted by & filed under Urban Projects.

All photos © Craig Mackintosh

This is not your usual drinking establishment. There’s no music, no dancing, no lights — not even any discussion. And, as the title of this article suggests, all the guests are — as is sometimes the case in drinking establishments — rather slippery characters. But, despite the general dinginess of the place, there are often even queues to get in!

In this article I want to share some successes with slug beer traps, and tell you how you can easily make a very effective trap — by simply repurposing the plastic 1.5 or 2 litre drink bottles that are always too easy to find.

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Posted by & filed under Urban Projects.

This is the first article I’ve written for PermacultureNews.Org, and I’d like to share some Urban Permaculture experiences from Córdoba, Argentina.

One of the most exciting things about Permaculture design principles is that they invite us to improve our environment no matter where we live. However, up until now, the predominant image of Permaculture in Argentina (possibly in many places) is “the countryside”. When I completed my PDC in a semi-rural location here in Argentina, one of the course instructors told us on our first day that we are all part of an “urban exodus”, a movement of city people back to the land. This was, in my view, a bad message for the first day of the course. Most of the course participants were city dwellers, and if the instructor had asked, he would have found that moving out of (or escaping from) the city was not a priority that everyone shared.

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Posted by & filed under Markets & Outlets, Village Development.

Imagine that your small farm or food hub just hired a new employee. Her name is Susan. But she’s not just any employee, she’s an electronic one.

Susan’s the best you’ve ever hired. She does exactly as instructed. She works 24×7, 365 days a year. She’s never grumpy, never calls in sick and never gets tired. She never takes shortcuts and her wage is only pennies per hour.

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Posted by & filed under General.

Photographer Alexey Kljatov takes incredible close-up photos of snowflakes in his backyard in Moscow.

I capture snowflakes on the open balcony of my house, mostly on glass surface, lighted by an LED flashlight from the opposite side of the glass, and sometimes in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as background.

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Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Not socialism, not capitalism… distributism seeks community power.

by Jay Walljasper, On the Commons

Conservatives, progressives and everyone else
likes farmers’ markets, local food,
mom-and-pop stores and other qualities of a
thriving community. Can they all connect
around the commons? (Photo of the Barberton,
Ohio, Downtown Farmers’ Market by the
Barberton Community Foundation under a
Creative Commons license.)

In the early-to-mid-20th Century the Distributists — led by English authors G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc — took a dim view of both socialism and corporate capitalism. As conservatives they did, however, believe in private property — so much they thought it should be “distributed” as widely as possible among the whole population.

At its root, the Distributist movement sought a practical, community-oriented alternative to the inequality of capitalism and the bureaucracy of socialism. To fulfill this vision, Distributists advocated for family farms, family-run businesses, a return to craftsmanship and community self-reliance. When large enterprises were inevitable, such as industrial factories, they advocated worker-run cooperatives to give people a greater share of ownership.

Chesterton noted, “There is less difference than many suppose between the ideal socialist system, in which the big businesses are run by the state, and the present capitalist system, in which the state is run by the big businesses. They are much nearer to each other than either is to my own ideal; of breaking up the big businesses into a multitude of small businesses.”

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Posted by & filed under Markets & Outlets, Processing & Food Preservation, Village Development.

After several months of making tofu and soymilk weekly for ourselves and some customers, I thought I would share the process and costs.

We source our soybeans from Slater Farm in Fairy Hill, NSW, Australia. The beans are biodynamic certified which is very important; avoiding biocides, GMOs, hopefully most fossil fuel fertilisers, and are not irrigated. They are semi-local, about 200km from us. We buy at least 200 kg a time so transport costs/impacts are very low. This will be enough for a year and they store very well.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Society, Village Development.

A mission to revive and promote traditional health care systems — Guni traditions — in India.


Herbal medicine is the oldest form of healthcare known to mankind. Much of the medicinal use of plants developed through observations of wild animals, and by trial and error. As time went on, each tribe added the medicinal power of herbs in their area to its knowledge base. With industrialization and urbanization, this store house of information has depleted considerably. However, certain groups of indigenous people have closely guarded this valuable information. One such group in India is the Guni, or Traditional Health Practitioners, and other such groups scattered in various countries. Rashtriya Guni Mission in its effort towards revitalizing traditional health systems has been identifying these traditional health practitioners (Gunis) in order to re-establish a medical system that is indigenous, easily accessible, effective and affordable.

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Posted by & filed under Urban Projects.

Dear friends, we believe we have an interesting urban gardening story to share.

We are Sandra and Drazen from Zagreb, Croatia. Our permaculture interest began two years ago when I (Sandra) fell and broke a leg during a recreational badminton match. The recovery process took three months, so I had enough time to forget all work-related stresses, to read a lot and search the internet.

One morning I found and those were wow moments — a revelation that there is a genuine way to tackle personal and world problems and that all problems can be solved in the garden. I’ve been reading the site ever since.

My husband shared this enthusiasm, so we started contemplating leaving the city and buying our own piece of land to put our new knowledge into practice — as is probably the case with many who start reading, learning and absorbing permaculture knowledge and expand this to aspects of health/disease, community problems, real food revolution, consumerism, peak oil, agriculture, climate change, politics….

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