Courses/Workshops — by Fraser Bliss April 24, 2013
Bliss Permaculture is happy to announce that it will be giving a Permaculture Design Course in the beautiful rolling foothills of the Austrian Alps in May 2013.Comments (0)
Courses/Workshops — by Fraser Bliss March 11, 2013
Bliss Permaculture is happy to announce that it is holding a Permaculture Design Certificate Course in the beautiful rolling foothills of the Austrian Alps in May 2013.Comments (0)
Courses/Workshops — by Fraser Bliss March 6, 2013
Looking back to 2011, I recall the fond memories of our internship at PRI Australia. We had been volunteering and travelling round the world for four years looking for adventure, excitement and meaning. I have been reading about permaculture for some time, but so far it has only been an intellectual pursuit and fascination. But recently, Viktoria and I found ourselves at Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Research Institute in New South Wales, Australia. We were here for 3.5 months to study, work and live permaculture on one of his intensive internship programmes. Normally, the internships are booked out 6 months to a year in advance, but due to a last-minute cancellation, we were able to secure a place just a few days prior to commencement.
Paradise Dam at the Permaculture Research Institute
Very soon we realised that in this permaculture internship we are not just learning how to be farmers. This is a way of life. You can’t separate how food is grown from human existence. It is deeply intertwined with life itself. No, the more we learn about permaculture the more we realise that you must explore all areas of life to be truly sustainable: food systems, plants and animal systems, energy systems, people systems, ecological systems and not forgetting legal, financial and political systems. It’s a lot to learn. One should not try to be a specialist in everything, but rather a generalist that has a solid understanding of each discipline and integrates them together.Comments (1)
Animal Housing, Consumerism, Economics, Health & Disease, Livestock — by Fraser Bliss February 8, 2013
These days organic food is a major trend and a multi billion dollar business. We find organic food in supermarkets in all shapes and forms. Advertising would have us believe that this organic food comes from idyllic small farms where farmers work the land by hand using traditional methods. It is a wonderful concept, but is it true? Is this the same high quality food that comes from home gardens and local farmers’ markets?
The TV advertisement below is from Ja Natürlich (translated: Yes Naturally), the organic brand of the German Rewe Group, which owns several supermarket chains in Austria such as Billa (Billiger Laden, translated: Cheap Store). This is how they describe their organic products:
What a cute ad. It starts off with the piglet saying, "Dear happy chickens, the farmer wants to take your picture." It goes on like this and certainly gives the impression that a decision for Ja Natürlich eggs is a choice that is healthy for us and supports small farmers still using traditional hand tools. The peaceful countryside setting is complete with chickens, an adorable talking piglet running freely around in an old barn yard, and even the farmer’s old-timer Nikon rangefinder camera is used to take their picture. The ad makes quite a bold claim: "Eggs from overly happy chickens." It would be wonderful if it was true, but is this really from where our precious store-bought organic eggs come from?Comments (10)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees — by Fraser Bliss March 27, 2012
A newly established swale food forest at PRI Australia,
backdropped by an 8 year old food forest. Photo: Fraser Bliss
We have heard about the wonders of permaculture food forests, whereby nature does all the work and we can simply walk around harvesting more food than we can possibly eat. Bill Mollison, the founder of the permaculture movement, is known for saying that the world is "in grave danger of falling food". This is an incredibly appealing idea that certainly has its roots deeply embedded in the human psyche that craves for a paradise lost, a Garden of Eden and the freedom from the toils of work. But is this achievable? What data supports these claims?Comments (11)