Aid Projects, Community Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Miles Durand June 20, 2013
Miles Durand (right), in Lesotho
Lesotho is a small, mountainous country in Southern Africa. There has been an alarming two third reduction in its food production since colonial times. The signs and causes are self-evident and can be seen on the landscape and within the population. There is an urgent need to move the existing agriculture, in decline, to one of ascendancy in food production, and return the soil to good health and fertility. Many of the ingredients needed for this transformation are located within the country and its neighbour of South Africa. And within the world wide sustainable / conservation agriculture community, accessible on the internet is all the knowledge, information and technology needed to make it happen.Comments (0)
Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings — by Roberto Perez Rivero
Permaculture has for more than 30 years been an innovative system of techniques based on the best practices of traditional cultures of the planet, knowledge learnt from Nature and its ecosystem functioning and the adoption of new technologies that are ecologically friendly. All of this, combined with deep ethics and design principles to integrate the different dimensions of sustainability in human settlements — like energy, water, transportation, financing, human communities and other issues — makes Permaculture a unique experience for those that have been practicing it since the late 1970s.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Aquaculture, Community Projects, Conservation, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Water Harvesting — by I-SIS June 15, 2013
How Integrated Natural Resource Management improves water security for small farmers.
by Dinabandhu Karmakar, Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), India
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Why does PRADAN support small decentralized farm-based rainwater harvesting rather than big projects? In short, we made a commitment to poor, small-holder farmers to ensure happy, self-sustainable livelihoods in their own farms. Fifty seven percent of Indian rural households own some land, the majority of farms less than one hectare and about half depend entirely on seasonal rain . Many of these farmers do not have access to irrigation projects tied to big dams and government-sponsored canal programmes.
We work in central India, an area of undulating terrains with large numbers of tribal peoples who until 3-4 generations ago were forest dwellers and hence not experienced as farmers.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Water Harvesting — by Alice Gray June 6, 2013
The Makhad Trust works to restore the mountain gardens of the Jebalia Bedouin in St Katherine’s governorate, Sinai, Egypt.
by Alice Gray
Mahmoud, a Makhad field worker, shows the way to Wadi ‘Tlaa, an oasis
amidst the barren rocks of the high mountains.
I first heard about this great organisation from Jeff Anderson, one of the graduates of my most recent permaculture course in Qasr A Sir. Since I had decided to take up an offer from some friends to use their house in Dahab for a month whilst scoping out the sustainable farming scene in the area, I decided to get in touch.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Tejal Heblekar
A non-profit teaches a soil education program to combat the farmer suicide epidemic in rural India.
By Tejal Heblekar, and edited by Eileen Mello
A few kilometers from the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Orissa, rural farmers have gathered around a microscope to see what lies hidden in the ground. The Hummingbird Project, an American based non-profit organization, has equipped a soil laboratory with a microscope and resources for visiting farmers to test the quality of their farm’s soil and learn specific organic methods for improving its health. Farmers are eager to use the lab resources to test their samples and excitedly look from the microscope to the computer, watching the enhanced images of microbes moving throughout the soil. Proud chemical farmers are shocked to discover their samples — white and chalky with synthetic fertilizer salts and residues and reeking like chemicals — have no biodiversity like that found in samples from farms employing organic techniques.Comments (3)
Community Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 22, 2013
John D. Liu of the EEMP treats us to another look at permaculture solutions in application — this time with the Tamera project in Portugal.
Tamera is a peace research village with the goal of becoming “a self-sufficient, sustainable and duplicatable communitarian model for nonviolent cooperation and cohabitation between humans, animals, nature, and Creation for a future of peace for all."  It is also often called a “healing biotope."  Literally translated, "biotope" simply means a place where life lives. In Tamera, however, “healing biotope” is also described as a “greenhouse of trust,” “an acupuncture point of peace,” and “a self-sufficient future community."  It is located on 335 acres (1.36 km2) in the Alentejo region of southwestern Portugal. — Wikipedia
Permaculture and sustainability have rooted in the Spanish hills of Collserola near Barcelona and formed a partnership with a global project, the Green Fabrication Laboratory.
Innovation and creativity are part of the lifeblood of Barcelona. Picasso and Dalí began their artistic careers here and Gaudí and Miró have left their own mark on the progressive spirit of the city. The new Sustainability Centre of Valldaura follows this inventive character by offering the combination of technologies, old and new, to meet the tasks of an uncertain future.Comments (0)
Community Projects, Conservation, Irrigation, Storm Water, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Jennifer Wadsworth May 18, 2013
At 7:30 Sunday morning, April 21, 2013, people began to gather on a barren lot in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The temperature was already climbing into the 80s and the lot’s bare dirt reflected both heat and light, making lingering uncomfortable. By 8:00 AM, more than 30 neighborhood volunteers, Youth Hostel guests, Green Living Co-op members, PDC and university students were on-site, eager to start the day’s activities. They were here to celebrate Earth Day by installing a green infrastructure retrofit project in the Garfield Historic District; an eclectic neighborhood that is part of the larger Arts District.Comments (2)
Community Projects, Urban Projects — by Stefan Boone May 17, 2013
Brian Halweil, publisher of "Edible Manhattan," discusses the problems with the global food system and the solutions he’s found cropping up everywhere.
Community Projects, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Earth Policy Institute May 15, 2013
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)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Urban Projects — by Eric Seider May 10, 2013
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 (57)
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)
Building, Community Projects — by Elisa Fusi May 8, 2013
I met Fabrice at the top of the hill in the lovely forest at Whangateau in New Zealand, a scenic spot in the middle of the North Island.
Fabrice was kind and smiling as usual, with an honest desire to talk about his project and share pure wisdom on natural building and carpentry. He has travelled extensively and has been working as a baker all his life.
‘Bread baking is a magic craft’, he said with a charismatic voice.Comments (0)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages — by Serena Aurora May 7, 2013
Somewhere in Mexico lives a small community few have heard of. Only by word of mouth can you hear about it. This community has 17 members and has opened its doors to others. They grow their own food, and try to live sustainably using great concepts and bio-construction. This community working together has resulted in a place of creativity and knowledge. It is so versatile and such an exciting place to be, with music, art, pottery, building, and projects within the local community. Within the community they make natural soaps, herbal remedies, hand crafted jewellery and organic coffee.
This film was created so I could share my experience of what it is like to live within a community. I was really inspired by this alternative way to live and feel there is much I have taken from this experience that I will incorporate within my own life.
I was fortunate enough to hear about this place through word of mouth by another fellow traveller in Guatemala. I stayed nearly three weeks and found it very difficult to leave. There are many positive aspects to this way of life, which I hope this film captures.Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Serena Aurora May 2, 2013
In El Salvador Mauricio and Gloria have bought an abandoned Hare Krishna complex. With this they have created something very special. They are growing an organic garden and teaching children from their local community about living sustainably, as well as English. This project has the opportunity to create such a positive impact on the local community, by keeping the children off the streets and giving them something to be passionate about and keeping them in touch with nature. They invite volunteers from all over the world to come and help them by sharing their skills.
This film, which I shot in March 2013, is created to show the amazing work Gloria and Mauricio have accomplished and to make other people aware of this superb project. I stayed with them for a week and had a truly amazing time. I would recommend this experience to anyone.Comments (1)