Aid Projects, Community Projects, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Village Development — by Andrea Joswig December 21, 2012
Since 2011 the Adunni Susanne Wenger Foundation in Nigeria, in Cooperation with the German NGO SONED Brandenburg e.V., built up the Environmental Education Centre called Permaculture Forest Garden at Gberefu Island, in Badagry, Lagos State. Beside the sustainability of the local environment, the project’s focus is on health care, food security, nonviolent communication and the support of democratic processes. Permaculture Forest Garden is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and The German Foundation Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken. The beneficiaries of the project are the inhabitants of the surrounding settlements, students, teachers, farmers and landowners from Badagry and Lagos.Comments (0)
Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Development & Property Trusts, Economics, Ethical Investment, People Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Village Development — by John D. Liu December 20, 2012
John D. Liu
I’m often asked “What can I do to help?” to restore the Earth. Over the years I’ve struggled with the answer.
Sometimes I feel like it is unfair to ask me what someone else should do because even if I told them what I thought they probably wouldn’t do it. I think that each person should look inside their heart and decide what they will do.
However, gradually I’ve come to see ecological restoration as the “great work” of our time — the one most important thing that all the people who are alive today need to understand and do together. I’ve come to realize that to do restoration at scale requires some very specific skills and also requires a type of lifestyle change. It also requires a change in the way we perceive work and the economy.Comments (26)
Animal Forage, Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 19, 2012
Fresh onto the interweb is a project that I had on my own things-to-do list for some time now, but this new site may well have saved me the pain. It’s a great new plant database, with over 7400 plant profiles and the very cool ability to drill-down to suitable plants by ticking off what you’re looking for based on the micro-situation of the spot you want to plant in (sun tolerance, water requirements, pH, soil type, etc.).
Being a wiki site, it’s open for everyone to help improve. And, unlike similar databases I’ve seen, this one is permaculture-oriented. As the name suggests, it is profiling ‘practical plants’ — i.e. plants with a use — as opposed to just edible plants.
Take a look around, and let me know your thoughts via comments below. My first impressions are that it’s an excellent start towards creating an extremely valuable resource.Comments (18)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Land, Project Positions, Village Development — by Lily Bunker December 14, 2012
In an isolated corner of northern Mozambique great things are being done. A demonstration farm run by the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project, an offshoot of a local trust organization and set in the picturesque region of Manda Wilderness, is held together by the efforts by five local staff and an occasional international volunteer. The farm acts as a platform for teaching villagers agricultural techniques and serves as an experimentation ground for testing new farming methods and yielding a new variety of crops.
I came to Manda Wilderness in early October as a volunteer, and was immediately impressed by the scale of the farm and the commitment of the staff. After working on other projects within the sixteen communities of the Manda Wilderness region, I have recently spent my time working directly at the farm, developing projects based on methods of permaculture with other volunteers as we strive to increase the farm yield in sustainable and efficient ways.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Land, Swales — by David Spicer December 7, 2012
While at Wadeye, Northern Territory, Australia, installing a permaculture design for Earth Ethics, this video was taken when I was explaining how to install swales and level sill spillways and what their function is, to some of the guys working on site.
So if you want to understand how to install swales and spillways, this might help.
Apologies for the unbuttoned shirt, I was not aware this was being filmed.
Further Reading:Comments (1)
Community Projects, Food Shortages, Urban Projects, peak oil — by Klara Hansson December 6, 2012
I believe that we will need to produce food in our urban centres, because I can’t figure out how else we are going to meet an increased demand from our cities. With over 50% of the world’s population living in them, currently relying on an unsustainable agricultural system to deliver all the nourishment they need, it’s not hard to understand that something will need to change.
In order to meet this need in the ways of a permaculturist, I have dedicated my working hours to the concept of Edible Cities.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Sabrina Faubert November 22, 2012
I’m not sure it’s possible, looking back now, to say exactly what I was expecting when I hopped on that plane and flew to Ethiopia for an internship at Strawberry Fields, but one thing I am sure of is that it’s been one of the most transformative, edifying experiences I’ve had in my life.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Lorraine Ciarallo November 19, 2012
To say the very least, I enjoy a good challenge and a thrilling adventure, but my visit to Barbados was a magical journey beyond my wildest expectations. But before I get there, let me take you back a bit.Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by John D. Liu November 17, 2012
Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project
A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance
In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had been fully vegetated with massive forests and grasslands. Resources extracted from the giant forests, rushing rivers, and abundance of the earth in this place blossomed into the magnificence of the Han, the Qin and the Tang dynasties. The accomplishments of the early Chinese dynasties, based in this area, rank among the greatest human scientific and artistic achievements of any age. The Loess Plateau gave birth to the Han race, the largest ethnic group on the planet, and the plateau is generally considered by historians and geographers to be the second place on Earth where human beings began to use settled agriculture.Comments (9)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Ognen Oncevski November 16, 2012
This article is not just a call for a support, it is also a message of gratitude to all of you who shared your stories on this website and gave us inspiration to move forward and aim towards the creation of a more human world.
Before I get to the main point of this article, I would like to tell you about our beginnings. It all started when a bunch of friends who share a common vision for a world in which humans live in harmony with nature decided to get together and make their vision come to life. We formally joined an organization called The Green Ark. It was exactly five years ago when we decided that we wanted to do something more, to transform our revolt into organized action which would be useful for our community. However, our beginnings were not all that glamorous. Back then, our knowledge of the permaculture ethics and principles came solely from reading books and watching videos like The Global Gardener series, Establishing a Food Forest, etc. And since none of us had taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course, we were a bit apprehensive, but very excited at the same time, when we embarked on our first project – to start an urban garden.Comments (7)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Rhamis Kent
I was recently invited to contribute to a concept paper (2.2mb PDF) authored and edited by Willem Ferwerda.
Mr. Ferwerda, a tropical ecologist, was director of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) National Committee of The Netherlands from 2000 until March 2012. In his new role Ferwerda will support the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) in making businesses and investors work for ecosystem restoration and management. As Chair of the Board of Patrons he will be actively involved in rolling out Leaders for Nature internationally.
This paper was compiled to serve as:
A plea for the establishment of an international mechanism that actively creates collaborative Ecosystem Restoration Partnerships between businesses, investors, business schools, civil society organizations, farmers and local people, that international restoration targets will be reached, investments will be returned, and practical lessons are learned by working together.
One of the many contributors to this paper is Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Quoting his statements from the paper’s introduction:Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Education Centres — by Alex McCausland November 15, 2012
Editor’s Note: Regular readers will have appreciated Alex McCausland’s regular and comprehensive reports from precariously positioned Ethiopia, and the great work he and his team have been doing on the ground. If you want to learn practical permaculture and gain real-world permaculture aid work experience in a location rich in agricultural history, then please consider taking Alex’s next PDC, to be held in southern Ethiopia between December 10 — 22, 2012. Your tuition fees directly support this important educational aid work.
This month we’ve been very busy in south Ethiopia. Konso, where we are based, lies just south of a dividing line between two great weather systems, one which affects the Ethiopian highlands to the north and has a unimodal annual rainfall pattern with rains falling July-September, and the other with a bimodal rainfall affecting the southern lowlands down into Kenya. The “long rains” in Konso are usually March-May and the “short rains”, known locally as hagaya (or belg in Amharic) are usually September-October. Basically, this means that it has just now been the planting season in Konso. We have had a mad planting bonanza to get about 2500 trees into the ground on our own demonstration site at Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge. We’ve been ably assisted with this undertaking by our current intern, Sabrina Faubert, a recent graduate from the US who’s staying with us for five months and helping with the various different projects we have going on. Sabrina is going to write up a report of her own on her activities and experiences with Strawberry Fields, which will hopefully be posted on this blog shortly.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Neal Spackman November 9, 2012
This week the project started planting the swales with 1000 very hardy desert trees. The team is working in shifts of laying drip line, digging holes, manuring and mulching swales, putting in compost, planting, mulching again, and then adjusting the drip emitter.Comments (7)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Village Development — by Dagmar Diesner November 2, 2012
Clearing the entrance with the help of friends (April 2011)
La Cuccagna emerged in March last year, here in Italy, as one of some of the projects from our organisation, Montagna Viva. This organisation was founded as a catalyst to undertake projects to revive the countryside, in the form of doing — in common — something together, or using the term ‘commoning’, as it is described in the growing acknowledged theory of the commons and its communities.
Massimo and I decided to initiate a common garden project after realizing that we did not want to spend all our spare time in our kitchen garden, isolated from the community. Within a couple of weeks we got a group of like-minded people, and La Cuccagna was born. Even though we started with bare land, the name, standing for abundance, is inspiring enough to attempt capturing all the abundance of fruits, herb and vegetables that nature delivers us here in this tiny Italian village in the Apennines.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Stephanie Blennerhassett October 31, 2012
PDCs are tricky. For two weeks we tumble into this community of unfamiliarly familiar, curious strangers. The constant whirlwind of habits, obligations, and distractions that composes our lives momentarily dissipates and we are thrust into this world where our main responsibility is to be open-minded, observe, think, learn, and connect. Yet, at the end of the day, we are singular beings and we all have our lives that we will return to. As PDC participants, we are exposed to this new paradigm together, share bemusement at fractal patterns and individual inspirations, and then suddenly depart the entropy we fell into and hopefully go off with the intent to use permaculture as a framework for making society and the environment more resilient.
However, after I was formally introduced to permaculture, as a nomadic recent college graduate, I was not sure how permaculture could be a tangible part of my life. The fulfillment from a sense of belonging and purpose I experienced during the PDC instilled within me a restless need to contribute to a project and/or community. So, I found myself asking, “Now what?”.Comments (4)