Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Recipes, Trees, Urban Projects — by Nicola Chatham June 30, 2011
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our Permaculture journey.
Ah… Autumn… beautiful!
“It’s just too hard!” the voice in my head said. “How am I going to cope with the house, garden, turbo-charged grass and eroding drive-way on my own, now that Chris has moved back to Brisbane for work?”
Then my eye was caught by something orange on the swale. Wandering over, I noticed flies were buzzing around it like mad. Closer inspection revealed, draped under the new navel orange tree, this!Comments (16)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Economics, Education Centres, Financial Management, Food Shortages, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 29, 2011
Warning — graphic protest content
The bad news:
Police have fired tear gas in running battles with stone-throwing youths in Athens, where a 48-hour general strike is being held against a parliamentary vote on tough austerity measures.
Thousands of protesters have gathered outside parliament in the capital where public transport has ground to a halt.
PM George Papandreou has said that only his 28bn-euro (£25bn) austerity plan would get Greece back on its feet.
If the package is not approved, Greece could run out of money within weeks. — BBC
I can certainly appreciate why the people are protesting. The situation is similar to what we’re seeing in Spain at the moment — which is yet another country on the brink of implosion. Here’s what protesters there had to say recently:Comments (15)
Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Craig Gallagher May 20, 2011
I recently travelled back home to NZ and visited The LivinginPeace project in Karamea which is situated at the northern end of the West Coast Road of the South Island. The LivinginPeace Project began in 2004 and aims to incorporate the elements of travel, art, education and permaculture into a sustainable business.Comments (11)
Aid Projects, Animal Housing, Bird Life, Breeds, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fencing, Fish, Livestock, Working Animals — by Marty Miller-Crispe May 19, 2011
At SPERI’s Human Ecology Project Area we have a number of Farmer Field Schools (HEPA FFS) which are host to students from a variety of indigenous minority groups from Vietnam and Laos. The students are here to learn about eco-farming and permaculture whilst respecting traditional laws and customs.
The main focus of the farms isn’t to be productive, but rather to provide an environment where the students can experiment with various farming methods of growing crops and raising animals. So, although we do obtain a yield from the farms, the greater yield is the knowledge the students gain from trial and error.
HEPA FFS is in lush rainforest near the Laos border south-west of Ha Noi. The weather here varies from very cold winters (no snow but feels like it could!), to hot dry summers toasted with hot winds from Laos, and moving into cold monsoons and flooding at other times of the year. As such it is a challenge for the students to obtain a yield from the crops year round, and even more of a challenge to keep healthy animals.Comments (7)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 17, 2011
|"We are an oasis of green sitting amongst the dusty hills of Konso, Ethiopia. A land of proud and simple, solid folk, with hoary palms and wooden arms, who hoist and toil through their days to push that rolling rock, the wheel of life, ever on and up around, amongst those rocky rugged slopes, on the edge of the Great Rift Valley."|
Regular readers will have appreciated the great work that Alex McCausland is doing at Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge, in an amazing location in Konso, Ethiopia. His updates have been of great interest to me personally. I’m looking forward to visiting his project myself at some point to do what I can to shine a spotlight on this excellent developing example of a self-replicating permaculture demonstration site. (See also this great series by Alex Metcalfe to get even more of a sense of the flavour of the people and place.)
Anyway, in less than two weeks time their latest Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course will be held, lead by the competent hands of the PRI’s Rhamis Kent and Strawberry Fields’ Tichafa Makovere. The course runs from May 30 to June 11.
This is a fantastic opportunity to gain an experience of a lifetime, whilst supporting a valuable permaculture aid endeavour — the type of which we’d like to see replicated across the developing world.Comments (0)
Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Fencing, Gabions, Land — by Neal Spackman May 9, 2011
Editor’s Note: This is an update on the Al Baydha project we introduced here.
In order to demonstrate our agricultural system, we need to keep goats, camels, and sheep off the site. Initially we were planning to build a standard chain-link fence, but decided we could do better. Instead, we are putting up a big earth berm — about 2.5 meters tall and between 4 and 5 meters wide, with a layer of large stones securing razor wire on top .
Dispatch from the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) – April 2011
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Urban Projects — by Dan Smith May 4, 2011
The Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’)
Here at the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project in Jawasari, we’re hard at work building the main facilities and enhancing the fertility of the site while we’re at it. Those who had the chance to see the system last summer may have had some pangs of fear looking at some of the fruit trees, nearly prostrate beneath the intense yearly roasts the Jordan valley experiences in last months of summer — last summer being particularly severe. But today, the system is strong and growing. Acacias, Prosopis, Tipuana tipu other hardy nitrogen fixers have shot up, and the formerly-moribund fruit trees are twice their size, growing healthily in the shade of the pioneers. Apart from one sickly palm, not a single fruit tree was lost, and we even have our first yield of fruit!Comments (10)
Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 28, 2011
Near the end of this great and inspiring little video the reporter confessed that permaculture is having a hard time establishing itself in the minds of mainstream farmers. Whilst it may have been true when the video was originally produced, this situation seems to be changing rapidly. Farmers can either watch their lands continue to deteriorate, and throw increasing amounts of money at symptoms of underlying problems, or they can begin to see the bigger picture and the sense/cents in developing permaculture systems where inputs are gradually reduced even as soil fertility increases. As far as agriculture is concerned, there really isn’t another game worth playing. The word is getting out, and we all must play a part in helping accomplish this. Our own food security is on the line here.
For those who want a little more background on this property, check this one out also:Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Land — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 27, 2011
The wind turbine generates some of the site’s power
All photographs copyright © Craig Mackintosh
Since my last visit to the homeless camp in north central Slovakia, it seems some unrestrained enthusiasm for all things permaculture has lead Daniel Diškanec to leap in and try to make a start with his site development. The first design step, to observe, got somewhat overlooked in the rush, so a few errors were made, as we’ll see below. Guiding this enthusiasm will be important to the success of the site and last weekend we made a start to accomplish this.Comments (3)
Compost, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Angelo Eliades April 13, 2011
Editor’s Note: Some of you may remember my Magic in Melbourne post, where I covered the back yard of a certain urban wizard named Angelo, and his sidekick Louie. Well, Angelo gives us a great update on his progress below. It’s a very inspiring read, as I’m sure you’ll discover.
In our modern, Western, science-centred world, proof is very highly valued. We are habitual sceptics, our minds are trained to hunger for irrefutable facts, and when these aren’t delivered, claims are met with denial, scepticism and disbelief….
When it comes to permaculture, one question that often arises from those outside of Permaculture circles is "…but does it really work?" Far too often, I’ve heard people doubting the viability of permaculture systems, I’ve even heard lukewarm responses from within our own ranks!
It’s not every day that you wake up and try to objectively prove a major system of thinking to yourself. But one morning in early 2008 I woke up like every other morning, but took that first step on a fateful journey that would change everything….Comments (24)
Bird Life, Building, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Livestock, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees — by Chuck Burr April 11, 2011
by Chuck Burr
Here is the Spring collection of permaculture tips and tricks from the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute. Enjoy. The top photo is the winter Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course students getting a little help from the chickens to establish a block-rotation intense veggie garden in Zone 1 at Restoration Farm.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems — by Alex McCausland April 4, 2011
Editor’s Note: As many of you will have noticed, Alex has been making some great practical updates on the work going on at the Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge. Below is yet another little update on the practical application of permaculture in southern Ethiopia. In addition to the Steve Cran Training of Trainers course, the PRI’s Rhamis Kent will be making a May 30 – June 11, 2011 Permaculture Design Certificate course at Strawberry Fields in Ethiopia. Both of these courses are worth some serious consideration.
Another structure we built in the last couple of weeks was a small cob-oven. This is a great thing for our project to save on fuel wood consumption and allow us to make more kinds of food, like pizzas as well as baking loaf-bread rather than only flat bread which we currently make.Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Marty Miller-Crispe April 2, 2011
Just over a week ago I arrived in Vietnam with three of my daughters to work as a Volunteer for SPERI (The Social Policy Ecology Research Institute). SPERI have a number of properties where they have established Human Ecology Practice Areas (HEPA) which run Farmer Field Schools (FFS).
Upon arrival in Vietnam we spent a few days in Hanoi with an introductory workshop at SPERI’s office. The following day we took a nine hour bus ride to HEPA and arrived around 9pm to freezing temperatures and torrential rain. But even in the dark, cold and rain we fell in love with the place.Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Land, Processing & Food Preservation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water — by Alex McCausland April 1, 2011
Editor’s Note: As many of you will have noticed, Alex has been making some great practical updates on the work going on at the Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge. The following article is another good example. I thought I’d mention that if you want to soak in some excellent experience at this site, Steve Cran will be leading a great course beginning July 1, 2011 that you might want to attend if you can.
The heat chimney for the solar fridge
The solar fridge is a new system which we have now managed to get set up after months of pondering, trying, adjusting, tweaking and trying again. We think we have finally got it kicking and pretty well integrated into the other functions of the kitchen area, so we can demonstrate permaculture principals with it pretty nicely.
The system is based on an old design for desert/dry-land cool storages which makes use of a heat chimney to create an up-draft which then sucks cool air in to the storage chamber from below. This air may pass through a long tunnel in its way to the storage chamber and hence be cooled by the ground on the way to the chamber. In order to enhance the cooling of the air on the way to the chamber, if possible, water, by evaporating will take in thermal energy, causing the temperature of the air to fall further. The main logistical issue to deal with, as usual, in building the system, was getting the theory to work in practice using available materials. Most of the construction work on this project was done by one of our long term volunteers, Duncan Colquin from Herefordshire, England, so a big thanks to him.Comments (4)
Permaculture Training of Trainers: Interactive Training for Permaculture in Aid Work in the Developing World (30 Day Program US$2000; 8-week follow-up internship program US$1000)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Alex McCausland
Steve Cran brings his infamous Green Warriors (Permaculture-Aid Workers’) Program to Ethiopia. This course is a full-on intensive, interactive action learning Training of Trainers Course, inducting the participants on the practicalities of applying Permaculture to the development of food security in rural third world communities. This induction will be done through action learning: The participants themselves will run a “Community Sustainability Course” for two local Ethiopian School Communities in the local Konso area of South Ethiopia. Participants will thus be capable of leading community trainings in Permaculture for themselves by the end of the course. Another outcome of the course will be development of plans for Permaculture implementation in the two local communities. Those opting to take the follow-up internship will participate in the implementation of the plans developed by the school communities during the training, facilitated by you. This course will not only qualify you to lead Community Sustainability trainings in the future, it will actually result in the initiation two Permaculture schools in Southern Ethiopia.
Facilitators: Steve Cran, Tichafa Makovere, Alex McCausland
Dates: July 1st to July 30th (optional internship to follow, August 1st to September 30th, 2011)
Location: Konso, South Ethiopia
Venue: Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge
Requirements: A passion to help with food security in the developing world; strength of will and dedication; a previous PDC or experience practicing PC is not necessary though may come as an advantage.