Aquaculture, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Swales, Terraces, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Justin Sharman July 28, 2010
It’s been about a year now since I had the pleasure of Craig at my house to do the story on the Natural Swimming Pool conversion I am attempting. It was an interesting year for me on the home garden front and the personal front with lots of new surprises and projects. I thought I would do a follow up because we had a lot of enquiries about the pool after the story.
I am lucky to have a wonderful partner Vanessa who, because of her Permaculture training with Bill (PDC) and Geoff (PDC & Internship) and also at Northey Street Farm, is able to accept why I would want to have a go at producing food in our own home and also why I was getting rid of a swimming pool in favour of a pond and some fish.Comments (6)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, News, Nurseries & Propogation, People Systems, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Salination, Society, Soil Conservation, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 23, 2010
This video can be downloaded in high resolution from Vimeo (see ‘About this video’ section on lower right side’).
I hope you’ll enjoy this clip on the Jawaseri School Garden Project. More, I hope it encourages you to dare to be different, and dare to have your work noticed. The garden we profile in the video above, as you’ll discover after watching it, has just won a national competition held by the Jordanian Department of Education – for schools who incorporate environmental projects into their curriculum. This means that thousands of schools, in what is arguably the most water-stressed country on the planet, now have the possibility to learn from this humble example of permaculture in action – and get inspired to do similar.
Special thanks to Lesley Byrne for her enthusiastic support, and to Nadia Lawton for her vision and determination to help her own people – and in so doing setting such an excellent example for us all.
Biodiversity, Compost, Conservation, Economics, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Fungi, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Christine Jones PhD July 22, 2010
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Darren Doherty of ReGenAg for sourcing and getting permission to run this.
The number of farmers in Australia has fallen 30 per cent in the last 20 years, with more than 10,000 farming families leaving the agricultural sector in the last five years alone. This decline is ongoing. There is also a reluctance on the part of young people to return to the land, indicative of the poor image and low income-earning potential of current farming practices.
Agricultural debt in Australia has increased from just over $10 billion in 1994 to close to $60 billion in 2009 (Fig.1). The increased debt is not linked to interest rates, which have generally declined over the same period (Burgess 2010).
Fig. 1. Increase in agricultural debt (AUD millions)
1994-2009 vs interest rates (%pa)
The financial viability of the agricultural sector, as well as the health and social wellbeing of individuals, families and businesses in both rural and urban communities, is inexorably linked to the functioning of the land.
There is widespread agreement that the integrity and function of soils, vegetation and waterways in many parts of the Australian landscape have become seriously impaired, resulting in reduced resilience in the face of increasingly challenging climate variability.
Agriculture is the sector most strongly impacted by these changes. It is also the sector with the greatest potential for fundamental redesign.Comments (12)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education Centres, Networking Sites, People Systems, Podcasts, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Patrick Blampied July 14, 2010Comments (0)
Conservation, Gabions, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting — by Patrick Blampied July 13, 2010
Recently I joined Nick Huggins on a farm near Wagga to see what he was up to. (Here are the details of his first visit in case you missed it.)
This time the main purpose of the trip was to repair the creek that ran through the property. The creek is nothing special, it runs half the year and doesn’t have much living in or around it. There was a lot of evidence of erosion, not a lot of soil left and no protection from flood events.
So Nick got to work, spending the week installing rock gabions and bamboo every few hundred metres or so.
What looks to the untrained eye, and the catchment authority, as works to block up the creek and stuff up the natural ecology is actually a process of fast tracking the repair that happens naturally as trees and other debris fall across the flow and slow down the water, holding back nutrient and kick starting the soil building process.
Aid Projects, Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Darren Bell July 8, 2010
It’s 2am. I’m sitting on a nice toilet in a nice hotel room in a nice little town in Africa. But I don’t feel very nice. Three weeks ago I arrived in the town of Musoma on the eastern shore of lake Victoria, Tanzania. It’s my second time here. It’s unusual to return to an old permaculture posting so it felt both strange and comforting to visit old friends. They had assumed I would return again as to them I was family and family never leaves for long. But I am mzungu, white man. And in the West, we never stay for long. But I had not been sick then.
I contracted diarrhea two days after arriving. Not crippling, but enough to make my trips to town short, consciously timed ones. Not bad enough to panic. Perhaps that is why three weeks later I’m sitting on the toilet once again at 2am in the morning. Only this time it’s a little more serious. I contracted malaria two days ago and had moved from the delirious, early stage effects of high fever to feeling just plain horrible. On top of that, I had unknowingly overdosed on a western folk remedy and have been violently vomiting for the past eight hours. My one small cause for relief was a by product of my tiny bathroom. I could release my bowels and vomit into the hand basin at exactly the same time. This I had adeptly managed several times this past evening although I over shot the bowl the first time. Must remember to tip the cleaning lady extra in the morning.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 30, 2010
This great little clip by Emma Piper-Burket takes an early 2009 look at a couple of permaculture projects in Jordan. These are projects shown at greater length and at a later date (October 2009) in the Greening the Desert II video many of you will have already watched. I’m not sure what exactly what month Emma visited the project, but as our Eric Seider (one of the directors of PRI USA) was filmed there at the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka Greening the Desert, The Sequel), it’d have to be January or February. Eric was key in the initial establishment of the site, which is now coming along nicely 18 months later. Expect some updates from this site in the next few weeks as yours truly will be heading there again.
Biological Cleaning, Building, Energy Systems, Retrofitting, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Rob Avis May 28, 2010
by Rob Avis
In August 2008, my wife Michelle and I returned to Calgary, Canada, after spending one year traveling abroad in search of sustainability solutions. With backgrounds in mechanical engineering, our “sabbatical” started off in Denmark – we were drawn there by the lure of technological solutions to energy issues. After several months of volunteering and filling our brains with information (wind energy, solar applications, passive buildings, biogas, plant oil engines… and more) we ended up back in North America prepared to explore the U.S. and Mexico in our plant-oil powered Westfalia.
We knew that something thus far in our sustainability search was missing and were starting to suspect that the missing link might be permaculture (although we didn’t really know what it was quite yet). Our travels brought us to several eco-sites, including an ecovillage near Mexico City. We stopped to do some WWOOFing at a permaculture farm and then headed further south to visit the indigenous Mexicans of the Chiapas, interested to learn about their agricultural practices. An Earthship workshop and geodesic greenhouses in New Mexico and an education center and CSA project in Colorado to name a few other adventures. And to culminate this amazing year we signed up for a Permaculture Design Course at Bullocks Homestead in Washington. The entire experience was nothing short of amazing.
Next task – put all of this information to productive use! Oh boy.Comments (9)
Conservation, Irrigation, Land, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Adrian Buckley May 20, 2010
by Adrian Buckley, Permaculture Designer, B. of Community Design, Calgary, Canada
Good soil is nothing without water! Fortunately, there are simple and inexpensive methods available to us for capturing and storing rain water to meet our irrigation needs. It all starts from a firm understanding of how water flows on your property and designing to make the most use of it.Comments (7)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, News, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by P. David Stockhausen May 10, 2010
Permaculture solutions have come to life at a Wagga Wagga farm in the midst of a heated debate over water. What Kevin Rudd Claim’s will help the Murray Darling River system and the Lower Lakes region has some farmers in the area fuming. Farmers and residents throughout the Murray Darling region have larger concerns over the Australian government’s 3.1 Billion Dollar irrigation buyback scheme. The Rudd government is reacting to reduced productivity in the area and increasing demand for irrigated water downstream. Yet, some local farmers are curious as to how the proposed plan will affect production in the area, and reports show that many aren’t feeling optimistic.Comments (9)
Conservation, Dams, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, News, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Patrick Blampied April 29, 2010
Last week Permaculture consultant Nick Huggins spoke to Anne Delaney from the ABC Riverina Breakfast radio program in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Listen here:
A backgrounder: Two Permaculture consultants, currently drought proofing a property in Livingstone, are calling for an end to the Australian Government’s water buy-back scheme, saying turning off the taps rather than helping farmers repair degraded landscape is selling the Riverina’s future short.Comments (9)
Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Land, Rehabilitation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Rob Avis April 16, 2010
Rob Avis, of Canada-based Verge Permaculture, explains how swales at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia work to re-hydrate the landscape and re-charge aquifers.Comments (5)
Conservation, Consumerism, Economics, Potable Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 12, 2010
Free Range Studios have been doing an outstanding job of boiling important topics down into user-friendly sound bites that encourage the viral spread of thought-provoking information. We’ve seen The Story of Stuff, The Story of Cap and Trade, and now I introduce you to the latest in the series – The Story of Bottled Water:
This might be hard for the average world citizen to understand, but I remember, after growing up in a land flowing with pristine water supplies (New Zealand) and then heading overseas, being rather surprised – even shocked – to be introduced to the concept of buying water. Coming from the heart of an island covered in stream- and river-laden mountains and valleys, the thought of surrendering my hard-earned cash for a bottle of water seemed obscene.
To me it was just one small step away from companies selling us the very air we need to breathe.Comments (3)
Land, News, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 29, 2010
A couple of weeks ago ABC Rural’s ‘Bush Telegraph’ radio show featured an interview with Dr. Christine Jones about how to deal with the major problem of dryland salinity. Her ‘radical’ thoughts on it prompted a heated response from Mick Fleming, a former principal research scientist with CSIRO Land and Water, who was ‘gobsmacked’ with her ideas, and countered with his own.
Geoff found the discussion of great interest, and ended up being interviewed by Michael Mackenzie of ABC radio on the issue – it makes for a very interesting listen.
Click play below to hear the talk:ABC Talks to Geoff Lawton on Dryland Salinity Comments (7)
Please Get Behind Our Efforts to Demonstrate Sustainable Development and Relief for Chile Quake/Tsunami Victims
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Ethical Investment, Irrigation, Networking Sites, News, People Systems, Society, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Grifen Hope March 20, 2010
Editor’s Preamble: Permaculturists famously endeavour to ‘turn the problem into a solution’. At the moment we have a tremendous opportunity to apply this principle in wonderful, productive ways in disaster-hit Chile. The quake-tsunami combo that hit on February 27, 2010 has created a void just begging for sustainable relief and re-development. Grifen Hope, who writes below and who leads out at Ecoescuela El Manzano, a partner organisation to the Permaculture Research Institute, is well positioned to fill that void with all kinds of permaculture goodness – in the form of low-cost environmentally friendly buildings, improved sanitation and nutrient cycling through construction of composting toilets, water harvesting systems and in education in home garden design, etc. Grifen’s already established and successful project and his national contacts make this a particularly significant opportunity, to not only directly help people in great need at this time, but to also offer more holistic and community centred alternatives to local and national government – alternatives with far greater short and long term potential than those offered by the scores of contractors seeking to cash in on misery. PRI Australia feels so strongly about assisting Grifen with his noble ambitions, that we’re putting forward the first AU$1,000 donation. Both PRI Australia and PRI USA are taking donations for this cause (people in the U.S. will want to donate through PRI USA, to take advantage of their tax-exampt non-profit status). In the interests of transparency, PRI USA will take 5 percent of donations to cover administration and the work that had to be done to facilitate the legal aspects of sponsoring this project – but that 5% will help PRI USA develop its own projects). PRI Australia will pass 100% of donations to the project in Chile. Additionally, as we feel this work deserves significant exposure, and as we seek to ensure that valuable permaculture relief work gets noticed at the highest levels, to attract further governmental support for future disasters worldwide, PRI Australia and myself (Craig Mackintosh) will share the costs for myself to go to Chile to cover and report on Grifen’s work via photographs, writing and video. I would like to take this opportunity to ask people to get behind this in whatever way they can. Donations, large or small, will all assist in what is the very best form of aid work. Perhaps ask your employer to match your donation – many will. Additionally, people with contacts in government, aid agencies and other NGOs are invited to share this page with them. Thanks in advance to the worldwide permaculture community for getting behind this work. You never know – in the future you may be the recipient of such assistance.
Update: ‘Letters from Chile‘ reports from Craig are coming in. Check them out!
|Donate via PRI USA (USA residents)*
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|Donate via PRI Australia (rest of world)*
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|*Please be sure to click on the ‘Add special instructions to seller’ link, and then type ‘CHILE’ in the field provided, to ensure these fund are correctly diverted.|
El Manzano in Transition – Towards Community Resilience, by Design
by Grifen Hope of Ecoescuela El ManzanoComments (3)