Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Society — by Angelo Eliades May 26, 2012
In Nature, all things are interconnected to each other, and in permaculture we strive to understand the relationships that comprise the ecological web of life. Through understanding the relationships in an ecological system, we can model these to build similarly sustainable systems.
Of all the ecological relationships we might encounter, possibly the most important (to us) is the relationship of humanity to the rest of Nature. One of the greatest realisations that come from studying permaculture is that we are not above Nature, we are part of it, an integral part of the system so to speak, and when we assume out rightful and proper place, our relationship to Nature changes profoundly.
The aim of this article is to examine humanity’s relationship to Nature, how it has changed over time, how we can reclaim our unique ecological niche, and the benefits gained from reclaiming our rightful place in the ecological scheme of things.Comments (14)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Dams, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Population, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Terraces, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 24, 2012
As most of our readers will know, John D. Liu caught a vision years ago, and, thankfully, he ran with it. We’ve shared John’s excellent media work before (see here and here), and today have the pleasure of doing so again….
This new video, Green Gold, was first aired last month on Dutch TV, and will be shared at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (to a captive audience of influential representative delegates during their dinner!), which is being held next month in Brazil (20-22 June 2012).
The video takes you to China, Jordan (more background on the PRI Jordan project here), Ethiopia, Rwanda and Bolivia, and features the PRI’s own Geoff Lawton (and a cameo appearance from Nadia!), who adds impetus and technical know-how to John’s impressive toolbox, as well as the ‘Permaculture Princess‘ (Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan), and others.
It’s the story of healing landscapes at scale, and, with it, restoring life, livelihoods, security and a future.Comments (6)
Community Projects, Society, Urban Projects — by Emma Crameri May 17, 2012
by Emma Crameri, Gustoso
“The Transition Trail to Resilience” illustrates the steps our local communities can take to transition to living with climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy and oil.
I was inspired by first developing The Permaculture Path to Sustainability which deals with how individuals and households can transition to a life with a smaller footprint on the earth.
I then wanted to expand these issues to encompass a community wide scope and take on the perspective of the Transition movement.Comments Off
Building, Society, Village Development — by Marcin Gerwin May 15, 2012
Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy. Photo: Edgar Barany/Flickr
I was recently struck by photographs of energy-efficient houses that were described as ’sustainable’ — built mostly with natural or recycled materials and even finished with environmentally friendly paint — however, they looked like regular modernist buildings. Can modernist architecture be called sustainable, if only ecological techniques are used? Or, is there still something missing?Comments (15)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Education Centres, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings, Society — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 6, 2012
Terania Creek, next to PRI Australia’s Zaytuna Farm
Photos © Craig Mackintosh
The inaugural International Permaculture Day — today — appropriately falls on the first Sunday of May, often known as ‘Mayday’. Permaculture, and its appropriate and holistic design science, is a powerful response to the world’s distress signals. Thankfully, more and more are coming to realise this, and this new peg on the annual calendar is a great opportunity for the uninitiated to get familiar with, and find some hope and security in, our transformative work.Comments (7)
Conferences, Consumerism, Society, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 25, 2012
Susan Krumdieck, speaking at the Australasian Permaculture Conference (APC11)
in Turangi, New Zealand, April 2012
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Susan Krumdieck is an Associate Professor working in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Originally gaining her PhD in the U.S.A., her home country, Susan decided to relocate to New Zealand, where her desires to be more proactive along sustainability lines would be less likely to end in job termination!
Susan has since used her position and considerable talent, and that of her students, to collect data pertinent to dealing with the plight of urban centres in a peak oil context.Comments (6)
Consumerism, Society — by Zaia Kendall April 23, 2012
Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of the new PRI Sunshine Coast (formally Kin Kin SOULS), led by highly experienced permaculturists, Tom and Zaia Kendall. Please note that Tom and Zaia will be hosting a 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course from May 20, 2012, and a full 10-week Permaculture Life Skills Internship from June 4, 2012.
From a very early age in modern society we are taught that we are not responsible for things that happen to us. This article deals with how we can change that attitude.
From a very early age in modern society we are taught that we are not responsible for things that happen to us. In kindergarten and day care facilities, and even park playgrounds have to have a bouncy soft floor to minimise injury. The equipment has to have certain size restrictions and everything is made to ensure the kids can play without hurting themselves. Tree climbing is now forbidden. Children are not allowed to eat mud pies, crawl in dirt, play with sticks, insects, etc., or get into contact with any germs. Besides the fact that we now discourage kids from interactions with our natural environment (nature), we are wrapping our kids up in (synthetic) cotton wool, which is becoming detrimental to our society.Comments (5)
Consumerism, Economics, Society, peak oil — by Dean Fantazzini March 27, 2012
by Dean Fantazzini, Moscow School of Economics, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
The Deepwater Horizon incident demonstrated that most of the oil left is deep offshore or in other locations difficult to reach. Moreover, to obtain the oil remaining in currently producing reservoirs requires additional equipment and technology that comes at a higher price in both capital and energy. In this regard, the physical limitations on producing ever-increasing quantities of oil are highlighted, as well as the possibility of the peak of production occurring this decade. The economics of oil supply and demand are also briefly discussed, showing why the available supply is basically fixed in the short to medium term. Also, an alarm bell for economic recessions is raised when energy takes a disproportionate amount of total consumer expenditures. In this context, risk mitigation practices in government and business are called for. As for the former, early education of the citizenry about the risk of economic contraction is a prudent policy to minimize potential future social discord. As for the latter, all business operations should be examined with the aim of building in resilience and preparing for a scenario in which capital and energy are much more expensive than in the business-as-usual one.Comments (2)
By Pietro Pagliardini (1), Sergio Porta (2) & Nikos A. Salingaros (3).
Chapter 17 in: Bin Jiang and Xiaobai Angela Yao, Editors, Geospatial Analysis and Modeling of Urban Structure and Dynamics, Springer, New York, 2010, pages 331-353.
(1) Pagliardini Rupi Andreoni & Gazzabin, Studio d’Architettura, Via Eritrea 9, 52100 Arezzo, ITALY.
(2) Urban Design Studies Unit, University of Strathclyde, 131 Rottenrow, Glasgow G4 0NG, UK.
(3) Department of Mathematics, University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249, USA.
This essay outlines how to incorporate morphological rules within the exigencies of our technological age. We propose using the current evolution of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) technologies beyond their original representational domain, towards predictive and dynamic spatial models that help in constructing the new discipline of “urban seeding”. We condemn the high-rise tower block as an unsuitable typology for a living city, and propose to re-establish human-scale urban fabric that resembles the traditional city. Pedestrian presence, density, and movement all reveal that open space between modernist buildings is not urban at all, but neither is the open space found in today’s sprawling suburbs. True urban space contains and encourages pedestrian interactions, and has to be designed and built according to specific rules. The opposition between traditional self-organized versus modernist planned cities challenges the very core of the urban planning discipline. Planning has to be re-framed from being a tool creating a fixed future to become a visionary adaptive tool of dynamic states in evolution.Comments (3)
Comedy Break, Society — by Marc Roberts March 26, 2012
Click for larger view
Courtesy: Marc Roberts
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Ryan Harb March 24, 2012
Editor’s Note: I want to congratulate Ryan and the UMass team on this significant milestone, and also wish to thank all of our readers who took a moment to vote to help ensure it came to pass. Onwards!
The White House honors five young leaders as Champions of Change for outstanding leadership on their college campuses, chosen by the public for their projects that embody the President’s goal to win the future.
The past few weeks have been life changing for me, and for many others who are part of the permaculture community at UMass Amherst. Possibly others from around the world, too. Together, we successfully brought permaculture to the national stage, and by we I mean the entire global network of permaculturists who live by the ethics “Earth Care”, “People Care”, “Share of Surplus”.Comments (6)
What do you do with an old church car park? Turn it into a community garden, of course! And that’s how the Ridley Grove Community Garden — a child, pet and disabled person friendly garden in the Adelaide suburb of Woodville Gardens — came into being.
The first thing they did was to bring in the experts to help clear the grass… a herd of hard working, hungry goats! Now that’s chemical free weed control… with built in fertiliser! Next came the soil building, with lots of compost and mulch, which turned a compacted surface of gravel and dolomite into fertile, productive garden beds.Comments (6)
Community Projects, Consumerism, Ethical Investment, News, Society, Village Development — by Brian Hedge
The small community of Mullumbimby in the Byron Shire of northern NSW, Australia, is currently in the process of determining their own food supply future by purchasing their local supermarket.
This movement, which is gaining momentum daily at an amazing rate, began by chance, fate, serendipity — call it what you will. Greg Dutton, president of the local community garden approached Richard Storie, the proprietor of the local IGA supermarket, about selling the community garden organic seedlings outside the store. During this conversation he quipped, "If the seedling sale goes well I’ll be back to buy the store". That’s a lot of seedlings. Nevertheless an idea was conceived and now after a five month gestation period a movement has been born.Comments (4)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Eco-Villages, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, People Systems, Society, Village Development, peak oil — by Pietro Zucchetti March 22, 2012
This is an interview with Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Town movement founded in Totnes, United Kingdom. The interview is about what Transition Towns mean, and how he came up with this idea as a permaculture teacher. The interview also covers how is this concept important now, during the present global crisis, and how the Transition Town movement can get involved in educating people to cope with a future in energy descent, which is starting not tomorrow, but right now! It ends with his prediction for the near future.
Duration: 23 minutes
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Society — by Anthea Hudson March 17, 2012
Twice a year, over the school holidays in the Australian states of South Australia and Victoria, the Flinders Ranges comes alive, with a series of activities aimed to provide an insight into this majestic, yet environmentally sensitive area.Comments (3)