Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Urban Projects.

The Austin City Council unanimously passed an amended version of the Holly Shores Master Plan on the evening of August 28th, which includes Phase One (<1 acre) of the Festival Beach Food Forest!

It may sound far-fetched, but the newly-passed, 99-acre Holly Shores Master Plan includes an edible forest garden, free and open to the public, on a patch of parkland just east of I-35. Adding to the already bustling local food movement in Austin, the Festival Beach Food Forest (FBFF) is a pilot project to grow fruits, nuts, vegetables and herbs on city-owned land, using novel low-water and low-maintenance methods.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, People Systems, Society, Village Development.


The 21st of September will be International Day of Peace. It may seem a little premature to declare that world peace is due to break out by the end this month. I do not deny that the amount of killing and death and war and torture and death and coercion and abuse and death all over everywhere can be overwhelming. Nor do I deny that considering this it is a natural assumption to believe people are sinners, destined for extinction. However, I do argue that compassion is as much a part of human nature as cruelty.

There is evidence that humankind did not always live violent lives. In fact, I assume most people reading this article are not habitually violent, and do not desire to watch someone suffer. All animals have the capacity to enrich the lives of others. We have the capacity to be both selfish and kind. What matters is which quality we chose to focus on; bringing that quality into focus within ourselves, the world, and our children.

Here I have collected an array of research demonstrating that there is a positive potential within each social group and person. I argue that humans can learn to build societies which are not founded on the expectation of organised violence. Here are seven reasons why world peace is possible. You won’t believe your own strength of belief: There is at least some hope.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society.

If the ozone hole had been discovered ten years later, governments are likely to have done nothing.

In The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins, a comedy made in 1971, Spike Milligan portrays Sloth as a tramp trying to get through a farm gate. This simple task is rendered almost impossible by the fact that he can’t be bothered to take his hands out of his pockets and open the latch. He tries everything: getting over it, under it, through it, hurling himself at it, risking mortal injury, expending far more energy and effort than the obvious solution would require.

This is how environmental diplomacy works. Governments gather to discuss an urgent problem and propose everything except the obvious solution – legislation. The last thing our self-hating states will contemplate is what they are empowered to do: govern. They will launch endless talks and commissions, devise elaborate market mechanisms, even offer massive subsidies to encourage better behaviour, rather than simply say “we’re stopping this”.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees.

Many of the most successful gardens we’ve propagated have been as much luck and accident as they have been my astounding wits. We’ve made lots of special garden beds, no-till expressions of fertility and decomposition, but often times it’s the rogue plantings, the spots where seeds have fallen from a pocket or simply tossed away as compostable refuse, that turn out to be the most bountiful. Here are some of the impromptu, inadvertent strokes of genius we’ve had recently.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres.

by Zaia Kendall, PRI Maungaraeeda, Sunshine Coast, Australia

We hope to help the Ni-Vanuatu people restore their soil and improve the diversity of
their gardens and their diet through permaculture

We recently went to Vanuatu on a sponsored trip to initiate a long term permaculture project there.

We were invited to come to Vanuatu in August, to go to two small villages and conduct workshops, do a consult on a property and to talk to government and NGO officials in relation to setting up an ongoing permaculture project in Vanuatu.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease, Livestock, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Healthier, more productive pigs, more profit, and much less birth deformities; an important lesson for all farmers not to use GMO feed or glyphosate on their land.

by Ib Borup Pederson

Based on invited lecture at the 1st Forum of Development and Environmental Safety, under the theme “Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture 2014”, 25 – 26 July 2014, Beijing.

“Pilegaarden” (Willow Farm)

I want to tell you what I have seen on my farm and about the on-farm and lab investigations carried out in collaboration with Professor Monika Krüger and other scientists.

My farm “Pilegaarden” (Willow Farm) is an average Danish farm in the small village of Hvidsten. Our pigs are raised accordingly to United Kingdom regulations for pig housing, and exported to the UK for consumption. Inside the pig farm is a straw-based system for the sows as well as a standard farrowing house.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, General.

by Zachary Shahan

Also known as carpooling, lift sharing, and covoiturage, among other names, ridesharing has a longer history than the automobile. But sharing the expense of getting from one spot to another gained prominence during World War II, when gas rationing limited car trips, and again in the 1970s with both the oil and energy crises.

Ridesharing is a broad term and can even include instances when family members share rides. Generally, however, ridesharing is associated with sharing a trip to work. In the 21st century, ridesharing has gotten a makeover, as social media, smartphones, apps, and online services link people in need of a ride with people offering one. This hybrid service has been referred to as real-time ridesharing, dynamic ridesharing, dynamic carpooling, instant ridesharing, and novo ridesharing.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting.

Continuing with the theme of my last piece, another ideal potential equipment platform is the agricultural spec’d Unimog, manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. These are highly versatile and very reliable vehicles equipped with capabilities typically associated with tractors — namely 3-point linkages, PTOs (Power Take Offs), and hydraulics. Just as with the tractor, a broad array of implements may be used for the purpose of repairing degraded landscapes.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants.

I resisted juicing for a long time because I thought it was an extreme activity carried out by obsessive health-food freaks. There was no way I was going to touch that pond water, no matter how many overly-happy people were drinking it and posting photos on Facebook.

Then I got sick with a condition called Actinomycosis. Two years of heavy duty antibiotics (which probably kept me alive but didn’t cure me) left me debilitated and depressed. I did not think I would ever get better. When the acute phase passed, I stopped taking the antibiotics and exhausted any natural cures that I could find out about, but I remained sick.

Then I watched a couple of convincing documentaries about juicing and decided to give it a go.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Our first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) will take place from the 19th – 31st of May 2015 and will be certified by the Permaculture Research Institute.

The full 72 hour internationally recognised PDC will be held on site at the UK’s first Permaculture Research Institute, PRI Tap o’ Noth in Rhynie, Aberdeenshire.

The course will be led by visiting PRI-accredited teacher Angus Soutar, co-taught by PRI Tap o’ Noth’s James Reid and will also include international guest speakers.

Read more »