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.
About Edible Forest Gardens: Edible forest gardens mimic the structures and functions of natural ecosystems while producing food and other products, with an emphasis on low-maintenance perennial crops. These gardens (and larger-scale operations) can provide critical ecosystem services while meeting human needs. Design and plant selection help provide fertility, control of weeds and pests, and more. This 6-day residential course will emphasize the design process, with hands-on design work for all participants. Participants will also learn the art and science of habitat mimicry, polyculture assembly, plant demonstration forest garden and observe and maintain plantings from previous courses.
I’ve been interested in indigenous land management for many years, but since the publication of M. Kat Anderson’s phenomenal Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources I’ve been engaged in active research. This has included collaboration with the Woodbine Ecology Center and my work on a publication (read an excerpt here) for them about indigenous management in the prairie and Rocky Mountain regions where they are located. As part of this learning process I’ve created several short videos.
Here’s my overview of indigenous management practices with examples from the Woodbine region:
The next video covers one of our efforts at eco-cultural restoration at Woodbine, enhancing a “wild” edible riparian area:
Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of the newPRI 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.
Wood ash can be obtained by sieving the remains of burnt, non-treated wood. The composition and amount of the ash will depend on the type of combustion (higher temperatures will lead to fewer ash residues). Normally, remaining ash will represent 0.43 — 1.82% of the initial wood weight.
Although poor in nitrogen, wood ash is a source of calcium carbonate (30-40%) and potash (10%), so they have long been used in agricultural soil and composting as a liming and deacidifying agent.
But wood ash has a number of other possible uses at home. Some of them are:
The PDC graduates of the Mediterranean and the Middle-east will converge for the first gathering specifically for this region. This event will make possible the initiation of networking and sharing of knowledge & experiences for the region. The Mediterranean is one zone where we need this collaboration desperately; in response to severe soil loss due to population pressures, land/water mismanagement and climatic issues.
Sharing, documenting and database building for successes and failures in the region is a main theme for the convergence, taking place in Marmariç, Turkey between 17-21st of July 2012.
PRI Turkey will be hosting two other major events right before the Convergence:
This 13-day practical and demonstrative PDC will take place in Konso, south Ethiopia, from May 7th – 19th, 2012, at Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge. It will have a special focus on the application of permaculture to communities in the developing world. It will involve practical demonstrations both form Strawberry Fields’ own model permaculture site and from schools sites in the area which are participating in the Permaculture in Konso Schools Project. There will also be the chance to do field trips into other climate zones in the Ethiopian highlands.
Facilitators: Alex McCausland with local assistant trainer, Asmelash Dagne, and guest appearances from local elders and intellectuals.
Dates: May 7th to 19th, 2011 Location: Konso, South Ethiopia Venue: Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge Cost: US$850 ($500 for Ethiopians) Includes: course fees, food and accommodation for the period of the course Excludes: Transport, accommodation en-route, travel insurance etc.
I thought I had better break the silence by letting you know I haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth, but am currently in New Zealand, collecting interesting notes, photos and video for you all. You should find it worth the wait, but thanks for your patience and I’ll write when I can!
On a beautiful spring day in the heart of east Berlin, eight fruit trees are planted in Görlitzer park. The trees, mainly apples but also some plums and pears, were carefully laid into the ground. The project, ‘I heart Görli’, was organised by a group of locals with similar concerns and a shared desire to act. It started last year when they began planting trees in this same park. At first they received opposition from the local government with concerns that the plants would not be watered regularly. However, the group insisted it would be taken care of and successfully arranged volunteers to water the fruit trees. This year the local government, recognising the projects success, gave them free reign and even installed a watering system, as previously water had to be carried by hand from the other side of the park several hundred meters away.
Curious what goes on at the PRI Zaytuna Farm? If you live close to the farm, or are passing by, you're welcome to book yourself on a farm tour (Wednesdays at 10am only). Contact the farm manager and we'll see you soon.
We will take a minimum of 3 people at $35 p/p (groups of less than 3 adults are $50 p/p). Large groups please call to discuss pricing (at least 48 hours prior required).