Let this post be the first of many to come; I’m shooting for one post every day in 2013! Wish me luck.
So many of you have may have noticed that posting on this site has been a bit a sparse lately and this was do to two things. First, @gaiapunk (AKA me–Evan) went on a 7.5 month journey around the US in a eco-retrofitted RV doing a mobile tour with the Green Living Project and promoting awesome permaculture and conservation projects from around the world. Secondly, after I got back from tour to Olympia I ended up snagging a communications job with Sustainable South Sound and also a new business development position with European crowdfunding start up Flattr. Flattr is amazing in that it makes it easy to reward awesome content across the web, thus allowing for coders, film-makers, writers, photographer, podcasters, ect; to be paid for the great work they do. The most basic description is that it is similar to Facebook “like” buttons but with money behind each click. I’ve been running flattr buttons on this site for a while and without really trying I manage to earn over 60 euro without any advertising most of which I have given back out to other creators. I’m very happy to be working for such great entities and I still intend to pursue my passion for Permaculture via community projects, some new digital ventures, and through the cooperative consulting and design firm I founded called GaiaPunk. This week Olympia celebrates Permaculture during the Olympia Village Building Convergence an event that I’m proud Sustainable South Sound is a co-sponsor of, and you bet I’ll be out there getting dirty and building community. Well, now that I’m suddenly, and amazingly, a fully employed individual I will actually have more capacity to work on improving this site and working with others on it. I would like to thank you all for sticking with me through the dry spell, we’re back baby!
- Indoor and Balcony Gardening – Permaculture Style
- Tree Crops and Edible Forests
- Guerilla Gardening
- Community Supported Agriculture
- Mushroom log cultivation
- Composting and Vermi-composting
- Rainwater collection
- Wind and Solar Energy
- …and much More!
Who is behind this project?
2. Special newsletter subscription – monthly updates full of the best free educational media
5. Handmade postcard with a personal message for you
6. Your name will be listed in the acknowledgements of the Urban Permaculture Guide eBook
7. Online updates of manuscripts from Urban Permaculture Guide eBook
8. One Permaculture-related eBook (pdf format)
9. An additional 4 Permaculture-related eBooks (pdf format)
10. Handmade natural bag with colourful ornaments
+ handmade badge
11. Custom Open Permaculture T-shirt!
13. Anima Mundi DVD - a new documentary on Permaculture, the Gaia theory, Peak Oil survival and Climate Change (man-made or not).
14. Handmade Thankful Hearth
16. You can support Guerrilla Gardening events in Eastern Europe! This spring, edible trees and beautiful flowers will be planted in your name. You will receive a photo report and documentation of each event.
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that is modelled on the relationships found in nature. The word “permaculture” originally referred to “permanent agriculture”, but was expanded to also stand for “permanent culture” as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system.
Permaculture draws from several other disciplines including organic farming, agro-forestry, sustainable development, and applied ecology. “The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms. The design principles which are the conceptual foundation of permaculture were derived from the science of systems ecology and study of pre-industrial examples of sustainable land use.”
For further reading and watching, please visit these resources:
- Introduction to Permaculture – 40 hours of free video lectures
- 100 Best Permaculture & Homesteading Books: The Ultimate Reading List for Sustainable Living (here you will find links to over 60 Free eBook previews and full eBooks)
- Permaculture / Organic Farming – Documentary Films Archive
Other Ways You Can Help
Music by David Griswold
Animation by Oz J Thoma
UMass Amherst for the win!
2012 is already proving to be a outstanding year for the US permaculture movement.
After a very close nail biting contest the the University of Massachusetts Amherst Permaculture Committee won the White House ‘Campus Champions of Change Challenge‘. I visited the Umass Amherst Permacutlture project while I was on the Green Living Project mobile tour and I let me just say it was really impressive. There is no other collge in the country (perhaps with the exception of my alma mater Evergreen) that has such a visible commitment to Permaculture, sustainable ag, and green infrastructure. The students at Umass Amherst are equally inspiring and deserving of all the attention their school is about to get which includes both national recognition from the White House and a show that will feature the project on MTV.
In other great news Seattle just approved a new Permaculture food forest park the first of it’s kind supported by a US municipality. The food at the Beacon Food Forest will be free to forage and the created surplus will go to help increase fresh produce at local food pantries. Projects like these are a great step towards educating the pubic on how to transform their city into a ecocity that values local resiliency.I hope do a interview soon with Jenny Pell who was one of the lead permaculture designers on the project and I’m looking forward to seeing more good news like this moving into spring.
I’ve been pretty preoccupied with the eroding of civil rights, the authoritarian war on web, and the surveillance state.
So I’m happy to publish this press release by the beloved Pirate Bay which talks about some of the context of intellectual property law.
That pipe of trash that someone smoked
INTERNETS, 18th of January 2012. PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear”. He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture. Because of Edisons patents for the motion pictures it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North american east coast. The movie studios therefor relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there was no patent. There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them – like Fantasia, one of Disneys biggest hits ever. So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: “stole”) other peoples creative works, without paying for it. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they’re all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations – it’s all based on being able to re-use other peoples creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide to their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other peoples rules. The reason they are always complainting about “pirates” today is simple. We’ve done what they did. We circumvented the rules they created and created our own. We crushed their monopoly by giving people something more efficient. We allow people to have direct communication between eachother, circumventing the profitable middle man, that in some cases take over 107% of the profits (yes, you pay to work for them). It’s all based on the fact that we’re competition. We’ve proven that their existance in their current form is no longer needed. We’re just better than they are. And the funny part is that our rules are very similar to the founding ideas of the USA. We fight for freedom of speech. We see all people as equal. We believe that the public, not the elite, should rule the nation. We believe that laws should be created to serve the public, not the rich corporations. The Pirate Bay is truly an international community. The team is spread all over the globe – but we’ve stayed out of the USA. We have Swedish roots and a swedish friend said this: The word SOPA means “trash” in Swedish. The word PIPA means “a pipe” in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence. They want to make the internet inte a one way pipe, with them at the top, shoving trash through the pipe down to the rest of us obedient consumers. The public opinion on this matter is clear. Ask anyone on the street and you’ll learn that noone wants to be fed with trash. Why the US government want the american people to be fed with trash is beyond our imagination but we hope that you will stop them, before we all drown. SOPA can’t do anything to stop TPB. Worst case we’ll change top level domain from our current .org to one of the hundreds of other names that we already also use. In countries where TPB is blocked, China and Saudi Arabia springs to mind, they block hundreds of our domain names. And did it work? Not really. To fix the “problem of piracy” one should go to the source of the problem. The entertainment industry say they’re creating “culture” but what they really do is stuff like selling overpriced plushy dolls and making 11 year old girls become anorexic. Either from working in the factories that creates the dolls for basically no salary or by watching movies and tv shows that make them think that they’re fat. In the great Sid Meiers computer game Civilization you can build Wonders of the world. One of the most powerful ones is Hollywood. With that you control all culture and media in the world. Rupert Murdoch was happy with MySpace and had no problems with their own piracy until it failed. Now he’s complainting that Google is the biggest source of piracy in the world – because he’s jealous. He wants to retain his mind control over people and clearly you’d get a more honest view of things on Wikipedia and Google than on Fox News. Some facts (years, dates) are probably wrong in this press release. The reason is that we can’t access this information when Wikipedia is blacked out. Because of pressure from our failing competitors. We’re sorry for that. THE PIRATE BAY, (K)2012
This Wednesday something remarkable happened, sharing, with special emphasis on file-sharing, officially became a recognized religious sacrement in Sweden. Enter the Missionary Chursh of Kopimism which believes that the communication of beneficial infomation is sacrosanct and they’ve even taken CTL + C and CTL + V as sacred symbols. After three unsucessful attempts at legal recongnition the Kopimists fought hard in Swedish courts for two long years before emerging victorious at the end of December 2011. Kopimism is a non-theistic tradition whose central tenant is the idea that the copying, sharing, and remixing of information are sacred acts with long and proud evolutionary histories. Confessional Kopimist belive that File-sharing is holy and it’s heavily promoted as a important practice. Kopimist don’t have priest but have or Opar’s, short for “operators”, who are available for counseling, whether it’s figure out how to configure your VPN or to provide guidence on more profound spiritual questions. Kopimist get together for religious service called “copy-acting” and engage in file-sharing and other forms of liturgy which can happen at a physical location or online.
It’s comes as no surpie a religion that promotes file-sharing would be born in Sweden, after all it is the birthplace of the world’s largest file-sharing torrent tracker the infamous (not to mention awesome) piratebay.org and also to the Internation Pirate Party which since it’s inception in 2006, has spread to 41 countries worldwide. But, there are also other reasons that it’s no incoincidence that Kopimism would emerge in Sweden. Sweden has the highest per capita percentage of internet users with over 90% of the population accessing the internet on a weekly basis which one reason Facebook just opened a new data center there. The Swedish government was also very progressive in it’s approach to web infrastructure by installing broadband internet into housing complexes while most people in the US were still on dial up.
Kopimism may be the first recognized religion to born out of the culture a generation of so called “digital natives”. With only three thousand founding members how likely is it that we will see large numbers of converts to Kopimism beyond Sweden? Well, there are hundreds of millions of active file-sharing users in the world, so many in fact that their numbers often eclipse the active users of both Facebook and Youtube. If only a small percentage convert then Kopimism stands to grow substantially. Worldwide interest in this nascent religion has been so strong that the servers hosting it’s website crashed immediately following the announcement of recognition, and that’s a good sign for the world’s youngest religion, one that Kopimist will likely celebrate with keystrokes of joy.
from @gaiapunk: Today in a effort to add more music to this site I’m writing about my awesome friends Jeff and Camille from good ole’ Olympia, WA (AKA the greatest town EVER) who just made record of the week in Maximum Rock & Roll with their band SHARKPACT! Both members of the band love gardens, animals, and all sorts of other rad shit Jeff’s sister Mary did the amazing art work which blends imagery of my hometown Livingston MT with my adopted town of Olympia, WA Check it out…
From Maximum rock’n'roll Record of the Week: SHARKPACT Ditches LP
After doing reviewing records for a long time, you start to notice there are very few bands doing something completely original. Or even modestly original. Most bands create music that reflects (at times shamelessly) the music that inspires them. And that’s great, that’s fine. No problem. But every once in a great while you come across a band like SHARKPACT who create music utterly unlike anything you’ve been hearing. And that’s something extraordinary. But this album isn’t just original; it’s also really really fucking good. My attempts to describe the music are going to sound awful, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. The band is just two folks; one on the drums, the other on keyboard, both singing. And what comes out is like a mutant combination of goth and heartfelt pop punk. Wait, wait don’t stop reading, I swear this is awesome! The synthesizer has a late ’80s goth vibe while the drumming has a WARSAW-era JOY DIVISION on meth approach. But then add ONE REASON style vocal harmonies. Heartfelt, urgent, unrelenting. This album is record of the month, for sure. (Rumbletowne Records)
good video but with unfortunately poor sound below (the album sounds amazing):
On the day that the slogan “Save the whales!” became cliche not just outside the environmental movement, but with in the movement as well, a deep rift was made. This rift signaled conclusively just how badly our vital connection to one of the most important indicator species of the largest ecosystem on our planet had been broken. There are three simple reasons for this: first, general public apathy regarding ecology, second, shifting priorities with in the environmental movement, and third, just plain human ignorance.
Finishing this post as I as am on “Black Friday” after watching a video of people fighting each other over 2$ dollar waffle makers, it’s a real challenge not to give in to that part of me that feels we are doomed, very doomed, never to wake up, never to see what’s really going on. In all fairness to the human race, we shouldn’t be too hard on our ignorant selves for our transgressions on this planet. Only in the last couple of decades has humanity had the proper tools (yes I do mean the internets) for us be able to see the mind boggling effects of our cumulative actions in any quantitatively precise way.
Personally, I feel that our collective consciousness right now is at a similar stage to that of a first grader’s, bright, curious, and without a clue as to who cleans up all the crayons that get mashed into the carpet. When we are confronted with the bigger picture how often have we exclaimed with wonder, WOW! If you really look at how very connected and interdependent our world is, then WOW! is right, but what does it mean for us to live by and respect those ancient truths. Will we ever give up our cheap consumer goods before it’s too late?
I currently put my faith in storytelling. Stories were, and will always be, the main means by which we keep the threads of wisdom alive through the generations. Stories are knowledge put into context, hard data that comes wrapped in sticky emotion so that it actually stays put in our minds and they can guide us in this century just as they have in centuries past. Whales have a long and amazing story to share that embodies a wisdom desperately needed in our modern age. The fact that whales were related to land dwelling mammals that then returned to the sea for good one day is in itself astonishing, but their story also has a supporting cast. I’m talking about some very small, but extremely important creatures that all too easily we’ve taken for granted, phytoplankton.
While there is a almost endless variety of shapes that the little plants take (see slideshow below), they all share three critical ecological functions, the create oxygen, sink carbon, and provide the basic foundation of the oceanic food web. In the last fifty years phytoplankton have been on a serious decline and one part of the problem is temperature change, although the corresponding decline in whale populations is another significant factor only recently being evaluated.
Whales, the great behemoths of the deep, bio-accumulate iron, an essential mineral needed for phytoplankton and photosynthesis. This iron comes from the zooplankton and krill whales feed on, and it is then release in their excrement on their long migration routes across the vast oceans of the world. This process allows phytoplanton to live in regions of the ocean that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to survive, thus increasing the overall amount of oxygen created and carbon stored. Yes, without whale poop there may have been significantly less oxygen created on our planet and perhaps we never would evolved our big oxygen loving brains at all.
Regenerative “closed loop” cycles like this are found through out natural world the logic of which underlies the basis of all permaculture principals. This link between phytoplankton and iron is so essential to the regulation of our climate that some scientists have even proposed dumping iron fillings in the oceans as a geo-engineering scheme to head off global warming. But, just because you’ve dumped iron in the ocean that doesn’t mean it’s likely to be biologically available. In fact, recently scientist discovered that it’s the little creatures call zooplankton who make regular dives towards the ocean floor and gather the iron near volcanic vents that then becomes biologically available first to whales and later phytoplankton. What is most remarkable is that the food web link between phytoplankin, mostly microscopic creatures, and whales, a decidely macroscopic creature, is one of the shortest known. From small to big and from big to small interdepence and collaboration operate at every scale
Recongnizing our connection and interdependence is our first step on the path to healing. Perhaps no region could stand to learn more from whales than the country of Japan. The Japanese long criticized for their refusal to stop illegal whaling also control most of the world’s fish markets and are extremely dependent on the protein they get from the sea to feed their populous nation. If they were to learn the harm that whaling was having on fish stocks would it convince the government to outlaw the practice? If we were all to learn just one thing from this story it’s that nature always devices systems to give back, to regenerate, and to close the cycle so that it may continue on into the future. We will never be able to see the solutions to our ecological problems without seeing how they started in the first place, without closing the rift that prevents us from knowing our connections.