- 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
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.
I’ve been mulling around different business plans for retrofitting older buildings with whole systems that include integrated aquaponics, renewable energy, and waste recycling. Well, to my great surprise and delight it turns out that a coalition of students, urban farmers, scientist, designers, and green entrepreneurs are currently underway developing such a place in Chicago! Rather than pie in sky expensive “farmscaper” schemes the Plant is a efficient vertical farm with in an existing building that will provide cost savings, innovation, and jobs for new tenants and the community. Cost savings, innovation, and jobs, why that sounds exactly like what the US desperately needs right now. Check out the amazing flow diagram below to get a picture of all the systems being deployed and support this upcoming series of webisodes on the Plant via this kickstarter campaign. I hope to see first hand the Plant and other amazing projects in the Chicago area when I arrive there with the Green Living Project mobile tour. If you know any sweet sustainability projects in Chicago that could use some more exposure please feel free to contact me via mobiletour(at)greenlivingproject.com
I have this joke with my crew in Olympia that many of my closest friends aren’t quite completely punks, or aren’t quite completely hippies, they’re kind of crusty-punk-hippies, or as I like to say they’re “crispies”. Crispies obviosly know how to keep it fresh and thus are naturally attracted to permaculture and alternative, even eccentric modes of living. I think this intro to the CrIc house is perhaps also a decent intro to some downright wholesome crispy culture.
~@gaiapunk would like to thank Lamp Leee Walker for sending in this video
Gaiapunk is going on the road!
Here is some is exciting news folks, I @gaiapunk (Evan Schoepke), the editor of punk rock permaculture e-zine may be coming to your town soon. I’m happy to announce that I just recently accepted a position as the mobile tour lead with the Green Living Project and I will be traveling the country documenting the most exciting sustainability stories and regenerative projects I can find, as well as, doing environment education presentations in schools along the way. And if this wasn’t exciting enough I will be riding (and living) in the colorful Sol Trekker an incredible retro-fitted RV which you can learn about below. The Green Living Project is a one of a kind sustainable media production company that truly cares about promoting the best ecological projects in the world. They have some amazing non-profit partners such as the famed Lost Valley Permaculture Education Center which I was fortunate enough to vist recently for the first time. I’m currently in the Portland, OR area for the next 3 weeks and will be posting my rough calendar shortly (if you want to meet up just tweet a message to @gaiapunk). I would love to connect with people on the road or on the web as the tour progresses. If you know of a exciting project that we should capture on our route we would love to here about it. I also would like to give a shout out to all my supporters here at PRP e-zine, as well as my friends and family, and I promise I will to continue to provide some of the most interesting content documenting the permaculture movement to be found on the web, thank you all!
Being a permaculture nerd I love learning about the pattern language of our natural world, and so it’s no wonder that I’m also very fascinated by sacred geometry and it’s relationships to natural forms. The flow forms pictured at left are based on the Von Kramen Vortices below and are used for water purification. I hope you enjoy these amazing short films the first is called Nature by Numbers and second is about Garrett Lisi’s E8 theory for unified physics which I found astoundingly beautiful and I hope he eventually wins the Noble Prize for his awesome contribution to science. If you would like to learn more about sacred geometry, pattern language, and natural forms I would highly suggest the work of Aidrian O’Connor called the Geometry of Life. I hope to do more posts on sacred geometry and different ways in which people have incorporated it into permaculture designs in future posts.
My good friend Craid Sadur who is currently kickin’ it tough in the Chicago area just published this excellent articlethat gives a great introduction to permaculture concepts:
Permaculture is a new system of thought that is gradually becoming popular. It is a philosophy that works with nature, instead of against nature. “Traditional agriculture” has relied upon conquering nature with artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Permaculture is attempting to escape from this dependence on chemicals in agriculture.
Permaculture is also a design method that studies patterns from nature. Then those patterns are mixed with modern technology to design sustainable systems. The key is to not compete with nature, but work with it.
Many popular concepts are already included in Permaculture and Permaculture design. These concepts are: organic gardening, rainwater harvesting, composting, sustainable building, gray water recycling, and the utilization of natural energy sources. All of these are important aspects for a sustainable future. These concepts have observed what nature gives us. They are using a form of technology to create sustainable solutions.
I want to take a moment and highlight something very amazing happening in the US and around the globe which is the beneficial merging of the permaculture and co-operative movements. This makes a lot of sense because both movements are in line with ideas and ethics of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. Although it’s not yet advertised, Punk Rock Permaculture E-zine is even part of a bigger Permaculture Media Co-op which includes Permaculture.tv and other sites.
In previous posts we’ve emphasized how the combination of cooperatives, permaculture, and community land trust are winning combination to bring ecological, social, and environmental regeneration to affected communities. Please take a minute and educate yourself about the innovative Evergreen Co-operative Initiative in Ohio, and then if you want to learn more about the cutting edge nexus of the permaculture and co-operative movements please follow the upcoming spring Permaculture Unconference in the SF bay area.
Your faithful editor @gaiapunk here:
First of all,
I hope you were inspired and awakened to action by that awesome interview with our local permaculture and myco wizard Paul Stamets.
Well, I magically awoke at 4:00am and decided that I’ve had enough sleep (4hrs) and that the day was to begin in full AWESOMENESS (it’s even sunny today very rare for an Olympia winter day). Maybe it had something to do with the excitement of knowing I would be announcing a new Project Page and a new project the 7 Precious Mushrooms Zine! The 7 Precious Mushrooms are a collection of seven key medicinal mushrooms that boost the immune system and whose active ingredients fight numerous diseases. After taking these mushrooms in tincture form and experiencing the positive effects for myself I decided I wanted to learn and share as much as possible regarding their miraculous properties. This project will be broadcast to the wider net community and will be conceived as a open source collaboration in partnership with well loved Spore Liberation Front. If you have something that you would like to contribute please email me at thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com with the subject line “open source mycology”. The first contribution is a slideshow about the Reishi mushroom gifted to me by the lovely Miriah Mc Donald. Please broadcast this project far and wide on the internets like the good little info spore that it is.
Black Reishi (Ganoderma sinense), Red Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Reishi mycelium, Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), Maitake, (Grifola frondosa) and Cordyceps mycelium (Cordyceps sinensis)
Symbionomics: Stories of a New Economy is a new film in the making from hit DIY film maker Alan Rosenblith director of of The Money Fix. I was first acquainted with Alan’s work in the Money Fix and was excited to see that film featured my permaculture instructor Scott Pittman of the US Permaculture Institute. What I liked about that film is it’s in depth analysis that blended economic theory with ecological principals. Similarly, Symbionomics will examine some the major themes changing are economy today, such as the open source movement, the open production movement, social currency, p2p software. If you feel there is an answer to fixing our financial system that won’t come from manipulations of central banks then symbionomics will open your eyes to a world of new possibilities. Please take a look at their Kickstarter page (2 weeks left) and please help spread the word about this amazing new project.
Themes to be explored:
1) New Media: In the last twenty years, a wave of new tools has transformed the way we communicate. Twentieth century media tools used the broadcast, or “one-to-many” form, but today, with the advent of social media, we can, for the first time, communicate on a large scale in a “many-to-many” pattern. This ease of communication has profoundly affected how the economy is organized. We will explore how tools like blogs, mobile devices and social media have transformed the way people live and work.
2) Networks: These new forms of communication have enabled the geometry of our organizations to evolve from pyramidal to networked. In the past we needed top-down hierarchical organizations to organize on any scale larger than a village. Today, we see highly effective organizations that have embraced a networked structure. We will explore how living in a networked world changes the incentives and dynamics of economic interaction.
3) Letting Go of Control: As we have transformed into a networked culture, we have developed new ways of deriving value from our work. We formerly depended on capturing value through the ownership of assets and the control of production. Now that access to knowledge and information is at most a few connections away, many people are opening up control over their property –physical, virtual and intellectual- in favor of sharing amongst their networks. The value of visibility in a culture where attention is the scarce resource is such that access is more important than ownership. We will explore how new social contracts of ownership and control are gaining traction in an age of hyper-connectivity.
4) Open Production: As individuals and organizations have loosened their grasp on their products, an entirely new form of production has emerged. In contrast to the industrial production models of the 20th century, today, people are leveraging commonly-held platforms like open source software, Wikipedia, and Creative Commons, and a myriad of free web 2.0 tools to produce significant value. The ubiquity of personal computing has lowered the cost of access to the means of production to nearly zero. We will explore the success and future possibilities of this new mode of production.
5) Motivation: With new modes of production come new incentives for participation and value creation. Since both monetary reward and power over others are largely non-existent in the open production model, motivation has shifted from extrinsic to intrinsic. What’s more, as Daniel Pink points out in his book Drive, intrinsic motivation is far more successful at educing creative problem solving in individuals. We will explore this new motivational landscape and find out exactly why people do contribute at such large scales to Wikipedia and other such projects.
6) Post-Scarcity Economics: In the old economy, the surest way to profit was to control a scarce resource. However, many of the products of the digital age are virtually free to reproduce and distribute. Industries such as newspapers and music have been slow to embrace this new reality, and have subsequently fallen into decline. The Industrial economy was based on the increased throughput of material goods, and since natural resources are now increasingly scarce, for the next economy to enjoy sustained prosperity, it must be driven by abundantly available resources such as information, knowledge, and human creativity.
7) The Future Work: Our new communications tools have also changed the way we organize at the workplace. The rise of co-working environments such as The Hub has brought into question whether the 20th century conception of employment is still a necessary foundation to the economy. Agile developer teams that spontaneously arise to build software have proven that successful teamwork no longer depends on an employer. We will explore this shifting landscape around how networks enable self-organized teams create value.
8) Social Gaming: The recent explosion of smart phone technology has also seen an widespread integration of gaming into everyday life. Services such as Foursquare, SCVNGR, and CheckPoints, have provided windows into new ways of coordinating economic activity, supporting consumer preferences in the process. Thought leaders such as Jane McGonigal and Jessie Schell have emphasized the potential of using game dynamics for social benefit. Game theory provides a deeper look into how value can be created via self-organizing networks of players driven by the joy of play.
9) Collaborative Consumption: In addition to new modes of production emerging in the economy, we are also seeing the rise of new forms of consumption. Rachel Botsman and Lisa Gansky have outlined how new business models are using web, mobile and social media to enable the efficient sharing of physical goods, where access trumps ownership. We will explore how this new trend in consumption is affecting the broader economic landscape.
10) Making and Growing: New economic patterns of the information age are no longer limited to the Internet as the rise of maker communities and DIY (Do-It-Yourself) demonstrates. 3D printing has made decentralized manufacturing a real possibility, with designs shared in a global knowledge commons. On the agricultural side, gardening and local food has surged in popularity as the economy continues to languish. We will explore how people are using peer-based, open, and collaborative approaches in the broader economy beyond the digital realm.
11) The Future of Currency: As our economy transforms, conventional forms of money –optimized for an industrial, capital-intensive model- may no longer serve the needs of an information-rich world. Money itself is merely a form of information, and we’ve begun to see people adding virtual and social currencies into their business models to drive participation, measure reputation, and creatively access resources. Much of the new economy is outside of the formal market entirely, which begs the question of whether new forms of currency may out-compete money itself as an economic coordinating system. We will explore how 21st century information systems are beginning to reduce the need for conventional money to get things done.
12) Collective Intelligence: As our civilization goes through this massive transformation, there is a clear need for the intelligence of organizations to rise to meet 21st century challenges. Where the 20th century was about smart employees, the 21st century will be about creating smart organizations. We will uncover some of the most promising work being done to maximize collective intelligence and wisdom.
For a while now I’ve been meaning to type up a great radical permaculture manifesto, which I still hope to finish soon. But until then, please enjoy this amazing “radical relocalization manifesto” from Radical Relocaliztion.com
I declare it’s obvious as hell
we can take care of our ourselves,
we the neighbors, we the friends,
we the face-to-face people.
We can grow our own food
and enough for others too
- if we work our asses off.
We can make our foolery and finery
- make our own bedevilment and divinery.
We can work close by and make the neighborhood ring.
There’s no army to shoot us when we don’t buy a car,
no knock on the door if we plant a cabbage
where the driveway was.
No tax on the burgeoning compost pile.
Most every one will like the fruit trees
and the fish in the fresh dug pool.
Because it is so
I declare our collective smarts
brighter than our solitary darks.
I acknowledge our collective intelligence
past the laments
and the governments.
The road’s not far,
and we’ll be glad we went.
Don’t need our country uber alles
and mine’s not strong or free.
But we can take care of it
pretty much locally.
(A radical relocalization map photo credit– The Public Amateur )
*Editors Note* David Holgrem co-founder of the permaculture movement will be giving a talk at 5pm pst on U-Vic radio which you can find here
No Justice, No peace….!
In Solidarity with Garden Struggles everywhere…
we at Punk Rock Permaculture E-zine support the Uvic students as they affirm their right to exercise their autonomy and creativity and practice regenerative design at the school that is dependent on their attendance.
UVic Administration Bulldozes Students’ Garden Plots, Students Pledge to Continue Resistance
Friday March 26, 2010 – Coast Salish Territories – Victoria, B.C. At midnight March 26th campus administration and Saanich police at the University of Victoria used bulldozers to destroy the ten garden plots created by approximately 400 UVic students the day before. UVic student Mike-Jo was handcuffed and arrested for “assault by trespass” for standing by the garden plots to block their destruction. He was later released.
Yesterday hundreds of students who walked by the pits of mud that were plots of vegetables and native plants the day before expressed grief and anger at the gardens’ destruction. “Yesterday we proved that we as students can build a sustainable and positive relationship with the land,” said UVic student Joyce Lyell, “after fifteen years of having UVic administration turn down every one of our campus agriculture and garden proposals, we took action on our own. With the bulldozing of our gardens, it is now more obvious than ever that UVic values lawns over sustainable food, and values control of students over student choice and ingenuity”.
Yesterday students turned the former garden plots into a memorial site, erecting tombstones marked R.I.P Food Security and R.I.P. Student Voice, and a flag reading “Shame on UVic”. Approximately forty students then marched to the campus administrative building to demand an apology for the destruction of the gardens, but found that Campus Security and Saanich police had locked them out of the building. “I find it disgusting, and indicative of the administration’s cowardice, that they refuse concerned students entry into the building whose administrators claim to represent them,” said UVic student Erin Davis.
Several students attempted to gain access to the administrative building when Tom Smith, Executive Director of Facilities Management, said by UVic to have authorized the bulldozing of the gardens, was seen trying to sneak into the building via a back door. When these students held the door open to access the building after Smith unlocked the door, Smith violently shoved the student standing in the doorway. The student says she will bring this encounter into the public so that students will suffer no illusions that UVic administration exists to help students. “To deny students an opportunity to bring food security to our campus, to openly destroy our efforts, and to actually physically assault concerned students, sends a crystal clear message – that UVic opposes creativity, dialogue, and solutions, and that administrators have nothing but disrespect for the land, community, and student voices,” she said.
Yesterday afternoon at a large, public meeting students decided to start rebuilding the gardens at the same location in front of the UVic library, at noon on Wednesday, March 31. They encourage students and community members to bring shovels and seedlings to the event.
Matt Christie: 250-588-7924 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I encourage anyone interested in Garden Struggles to watch the film below and show it to your friends….
Humanitarian and Sustainable Bamboo for Haiti and beyond!
Hey Folks Gaia Punk here,
I haven’t had much time to post because I’ve been working pretty much non-stop on a Permaculture Relief Corps mission call Perma Corps for Haiti, which has been getting a LOT of support from here and also here . Which brings me to my next subject sustainable bamboo production! I absolutely love bamboo, in fact, I currently live in cozy and locally sourced bamboo framed yurt. I wish to bring up the subject because RIGHT NOW there are currently around two million people homeless in Haiti, 1 million or so in Port Au Prince and another million scattered throughout the countryside. It is very likely that in couple of weeks when when the seasonal rains begin in full force (not to mention Hurricanes) many of the tents and encampments where displaced Haitians are housed will be completely washed out. Haiti desperately needs cheap, permanent, sustainable housing that is hurricane and earthquake resistant ASAP and bamboo combined with Cob is the ideal locally sourced combination. Below is a wonderful manual about Humanitarian Bamboo from the amazing IDEP foundation, as well as, my top 5 reasons bamboo rocks. This list comes with the best and most up to date links you could ever hope to find on the web regarding sustainable bamboo. If you have any bamboo resources such as connections with bamboo plantations or builders or can offer help in anyway please email thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com as Perma Corps for Haiti is looking to have teams on the ground shortly and then building structures right away.
TOP 5 Reasons That Bamboo Rocks!!!
1.) Bamboo is a very strong, very cheap, natural, quickly renewable, highly flexible and adaptable, building material.
To see just what Bamboo can do just take a peak at this link and especially these great e-books below:
2.) Bamboo is a ideal perennial and beneficially plant for Permaculture Design applications:
- Bamboo in Permaculture Design
- Bamboo in emergency housing
- Permaculture Bamboo farming
- Expert Permaculture educator Robyn Francis shows off some of the amazing Bamboo varieties at Djanbung Gardens (video)
3.) Bamboo can sequester TONS of carbon while still being regularly harvested and can drastically improve soil fertility when used as biochar!
- Detailed description of the potential for large scale bamboo carbon sequestration projects
- Bamboo used as biochar (large pdf)
Biochar from bamboo has a unique pore structure, making it a perfect soil structure for beneficial aerobic bacteria and fungi, resulting in crop yield gains of as much as 800-percent. It is important to mix the biochar with well-prepared compost inoculated with bacteria from undisturbed (usually nearby forest) local soils.
4.) You can eat it and it tastes amazing!
5.) In Permaculture there is a saying, “Unity through intergration, intergration through diversity!” and the world of Bamboo is full of diversity. Due to bamboo’s amazing diversity of both products and species it will be a key economic factor in helping the 2/3rds (developing) world out of poverty especially in heavily deforested regions such as Haiti.
Syndicated from Permaculture.tv an interview with Steve Cran on Permaculture disaster relief and Haiti.
My instructor Scott Pittman of the US permaculture Institute on the need for a Permcorps from permaculture.tv
Gaia punk here,
Below is a great update from Nika Boyce (@nika7k) I want to thank everyone who has expressed interest and I am inspired that this idea IS HAPPENING! Stuart Leiderman (Lakou Permaculture) is on the ground in Haiti right now calling out for help stateside with coordinating a long term Permaculture Relief Corps effort. People working in Haiti have asks that folks do not send goods just yet as you can see from the photos the port is a total mess! Below is a email list of key coordinators by region:
Stuart Leiderman —Currently in Haiti right now was working on the Lakou-Permaculture project
Joni Zweig –Currently in Haiti works with AMURTEL disaster relief
Cory Brenna—Currently in FL coordinating funds and people in FL works with permacultureguild.us which has a donation site up now for the creation of a Permaculture Relief Corps
Kevin —-Currently in Hudson Valley NY coordinating fundraising
Rhonda—- Coordinating in the Bloomington IN region
Marvin Warren —Coordinating for the Ithaca Finger lakes area
If your not on this list and want to be or on this list and don’t want to be….
Evan Schoepke (@gaiapunk) Currently coordinating for the Olympia WA and Seattle area
From Nika Boyce (nika7k):
Like you, I have been simply swept away by the brutal earthquake that has subsumed Haiti into a hell that gets worse by the day.
I have been mostly learning about it via CNN and on twitter. I have been pouring over the satellite images of the destruction as seen in Google Earth.
As I write, Reuters says that more than 200,000 people have died and as of this evening, they have buried 40,000 dead. MANY more bodies lay in the streets and under endless tons of ruined buildings.
Thank goodness for twitter and the permaculture people I have gotten to know there because that is the only thing that is keeping me from feeling utterly lost in desolation over this apocalypse.
He posted several links to projects already either training Permaculture First Responders or projects on the ground in Haiti and other disaster struck places.
I have been wondering how I might be able to help nurture this idea here, tucked away in my small part of the world without actually going to Haiti myself.
I have been chatting with Cory at Permaculture.org and am happy to share this link that is very constructive in terms of the next steps.
(UPDATE: @gaiapunk will also be posting a Long term Permaculture Relief Corps project on kickstarter.com a crowd funding site look for that in the next day or two)
From that site you will see:
Some of the projects which permaculturists can design and implement are:
Building sewage systems, composting toilets, compost and recyclying centers, rocket and solar stoves, temporary shelters (perma-yurts), water catchment and filtering, and plant nurseries.
Rocket and solar stoves are key because the major ecological problem in Haiti which causes huge hardships from many angles is deforestation for fuel. Solar stoves use no wood and rocket stoves, which can be made out of old cans and pipes laying around, use almost no fuel and can cook with twigs.
Correct diversion of sewage, human waste, and water can substantially contribute to rebuilding farm land in the area – the idea is to create the conditions for long term self-sufficiency and abundance with even our short term handlings.
Permanent, low cost, earthquake resistant natural buildings, water storage, earth works, renewable energy, permaculture food forests, broad-scale reforestation, farms, aquaculture systems, and community buildings such as schools and health centers.
We are currently working via a worldwide network of permaculturists to bring resources to Haiti, and several permaculturists are interested in traveling to Haiti to help with the rescue and relief efforts, but need funding to do so. We are in contact with disaster handlers in the area who they can coordinate with for maximum effectiveness. There is a permaculture project existing in Haiti that we are working to connect with as well. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me – I am also willing to meet with potential funders to answer questions personally.
If you want to donate now, please use the “Haiti Donations – Donate” Paypal button on the right hand side of this web page. For past projects we’ve funded, please see the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation article under “Projects.” We will use initial funding to get people there on the ground and most needed resources such as equipment for building the short term items needed. Whenever possible, we use existing resources in the area that are free or very inexpensive – permaculture is very effective at getting the maximum return for energy invested, so you will know your money is going to a good cause.
I know that the idea of surviving this disaster is like a miracle and then the idea of Haiti being able to climb up from a place so dark seems too distant to contemplate.
To this end, I have been graphing out what the needs would be over time for people living through such overwhelming disasters.
I think its extremely important to do this now and for Haitians, now, because these same ideas and strategies will be needed again and again as climate change progresses.
In the graphic above, I try to illustrate the needs of a person immediately after surviving a catastrophe (earthquake, fire, flood, etc). The needs are pretty basic but inelastic in their being absolutely needed.
Once the person is out of immediate danger and is left standing with nothing, no assets, nothing but other survivors around them, they need to find a way to rebuild, regenerate, and boost their resilience so that they become embedded in a community that provides current and future needs.
In this next graphic, I extend on the specific needs outlined in the second graphic with permaculture and no/lo-carbon and low cost strategies for coping and rebuilding.
Please take some time and explore these graphics and tell me what you think, whats missing? What would you add?
Please consider becoming involved in helping the Haitians, using permaculture or by other means, as where the Haitians are right now, that hell, could easily be ours, any of us.
We are, in many ways, their community.
We are each other’s community and it is through us banding together that we build resilience in every place.
The Remarkable History (and Possible Future) Of Permaculture Disaster Relief
Yesterday the island of Hispanola was hit with a devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake near Port-Au-Prince the capital of Haiti . Many multiple story buildings have completely collapsed including the major Hospital in the region. Thousands may be killed or trapped in the rubble and aid is being mobilized from around the world. With little to no backup power, sewage, water, housing, or food aid systems in place, Haiti, which is currently the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, is in a VERY DIRE SITUATION. Without a doubt resources and expertise are moving en mass to Haiti, but beyond this temporary relief, what will sustain this nation of 10 million people when it’s left in an even poorer position than ever before? This is where permaculture design comes in, with an adaptable and ever evolving tool kit that can be of vital assistance in disaster relief and the long recovery period to follow.
During the war in Kozovo back in 1999 when displaced refugees flooded into Macedonia Geoff Lawton and a crack team of eager permaculturalists secured international aid to design and implement the master plan for the Cegrane Camp Permaculture Rehabilitation Project, a large refugee camp that provided relief for over 43,000 people.
Geoff created the design around water capture and storage. The final design called for 7.2 km of swales, with an estimated water holding capacity of 30 million liters, greatly reducing the flood potential. Many passive solar strawbale buildings were constructed by trained locals who quickly grasped the simplicity and efficiency of this natural building technique. Large gardens, composting toliets, and chicken tractors all came together in a very short time span. The skills and systems thinking acquired during this process may help secure sustainable employment and economic development for the entire region for years to come.
Another successful implementation of permaculture relief took place in Cuba during the early 90′s when Cuba was suffering from a crippling petroleum embargo. Working with a grant from the Cuban government Austrailian permaculturalists, including Robyn Francis, traveled to Cuba to work with hundreds of Cubans on sustainable food systems design. Robyn, a well traveled expert in permaculture education in the 2/3rds (developing) world, helped local organizers use permaculture design prinicpals and techniques in their urban agriculture efforts. During this time, worker cooperatives were set up, market gardens and public transportation flourished, little to no pesticides or fertilizers were employed, and catastrophic famine was avoided. This partnership has continued to be highly successful and now some of the most experienced urban permaculture experts in the world come from Cuba because of the courageous spirit of the Cuban citizenry. Currently, the Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange (CAPE) is working on sustainable housing developments using natural building to compliment the work they began together with urban agriculture
There are numerous ways in which a full-time Permaculture Relief Corps could operate in Haiti in short and long-term time frames.
Building sewage systems, composting toilets, compost and recyclying centers, rocket and solar stoves, temporary shelters (perma-yurts), water catchment, and plant nurseries.
Permanent natural buildings, water storage, earth works, renewable energy, permaculture food forests, broad-scale reforestation, farms, aquaculture systems, health centers and schools.
In 2003 following a intense hurricane, a team including Eric Davenport, an American architect, and David Doherty, a Peace Corps Volunteer, worked for several months with the local community to rebuild a rural village after severe flooding. This team was then joined by Frederique Mangones, a renowned Haitian architect, and engineer Frantz Severe of ORE draw to the challenge of designing low-cost housing adapted to Haitian rural family activities. In the fall of 2003, a team of permiculturalists also offered their expertise to the village project.
|Today their team in collaboration with the local community and the Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment ORE is working on:|
– Low cost relief from floods
- Waste management & recycling to protect the environment
- Hygienic toilets to improve family health
- A community center to bring people together
- Privacy to reduce stress within families
- Green spaces to enhance quality of life
- Fruit trees to generate income
- Utilizing daily wind patterns, heat and cooling cycles
- Covenants to protect their community
Haiti is in desperate need of our assistance which can not come soon enough. 8 out of 10 Haitians live in abject poverty and need the long term commitment of folks working for a sustainable and abundant future. Please check out the links below of organizations doing great work in this field.
If you are interested in the formation of a Permaculture Relief Corps like the one I’m proposing please email thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com and I will keep you up to date on the latest developments.
My heart goes out to all those working and living in Haiti right now,
Evan Schoepke (@gaiapunk) *CORRECTION*: I had previously mixed up David Doherty (peace core volunteer with Darren Doherty (broad scale permaculture designer), sorry about the confusion.
Principal of Gaia Punk Designs
Here is some completely heretical news in for the world of eco-capitalist dreamers; no silly white multi-million dollar media men will ever solve the worlds ecological or social problems. Yeah I know what your thinking blasphemous right? Specifically, I am referring to the uber opportunistic and freshly greenwashed faces of Al gore, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Richard Rainwater, and now John Hantz. Hantz, a big time financial investor and longtime Detroit resident is proposing to put 30 million down of his own money to build a high tech farming operation that will be coupled with “green” estates. In Fortune Magazine’s limited interview Hantz said that Detroit is suffering from a lack of scarcity and that the only way to save housing prices is by taking as much property off the market as possible, hence the massive farm and real estate combo. But, couple this seemingly benign idea with a one track profit motive and instead of community revitalization one gets rampant community gentrification that pushes out the very people (the poorer residents of Detroit) that one is purporting to be “helping”. The team Hantz has assembled thus far is glaringly white in a city that is over 80% black which is highly suspicious to say the least not to mention naming the entire operation Hantz Farm doesn’t inspire thoughts of “community”. Rather than going to the folks who have already spent immense amounts of effort to bring local organic food to their communities and bring jobs in their neighborhoods, and then offer to assist financially in their efforts, thus far Hantz is developing a hierarchal strategy that may put those very folks out of business. Hantz’s preliminary proposals have garnered lots of unwarranted media attention even though very few details have emerged about how this farming project will be managed and who exactly will manage it.
The Hantz Farm site is just a collection of stock photos that to me seem as hollow as their message. Okay perhaps I’m being too cynical but right now important questions remain around what exact types of technology the farm will employ (already energy expensive technologies like hydroponics and large scale harvesters have been mentioned) , if there is even a viable market in the region, and most importantly, who will this for profit enterprize benefit the most. ”I’m concerned about the corporate takeover of the urban agriculture movement in Detroit,” says Malik Yakini, a charter school principal and founder of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which operates D-Town Farm on Detroit’s west side. (from CNN)
Organic farming is enjoying a nice trendy resurgence as a solution to urban, rural, and ecological ills. Unfortunately, farming no mattter how popular can only do so much. It is well known that various economic events some deliberate and some unexpected have cost the United States and urban manufacturing centers like Detroit obscene amounts of jobs. What is not well known, is that neither local organic farming, or any green high tech green wizardry, is likely to bring these jobs back in the near future. But, never fear, there are three simple solutions to this whole mess we’re all in along with Detroit.
Detroit honestly doesn’t need anymore scarcity (though real estate barons may see it differently) it desperately needs abundance, and permaculture is a complete system that designs for abundance. If the polluted landscape of Detroit is going to be regenerated then organic farming is just not enough.
The entire history of Detroit is one of total abandonment by the world of capital and a complete lack of responsibility or loyalty to the local community. Cooperatives by their very nature encourage horizontal investment, diversity, democracy, and local responsibility.
THREE: Community Land Trusts
Community Land Trusts are set up in such a way as to encourage low income buyers into positions of ownership and avoid volatility in housing prices. There are few communities in the the US that have suffered worse volatility in housing prices than Detroit. What Hantz is proposing is just green veiled gentrification while the real solution for the people of Detroit lies in Community Land Trusts. Burlington VT has many successful examples of how and why CLT’s can close the gaps of classism.
Note, I did not mention 30 million dollars from some rich white guy! Now if that 30 million was invested in those 3 things I would surely change my tune, but if it’s invested in anything else, I really wouldn’t get my hopes up. Currently, Detroit will likely be the venue for the 2010 US social forum and I plan on being there purposing real solutions based on living permaculture and cooperative principals not on selfish, dead, capitalist oriented ones.
Organizations doing the real work in Detroit:
Evolve Detroit http://detroitevolution.com/
Detroit Agriculture Network http://www.detroitagriculture.org/
Detroit Summer http://www.detroitsummer.org/
Midwest Permaculture http://www.midwestpermaculture.com/
Good day to you from Gaiapunk,
It is official Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine and Permaculture.tv are teaming up for a new permaculture media worker co-op that you can be a part of. This media co-op will cover:
- Permaculture Development, Techniques, People around the planet.
- The merging of the open source technology, cooperative, transition towns, permaculture movements and more!
- Radical permaculture and farmer movements in the 2/3rds (developing) world.
- Ecocity ideas that will make a real difference in the next decade.
If your interested in these topics or others and would like to learn more please contact email@example.com with the subject line “media co-op”.
Now please enjoy this awesome TED talk by Carolyn Steel on how local food is intrinsic to the design, function, and success of cities past, present, and future.
Hey Gaia Punk here,
So I was just recently accepted for a 3 month Advance Permaculture Design internship with Ethan Roland of Appleseed Permaculture in the Hudson Valley area of New York. I am very excited for this opportunity to deepen my skills and I’m dedicated to the helping make permaculture design accessible to even more people than ever before. Ethan is such an awesome force in the world of permaculture and vital mentor to so many wonderful folks that I decided I would take a moment to highlight some of his work.
Ethan is a full time Permaculture designer and teacher and expert in the areas of large scale perennial polyculture systems and ecological community design. See slideshow:
Ethan studied at Haverford College and later obtained a M.S. in Collaborative eco-social design from Gaia University a innovative and global growing university through which he now occasionally teaches courses. Ethan is the principal of Appleseed Permaculuture which collaborates with permaculture and ecological designers from all over the world. Ethan currently sits on the board of Permaculture Across Boarders which assists permaculture projects in the developing or 2/3 rds world. His work has brought him all over world (Thailand, Azerbaijan, Kazakastan, the Virgin Islands,) with direct learning experience and mentoring from folks like Geoff Lawton and Dave Jacke. Ethan is directly involved with the Carbon Farming and Financial Permaculture movements. He supports and promotes sustainable community based cooperative enterprises like the innovative cocao CSA Booyacacao. Ethan contributes contents and expertise for Earth Activist Mentor a amazing site and service for up and coming designer like myself, folks looking for detailed in depth resources, or distance mentoring for permaculture diplomas. Well, I hope to do a video interview shortly with Ethan and Nicolas Roberts from Permaculture.tv but until then enjoy this inspiring lecture Ethan presented to a group of UMASS architecture students and Greg Landua presentation of Booyacocao “Theobroma” production.
How we can and must open permaculture knowledge up to hundreds languages and people all over the world and bring it from the digital dark ages! Publishing on demand will cut out the middle men, save money, and open up content!
recommended sites working in this direction appropedia.org