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!
This sunday is International Permaculture Day!
Permablitz, teach ins, workshops, and films are happening all over the world from Istanbul to locally here in Olympia WA!
Find a event in your area!
- 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.
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.
Radical Mycology Convergence 2011 September 2nd – 5th, 2011 (Labor Day Weekend)
Where: Concrete, WA (2 hours NE of Seattle)
–contact us at email@example.com for exact directions.
A free, volunteer-run gathering of mycologists, hobbyists, and Earth healers coming together to share skills and information related to the benefits of the fungal kingdom in terms of remediative properties as well as human uses. This weekend-long event will culminate in a remediation project to put theory to practice and will also be a unique chance to build community with like-minded mycophiles (aka mushroom lovers) from around North America. Why: Because these skills need to get shared! We want to make this information accessible and tangible for as many people as possible without making it overly-heady or technical. Our hope is to see mycological work someday become as common as gardening (well, sort of)!
Anyone interested in these skills is invited to come. Space is limited to just a few hundred people this first year so be sure to RSVP by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!! The Olympia Mycelial Network, organizers of the RMC, would like to cordially invite anyone interested in participating in this event to come and learn, help out, or teach! For more information, please read on or contact us via email. Why “Radical?” We see the use of fungal species for environmental betterment as an extension of “radical” or “deep” ecology, which considers all beings as having an inherent value and interdependence. Through the use of fungi to enact change, we are attempting to challenge assumptions about the importance of the fungal kingdom in an effort to help shift our relationship to the Earth toward greater harmony. Many people think of fungi only as food or poison and are oblivious to their role as decomposers. We seek to redefine the role of fungi in our lives as we gain a deeper understanding of their role in their ecosystems.
To stay up to date on the RMC, you can join the (low traffic) Radical Mycology Announcement listserv which will keep you updated on major announcements about the event. We will never sell or give out your information. You can also follow us on Facebook here.
The Radical Mycology Convergence (RMC) is a free, volunteer-run gathering of mushroom enthusiasts working to share knowledge and skills related to the use of mushrooms for environmental and personal betterment. A non-discriminatory and family-friendly event, the RMC will bring together people of all backgrounds and abilities to destigmatize and simplify this information through the engagement of various learning modes while fostering a network of like-minded people. The RMC will focus around skills related to the use of fungal species for the remediation of damaged environments to create a better world with greater ecological health.
Workshops at the RMC will emphasize low-tech and low-budget techniques that support community building and self-sufficiency while encouraging independence from corporate, non-local, or environmentally exploitative materials and/or practices. Primary Goals Provide free, hands-on mycoremediation training. Emphasize low tech/budget techniques for soil and forest restoration. Create a decentralized, inclusive network of mycologists to facilitate the expansion of knowledge, techniques, cultures, and community. Be as inclusive as possible to people of various class backgrounds, races, culture, abilities, genders and ages. Engage multiple modes of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.). Normalize and de-stigmatize mushrooms and their many uses. Promote a better understanding of fungal biology, and the role of fungi in soil science. Create a world with better soil, and greater ecological health. Guiding Principles: Building community, building a decentralized network of mycologists. Emphasize local, non-corporate, non-industrial, non-exploitative practices wherever possible. Encourage building a barter and gift-based economy. Maintain an egalitarian, horizontal, and inclusive organizational structure. Integration of anti-oppression principles, creating a safer space. Being non-discriminatory and accessible. Keep everything as free/cheap and in the commons as possible. Workshop Wishlist (be a teacher!)
Below are the workshops we hope to have at the event however we can not guarantee all topics will be covered. We need your help! If you feel you could cover one of the topics below (other ideas are encouraged too!) feel free to raise your hand! The organizers of the RMC do not have all of the knowledge and are hoping on visitors to help collaborate and bring something to the table if they can. If you are interested in facilitating or co-facilitating a workshop feel free to contact us at email@example.com or simply fill out a workshop description here to let us know. Our collective efforts will make the RMC as great as it can be. Plus, all people that help with the event will be endowed with special gift packages! Mushrooms 101 Fungal Lifecycle and Forest Ecology Identification Skills Foraging Ethics, Tricks, and Tips Mushroom related workshops and activities for youth Ethnomycology (human uses for mushrooms for utilitarian and spiritual purposes) Mushrooms dyes and pigments Cooking with mushrooms Mushroom based art Mushroom paper making Open discussions on the future of the fungal kingdom in the role of environmental improvement. Cultivation / Remediation Sterile lab techniques Cultivation without the uses of fossil fuels / pasteurization Mushrooms in the garden Using mushrooms for soil improvement (water retention and nutrient availability) Mushrooms and permaculture Mycoremediation overview and techniques Mycoremediation projects Advanced Mycology Advanced fungal biology Soil analysis and testing the results of a remediation project Other? We also plan to set aside time for culture/spore print swapping, open discussions on various topics, and a mycotalent show! Participate! Volunteer! While there is vast potential for this event, it will only be what the people involved make it. We have many ideas and visions for making the convergence as successful as possible but we will need help! If you are interested in donating or contributing to the convergence we are looking for help with the following.
If you are interested in helping us to any degree, we would be most appreciative. No prior knowledge is required, just a desire to help! We are asking those interested in volunteering to either fill out this sign up form here (it can be anonymous if you like) or to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. Below is a short list of the various roles we are hoping to get filled, let us know what interests you. All people that help with the event will be endowed with special gift packages! Helpers before, during, and after the event with set up, kitchen, clean up, parking, logistics, etc. Childcare providers and hosts for mushroom related activities for kids. Media-minded folks to document the event Graphic designers/artists to help with outreach material (more/better flyers would be great!) Promoters (tell your friends, forward emails, put up flyers!) Web/wiki developers to build a DIY mycology database and communication network Remediation project co-designers / co-facilitators Presenters/skill-sharers (see the workshop wishlist above) Mushrooms-based artists to design a central mushroom art project Medics / Healthcare practitioners (just in case) Donations and Equipment Loans Below is a short list of things we will need for the event. If you wish to make a donation to the convergence in any form or to lend us some equipment for its duration please contact us at email@example.com.
You can donate to the Radical Mycology Convergence via Paypal here.
Money will be used to cover insurance, food, cultivation supplies, fuel/energy, bulk spawn for the remediation project, and whatever else comes up! Presentation tools (PA sound system, Microphones, Video projectors, etc.) Cultivation supplies (flowhood, 55 gal food grade steel drums, burlap sacks, wood chips, straw bales, spawn, spore prints, cultures, etc.) Food and cooking supplies! Flyers & Promotion: As a grassroots effort, we need all the help we can get with promoting this event. Please tell your friends, link us on your blog or Facebook, or print out these flyers
About the Location:
The ideal location we have been offered has several indoor workshop spaces, ample room outdoors for workshops, food forests and other permacultural gardens in need of myco-friends, and space for 300+ campers and visitors! The caretakers of the land are excited to be a part of the RMC and the model / guiding principles they follow themselves fall quite closely in line with the visions we’ve been having for the RMC. We feel that for many reasons we couldn’t have asked for a better place. Note: if you plan on attending the RMC the caretakers advise the following: Lodging will consist primarily of free on-site camping. Whether on the front acres of the property or in the woods in the back of the property. Hotels and other indoor lodging options are available in the surrounding area. Parking is some what limited so we are highly encouraging carpooling (for many reasons, really). Carpooling information is provided to those who RSVP. Sorry, but no outside dogs will be allowed on the property (kennels are available in the area). As a family-friendly (i.e. drug-free, non-oppressive) event we hope to have workshops for youth and childcare provided for the duration of the RMC. Thse will likely be hosted in one of the workshop spaces. Bathroom facilities will consist of outhouses and a composting toilet. Personal catholes will also be allowed near the backwoods campsites. This will be a “Pack-It-In-Pack-It-Out” event. This means garbage will be kept to a minimum and we ask visitors to take care of all personal waste.
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’ve been kickin’ it here in Portland for the last few days. I was just recently at the North American Organic Brewers Fest and tonight I’m filming the @ecotrust Sundown Concert series which will be happening each thurs for the next couple of weeks. If anyone would like to kick it with me and help find rad permaculture or ecocity related projects to check out hit me up via twitter @gaiapunk or at thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com. Here is just one more reason that #PDX is the king of permaculture cites.
*Cross posted from the SE Porland Katu blog
PORTLAND, Ore. – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Thursday in Portland to mark the start of construction of the first new bridge across the Willamette River in over 40 years.
However, the newest bridge to span Portland’s east and west sides since 1973, when the massive Fremont Bridge was lifted into place above Portland’s northern industrial district, will serve as a link for mass transit, cyclists and pedestrians.
There will be no lanes for cars and trucks on the new span, which will be a 1,720-foot suspension bridge with futuristic styling, wide sidewalks for cyclists and tracks for light rail trains and street cars. TriMet buses will also use the new bridge, which will be fed by Southest Sherman Street on the east side and Southwest Porter Street on the west.
The overall project, incuding 10 rail stations, ramps and other structures, is 7.3 miles in length.
Local dignitaries including Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both longtime cycling and mass transit advocates, joined Rep. Kurt Schrader for groundbreaking ceremonies Thursday morning next to large cranes construction crews will use to build two foundations in the river for the bridge’s two truss towers.
Rail tracks across the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge will expand Portland’s widely heralded urban light rail and streetcar system out to a total of 60 miles when it connects Milwaukie and other communities along McLoughlin Boulevard on Portland’s southern border.
“This project will continue our region’s proactive approach to transportation,” said Congressman Blumenauer in a press release Thursday. “It provides thousands of jobs while improving connections for SE Portland and North Clackamas County. I applaud TriMet and our region for getting this project moving and I’m eager to see it get underway.”
“The bridge and the overall project will link east and west, improve and expand transit, and most importantly, create up to 14,000 jobs when we most need them,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.
Construction of the new span begins Friday, July 1 and is expected to wrap up in the fall of 2015. The cost of the bridge is about $1.5 billion, paid for with 50 percent federal funding and the rest funded by “state and local partners” according to a press release. It is similar to a recently constructed bridge in Boston.
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.
*This article is crossposted from hopedance.org*
Many people have written me and asked more or less the same question: “What would you do to help heal the Japanese landscape around the failing nuclear reactors?”
The enormity and unprecedented nature of this combined natural and human-made disaster will require a massive and completely novel approach to management and remediation. And with this comes a never before seen opportunity for collaboration, research and wisdom.
The nuclear fallout will make continued human habitation in close proximity to the reactors untenable. The earthquake and tsunami created enormous debris fields near the nuclear reactors. Since much of this debris is wood, and many fungi useful in mycoremediation are wood decomposers and build the foundation of forest ecosystems, I have the following suggestions:
1. Evacuate the region around the reactors.
2. Establish a high-level, diversified remediation team including foresters, mycologists, nuclear and radiation experts, government officials, and citizens.
3. Establish a fenced off Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone.
4. Chip the wood debris from the destroyed buildings and trees and spread throughout areas suffering from high levels of radioactive contamination.
5. Mulch the landscape with the chipped wood debris to a minimum depth of 12-24 inches.
6. Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.
7. Wait until mushrooms form and then harvest them under Radioactive HAZMAT protocols.
8. Continuously remove the mushrooms, which have now concentrated the radioactivity, particularly Cesium 137, to an incinerator. Burning the mushroom will result in radioactive ash. This ash can be further refined and the resulting concentrates vitrified (placed into glass) or stored using other state-of-the-art storage technologies.
By sampling other mushroom-forming fungi for their selective ability to hyper-accumulate radioactivity, we can learn a great deal while helping the ecosystem recover. Not only will some mushroom species hyper-accumulate radioactive compounds, but research has also shown that some mycorrhizal fungi bind and sequester radioactive elements so they remain immobilized for extended periods of time. Surprisingly, we learned from the Chernobyl disaster that many species of melanin-producing fungi have their growth stimulated by radiation.
The knowledge gained through this collaborative process would not only benefit the areas affected by the current crisis, but would also help with preparedness and future remediation responses.
How long would this remediation effort take? I have no clear idea but suggest this may require decades. However, a forested national park could emerge –The Nuclear Forest Recovery Zone – and eventually benefit future generations with its many ecological and cultural attributes.
I do not know of any other practical remedy. I do know that we have an unprecedented opportunity to work together toward solutions that make sense.
For references consult my latest book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley or www.fungi.com). Utilizing search engines of the scientific literature will also reveal more corroborative references.
A primary inspiration in Permaculture is the design principals found throughout nature and this TED talk by Michale Pawlyn elucidates on that topic nicely.
One Trillion Trees! Lets do it!
Van Jones remains as one of the most eloquent, honest, and influential people working at the nexus of environmental and social justice. Van is a personal hero of mine and his social philosophy is very akin to the ideas driving the liberation permaculture movement to which I subscribe.
Teams of Canadian scientist have produced genetically modified so called “enviro-pigs” to produce less phosphates in their shit. Pig shit as you may know is a very big issue especially in the US where annually tons of waste pollute the ground water, create dead zones, spreads disease, and smells really, really bad.
Pig Waste Pollution Mitigation Comparisons:
Permaculturalist: Less Density, more diversity (polycultures including fish), and lots of composting.
Mad Scientist (plus greenwashing investors): Oh, we will just genetically modify the pigs.
WHAT THE F***CKER have they all lost their minds.
The real solution to the issue can be found in permaculture oriented integrated farming like in the Brazilian video below:
The false solution is as silly as this video some student scientists made about it, and that is really silly!
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.
As a print maker, street artist, and permaculture activist working on ecological and social justice and transformation I take a lot of inspiration from Justseeds. Based loosely in NYC, PDX and now Pittsburgh PA these folks are heroes of art that makes a impact that is why I’m happy to promote their new book in Our Little Store.
Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative
Firebrands:Portraits from the Americas
Our new book published by Microcosm Publishing,Firebrands is “full of art, American history, and dangerous information. These beautifully illustrated mini-poster pages showcase radicals, dissidents, folk singers, and rabble-rousers, from Emma Goldman to Tupac, Pablo Neruda to Fred Hampton. As say editors Shaun Slifer and Bec Young in the introduction, the book is for “anyone who has sat trembling with frustration and disappointment in a history class that was neither stimulating nor inclusive. It’s for those tired of hauling to classes heavy textbooks that have been carefully removed of anything interesting or useful. It’s for all our ancestors, especially those misrepresented in those textbooks, left out because they were too brown, too female, too poor, too queer, too uneducated, too disabled, or because they daydreamed too much.” This is a real people’s history, a book packed with dynamite, desire, and above all, courage.”
Justseeds contributors include:Alec “Icky” Dunn, Mary Tremonte, Colin Matthes, Chris Stain, Melanie Cervantes, Josh MacPhee, Meredith Stern, Kevin Caplicki, Kristine Virsis, Roger Peet, Molly Fair, Erik Ruin,Favianna Rodriguez, Jesus Barraza, Nicolas Lampert, Fernando Marti, Jesse Purcell,Dylan Miner, Pete Yahnke,Shaun Slifer, and Bec Young.
192 pages (178 pages with page numbers)
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….
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
I’m really excited to see this film and debute it in my community. It has a great cast of main characters:
Jamie Lee Curtis | Bill Logan | Andy Lipkis | Vandana Shiva | Wangari Maathai | Wes Jackson | Sebastiao Salgado | Lelia Deluiz Wanick Salgado | Paul Stamets | Miguel Altieri| Pierre Rabhi | David Orr | Majora Carter | James Jiler | Fritjof Capra | Peter Girguis |Alice Waters | Gary Vaynerchuk | Janine Benyus | John Todd
but it also stars my most favorite environmental super-celebrity DIRT!