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.
I love this video…
Makes me think of how eager people (especially like me) get once they learn the implications of permaculture design, enjoy!
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.
On the liberation of spores:
For more stuff by the Spore Liberation Front check out this amazing zine.
It seems as though Pittsburgh is either the De facto capital of the rust belt or a city in the midst of a revolutionary transformation. In recent years Pittsburgh has become a epicenter for green building, bike paths, solar composites, and one of the professed launching pads of the new “green economy”. This is fascinating because Pittsburgh could also be considered one of the many coal capitals of the world, and anyone who has studied the issue knows that there is absolutely no way to make coal “clean” as long as your using mining techniques such as “mountaintop removal”. There is nothing like synthetic stench of two faced liberalism to hide the odious fact that the root of some very serious issues like housing, poverty, gentrification, and classism are not being addressed. The city of Pittsburgh’s role during the current wholly undemocratic G20 summit is to act as a PR spin machine to distract the public from the main show of global power grabs behind the scenes and behind closed doors.
While the media is very focused on equating anarchists with terrorists, they’re also wholly ignoring the police harassment and abuse that has already taken place even before the summit. The Seeds of Peace collective has been repeatedly attacked by the police solely because of the fact by that by bringing a bus to act as kitchen and medical support for the g20 resistance they’ve been made an obvious target. Yesterday, the Landslide Community Farm and the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writers Guild house were raided for no plausible reasons by swarms of cops trespassing without warrants or accurate justification. The Landslide Community Farm and the Cyberpunk Apocalypse house are centers of different type transformation happening in Pittsburgh, that of radical culture.
These centers are the works of truly earnest folks, that divide up what free time they can muster into making art, hosting cultural gatherings, giving out free food, planting permaculture food forests, building bike co-ops, fighting all forms of oppression, and re-envisioning all that has been abandoned in the shadows of steel that is the forlorn rusty spine of Pittsburgh. Some of them are even proud to be called anarchists. These groups and many, many, others like them are true community builders something the G20 aristocrats will most likely never understand. Perhaps the new face of Pittsburgh is not the gilded ”green” skyline for the rich but the rainbow of diversity in an urban farm for everyone.
For more info about the Landslide Community Farm visit: www.punkrockpermaculture.com
For real time updates on the G20 resistance visit: pittsburgh G-finity
Will Allen has been a big hero of mine for a while now. Just recently the big media has doled out some much deserved credit with stories on his outstanding work on urban farming and urban aquaculture two critical areas of sustainability for cities. The benefits of Urban farming are numerous and obvious (increased biodiversity in the city, increased freshness and nutrition, education opportunities, decrease in shipping cost and hence fossil fuels) but urban aquaculture is less apparent until you understand a bit about the nutrient cycle or seen it in action. Besides aquaculture Allen also employs vermiculture, aquaponics, hydroponics, composting, and water management in a closed loop system. If you want to learn how you can set up your own DIY aquaculture system on the cheap see this post. To learn more about Will Allen’s revolutionary work and the entire inspiring group he works with vist Growing Power and watch the film series below. It is time put the “us” back in industry and food is a great place to start.
The history of the Landslide Community Farm is analogous to one of natures little accidents, a mutation if you will, that with in a certain given context becomes crucial if not startlingly beautiful.
Landslide has grown from a couple of fixed up “farm houses” to a non profit in control of multiple city plots used for urban farming. Landsliders are using permaculture techniques, inclusive outreach, and smart campaigning to get strong rapport with city (even enough to fight off a unjust eviction attempt). These permie punxs along with their equally amazing neighbors are making their urban environments more livable, more ecologically sound, and if dare say, all around more krunk. Landsliders are truly stout folks with aspirations that include more than just themselves, but instead a desire to elevate the relationships around them, including the earth, and the greater Pittsburgh community as a whole. Many Landsliders volunteer with collectives like Food NOT Bombs and most likely a dozen other awesome radical or progressive projects too numerous to mention here.
It is my view that permaculture is really 10 % physically oriented and 90 % percent community oriented because ultimately it is the community that will implement the work that is most needed. The first rule for building community is just being inclusive by making what your doing accessible, affordable, and autonomously oriented. Even when all the steel money is long gone it is the history of our relationship with the earth and others that will remain. Landsliders are leaving a history in Pittsburgh that anyone would be proud of.
go Gaia punks go!
Enough is Enough….
I’ve been kickin’ it tough lately in Toronto, ON Cananda for the
foucused on the horrific practices of Canadian based mining companies at home and abroad and alternative solutions to destructive extractive industries. I’ve had such great time working and volunteering with some good friends who are members of the Beehive Design Collective and who have been key helping to organize this important conference on the horrible practices and biased treatment of the Canadian (really multinational) mining industry. Toronto is a great community with lots of diversity, services and activities, good public transit (oh and did I mention good beer). But Toronto is also home to Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) which is the only stock exchange in the world where you can trade shares in mineral futures that may never see production because of legal, financial, or environmental challenges. The TSE obviously facilitates speculization and although Canadian banks haven’t been hit as bad by the financial crises stemming from the housing bubble it is quite likely them may be hit very hard in the near future by the mining bubble. Toronto is also home to the worlds largest gold company Barrick Gold which has been stepping on indigenous rights everywhere it goes and has recently been implicated in human rights abuses and even murder in Tanzania. To learn more I encourage you to check out protestbarrick.net
Tonight I will be attending a workshop given by Faviana Rodriguez who is one of my most favorite printmakers and street artists. Faviana is a inspiration, a woman who not only makes beautiful images that speak of peoples struggles, but who in everyway is commited to those struggles with the soul of her being. Please see her amazing prints Here
Vandana Shiva Is A Eco Warrior Goddess…
Hi folks Gaia Punk here,
While I was having a blast at my Permaculture Design Course in Costa Rica my instructor Scott Pittman of the US Permaculture Institute started a “Heroes” and “Bad Guys” list. Very high on the “Bad Guys” list of course was Monsanto and very high on the good guys list was the ever lovely Dr. Vandana Shiva.
Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s when woman actually hugged trees to prevent their felling. A world warrior in fighting poverty and enviromental destruction with community resiliance and nonviolent action Vandana shiva has garnered countless awards and appreciatioin from numerous organiaztion, instituions, and countrys. We have much to learn from her kind of militant wisdom! See her excellent camio in the ONE Water documentary.
A campaign has just been launched to plant food forest all across the U.S. and the world as well:
A food forest is a multilayer poly-culture garden that mimics the natural structure of a forest and improves ecological integrity on many levels. A food Forest may have 9 various layers starting with:
Mycylieal (fungi) and bacterial
Ground Covers (for holding moisture, the soil, and soil fertility)
Herbaceous (vegetables and herb)
Small shrubs (berries)
Large shrubs (small fruits and nuts)
Small trees (large fruits and nuts)
Big trees (hardwoods)
Vines, climbers, and lots of flowers
Eric holzer of Permaculture Earth Artisans of Sebastopol, CA one of the US leaders of this campaign has this to say,
“My vision is to educate communities as to the whole system benefits of food forests from, climate change to relocalization of food sources and creating oases of human settlement in our communities. To do this we will help students and interns design and install these systems.”
For more good resources on food forest design see the links and resources below:
La Pura Vida de Permacultura
This is Permie Boi passin’ the good word from La Florida, Costa Rica where I’m in the middle of a fabulous permaculture design course at True Nature Community instructed by Scott Pitman of the Permaculture Institute.
I’m having a wonderful time learning, exploring, and sharing. The landscape here is amazing but in a lot of cases in need of regeneration. Even though true nature is a gringo (expats) community, (for now) it is very nice to see that they have intergrated themselves with in the larger community through helping to support and share with the local ticos (Costa Ricans) in multiple ways. This is a sharp contrast from much of the negative colonialist like developments happening in many ecologically fragile areas of the country. The people here from True Nature really practice what they preach at every level and also run a amazing educational service organization called CREER.
The students attending this course are from all over the world and are very excited about what they will bring back to where they live as am I. In the morning we wake up to amazing to an amazing landscape full of colorful chirping birds (Tucans even!) and verdant plants. We’ve been eating fresh local foods cooked with local recipies and Luna of True Nature has been kind enough to offer a free yoga class to those who enjoy it. It is amazing to see how much we’ve been able to improve the site in just a few days by building rain swales and various watercatchments. I know that all of this rewarding work will be greatly appreciated after our departure. I just recently saw an amazing animal locally known as a pizote’ (super cute!) for the first time and I’m extremely excited to continue to explore the rich ecology of this area. Much more more to come soon.
Living la pura vida,
The worlds toughest plant….
Okay if you didn’t already know I love bamboo and bamboo buildings so I thought I would share two of my very best links I’ve found thus far:
The liberation mutation…
Thanks to 100 Sommerville for inspiring this post:
I want to share with you all a very interesting project born from the grasslands of Kansas but sweeping the globe.
is exporting sustainable, appropriate, and farm based technology in order to create a replicable model for community sufficient ecovillages all around the globe. Please help them spread the word, gather knowledge and resources, and network, by checking out there blog, wiki, and the Factor E Farm itself.
We want to know….
So you may know a bit about Permaculture and the inspiration behind this e-zine or maybe you don’t, but we would love to learn more about you. Please if you would, leave a comment about what brought you here and perhaps a bit about yourself and your interests. Describe as much or as little as you wish. You could also leave a link that you believe would be of interest to PRP e-zine, or if you have any advice or something you want to see here we would love to know. Thanks
~ the Punk Rock permaculture contributors
P.S. : We are always seeking new contributors if that is your bag…
Lets get our
In partnership with Blooming in Space a new radical permaculture communities and resource blog punk rock permaculture e-zine wll feature profiles of radical autonomus communites from all over the world.
Escanda is a radical autonomous community in the beautiful foothills of Spain. The community is involve with many local and international education projects on a variety of subjects including radical organizing and campaigning, permaculture, and renewable energy. They are very open to visiters who love to work and skill share with in a wonderful ecological community setting.
This was writen by my trangendered friend Olympia who is new regular contributor to this e-zine.
Is it possible to create floating islands that are biologically diverse in the worlds largest dump the North Pacific Gyre?
For those of you who may not know the North Pacific Gyre is area in the Pacific Ocean (twice the size of Texas) that collects lots and lots of plastic junk from ocean currents all over the world.
This massive flotilla of plastic junk just swirls there and is overtime broken down by sunlight and the motion of the waves. This is extremely troubling not just because it is an eyesore, but because it threatens wildlife, and even phytoplankten the very lungs of our earth. For a long while now I had intended to prepare some sketches for an article about the idea of using floating islands- a permaculture technique that involves building islands out of debris and then planting beneficial plants that provide micro habitats and clean the water- as method to transform the Pacific Gyre.
It seems a visionary canadian architect named Michale Barton already has! Well, he at least made some nice pictures anyway, it’s a start.
Although difficult the idea is not at all impossible…
From tree hugger:
“We couldn’t make this stuff up: this man, Reishee Sowa of Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, apparently grew tired of trying to live self-sufficiently on dry land, and did what any of us would have done. He built his own island out of used pop bottles. 250,000 of them, plus some construction leftovers and bags of leaves, make up “his island,” though he’s quick to point out that it’s technically not an island by traditional standards. “You see not even the president is allowed his own island in Mexico,” he says, “but technically I don’t have an island, I have an eco space-creating ship.”
What would the permaculture approach to vertical farming look like?
Most permaculturalist agree that we must grow more food with in our cities, but does that mean inside the buildings of the city itself? Vertical farming has been making some big headlines lately and so I’ve decided to approach some of the latest ideas and innovations and examine them through the lens of permaculture principals. This idea has been around for a while (think terraces in Asia) and has some very strong merits. Bill Mollison remarked that “95 of the cost of food in a city like New York comes from it’s transportation, storage, and packaging.” Growing in a high density fashion has the potential to save ample land and resources if done correctly. But, as a permaculturalist I have some serious reservations about vertical farms. Most of the skyscraper type designs would grow food hydroponically This requires considerable energy and maintenance the trade off being a year long growing season; that is if your not dealing with constant “technical difficulties”. Dickson Despommier the leading proponent of the vertical farming idea had this say, “You can control nothing outdoors, and you can control everything indoors. That means no floods, wildfires, hailstorms, tornadoes, or droughts. Plant diseases and pests are more easily controlled, too, meaning less need for herbicides and pesticides.”
“And indoor agriculture is more efficient. One indoor acre of strawberries can produce as much as 30 outdoor acres can. In general, indoor acreage is four to six times more productive, in part because of the year-round growing season. Outdoors, you might get one crop [per year]; indoors, you might get four or five crops per year,”
Now, I might disagree about his use of the word “efficient” because it may not account for the imbued impute energy of a large hydroponic system not to mention large steel and concrete building. His emphasis on control is also a little unsettling too, simply because it was a disproportionate emphasis on control, instead of more flexible whole systems design based on relationships, that got us into the current food crisis mess in the first place. Now I wouldn’t throw out the idea of vertical farming entirely I just think there may be a better use of our energy and resources. Skyscrapers alone use ample amounts of energy in their construction let alone ones potentially holding complex hydroponics systems. Some of these designs incorporate aspects of passive and active solar, wind, housing, rainwater harvesting, methane digestion for energy, composting, aquaculture, and other generally cool features you would expect from the sustainably minded. But, here is what my friend Richard Register author of Ecocities: rebuilding cities in balance with nature had to say about it, “the notion of filling a building [with plants] and artificially supplying the light for the plants … from any kind of energy system is one of the weirdest ideas I’ve ever heard of. It’s not serious agriculture. It’s just not…. It’s an intellectual plaything.”
“A better answer is to develop, over time, more compact, energy-efficient cities along the European model, he says. That would free up land near urban areas for conventional agriculture with “100-percent-free solar energy” falling on it. Urban community gardens and high-intensity conventional commercial gardens could also supply part of the need.”
I echo Richards sentiments; it seems to me that before we consider growning food in farmscrapers in the future we should reclaim what is already available to us now. New York City alone has 1700 unused and vacant lots! If space is the issue well I’d rather get rid of some streets. Mo Town in Detroit is starting to turn into one large urban farm and should’t we encourage ideas from the bottom up, as in from the community, versus developers first. This doesn’t mean I think vertical farming is a absolute dead end. Like I said I still think that it is an idea with good merits but it needs to be more scalable and less impute intensive. If vertical farming becomes a euphemism for taking the industrialized petrol based monoculture outside and then reconfiguring that inside (which is what some designs looked like) then I say no way! Recently, one design called Sky Vegetables caught my eye. This design was developed by 22 year old Keith Agoada, a University of Wisconsin business student, and took home a 10000$ first place prize in a competition for creative start ups. Sky Vegetables is basically a big box remix with vegetables being grown on the grocery store roof (in greenhouses), complete with rainwater harvesting, solar panels, compost, oh and large unsightly asphalt parking lot too of course. I believe if you were to add affordable housing and office space to a idea like this, scale it down a bit, build most of the building with Glubam or with recycled wood, and of course take out the parking lot, well then I might sign on to vertical farming. Until then, when I hear the word vertical farming used I’m going to think of a forest garden.
Take care and fair share!
P.S. Check out my next post on this subject when I examine arcologies and the way in which they aproach vertical farming. Oh, and sorry about the typos I have to stop typing so late.
It’s time to get retro….
retrofit that is
Hey everyone I really wanted to share this great video about my good friend Jan Spencer’s suburban permaculture retrofit house in Eugene, OR. Jan is a extremely knowledgeable permaculturalist, a awesome mural painter, and all around upbeat and very friendly guy. We first met two years ago during his west coast permaculture bike tour and we had a great time together coming back with some friends from the Ecocity World Summit in San Francisco. He showed us around his place which was such a cool retrofit I thought I would share it with you here.
You can fix all the worlds problems in a garden…..
Part three of my ten part inspiring permaculture video series is Greening the Desest with Geoff Lawton from the Australian Permaculture Research Institute
clearly it’s true.
—Don’t let the cute smile fool ya
BE WARNED!— because
I know that if you’re like me then the very, very, last thing you want to read about in these times is anything with the taglines: fiance, corruption, negligence, scheming, losses, or economic gloom and collapse. No these things are not very fun or funny (okay sometimes they’re funny.) But, thinking about alternatives is essential. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of research on permaculture economics, finance, and theory. I’ve found lots of good work out there in the noosphere. Today though I was laughing a bit at the antics of Carlo Ponzi of the imfamous Ponzi Scheme fame the predecessor of the Madoff Scheme that the already broken banking and fiance industry is currently freaking out about. It is a wonderful aspect of life that criminals can teach you almost as much wisdom as saints, and if you know how to learn your lessons from their mistakes they might even teach you more.
It seems some people have a hard time learning lessoons. So what if the whole of global economy we’re to come unraveled in on ultra Ponzi Scheme? Unfortunately, as many of you know, it very well could; that is if people we’re to simply stop buying government backed bonds in the current precarity. Well, “precarious times call for precarious minds”, or as I like to call them the “carefully minded”.
. I just started tearing intoToolbox for Sustainable City Living by Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew cofounders of the Rhizome Collective in Austin TX who are definitely of the carefully minded sort. Along with great knowledge and methods the awesome illustrations in this book are done by my good friend Juan Martinez, also from Austin TX, a member mutant bike collective, and the amazingly prolific Beehive Design Collective based in Maine.
Lets just say I love this BOOK!!! This is one of my most favorite Permaculture books to date!! Go get it because it’s only ten bucks online! We need more books like this and more folks doing applied urban permaculture work in the cities!
Permie Punx Unite!
Recently, there was a splendid conference that took place in Hohenwal, TN-USA regarding Financial Permaculture. This is perfect timing since were in a economic crises and we need whole systems solutions more than ever right now. Check out their blog for great resources and see my post “my thoughts on permaculture economics” for some good insight as well.