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.
*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 email@example.com
I encourage anyone interested in Garden Struggles to watch the film below and show it to your friends….
My instructor Scott Pittman of the US permaculture Institute on the need for a Permcorps from permaculture.tv
Gaia punk here,
I love this video…
Makes me think of how eager people (especially like me) get once they learn the implications of permaculture design, enjoy!
Wow a whole year!
Yep, it has been roughly about a year now since PRP e-zine swung into full gear and we’re pretty happy with what has been accomplished thus far. This e-zine was conceived as a place to highlight inspiring radical permaculture and eco-city projects and the many incredible folks behind them. Part of the impetus behind this project was to attract more radicals towards permaculture and more permaculturalist towards radicalism if that makes any sense? Radicalism in terms of the fix shit up variety as opposed to the fuck shit up (not discounting the validity of the latter it’s just there is plenty of that on net already). Punk is a representation of the culture we carry and recreate along the journey. What is next for PRP-e zine?
- A new upgraded worpress.org site that is easier to read is in the works in the next few months!
- We are always recruiting more writers of diverse backgrounds for the zine so if you’ve been camping on something you would like to put out there we welcome you to submit just email thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com with the subject “gaia punks”.
- I am currently hashing out the framework for a permaculture media co-op with the editor of Permaculture.tv if your interested in affiliating your site or work and would like to discuss more about that project also just email me with subject “media co-op”.
- Once the site is revamped I will set about crafting a up to the second permaculture job /worktrade board and course listing that could be automatically updated via twitter for convenience.
- More design tools, more technical knowhow, more eco street art and music!
- Thank you all for coming and if you could please leave a bit about who you are, where your from, and suggestions for what you would like to see on this site in the future or anything else in the comments of this post. We do this for you folks and for the health of the planet thank you again for all the great support.
- This is just the beginning!
The water pod project is a retrofitted sustainable education barge full of art and enthusiasm for appropriate technology. This collaborative and nomadic project traveled down the Hudson river doing education demos at stops along the way. A new kind of out of box imaginative and artistic thinking related to permaculture, appropriate technology, new ways of living, is exactly what is need to get people inspired about transforming our civilization and the Waterpod fits the bill. Check out the design and technology employed below.
Waterpod project image galleries: here
The real news was buried in the press release, though. Toward the bottom of a listing of verbal “commitments” from NGOs and foundations, we findthis:
Growing Power commits to strengthen food security for school children and their care givers in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Growing Power will build a new model of local food systems to ensure adequate nutrition in the short-term and build a long-term foundation for competitive African human capital in the global market place.
So Growing Power will be bringing its community-based, low-input style of agriculture to Africa—under the aegis of a group most known for its top-down, Big Solution way of development work.
I got Erika Allen, daughter of Growing Power founder Will and leader of the group’s Chicago operations, on the phone Monday to talk about the announcement.
She told me that in the current phase, Growing Power is hoping to raise $2 million to get its Africa initiative started. (The Clinton Global Initiative doesn’t so much fund specific projects as match funders with projects.)
Allen described the proposed initiative as a “cultural exchange”—Growing Power reps would be learning about how food production currently works in South Africa and Zimbabwe; looking closely at local assets, resources, gaps, and needs. And food-system actors from those places would visit Growing Power sites in the United States—not just at the flagship enterprises in Milwaukee and Chicago, but also at partner projects in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Mississippi.
From there, Growing Power and its partners in southern Africa would work on “modifying our production systems to local resources there.”
She stressed that what works in Milwaukee won’t necessarily fly in Zimbabwe. Here in the United States, Growing Power essentially siphons off some of the enormous food waste generated by a modern U.S. city and transforms it into fertile soil, which is then used to grow food. But African cities generate less compostable waste.
“The challenge will be to find the systems that work in areas with less excess,” Allen told me. She cited Growing Power’s aquaculture setup, where waste from tilapia tanks is used to fertilize watercress, one example of a low-input system that could work in Africa.
“Overall, it’s about helping people use their resources to build soil and grow food,” she said.
In a single sentence, Allen had articulated a vision completely counter to the top-down model of development that has dominated U.S. policy since at least the Cold War—the agricultural model most famously promoted by the recently deceased Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug. In this model, imported agrichemicals and seed varieties provide the path to food security in the global south. And trade is venerated with an almost religious zeal—nations should only produce food insofar as they have a “comparative advantage” in a particular crop. “High-value” crops like fresh produce should be exported to the industrialized north, where consumers can pay top dollar for them; “low-value” staple crops should be imported when expedient.
Make no mistake—even though more than a billion people globally lack sufficient access to food and farmers in the global south operate in a state of permanent crisis, that model still dominates today. The“Millennium Villages” concept for Africa championed by Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs hinges on “new advances in science and technology.” To help boost food security, these showcase villages receive subsidies for imported fertilizers and seeds.
And the Gates Foundation, which has been organizing a massive attempt to transform food production in Africa, has made a game attempt to be open to new models of ag development. But as Annie Stattuck, Raj Patel, and Eric Holt-Gimenez show in an excellent recent article in The Nation, the overall thrust has been in the direction of high-tech “solutions” to the continent’s food problems.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has recently taken a deep bow to the conventional ag-development gods, by putting agrichemical-industry stalwarts in charge of both agriculture negotiations at global trade talks and USDA-funded research. Analyzing the latter appointment, that of the Monsanto-affiliated Roger Beachy to lead the USDA’s new National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Science blog recently wrote that:
Beachy’s interests in biotechnology and the developing world closely match those of his new boss, USDA’s Under Secretary for Research Rajiv Shah. They also fit with President Barack Obama’s desire to increase agricultural assistance to developing countries.
The Growing Power initiative points to a new direction. In place of costly and often ecologically and socially ruinous high-tech methods, the Allens present a vision of appropriate technology: techniques that communities can own and manage themselves, without the perpetual need to commit precious resources to toxic agrichemicals and patent-protected seeds.
As debate rages about how to “feed the world” amid population growth, climate change, and fossil-fuel depletion, projects like this one are critical. I’ll be watching it closely.
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
Hey Gaia Punk here,
I have two amazing events to report back from this weekend. First off, I have to say that I was very excited to witness what amounted to probably the biggest amassing of bike punks in US history friday night in Seattle WA during the Dead Baby Downhill after-party compounded by the fact that Seattle was also hosting the North American Bike Polo Championship that same weekend (congrats to Seattle for winning another tourney! Good luck at the worlds in Philly)! After the Dead baby after party a couple of friends and I drove to the foothills of Jacksonville, OR for the first annual Strait from the Teat Fest (aka Goat Fest) at the Boone’s Farm. This festival was a punk and dance festival hosted by an organic permaculture farm and goat dairy. There were lots of wonderful bands including, the Hail Seizures, Razzamatazz, RVIVR, Mutoid Men, and many more who played on a wooden stage in the midst of a beautiful oak grove under a massive moon. The hosts were extremely gracious and I think everyone had an amazing time. Below is a interview I did with Mookie about the Boone’s Farm and history of Strait From the Teat Fest.
Gaia Punk: What is the history of the Boone’s Farm and how many folks are involved?
Mookie: I had been doing sustainable agriculture for a few years when I came to this area 8 years ago with the intention of starting a agricultural education center that would promote the next generation of farmers and radicals. This was the goal around which the Boone’s Farm was founded. Right now we have 8 people living here, 3 full timers working with the organic goat dairy, 2 working with the veggie farm, and 3 half time interns who help all around and also work on political campaigns. Besides our growing commercial operation we have a revolutionary program called Turning Tables in which we grow and 1 acre of veggies that we give away at no cost to families in need to help ensure that everyone in our community has access to wholesome organic produce.
Gaia Punk: That fits perfectly with the permaculture ethic of “fair share” or returning the surplus to your community and to the earth.
Mookie: Yes, exactly.
Gaia Punk: How did Strait From the Teat (aka goat fest) evolve and where do you see it going?
Mookie: A lot of us here at the farm have punk and or DIY influences. Farming of course can be very DIY. Eventually folks learned of our farm as a inviting punk friendly space and it became a way point for various band and musicians on tour. It was from these relationships and friendships that the idea for Strait from the Teat as a yearly festival arose. This festival is a place for people to speak out against the oppressive systems that we don’t want, but most importantly a space for folks to see and realize community in action. During the festival a natural skill share organically emerged and in the future we hope to bring even more educational aspects for the benefit of everyone attending. It seems obvious to me that there can be no resistance without food and no celebration without music.
Gaia Punk: What permaculture techniques and or principals do you employ at the Boone’s Farm?
Mookie: Well water management is critical and recently we just finished a key line dam that after this years rainy season will provide ample amounts of water for the farm during the summer. We also employ many permaculture practices in our produce production. Two principals that really stick out for me on the farm are planned redundancy and on site resourcing. Something that we don’t do is employ hierarchies such as the teacher/student dichotomy because as far as I’m concerned we are all learning and sharing from one another.
Gaia Punk: Do you think permaculture is being popularized by it’s interactions with various sub cultures, and if so will it have lasting effects?
Mookie: I feel permaculture is just the labeling of a ethic that could easily be describe as sanity. I feel permaculture as an idea will eventually be absorbed into the mainstream and hopefully become accepted and commonplace. I feel it is the destiny of the term permaculture itself to disappear. I think it is very important that permaculture can’t remain as something to be bought or sold but must become knowledge that is freely shared. This is what we’re working for at the Boone’s Farm
Gaia Punk: I agree completely. Thanks so much Mookie I’ve had a incredible time listening to all the great bands at Strait from the Teat and learned a whole lot too. I hope you know you got lots of allies out there.
Mookie: Oh, I know it. Thanks to you too, have fun and keep up the great work.
That is the question many will be asking in the weeks leading up to the 2nd Water Woman Festival this OCT 1,2,3,4 in Joshua Tree, CA. Water Woman has sprang to life as the new alternative / compliment to the Burning Man Festival. If your tired of festivals where everyone is burnt out from too many late night drug banazas and would love to learn something more from your communal experience then Water Woman is just the festival for you. Water Woman will hopefully (if all goes well) feature incredible eco based art installations, permaculture and natural building workshops, great music, and a warm welcoming community of folks dedicated to living harmoniously with the earth. I hope to attend and see you there!
One of my favorite little Permie maxims is, ” Unity Through Integration and Integration Through Diversity”. There are many different possible configurations of garden beds each with different advantages so here is a brief bit about some different types and terminology.
- A garden bed that has been raise off the ground and in which the soil is held in a framed box of some sort. These can also be made as table beds for easy access for folks with physical challenges. Raised box beds work well for climates with lots of moisture and appeal to those of us with tidy sensibilities
- A garden bed that has different layers raised up without a frame. The advantage of not having a frame is that you actually get more space for plants because the bed is a parabolic curve.
- This innovative bed is made by piling wood, newspapers, rubbish and compost up, and then covering that pile with dirt, mulch, and vegetation. These beds are usually raised but could be sunken too. The wood and rubbish act to attract water as well as aid mycelia (fungal) growth which is beneficial for your plants.
- Mandalas are beautiful circular and sometimes spiral patterns that may also incorporate forms from sacred geometry. The advantage of a mandala bed is it’s unique beauty and also that they’re non-linear which can mean significant space savings. Some mandala designs have seed start beds in the center and more established plants on the outside which is a super convenient way of organizing your plants.
Raised Bed (Boxed):
Raised Bed (unboxed):
A sunken bed is a bed that has been dug down in order to gather more moisture and works very well in dry-land settings.
Mandala Bed :
Please enjoy and share these two manuals on how to make a raised bed as well as a hugelkulture bed…
Humanity would never have evolved this far with out recognizing this very basic truth “in most cases it is better to share than to not share”. Everything was pretty simple until you had the arrogant “landowners” followed quickly by even more ridiculous and “legally” empowered capitalist. The Pirate Bay (whether the courts agree or not) is a indexing site of the many bit torrent links that have been posted by it numerous users, in reality it is not so different from sites like Google except in one respect, it’s just not used to make billions of dollars for private investors.
Permaculture and The Pirate Bay incorporate whole systems or “closed loop” design. Closed loop doesn’t mean closed design, quite the contrary. Closed loop means whole systems design that emphasises the relationship between elements and facilitates those various relationships in a wholelistic way. In nature everything contributes and takes in such a seamless fashion it is difficult to distinguish the takers from the contributors. Nature is the ultimate innovator. The pirate bay works organically in much the same way because each “taker” in turn becomes a contributor for someone else. This innovative model has been very successful at distributing large amounts of info to a broad spectrum of people. The only reason the big media companies are upset is that they are cut out of the loop as they should be. Middle men are inefficient….look at health insurance in the US, or much of the education system, hell just look at most politicians. Middle men and the proprietary, inefficient, or bureaucratic systems that support them are truly a dying breed and we can do vastly more without them. In this brave new digi-tech world we can teach ourselves to collaborate to create, spread, and disseminate our own media while remembering there is no politician anywhere who could ever represent all our dreams. Let this unjust trial of the pirate bay be a signal of the desperate dying breaths of all the middlemen, a siren call from which we can rally. This is no longer a issue of who controls the media, but who controls your mind? I say let it be open…
We are all the Pirate Bay!!!,
Long live the Open source revolutions,
For the future of all the internets,
ArRGH! maties sail on sail
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!
Amazing Urban Permaculture Workshop in Brooklyn, NY
I just got back from a little eastcoast permaculture tour visiting folks in
Toronto, Montreal, New York, and Burlington VT. All I can say is that things are poppin’ right now in the world of permaculture.
So I don’t normally post too many course announcements here solely
because there are just so many, but this one is unique. It is a urban permaculture workshop with exceptionally experienced instructor Larry Santoyo of Earthflow Designs. Larry along with my awesome permaculture
design course instructor Scott Pittman work together with the US Permaculture Institute doing projects all around the US and the world at large. Here are the details about the workshops:
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 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.
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.”