Exploring the “American Dream” with Intentional Communities and #Permaculture

sohana_web_seriesI recently attended the debut of a excellent little web series that examines the idea of the “American Dream” while also exploring a various co-ops, co-housing, and other intentional communities within the U.S.

Created by three ambitious Evergreen State College students (Soph, Haley, Nate hence their clever project name Sohana). The series impressed me with it’s quality footage and editing and especially the insights it brought to mind. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and share it within your communities.

 

 

Radical Mycology Book Launch Event in #Portland ,OR this Saturday #Permaculture #PDX

http://www.chthaeus.com/product-p/b-rmp.htmFrom my good friend Peter of the Radical Mycology collective:
The spores are in the wind!

We are excited and honored to announce that the Radical Mycology Book is now available for sale at the publishers website www.chthaeus.com! At the link you can find sections samples to get a taste of some of the book’s topics.

After two long years in the works, this nearly 700-page text is a one stop reference for diving deep into the world of fungal biology, ecology, cultural influences, cultivation, remediation, and a lot more. We are thrilled with how it came out. To celebrate the release, all book purchases for the next 3 days are discounted and also include a free 16.6×17.25″ 3 color (red, black, and metallic gold) poster of the book’s cover.

Also, this Saturday we are celebrating in Portland at TaborSpace (5441 SE Belmont St). If you can’t make it out to the live event, you can watch via livestream here: http://bit.ly/rmbooksteam. We hope you can make it in some form.

For the fungi!
The Radical Mycology Collective

Radical #Mycology Announces the Mycelial Network & Unique Course Offering With a #Permculture Influence in #PDX

Radical Mycology - Recomposing LifeRecomposing Life – August 7th-9th – Portland, OR

Recomposing Life

When permaculture curriculum was first developed there were a couple of areas that just didn’t get enough attention.  One of those areas was mycology and how the regenerative and abundantly productive nature of mushrooms factors into ecosystem and human health.  Well, that is changing as the Radical Mycology has stepped up to offer free resources, pay what you can courses and community oriented strategies for culture change.

Since the initial germination of Radical Mycology in 2006, one of the biggest goals of the project has always been to create stronger connections between amateur mycologists, activists, and grassroots bioremediators working to increase the health and resilience of their communities and environment. Over the years, the Radical Mycology Collective–an anchor point in the larger Radical Mycology movement–has strived to achieve this goal through a variety of means. With the creation and release of free media and educational videos, the group has offered simple and accessible methods for cultivating fungi for food, medicine, and the regeneration of damaged landscapes. By organizing three internationally attended Radical Mycology Convergences, the Collective has worked to build a greater sense of community amongst the many isolated pockets of mushroom cultivators and radical ecologists while simultaneously sharing the often inaccessible skills of working with fungi in a unique format. In the fall of 2014, the group went on a 3-month cross continent tour to share their knowledge and skills with over 40 different community groups and organizations. Along the way, the group discovered a strong desire amongst their collaborators and new friends to understand the fungi and integrate their gifts into the common struggle for finding better ways to live sustainably on the earth.

Course topics include:

  • Guiding principles for allying with fungi
  • Fungal biology and ecology
  • Forays in Tryon state park
  • Mushroom and lichen ID for habitat protection and cultivation
  • Low cost mushroom and mycorrhizae cultivation for food, medicine, and remediation
  • Integrating fungi into landscapes
  • The chemistry and treatment of common industrial pollutants
  • Low cost soil and water testing practices
  • Medicinal mushroom processing and intuiting
  • Mycomimicry in social organizing and self care
  • The somatic experience of fungi
  • Mushrooms as sexual beings
  • Anti-oppression work in mycology
  • Evening discussions on dark ecologies and the philosophy of fungi
  • On-site Installations
The setting for Recomposing Life will be Tryon Life Community (TLC) Farm in Portland, OR. TLC is a small farm and community that seeks to provide space for events and organizations that support the advancement of community-based sustainability and social change and the tending of resilient ecosystems. There will be limited camping available at TLC for some participants. Course leaders will attempt to find lodging for the other participants if other options are not available to them.
The cost of this course is donation-based. We suggest $300 for the entire course to cover course workbooks and other logistical costs. However, to best support the growth of a community of radical mycologists we offer this course under the banner of NOTAFLOF (No One’s Turned Away For Lack Of Funds) while still asking that you GAYAABAGS (Give As You Are Able But Always Give Something). This course is a fundraiser for Radical Mycology. Any money left over at the end of the course will be used to support Radical Mycology directly as a volunteer-run project.
As this event can only accommodate a small number of people, we are asking all those that feel called to this course to fill out an application form. From these applications we will choose a range of participants who will represent as demographically and geographically diverse of a group as possible. One’s ability to cover the suggested donation is not a determining factor in our decision making process. We welcome people of all backgrounds and experience levels to apply.

Register for Recomposing Life by clicking here.

Registration for this course closes on June 12th.

Interview with Radical Mycology Co-Founder Peter McCoy #permaculture

New UPDATE:  Peter McCoy will be speaking at the Permaculture Voices Conference alongside Paul Stamets!

Mycology (the study of the fungal kingdom) is a important piece of both ecology and holistic permaculture design.  I’m excited to present a interview with the Co-founder of the Radical Mycology project, Peter McCoy.  Peter played a critical role in creating the fantastic Radical Mycology Zine and is currently working on a crowdfunding campaign (still running) for a comprehensive radical mycology book!

Link to interview:

https://soundcloud.com/gaiapunk/radical-mycology

One week left to support the first Open Source Urban Permaculture E-book

By: @gaiapunk
Punk Rock Permaculture E-zine has joined forces with  Permaculture Media Blog and Permaculture Directory  to bring to the world a first of it’s kind Urban Permaculture E-book.  This will be the first book about using principles of permaculture design in urban areas! Open Permaculture project is seeking funding to build the movement to save the ecosystems we depend on for survival, and ultimately humanity. This issue is too big to tackle from a garage. We need your help. Inside you will find DIY tips that can be applied in your flat, tiny backyard, rooftop or community garden, including topics like:
  • 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 
  • Micro-livestock
  • Wind and Solar Energy 
  • Transportation 
  • …and much More! 
This FREE eBook will also include interviews with founders of successful Urban Permaculture projects and a comprehensive list of FREE online educational resources.
We have one week left in out crowdfunding campaign via IndieGOGO to the cover the project’s start up costs so please help get the word out.

Who is behind this project?

Sophia Novack – passionate permaculture geek and environmental activist. I’m studying in Prague, Czech Republic, but spend most of my time travelling and editing Permaculture Media Blog and Permaculture Directory. If you have any questions, you can contact me at permaculture.media.blog (a) gmail (dot) com or via my social media accounts: Facebook,Google+Permaculture Media Blog and Permaculture Directory have achieved a great amount of good with very little so far. Now we need to change the world in a huge way, and we need your financial support to do so.
Evan Schoepke -AKA @gaiapunk is the editor of Punk Rock Permaculture E-book.  He has worked on sustainable multi media with such fine outfits as Permaculture Magazine, Permaculture.tv and greenlivingproject.com.  He lives in wonderful Olympia, WA and works locally doing freelance Permaculture and graphic design as well as being the assistant director of the South Sound Buy Local Campaign with Sustainable South Sound.  On a typical saturday you may find him digging a garden, picking nettles, pruning fruit trees in a guerilla garden.

 

Permaculture Media Blog is a continually growing archive of more than 2000 FREE videos, eBooks, podcasts and documentaries, divided into 4 main categories;Permaculture & Organic Gardening, Natural & Green Building, Renewable Energy and Environmental Activism.
Permaculture Directory is a FREE listing site for sustainable-living events from all over the world. Over 1300 events are listed, which have helped thousands of people to find life changing courses, workshops and festivals.
PERKS FOR YOU!

1. Personal Thank you message via FacebookTwitter and Google+ to thousands of our followers

2. Special newsletter subscription – monthly updates full of the best free educational media

3. Your name with an image and link to your website will appear on the Permaculture Media Blogand Permaculture Directory ‘About’ page

4. Pre-release version of eBook: Urban Permaculture Guide(December 2012)

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!

https://punkrockpermaculture.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/thequarter-acrefarmhowikeptthepatio252clostthelawn252candfedmyfamilyforayear.jpg12. Book: The Quarter-Acre Farm: How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family for a Year – Full of tips and recipes to help anyone interested in growing and preparing at least a small part of their diet at home, The Quarter-Acre Farm is a warm, witty tale about family, food, and the incredible gratification that accompanies self-sufficiency. TheQuarter-Acre Farm is Warren’s account of deciding—despite all resistance—to take control of her family’s food choices, get her hands dirty, and create a garden in her suburban yard. It’s a story of bugs, worms, rot, and failure; of learning, replanting, harvesting, and eating.

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

15. Your own tree in The Wolf Private Nature Reserve in Slovakia! We will send you (or a person of your choice) a thank you letter with a sticker and a certificate of symbolic ownership, along with printed photos from the reservation.

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:

Other Ways You Can Help

If you want to help but can’t afford to contribute, that’s fine! There are things you can do that may be even more important. For example, click on the heart button below the video, (so that I know you like it, and I can communicate with you) and use the other buttons to share it on Facebook or via email, word of mouth, or any other way you can get the word out to people who you think might be interested.Writing a short personal note to a few key people is the absolute best approach (far better than sending it as a forward to thousands of people). It is also really helpful, when you post it on Facebook, if you say why you support this, and suggest that people actually watch the video. Passing it along via word of mouth and personal messages rather than just “liking” something helps us all maintain our human dignity. Keeping our communication human and personal is one of the most important things we can do in the world right now. Thank you for keeping that tradition alive as you share this.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Video credits:
Music by David Griswold
Animation by Oz J Thoma

The Permaculture of Whales

Cetacea, Poop, and the Fate of Our World

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.

The Future of Urban Permaculture Retrofitting Is Here! Welcome to The Plant

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

keep innovating,

@gaiapunk