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

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A Peace of the Anarchy!

What do punk, permaculture, and anarchy have to do with the 21st Century?

Answer: Everything!

A Peace of the Anarchy produced by lovearchy.org is a quick summary of 20th century radical activism in the USA featuring prominent antiwar hero Kathy Kelly and permaculture eco activist Star Hawk.  Has notable focus on the pacifist christian anarchist Ammon Hennacy. Folks from the War Resisters League, the IWW, Earth First! and the Catholic Worker, along with Mr. Hennacy exemplify the marginalized prophetic witness for peace and justice in the USA as they attempt to appeal to the dominant culture. These people speak on the benefits of anarchy and peace, following the radical (rooted/basically grounded) ideology and optimism that goodness will overcome evil, love is superior to hate and truth trumps falsehood.”

~evan (@gaiapunk) [tweetmeme]

Masdar City makes waves

So I decided to take a little break from the ole’ computer screen and it seems as though in a single week everything has gone wild…

For instance, NASA actually decided to bomb the moon, honestly, was this really necessary!  Is Iraq and Afghanistan not enough space for the US government to bomb that they need to waste 79 million dollars by crashing a useless probe into moon? Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize all the while considering how many troops to commit to two illegal and unnecessary wars!  I guess he got the award for promising to do work around nuclear non-proliferation.  If I promised to bring about everlasting world peace could I win a Nobel?  Most interestingly though, Geoff Lawton, permaculture expert of greening the desert fame was featured by CNN news in their “green section”.  Congrats to Geoff and big WTF!! to Obama.

Geoff Lawton is currently a key landscape consultant on Masdar city a futuristic supposedly zero waste carbon neutral city slated to be build in Abu Dhabi which is part of the UAE.  Interestingly, the per capita ecological ecological foot print of Abu Dhabi also happens to be one of the highest in the world and though now being called a hub of sustainability don’t expect the UAE to move away from oil extraction anytime soon.  Loads of companies have signed onto Masdar and the city will be a proving ground for some the the most intelligently designed and profitable green ideas and smart products to come in the next few years.  Masdar plans to feature the latest in renewable energy, high tech transportation, and pedestrian oriented streets. The main problem I have with big eco city developments like these is that instead of starting small and building up organically they try to master plan everything and the people most likely left out of the plan are the poor and disenfranchised.

Recently, the gulf states have been using their surplus oil money to go on a building spree so that they’ll be able to leverage the equity accumulated to continue to make investments when demand deflates.  Financing a massive project like this is another issue too, Masdar City is currently set to cost a mere 15-35 billion and right now their looking for 600 million in investment financing for the start of construction….good luck!  .  In order to finance they’ll have to sell a whole lot of real estate, especially ritzy real estate, like luxury eco condos, hotels, malls, and conference centers and this type of blatant eco classism will create multiple social divisions.   Let us all remember that conspicuous consumption labeled green is still conspicuous consumption.  This is the crucial paradox around building idealized eco utopias if you don’t address salient social issues then you’re just simply sowing the seeds of inequity wrapped up in a nice little green package.  Personally, I like ingenious projects that can be scalable to various sizes, create community resilience and reliance, use natural building, and don’t cost billions of dollars, but hey thats just me (see: Gaviotas, Columbia and Curitiba, Brazil).  I would be curious to know exactly what Geoff’s true opinion of the whole thing is and whether he see some true substance in the midst of all the hype .   Just like Obama’s Noble we shouldn’t be awarding accolades simple for promises yet to be fulfilled…

For some really great and well balanced ecocity guru discussions on Masdar City see this treehugger post.

Food Forests!!!! EVERYWHERE

 

Sod your days are numbered...

Sod your days are numbered...

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

Rhizomal (roots)

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:

Geoff Lawfton’s food forest adventure video

Vertical Farming:making history or making hype?

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article

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!

~Permie boi

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.

capitalism is a giant Ponzi Scheme!

yes,

clearly it’s true.

            —Don’t let the cute smile fool ya

                 BE WARNED!— because


Carlo Ponzi --"a truely American Story"

Capitalism

is a giant Ponzi Scheme!

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”.

.A do-it-Ourselves Guide  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!