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.

 

 

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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.

#Punk Rock #Permaculture is Back!

Village Building Convergence Olympia, WA on Aug 19th 2012

So many of you have may have noticed that posting on this site has been a bit a sparse lately and this was do to two things.  First, @gaiapunk (AKA me–Evan) went on a 7.5 month journey around the US in a eco-retrofitted RV doing a mobile tour with the Green Living  Project and promoting awesome permaculture and conservation projects from around the world.  Secondly, after I got back from tour to Olympia I ended up snagging a communications job with Sustainable South Sound and also a new business development position with European crowdfunding start up Flattr.   Flattr is amazing in that it makes it easy to reward awesome content across the web, thus allowing for coders, film-makers, writers,  photographer, podcasters, ect; to be paid for the great work they do.  The most basic description is that it is similar to Facebook “like” buttons but with money behind each click.  I’ve been running flattr buttons on this site for a while and without really trying I manage to earn over 60 euro without any advertising most of which I have given back out to other creators.  I’m very happy to be working for such great entities and I still intend to pursue my passion for Permaculture via community projects, some new digital ventures,  and through the cooperative consulting and design firm I founded called GaiaPunk.  This week Olympia celebrates Permaculture during the Olympia Village Building Convergence an event that I’m proud Sustainable South Sound is a co-sponsor of, and you bet I’ll be out there getting dirty and building community.  Well, now that I’m suddenly, and amazingly, a fully employed individual I will actually have more capacity to work on improving this site and working with others on it.  I would like to thank you all for sticking with me through the dry spell, we’re back baby!

Sincerely,

@gaiapunk

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

Big news in US Permaculture

UMass Amherst for the win!

Beacon Park Food Forest Permaculture Design

2012 is already proving to be a outstanding year for the US permaculture movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a very close nail biting contest the the University of Massachusetts Amherst Permaculture Committee won the White House ‘Campus Champions of Change Challenge‘.  I visited the Umass Amherst Permacutlture project while I was on the Green Living Project mobile tour and I let me just say it was really impressive.  There is no other collge in the country (perhaps with the exception of my alma mater Evergreen) that has such a visible commitment to Permaculture, sustainable ag, and green infrastructure.  The students at Umass Amherst are equally inspiring and deserving of all the attention their school is about to get which includes both national recognition from the White House and a show that will feature the project on MTV.

In other great news Seattle just approved a new Permaculture food forest park the first of it’s kind supported by a US municipality.  The food at the Beacon Food Forest will be free to forage and the created surplus will go to help increase fresh produce at local food pantries.   Projects like these are a great step towards educating the pubic on how to transform their city into a ecocity that values local resiliency.I hope do a interview soon with Jenny Pell who was one of the lead permaculture designers on the project and I’m looking forward to seeing more good news like this moving into spring.

SHARKPACT!

from @gaiapunk: Today in a effort to add more music to this site I’m writing about my awesome friends Jeff and Camille from good ole’ Olympia, WA (AKA the greatest town EVER) who just made record of the week in Maximum Rock & Roll with their band SHARKPACT!  Both members of the band love gardens, animals, and all sorts of other rad shit 🙂  Jeff’s sister Mary did the amazing art work which blends imagery of my hometown Livingston MT with my adopted town of Olympia, WA Check it out…

From Maximum rock’n’roll Record of the Week: SHARKPACT Ditches LP

After doing reviewing records for a long time, you start to notice there are very few bands doing something completely original. Or even modestly original. Most bands create music that reflects (at times shamelessly) the music that inspires them. And that’s great, that’s fine. No problem. But every once in a great while you come across a band like SHARKPACT who create music utterly unlike anything you’ve been hearing. And that’s something extraordinary. But this album isn’t just original; it’s also really really fucking good. My attempts to describe the music are going to sound awful, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. The band is just two folks; one on the drums, the other on keyboard, both singing. And what comes out is like a mutant combination of goth and heartfelt pop punk. Wait, wait don’t stop reading, I swear this is awesome! The synthesizer has a late ’80s goth vibe while the drumming has a WARSAW-era JOY DIVISION on meth approach. But then add ONE REASON style vocal harmonies. Heartfelt, urgent, unrelenting. This album is record of the month, for sure. (Rumbletowne Records)

good video but with unfortunately poor sound below (the album sounds amazing):

 

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.

Hey permaculture and mycology geeks the Radical Mycology Convergence is coming up soon!

From my close friends at Radical Mycology:

Radical Mycology Convergence 2011 September 2nd – 5th, 2011 (Labor Day Weekend)

Where: Concrete, WA (2 hours NE of Seattle)

–contact us at radmycology@gmail.com for exact directions.

The Vision:

A free, volunteer-run gathering of mycologists, hobbyists, and Earth healers coming together to share skills and information related to the benefits of the fungal kingdom in terms of remediative properties as well as human uses. This weekend-long event will culminate in a remediation project to put theory to practice and will also be a unique chance to build community with like-minded mycophiles (aka mushroom lovers) from around North America. Why: Because these skills need to get shared! We want to make this information accessible and tangible for as many people as possible without making it overly-heady or technical. Our hope is to see mycological work someday become as common as gardening (well, sort of)!

Who:

Anyone interested in these skills is invited to come. Space is limited to just a few hundred people this first year so be sure to RSVP by emailing us at radmycology@gmail.com!! The Olympia Mycelial Network, organizers of the RMC, would like to cordially invite anyone interested in participating in this event to come and learn, help out, or teach! For more information, please read on or contact us via email. Why “Radical?” We see the use of fungal species for environmental betterment as an extension of “radical” or “deep” ecology, which considers all beings as having an inherent value and interdependence. Through the use of fungi to enact change, we are attempting to challenge assumptions about the importance of the fungal kingdom in an effort to help shift our relationship to the Earth toward greater harmony. Many people think of fungi only as food or poison and are oblivious to their role as decomposers. We seek to redefine the role of fungi in our lives as we gain a deeper understanding of their role in their ecosystems.

Stay Updated:

To stay up to date on the RMC, you can join the (low traffic) Radical Mycology Announcement listserv which will keep you updated on major announcements about the event. We will never sell or give out your information. You can also follow us on Facebook here.

Mission Statement:

The Radical Mycology Convergence (RMC) is a free, volunteer-run gathering of mushroom enthusiasts working to share knowledge and skills related to the use of mushrooms for environmental and personal betterment. A non-discriminatory and family-friendly event, the RMC will bring together people of all backgrounds and abilities to destigmatize and simplify this information through the engagement of various learning modes while fostering a network of like-minded people. The RMC will focus around skills related to the use of fungal species for the remediation of damaged environments to create a better world with greater ecological health.

Workshops:

Workshops at the RMC will emphasize low-tech and low-budget techniques that support community building and self-sufficiency while encouraging independence from corporate, non-local, or environmentally exploitative materials and/or practices. Primary Goals Provide free, hands-on mycoremediation training. Emphasize low tech/budget techniques for soil and forest restoration. Create a decentralized, inclusive network of mycologists to facilitate the expansion of knowledge, techniques, cultures, and community. Be as inclusive as possible to people of various class backgrounds, races, culture, abilities, genders and ages. Engage multiple modes of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.). Normalize and de-stigmatize mushrooms and their many uses. Promote a better understanding of fungal biology, and the role of fungi in soil science. Create a world with better soil, and greater ecological health. Guiding Principles: Building community, building a decentralized network of mycologists. Emphasize local, non-corporate, non-industrial, non-exploitative practices wherever possible. Encourage building a barter and gift-based economy. Maintain an egalitarian, horizontal, and inclusive organizational structure. Integration of anti-oppression principles, creating a safer space. Being non-discriminatory and accessible. Keep everything as free/cheap and in the commons as possible. Workshop Wishlist (be a teacher!)

Below are the workshops we hope to have at the event however we can not guarantee all topics will be covered. We need your help! If you feel you could cover one of the topics below (other ideas are encouraged too!) feel free to raise your hand! The organizers of the RMC do not have all of the knowledge and are hoping on visitors to help collaborate and bring something to the table if they can. If you are interested in facilitating or co-facilitating a workshop feel free to contact us at radmycology@gmail.com or simply fill out a workshop description here to let us know. Our collective efforts will make the RMC as great as it can be. Plus, all people that help with the event will be endowed with special gift packages! Mushrooms 101 Fungal Lifecycle and Forest Ecology Identification Skills Foraging Ethics, Tricks, and Tips Mushroom related workshops and activities for youth Ethnomycology (human uses for mushrooms for utilitarian and spiritual purposes) Mushrooms dyes and pigments Cooking with mushrooms Mushroom based art Mushroom paper making Open discussions on the future of the fungal kingdom in the role of environmental improvement. Cultivation / Remediation Sterile lab techniques Cultivation without the uses of fossil fuels / pasteurization Mushrooms in the garden Using mushrooms for soil improvement (water retention and nutrient availability) Mushrooms and permaculture Mycoremediation overview and techniques Mycoremediation projects Advanced Mycology Advanced fungal biology Soil analysis and testing the results of a remediation project Other? We also plan to set aside time for culture/spore print swapping, open discussions on various topics, and a mycotalent show! Participate! Volunteer! While there is vast potential for this event, it will only be what the people involved make it. We have many ideas and visions for making the convergence as successful as possible but we will need help! If you are interested in donating or contributing to the convergence we are looking for help with the following.

Volunteering Roles:

If you are interested in helping us to any degree, we would be most appreciative. No prior knowledge is required, just a desire to help! We are asking those interested in volunteering to either fill out this sign up form here (it can be anonymous if you like) or to email us at radmycology@gmail.com to let us know. Below is a short list of the various roles we are hoping to get filled, let us know what interests you. All people that help with the event will be endowed with special gift packages! Helpers before, during, and after the event with set up, kitchen, clean up, parking, logistics, etc. Childcare providers and hosts for mushroom related activities for kids. Media-minded folks to document the event Graphic designers/artists to help with outreach material (more/better flyers would be great!) Promoters (tell your friends, forward emails, put up flyers!) Web/wiki developers to build a DIY mycology database and communication network Remediation project co-designers / co-facilitators Presenters/skill-sharers (see the workshop wishlist above) Mushrooms-based artists to design a central mushroom art project Medics / Healthcare practitioners (just in case) Donations and Equipment Loans Below is a short list of things we will need for the event. If you wish to make a donation to the convergence in any form or to lend us some equipment for its duration please contact us at radmycology@gmail.com.

Money!:

You can donate to the Radical Mycology Convergence via Paypal here.

Money will be used to cover insurance, food, cultivation supplies, fuel/energy, bulk spawn for the remediation project, and whatever else comes up! Presentation tools (PA sound system, Microphones, Video projectors, etc.) Cultivation supplies (flowhood, 55 gal food grade steel drums, burlap sacks, wood chips, straw bales, spawn, spore prints, cultures, etc.) Food and cooking supplies! Flyers & Promotion: As a grassroots effort, we need all the help we can get with promoting this event. Please tell your friends, link us on your blog or Facebook, or print out these flyers

About the Location:

The ideal location we have been offered has several indoor workshop spaces, ample room outdoors for workshops, food forests and other permacultural gardens in need of myco-friends, and space for 300+ campers and visitors! The caretakers of the land are excited to be a part of the RMC and the model / guiding principles they follow themselves fall quite closely in line with the visions we’ve been having for the RMC. We feel that for many reasons we couldn’t have asked for a better place. Note: if you plan on attending the RMC the caretakers advise the following: Lodging will consist primarily of free on-site camping. Whether on the front acres of the property or in the woods in the back of the property. Hotels and other indoor lodging options are available in the surrounding area. Parking is some what limited so we are highly encouraging carpooling (for many reasons, really). Carpooling information is provided to those who RSVP. Sorry, but no outside dogs will be allowed on the property (kennels are available in the area). As a family-friendly (i.e. drug-free, non-oppressive) event we hope to have workshops for youth and childcare provided for the duration of the RMC. Thse will likely be hosted in one of the workshop spaces. Bathroom facilities will consist of outhouses and a composting toilet. Personal catholes will also be allowed near the backwoods campsites. This will be a “Pack-It-In-Pack-It-Out” event. This means garbage will be kept to a minimum and we ask visitors to take care of all personal waste.

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