Update: Permaculture Relief Corps in Haiti!

Haiti 2010 earthquake: collapse of port complex

Below is a great update from Nika Boyce (@nika7k) I want to thank everyone who has expressed interest and I am inspired that this idea IS HAPPENING!  Stuart Leiderman (Lakou Permaculture) is on the ground in Haiti right now calling out for help stateside with coordinating a long term Permaculture Relief Corps effort.  People working in Haiti have asks that folks do not send goods just yet as you can see from the photos the port is a total mess!  Below is a email list of key coordinators by region:

Stuart Leiderman   —Currently in Haiti right now was working on the Lakou-Permaculture project

leiderman(at)mindspring.com

Joni Zweig  –Currently in Haiti works with AMURTEL disaster relief

info(at)amurtel.org

Cory Brenna—Currently in FL coordinating funds and people in FL works with permacultureguild.us which has a donation site up now for the creation of a Permaculture Relief Corps

cory8570(at)yahoo.com

Kevin —-Currently in Hudson Valley NY coordinating fundraising

regenerationcsa(at)gmail.com

Rhonda—- Coordinating in the Bloomington IN region

rk.baird(at)yahoo.com

Marvin Warren —Coordinating for the Ithaca Finger lakes area

greenmansinger(at)gmail.com

If your not on this list and want to be or on this list and don’t want to be….

email

Evan Schoepke (@gaiapunk) Currently coordinating for the Olympia WA and Seattle area

thejulianeffect(at)gmail.com

From Nika Boyce (nika7k):

Like you, I have been simply swept away by the brutal earthquake that has subsumed Haiti into a hell that gets worse by the day.

I have been mostly learning about it via CNN and on twitter. I have been pouring over the satellite images of the destruction as seen in Google Earth.

As I write, Reuters says that more than 200,000 people have died and as of this evening, they have buried 40,000 dead. MANY more bodies lay in the streets and under endless tons of ruined buildings.

Thank goodness for twitter and the permaculture people I have gotten to know there because that is the only thing that is keeping me from feeling utterly lost in desolation over this apocalypse.

It is through @gaiapunk, who is something of a one-man permaculture media empire, that I have begun to learn about and really love the idea of Permaculture First Responders.

He posted several links to projects already either training Permaculture First Responders or projects on the ground in Haiti and other disaster struck places.

Permaculture First Responder – Permie Disaster Relief Training Course

Cegrane Camp Permaculture Rehabilitation Project

Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange

I have been wondering how I might be able to help nurture this idea here, tucked away in my small part of the world without actually going to Haiti myself.

I have been chatting with Cory at Permaculture.org and am happy to share this link that is very constructive in terms of the next steps.

Help for Haiti from Permaculture

(UPDATE: @gaiapunk will also be posting a Long term Permaculture Relief Corps project on kickstarter.com a crowd funding site look for that in the next day or two)

From that site you will see:

Some of the projects which permaculturists can design and implement are:

Short Term:

Building sewage systems, composting toilets, compost and recyclying centers, rocket and solar stoves, temporary shelters (perma-yurts), water catchment and filtering, and plant nurseries.

Rocket and solar stoves are key because the major ecological problem in Haiti which causes huge hardships from many angles is deforestation for fuel. Solar stoves use no wood and rocket stoves, which can be made out of old cans and pipes laying around, use almost no fuel and can cook with twigs.

Correct diversion of sewage, human waste, and water can substantially contribute to rebuilding farm land in the area – the idea is to create the conditions for long term self-sufficiency and abundance with even our short term handlings.

Long Term:

Permanent, low cost, earthquake resistant natural buildings, water storage, earth works, renewable energy, permaculture food forests, broad-scale reforestation, farms, aquaculture systems, and community buildings such as schools and health centers.

We are currently working via a worldwide network of permaculturists to bring resources to Haiti, and several permaculturists are interested in traveling to Haiti to help with the rescue and relief efforts, but need funding to do so. We are in contact with disaster handlers in the area who they can coordinate with for maximum effectiveness. There is a permaculture project existing in Haiti that we are working to connect with as well. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me – I am also willing to meet with potential funders to answer questions personally.

If you want to donate now, please use the “Haiti Donations – Donate” Paypal button on the right hand side of this web page. For past projects we’ve funded, please see the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation article under “Projects.” We will use initial funding to get people there on the ground and most needed resources such as equipment for building the short term items needed. Whenever possible, we use existing resources in the area that are free or very inexpensive – permaculture is very effective at getting the maximum return for energy invested, so you will know your money is going to a good cause.

I know that the idea of surviving this disaster is like a miracle and then the idea of Haiti being able to climb up from a place so dark seems too distant to contemplate.

To this end, I have been graphing out what the needs would be over time for people living through such overwhelming disasters.

I think its extremely important to do this now and for Haitians, now, because these same ideas and strategies will be needed again and again as climate change progresses.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

In the graphic above, I try to illustrate the needs of a person immediately after surviving a catastrophe (earthquake, fire, flood, etc). The needs are pretty basic but inelastic in their being absolutely needed.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Once the person is out of immediate danger and is left standing with nothing, no assets, nothing but other survivors around them, they need to find a way to rebuild, regenerate, and boost their resilience so that they become embedded in a community that provides current and future needs.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

In this next graphic, I extend on the specific needs outlined in the second graphic with permaculture and no/lo-carbon and low cost strategies for coping and rebuilding.

Please take some time and explore these graphics and tell me what you think, whats missing? What would you add?

Please consider becoming involved in helping the Haitians, using permaculture or by other means, as where the Haitians are right now, that hell, could easily be ours, any of us.

We are, in many ways, their community.

We are each other’s community and it is through us banding together that we build resilience in every place.

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Cities designed around local food

urban farm

Good day to you from Gaiapunk,

It is official Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine and Permaculture.tv are teaming up for a new permaculture media worker co-op that you can be a part of.  This media co-op will cover:

  • Permaculture Development, Techniques, People around the planet.
  • The merging of the open source technology, cooperative, transition towns, permaculture movements and more!
  • Radical permaculture and farmer movements in the 2/3rds (developing) world.
  • Ecocity ideas that will make a real difference in the next decade.

If your interested in these topics or others  and would like to learn more please contact thejulianeffect@gmail.com with the subject line “media co-op”.

Now please enjoy this awesome TED talk by Carolyn Steel on how local food is intrinsic to the design, function, and success of cities past, present, and future.

The G20 Protesters and the new face of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA–

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

Heroes Profile: Will Allen leader in Urban Farming

growth

growth

Will Allen has been a big hero of mine for a while now.  Just recently the big media has doled out some much deserved credit with stories on his outstanding  work on urban farming and urban aquaculture two critical areas of sustainability for cities.  The benefits of Urban farming are numerous and obvious (increased biodiversity in the city, increased freshness and nutrition, education opportunities, decrease in shipping cost and hence fossil fuels) but urban aquaculture is less apparent until you understand a bit about the nutrient cycle or seen it in action.   Besides aquaculture Allen also employs vermiculture, aquaponics, hydroponics, composting, and water management in a closed loop system.  If you want to learn how you can set up your own DIY aquaculture system on the cheap see this post.  To learn more about Will Allen’s revolutionary work and the entire inspiring group he works with vist Growing Power and watch the film series below.  It is time put the “us” back in industry and food is a great place to start.

Landslide Community Urban Farm!

Radical Community Profile: Landslide Community Farm

Pittsburgh, PA

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!

HPIM1445DSCN0580

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gaia Punks in Toronto

Enough is Enough….

I’ve been kickin’ it tough lately in Toronto, ON Cananda for the

the Question of Sustainability Conference

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 


Heroes List!

 

Earth Activist profile

Earth Activist profile

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.

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