Guerilla Gardening in Rural Panama A gnome (the author) in the Communal Garden Make no mistake, the war is on. The commodity is food, the source needs to be sustainable, and the community needs to know about it. If you are already into permaculture, or just gaining an interest, then congratulations and welcome to the peace-loving yet active front lines. We call it guerilla gardening. A few years back, Ron Finley, a native of South Central Los Angeles, got a bee in his bonnet when he noticed his neighborhood was an asphalt desert of fast food restaurants and quick-marts. The authorities tried to shut him down, but he fought back and won. Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA Well, I’m all for it, and in my own way I’ve joined Ron’s act, bringing it down to my current residence in a little fishing town about an hour and half outside of Panama City. I think Ron probably faces a similar problem in South Central. Fed Up (full length version) So, what can a concerned permaculturalists do? It was time to add more.
Think Like a Commoner Getting to the heart of the permaculture ethic of fair shares, David Bollier's book provides an excellent primer on the theory and practice of the commons, a bottom-up vehicle for "social and political emancipation and societal transformation." In the process he expands our imaginations to reclaim the wrongly-maligned word, 'commoner', outlining a budding revolution which most of us are already part of, whether we realise it or not. A commons, standing outside of the spheres of market and state, consists of "working, evolving models of self-provisioning and stewardship that combine the economic and the social, the collective and the personal." While many might associate discussion of the commons with historical events such as the enclosure movement, Bollier brings commons theory right into the present age. R. Thomas Smith holds an MA in Sociology and Philosophy, a Permaculture Design Certificate, and lives at An Teach Saor (The Free House), a permaculture smallholding in Galway, Ireland.
We Don't Know: Reflections on the New Story Summit By the standards of a conference, the New Story Summit (NSS) at Findhorn was a tremendous success. It featured a culturally diverse line-up of speakers who illuminated, both through the content of their speeches and also through their authenticity and presence, the deep crisis of our civilization and the possibility of its healing. Grief, despair, and anguish were allowed space alongside hope and inspiration; systems change and personal change were intimately acquainted. At the same time, even though nearly everyone there would affirm that it was a fantastic conference, there was still an unusually strong undercurrent of discontent that revealed the limitations and perhaps the obsolescence of that thing we call a “conference.” The first item of discontent that I saw was impatience with, as one angry voice from the audience put it, “being talked at for [the first] two-and-a-half days.” It reminded me of the Soviet Union under Glasnost. But let me tell you something I do know. And!
Permaculture. The Future of Business and Beyond. An Interview Compilation (PVP081) Podcast: Play in new window | Download “You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of proactively participating in shaping the world your children will inherit.” Joel Salatin This episode is a compilation of interviews that I recorded during PV1 – March 13-16, 2014. The general theme of this episode is how business can benefit from permaculture. Bill Bean of Green Planning and Coaching Ryan Harb of RyanHarb.org Curtis Stone of Green City Acres Dave Boehnlein of Terra Phoenix Design Paul Greive of Primal Pastures Xavier Hawk of Permacredits and Colony Earth Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms More information on PV1 and PV2. Ryan Harb speaking at PV1. Bill Bean speaking at PV1. Support Permaculture Voices You can new support Permaculture Voices through a one time or reoccurring donation. Question, Comments, or Feedback?
The Energy in Things Car frames and robotic arms (Reuters) The modern cellphone user is highly attuned to energy usage. I assiduously monitor my phone's battery, tracking its decline from morning to evening, and then its return to fullness. There are even special "advanced power strips" that help people save energy while charging their devices. But the truth is that operating a smartphone doesn't require much energy. The real energy cost to the world of an iPhone 6 is not charging its battery, though—it is creating the phone. And it takes a lot of energy to mine, refine, grow, and create materials. Think about the difference of energy that's expressed here. The energy embodied in the stuff of our lives represents a major—maybe the major—way that we contribute to environmental problems. And that's why we created this special report, The New Energy Cycle. When most people think about energy, they think about the gas that goes into their cars, not the steel that forms their frames.
Farmstead Chef - Harvest Haystacks: The Ultimate Community Meal There’s nothing better than a rural road trip with a mystery dish. During our wanderings last weekend around Goshen, Ind., we visited the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale, where tried haystacks for the first time. This weekend event featured an auction and sale raising several hundred thousand dollars for the group’s international peace and justice work, but on Friday night food reigned king. Mashall King, a foodie friend and managing editor at The Elkhart Truth, helped us navigate the booths of tempting homemade food run by local Mennonite churches. The haystack food tent drew us in, as the concept was so simple yet completely new to us—the perfect meal for a large-crowd fundraiser. "I’m not really sure where the haystack concept came from exactly, but we’ve just always been doing them,” King says. The Relief Sale served up a pretty classic haystack. The core ingredient of haystacks, however, is community. Recipe: Harvest Haystacks Yield: Approximately 8 servings Ingredients
Welcome to America’s Only Completely “Organic City” Imagine living in a city where all produce sold or served is guaranteed 100% organic by law, with zero crime rate and it’s own Institute For Natural Medicine and Prevention. Would you believe this city does exist, and it is the heartland of north America. Too much of America is now controlled by the vast agro-chemical industry, poisoning us and our environment with genetically modified crops, fueled by corporate greed and manipulation. This has come with many well documented harmful effects on our health as well as the devastation of many species including bees, birds and butterflies. However back in 2001 Marharishi Vedic City, just 60 miles south of Iowa was officially incorporated. The city was inspired by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who who introduced the technique ofTranscendental Meditation (TM) more than 40 years ago and brought enlightenment to millions of people all over the world in a scientific, systematic manner. Education is key for the residents and their children.
How to Start a Bike Kitchen Photo credit: the Bike Farm in Portland, Oregon. Follow @CatJohnson on Twitter A bike kitchen is a place for people to repair their bikes, learn safe cycling, make bicycling more accessible, build community, and support sustainable transportation by getting more people on bikes. Most bike kitchens have tools, parts, mechanics, and a community of knowledgeable cyclists. Around the world there are thousands of bike kitchens -- also known as bike churches, bike collectives and bike coops -- and more popping up all the time (see maps here). Find the Right Space First things first, your bike kitchen needs a home. Catherine Hartzell, co-founder of the San Francisco Bike Kitchen, advises trying to find a rent-free or multi-purpose space. “The bike kitchen will not be used all the time,” she says, “so sharing the space with another organization could work well. If you are able to share another organization’s space, ideally rent-free, this minimizes expenses dramatically. Low-cost and Mobile Models
Bioneers - Environmentalism | Ecological Balance | Sustainability | Social Justice | Diversity How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization By Annalee Newitz Roughly 9,000 years ago, humans had mastered farming to the point where food was plentiful. Populations boomed, and people began moving into large settlements full of thousands of people. And then, abruptly, these proto-cities were abandoned for millennia. The dawn of the age of agriculture falls during the “Neolithic,” also known as the late stone age. Chart from Michael E. Families made their semi-permanent homes by digging shallow, round pits for the floor, lining it with smooth stones, and constructing domed walls out of mud and grass. The Rise and Fall of the Mega-Village As people accumulated more food stores, women began giving birth to more children. It’s hard to say what, exactly, Çatalhöyük was. Image of Çatalhöyük by Dan Lewandowski. There were no palaces, no massive ziggurats or pyramids dedicated to the gods, and no signs of class distinction. Here’s where things get weird. Graph via Ian Kuijt, in Journal of Anthropological Archaeology What happened?
An Orchard Grows in Boston Egleston Square is a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, straddling the borders of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain (JP) in the city of Boston. High condo prices and even higher rents are pushing long-term residents, to move elsewhere. This churning of the real estate market, to be expected in a profit-maximizing system, dissolves community and acerbates race and class divides. In 2009, my wife Hannah and I had been living in Egleston Square for a year and in that time we witnessed a car explode in flames, saw addicts and prostitutes come and go from a flop house across the street, said chirpy hellos to regular corner drug dealers outside our living room window, found used needles in our tiny side yard next to the raised beds planted with tomatoes, and heard through the neighborhood grapevine about multiple shootings and stabbings in the neighborhood. Good question! We resolved to find out. We learned that 30 years ago a house had burned down and the lot was vacant ever since.