Archive for the Category ◊ Permaculture ◊

• Sunday, March 24th, 2013

ValhallaThis local inspiration combines some excellent ideas. Hopefully, there is synergy in the combination and their vision can be achieved.

However, the Valhalla “movement” appears high on marketing, youth, style and organic weed. When I contacted them to offer my services to help teach them Aquaponics  (something people in the U.S. are paying me to do), I received a polite, “Thanks, but no thanks. We got that covered.”

So much for the “come join the movement” hype.

Every generation believes that it holds the answers to our societal ills and that they are uniquely modern and equipped with new technology to solve our pressing environmental and social problems. This is one of the benefits of youth.

Ideas spring with great life force when we are young. But ideas are a dime a dozen, we eventually learn. And execution is what separates the dreamers from the real sustainable builders of the future who are able to create replicable  models to be used by others.

I hope their enthusiasm and idealism can carry the day, but history tells a different story about communes, outside of the Kibutz model in Israel which was born out war and the need to defend land.

The 1960′s communes taught us that the real world of life is socially complex and needs more than just the fantasy of new technology creating a better life without conflict or injustice. Further, it has to be rooted in the here and and now rather than built on the hopes of a new tomorrow.

Our lives will be transformed, I firmly believe, on the existing infrastructure and built environment of today. The world does not need to be re-built, but rather retro-fitted to our new ideas and values that reflect cooperation and sustainability.

To create a new way of living and a new world does not call for breaking away from the existing world. Quite the opposite, it requires a deepening involvement with the world as it is, no matter how flawed. Because if they succeed, they have transformed the lives of only the people who manage to move and live there. What about the millions of other people who are stuck in the old cities, stuck in the old buildings, stuck in the old jobs? What is to come of them?

Please comment if you disagree.

Source: The Valhalla Movement

• Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Montreal could use an urban farm school that combines all these skills like permaculture, beekeeping, Aquaponics, composting and seed saving all into one curriculum.

Source: Occupy Monsanto

Growing Our Local Food Infrastructure: Urban Farm School Opens in Asheville NC (via

By Brett Gustafson Though it sometimes seems like our evil frankenfood corporate overlords, such as Monsanto and Dow, have completely hi-jacked our food system, many people around the nation are actually creating more sustainable and viable alternatives. A few good folks in Asheville, NC are bringing…

• Monday, October 15th, 2012

fungi in the forestSource: St. Jim the Composter

Stop to smell the flowers and you might learn something.   Farmers and other ecosystem managers are considering a whole lot of factors few of us city slickers know about.    They have better sense than to try to kill off every living thing that’s not salable.   Country people are more mature about the facts of life and death.    They’re familiar with the smell of manure, and not unduly afraid of it.   They know that what feeds the life in the soil – the dead bodies and manure of plants and animals – feeds us people.

Nature – the community of life that provides us with the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe, and consumes our waste products for us – has an incredible ability to heal the destructive impacts of industrialization.     The first entrants into an area damaged by radiation are microbes and fungi; this is why composting is a pollution-cleaning technology.   The web of life slowly re-establishes itself, and (though the genetic damage will take many generations to restore the site) life will re-establish itself.     But don’t kid yourself – the myth of clean, safe nuclear power, unquestioning belief in which was nurtured by the military-industrial establishment to continue the nuclear industry and manufacture bombs after World War II, is genetically destabilizing the planet.

The Bahai faith believes that humanity as a whole is on a path of maturation, like growing from childhood to adulthood.    And our current stage is adolescence.    We’re running around inventing and manufacturing enormous numbers of new things, not thinking of the consequences.     Should we make it through to maturity as a species, it will be because our lover side has won over our warrior side.   The Catholic philosopher Father Thomas Berry said, “The Universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.”  Though this mystical attitude – that, as American Indians believe, even plants and rocks are alive – seems illogical, the most advanced modern science is confirming that there is no real separation between anything.    When you hurt another creature you’re hurting yourself.    The most productive gardens and farms are those in which ALL species are welcome.     The way to win a war is to make friends with the other side, not defeat them.

• Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Hallo Folks,

Just to say I am from England and traveling in North America for 3 months. I am in Montreal  between  15th and 18th Sept. and offering folks a free talk on Leamington Transition Town and the Transition town movement.

This is sharing experiences and ideas with other transition towns and hopefully me learning about your transition town and taking this information back to England. Leamington Transition town wants to make connections! If you wish me to talk please e mail me at:


Best Wishes

Chris Philpott

• Friday, April 06th, 2012

Update 4/23/12: “We want to let you know that the funding campaign, Open Source Permaculture, has completed funding. They raised $16,038 of their $15,000 goal, thanks to your contribution.”

Permaculture is one of the best strategies for re-inventing agriculture, transforming our cities and living a more sustainable life.

This project aims to bring together all the great ideas and experiments in the world using Permaculture and offer it free to the world, like the open source software movement that gives away the source code.

Great stuff!

There are 10 days left to raise enough money to fund the project. They will accept pledges as low as $1!

Source: Indiegogo

We believe that sustainability is for everyone. That’s why we’re creating Open Source Permaculture, a free online resource for anyone who wants to create a more sustainable world. Imagine having all the resources you need at your fingertips to enhance the sustainability of your home or land. Anyone (including you!) could learn how to grow an incredibly productive backyard permaculture garden, just like this one:

Permaculture is a visionary design methodology for creating sustainable, and thriving livelihoods, from ecological farms to urban landscapes. Open Source Permaculture can heal broken communities with no money, and transform our cities into thriving ecological landscapes.
Category: Permaculture | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
• Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


Research Credit: Cryptogon

• Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Although I don’t subscribe to the belief that Western civilization will collapse (it is more likely to wind down or power down slowly), there are two separate, active discussion groups on reddit, one for societal collapse, one for post-collapse each with useful discussions on a variety of useful subjects.

This Subreddit is for planning and preparing for what comes after a collapse of society. Head over to r/collapse for tips and info on preparing for the days leading up to and during any sort of apocalypse or general collapse of society as we know it.



On the end of the world as we know it. Crashes, disasters, wars and famines. Diminishing resources, decadent culture. The decline of civilizations, empires & societies. But not necessarily The Apocalypse.

How will we survive? Any ideas?

Discussing peak oil, energy, sustainability, climate change, food, farming, gardening, water, shelter, health, medicine, security, infrastructure, recycling, transportation, scavenging, black markets, bartering.

• Friday, August 12th, 2011

INDIGENE COMMUNITYThere is a lot of great information and inspiring quotes in the Indigene Community web site. Their premise is that there is no need to re-invent the wheel in terms of re-learning how to live sustainably.

They argue that Indigenous Knowledge (IK) provides many blueprints for a post-post sustainable world. This organization was inspired by Stewart Brand’s Long Now project.

Source: Challenge Your World

Built in 1955 by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, LASALLE-GARDENS was inspired by Frederick Law Olmstead’s ‘garden-city’ concept. It currently has 2000 people living in 700 apartments & 50 town-houses on a 33 acre property. Peripheral roads require 1/3rd the number of streets in similar population density as in the rest of Montreal. Park-lands surround most buildings where residents are commonly seen playing, walking and interacting. Some members planted over one hundred maples and pines over 45 years ago which currently reach 50 foot heights providing natural beauty, shade and clean air.

Source: Indigene Community

Blueprints for sustainable development and humaine society are still held by indigenous societies and indeed our own indigenous heritages worldwide.   ‘Indigenous’ is not a function of race but of openess, involvement and inclusion for everyone.  Around the world ethno-historical (indigenous worldview) efforts are being made to compile Indigenous Knowledge IK from thousands of First Nation societies and fragments held by all of us in order to reintegrate this into inclusive living-ecology-economy, abundance and connected cultures today for everyone….

Human culture has perverted its original kind and sustainable operating system due to a pervasive colonial (empire) ‘virus’ by which, we are destroying the planet’s ecological capacities and productivity.  Analogy:  When a computer has a ‘virus’, we reboot it back at a time when the Operating System was integrated, whole and vibrant.  Indigene Community website compiles and attempts to describe the indigenous period, principles and practices, which cover hundreds of thousands and millions of years of human life on earth.  Humanity can find abundance and guidance from indigenous roots.  We won’t reinvent our way out of problems using the same understandings which create them.

• Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Filmmakers Donna Read and Starhawk will be at the screening of the film Permaculture: The Growing Edge on June 22 at the Crowley Arts Centre, 5325 Crowley Ave. It is a fundraiser to celebrate the NDG Food Depot’s 25th anniversary. Tickets are $20 and available only at the door.

Starhawk is doing a two-week workshop on permaculture called Earth Activist Training in Audet, Que., from June 25 to July 9. For more information, go to

Source: Montreal Gazette

Beyond agriculture, permaculture is also a way of dealing with environmental and social problems, Starhawk said.

The film documents an oil-spill cleanup that used human hair to absorb the oil, which then became a planting medium to grow oyster mushrooms that convert the oil to sugar for their growth – a way to dispose of toxic waste without creating any waste products.

Permaculture can be an answer to problems like climate change, Starhawk said. Farms can sequester excess carbon dioxide in the soil, reducing the amount in the atmosphere, which leads to climate change, while urban agriculture reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed to produce food on a large-scale and transport it to cities, she said.

Putting solutions in place doesn’t have to be grim and awful, it’s joyful and fun and it actually enriches your life,” she said. “It’s joyful, wonderful work to plant things and tend plants and it builds community at the same time when you’re gardening together.”

• Thursday, April 14th, 2011

2011 Vermont Permaculture Design Course

Utilizing the incomparable Whole Systems Research Farm permaculture site in Vermont’s Mad River Valley, our design studio resources, and a team of leading facilitators, Whole Systems Design, Keith Morris and Lisa DePiano present the first of many permaculture design courses to be offered in the coming decades.  This certification course will be held July 31st to August 12th, 2011 at the Whole Systems Design Studio and Research Farm site. 

This course offers an unparalleled opportunity to gain hands-on applied permaculture skills immersed within one of North America’s most diverse and intensive permaculture research sites.  Participants will engage with high-performance home and community resource systems that will be more resilient in the face of problems posed by peak oil, climate change, environmental toxicity, and the inability of existing economic and social systems to deal with such challenges.

This course includes the standard certificate curriculum but goes way beyond the typical Designer’s Certification Course by utilizing the background of skills-based trainings offered in Whole Systems Skills, and information-based study.  Students in this course will not walk and is filled with practice-based, learning-by-doing experiences, not only concept away from the experience without basic post-peak oil resiliency literacy including: how to plant a tree, fell a tree, split firewood, harvest biomass with a sycthe and sharpen it, sharpen and maintain other basic tools, perform earthworks, plumb basic waterworks and harvest water, inoculate mushroom logs and spread mushroom patches and innumerable other hard skills available to us via our working homestead, farm and practitioner-teachers.

Unlike at many permaculture course, we will actually be practicing these techniques on the farm throughout the course.

Course Highlights

  • Immersion and practice in one of the most sophisticated permaculture sites in North America.

  • Living at a beautiful site in the heart of Vermont, in the Mad River Valley.  See more here.

  • Ecological design and engineering pioneer John Todd anchors a team of guest instructors and visiting presenters.

  • Field trips to regional sites to see models of permaculture strategies in action.

There will be a first-come-first-served opportunity for a 3 day applied permaculture practicum after the course where a small group of course students will have the opportunity to practice permaculture all day, each day, on the research farm site.

Course Instructors

Keith Morris – Propect Rock Permaculture

Lisa DePiano – Montview Neighborhood Farm

Ben Falk, M.A.L.D. - Whole Systems Design

Cornelius Murphy – Whole Systems Design


To learn more and register for a place in the course, please visit our website.