Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Your cat: another reason to garden organically (online)

Are Your Lawn Care Products Harming Your Cat?

If there is one thing that cats are known for, it is their tendency to prowl around the neighborhood. Unfortunately for our feline friends, an unseen predator lurks in the grass, bushes, and shoes of neighborhoods all across the country: the toxic chemicals that many people spray on their grass. Pesticides, lawn fertilizers, and all of the many chemical products that get soaked into every blade of grass are a major risk factor to cats everywhere, with side effects that have been demonstrated to gravely impact their health.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Permaculture research in Kenya (online)

Permaculture Research Institute Kenya - New Research Programme

PRI Kenya's new Research Programme links closely with their Permaculture and Regenerative Enterprise Programme and aims to map social, environmental and economic impact. They want to understand not only how the permaculture approach is beneficial for the environment and climate change resilience, but also its benefits for farmers in terms of wellbeing, gender dynamics and social empowerment. Their research model focuses on involving farmers as ‘citizen scientists’.  Layering their research just like an agroforestry system, they will also conduct more complex scientific soil tests as well as measuring carbon capture of trees etc.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The real revolution in America (book)

The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000 Mile Journey Through a New America

America faces huge challenges—climate change, social injustice, racist violence, economic insecurity. Journalist Sarah van Gelder suspected that there were solutions, and she went looking for them, off the beaten track, in rural communities, small towns, and neglected urban neighborhoods. She set off on a 12,000-mile journey through eighteen states, dozens of cities and towns, and five Indian reservations. van Gelder discovered people and communities who are remaking America. Join her as she meets the quirky and the committed, the local heroes and the healers who, under the mass media’s radar, are getting stuff done.

The benefits of a primary school garden in Kenya (#journal)

Enhanced community capital from primary school feeding and agroforestry program in Kenya

This case study examines the impact of the Bwaliro Primary School feeding and agroforestry program on the human, financial, natural, and social capitals of the surrounding Bwaliro community in western Kenya. Additional to the targeted improvements in attendance and educational performance, program spillover effects likely included enhanced child health, community agroforestry knowledge, increased tree planting and diversity of crops and trees, saved household income, and improved relations within the family unit and among community members. Participants suggested that increasing the community's capacity to contribute to and collaborate with the school is necessary for program sustenance and for further community development.

Permaculture-based wetland water treatment (journal)

The Brookside Farm Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (WET) System: A Low-Energy Methodology for Sewage Purification, Biomass Production (Yield), Flood Resilience and Biodiversity Enhancement

When permaculture principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can be multiple environmental and economic benefits. The constructed wetland design presented here is a low-entropy system in which wastewater is harvested and transformed into lush and productive wetland, eliminating the requirement for non-renewable energy in water purification, and also maximising benefits: biodiversity, flood resilience and yield. In permaculture design, the high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds in sewage are viewed as valuable nutrients, resources to be harvested. Similarly, rainwater runoff is not viewed as a problem which can cause flooding, but as a potential resource to be harvested to provide a yield.

The permaculture movement in El Salvador (#journal)

“The right to food is nature too”: food justice and everyday environmental expertise in the Salvadoran permaculture movement

In El Salvador a growing permaculture movement attunes small-scale farming activities to principles of ecological observation. The premise is twofold: close-grained appreciation of already-interacting biophysical processes allows for the design of complementary social and agricultural systems requiring minimum energy inputs. Secondly, the insistence on campesino smallholders as actors in the design of sustainable food systems directly addresses decades of “top-down” developmental interventions. Permaculture connects food insecurity to the delegitimisation of smallholder innovation and insists that, through sharing simple techniques, campesino farmers can contribute towards environmental sustainability. This repositioning is brought about through the mobilisation of pedagogical techniques that legitimise the experiences and expertise of small-scale farmers, while standardising experimental methods for testing, evaluating and sharing agroecological practices.

Permaculture in business management (journal)

Sustainable management models: innovating through permaculture

Exploring the ways in which innovation can serve to create better and more integrated social, environmental, and economic enterprises is a key challenge.

How firms innovate and change depends strongly on their management models. permaculture concepts and principles could help the transition toward more sustainability.

This paper seeks to understand how management models could rely on permaculture principles to facilitate innovations and changes toward sustainability. Innovative management models built on the permaculture concepts, are a potential alternative to western “traditional” management models. They would give preference to long-term objectives, intrinsic motivation, emergent coordination, and collective wisdom in decision making.