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Permaculture Around The World


Photo courtesy of project

What’s it like to do permaculture in icy climates? Quite different from anything we have here in Australia? There seems to be a growing movement of permaculture in Iceland, and this is where the Nordic Festival of Permaculture is happening this July.

A new permaculture farm in Iceland, T.frasta©£ir, aims to become the permaculture school for cold climates. It has been offering PDCs since 2015, with the first one led by Robyn Frances and Albert Bates.

T.frasta©£ir is starting to grow food for their local community and keenly working with animals, particularly chickens. Through their program of courses and workshops they are showing others how to permaculture in cold climates too.

T.frasta©£ir describe themselves as being about ‘making a better life, advancing agriculture, creating abundance and building a community that cares’. The name, T.frasta©£ir, means ‘magical place’ in Icelandic. I can imagine it would be quite spectacular when the Northern Lights glow.

If you want to visit, get in touch. This permaculture farm welcomes visitors who want to get involved.


Photo courtesy of project

One of the leading permaculture places in the southwest of Argentina is the Center for Investigation, Development and Teaching Permaculture (CIDEP). CIDEP has a 12 hectare farm in a picturesque, mountainous rural area near the border of Chile, which it manages with the support of many volunteers.

The team at CIDEP hold regular courses in natural building, appropriate technology and, of course, permaculture. Many are led by Carlos Straub, who was among the first to bring permaculture to Argentina in the 1990s, along with folk at the Gaia Ecovillage.

Gaia Ecovillage is the home to the Instituto Argentino de Permacultura. The ecovillage started in 1996 on a 20 hectare site 100 km from Buenos Aires, inspired by native American cultures and international projects. It is a living and learning centre, offering programs for youth and adults wanting to live a sustainable life, to initiate sustainable projects or looking for inspiration and practical tools. Their programs include permaculture, natural building, renewable energy, community life, cooking, dancing and natural health.


Photo courtesy of project

Permaculture education is at the heart of what happens at Lost Valley Education Centre near Eugene, Oregon. This centre is not-forprofit, established in 1989 to create a place to learn practical skills for sustainable community living and to connect with nature.

Lost Valley’s 35 hectares are mostly forested, but nestled in the centre are permaculture gardens: vegetable and perennial herb gardens, beehives, fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. They have a network of hiking trails through the forest and a natural swimming hole, as well as a wood-fired sauna and hot tub.

The residential community at Lost Valley teach PDCs, the Ecovillage Design Education program, sustainable living workshops and lead Earthquest programs. They also have links with the University of Oregon where they run Holistic Sustainability programs.

The 40–50 resident staff have formed the Meadowsong Ecovillage. Everyone who lives there is part of co-creating the educational village. Their seasonal population ebbs and flows with interns, students and event participants. They accept volunteers too.


Photo courtesy of project

Aranya Agricultural Alternatives has worked with farmers for decades in this region. Thirty years ago, they worked with Bidakanne, a village 115 km northwest of Hyderabad. They helped poor villagers access land and supported them to sustainably grow traditional foods. But over time, self-sufficient rain-fed farms were replaced by chemical cash-cropping. Now there are monocultures, depleted soil and water shortages. Well depths have had to increase from 10 m to 75 m.

This year Aranya has brought its attention back to this village and arrived with a team of helpers. Participants on their practical permaculture internship program (run with Living Ecology) worked with farmers and a school. Under mentorship, each intern worked directly with a farmer to develop plans to once again grow food, save seed, diversify, regenerate the soil, harvest rainwater and replenish water systems.

Before the monsoons, the interns will help farmers implement these plans. To find our more about the internships, visit the Permaculture Patashala website. In November, India is hosting the International Permaculture Conference in Hyderabad, the home of Permaculture India.