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Permaculture Around The World


Sole Food Street Farms, Vancouver Canada

Photos courtesy of projects

In one of the worst slums in North America, Sole Food Street Farms is showing how growing food and connecting people to land and community provides a pathway to recovery – nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves.

Sole Food Street Farms has been growing in Vancouver for over seven years. The project, led by the Cultivate Canada Society, is another initiative of pioneering urban agriculturalist, Michael Ableman who recently released a book about it called Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier. He has also written a great 15-point urban food manifesto.

These street farms are growing vast quantities of artisanal organic food right in the middle of the city. The produce is sold at local markets, restaurants and shops. On a series of sites, they’ve transformed vacant and contaminated land to become North America’s biggest urban farm project. A key is that they are not just creating jobs and new skills, but meaning and empowerment for many people managing addition and chronic mental health problems.

The primary goal is to provide meaningful employment for people who have limited resources or employment opportunities, using credible models of urban agriculture.

Sole Food Street Farms is sustainable, organic, local, ethical, incredibly healing, and top chefs are proudly serving its food.


Fairview Gardens, California USA

Photos courtesy of projects

Fairview Gardens, established by Michael Ableman in 1997, is an amazing hub of urban permaculture education and engagement – five hectare edible oasis on some of the best soil in California. This diverse community farm, surrounded by vast suburban developments, is a remnant – a reminder of how orchard groves used to stretch as far as the eye could see.

Run amongst these orchards and gardens are a range of programs for urban youth – to connect with food and nature. There are teenage permaculture apprenticeships, homeschool permaculture classes, college internships, preschool groups, summer camps and after-school activities in addition to the community volunteer programs.

This last little piece of farm is protected by a land trust and has become a highly valued community space – a productive food hub and nature play haven in the heart of a denatured landscape. It too was almost lost under a sea of roofs, but was saved by a very public campaign. The abundance of fruits and vegetables from Fairview Gardens is sold through a farm gate store, farmers markets and directly to chefs.

The farm is of course open to visitors.


Mountain View Eco Farm, Pokhara Valley, Nepal

Photos courtesy of projects

Mountain View Eco Farm was started by Govinda Bedraj and his young family. After witnessing his generation leaving Nepal to find work abroad he decided he wanted to demonstrate to the young Nepalese that there is a future for them in Nepal, which involves natural living, natural building and permaculture.

They are establishing their edible landscape and education centre, for school groups to reconnect young people with their food, and promote sustainable agriculture as a valuable career path. They will also work with famers to help them transition back away from chemical dependence. These little eco-farms are becoming an invaluable part of local economic resilience and the Nepali Ministry of Agriculture recognises the benefits on local economies, communities and cross-cultural exchanges.


Aranya Permaculture Farm, Telangana, India,,

Photos courtesy of projects

Aranya Permaculture Farm is leading example of practical permaculture in India led by one of the country’s permaculture pioneers, Narsanna Koppula. ¯ The vision is to show village farmers, with under a hectare how to eat a healthy diet of cereals, oil seed, pulses, vegetables, fruits and nuts as well as generate money without using chemicals or irrigation.

Aranya is a mature, four-and-a-half hectare, dryland food forest that has never been irrigated. It focuses instead on improving the soil, managing 0ater flows and storing water in the soil. It demonstrates how small farms focused on feeding the soil and diversification can generate both food for their families and income too.

You can volunteer with this organisation for a minimum of three months or join the four-month internship program and help create permaculture demonstration farms and sites in local villages throughout rural India under the mentorship of an amazing Indian permaculture elder, gaining practical skills and actually contributing to local community.


SAE LAO Project, Vang Vieng, Laos

SAE LAO is an award-winning (Energy Globe Awards 2015) not-for-profit project working to demonstrate low-impact, holistic and sustainable living, using appropriate transferable technologies and strategies. The project is developing permaculture gardens; natural buildings; biogas digesters; water harvesting and filtering; and more. Already, because of the active involvement of the local community, the ideas are rippling out to nearby villages.

SAE LAO founder, Sengkeo Frichitthavong grew up in this valley. He was a teenager when his family «ed to Canada for twelve years as refugees. On returning home, he hardly recognised the area – it had been decimated by forest destruction, pollution and rapid tourism development. Sengkeo has come back to Laos to work with the local community, protect the local culture and environment, and find more sustainable ways of living and development that fit in this culture and context. Volunteers are welcome.


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