SEED International: Sustainability Education and Ecological Design www.SEEDinternational.com.au
Permaculture is being applied in many communities and contexts around the world. It plays a leading role and catalyses positive change, from sustainable redevelopment to disaster preparedness, renewal of small farms and creation of urban agriculture zones.
Urban Agriculture Zones In California
Vacant land in Californian cities can now be designated as agricultural zones since the passing of new legislation in 2013. It encourages increased use of privately owned, vacant land for urban agriculture and improves land security for these projects. The key to making this work is that landowners who commit their land to urban agriculture for at least five years will receive a reduction in property tax.
In San Francisco, the 18th and Rhode Island Permaculture Garden was the first piece of land to take advantage of this tax break. Over a few years, the community and the Urban Permaculture Institute transformed an empty site on Potrero Hill into a permaculture food forest. This garden is the official demonstration garden of the San Francisco Permaculture Guild and a hub for community connection, ecological education and sustainable design. Much of the food grown there is donated to local food banks and neighbours. The garden also offers workshops and camps for kids. www.18thandrhodeislandgarden.org/
Ecovillage Network Of South America
CASA is a vibrant and collaborative organisation which coordinates and strengthens sustainable lifestyle networks in various Latin American countries. Since 2012 this organisation has been connecting ecovillages, communities, permaculture and related projects throughout Central and South America. To find about more about these projects and how to visit, contact CASA: Consejo de Asentamientos Sustentables de las Américas (Council of Sustainable Eco-Settlements of the Americas) http://casa.ecovillage.org/
Central Neighbourhood Farm In Denmark
An innovative and common-sense approach to suburban ecodevelopment can be seen at Hjortshøj Ecovillage in Denmark, which has at it’s core a 22 hectare farm. The farm and community are intricately linked. The wastewater and nutrients from the residences flow to the farm, and each week the residents receive a box of fresh produce. The community works with a farmer to produce fresh vegetables, fruit, honey, eggs and other products. Price varies depending on the hours they commit to the farm. Another exciting innovation is their toilet system which splits the humanure and urine. The humanure feeds the orchard area, and urine is collectively piped to a lined pit in which a woodlot grows. This is coppiced regularly and chipped to fuel the highly efficient woodchip heater. This provides central heating to each of the dwellings, and the surplus energy creates power for the community. www.andelssamfundet.dk
Permaculture In Indonesia
Indonesia’s leading permaculture education and research organisation is having a party to celebrate its 15th year of successful permaculture, disaster management and community resilience programs. IDEP is a local Indonesian NGO based in Bali that has led regular permaculture programs and developed fantastic materials in Bahasa. It was after the devastating Aceh tsunami, that IDEP realised that their approach to permaculture had much to offer in emergency response situations, sustainable redevelopment and community recovery. They also now work with communities on disaster preparedness through their powerful community education media. IDEP has pioneered permaculture in schools through the Learnscapes program, and provides sustainable farming training at their demonstration and training centre. Learn about how you can volunteer at IDEP, take a course or visit their centre. Visit www.idepfoundation.org/
Weekend Farming In Hong Kong
There are few places to garden in downtown Hong Kong, yet in the surrounding villages around 300 urban agriculture projects now exist, and this number is growing. Highrise residents are craving connection to the soil and community, and people are increasingly concerned about practices on conventional farms in mainland China.
As a result, organic food and weekend farming are becoming more and more popular. One of the key projects, and the centre for permaculture in Hong Kong, is O-Farm near Fanling in the New Territories. On the weekend, urban residents travel to the nearby countryside to tend their allotments at the organic farm and sometimes attend a permaculture workshop or cooking class. Owner and permaculture teacher, ‘Monkey’, looks after their plots during the week and provides seedlings, advice and some extra produce to supplement their harvest. People just love coming out to their plots, meeting up with others and sharing produce. This system is also helping small family-run farms in Hong Kong despite the pressure of cheap food flooding the market from the mainland. For more information: www.facebook.com/ofarmhk