Some updates

I haven’t been updating my blog because I was away for the last month! I attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 10th Conference of Youth (COY10) and 20th Conference of Parties (COP20) held in Lima, Peru. The conferences lasted two weeks and I went on to travel around Latin America for another two weeks.

It’s the holiday season but work is still trickling in at the moment, so I will try my best to write about what has been going on the last four weeks when I have some time to spare. In the mean time, I will be reblogging some articles I wrote about climate change and COY10/COP20. I also have an article that will be published on Farming First soon. Will put up a link when it’s live. 😀

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Climate change, overpopulation, animal extinction — it’s all happening and TV is ignoring it

“We have ended up with a litany of programmes about travel, the countryside and cookery that whitewash out all the nasty, threatening stuff. It’s apparently more important to show celebrities in jungles than the diminishing rainforests.”

Jane Dalton, Climate change, overpopulation, animal extinction — it’s all happening and TV is ignoring it

Applying the principles of permaculture of social communities

Yesterday I read an interesting article by the Open Permaculture School on how the principles of permaculture can be applied to other areas of our lives, such as in human communities and social groups. The basis of permaculture design is that action within or upon a system should benefit the system as a whole. If we look at social communities as a system, it’s easy to see how the same principles applied to permaculture can be applied to different areas of our society as well. Wouldn’t it be good if we shape our communities, economics and political systems such that everyone is part of the system and every action upon said system should benefit everyone?

The article (link at the bottom of this post) listed seven principles that we can learn from:

Embrace diversity
A diversity of crops, microclimates, animals, etc. is encouraged on any permaculture plot. This is because they all bring different things to the table, or soil so to speak. This reminds me of the following image:


Respond creatively to change
Do not resist change. Instead, see it as a possibility for improvement.

Devolve control
Create a self-managed system by getting every member involved and fostering a sense of belonging with the power to influence.

With diversity in a system, it is only natural that different members have different skills and strengths. The idea is to harness these different strengths to benefit the community as a whole. It’s like the Three Sisters concept of planting three crops together (e.g. beans, corn and pumpkin). Corn provides a structure for the beans to climb, the beans fix nitrogen into the soil and the pumpkin is a cover crop that protects the soil from the sun, retains moisture in the soil and prevents weeds from growing.

Take it slow
Baby steps. Don’t expect drastic changes instantly.

Uses edges (?)
Stop compartmentalising! Encourage interaction so that ideas can flow and blend.

Self regulate
Constant observation is important, because there are many external factors that may affect the system. Keep our eyes and ears open to feedback and be ready to act upon them.

You can read the full article here.

Food garden

I have been volunteering with a local urban farming group and I’ve worked on two rooftop gardens so far. It’s a steep learning curve, but I’m having a fantastic time. It’s great to be working with people who also dream of having their own farms and don’t need any explanations when it comes to words like WWOOFing, permaculture, compost and mulch. They’re a lovely bunch of people to work with and it’s so fulfilling to see our final products. I’ve gained a new tan (again) and hopefully a bit more muscles.