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.

A chacun son univers

Il était une fois un vieil homme assis à l’entrée d’une ville du Moyen-Orient.
Un jeune homme s’approcha et lui dit :
– Je ne suis jamais venu ici ; comment sont les gens qui vivent dans cette ville ?
Le vieil homme lui répondit par une question :
– Comment étaient les gens dans la ville d’où tu viens ?
– Égoïstes et méchants. C’est d’ailleurs la raison pour laquelle j’étais bien content de partir, dit le jeune homme.
Le vieillard répondit :
– Tu trouveras les mêmes gens ici.

Un peu plus tard, un autre jeune homme s’approcha et lui posa exactement la même question.
– Je viens d’arriver dans la région; comment sont les gens qui vivent dans cette ville ?
Le vieille homme répondit de même :
– Dis-moi, mon garçon, comment étaient les gens dans la ville d’où tu viens ?
– Ils étaient bons et accueillants, honnêtes; j’y avais de bons amis ; j’ai eu beaucoup de mal à la quitter, répondit le jeune homme.
– Tu trouveras les mêmes ici, répondit le vieil homme.

Un marchand qui faisait boire ses chameaux non loin de là avait entendu les deux conversations.
Dès que le deuxième jeune homme se fut éloigné, il s’adressa au vieillard sur un ton de reproche :
– Comment peux-tu donner deux réponses complètement différentes à la même question posée par deux personnes ?
– Celui qui ouvre son cœur change aussi son regard sur les autres, répondit le vieillard.
Chacun porte son univers dans son cœur.


Vivre sans argent