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James Samuel's blog
Over the past few decades we've learned how to move beyond the monoculture model of production, to work with nature and grow food, while enhancing and regenerating ecological systems.
The Beyond Organic NZ Tour with Stefan Sobkowiak is an opportunity to hear how these productive, profitable, permaculture-inspired practices work and learn techniques you can apply immediately. Read on to see the video trailer of Stefan's 2-hour Permaculture Orchard film.
An extensive calendar of 20 events has been created, from Matakana to the Wairarapa and Motueka to Arrowtown. If you're curious and want to know what these best-practice food growing methods look like register today and you can look forward to discovering valuable information and meeting others who can support you and your goals.
This two hour interview makes for an important addition to the knowledge shared in the Permaculture Orchard film. In it Stefan talks about the next piece of the puzzle, soon to be released from Miracle Farm.
The podcast which has just come online, would have gone longer if Stefan hadn’t excused himself to join a scheduled conversation with John Allan of APW and myself. We needed to talk about the Masterclass Stefan will be leading at Unitec Auckland next year, as part of the Beyond Organic NZ Tour.
For New Zealanders the survivalist concepts that are promoted in the lead-in may seem foreign, and you can of course skip them and jump to 8m:40sec, or you may wind up asking, what’s happening in the USA? What’s being expressed there is an expression of people responding to the increasing uncertainty and rapid change that is underway across the world – we’re just each experiencing it differently.
Up front we hear about Stefan’s background and having a Masters degree in both Biology and Landscape design, before learning what got him inspired to set up a Permaculture Orchard. We find a man with a deep desire to maximise the positive impact he can have on the world around him, and as the minutes turn into hours, we start to appreciate the gifts he’s offering.
It's been nearly three years since the Occupy movement burst onto the stage and made it's splash. It highlighted global inequities and the failures of big power and money to ensure we attend to the well-being of all members of society.
One of the ripples has come from of a small group of people in Wellington, who have focussed on building tools to facilitate the discussion and consensus decision making process across groups, without them having to be in the same place at the same time.
From a foundation of several successes under its belt, that include the tool being translated into multiple languages, www.loomio.org launched a crowd-funding campaign a month ago, with a goal of $100,000. It has just closed and the total given is over 123,000 so they will now go on to make the next version of the software, which includes a mobile app. Loomio is commited to keeping the tool open-source and free, while inviting support from users who can afford to give and support its ongoing development.
Food Forest Design course
I innocently pressed play on this video on Tuesday night and did not expect what followed. This 30 minute video is in Rob's words "his favourite talk" from the recent trip he did to the US, after breaking his vow not to travel by plane.
This is by far the most impactful, energising, inspiring video I've seen in some time. It's meaningful, thoughtful, humorous, delightful and real.
Here's the link to the thoughtful article which summarises the ideas.
- Create a learning network
- Support and resource core groups
- Bring forward investment for Transition enterprises
- Become better storytellers
- Build an evidence base
He explains these beautifully in his article.
Building community like a forest
We moved 18 Cu M of mulch around the 5 year old trees in the Surfdale community orchard yesterday.
This is a step in replacing the grasses (such as Kikiuyu) with ground cover plants of our choosing (some edible) - to be followed by other (mostly perennial) food plants in the families of root crops, herbs, shrubs and bushes and flowers for the pollinators and our pleasure.
This will result in a multi layered forest garden requiring minimal maintenance, and producing free food for the public who frequent it.