Inspired by my plastic-free friends, I decided to start looking for some wooden clothes pegs. Wanting to invest in supporting local workers, and not wanting to selfishly invest in the exploitation of sweatshop workers in other countries, I also decided to look for NZ-made ones. But this is not as easy as it sounds. This article explores my quest.
I just heard that the wise, passionate old man of permaculture, Bill Mollison, passed away today (24 September 2016) in Sisters Creek, Tasmania. I am in shock, and have already shed tears for Bill's passing. This is, perhaps, the greatest loss to Spaceship Earth since the death of Buckmister Fuller in 1983. Graham Bell has published a tribute at Permaculture.co.uk.
I have been involved in discussions about improving the PiNZ website at permaculture.org.nz since about 2009, when I set up the Aotearoa Permaculture Network project on CoActivate.org to provide email lists for bioregional networks, intending to supplement the forum and events calendar offered by the existing website. I became more actively involved in 2012 when I joined the PiNZ Council.
I just stumbled on an inspiring "ecological landscape" project in California, USA.
"The Growing Commons is a 7500 sq ft landscape that was previously a water guzzling lawn for over 50 years. In 2015, the Claremont Friends Quaker Meeting decided that maintaining such as lawn in California (especially during a historic drought) was against the ideals of their beliefs, and sought to replace their lawn with a California appropriate landscape that would also benefit the community."
If you go to the Metservice website and click on the town or city nearest to you, you will see a little panel of 'this month is your garden' advice to the right-hand side of the weather report. It's a neat little feature, with tabs covering 'getting started', 'veges', 'flowers', 'fruits', and 'pests', and a good way for the ordinary kiwi checking the weather to get exposed to gardening information aimed at beginners.
I just stumbled across a video on YouTube where a UK permaculturists uses a simple hand-drawn diagram to explain the basic ecological principles that underpin permaculture growing techniques, principles like succession, the ecological services given by different plants, and mutually-benficial interactions of plant guilds, and the effect of soil Ph and microbiotic communities on what can grow there. Online video is highly accessible medium for teaching new concepts, especially to visual learners.
Rosemary Penwarden of Oil Free Otago was interviewed recently on the RadioNZ programme Our 'Changing World' about the new community workspace in North East Valley, Ōtepoti (Dunedin), where ordinary gas guzzlers are being converted into electric vehicles:
The website Positive News recently published an article called 'Five innovative ideas from Paris’s DIY climate change convention', which shared some innovative, low-cost designs from the POC21 design convention.
The Aotearoa Permaculture Network (APM) welcomes you all to participate in a new space hosted by Loomio.org, which we can use to make decisions together about the future of the APN and the services it promotes. You can join here:
An inspiring article from TED Fellow Karen Eng:
'How we can curb climate change by turning waste into gourmet mushrooms'
"Social entrepreneur Trang Tran is teaching Vietnamese farmers how to use rice straw as a substrate to grow gourmet mushrooms, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and give farmers a new source of income."