Sunday, June 6, 2010
Permaculture Design Course
December 3 – 18, 2010
Tanjung Sutera Resort
Kota Kinggi, Johor Malaysia
with Darren Doherty and Christian Shearer
This full 72-hour certified Permaculture Design Course will consist of a broad range of topics applicable to life anywhere on this planet, yet will be tailored to the needs of the students at hand. Participants will help to co-create the design of edible forests gardens, natural buildings, water catchment and irrigation systems, as well as actively implement on the hosting land.
An easy drive from Singapore, in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia, the Tanjung Sutera Resort is an ideal location for a permaculture design course. Situated on a seaside cliff, this resort is looking to the future, hoping to produce a higher percentage of its own food, capture more of its own water, and to generally operate in a more sustainable manner. The course is one step toward that vision for them.
Permaculture courses are fairly standardized as far as content. The 72 hours of course work required to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate will be covered over a two week period, mixing hands-on with plenty of in-classroom studies. All students are required to be present for the full two weeks if they wish to receive the certificate. We will cover every major topic in Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: a Designers Manual, including:
Philosophies and Ethics underlying permaculture.
Basic permaculture principals to help guide us in our designs.
Patterns in Nature, and how to use them in design.
Methods of design. How to go from a good idea, to a functional, beautiful, diverse ecosystem.
Climactic factors. We will cover all the major climates and how to work with them.
Trees, forests, and why we want to mimic their systems.
Water: catchment, usage, importance, and conservation.
Soil, minerals, microorganisms, building new soil, and preventing erosion.
Earthworks: How to shape the land to help achieve the goals we are aiming for, including an in-depth session on Keyline Design with Darren Doherty.
Aquaculture – Using water for food production, irrigation, beauty and habitat, all from one pond.
Energy Efficient Structures and Natural Building – We will touch on the many forms of natural building and energy efficient design that make a structure so much more functional.
Alternative Systems: community living, economics, appropriate technology and other ways of choosing to live differently that work well for people and the planet.
The course is being conducted in Partnership with The Panya Project, a permaculture education center located outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. Founder and Managing Director, Christian Shearer will be one of the lead instructors and coordinator for the course. With over five years of tropical permaculture experience and his passion for the subject matter, he brings the course to life. This is his second time teaching a PDC in Malaysia.
Teaming up with Christian for this course is Australian native, and avid Keyline Designer, Darren Doherty. Founder of Felix Permaculture, Darren has extensive experience across the world in Permaculture project design, development & management. A career-long focus on the profitable retrofit of broadacre agricultural landscapes has seen Darren acclaimed as a pioneer in this important & often overlooked field. He is a registered Teacher of The Permaculture Insitute (AU), Certified Whole Farm Planner (University of Melbourne), Approved Keyline™ Designer, Accredited Permaculture Trainer (APT ™) & Certified Workplace Training & Assessment. Darren has been involved in design & development of over 1300, mostly broadacre projects across 5 continents in 36 countries, ranging from 1 million hectare cattle stations in Australia’s Kimberly to 110,000 acre Estancia’s in Patagonia, EcoVillage developments in Tasmania to Public:Private R&D Agroforestry & Education projects in Vietnam.
The costs for the course include three vegetarian meals per day (occasional meat for our omnivores), fruit and tea during break time, and full accommodation for the fifteen nights of the course. All rooms include air-conditioning, private bathrooms,. All guests will have free access to the swimming pool, and wifi access (in certain areas). Transportation to and from Johor Baru is also included, if needed.
There are many different housing options and the prices vary accordingly.
Shared room (two twin beds)................$1350 per person
Double room (two people – one bed).........$2550 ($1250 per person)
Shared Suite (6-8 people, book together)...$1250 each
*If you would like to bring your family, you are more than welcome, ask about pricing. The above prices assume that each person will be taking the course, but that need not be the case.
*NGO staff get $250 off any of the above prices. (limited spaces available)
*Couples get $100 off per person, as reflected in the price of the double room.
To Register for this Course:
Please contact Christian Shearer at:
Please don’t hesitate with any questions. We expect to fill this course so sign up soon!
Also, please feel free to download the pdf version of this info from the Panya Project website. You should find both the one page flier and the four page description, Please share them with anyone who might be interested.
More about the instructors for the course:
Darren J. Doherty has extensive experience across the world in Permaculture project design, development & management. A career-long focus on the profitable retrofit of broadacre agricultural landscapes has seen Darren acclaimed as a pioneer in this important & often overlooked field. He is a registered Teacher of The Permaculture Insitute (AU), Certified Whole Farm Planner (University of Melbourne), Approved Keyline™ Designer, Accredited Permaculture Trainer (APT ™) & Certified Workplace Training & Assessment. Darren has been involved in design & development of over 1300, mostly broadacre projects across 5 continents in 36 countries, ranging from 1 million hectare cattle stations in Australia’s Kimberly to 110,000 acre Estancia’s in Patagonia, EcoVillage developments in Tasmania to Public:Private R&D Agroforestry & Education projects in Viet Nam, Family Farms across the world, with a range of private, corporate, government & non-profit clients. More recently Darren has been the originator of Keyline Design, Carbon Farming, Carbon Economy & Regenerative Agriculture courses across Europe, North America & Oceania. Darren also holds positions outside of Australia Felix Permaculture and is a Patron of Fundacion + Arboles (España), Project Manager of Carbon Culcha (Australia) & Vice President of New Soil Security Inc. (USA) and Originator of the Regenerative Agriculture Group. This wide experience has created an international reputation of achievement plus an enviable & expansive network that integrates many disciplines.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Christian Shearer is the founder and Managing Director of the Panya Project. He has over six years of permaculture experience, working and living at Lost Valley Education Center outside of Eugene, Oregon, and now residing at the Panya Project in northern Thailand for over five years (by the time of the course). He is a permaculture consultant, with Broadacre International, a natural builder, a food forest enthusiast, a musician, a certified educator and has extensive knowledge of tropical permaculture systems. He has taught ten PDC courses, in four countries and is excited to continue sharing his passion for a better world and learning from all involved!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
2. The 9th International Permaculture Convergence (IPC9b). Lilongwe, Malawi; 2 to 5 November 2009
3. The 9th International Permaculture Conference (IPC9c). Lilongwe, Malawi; 6 November 2009
4. The 9th International Permaculture Site Tour (IPC9d). Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa; 7 to 30 November 2009. (You can choose to participate in segments of the trip).
Mugove Walter Nyika
The Regional Schools and Colleges Permaculture (ReSCOPE) Programme
P.O. Box 32280
Tel: +2651 831 373
Fax: +2651 831 363
Mobile: +2659 788 373
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The Story of the Tree (by Gregory Rosen)
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a giant craggy tree stretched its gnarled limbs over the small village of Paan-yah.
The limbs attacked the villagers' cottages and gardens. The roots erupted violently from the ground to collapse walls and damage crops.
The villagers fought the growth with bitter prejudice, struggling to hack and slice the ever encroaching behemoth. The monstrous weed was known as "The Tree of Repugnance".
The villagers became desperate. The darkness and roots of the tree threatened their very existence.
As the adults continued their daily arguments on how to destroy the menace one little boy named "Banananana" timidly approached a much ignored village elder for advice.
Old, wrinkly, "Bobbarundum" grinned widely, with his weathered skin, long forked beard and rotted teeth. His warm gaze gave the boy confidence to come closer.
"Banananana, it's been so long since I've had company. Do come in and have some tea...and tell me what's on your mind." the old man said.
"It's the Tree of Repugnance! Haven't you noticed?! How can we save the village?!" the boy squeaked.
"Well, I'm just an old, forgotten pile of bones, but perhaps you could ask the River to the East...she's always been good to me in the past..." the old man said slowly.
"What?! What do you mean - 'ask the River to the East?!' Rivers don't talk!" the boy said, incredulously.
"You'd be surprised what talks back when you ask directly and listen with an open heart." the old man said, wisely.
Still a little confused, the boy said, "Alright Bobbarundum, I'll give it a try...Nothing to lose, I guess. Just, don't tell my parents; they don't approve of us kids meddling in their affairs." the boy said.
"Mum's the word." said the old man said as he watched Banananana trot off into the cool, moss laden forest to consult the River Spirit to the East.
The river tumbled and bubbled, frothed and fizzled and trickled softly in some places too.
Banananana sat for a while on a log near the water's edge and, finally, in his most grown-up sounding voice said, "Mrs. River spirit...if it's not too much trouble, will you please drown the Tree of Repugnance to save our village?"
The river answered him sweetly, her voice smooth and flowing, "Dear boy, watch how I move with ease around the rocks and bends. I will not drown the tree you speak of, but instead ask you to consider working with nature, not against it. Look into my sparkly blue depths for a magic sign to use on the tree."
注視著她的河水， Banananana看著並練習那個神奇的手勢，一邊默唸著向東流之河的話語，「與自然共處，而非對抗他；與自然共處，而非對抗他.......。」Peering into her waters, Banananana saw and practiced the magic sign while mouthing the words "Work With Nature, Not Against It..."
The river then said "It is one of the heritage signs, once known by all of your people, but now long forgotten. The magic signs, used in combination, can bring great change. Now go seek the Soil Spirit for another magic sign."
Encouraged by the lesson the River Spirit had taught him, Banananana sped off back into the forest to a place where he knew the soil was a deep, dark, red-brown hue, teaming with life.
On his hands and knees he implored, "Mr. Soil Spirit, show me the next sign so that I might help you suffocate and bury the Tree of Repugnance in an earthen grave!"
The Soil Spirit answered him in a low, rumbling, rocky voice, "I will not bury the tree you speak of, but instead urge you to consider how the plants, fungus, worms and bugs all live and work together. The magic sign I will teach you captures the power of how everything gardens."
Peering into the soil community, Banananana saw and practiced the 2nd Heritage sign while mouthing the words, "Everything Gardens."
Beaming with pleasure, the Soil Spirit told the boy to find the next sign by talking with the sun.
Climbing the tallest hill he could find, Banananana let the blazing noon sun shine radiantly upon his young, naive face.
Humbled by the blinding light he asked, rather meekly, "Sun Spirit, would you please show me your Heritage Sign and...torch the Tree of Repugnance with your mighty heat?!"
The Sun Spirit answered him in a booming, fiery voice, "I will burn NO such things! BUT instead will urge you to notice how my life giving rays touch the land, providing a bounty of infinite yield."
And, in the sun's rays, the boy saw the 3rd Heritage Sign and practiced it while mouthing the words "Infinite Yield".
Banananana did as the sun directed and called out, "Mrs. Wind Spirit, show me your magic Heritage sign and...blow down the nasty Tree of Repugnance!"
The wind answered him in a howl, "I will not blow down the tree you speak of, but instead will ask you to watch how the birds use little effort when flying upon my wind streams to dance, glide, coast and swoop! This is called, leverage."
Eyes searching the skies, Banananana started in amazement as a flock of crows flew in unison to show him the 4th Heritage sign.
Banananana saw and practiced the sign while mouthing the word, "Leverage".
The wind then remarked, "There is a fifth sign I have heard of, but know not where it lies."
The boy thanked the wind profusely and decided to ask old Bobbarundum for advice once again.
Filled with excitement and wonder at his adventures, the boy skipped happily to Bobbarundum's door, knocking loudly and vigorously, and shouting impatiently, "No time for tea, no time for tea! I've got to find the 5th sign!"
「我的天呀，你說的手勢確實喚起了我的回憶，可是，我不知道其他了。我們總是有時間來喝茶的。所以，休息一下，喝杯茶，分享一下你偉大的探險。」Bobbarundum eased his old, brittle frame over to the door and welcomed the boy in with his warm, rot toothed grin. "My, my! Your talk of signs does tickle my memory bone, but...can't say I know any more. Here now. There is always time for tea. So, settle down, have some tea and tell me of your splendid adventures.
Banananana eagerly shared his story and showed the old man the 4 Heritage signs he had learned, imploring Bobbarundum for advice on the 5th sign.
"Funny...but all I can muster is the image of a tree. Hmmmmm. Why don't you go down and show the signs to the tree in the village. Certainly won't make the situation any worse than it already is..."
Somewhat disappointed, Banananana thanked the old man for his delicious banana tea and headed back into the village, but with some confusion, caution and hesitation.
Heeding the old man's advice, he timidly crept up to the horrid Tree of Repugnance, gathering his courage to address the massive monstrosity.
"Um, Mr. Uh, Tree...um, spirit? ...Behold my magic signs and fear them!!"
The tree spirit answered him in a deep, slow, baritone voice, "Well, well, my young friend, it's been a long time since someone has spoken to me. I see you have some magic and perhaps I can add a bit of my own...You see, I wasn't always the "Tree of Repugnance" Not so many generations ago, I was the "Tree of Abundance", and the people let my long lanky limbs stretch and grow to produce all sorts of delicious treats like, apples, cupcakes, tofu, roast beef and beer! After generations of cutting my branches back before they could fruit...(in order to protect their bland tasting mono crops), the villagers have forgotten my incredible bounty. It is here, standing before me that you can plainly see that your problem is the solution. My twisting branches can show you the 5th and final Heritage sign."
Banananana was enthralled by the tree's magnificent story. He watched closely as the tree performed the sign and practiced it while mouthing the words "The Problem Is The Solution."
The old tree then remarked, "When performed all together, these (5) Heritage Signs are a powerful, powerful force and resource to guide you in your journeys, my young friend."
Finally understanding, Banananana thanked the tree with his whole heart and ran off to relay to the villagers everything he had learned.
With the help of old Bobbarundum, he convinced the still desperate villagers to let the tree grow and provide its tasty and nutritious treats.
The villagers all rejoiced and celebrated as they watched the Tree of Repugnance transform back into the Tree of Abundance.
From that day forward, the villagers never again forgot the uses of the Magic Heritage Signs and the wisdom contained within them. They joyfully taught this wisdom to all future generations as a tool to propagate harmony throughout the land.
As Banananana later told his children's children, "...with these 5 signs, go forth and spread beauty, life, love and compassion!"
Monday, April 27, 2009
As usual, I am Peak Oil biased.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at White House
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of the South Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden, the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets — the president does not like them — but arugula will make the cut.
While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national concern.
“My hope,” the first lady said in an interview in her East Wing office, “is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”
Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot plot, in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It is just below the Obama girls’ swing set.)
Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will also help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs. Virtually the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said with a laugh. “Now Grandma, my mom, I don’t know.” Her mother, she said, will probably sit back and say: “Isn’t that lovely. You missed a spot.”
Whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.
Then, too, promoting healthful eating has become an important part of Mrs. Obama’s own agenda.
The first lady, who said that she had never had a vegetable garden, recalled that the idea for this one came from her experiences as a working mother trying to feed her daughters, Malia and Sasha, a good diet. Eating out three times a week, ordering a pizza, having a sandwich for dinner all took their toll in added weight on the girls, whose pediatrician told Mrs. Obama that she needed to be thinking about nutrition.
“He raised a flag for us,” she said, and within months the girls had lost weight.
Dan Barber, an owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an organic restaurant in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., that grows many of its own ingredients, said: “The power of Michelle Obama and the garden can create a very powerful message about eating healthy and more delicious food. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it could translate into real change.”
While the Clintons grew some vegetables in pots on the White House roof, the Obamas’ garden will far transcend that, with 55 varieties of vegetables — from a wish list of the kitchen staff — grown from organic seedlings started at the Executive Mansion’s greenhouses.
The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro, tomatillos and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter, Charlie Brandts, who is a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey.
The total cost of seeds, mulch and so forth is $200, said Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef, who prepared healthful meals for the Obama family in Chicago and is an advocate of local food. Mr. Kass will oversee the garden.
The plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost, crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay, lime and green sand. Ladybugs and praying mantises will help control harmful bugs.
Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s executive chef, said she was eager to plan menus around the garden, and Bill Yosses, the pastry chef, said he was looking forward to berry season.
The White House grounds crew and the kitchen staff will do most of the work, but other White House staff members have volunteered.
So have the fifth graders from Bancroft. “There’s nothing really cooler,” Mrs. Obama said, “than coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work.”
For children, she said, food is all about taste, and fresh and local food tastes better.
“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that you’ll ever eat,” she said. “And my children know the difference, and that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things.
“I wanted to be able to bring what I learned to a broader base of people. And what better way to do it than to plant a vegetable garden in the South Lawn of the White House?”
For urban dwellers who have no backyards, the country’s one million community gardens can also play an important role, Mrs. Obama said.
But the first lady emphasized that she did not want people to feel guilty if they did not have the time for a garden: there are still many changes they can make.
“You can begin in your own cupboard,” she said, “by eliminating processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables.”