Posts filed under ‘Permaculture’

Stop the Leakage: How food-centered urban design solves economic challenges

Stop the Leakage: How food-centered urban design solves economic challengesWhat happens when you eat the wrong food over and over again? We call it “leakage.” Leakage is when capital exits the economy rather than remaining in it. Our current food system as designed (or left un-designed) is a constant source of leakage for our cities and a missed opportunity for urban planners.

What if city designs included space for urban farming to provide a percentage of the calories required by their inhabitants? What if the community saw urban farming as an opportunity for economic growth and employment? What if the local government spent the same amount of money on the education, distribution, and land leasing to create food related jobs as it did on to attracting big businesses?

Let’s consider how much money could be kept in the local economy by creating our own urban food plan, giving local farmers the opportunity to supply the food sold at local grocery stores and restaurants.

Read Stop the Leakage: How food-centered urban design solves economic challenges by Nathan Pickard at Strong Towns.

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February 19, 2018 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

The ABCD’s of Agroecology: What Is It All About?

Agroecological farmers use many practices you’ll find on organic farms, but what tends to set them apart is that they also design their fields, year after year, with a mix of crops, animals, and non-crop plants that lead to more resilient and lower-risk operations with less chemicals, irrigation, energy, and waste. And research (here, for example) is showing that these efforts pay off – in production, environmental metrics, and dollars.

Read The ABCD’s of Agroecology: What Is It All About? by Marcia DeLonge at The Union of Concerned Scientists

January 24, 2018 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

For Humans, Bugs and Beauty — An Urban Food Forest Demonstration

“This place is famous. People loving coming by here because at any time of year you can get something to eat.” Architect Mark Lakeman, co-founder of the City Repair project, gives a tour of the corner sidewalk outside his Portland office building, where a food forest is bursting with life. A diagram shows where over 80 plants are located in six or seven vertical layers. Tall fruit trees, flowers, a grape arbor, herbs, berries, small vegetables, and ground cover are abundant.

Related: TD Tree Days: Building an edible forest  Dozens of environmentally conscious residents showed up with shovel in hand to help the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the Raisin Region Conservation Authority plant trees for TD Tree Days.

September 18, 2017 at 9:50 am 1 comment

The Importance of Developing a Sense of Territory

Bahia in Salvador, Brazil, during the 1890s, vintage engraving. Old engraved illustration of the coast of Bahia.

Compared to modern-day western societies which are more defined by migrations and mobility, indigenous cultures have their lives and livelihoods demarcated by the specific conditions and context of their places.
While these sorts of territorial limitations may seem to us westerners as undesirable and adverse, indigenous peoples have developed a rich cultural heritage founded on connection to place. Learning how to live in territory and connected to the limitations and possibilities of place is one of our most urgent tasks.

Read The Importance of Developing a Sense of Territory by Tobias Roberts at Permaculture News.

August 30, 2017 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

Permaculture As a Political Act

renewable-energyWhile many of us come to permaculture for a sense of independence, a way of becoming self-sufficient and responsible for our own destinies, by no means does that explain the gravity of what we are really doing, what in fact permaculture was intended to do. In a larger political context, we are replacing societal systems that have become toxic and damaging in favor of something—permaculture—that accepts only that which is positive and productive for everyone (and thing). Looking at the manner in which greater society produces food, builds homes, dispenses energy, and creates waste, permaculture puts us directly at odds with the politics, theories and proponents of most modern lives.

This is not just a trendy word or nifty means of designing we are embracing but rather an upheaval of what is, and there is nothing so political as change.

Read Permaculture As a Political Act by Jonathan Engels at Permaculture News.

November 7, 2016 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Can agroecology feed the world and save the planet?

africaThe big question often asked is: can agroecological farming really feed the world, with the global population hurtling towards 9.6 billion by 2050? It’s clear that there’s increasing evidence it could.

A landmark 2001 study by Jules Pretty and Rachel Hine examined 208 projects from 52 countries and found yield increases of 50-100% for rain-fed crops like maize. The cases studied involved 9 million farmers on around 3% of all of the farmed land in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the increases were typically bigger at lower yields, indicating greater benefits for the poorest farmers.

Read Can agroecology feed the world and save the planet? by Henrietta Moore at The Guardian.

 


“The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

Sunday, October 16, 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Knox-St Paul’s United Church, 800 – 12th St West (off McConnell)

Join Transition Cornwall +Food Action Group, All Things Food SDG Community Food Network, and Knox – St. Paul’s United Church for a FREE day of discussion, learning, and food in celebration of United Nations World Food Day 2016.

In honour of World Food Day, we have invited special guest, Kate Green from USC Canada, to address this year’s theme “The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” Key talking points will include food production, globalization, climate change, and the role of local versus global communities. For anyone curious about the local versus global food system issues and opportunities, this is a presentation and discussion not to miss!

Following Kate Green’s presentation, we will host “Frugal Food Preservation”, a hands-on educational activity to help attendees learn the basic for harvest food preservation. If you have ever wanted to learn to pickle, ferment or dehydrate, our experts will be on site to help guide and answer all of your questions. 

Soup, bread, and refreshments will be provided courtesy of Transition Cornwall +.

October 10, 2016 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better

lawnmowerWhile nobody is suggesting that we inherently begin detesting grass, growing it on the scale we do and with all that effort to keep it cleanly cut, fertilized and free of weeds, i.e. natural biodiversity, is proving a huge burden on the planet, its animals (who aren’t allowed to graze on lawns), and the people so determined to have a perfectly picturesque front garden. Amazingly, we have found a way to both destroy the environment and ruin animal habitat, all the while giving ourselves heaps of work without any real return on the effort.

But, there is a revolution afoot, and it’s not about whether or not the grass is greener here or there but reinventing the lawn itself. In a word, we are revolutionary real estate spectators who notice the productive potential of these open spaces around our homes, and we are making gardens abundant with food and with a splendid array of colors, species, flowers, microclimates, water catchments, animal habitats, and patios (for the humans). Rather than crushing the spirit of nature, mowing her down every weekend, we are encouraging new growth, and new thinking, our minds not locked into the “need” to prove we can grow grass. We are not a cult, but rather cultivators, and we are looking for people to join us.

Read Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better by Jonathan Engels at Permaculture News.

June 27, 2016 at 10:29 am 1 comment

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