Posts filed under ‘Permaculture’

RetroSuburbia talk by David Holmgren

Co-founder of the permaculture movement, David Holmgren, encourages permaculture activists to focus their energies on retrofitting suburbia for an energy descent future. David argues that the opportunities to retrofit are so much more important than new buildings because of the limits to debt based growth.

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May 28, 2018 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

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.

February 19, 2018 at 12:20 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

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

How to Make a Productive Patio

It would be great if we all had an acre or two, the time, and inclination to grow our own food, but the realities of the day are that the majority of people have moved into more confined, urban and suburban settings in order to be closer to jobs, entertainment, school districts, conveniences, and whatever else tickles our fancies. It’s the world as it is: Over half of us live in cities and suburbs.

While this can be a bit restricting when it comes to home food production, it certainly doesn’t spell the end to it. For every suburban lawn, there could be a beautiful herb spiral providing fresh, medicinal ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For every bathroom, kitchen window, or sunny corner of the living room, there could be productive, edible houseplants. Then, those small outdoor spaces like patios and balconies can be amazingly abundant as well.

Read How to Make a Productive Patio by Jonathan Engels at Permaculture News.

May 2, 2016 at 9:23 am 1 comment

Plant a Perennial ‘Backbone’ for Your Vegetable Garden

A perennial “backbone” will not only increase the aesthetic qualities of your vegetable garden landscape, but it will also welcome all kinds of beneficial insects and animals to your garden.

Illustration by Holly Ward Bimba

Illustration by Holly Ward Bimba

Elderberries, gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, black currants, boysenberries and rose hips are great, colorful fruits to grow in your garden.

A great many trees, shrubs, vines, hedgerows, vegetables, and herbs can serve the garden landscape as backbone plants, establishing a multistory environment that creates microclimates and habitats. They set the stage by welcoming birds, beneficial insects, earthworms, garter snakes, and toads to make their homes and raise their young in and near the food garden.

Read Plant a Perennial ‘Backbone’ for Your Vegetable Garden by Tammi Hartung in Mother Earth News.

May 11, 2015 at 12:32 am 1 comment

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