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Permaculture - Feeding People in Hard Times


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Permaculture - Feeding People in Hard Times

Permaculture - Feeding People in Hard Times

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  • 1. Feeding People in Hard Times: What does permaculture have to offer?By Michael Pilarski PART IDecember 26, 2007 version "All people deserve recognition and respect for their unique value." Growing Gardens, Portland, Oregon.Friends of the Trees SocietyPO Box 253 “Solutions to hunger and poverty can be found at the grass-Twisp, WA 98856 roots level and the communities have the ability to for themselves if equipped with the proper resources.” National Hunger Clearinghouse.This article is on my website in a printable "Social justice requires that all the peoples of the earth have an equal right and access to the resources of the earth; per- manence requires that all future generations - an indefiniteIntroduction: number of them - have the same rights too.” Winin Pereira from the 1993 edition of his book “From Western ScienceThis article is intended for a number of readerships: to Liberation Technology”. Earthcare Books, Bombay.1. The staff and volunteers of hunger organizations. I Ask any person who runs a food bank in the US and theywould like to make you aware of some possible ways to will tell you that the handwriting is on the wall. There was aincrease food security for your constituencies. You may large surge in people showing up at food banks in 2007 andbe aware of many of the social policies included here, but at the same time there was a reduction in food donations. 35less familiar with the gardening methods promoted by per- million people in the USA were on food aid in 2007. Tomaculture. paraphrase one writer: It isnt just the poor who are hungry, now it is working people too. We know there is going to be2. The permaculture movement. Permaculture has three a continuing wave of foreclosures in the next several years.main ethics: a) care of people; b) care of land; c) dispersal Most financial institutions are predicting recession whileof surplus. Permaculturists in general are well aware of other insiders in the financial industry are predicting anotherthe gardening techniques listed here, but many do not "Great Depression" or worse. Chances are we are going toknow of the range of social programs outlined here. This see a lot more poor people in the USA soon. How are theyarticle hopes to stimulate more permaculture involvement going to eat in a society with escalating food costs and a re-in serving food at-risk populations. duction in food bank assistance? Overall food prices rose 20% in 2007 and some items even doubled in price. Bushs3. The general gardening public. All gardeners will be administration has reduced food aid and related programs.well served to increase their social-justice awareness and Even if the government decided to change its ways and pro-gardening skills. This article aims to do both. vide sufficient funds to feed everybody, what kind of food would it provide them?Part I discusses some of the food crises facing the generalpublic and food at-risk populations in the US. Urgency: Even more worrisome is that international foodPart II lists some of the popular movements arising out of prices went up an unprecedented 40% in 2007 after a 9% in-the public to address the food crisis. Resources and exam- crease in 2006. This is information from the UN FAO.ples tend to be from the Pacific Northwest. Whole nations, such as Bengladesh, are now finding them-Part III briefly introduces permaculture and lists some selves in a food shortage. Food rioting is starting to happenpractical, on-the-ground techniques to increase local food in Mexico and other countries. Make no mistake. This is aproduction. Where and how do we grow local food. deepening crisis which is likely to get much worse. 1 to 2 billion people could be facing starvation if this continues.Permaculture is a design science for creating sustainablehuman habitats and societies. Working with nature to A world where people starve to death is no longer accepta-create beautiful, productive, healthy ecosystems. Building ble. Current world food production is enough to feed every-symbiotic relationships between flora and fauna as well as one. People starve to death not because there is no foodwithin human societies. available. People starve to death because they cant afford the food or it is withheld from them. This article outlines some of the steps that need to be taken to decentralize food production and make food production ecologically sound. Heathy food grown on healthy land by healthy people in a healthy society. Permaculture is in some ways the antithesis of globalization. Under globalization the markets are filled with food and things from all around the world with a mi-
  • 2. nority being produced locally. In permaculture the mar- far is our society going to get in solving poverty if we feedkets are filled with food and things produced locally with people poor-quality, de-vitalized food? Unfortunately poor-a minority being imported from elsewhere in the world. quality, de-vitalized food is consumed by almost everyone,Local resources used for local production, local con- rich and poor alike. There are growing numbers of healthsumption, and, dare we say it, locally-owned. Democrat- food enthusiasts but cost and availability combined with re-ic production of the food supply is one of the require- lentless, agribusiness advertizing means most people con-ments for a truly free citizenry. Almost everywhere has tinue to eat low-quality food. The vast majority of foodthe capacity to be a garden of Eden with abundant consumed in the USA is highly processed, grown by indus-healthy food produced by local gardeners and farmers. trial agriculture in de-mineralized soil and much of it car-This article is generally addressed to the situation of ries a burden of pesticides, herbicides, additives and variouslow-income, marginalized, minority, and oppressed pop- other accumulative poisons. There is no doubt that the foodulations. People who are currently food at-risk. Many supply is one of the main causes of our countrys high ratespeople involved in the local food security movement are of cancer, obesity and ill health.motivated by a concern for future food supplies. This ar-ticle is addressed to people who are concerned about cur- Most people in the US are incredibly dependent on the sys-rent food supplies - eating today, this week, next month. tem for their food supply. Never before have people been soThey may be as much as 10% of the people in the US alienated from their foods production. Current food produc-and between one and two billion people in the world as a tion, processing and distribution is dependent on massivewhole. Hunger has a big constituency. fossil fuel inputs. The food system is largely under the con- trol of profit-minded, giant agribusiness corporations andToday, many low-income people live in what are called dependent on a complex web of communications infrastruc-"food deserts". A food desert has a lack of high-quality ture. We have very little control of our food supply andfood. Food sources are often convenience stores and gas most people only have several weeks of food on hand. Thisstations. The supermarkets there have limited choice, lack of local food production is dangerous for the populace.poor-quality food and high prices. Food deserts are lo- Food production itself is becoming increasingly disruptedcated in inner-city areas and in numerous small towns by climate changes, floods, droughts, etc. Centralized foodand rural areas around the country. No wonder that most systems also give authoritarian governments leverage inlow-income people dont eat healthy food. controlling their populations. No wonder more people are getting concerned about local food security - and well theyFood banks and other emergency food systems are an should. Our current food system is a recipe for disaster. Inimportant part of the food supply for many people. Food the face of all this, people are beginning to create solutions.banks give out varying qualities of food. Some of the Growing food locally is obviously a patriotic thing to do asquality is good but lots of it is not. Still, they have to do well as for the personal benefits. This article lists some ofthe best they can with what they have. The proportion of the many ways communities are re-building local food sys-fresh fruits and vegetables at food banks has grown a lot tems and also hints at what permaculture has to recent years as the food banks have been forging newalliances with local farmers. Another big source of food Peak Food.for the food banks are the cast-offs from the grocery in- In October, 2006 I wrote an article on Peak Food and it isdustry, mostly out-of-date and damaged cans and pro- posted in a pdf format on my website. It contains 20 rea-cessed food. This stream of supply has been greatly re- sons why global food production has probably alreadyduced in recent years because now much of it is sold peaked under current agricultural policies. It believe it maythrough remainder grocery outlets. Another source in de- have peaked in 2004. If peak food is true and we are on thecline is the USDA food commodities program which downward slope that means more people will be joining thebuys excess production from farmers as part of its farm food at-risk category. program and gives it to the food bank networks. peak_food.htmThe value of the foods donated from this federal pro-gram has dropped from around $250 millon to $150 mil- Fortunately there are solutions to our food problems.lion in the last two years because the market for farm Permaculture offers the principles, methodology, strategies,products is robust and there is little surplus. In fact, the techniques and knowledge of plant species which can helpworlds grain surplus recently hit its lowest point in 40 implement sustainable systems using local resources where-years. The recent development of using farm crops by poor people can feed themselves a diet far superior to(corn, soybeans) to produce energy (methyl alcohol, bio- what is offered them today. This article focuses on how per-diesel) is bidding the price of food out of the range of maculture can help feed the low-income amd marginalizedpoor people. Since the energy crops are international parts of the population, but what is proposed here will helpcommodities this has international as well as national re- all of society. It is in the interests of all sectors of society topercussions. create socially-just, sustainable, local systems of food. Many grass-roots movements are arising to meet the in-Consider that the Montana WIC (Women and Infants) terwoven set of food crises. Food banks, community hungerprogram has just decided that WIC food coupons cannot organizations, emergency food systems and related move-be used to buy organic food. Mothers are required to buy ments such as the urban gardening movement and commu-the cheapest, non-organic brand available. WICs expla- nity gardens. Remember the old saying that it is better tonation is that they have to stretch limited funds and or- teach a person to fish than to give them a fish. Same withganic food is too expensive. Community hunger activists vegetables and gardeningfought for years to get WIC to allow organic food. How Permaculture can be useful to all these movements be-
  • 3. include the military/industrial/financial complex, their gov-cause of its expertise in growing food and site-specific ernment lackeys, their control of mass media, drugs (phar-design. Permaculture can be practiced by anyone - poor, maceutical and illegal), and societal ignorance, apathy, self-middle-class or rich and will improve the quality of life ishness, etc. However, I am optimistic because I feel therefor all of them. Permaculture design can be applied at all is a new force afoot in humanity. It is a force that is open-scales including: yard, neighborhood, city and county ing more and more hearts to make decisions based on lovelevels; as well as small and large farms. and intuition. One could say that the divine feminine princi- ple is expanding peoples hearts. If enough people open Food-related, their hearts then wars, dictators and totalitarian govern- ments will become impossible. social movements: There is little doubt that hard times lie ahead. There is little doubt that the system will try to repress and stop popular[Please note that the popular social movements (loosely movements and trends. Yet, the forces of common sense,defined) listed here often have little or nothing to do self-preservation and a sense of justice are strong and grow-with permaculture per se though individual permacultur- ing. Society has seen a lot of inoculation of sustainable ide-ists may be involved. as in the past 40 years. There are millions of people in the. US and around the world who are devoting their lives to1) Urban gardening movement. creating alternatives in every facet of life; health, food, edu-2) Community gardens. cation, housing, energy, social systems, spirituality and so3) Youth gardens. forth. The world wide internet is increasingly linking us up4) Conversion of vacant land to food production. and making our positive solutions more known.5) Food security and hunger organizations6) Small farmer proliferation and organization.7) CSA farms. Three sources that indicate the size and breadth8) Farmland preservation. of the worlds popular movements are:9) Farmette rentals.10) Farm internship programs. Resource - Organization11) Training programs in permaculture, organic, bio- World Social Forumintensive and other sustainable gardening and farming The World Social Forum is the most developed manifesta-12) Farmers markets. tion thus far of the global, social justice movement. The13) Eat local movement. World Social Forum was founded in Porto Allegro, Brazil14) Gleaning programs. in 2001 and has become the worlds largest international15) Wildcrafting. gathering of peoples movements and NGOs. The 200716) Food banks WSF in Nairobi involved 75,000 people. It is the awaken-17) Plant an Extra Row programs. ing of a new, decentralized society that could replace cur-18) Cost-sharing programs for permaculture design. rent, centralized, power structures. The World Social For-19) Community education about healthy diets. um is an open meeting place for reflective thinking,20) Return to traditional diets. formulation of proposals, and interlinking for effective ac-21) Food co-ops. tion, by groups and movements of civil society that are op-22) Food buying clubs. posed to neoliberalism and to domination of the world by23) Barter Fairs. capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to24) Farm to cafeteria programs. building a planetary society directed towards fruitful rela-25) School gardens. tionships among Humankind and between it and the Earth.26) Community food processing.27) Food storage facilities in homes and neighborhoods. Resource - Book:28) Training in conflict resolution, mediation and other Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement In the Worldskills that enable people to cooperate better. Came Into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming. PaulEach of these will be briefly addressed in Part II of this Hawkens. 2007. Viking Press New York. 352 pages. Aarticle. leading environmentalist and social activists examination of the worldwide movement for social and environmentalThese programs and movements are coming out of the changegeneral public. A movement involves large amounts ofpeople, evolves simultaneously in many places, and is Resource - Website:usually decentralized. There are community organizers WiserEarthand public support bases already growing in most of www.wiserearth.comthese fields. These solutions are already in progress and WiserEarth serves the people who are transforming thethere are many models to learn from, internationally as world. It is a community directory and networking forumwell as nationally. that maps and connects non-governmental organizations and individuals addressing the central issues of our day: cli-All of these movements are not linked up consciously mate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hun-yet, but the connections are growing. My feeling is that ger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more.these movements will strengthen and coalesce and be Their website lists 107,934 to create a better world. The obstacles are huge and
  • 4. PART II people have never heard the term permaculture, although many organic gardeners have some understanding of the term. The common garden practice of sheet mulching large- SOLUTIONS: ly came from the permaculture movement. We should also mention that suburban gardening also has Popular Movements great potential. Permaculture founder, Bill Mollison, has stated that the suburbs are the next agricultural frontier in for Food Sovereignty the US because people, fuel, land, water and inputs are al- ready concentrated there. US suburbs have similar popula- tion density to high-intensive subsistence farming areas inHere are introductions to a few popular movements other parts of the world.(there are many more) which contibute to local food pro-duction systems that are socially just and ecologically Once you start looking for resources on urban gardening ansustainable. ever-growing plethora emerges. Below are listed a few. They will in turn lead you to hundreds more.“What is Food Sovereignty? Food Sovereignty is theRIGHT of peoples, communities, and countries to define Northwest Resource:their own agricultural, labor, fishing, food and land poli- City Farmercies which are ecologically, socially, economically and www.cityfarmer.orgculturally appropriate to their unique circumstances. It 2043 Trafalgar Street, Vancouver, BC, Canadaincludes the true right to food and to produce food, (604) 685-5832which means that all people have the right to safe, nutri- City Farmer has been focusing on urban agriculture for al-tious and culturally appropriate food and to food- most 30 years and their web site is a main portal into the di-producing resources and the ability to sustain themselves verse world of growing food in a city.and their societies.” Food First.-------------------------------------------------------------------- Northwest Example:1) URBAN GARDENING MOVEMENT Backyard Farmer. Portland, Oregon.The proportion of Americans who grow vegetable gar- www.yourbackyardfarmer.comdens is smaller then it used to be, but is still significant. Donna Smith and her partner, Robyn Streeter started a busi-35% of US households (40 million households) have ness in Portland, Oregon to plant and maintain gardens insome sort of garden. Food gardening, fruit tree planting customers yards. In their first year they took on 25 gardensand edible landscaping should be encouraged and greatly and did all the work themselves. 2007 was their second yearexpanded. Urban gardening movements are huge at the and their goal of 50 farms was easily achieved. Initially,international level in both developed and developing they set up an agreement between the member and them-countries and they provide us with many examples, mod- selves as to what size plot will be planted and what foodels and lessons. will be grown. Members choose from a list of vegetables One of the more recent, and most famous, urban gar- and herbs they want on their mini-farm. Donna and Robyndening booms was in Havanna, Cuba after the Soviet then set up a time to prepare the farm space as per theUnion fell in 1990, and the US embargo intensified. A agreement and visit on a weekly basis to plant, weed, andlot of people were hungry. A large-scale gardening harvest. Farm size is determined by the amount of peoplemovement was launched and was very successful. What they are growing for. Some are for single families and oth-a lot of people dont know is that permaculture played a ers are for groups of neighbors coming together.significant role. This was the result of a permaculturegroup, PGAN (Permaculture Global Assistance Net- National Resource:work) based in Melbourne, Australia sending teams of Journey to Forever.instructors to Cuba in the beginning period of the gar- movement. PGAN established permaculture gar- Great list of books and resources for urban gardening anddens, trained people and there was a significant technol- alternatives in general.ogy transfer which was then implemented on a largescale. Today, Havanna produces up to 50% of its food Global Resource:requirements from within the city limits, all of it is or- Urban Agriculture Worldwideganic and produced by people in their homes, gardens www.urbanagricultureworldwide.comand in municipal spaces. Read more about how and why Urban agriculture is any form of food and flora productionthe Cubans made this happen at The Power of Commu- that occurs anywhere in cities, towns and villages includingnity website. They also have a popular film with that ti- that which occurs on their perimeter. A recent study by thetle. South Australian Department of Primary Industries sug- Another large-scale example is the former Soviet Un- gests that this agriculture represents up to 25% of Austra-ion when the government, economy and agriculture all lias total food production.but collapsed. The already large extent of private gar-dens expanded and produced over half of total food sup- Global Resource:plies and is what kept many people from starving to City Farmer, Worldwide organizationdeath. Permaculture has had an affect here in the Northwest "Urban Agriculture Notes" is the worlds most comprehen-but is very limited compared with the possibilities. Most sive news service on city farming from old books to the lat-
  • 5. est films about inner city food gardens, photo collec- Phone: 206-632-0352tions, reports and theses, just about anything you can im- www.sygw.orgagine related to growing food in the city. Seattle Youth Garden Works empowers homeless and un- der-served youth through garden-based education and em-Global Resource: ployment. We are a market gardening program for youthResource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food ages 14-22 in the University District and South Park neigh-Security (RUAF) borhoods. Our goals are to connect youth to housing, care, education, jobs and community.One of the larger international networks. Their UrbanAgriculture Magazine can be read on the internet. Northwest Example:-------------------------------------------------------------------- Food Works2) COMMUNITY GARDENS are an estimated 18,000 Community Gardens services.phpthroughout the United States and Canada. Seattles P- A youth employment program, Food Works engages 14-21patch program administered by the Department of year olds in all aspects of planning and running an entrepre-Neighborhoods is one of the countries most renowned neurial farm business located on an acre of METRO landcommunity garden programs. Imagine it 10 times on Sauvie Island, a 70-member community give-away gar-bigger! Almost every neighborhood can benefit from den and the Big Apple Garden Club. Working side by sidecommunity gardens, especially low-income neighbor- with Village Gardens staff, community residents, localhoods. Community gardens typically lease small plots of farmers, business owners and non-profit leaders, Foodland to individual people. There might be from as few as Works Crew Members learn business, leadership, organicten garden plots at one site up to several hundred. agriculture and other work skills. Crew Members also re- ceive school credit for their work and are supported to tran-Northwest Example: sition into other employment opportunities and post secon-Seattle P-Patch Program dary Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Program Northwest Example:provides organic community garden space for residents Youth Farmof 70 Seattle neighborhoods. These programs serve all of Seattle with an emphasis on low-income and Youth_Farm.htmlimmigrant populations and youth. Our community gar- Established in 1998 in Springfield, Oregon, the Youth Farmdens offer 2500 plots and serve more than 6000 urban is an innovative program combining hunger relief withgardeners on 23 acres of land. youth services and education. The three-acre farm provides paying work, job training and education to at-risk teenagersNorthwest example: throughout the spring and summer, and serves as an educa-St. Johns Woods Garden Project tional work site for local alternative schools and serving at-risk youth throughout the ---------------------------------------------------------------------Village Gardens includes the 7,000 square foot St. Johns 4) CONVERSION OF VACANT LAND TO FOODWoods Garden Project which enables 30 families living PRODUCTION.200% below federal poverty guidelines to grow their Every locality has vacant lots, unused right-of ways, dere-own food by providing seeds, tools, fertile land, water, lict land, brownfields, gullies, hillsides, edges, alleyways,and technical support. Housing Authority of Portland parking strips, highway verges, and so forth. The amountsproperty managers at St. Johns Woods credit the project and proportions of these areas will vary in different locali-with reducing vandalism and increasing collaborative ties. The US tends to have large amounts of un-used landsproblem solving among residents. compared to densely populated countries like China and Ja- pan where almost all tiny bits of land are under cultivationNational Resource: or management. Some of these places are better suited toAmerican Community Gardening Association native plant restoration or public space, but many can be1777 East Broad Street. Columbus OH 43203 turned into food production areas by the application of per-1-877-ASK-ACGA, 1-877-275-2242 maculture. Some of the more polluted areas need toxification treatments first or may be confined to produc-This organization exists to serve community gardens and ing resources that are not ingested. There are many pro-broaden community greening projects in general. grams already doing these sorts of conversions, but they are------------------------------------------------------------------- a drop in the bucket of what is possible. Finding land for3) YOUTH GARDENS poor people to garden is not an easy task given current, pri-Community gardens specifically for at-risk youth and vate property attitudes but there is gradual progress. Vari-street people. Training for eventual employment is an ous ways of implementing land reform are needed. If peo-important facet of some programs. ple are desperate enough various kinds of squatting arise.Northwest Example: Northwest Example:Seattle Youth Garden Works Seattle Streetside Garden Contest5700 Sixth Avenue South, Suite 207 strip.htmSeattle, WA 98108 The city of Seattle in 2008 is expanding its policy of en-
  • 6. couraging gardening on the citys planting strips. Seattle and P-Patch Program are involved. Seat- The beginning of their declaration starts: “We, more thantle Transportion runs an annual Streetside Garden Con- 500 representatives from more than 80 countries, of organi-test for the best gardens in parking strips and garden zations of peasants/family farmers, artisanal fisherfolk, in-roundabouts. digenous peoples, landless peoples, rural workers, migrants,----------------------------------------------------------------- pastoralists, forest communities, women, youth, consumers5) FOOD SECURITY AND HUNGER ORGANIZA- and environmental and urban movements have gathered to-TIONS gether in the village of Nyéléni in Sélingué, Mali toThere are a wide diversity of organizations addressing strengthen a global movement for food sovereignty.”hunger and food security issues. Here are some of thelarger networks. Venezuela example: A Vision of Food Sovereignty for Venezuela.Northwest Example: An article on food security initiatives in VenezuelaPortland/Multnomah Food Policy Council ws_load.asp?file=88&style=ws_table.The Food Policy Council is a citizen-based advisory --------------------------------------------------------------------council to the City of Portland and Multnomah County. 6) SMALL FARMER PROLIFERATION AND OR-The Council brings citizens and professionals together GANIZATIONfrom the region to address issues regarding food access, Ever since the introduction of the tractor the number of USland use planning issues, local food purchasing plans and farmers has steadily declined. Until recently that is. The lastmany other policy initiatives in the current regional food several decaddes has seen growth in the numbers of smallsystem. A very active and well-respected regional exam- farmers. At the same time there has been a continued ero-ple. sion in the number of medium-size farmers; while large- size farms have continued to consolidate, grow in size andNorthwest Example: increase their domination of the land base. There has been aGrowing Gardens huge growth in organic, biodynamic and other systems of farming over the past 40 years. This constituen-Growing Gardens is a Portland-based organization that cy has become increasingly organized. We need an evenprovides assistance to low-income people who want to larger increase in the numbers of small farmers. More start-grow their own food. It began in the mid-1980s. Since up help for new farmers. Tax breaks for small farms and1996, theyve installed 485 home gardens in Portland. 40 not for big farms. More help with direct marketing. Howto 50 a year with the options of traditional gardens, many ways can society come up with to support and in-raised garden beds and container gardens. They support crease the numbers of small farmers? A new surge of younglow income households for three years with seeds, farmers is currently underway.plants, classes, mentors and more. Their Youth Grow af-ter school garden clubs grows the next generation of Northwest Resource:veggie eaters and growers. Washington Tilth Producers www.tilthproducers.orgNorth American Resource: Washington Tilth is the main network of organic farmers inCommunity Food Security Coalition the state. They publish an annual directory/resource guide.PO Box 209, Venice, CA 90294(310) 822-5410 Northwest Washington Sustainable Food and Farming NetworkThe Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a www.wsffn.orgNorth American organization of social and economic A grassroots, statewide advocacy organization based in Bel-justice, environmental, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, lingham. Their website includes a large Links development, labor, anti-poverty, anti-hunger, and other groups. The Coalition has 325 organi- Northwest Resource:zational members in 41 states, 4 Canadian provinces and Oregon Tilththe District of Columbia. Oregon Tilth began the very first organic certification pro-National Resource: gram in the US and is still an international leader in certifi-National Hunger Clearinghouse cation systems. Great monthly newsletter including a ish language section.Facilitating the exchange of information, resources, andideas among organizations fighting hunger and poverty. Northwest Resource:The NHC believes solutions to hunger and poverty can FarmLinkbe found at the grassroots level and that communities www.cascadeharvest.orghave the ability to provide for themselves if equipped The US is seeing the development of programs which linkwith the proper resources. up retiring farmers with new farmers who cant afford to buy land and equipment through conventional channels.Global Example: FarmLink is a Washington State program run by CascadiaGlobal Food Sovereignty Forum Harvest Coalition.Nyéléni, Mali, February, 2007 ------------------------------------------------------------------
  • 7. 7) CSA FARMS. Community Supported Agriculture. one-acre, and two-acre farmettes. Small by industrial agri-CSA farms is a new direct marketing tool for farmers culture standards but plenty big for high-intensity produc-which has seen rapid growth in the last decade. There are tion. The world has plenty of current and past examples ofmany types of CSA farms. A CSA is a way for the food highly productive farming on small acreages. Have youbuying public to create a relationship with a farm and to ever visited a Hmong or other Laotian market garden inreceive a weekly basket of produce. By making a finan- Seattle? Industrial agriculture cannot compete with labor-cial commitment to a farm, people become "members" intensive farming when it comes to productivity as well as(or "shareholders," or "subscribers") of the CSA. Most sustainability. For instance, a 100-acre dairy farm could beCSA farmers prefer that members pay for the season up- coverted to 100 farmette rentals of 1 acre each. If a particu-front, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly lar farmette site was paired with a particular neighborhoodpayments. Some CSAs also require that members work a then suitable applicants can be selected from that neighbor-small number of hours on the farm during the growing hood to rent the farmland at a reasonable rate with the pro-season. A CSA season typically runs from late spring visio that the production is sold back in their neighborhood.through early fall. The number of CSAs in the United In Seattle, it could be neighborhoods like Capital Hill,States was estimated at 50 in 1990. North America now Rainier Valley, Central District, Beacon Hill, etc. Create ahas at least 1,300 CSA farms, with estimates ranging as bus system to get the new farmers and community volun-high as 3,000. CSA farms (called Teikei) were first teers from neighborhood to farmettes. Fresh food grown bystarted in Japan in 1965 by mothers concerned about the community members goes directly back to their neighbor-rise of imported food and the loss of arable land. Today, hoods with marketing support from grass-roots organiza-millions of Japanese consumers participate in Teikei sys- tions. Some services have to be supplied by the overall far-tems that account for a major share of fresh produce con- mette enterprise. For instance, a co-op tractor can do soilsumption in Japan. tillage at the beginning and end of the season for all the far- mettes. Irrigation water can be supplied to the site as need-Northwest Example: ed. An on-farm extension agent skilled in permaculture andPortland Area CSA Coalition (PACSAC). A CSA high-intensity farming can assist renters in making in-farmer support network. formed decisions. A tool library and a book library on site would be helpful. Income to meet these costs would comeNational Resource: from farmette rental fees as well as grants/donations neighborhood or government sources.Good links for CSA info.------------------------------------------------------------------- Northwest Example:8) FARMLAND PRESERVATION Cloud View EcofarmThe growth of suburbs and development have resulted in A new project located in the Columbia Basin near Ephrata,significant losses of farmland near urban areas and in- Washington. The property includes 120 irrigated acres un-creasingly even in remoter agricultural areas. Farmland der cultivation. They offer leases on small plots of a half-preservation is one of the prerequisites for local food se- acre to two acres for people to farm. Leases are open tocurity. Farmland trusts, conservation easements and oth- Ecofarm members as well as people in the area. Clouder private and public policies are preserving some farm- View Ecofarm is west of Moses Lake within 20 minutes ofland from development but annual loss is still high. Most I-90. The land comes all tilled up, fertilized with compostedregions have a group working for farmland preservation. manure, and irrigation. The farm is using permaculture inThey can always use more support. their planning. Contact Jim Baird. ---------------------------------------------------------------------Northwest Example: 10) FARM INTERNSHIP PROGRAMSThe Farmbank Project Many people get their start in farming by interning. participating farms are small and use organic or sustainable186 Tingle Road, Winlock, WA 98596 methods. There are many types of arrangements but gener-360-785-4927. ally includes room and board in exchange for labor. TheFarmland preservation in Southwest Washington. first program of the sort was started in England in the early 1970s. It was called WWOOF which initially stood forNational Resource: Working Weekends on Organic Farms. Now it usuallyFarmland Information Center stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. There wwoof programs in dozens of countries now. Australia andThe FIC is a clearinghouse for information about farm- New Zealand are both famous for their large, successfulland protection and stewardship. It is a partnership be- programs.tween the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Ser-vice and American Farmland Trust. Northwest Resource:------------------------------------------------------------------ Tilth Producers Apprenticeship Placement Service9) FARMETTE RENTALS without production doesnt feed many peo- This page lists organic farms in Washington State that hostple. Some of this trust farmland can be leased out to apprentices or interns or have openings for farm workers.landless individuals to do intensive production for mar-ket. This is similar to community gardens where people National Resource:rent a small plot to garden for personal consumption, just www.organicvolunteers.comat a larger scale. I would propose quarter-acre, half-acre, Willing Workers On Organic Farms and World Wide Op-
  • 8. portunities on Organic Farms. 13) EAT LOCAL MOVEMENTA website-based wwoof program, mainly USA but some Many parts of the US now have buy local campaigns andinternational as well. Over 1,000 listings. 483 of their programs. Most help link up farmers and consumers andhost farms include permaculture as a key word. publish farm guides. We now have such things as the 100- mile diet, locavores and slow food movement.National Resource:WWOOF-USA Northwest Example:PO Box 432, Occidental, CA 95465 Puget Sound Fresh831-425-FARM (3276) (voicemail) Northwest example:World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Many of Buy Fresh, Buy Local Idaho Inland Northwestthe arrangements are for short-term stays. They publish a copy and online directory that lists hundreds of or-ganic farms and gardens across the country in which Northwest Example:each host describes their farm, location, crops, and gen- Edible Portlanderal responsibilities. A quarterly magazine celebrating the abundance of localNorth American Resource: foods season by season. Winter 2008 is Issue Number 9. 58WWOOF CANADA pages. This magazine shows that the local food in Portland, Oregon is already big and is really taking off.Over 600 farm hosts, mostly in Canada but some in the Interesting articles and lots of advertising. What is amazingUSA. Their links page lists wwoof programs from to me is that it is just one of a network of 40 different Edi-around the world. bleCity magazines around the USA including Seattle and------------------------------------------------------------------- Vancouver, BC.11) TRAINING IN PERMACULTURE, ORGANIC,BIOINTENSIVE AND OTHER SUSTAINABLE Northwest Example:GARDENING AND FARMING SYSTEMS. Gorge Grown Food NetworkThere are numerous individuals and organizations offer- www.gorgegrown.coming classes and training throughout the country. The This area includes the Washington and Oregon sides of theNorthwest is especially well-represented in this aspect. Columbia River where it cuts through the Cascade moun-Seattle Tilth is a good regional model. The Master Gar- tains east of Portland. Gorge Grown Food Network is a vi-dener programs are probably the largest gardening train- brant citizen group that works towards regional food self-ing program. Permaculture design courses offer a way to sufficiency by connecting local farmers, food producersget a firm grounding in permaculture. and consumers.Northwest Resource: National Resource:Seattle Tilth Hundred mile A local eating experiment you can do yourself. For one[See also the resources in section 6) Small farmers or- month (or one year) you only eat food that is producedganizations, and the permaculture resources at the end of within 100 miles of where you live.the article.]------------------------------------------------------------------- National Resource:12) FARMERS MARKETS LocavoresFarmers markets are one of the best ways to get food the growers to the consumers. We all know about Their great links page.the huge growth in farmers markets over the past several Locavores was first started in San Francisco with a goal ofdecades. According to the USDA, the number of farmers eating food from within 100 miles. The idea is rapidlymarkets in the US grew from 1,755 in 1994 to 4,385 in spreading with various degrees of strictness on the idea of2006 with a total sales volume of $1 billion in 2005. Im- local. From 100 miles down to one mile or less. Speakingagine it growing ten times larger! That would really of strict locavores I personally know a Seattle man whomake a difference. went for a whole year only eating food from his yard. There was a large garden, fruit trees and a big blackberry tangle.Northwest Resource: He ate insects and trapped rodents. He was quite healthy atWashington State Farmers Markets Association the end of the year. What was amazing to me is that lived in an intentional community house and all the other residents helped themselves to the garden and fruit as well!National Resource:Nationwide list of farmers markets. National Serving over 40 “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” organizations in the US.
  • 9. National Resource: Northwest wildcrafts at least a few blackberries every year.Slow Food - USA A good half of our common weeds are edible. Many are licious and as a rule they are much more nutrient dense thenSlow Food USA envisions a future food system that is store-bought food. Abandoned fruit trees are common inbased on the principles of high quality and taste, envi- many places. There are many books available on edibleronmental sustainability, and social justice - in essence, a wild system that is good, clean and fair. We seek to cata-lyze a broad cultural shift away from the destructive ef- Northwest Resource:fects of an industrial food system and fast life; toward The Flavors of Home: A Guide to Wild Edible Plants ofthe regenerative cultural, social and economic benefits of the San Francisco Bay Area. Margit Roos-Collins. 1990.a sustainable food system, regional food traditions, the Heyday Books, Berkeley. 221 pages. Lots of native andpleasures of the table, and a slower and more harmoni- non-native plants are covered. Most of them are foundous rhythm of life. north all the way into British Columbia.International Resource: Northwest Resource:Slow Food - International Wild Food 4125 N Colonial Ave, Portland, OR 97217-333814) GLEANING PROGRAMS (503) 775-3828. mail@wildfoodadventures.comA variety of gleaning programs have popped up around John Kallas is one of the most active teachers about wildthe US in recent years. Usually it involves urban volun- foods in the Northwest. Informative website.teers gleaning farm fields after the farmer has stoppedpicking for market. The produce is usually donated to National Resource:food banks. A new study from the University of Arizona Tucson indicates that a shocking forty to fifty per cent A great edible wild foods website with links to many peo-of all food ready for harvest never gets eaten! There are ple and organizationslarge amounts of food waste and fruit which falls on the --------------------------------------------------------------------ground even in city limits. Urban gleaning is done by 16) FOOD BANKSchildren and others on an informal basis. I know of peo- There a wide diversity of types of food banks, hot meal pro-ple who have set up urban gleaning routes where they grams and other food relief agencies. Food banks not onlyharvest fruit trees in peoples yards (with permission). distribute food to those in need, they often have some sortFormal programs would obtain greater utilization of the of educational component. They provide friendship andcurrent resource. support networks for many people.Northwest Example: Northwest Example:Portland Fruit Tree Project The Mother Earth Formed in May of 2000, the Mother Earth Farm is an eight-resources/fruit-tree-project.php acre organic farm located in the lush Puyallup Valley. TheThe Portland Fruit Tree Project organizes people in the Farm produces approximately 125,000 pounds of freshPortland community to gather fruit before it falls, and fruit, vegetables, herbs and honey each growing season-allmake it available to those who need it most. We register of which is distributed directly to local food banks and hotfruit trees around the city, coordinate harvesting parties, meal programs. Produce from the Farm is in the hands ofand offer workshops in pruning & fruit preservation. food bank clients within eight hours of being harvested. It is a working farm that relies primarily on volunteers from aNorthwest Example: cross-section of the community to operate. The MotherThe Small Potatoes Gleaning Project Earth Farm incorporates an educational component for youth and adults. Six local school districts and three univer-Recovering Local Surplus Produce for Hungry People in sities incorporate Farm experiences into their curricula.Whatcom County. Bellingham is the largest city inWhatcom County in northwest Washington. 200,000 Oregon Resource:pounds of food gleaned in their first 5 years. 919 Food relief agencies are part of this network.Northwest Resource:Oregon gleaning network Washington Resource: Northwest Harvest collects and distributes food to approxi-Oregon has one of the most developed gleaning pro- mately 300 hunger programs in Washington State. Includesgrams in the US. A list of 28 food gleaning groups from food bank information, volunteer opportunities, etc.around the state and contact information. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17) PLANT A ROW FOR THE HUNGRY PRO-15) WILDCRAFTING GRAMSWildcrafting is the collecting of wild foods. The two A nationwide grassroots effort encouraging gardeners tofood items which are most often wildcrafted are wild plant an extra row of produce to donate to local food banks.berries and mushrooms.Almost everyone in the maritime
  • 10. Northwest Resource: ---------------------------------------------------------------------Oregons "Grow an Extra Row" program 20) RETURN TO TRADITIONAL DIETS In the last ten years there have been a growing number ofstory.php?S_No=450&storyType=garde programs and initiatives by Native American, Hawaiian andOregons "Grow an Extra Row" program is an offshoot other ethnic communities to return to traditional foods. Thisof the national "Plant a Row" program begun by the Gar- is done in response to a perception that the modern diet isden Writers of America. It started with the efforts of bad for the health of the people and that a return to moreMaster Gardeners in Oregons Jackson and Josephine traditional foods and diet will improve their health. MoreCounties and has grown statewide since 1998. 4-H clubs and more people are seeking historic roots in healthier cui-have grown special gardens to supplement food boxes sines.around the state. For information about the nearest loca-tion of a food distribution facility, call the local Master Northwest Resource:Gardener program at your local county office of the Renewing Salmon Nations Food Traditions.OSU Extension Service, or the Oregon Food Bank in Gary Paul Nabhan. 2006. RAFT. 66 pages. $5.95Portland, 503-282-0555, or toll free at 1-800-777-7427. This book introduces a RAFT list of food species and heir- loom varieties with traditions at risk and in need of recov-National Resource: ery in the Greater Pacific Northwest. This book is the resultPlant A Row for the Hungry Program of a meeting of food activists, chefs, ethnobotanists, ers, fisherfolk, food historians, orchardists, conservation ac-A source for planting information and other resources. tivitists and nutrition educators. It covers domesticated------------------------------------------------------------------- crops, sea foods and wild foods. If you want to eat local,18) PERMACULTURE DESIGN COST-SHARING this is a great book because it details food that is unique toCities and local governments should create cost-share salmon nations, including heirloom varieties that orginatedprograms to finance permaculture designs for home- here. Value our local foods and keep them alive. As Nab-owners and land-owners. This would be a cost-effective han says, "Eat it, to save it".program such as exists for insulating houses and install-ing double-pane windows and energy conserving lights. National Resource:There is also some smilarities to cost-share, forest man- RAFT, Renewing Americas Food Traditionsagement plans. Permaculture design would help families Center for Sustainable Environmentsmake their land more productive and reduce their draw Northern Arizona University,on cities services. Installation of systems would also PO Box 5765, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5765provide meaningful employment opportunities. This is a 928-523-6726. Gary Nabhan,program idea that hasnt been put into practice yet that I aware of. Anyone interested in pursuing this idea is ---------------------------------------------------------------------invited to contact Michael Pilarski. 21) COMMUNITY FOOD CO-OPS----------------------------------------------------------------- The food coop movement grew and thrived during the19) COMMUNITY EDUCATION ABOUT 1970s and 80s. Some went out of business in the 1990s, butHEALTHY DIETS many are still alive and thriving and new ones are starting.Whole foods, grown in healthy, mineral-rich soil lead to Most of them harbor a strong community network. Most ofgood health. Processed foods and foods with low nutri- them give preference to buying from local farmers. Wetion levels lead to ill-health. Information on healthy diets need more coops and less available but there is lots of competing information onwhat constitutes a good diet. There are different body National Resource:types and blood types to consider. There is no one per- Coop Directory Servicefect diet, but anyone who makes a serious study of diet nutrition shudders at what most people are eating. 1254 Etna Street, St. Paul, MN 55106Raw foods and fermented foods are positive dietary 651-774-9189. thegang@coopdirectory.orgtrends which should be promoted. The trick is making a --------------------------------------------------------------------healthy diet affordable to people on the low end of the 22) FOOD BUYING CLUBSincome spectrum. Home food production, bulk buying Food buying clubs are one of the best ways for consumersand direct farmer-to-consumer sales are all parts of what to lower food prices by combining ordering power and buy-can make a healthy diet affordable to the poor. ing in bulk. Buying clubs usually buy from the same distri- bution networks that supply natural food stores. BuyingNational Resource: clubs could also make bulk buys from farmers. Sort of likeThe Weston A. Price Foundation a neighborhood CSA, but instead of the farmer dropping a box (or a bag) for each individual person/family, theThe Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense farmer can deliver a large quantity at one dropoff spotfoods to the human diet through education, research and which the buying club splits up into the personal orders.activism. It supports a number of movements that con- This is a very attractive proposition for small farmers. Thistribute to this objective including accurate nutrition in- can offer a wholesale price to the consumer and still be astruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture- good return to the farmer. For instance, this past fall I hadfeeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest 500 pounds of winter squash I wanted to sell and was driv-and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurtur- ing to Seattle, I wished I could call a Seattle buying clubing therapies. switchboard and find a buying club to purchase the squash.
  • 11. By shopping wisely and buying in bulk it is possible National Resource:to feed yourself a healthy diet for much less money then Community Food Security in retail stores. Personally I buy many of my www.foodsecurity.orgbasic foods in bulk. For instance I buy oatmeal in 50- CFSC organizes the National Farm to Cafeteria Program.pound sacks. When I had a family I purchased honey bythe 5-gallon bucket. Bulk buying enables low-cost National Resource:meals. Many farm-to-cafeteria resources can be found here.Northwest Resource: ---------------------------------------------------------------------Azure Standard 25) School gardens.79709 Dufur Valley Road, Dufur, OR 97021 Almost every school should have a garden where the stu-541-467-2230 dents learn about gardening and growing food. There tens of thousands of school gardens around the world, butAzure Standard is a wholesale food company supplying not anywhere enough of them. The US had hardly anybuying clubs around the Northwest. They have a $400 school gardens until recently, but now it is a rapidly grow-minimum order per dropoff if within 3 miles of their reg- ing movement. Permaculturists have started school gardensular delivery route. in many countries. In some cases the school gardens pro- vide an important part of the students diet.National Resource:Starting a Buying Club Northwest Permaculture Classroom Project, Hood River, Oregon#What%20Is%20A%20Buying%20Club? on how to start a buying club. A Northwest example of a permaculture school garden is-------------------------------------------------------------------- that of Michael Becker who teaches sixth grade in Hood23) BARTER FAIRS River, Oregon. He directs the Permaculture Classroom Pro-Barter fairs are like a giant farmers market, craft fair and ject, a hands-on approach to teaching math and science us-flea market all rolled into one. They generally serve a ru- ing Permaculture and sustainability science concepts. Withraal areas. They are direct marketing, weekend campout his students, they have developed extensive habitat gardensevents. they are fun, community-building events which and food systems on the schoolyard.bring many people together year after year. There arecurrently about ten barter fairs, all in the rural North- National Resource:west: north-central and northeast Washington, Montana www.kidsgardening.comand southwest Oregon. -------------------------------------------------------------------- 26) COMMUNITY FOOD PROCESSINGNorthwest Example: There are many methods of home-scale, food processing,Okanogan Family Faire but there is also a need to establish neighborhood, processing facilities. Community commercial kitchens haveNear Tonasket in north-central Washington. The oldest been set up in dozens of US cities in the last decade, some-(started in 1974) and largest barter fair. Attendance in re- times as part of "business incubator" programs.cent years has been as high as 10,000 people. Their web- A historic example is the now-extinct "custom canner-site is currently under reconstruction as of late 2007. ies". In 1973 and 1974, I worked at one of the last custom canneries left in Washington state, the Toppenish CustomNorthwest Resource: Cannery in the Yakima valley. Each day during the grow-Barter Faire Online Community ing season, the cannery was filled with a bedlam of dreds of people peeling, slicing, dicing and pureeing allThis site has dates and information on most of the barter kinds of fruits and vegetables they had grown, gathered orfairs. bought locally. They filled cans with their own products and recipes. Our small cannery crew heated the cans (andNorthwest Example: contents), ran them through the lidding machine and thenHope Mountain Barter Faire pressure cooked the cans for specified times depending on the contents. Some things like salmon and meats wereSouthwest Oregon location. cooked longer. The customers picked their cans up the next------------------------------------------------------------------- day when the cans had cooled down.24) FARM TO CAFETERIA PROGRAMS The noise was deafening and the languages were many.Local farms supplying schools, senior centers, and other The customer base included Hispanics, Indians (half thepublic facilities. This concept is spreading in public Yakima valley is on the Yakama Reservation), Filipinos,schools. The city of Rome, Italy, recently overhauled the Japanese, African-Americans, Southerners and all kinds ofschool meal service for its 140,000 students. Ingredients whites. It was a real melting pot of a crowd and it was allfor all school meals are now seasonal, organic, regional- focused on food. Local food for local people. There used toly and/or fair trade-produced, and cooked from scratch in be about 50 custom canneries around the state in the mid-school kitchens. Wow! 1900s. There is not a one left. Perhaps it is time to start some new ones. Perhaps they can use glass canning jars as well as metal. Perhaps they can include drying facilities as well.
  • 12. Northwest Example:The Cannery Project This list of 28 social movements and programs all contrib-Emergency Food Network ute to increased food security and food sovereignty. Dozens3318 92nd Street South, Lakewood, WA 98499 more could be listed. This is not an attempt to make a thor-Tel: 253-584-1040. ough list. 77 examples and resources are listed here withThe Cannery Project was begun in 1996. The purpose of contact information. Thousands more could be listed.this project is to can and re-pack fresh and frozen foods.This product is then distributed to local food banks, in- End of Part II.creasing the shelf life of otherwise perishable goods andreducing the need to purchase canned food. This projectrelies heavily upon volunteers from local service clubs,universities and businesses. By the end of 2005 this pro-ject surpassed production of one million cans since itsinception.National Resource:The National Center for Home Food source for current research-based recommendationsfor most methods of home food preservation.-------------------------------------------------------------------27) FOOD STORAGE SPACES IN HOMES ANDNEIGHBORHOODSEvery year I personally store hundreds of pounds of po-tatoes, carrots, squash, beets, onions, garlic, apples,pears, parsnips, etc. The ideal storage for onions, garlicand squash is warm and dry. The ideal storage for rootsand fruits is cold and humid. Root vegetables and fruitsshould be stored separately. Some of my residences havehad root cellars and pantries which provided the range ofdesired storage conditions, but some did not. Those werethe times I wished there was some sort of communityfood storage facility nearby.We need a program to retrofit homes with storage placesto enable people to buy food in bulk and store it proper-ly. Apartment buildings and other group housing cancreate food storage areas which tenants can use. In somecases neighborhood food storage facilities can be built(or existing structures remodeled) to enable people tostore food in proper conditions. This could be akin topublic freezer lockers where people rent small freezerspaces and have a key. This concept can be extended toseparate root cellar lockers.-------------------------------------------------------------------28) TRAINING IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION, ME-DIATION, FACILITATION AND OTHER SKILLSTHAT ENABLE PEOPLE TO COOPERATE BET-TER.There are numerous organizations and private consul-tants doing this kind of work. There are an increasingnumber of good books available.Northwest ResourceSustainable Communities dispute resolution is a tool for resolving con-flicts within a community, and mediation is used in theworkplace and in institutions to help individuals findcommon ground and peaceful solutions to problems.This website provides links to many resources that com-munity organizations can employ.--------------------------------------------------------------------
  • 13. PART III environmental functions such as wind abatement and shade. An additional goal is aesthetic beauty, color, fragrance and outdoor living space. Permaculture emphacizes low- Aspects of Permaculture maintenance, perennial plants (less work); and, depending on the client, varying amounts of intensive gardens. Indi- and some practical techniques. viduals and families achieve greater self-sufficiency and collectively the region as a whole does. The word Permaculture was originally coined in Aus-tralia by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid- A Few Strategies & Techniques1970s. The word “permaculture” itself came from the P-1) Composting & woody biomass.notion of establishing “permanent agriculture” or “per- P-2) Increase food plant diversity.manent culture. Over the last 30 years, permaculture has P-3) Rooftop gardens.grown to become a global grassroots movement involv- P-4) Utilization of walls and vertical hundreds of thousands of people. Permaculture of- P-5) Sidewalk trellises.fers a huge storehouse of solutions, strategies and practi- P-6) Water harvesting, roof catchment techniques. If permaculture was implemented on a P-7) Parking lot overstories.planetary-wide scale in cities, farms and homes the P-8) Nitrogen-fixing would become a garden of Eden. P-9) Sheet-mulching. Permaculture is a design science to establish sustaina- P-10) Grow BioIntensive gardening.ble human settlements. Permaculture has a code of eth- P-11) Garbage pit gardens.ics, a set of principles, a design methodology, and draws P-12) Bio-remediation.on numerous strategies and techniques from around the P-13) and throughout history. Permaculture is the pre- P-14) Integrating livestock.mier design system for sustainable food production. In P-15) Seed and plant propagation networks.addition to the plant landscape, permaculture also con- P-16) Native plant restoration.siders transportation, energy, buildings, water supply, P-17) Native plant restoration & economics, and the social fabric of life. Eve- P-18) Forest gardens.ry type of habitat can be put to good use whether dry,marshy, rocky, sandy, clay, riparian, seaside, urban, and This list of eighteen was made with urban gardeners inso forth. One of the goals in permaculture is to increase mind. There are several hundred more which could be listedthe number of habitats on site to enable a wider range of such as beekeeping, double-dug beds, wind power, aquacul-plants to thrive. ture, mini-ponds, herb spirals, creating wildlife habit, con- Permaculture teaches how to design productive and tainer gardening, winter gardening, agroforestry, grey wa-beautiful yards, farms and properties at the individual ter, hedgerows, suntraps, etc, etc. These are just a few ofproperty scale. Permaculture principles and methodology the strategies and techniques in permacultures tool kit. Per-can be applied anywhere in the world. Each site is maculture is more then just the sum of the elements in theunique and each client is unique, thus each permaculture system, it is also arranging them in proper relationship todesign will be different. each other to maximize beneficial inter-relationships. Intensive vegetable gardening techniques can quickly --------------------------------------------------------------------produce large amounts of food in small spaces, but inten- P-1) COMPOSTING & WOODY BIOMASSsive gardening is not for everybody or everywhere. Per- Permaculture calls for the full utilization of organic matter.maculture emphacizes the creation of low-maintenance, The percentage of organic matter generated in our citiesself-reproducing ecologies. The proportions of native which ends up being productively used is small. This isplants, non-native plants, long-lived perennials, fruit worse then throwing money away because money is losingtrees, food plants, etc is determined by the clients goals its value, but organic matter is becoming more valuable.and natures dictates. The recycling and composting of all organic matter should Restoration of native habitats and native species is a be encouraged including grass clippings, prunings, leaves,component of permaculture. We can assist nature to re- and kitchen waste. Seattle is a national leader in compost-generate healthy biospheres. This means soils get richer, ing but there is more to do, especially in regards to theforests increase, trees get bigger, biodiversity increases, woody debris generated from storms, yard maintenance,the web of complexity of relationships increases, more land clearing, etc. All wood is fertilizer to the ecosystem.oxygen is produced and more carbon is stored. At the What is Biomass? Biomass is the sum total of all livingsame time, the productivity of the landscape to meet hu- or once-living material. It includes all live plants fromman needs dramatically increases. Human landscapes grasses to trees plus dead plant material, snags, roots, duff,which have permaculture applied to them will look wild- humus, soil microorganisms and animals. Biomass is likeer, be wilder, be more bio-diverse, be more productive, money in the bank. It pays back over time plus interest. Per-be more beautiful and will run itself to a large extent. All maculture and related disciplines have come up with lots ofthis for less work in the long run. productive ways to utilize woody biomass for gardening, One of the key premises of permaculture design is to farming and ecological uses. Some involve chipping andminimize outside inputs. The inputs of one part of the others do not, such as the hugelkultur systems developed insystem are met by the outputs of other parts. More cy- Germany which create raised beds using large to smallcling of nutrients, energy, water, etc. The site not only woody debris. The recent discovery of Terra Preta soils inuses less inputs but the outputs greatly increase includ- the Amazon basin also show us a way to use charcoal as aing food and other useful products, as well as fulfilling soil fertility input. The work of the Frenchman, Jean Pain,
  • 14. shows us how to generate large amounts of hot water 3) Plants are grown in containers on the roof.(energy) by composting shredded, brushy material. In the latter cases, care has to be taken not to overload the buildings structural support nor to cause leaks in the roof.Northwest Example: The deeper the rooting medium the bigger the plants thatThe Master Composter/Soil Builder Program can be grown and the more surface area they can of the leading programs in the US. Resource: Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls. Nigel DunnetResource: and Noel Kingsbury. 2004. Timber Press, Portland, 254 pages. International overview and historical develop-Jean Pain, energy from woody compost ment. Food production is only a minor component of theAn article from the Permaculture Activist which is a rooftops surveyed but many techniques are applicable.great introduction to Jean Pains work. Example:Resource: Green Roofs for Healthy CitiesTerra Preta Attn: Steven Peck 406 King Street EastGreat rundown on Wikipedia of an Amazonian indige- Toronto, Ontario, M5A 1M1, CANADAnous technique to build fertile soils utilizing charred 416-971-4494. SPECKplant material. INCREASE FOOD PLANT DIVERSITY Example:There are around 200,000 plant species in the world. The The True Nature Foods Rooftop Victory Garden for lo-number is going down rapidly. About 4,000 species are calized agricultural production was begun as Phase I innative to the Maritime Northwest. About 1,500 species 2006. This project received a City of Chicago Green Roofhave naturalized or gone weedy in our region. Northwest Grants Program 2005: Residential and Small Commercialgardeners have about 10,000 useful plant species to Buildings grant from the Department on the Environmentchoose from, of which at least 1,000 species are edible. toward realization of the vegetated roof, and has become aIncreased food plant diversity means increased food poster project of sorts for the grant program. Species plant-choices, a more diverse diet (produced locally) and ed in fall 2006 include buckwheat, burdock, comfrey, Jeru-hedges our bets during climate changes. Permaculture salem artichoke, and artichoke, which were selected forhas lots of expertise in plant diversity, including perenni- their ability to provide food, fuel, fiber, encourage humanal food plants. health, and help build healthy soil. Species planted in 2007 include herbs such as mints, rosemary, oregano, tomatoes,Global Resource: potatoes, beans, and squash. The city of Chicago has set aPlants For A Future goal of being a national leader in city greening and gardening.Plants For A Future is a resource centre for rare and unu-sual plants, particularly those which have edible, medici- Example:nal or other uses. You can search their database of 7300 Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) is the first city in theedible medicinal and useful plants. world to include both urban agriculture and green roofs in------------------------------------------------------------------- an action plan to meet predicted global climate change chal-P-3) ROOFTOP GARDENS lenges. Further information:Rooftops are a substantial part of urban landscapes and Geoff Wilson, Green Roofs Australia Inc.are found wherever people live. Many of these rooftops 32 David Road,can be gardened either for the purposes of food produc- Holland Park, 4121, Queensland, Australia.tion or for the many other environmental and urban will report on the vermi-greening benefits they provide. Vines especially lend culture, aquaponics and green roof research project beingthemselves to rooftop and wall gardening where soil conducted in Brisbane.depth is adequate. Some rooves have a southern expo- -------------------------------------------------------------------sure. They have good frost drainage. Dogs and cats cant P-4) GARDENING ON WALLSget at them (but birds and squierrels can). Weeds and Walls of houses, garages, sheds, office buildings, and re-slugs are less of a problem. Much of the experience on taining walls offer fruitful and fascinating spaces to growthis topic is currently from cities in Europe and the two- useful plants. This can include espaliering fruit trees alongthirds world. Germany is the most advanced country in walls, growing fastigiate (upright/narrow) trees & shrubs,the world in regards to rooftop gardening but only a and by growing vines. Vines are generally grown up trellis-small amount of their publishing is translated. St. Peters- es so that they dont negatively impact the building. Theburg, Russia is one of the worlds largest centers of roof- longest vines such as wisteria, grapes and kiwifruit cantop food culture (necessity being the mother of invention grow up to 90 feet long. Species exist for every this case). More light equals more food productivity. Permaculture There are three major types of rooftop gardens. looks at every wall of every home carefully to assess its po-1) The plants (usually vines) are rooted in the ground tential for improving the life of the inhabitants by providingand grow up the walls and onto the roofs. food, fragrance, beauty, oxygen, sound buffering, reduced2) The rooting medium is part of a layered system laid heating and cooling bills, etc.on top of the roof.
  • 15. On many urban properties the square footage of wall Resource:surfaces is larger then square footage of soil surface Parking lot trees info source.(lawns, etc). Wall area is typically 3 to 4 times the size roof area. Walls have an additional advatange over lot-design-issues-trees/rooftop gardens in that plants can usually be rooted in Links to lots of information and websites about Parking Lotthe ground. Some walls do not have soil at their base and Tree Installation.containers can be used to grow the plants. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- P-8) NITROGEN-FIXING PLANTSP-5) SIDEWALK TRELLISES Nitrogen is the most commonly applied fertilizer and usual-Build trellises over sidewalks and plant them to vines for ly one of the most limiting factors to plant growth. There fruit, fragrance and color. Perennial fruit-bearing vines are dozens of nitrogen-fixing plants for many kinds of situ-for northern climates include grapes, hardy kiwifruit, ations. These are planted in the system to help provide ni-Chinese magnolia vine, Goji-berry, passionfruit, thorn- trogen to the crop plants. Examples include clovers, alfalfa,less blackberries and thornless boysenberries. Annual beans, peas, fava beans, buffaloberry, alders, and cascara.vines include pole beans, scarlet runner beans, peas, can-talope, watermelons, squash, cucumbers and bitter mel- Resource:on. Nitrogen fixing plants at Wikipedia ------------------------------------------------------------------ CAPTURE, STORE, INFILTRATE AND UTI- A short introduction to the topic. The site includes a largeLIZE WATER ON SITE. list of nitrogen-fixing plants with a great deal of info onEach piece of property, large or small, is a watershed. each.Permaculture looks at how water can be kept on site and --------------------------------------------------------------------infiltrated into the soil to grow food, water landscape P-9) SHEET MULCHINGplants and recharge aquifers. This reduces urban and ru- Sheet mulching is a technique used to turn lawns into gar-ral runoff problems; and, when done on a broad scale, re- dens. It can also be used to establish gardens in rough,duces catastrophic floods. The Chehalis river flood of weedy areas. There are many variations but the general ideaDecember, 2007 is a current case in point for Washing- is to layer rich fertilizer materials on top of the lawn, fol-ton state where this would have helped. lowed by multiple layers of cardboard or thick layers of newspaper and a top layer of wood chips, ground bark orResource: suchlike. Desired plants are transplanted into the systemRainwater harvesting through all the layers. introduction and links to further resources. Resource: Sheet Mulching:Resource: Greater Plant and Soil Health for Less Work.Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use. An article written for the tropics, but most of the tion is applicable to cold climates as well.The best book on small-scale, water storage availableand it is written from a permaculture perspective. A do- Resource:it-yourself guide to designing, building, and maintaining Sheet Mulching for Home Gardenswater tanks, cisterns and ponds, and managing ground- storage. It will help you with your independent A good article on the topic.water system, fire protection, and disaster preparedness, -------------------------------------------------------------------at low cost and using principles of ecological design. In- P-10) GROW BIOINTENSIVE GARDENINGcludes how to make ferrocement water tanks. Oasis De- This gardening method offers one of the highest-yieldingsign is also the source of the worlds best information on gardening systems available in the world. They researchgreywater systems. how to grow a familys food supply on the smallest foot------------------------------------------------------------------- print of land possible including growing soil-building,P-7) PARKING LOT OVERSTORIES green-manure crops. John Jeavons is the principal develop-When you look at satellite photos of cities the predomi- er of this technique. Jeavons claims that biointensive, vegannant color is gray. A lot of that gray is parking area. agriculture at its extreme is capable of supplying total foodShopping parking, street parking, industrial parking, and supply on 300 sq metres per person. This system was notindividual parking lots. Not every parking area is appro- developed by permaculture but works in handily where in-priate for trees, but careful selection of species and good tensive garden production is plans could green up a lot of our parkingspace. This becomes part of the urban forest, Its main Resource:aim is amenity but permaculture chooses multi-purpose “How To Grow More Vegetables Than You Evertrees to provide useful material including timber, food, Thought Possible on Less Land Then You Can Ima-crafts, basketry material, medicine, etc. Widespread gine”. John Jeavons. This book has sold more then 500,000parking lot reforestation would provide meaningful jobs copies since its first edition in 1974. The 7th edition waswhich have long-term payback and make neighborhoods published in 2007 by Ten Speed Press, Berkeley. 268 pag-more pleasant places to live. es. Highly recommended!
  • 16. Resource: --------------------------------------------------------------------Ecology Action. Grow Biointensive gardening. P-14) INTEGRATE SMALL Chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats provide food while con-Our mission is to train people worldwide to better feed suming kitchen and garden waste. In permaculture animalsthemselves while conserving resources. Since 1972 we are utilized for their functions as well as their products.and our colleagues have been researching and develop- --------------------------------------------------------------------ing GROW BIOINTENSIVE®, a high-yielding, sustain- P-15) SEED & PLANT PROGRAGATION NET-able agricultural system that emphasizes local food pro- WORKS.duction and is based on historically intensive gardening This is currently one of weakest links to creating local foodsystems. systems. One of the worlds worst scandals is that over the------------------------------------------------------------------- last several decades a few large agribusiness companiesP-11) GARBAGE-PIT GARDENS have gained control over most of the worlds seed business.Bill Mollison, the founder of permaculture, invented this In the process there has been a huge (and continuing) losstechnique while working in garbage-strewn, aboriginal of seed germplasm available. Many of the commercial va-settlements in Australia. This created a way to clean up rieties are bred for quantity, shippability and cosmetic ap-the area plus produce food. Both of which helped peo- pearance rather than hardiness or nutrition. GMO seeds andples morale. Three-foot diameter holes (three to four "terminator" technology are scary new developments. Thefeet deep) are dug in suitable locations. Set aside the top- need for locally-adapted, locally-grown vegetable seedsoil and spread the subsoil in a ring around the hole, then crops is obviously very important. There is a heritage varie-put the topsoil on top of the subsoil. All organic garbage ty preservation movement represented by organizationsand debris in the area is picked up and packed in the such as the Seed Savers Exchange and several dozen small,holes. Try to layer in fresh and dry stems and leaves if independent seed companies.available. Weeds are great. What you are doing in effect Ideally there would be hundreds of people saving seed inis making a pit compost. Water as you go if the material every city and region. Keeping old, useful varieties alive,is dry or it is the dry part of the year. Put the yuckiest developing new varieties, and producing seed to meet localstuff in the bottom and save some of the nicest stuff for needs. Locally-adapted varieties available everywherethe top. Throw some of the topsoil on before you put on would mean the development of hundreds and thousands ofthe final cosmetic layer of mulch. Put in a pound of live new seed companies and seed networks. Seed saving shouldred wiggler worms. There are also various compost acti- be covered in more detail in master gardener programs andvator cultures which can be added. The mound around at the local garden club level.the garbage pit is planted to useful plants including foodplants. The pit is watered during the growing season. Resource:The plants surrounding the pit take up the nutrients and Organic Seed Alliancewater that spreads from the pit. Done well, this is an effi- P.O. Box 772, Port Townsend, WA 98368cient way to water plants in dry climates. Avoid toxic 360-385-7192. info@seedalliance.orggarbage in the pit, but non-food plants can be used if in www.seedalliance.orgdoubt. Over time the material will settle as it digests and A Northwest-based non-profit which serves the organicmore organic matter can be added. Pit-gardens are a seed industry and individuals. OSA offers workshops onlong-term gardening feature and become increasingly how to do seed production. Their 5th biannual conferencefertile. Rock walls and/or small trellises can be built on will be held February 14-15, 2008 in Corvallis, Oregon.the north (or windward) side to provide an even more fa-vored micro-climate. Resource:------------------------------------------------------------------- Seed Savers ExchangeP-12) BIO-REMEDIATION can be defined as any process that uses Founded in 1975, this non-profit organization was a pioneermicroorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to in the heirloom seed movement. Huge catalog of seedsreturn the environment altered by contaminants to its available from gardeners around the country and interna-original condition. Using plants and micro-organisms to tionally.clean up pollution and toxins in soil and water. Basically --------------------------------------------------------------------the more you stimulate life in the soil the faster they P-16) NATIVE HABITAT RESTORATIONbreak down pollutants. This includes human waste bio- Native plant restoration, ecosystem restoration, erosion con-logical treatment systems. trol, daylighting streams, creating wildlife habitat, cleaning------------------------------------------------------------------- up pollution, and so forth are worthwhile and necessary. AP-13) MYCO-REMEDIATION. healthier environment means better quality of life, moreUsing fungi to clean up pollution and toxins in soil and productive environments, and better checks and balances inwater. The fungal mycelium grows through the soil and/ our cultivated ecologies. It is well documented that agricul-or medium and eventually produce mushrooms. tural yields are higher and pest problems fewer where farm fields border natural areas. A lot of restoration work is vol-Resource: unteer but it can also offer meaningful work for people who"Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can help are not integrated into the current job economy. The nativeSave the World". 2005. Ten Speed Press. plant restoration movement has grown larger and more By Paul Stamets of Fungi Per- perienced over the past several decades.fecti in Olympia. The best book on the topic. Stamets in- ------------------------------------------------------------------corporates a permaculture perspective.
  • 17. P-17) NATIVE PLANT RESTORATION & WILD-CRAFTING Resource:I am proposing a sort of marriage between native plant Agroforestry Research Trust,restoration, wildcrafting and Northwest tribal ethnoecol- practices. We can increase native edible plants in the Their website has limited information but they publish "Ag-natural landscape as a human food source. This means roforestry News", a quarterly newsletter, focusing on tem-more people can wildcraft their own food. There is a perate tree and shrub crops. Published in England, the bestgrowing interest in wild foods by many people including journal on the topic. Available from the Permaculture Acti-the primitive skills movement. Many cities and regions vist in the USA.have edible wild plant teachers. A growing interest in, ------------------------------------------------------------------and knowledge of, wild foods combined with rising food Recipe for personal food production in the city.shortages could lead to overharvesting of some wild As a permaculturist what would I do if I lived in the cityfoods. We need to increase wild foods, not decrease and wanted to produce my own food? Every situation isthem. Native plant restoration which deliberately in- unique but here are some things I am likely to do in order ofcludes a generous portion of edible food plants can allow preference.more people to supplement their diet with wild foods. 1) Learn how to recognize, harvest and process wild foods.Wild foods are gourmet eating and are generally more Where are the abandoned fruit trees? What weeds are edi-nutrition-dense then cultivated plants. Planting and man- ble?aging stands of wild edible plants is what native tribes 2) Garden in my own yard (if I have one).practiced all over the Northwest prior to white settle- 3) Garden in a nearby community garden. Start one if therement. isnt one. Wildcrafting has never died out even in the most mod- 4) Set up a greenhouse to extend the growing season.ernized cultures A lot of people still harvest wild foods 5) Integrate small livestock into my garden system if possi-in the US especially in rural areas. Traditions continue in ble such as chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats.most North American tribes and they are experiencing a 6) Grow useful plants up the walls and rooves of my housecultural resurgence for the last several decades. The and any outbuildings inasmuch as possible.amount of land available for wildcrafting has been dwin- 7) Guerilla gardening. Planting useful plants on other peo-dling due to loss of habitat to development and a contin- ples property or public spaces for future harvest. This canuing "loss of the commons". An expanded native plant be with permission or sereptitiously.restoration movement combined with edible native 8) Rent farmette land in the peri-urban fringe and commuteplants can add to local food security and at the same time to my mini-farm.achieve ecosystem restoration objectives. 9) Cooperate with my neighbors. Participate in social pro- grams and movements as outlined in Part II of this article.Resource: I always have six to twelve months of food on hand because"Keeping It Wild: Traditions of Plant Use and Culti- of my gardening, bulk buying, food processing and bartervation on the Northwest Coast of North America" by fairs. This is just my normal lifestyle. I dont think of it asNancy Turner and Douglas Deur. 2005. University of an emergency food supply, but it could be. I have the gar-Washington Press. The best book on how Northwest na- dening tools and know-how to grow productive gardenstive tribes gardened the landscape. with hand labor. This is personal food security. Id like to know I was surrounded by people who also had gardensResource: and full food pantries. This would be much safer than hav-Sustenance & Ecology on the Edge. ing a full pantry surrounded by a sea of hungry ---------------------------------------------------------------------An article by Michael Pilarski on a permaculture viewof wildcrafting in an oceanside native plant community Conclusion:on the Olympic Peninsula. Creating socially-just and ecologically-sustainable local food systems is an idea whose time has come. Permaculture------------------------------------------------------------------ is one of many movements towards this end and has its par-P-18) FOREST GARDENS ticular contributions to the whole. I hope this short articleComplex and productive forest gardens have been devel- has given you some insights. This article is a work inoped by many indigenous cultures in Asia, Africa, Cen- progress and future installments may be issued.tral America and the Pacific. Permaculture has been a Millions of us, working togetherleader in developing contemporary forest gardens in all are co-creating the future.kinds of climates. In fact, forest gardens are one of thehallmarks of permaculture. The idea is to grow a lot of Michael Pilarski, December 27, 2007fruit, food and other useful products in a multi-layered Friends of the Trees Societysystem of trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, and ground covers.Livestock are often integrated. These are long-term, pro-ductive ecosystems. --------------------------------------------------------------------Resource:Edible Forest Gardens. 2 volumes. Ecological Designand Practice for Temperate Climate Permaculture.David Jacke. 2005. Chelsea Green Press. White River Permaculture resources next page.Junction, VT. 378 and 654 pages.The most in-depth book on the topic.
  • 18. Food Not Lawns Permaculture Resources: PO Box 42174, Eugene, OR 97404 (541) 343-4673. www.foodnotlawns.comThe two key books on temperate-climate, permaculture Promoting peace and sustainability through permaculture,gardening (both written by authors in Oregon) are: organic living and community interaction.Gaias Garden. Urban Permaculture GuildToby Hemenway. 2001. Chelsea Green Press, White 6421 Hillegass Ave, Oakland, CA 94618River Junction, VT. Katherine Steele. Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Gar-den and Your Neighborhood into a Community. HeatherFlores. 2006. Chelsea Green Press. White River Junc- --------------------------------------------------------------------tion, VT. Major permaculture websites: Northwest PermacultureThe Permaculture Activist Design February 16-March 2, 2008.This is the best information source on North Americanpermaculture. The site includes a nation-wide list of per- Sahale Retreat Center,maculture design courses and related trainings and a Near Olympia, WashingtonGlobal Directory of permaculture groups. The course will be taught by Michael Pilarski, Laura Swea- ny and guest presenters. An intensive, two-week residentialPermaculture article on Wikipedia training. Some scholarships and work-trade fee reductions are available. Further details are on my website:Great introduction to permaculture at Wikipedia. I propose a permaculture design course for communityGreat linking website for permaculture. hunger and gardening organizations in the Northwest. As a first step we would like to invite people from nity hunger organizations to take part in our 2008 perma-Great linking website and introduction to permaculture. culture course at the Sahale Retreat Center near Olympia, Washington. By the winter of 2008/2009 perhaps we have made enough connections with hunger groups to put on a specific course tailored to them. Northwest Permaculture Resources: --------------------------------------------------------------------Eugene Permaculture Permaculture InsitutePMB #101, 3527 NE 15th Ave., Portland, OR 97212503-293-8004. Permaculture Network#102 - 5698 Aberdeen St.,Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V5R 4M6Harold Waldock, cell Permaculture Guild website for the Bullocks Brother Homestead on Or-cas Island. One of the best permaculture sites in thecountry and an educational center.