The work of Rowe Morrow goes on. She was one of the first generation permaculture pioneers in Australia and is leading the way bringing permaculture to refugee settlements and using it as a tool for displaced people around the world. We were very inspired by her talk at the 2015 International Convergence in London and reading her books was a great help in designing the Sector39 permaculture design course for refugees delivered in Uganda in 2018.
“Permaculture training we had last year is really improving our life. Thanks for da support.”
Droma Isaac, Adjumani
2020 has to be a big year for change. The commencement of the Paris Climate Accord and a full speed rapid transition to a low carbon economy. Permaculture has been putting down roots and spreading its mycelium around the world for four decades and more. It is time we brought much of what has been developing in that time to fruition.
S39 delivered 5 full PDC’s at Treflach between 2010 and 2012, when the farm was still at the beginning of its transition from a more traditional family-run stock farm to a hub for regenerative agriculture. In the time since we were last there they have invested in on-farm value addition, community activities, local food events and much more. The farmer at Treflach has joined the regenerative agriculture network and is exploring mob-grazing, silvo-pasture and many more initiatives. Permaculture has very much been a big part of the journey for the the farm and we are very excited to be returning there in July.
Permaculture gives you a framework to understand the much more complex patterns and processes we see in nature and society. Permaculture is essentially an introduction to systems thinking and pattern language. It is based on observation and experience and requires no prior knowledge.
The course explores themes such as: * Principles of natural systems * People dynamics and groups * Basic ecology, soil and compost, guilds * Gardens, food forests and integrated systems * Economic systems, money, co-operatives * Design: building consensus and how to communicate ideas
Heart felt thanks to everyone who came along and especially those of you helped with the book launch event in Llanrhaeadr on Oct 11th. Between the two sessions we had well over 70 visitors and so far we have distributed 300 of the 400 complimentary copies available for those resident or working in Powys.
The book tackles the challenge of our time, how to energise and inspire people to take meaningful action on the ecological emergency. The work is framed by permaculture design, which co-ordinates actions to be in line with both community and the natural world. Combined synergistic actions could create all sorts of unexpected positive outcomes. It is via these processes, we believe, we have the potential tools to make meaningful inroads into preparing ourselves for our low carbon and climate disrupted future.
Really sorry the Sector39 website www.permaculturedesigncourse.co.uk is offline currently and we are trying to fix it. The site contains blogs and posts from past courses as well as booking details for current ones, please contact us via this site for information on our courses.
It has taken our team three years to complete this text book. We have been working with our local high school and across our whole community to investigate how we can raise this essential issue in a meaningful and constructive way.
Permaculture gives us the statement, ‘the problem is the solution’ recognising that a problem is the inverse of its solution, problems are not unrelated but directly connected to their solution. Furthermore simply presenting dire predictions of a problem so huge humanity cannot face it achieves nothing but either continued denial or all out nihilism. Permaculture is a design process that is inclusive, works out from one’s own experience and helps build a co-ordinated and unified response.
Greta Thunberg began her activism at 15, starting alone yet within months creating a worldwide movement. We take our inspiration from her work, we challenge everyone who cares to set in motion their small and slow solutions and let’s see how it builds and where it takes us.
We are excited to be featured in the latest Permaculture Magazine (PM101) in a piece exploring our work in refugee settlements in Uganda last year. It was a huge experience for all of us involved. We trained 40 refugees in permaculture and then supported them over the following 6 month period to become teachers and leaders as each trainee was tasked to train 4 families from their own surrounding communities.
Here are the pioneers, those who are now on the front line of bringing permaculture into the community of Bidibidi refugee settlement and beyond. We are hoping we can find ways to continue to support them in this vital effort to combat poverty, deforestation and food insecurity by bringing design and purpose via permaculture to their communities.
The trainees, first generation permaculture team, Maaji and Bidibidi 2018:
(These stunning portraits were taken by Angharad Rees.)
This is a fantastic lecture; the fundamentals of economics: capitalism, socialism, Marxism leading to a brilliant explanation of co-operatives and how they represent a democratisation of the workplace. His analysis brilliantly reveals the faults of the system and explains how we got there.
Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York City. He wrote Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism and founded www.democracyatwork.info, a non-profit advocacy organization of the same name that promotes democratic workplaces as a key path to a stronger, democratic economic system. Professor Wolff discusses the economic dimensions of our lives, our jobs, our incomes, our debts, those of our children, and those looming down the road in his unique mixture of deep insight and dry humour. He presents current events and draws connections to the past to highlight the machinations of our global economy. He helps us to understand political and corporate policy, organisation of labour, the distribution of goods and services, and challenges us to question some of the deepest foundations of our society.
Biodiversity in Wales has collapsed over the last 4 or 5 decades. This became blatantly clear on the publication of the State of Nature report in 2013. No-one articulated this more strongly than local Welsh naturalist Iolo Williams when he spoke at the Senedd in 2013:
In our response to the changing climate and the loss of biodiversity it is apparent we need new models and approaches. Ones that restore depleted soil carbon, reduce flooding and reverse erosion and that protect and enhances biodiversity.
Permaculture is a design approach that has nature at its heart and increasingly we have been applying these ideas to more and more challenging situations and at greater scale. Sector39 are currently building a coalition of partners to take on a 124 acre hill farm on the edge of the Berwyn mountains here in Wales with the specific aim of creating a model for regenerative farming that could perhaps lead the way in land reform and demonstrate how a diversity of incomes can lead to a diversity of biological life on the farm.
We have 25 years of housing co-operative experience and community building and this would give us the chance to couple this experience with large scale habitat restoration. We have 2 objectives; one, to establish a trust to purchase this unique farm and hold it in perpetuity, and two, that we can establish a land based community to live and take care of the land.
The Trust needs to secure £400,000 in investment to secure the land for the project itself to go ahead. We already have finance in place for the actual project itself. As a training and teaching organisation we don’t anticipate any problems recruiting members to the project or tenants for the farm and buildings.
This unique farm takes in a whole water system, several springs and 124 acres of land, not all of which has been ploughed and ‘improved’ with fertilisers and rye grasses. Rather than see it disappear under the uniformity of even more ‘sheep monoculture’ our vision is to take it in the other direction; finding economic and responsible ways to restore diversity and create new possibilities for farms on especially marginal and upland locations.
The urgency of the situation demands that we stand up and be counted. Our governments have failed us, they sign agreements, nod to the science but do nothing real in response. We have to make an intervention. Human society needs to be governed in line with the laws of ecology and society. Solving climate change means building a whole different type of society and that will only happen if we all take part. It is time for the lunatics to leave the asylum.
Extinction Rebellion is our best chance of bringing climate change into everyday language; it needs to be on everybody’s lips, we need to be talking about it every day.
The next two weeks of disruption in London aims to be the spark that lights the tinder. The public needs to seize the narrative away from this corporate catastrophe and together we can evolve a new society that restores diversity and abundance to the earth. We know how to do it. Permaculture, co-operation, organic, solar powered we have to accelerate to the only future that can sustain us.
We are not innocent bystanders, the general public has obligations, and if they are not performing their obligations then it is justifiable to disturb the population. Failing to enact their social obligations to maintain and sustain a democratic and civilised society is a dereliction of social duty. We are trying to mobilise the general public.
Roger Hallam, Extinction Rebellion
Extinction rebellion are asking three things:
1: Full disclosure of climate science, let’s talk realistically about this crisis we are in
2: Develop policies in line with science and the agreements we have made
3: Form General Citizens’ Assemblies to hold governments to account and to involve everyone in shaping a sustainable future.
Videos: Calls to Action and an extended interview with Roger Hallam of XR:
Extinction rebellion is here. The next 2 weeks are going to be a turning point in our collective history.
The dates for the first weekend is set for 16th and 17th of March and we will negotiate the remaining dates with the group on the first weekend.
Times: Saturday 9.30 – for 10.00 am start until 5.30 pm Sundays 9.30 – for 10.00 am start until 4.00 pm Meet at Dragons, for coffee from 9.30, Llanrhaeadr High Street or Llanrhaeadr Village Hall, Back Chapel street from 9.50
Lunch is bring and share + soup and sourdough provided by Sector39
This page will be updated with more course info when available.
Please consider making a donation to Aramadham Mutebi in support of this course. Rama is a PDC graduate in Uganda from 2017 and has made significant contributions to his community since. We really hope to support him to achieve very much more.