Category Archives: Sustainability

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Other names, other colors: Transition, Latino style

Above: Transition Network founder Rob Hopkins, left, grants an interview to Raul Velez at the train station in Totnes, England, birthplace of the Transition movement. (Raul Velez photo)

By Tracy L. Barnett
For Magis Magazine

One of the early Transition Town initiatives was launched in Ensenada, Baja California, by an American expat, Robert Frey. Frey went to Queretaro, Mexico, in 2010 to a permaculture class taught by Raul Velez, founder of a nonprofit environmental education project called Ruta Ahimsa. Frey invited Velez to Ensenada to do some permaculture trainings, and shared his excitement about the new initiative he’d launched. Velez accepted the invitation – more to see Baja California than to learn about Transition.

“Actually I was skeptical,” Velez recalls. “I thought, OK, I live in a country that has been colonialized by European culture, and then the American way of life – another concept from another part of the world and we need to apply it now and change.’ But I was ignorant.”
Three weeks after Velez’ visit to Ensenada, Frey was found murdered in his own home.

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‘The Seeds of the Future, Interconnecting’

By Fernando Ausin-Gómez

NandoFINDHORN, Scotland — It was a meeting of the minds that won’t soon be forgotten in permaculture and ecovillage circles. The Global Ecovillage Network 20th Anniversary Summit (GEN + 20) brought approximately 400 participants from 70 countries co-create a temporary weeklong global community, illustrating through its example the pillars of sustainability: to live together, work together, and celebrate our achievements.

post229_3008“Celebrating Our Diversity,” held during the second week in July, took place in the legendary Scottish ecovillage of Findhorn with the aim of consolidating a successful network that bridges all continents, sharing lessons, experiences, challenges and achievements of the past 20 years, and co-creating strategic plans for a common future.

The vision, according to Kosha Joubert, President of GEN International since 2008, is to help “maintain a space for global solidarity, to provide support in confronting natural disasters, to help to green the schools and to carry out work towards sustainability that reaches all sectors of society. The Global Ecovillage Network serves to support us in times of need.” Undoubtedly this feeling of community— or common-unity—was one of the pillars of the Summit. Continue reading

Living with the Land Part 6

Living with the Land: Animal-Free Farming

Phil Moore and Lauren Simpson
Permaculture People

Editor’s note: We are very happy to share with you the sixth short film, Animal-Free Farming,  in Lauren and Phil’s new documentary film series Living with the Land for Permaculture Magazine.

skH8gt2PA pioneer in plant-based agriculture, Iain Tolhurst has been a practising organic vegetable producer since 1976. Specialising in a “systems approach” to farming, Tolhurst has developed a stockfree approach to farming — the use of green manures, crop rotations & sustainable practices without recourse to inputs such as animal manures or animal by-products.

Together with business partner Lin, Iain Tolhurst started Tolhurst Organic more than 25 years ago producing seasonal organically grown food on 18 acres of land in Oxfordshire.

Stockfree farming is one of the many ways of Living With The Land.

Narrated by the poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah

Regenerative Agriculture

Living with the Land: Building Soil with Regenerative Agriculture

Phil Moore and Lauren Simpson
Permaculture People

Editor’s note: We are very happy to share with you the third short film, Regenerative Agriculture: Rebuilding the Soil,  in Lauren and Phil’s new documentary film series Living with the Land for Permaculture Magazine.

skH8gt2PSitting atop the hills in southwest England overlooking the sea, Village Farm in Devon is a living example of regenerative agriculture. A little over a year ago, Rebecca Hosking and business partner Tim Green – makers of the BBC2 documentary ‘A Farm for The Future’  –  became tenants of 175 acres of exhausted soils.

Turning a windswept, misused, coastal farm into an abundant landscape working with nature is their goal; their approach – holistic planned grazing. Rebecca Hosking, film-maker, photographer, and agroecologist explains: “Holistic planned grazing is all about mimicking the natural migration of a wild herd across the landscape. This is the fastest way to build soil fertility on a large scale.”

2015 is the international year of soils. Farming with nature, Village Farm, is one of the many and inspiring examples of an agriculture working to build soils and providing good food for everyone without damage to the natural world and wildlife.

Narrated by Colin Tudge, biologist, writer, and founder, alongside his wife Ruth, of The Campaign for Real Farming.

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Igniting regeneration. A Latin American Permaculture Convergence in Colombia

Story and photos by Ivan Kuxan Suum
Ancient Futures
Lead photo by Adrian Felipe Pera 

images-3The recent Latin American Permaculture Convergence (or CLAP ) was held from the 15th to the 21st of June in Varsana Ecovillage south of Bogota, Colombia. For five consecutive days the different open-air and indoor spaces of the host community hosted a buzzing 140 people from over 16 countries, who shared tools and strategies in the process incubating and birthing the Latin American Permaculture Network. Some of the countries present included Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, Germany, United States, and even Russia!

A map of Latin America was created using strings and pins as well as envelopes and cards for everyone to add their place on the map and their business card or contact information. As a result, a beautiful art piece was created representing the web of regenerative initiatives that covers the continent.

A map of Latin America was created using strings and pins as well as envelopes and cards for everyone to add their place on the map and their business card or contact information. As a result, a beautiful art piece was created representing the web of regenerative initiatives that covers the continent.

Although permaculture as such only arrived in Latin America 25 years ago when students of David Holmgren and Bill Mollison started disseminating its methods in Brazil and Argentina, many of the principles and tools of permaculture have been practiced here for a millennia. Today, permaculture has expanded all over the continent into what is nowadays a vast and diverse grid of projects ranging from family farms, educational initiatives and intentional communities to urban projects.
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GEN +20

GEN+20-Day 1: Healing to create something worth living for

By Fernando Ausín-Gómez
Photos by Leila Dregger
Reporting from GEN+20
(Global Ecovillage Network 20-Year Anniversary Summit)

NandoFINDHORN, Scotland — One of the world’s oldest ecovillages, this legendary community is host of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN)’s 20th anniversary Summit. Founded 52 years ago, it is a modern spiritual and educational campus on multiple acres in the northern tip of Scotland, United Kingdom, sprayed by the waves of the Nordic Sea.

11696432_10153486856201908_4236001468944644767_oFrom July 5 – 11th, hundreds of leaders, founders, and promoters of ecovillages and sustainable settlements across the world are gathered here to celebrate the Network’s success—and pave way for its next steps. In our rapidly changing world that evermore suggests the need for ecological regeneration, energetic descent, permaculture practices and sustainability solutions, GEN+20 presents this Summit to reach global, grassroots-based solutions.

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The Call of the Sage: The seed has sprouted

Above: First Encounter, Vision Council: Call of the Sage – Teopantli Kalpulli (November 2015).

By Laura Angélica Almazán

Laura Angelica AlmazanThe call of the caracol has called us together once again. The family has reunited one more time to continue with a mission that started more than two decades ago, and gets more and more relevant every year. The more difficult the times seem to be, the more heavily the economic, environmental and social crises weigh, not only in Mexico, but all around the planet, the fact that the Guardians of the Earth keep on gathering to sow seeds of change is a light of hope in the middle of the darkness that seems to rule the world.

The Vision Council-Guardians of the Earth is an organization dedicated to creating encounters where people who believe that a better world is possible can carry out a living and not virtual experiment of building a utopia that is turning into an ecotopia, to offer up their knowledge and talents in service of the Pacha Mama, and concur with other activists for life who believe that the solutions for today’s problems is to focus on the possibilities instead of the protests, to engage instead of worrying, to build instead of destroying. Continue reading