Courses/Workshops — by Steve Grace July 5, 2011
It’s project time and all the interns at Zaytuna are busy working away at their individual endeavors. The past two months has been a real roller coaster ride – a wild dive into a vast new world of information and knowledge and everyone is enjoying the practical opportunity now given to delve into their own area of specific interest. Students have chosen their own projects involving Aquaponics, Aquaculture, Food Forests, Compost, Kitchen Gardening, Solar Energy, Cobb Building and a human powered Water Pump!
Working with the specialist Zaytuna crew led by Geoff Lawton, Interns have taken the solid theoretical base that has formed the Internship core and applied it to work in the field.Comments (8)
Compost, Courses/Workshops, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure — by Steve Grace June 25, 2011
One of the major global concerns we face today is the heavily depleted state and continued degeneration of our soil. Without healthy soil, we cannot produce healthy food and however obvious it might seem, the food that we eat directly affects the nature of our being. It’s funny how the most common sense is no longer at all common.
In 1907, Theodore Roosevelt said: "the nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself". Since that time we have had a salivating appetite for destruction. At present 90% of Australian soil is considered to be of poor quality….
In order to appreciate the significance of this statistic, it is important that we understand the society of microorganisms that exist beneath our feet. In one tablespoon of healthy soil there lives a population of microbes that is greater than the population of human beings on earth – over 6.9 billion microorganisms, working together to make available nutrients to the soil in which we produce the food that enables us to survive. If only the human population of the world was as resourceful and harmonious as our micro acquaintances.Comments (13)
Courses/Workshops — by Steve Grace June 1, 2011
Ninety nine percent of the people who come to take a PDC do so because they are concerned — concerned about the state of their environment, concerned about the state of themselves, concerned about the state of the planet. They want to change something, to take action in response to the growing sense of dysfunctional instability and uncertainty that is defining our age. Permaculture provides a directive to act. What’s more, there is an inherent financial and psychological commitment that accompanies this decision to act. For most it is a moment of hesitation, a time of transition between two worlds — the centralised consumer-driven monoculture of mainstream society and the alternative community-based polyculture on the fringe — an evolution of which the importance can be difficult to truly appreciate, let alone put into effectual practice.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Ethical Investment, Food Shortages, People Systems, Project Positions, Society, Village Development — by Steve Grace May 27, 2011
Interns at PRI’s Zaytuna Farm
There are few things in this life as disturbing as the suffering of another human being. Perhaps one might be the fact that we the privileged have become so desensitised to it, so selfishly removed into our own little worlds of such great importance. Is it not the responsibility of the privileged to ensure the basic elements of survival are provided for those less fortunate than ourselves? How can we continue to spoil ourselves with riches, when the knowledge of another’s pain is so obviously clear?Comments (6)
Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Rehabilitation, Roads, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Steve Grace May 12, 2011
The sun works on an 11 year cycle over which it radiates heat at varying levels upon the earth. The cycle is observed by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the sun. Currently we are at a peak of the cycle whereby the sun is radiating a maximum amount of heat and energy. This means increased evaporation off the oceans’ waters and therefore increased precipitation over our lands. When the sun moves towards its less generative stage of the cycle, less evaporation occurs, which means less precipitation and impending dry conditions.
And so the rains have come down upon Zaytuna farm — 111mm in 5 days. The dams are full to the freeboard, the swales are soaking in the sediment, the spillways are spilling, the swivel pipes are swivelling, the soil is having a regeneration party, and the plants are just hangin’ out doing their thing.
And the earthworks have been stopped in their tracks….Comments (2)
Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Society — by Steve Grace May 9, 2011
I had some reservations about attending the recent April PDC course held by Geoff Lawton at Zaytuna Farm in Northern NSW. Doubt flared its fiery nostrils at me — doubt about the authenticity of the course and doubt about my own direction. The two weeks that followed was an experience I could have never expected, and is one that I will never forget.Comments (10)