Permaculture Projects

Permaculture and Coronavirus

Thoughts of a Permaculture Traveller

I’ve written another Coronavirus article for you to read. This one will be unique, hopefully somewhat uplifting, and orientating. Writing this I am not caught in the desperate whirlwind of India, or the denial of the americas, nor the toilet paper hoarding of the western world.  I am on the middle eastern island of Bahrain where I have been caught mid-way through an implementation job on a city food forest and farm project with still no solid plan to return home (to Australia).

I’m taking a quick little break from my usual narrative of stories to share a short opinion piece because I see a huge opportunity before humanity that must be used (and because our crowd funding page for the refugee project on Lesvos hasn’t been finished yet and I want to release the relevant article when it’s ready to receive your support, so… cliffhanger!).



Quick Little Side Update on Lesvos

There are 20,000 people in a camp with a maximum capacity of 3,000. Over 300 people share one toilet in some circumstances. There has been preparations for the arrival of the coronavirus and harsh restrictions on camps all throughout Greece and Europe. The island received a huge influx of asylum seekers from Turkey’s newly un-patrolled borders and experienced a bit of violent fascism before the whole island went into lockdown when one Covid-19 case was reported at a supermarket. It seems it hasn’t spread. That is good news.



Bahrain City

I was supposed to be on Lesvos island in two weeks but I am instead on Bahrain juggling a city food forest implementation, an industrial composting proposal, a broad-scale community design, a small villa complex design and a farm agro-forest on the sea. Organising some online courses and videos as well, it’s easy to feel a bit over worked during this collective time of rest.

Photograph provided by the author.



Time for Reflection

It is an interesting way to spend lockdown, swinging forward in full momentum for other projects, and it has been gratifying seeing permacultururalists also grabbing this as the opportunity it is.

Friends have used this global event to spark the beginning of movements towards online teaching, helping people set up their own self-sufficiency in a time where it is evident there is a need.

This global madness has great potential to redirect the helm of the sinking ship that is a confused humanity. Seeing the small events of restoration in the interruption of everyday life, and the vast opportunities in emptying supermarket shelves. Maybe society is becoming ready to wean itself from destructive agriculture. Perhaps the first world is coming closer to ending its dependence on the modern slavery of the third world? In these coming times I am certain that the things of greater importance will have steps taken towards it by at least a small number of the human population, and in doing so we will only be closer to seeing our tipping point.

For any rational thinker it is certainly clear that this is not the largest event that will happen this decade, but simply one of many, and while we could tumble into the unfolding future with fear, I pray we take stock and act for the good of others. Many people do not have the resources in place to ride the waves of supply line collapse.


Tree Share
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Permaculture Design & Community

For the people who have the knowledge and experience of good design I hope many focus on the great need and return the surplus, whether it’s knowledge or the farms and projects that have been created. It is a big responsibility, but a necessary and important time to share. The world is huge and the help needed is everywhere, from immediate to impending, minor to major. For those with much to learn I hope many seek and implement, fearless of mistake or failure. Our collective ignorance is so deeply ingrained, the education
of those willing to help spread the necessary knowledge for communal food growing systems and good design is definitely paramount.

Whatever the future holds, in these times of isolation may we hold long lost simple truths in our mind and work towards a secure and regenerative future for both our local and global community. Let’s grow through limiting beliefs, and gain vital knowledge and experience so that we may aid global basic needs and support each other’s happiness. For those who do this it is certain, no matter what happens, we will never be unemployed


Sam Parker-Davies

Sam Parker-Davies inherited a 40 hectare community title farm, ran as a candidate for his local council, traveled the east coast of Australia with no money, and moved to Geoff Lawton's Zaytuna farm within the first two years of finishing high school. Striving to help the earth and her people the best he can he is now traveling the world designing and implementing the most impactful projects he can. From PDCs with refugees, to demonstration farms near cities, Sam shows that with a bit of determination we can all actively create the change necessary in today's world.

One Comment

  1. This is NOT a collective time of rest for most. Us farmers are as busy as ever (we just can’t get groceries). The enormous numbers of people who keep most folks safe and comfortable (public transport staff, cleaners, retail workers, power stations, supply chain store men and drivers, sanitation and postal workers. Health staff, community care workers, public service and welfare agencies …) are run off their feet and risking contact with the community every day. Huge numbers are unemployed and worrying themselves to a standstill that’s hardly restful. If I see one more celebrity presenter broadcasting (ie still being paid) from their palatial home, claiming “we’re all facing the same challenges”, I’ll scream.

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