All posts in Permaculture

Evening Dialog: “What’s it like over there?”

If you are interested in learning about the realities of working internationally in permaculture, agriculture, women’s development, schools, health care systems, youth, or other grassroots movements, please join us for this presentation and dialog on September 25 at 7pm in the First Neighborhood Common House at Ecovillage at Ithaca.

Our guest presenter will be Lesley Byrne, an international permaculture teacher and trainer, who has worked with subsistence farmers, widows and orphans in Jordan, Afghanistan, Kenya, and Cambodia.

We’ll cover these and other topics:
  • How do you get a foot in the door?
  • How do you prove yourself professionally?
  • How can you be culturally competent?
  • How can you live simply abroad and thrive?

This evening is open to all. Lesley will highlight the realities for women working in the field.

A self-determined sliding scale admission of $5-$20 can be paid at the door.

Lesley Byrne in Afghanistan. While living alone in a tent for four months, the men she worked with were very respectful. They even adopted puppies for her—unheard of in a Muslim country. Upon departure, all were in tears. “As a woman I had an advantage over Western men because I was not viewed as a threat, which allowed them to let their guards down and for me to make much more headway training the farmers in permaculture.”

Lesley Byrne in Afghanistan. While living alone in a tent for four months, the men she worked with were very respectful. They even adopted puppies for her—unheard of in a Muslim country. Upon departure, all were in tears. “As a woman I had an advantage over Western men because I was not viewed as a threat, which allowed them to let their guards down and for me to make much more headway training the farmers in permaculture.”

If you need directions to Ecovillage, you can use this address in your maps program:
100 Rachel Carson Way.

Please park along the road near the major construction. Please don’t park in residential parking areas.

Contact Karryn at karryn@seedsustainabilityconsulting.com if you need further directions or have questions.

 

Cosponsored by:

Ecovillage at Ithaca
Ithaca College
Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute

Women in Permaculture

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This article was published in the “Permaculture Activist” magazine in August of 2013. This version is edited slightly, with longer captions, more pictures, and hyperlinks.

Though women receive the majority of all college degrees in the U.S., and are well represented in the work force, they are very under-represented in positions of high-level leadership. Most of the women I’ve encountered in permaculture note analogous patterns: often, women constitute 50% or more of the participants in PDCs, yet occupy disproportionately few of the positions of leadership and prominence in lucrative roles, such as designers, teachers, authors, speakers, or “permaculture superstars.”

To address this situation, this article drafts “A Pattern Language for Women in Permaculture.” Each pattern can be applied in many ways and names a core solution to a problem that undermines women’s full participation and leadership. Just as words connect to form a language, one can connect these patterns to form a language that describes good social design practices.

This approach is modeled after the book, A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander et al,  in which the authors write, ”Each pattern may be looked upon as a hypothesis… and are therefore all tentative, all free to evolve under the impact of new experience and observation.” Using the same analogy, I invite your input to help craft this new language.

Read more…

 

Education That Matters

As a long-time educator, I’ve never had a student whom I’d never met ask if he or she can join in on my student’s hands-on project and then stay all day long… until March 30, 2012. That’s the date when our Ithaca College permaculture research team hosted a workday to install the infrastructure for a permaculture garden near Williams Hall.  It was a big day for us, because I’d worked with several students on projects and independent studies over four years to design the garden, and we were finally breaking ground!
IMG_1014The welcome “crasher” had been studying in the 5th floor of the library, and saw us working in the garden. After completing his homework, he came down to help and ended up being one of our most dedicated laborers. Indeed, several other students spontaneously joined us that day, citing their longing to “do something meaningful,” to be physically as well as mentally engaged, to work in the dirt, and to fulfill their search for reasons to be hopeful. They became enthusiastic supporters of our vision of transforming this small, formerly underutilized student garden into a diverse perennial garden and gateway for reflection, education, and food production. We aim for it to model alternatives to conventional approaches to landscaping and use of public space.

Read more at…

 

Poultry and Backyard Animals

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Animals (including birds and wildlife) are a critical component of any sustainable ecosystem, as without their participation and contribution ecological integrity is diminished. Everything gardens in nature, and animals are in a leadership position. Foraging is needed to cycle nutrients, clear fallen fruit, keep weeds down, eat and spread seeds, and eat pests. It turns out food gardens need similar services, and by building timely and creative relationships between domestic/wild animals and food plants, much of the work of producing food can be accomplished through good design. Read more at Permaculture.org

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