Grote opknapbeurt voor de Kas

Begin juli heeft de kas een grote opknapbeurt gekregen. Nadat we in mei ook al een keer alle oude takkenbossen van klimplanten eruit hadden gehaald, (zie de vorige post) en een pad hebben uitgegraven, was de kas in juli weer erg overwoekerd met wilde planten, waaronder vooral stekelige distels en brandnetels. Deze zijn allemaal ‘geoogst’ als functionele biomassa voor in nieuwe plantenbedden later.

Daarna zijn alle kapotte ramen gedicht met houten frames en transparant plastic zeil. Ook hebben we een deur gemaakt, zodat de kas redelijk tocht dicht kan worden afgesloten.

Nieuwe deur van gerecycled materiaal!

Nieuwe deur van gerecycled materiaal!

 

Hierna hebben we een verscheidenheid aan verschillende planten gezaaid en verstekt.

Een stuk of 6 courgette planten en 5 aubergines. Verder nog een aantal tomaten planten, pompoen, lampionbes en witte bonen en Kiwi’s. Hierna zijn ook nog een verscheidenheid aan verschillende bladgroenten en kruiden geplant, waaronder, krulsla, raketsla, rucola, dille, basilicum, salie.

Diverse Kasplantjes

Diverse Kasplantjes, Waaronder Oost-Indische Kers, Basilicum, Salie en witte Bonen.

 

Een van de eerste oogsten uit de kas: een heerlijke courgette!

 

avocado boompje in de kas

Een avocado boompje geniet van de zon in de kas.

 

Occupy Permaculture!

Confrontation of the criminal class responsible for the corporate coup of the US, is vital and long overdue. But there is also a need to take responsibility and design intelligent, local strategies, to prevent the same problems of scale from repeating themselves. The notion of self sufficiency is key. We can only properly protest something, when we have reduced our dependancy on it. Permaculture offers a vast resource of practical solutions for sustainable, self sufficient living. Permies were sure not to miss the exciting opportunity to share their knowledge with those who can use it most.

Mobile Design Lab (mobiledesignlab.org) is on the ground at Occupy Wall Street, where they have built working systems, offer Permaculture workshops and share their knowledge… all for free! They are doing great service, simply by being on the ground at the Occupy Movement, but especially for making it more self sufficient and for sharing their knowledge!

The plan to evict the 99% from Zuccotti Park, which was heroically resisted on the 14th of October, was proposed by Bloomberg under the premise of ‘cleanup.’ The 99% correctly recognized the hidden tactic, and thousands poured into the park in the early hours of last Friday morning, to make a stand. The ‘cleanup’ in question was meant, in part, to allow Bloomberg to destroy the Greywater systems that have been installed by Mobile Design Lab.

Greywater

Greywater is water that has been used, then discarded by human households and businesses. Instead of letting it run down the drain, it can easily be filtered onsite. It can then be used immediately, for example for irrigation. If Greywater is not separated and filtered, it is combined with other sewage (blackwater), where it becomes exposed to contaminants which can no longer easily be filtered onsite (Greywater is created by doing the dishes, taking a bath or doing laundry. Water used to flush the toilet is not greywater!)

The benefits of ‘recycling’ greywater onsite are far reaching. Every household can take advantage, by collecting greywater seperately. It is a huge waste, that 70 – 90 % of water used by households is effectively contaminated after it is disposed of, by combining it with sewage. Thanks to Mobile Design Lab, the OWS kitchens at Zuccotti feauture a greywater system.

In the image to the left, a drum is being prepared for a biofilter, using wood chips to separate food and oil from the greywater produced by the OWS kitchen. The biofilter can be seen at work in the image above.

 

Seed Bombs! Looking for a way to combine Taking a Walk / Beautifying your area / Promoting biodiversity? Seed Bombs away! Below are a few images of the totally free seed bomb workshops Mobile Design Lab are offering. For a guide to Seed Bombs, visit: guerrillagardening.org

Below is a map of Zuccotti, with a design for the park encampment. Mobile Design Lab have been in contact with a lawyer, concerning the legality of collecting human fecal matter at the park, for composting purposes (humanure)! They report the lawyer has confirmed the legality of the proposal. This great initiative will be another concrete way to reduce the encampment’s foot print, and produce some rich soil!

 

Time’s Up (times-up.org), a NYC based group for promoting sustainability and reducing toxicity in the City, has provided OWS with a peddle powered battery recharging station. Many more to come! Thank you Time’s Up!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPXBgZ1gAPs&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]

 

 

 

 

 

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/30401811[/vimeo]

 

 

 

 


 

The OWS Sustainability Group Table, hand built with materials supplied by the NYC trash network.


 

 

 

 

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/31533066[/vimeo]

Updated for October 29 2011, in response to the great article published by CampusProgress.org

I can’t express how happy it makes me to learn that the implementation of sustainability and permaculture principles is spreading to many Occupy encampments –and spreading with the same momentum as the Occupy Movement itself.

Many of the Occupy encampments have set up committees to analyze their own environmental impact, and conceive of practical solutions. Since Mobile Design Lab first installed a grey water system (more below), sustainability committees in different parts of the country have introduced peddle powered generators, solar panels, bike sharing programs and permaculture workshops. There are also pottery classes, as part of an effort to reduce waste in the form of discarded Styrofoam. There are even long term projects, such as composting and gardening.

What is happening is bigger than Permaculture, even bigger than Sustainability: it is real Democracy. OWS is proving that we, the 99%, are perfectly capable of creating our own, truly democratic systems. We are very efficient when it comes to getting things done, when we decide to take care of business ourselves. We are proving that horizontal organization works great. Change doesn’t need to be squeezed through a hierarchical bottleneck; nor does it need to trickle down to us, we can do it together.

The way in which OWS is organizing itself renders the notion of helplessly depending on elected officials, to take care of matters on our behalf, simply laughable. A month and a half ago, the impediments to democracy – the lobbying and beaurocracy – were a maddening quagmire. Just 6 weeks later, the wind in our sails, we are putting that impasse behind us. We have discovered how to inspire each other internationally, while creating pockets of local democracy.

Many see OWS as nothing more than a platform from which to negotiate. As if we have taken the streets and squares hostage, to be released as soon as our demands are met. This is why so many people keep suggesting that OWS should define it’s demands. I think this mentality lacks vision. Worse yet, it somewhat legitimizes the SWAT team style raids we just witnessed in Oakland. OWS is not about negotiating the terms of partial inclusion, in exchange for our silence and invisibility. It’s about refusing to be complicit in a corrupt system, and proving that we can organize ourselves, to create viable alternatives. It is about creating our own democracy, not about cutting a deal with criminals – no matter what they offer.

The goal of OWS should be to grow, while reducing dependency on destructive institutions. The goal should be to create a sustainable, permanent, parallel economy, for us by us. To create an alternative, in which it’s possible to exist without automatically being complicit – because the truth is, most of the 99% has been overwhelmingly complicit. We have fed our money to the Zombie Banks, to the Pharma Drug Lords, to the GMO Mafia, to the Insurance Cartels, to the Walmarts, the McDonalds – we allow the corporate media to cast it’s spell on us. Even before we realized we were in crisis, the 99% had a long standing negative savings rate.

There is no need to limit ourselves to making demands, and there never should be. Of course we should put all the pressure we can on those who are stealing and destroying our Commons. But we should also continue to build on the alternative that is emerging, by establishing our own local, democratic organizations. We can certainly put pressure on unsustainable industries – by protesting and sanctioning them – but we don’t need to focus exclusively on negotiating with them. After all it is not us, it is the criminal class of corporatists who have gradually occupied our society. The stronger, and more independent our networks are, the stronger our negotiating position, the greater our leverage.

The permaculture movement has been developing the strategies needed to become self-sufficient since the 70’s, and is of immeasurable value to those who are ready to stop waiting for politicians to solve the problems they have either created or allowed, and take back control.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2KabGgFgxg&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Bill Mollison Permaculture Design Course 1983

“Hunger is rising, absolute hunger is rising, food’s badly distributed, not distributed at all often. The waste of food, the whole deal of it….its eh, a shocking situation, it’s just inhuman. It’s what nobody would intend, and somehow what we’ve arrived at, and we arrived at it by the erection of financial structures, totally divorced from resources. So that the fiscal economy has been a runaway system. We’ve gotta tackle that head on. That is, what I’m trying to tell you, it’s no good any longer just being an organic gardener or farmer, we have to be effective financial and political units. And we’re gonna have to face that. Just as it was very hard for us to learn to garden, then hard for us to learn to collect seeds, once the multinationals took over the open-pollinated seed market; we had to become seed growers. Now its very difficult, we have to become bankers.There’s no good trying to pretend we don’t have to. We can run away to the bush, build a mud hut and grow ducks in the garden, it’s not gonna do it. The coals will still be burnt, the land will still be eroded, and the forests will still be cleared for newsprint if we run away to the bush. So, there’s no escape, we’ve just gotta stop running away, stay where we are and start to face up and fight.”

The Problem IS The Solution

 

 The Problem IS The Solution

The Mind is a trickster, and as much as our mental capabilities stand as one of humankind’s greatest powers, we also tote it as one of our greatest weaknesses. Early on in the 20th century, a man named Edward Bernays would revolutionize the way human beings manipulate each other with their minds. Bernays was the cousin of Sigmund Freud, and used his uncle’s deep insight of the human psyche to father what we know today as Corporate Mass Media. He is the Progenitor of Modern Day Spin Doctoring and False Flagging, and single handedly turned the Nasty Word Propaganda into what we now know as Public Relations. Sounds a lot better doesn’t it? It’s the same Orwellian magic wand that turns the Departement of War, into the Departement of Homeland Security. It is of course a mind trip, designed to hypnotize and manufacture ‘Democratic’ consent. As we wake up to a neo-feudal world in which our sovereignty has been hijacked, our most basic rights have been commodified, and our consciousness regulated by law, we find as the comedian George Carlin aptly put, that it’s the American Dream, because you gotta be asleep to believe it.

Return

In his book ‘The Turning Point’ the human potential writer Fritjof Capra starts his vision for a better world with the Chinese Character FU, one of 64 Hexagrams from the I Ching, a 3000 year old manuscript, known to us as ‘THe Book of Changes’. This classic was written by the power of a human mind trying to grasp reality not in terms of numbers, figures and hard Science, but in terms of re-occuring Natural phenomena, rhythms, pulses and cycles, the Organic Language of the Universe. FU is the Hexagram of Return, the stage of Transition, and can be understood in terms of the axiom, that in times of crisis lie the greatest opportunities. It is easy to dismiss the I Ching as quackery fortune telling, but it would be a case of throwing out the baby with the bath water if we would deny the power that lay hidden within this type of reverse psychology.

To bring all of this back to Earth, we must acknowledge that it is here we find the seed of a powerful way of thinking that is also incorporated in the Design Principles of Permaculture. Namely Facing up to the Problem, drawing in some deep breaths, letting the wind whirl and whisper around your EPIC hair….. Ehrm, Observing the Challenge, BEcoming the Issue, taking one step back and Seeing the Bigger Picture, supercharging that UNwaivering Positivity, and in anticipation of those two steps forward, constantly realize that ‘The Problem IS the Solution!!!’

Ducks are our Friends!

Ducks are our Friends!

The classic example Bill Mollison likes to mention, and by the way he’s a real Bastard sometimes :-), is the way we deal with those most detested of pests, gardeners’ biggest adversary on the battlefield of their food producing gardens……..the Slippery Snails and Slimey Slugs. Instead of taking these creatures that nibble away your once exquisite lettuces as your enemy and hauling in some Environmentally hazardous Petro-Chemical product, we can employ the problem to serve as a Solution, and just by turning around our perspective on the issue, the Gastropod Molluscs become our Allies. Then suddely, an overabundance of Snails and Slugs, is really just a Deficiency of Ducks! For Ducks love the Slimey Critters, and if trained in that way, will leave your crops alone and pick out all the Slithering Snacks, including other harmful bugs. Now we’re starting to think Permaculture, making this small change in your system, turns a pest problem, into a more diverse and healthy ecosystem. In addition, you get some great company from the ducks, they produce beautiful manure that will only add to the fertility of your garden, and they’ll even eat the unwanted Weeds and other organic waste you might have. One element with many functions! Minimum effort, for maximum effect! OKay, granted, if you’re down at Wall Street reading this, you’re thinking, ‘yeah well what does this mean to me!?’ Perhaps you have no space for Ducks! However, as we come to think Positively and solution oriented about the Issues confronting us, we see that problems arise from mental obstacles, such as inertia and ignorance, and that the same issues can be approached with a completely different attitude. We don’t have Too Many Empty Urban Lots, We have a Deficiency of Urban Communal GArdens!! If anything we must demonstrate the power of Positive thinking, orienting ourselves in terms of solutions, for that is what we need in order to identify the opportunities that lie in front of us in these times of crisis, or should we say, these times of Opportunity? 😀

Bankers SUCK! Wooohoooo! I LOve LOve!!

Similarly, the perception that the Occupy Wall Street movement has no organization, or guidance, or demands, as its main problem, is in a way just creating another mental obstacle that blinds us from the reality of the situation. To move forward in a Sustainable way, to deal with the direct challenges of the economic crisis, to realize that we CAN move away from fiat currency and say SCREW YOU to private Central Banks (Yes we are FED up!!), we need to get out of the Isolation and Inertia of our Drone like lives, and inform each other about the Healthy and Sustainable practices we can use to get out of this mess. Educate ourselves on how we can cooperate in meeting each other’s most basic needs, form alliances, cooperatives and friendships with our neighbours and kin. We will have people of all ages, colors, faces and places coming together, implementing a new kind of co-existence, finding meaning once again in their lives as part of a larger whole, without Fear and Redeemed from the Dark night Of Apathy. By changing ourselves first, and Helping each other similarly; by bringing back the community, Positivity, and Mutually Beneficial Self-Reliance, we become the Solution. So strap on your Permaculture Hat and dont’t forget: “The Problem IS the Solution”, as we are getting out on the streets now, we are meeting each other again, and that in itself IS exactly part of the Change we wish to See.

Stay Tuned for More Sense and Non-Sense on the Permaculture Front, Practical Tips of WHat You can Do, and How to Spread the Permaculture Virus!!

The Danghiz Post’Umus For Occupy-Wallstreet.com and Permaculture.nl

 

For Further Exploration:

Growing Lucious Tropical Foods!

The Power of Duck: Permaculture Succes in Japan!

Starting a Community Garden

Praxis: Introduction

 

You can Eat This!

The World beckons us on! So, let us take a look at what we can do individually and as a community on a practical level to take a step in the direction of a more conscientious, natural, and healthy world to co-inhabit.

Consumption

You Are the Center of your Universe, Wake up and Take Control of Your Life and Health! Industrial food is close to being a lump of dead organic matter, the decay of which made invisible through chemical preservatives and artificial coloring. Most beneficial Active Enzymes in our Foodstuffs have been killed through prolonged refrigeration, and are already close to non-extant through the Processing of modern Chemical-intensive Agriculture; and Increasingly, Health Detrimental Genetically Modified Crop Cultivation. Buying into this, is (perhaps unwittingly) supporting it, and slowly destroying your own health, as well as that of our planet.

Now going Organic is something that needs some elucidation. Many facets of the Green movement have already been commodified and co-opted by those seeking profit, which really just means we should understand what is what, and what is good. Now many have made a fortune from the Organic food Boom, however in reality the fundamental principles of the ways of cultivation don’t differ that much from Industrial production. It’s still the same Monocultural Energy Intensive, added (Organic) Fertilizer, ploughing and tilling the soil (destroying the soil life and its capacities to retain nutrient, water, and gasses). What Organic should mean is Locally Grown, Low Energy Produced, Non Treated freshly consumed Produce; Natural Food.

So the very first step is to become aware of your Food, and realize that a revolution in the way we perceive, cultivate and consume our foods is an evolution toward individual and societal health. Some basic Health Insight: Like the soil, our bodies prefer a certain pH balance between acidic and alkaline to thrive. In the case of the human body this balance is tipped to the alkaline side of the scale, around pH 7.352, give or take a thousandth of a point. 🙂 Most bodies have acidic pH’s, brought on by bad eating habits, irregular Lifestyles, and Stress. Cancers thrive in acidic bodies, oxygen is less easily absorbed which in turn impairs vital bodily functions. Fatigue, listlessness, depression and disease thrive. To maintain a healthy pH, any diet should consists at least of 50% naturally grown, fresh, preferably raw, preferably green, vegetables, or 80% of Alkalinizing Food stuffs. Try eating a red raw organic bell-pepper in the morning for breakfast instead of a cigarette and coffee, and let yourself be surprised by the intensity and richness of its flavors, delight in its sensual sweetness, and wholesomely invigorating juice. Try Carrots as snacks, and expand on your salad Repertoire! Once you go for the Arugula, nuts, vinegar, and other fresh veggies you won’t want to go back!!! Add in some exercise and your world becomes more clear and more meaningful by the day.

Yum! Potatoes!

In addition a shift to local/own organic produce means going from a centralized food economy, which relies on large amounts of energy to produce and transport large amounts of low quality produce, profiting unethical big corporations, and allowing out of control hazardous and unhealthy practices; to a decentralized food economy, which is less energy intense, higher in quality and empowers the community. In essence then it means that we have to Occupy our food, in the way we consume, as described above, but also in the way we produce.

Production

This is where the hardcore Permaculture Design comes in. Yeah!! 🙂 We will shortly discuss two modes of food production in which all of us can take part: individual and communal. Food Production is a challenging endeavor that comes with huge rewards; physical rewards in terms of abundant and healthy food, and spiritual rewards in terms of working with and caring for the natural environment. Engaging your own food, then becomes a great body, mind, and soul work-out!!

In the best case scenario you have a front and/or backyard available with plenty of sunlight. In that case you have all the conditions to start your self-sufficient food garden. Make raised beds to plant your crops, or Hugle Kultur Beds if you have wood lying around, or wicking beds if you have a scarcity of water. Plant polycultures of vegetables, add berries, medicinals, and aromatics to your liking; employ climbers, creepers, herbs, bushes, and trees; mix brassica veggies with root crops and wild edibles, get into square foot gardening, consult companion planting tables to achieve the best mixes of biodiversity, intersperse plants that attract predatory beneficial insects, plant fast growing fodder trees and plants, to create shade and build organic matter, compost everything you can lay your hands on, start a worm-farm bin, and start thinking about perennial crops that will take away the need for the more labor intensive annual crops over time.

Permaculture Design will give you the tools you need to find ways to make use of your rainwater, to deal with sheet run-off from flash rains, to take into account the prevailing winds, the direction and duration of sunlight, and compensate for the extremities of your specific climate. Your system will become more and more intense, accumulating the amount of beneficial connections between all the elements in your garden, creating more niches for life and diversity to thrive. Perhaps you’ll notice that you have a lot of birds around; make perches and birdhouses that will accommodate these awesome creatures, for many of them will help you with pests while they give their fertile excrement to your soil.

Stack the Spaces!!

Perhaps you only have a balcony or very small space outside. Make use of the vertical space! Make some trellises, let those beans and peas run! Kiwi’s climb, cucumbers climb, grapes climb, you can even trellis squashes and melons, zucchini’s and tomatoes. Use every viable space and create an intensive system. You have a lot of shade? Many things grow in the shade, many lettuces and brassicas! You’re in the cold? Use cold-frames, make small poly-tunnels, solutions abound just open your mind and experiment!

Other things to consider is greening your living spaces, some varieties of plants have special high oxygen producing qualities and will filter the air from dust particles. Many kitchen herbs do very well by the window sill, and if you have large windows you can install self-made vertical gardens. If you’re really pressed for light indoors get up on your apartment roof and Occupy IT! 🙂

Of course, it is not easy to create a self-sufficient food system in the city by ourselves. The solution to this problem is manyfold as well. Many farmers suffer from the competition Big Agri imposes on them, many would love to farm organically. By starting Community Supported Agriculture schemes (CSA’s), we can together pool money to buy organic produce from local farmers, having enough subscribers will make it worth their effort, providing them with stable income, while they accommodate our food supply. You can even pay the farmer to keep chickens for you or other animals.

Permanent Gardens = Permanent Culture!! Community Rocks!!

Really, we need to convene and set-up more community gardens. In my view, community gardens are the means by which we can really empower ourselves, and become independent of our reliance on industry, while at the same time strengthening our communities and local economies. Community gardens allow for more wholesome production, and communal participation distributes the labour. They act as educational hubs, and social meeting places. All that’s needed is a small core group of dedicated people. How many retired people feel socially disconnected from their environment? How many youths feel alienated by modern society? How many kids don’t have a safe place to play and learn from nature? How many adults feel grey and utterly devoid of purposefulness in their regular jobs? Here in the Community Garden we can all come together, learn about and from each other, we can create jobs for teachers and people with a craft or skill, or even jobs in the form of added value food processing, i.e. making our community jams, or dried fruits, culinary and medicinally beneficial herbs etc. Here while we re-learn the simple things in life that are most rewarding, the value of life itself, and the gifts of health and balanced living, we can enjoy the humbling experience of receiving from nature and the intense pleasure of giving back to her. Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out!! :p

Stay Tuned for More In-Depth Methods Techniques and Mind Bending Ways of Green Thumbing yourself out of the Matrix! 🙂 Until then, go get your hands dirty, and Fight with Love!

The Danghiz Post’Umus For Occupy-Wallstreet.com

Occupy New Haven: Sustainability

Starting a Community Garden

Growing Food in Front Gardens

Permaculture Punks of Mexico City!

Zaailingen planten

De woonkamer aan de zuiderzijde begint aardig vol te raken met zaailingen: baby choi, paksoi, paprika’s en chili pepers, mung bonen, witte bonen, linzen, rode bieten, Californische rode krulsla, stevia, rucula en veel meer. Het is bijna zover dat sommige zaailingen naar buiten kunnen.

De eerste Zaailingen

De kas

Het is een grote pluspunt dat de boerderij van een kas voorzien is, maar het moet flink opgeknapt worden voordat het gebruikt kan worden.

 Een aantal ruiten moeten gerepareerd worden, en de kas moet flink schoon gemaakt worden: er is jarenlang niets mee gedaan, en is overwoekerd geraakt met klimop en grassen. 

Inmiddels zijn we begonnen met het opruimen van de kas:

Het schoonmaken van de kas veroorzaakte voor iemand een verrassing: een egel – die waarschijnlijk aan het overwinteren was in de klimop en gras – werd plotseling wakker van de herrie. In ieder geval fijn om te weten dat er een slakkeneter hier woont!

Permacultuur in Parrega: het begin

Het land gezien van het noorden

Wij zijn 1 Maart 2012 begonnen aan een permacultuur project in Parrega, Friesland. We hebben een boerderij gehuurd met een stuk land erbij van ongeveer 400 vierkante meter.

De boerderij bevind zich aan de Workumer Trekvaart, bekend van de Elfstedentocht en nationale viswedstrijden.

     

Het land, gezien van het Zuiden

De woonboerderij is onderdeel van een grote complex, met een grote stalruimte, een losstaande schuur, kippenhok, kas en chalets. Het geheel verkeert in een ‘slechte’ staat, waardoor het voor de meeste mensen niet een geschikte woonruimte is, maar voor ons biedt het geweldige mogelijkheden!

Wij delen het terrein met iemand die de losstaande schuur gebruikt als houtzagerij: Een leuke bonus is dat dit veel restjes hout oplevert waar wij gebruik van kunnen maken.