Workshop of ‘An Introduction to Permaculture’ WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?

PERMACULTURE IS: • A solution-based approach to ecological living and natural, sustainable food production. • A harmonious integration of humans, plants and animals into agriculturally productive ecosystems. • A design science that is non-pollutive and that achieves energy efficiency.

WHO IS IT FOR? Permaculture is for anyone who is interested in: • Growing your own organic, nutrient-rich food • Self-sufficiency • Shaping a more sustainable future for your family, community, country and our Planet Earth. • A holistic approach to life.

As rising costs of living leads to more urbanization, as more people turn to consumption rather than production, we are witnessing Earth’s resources depleting at a rapid rate. Humans, as one of these resources, are losing their connection with the surrounding ecology, which only furthers the environmental destruction and social unrest we see daily in the news. And as we are inundated with more negative depictions of our current state, our actions become driven by fear and the downward spiral continues. It is only through a reconnection to the natural world and freedom from our dependence on fossil fuels that humanity can continue to evolve. Amidst rising costs of fuels, failing economic institutions, and escalating pandemic fears, Permaculture emerges as a grassroots movement leading humanity out of the spiral and into a positive vortex of change.

Permaculture is a solution-based approach to ecological living and food sovereignty. It is a design science, creating a harmonious integration of humans, plants, and animals into agriculturally productive ecosystems and socially just environments. Permaculture principles are expressions and reflections of natures compound interactions. Through these interactions energy is created and the multitudes of life forms prosper. The massive disruption of Earth’s processes has halted the growth and evolution of higher life forms. However, with sensible design modeled after the principles and ethics of permaculture, we can restore these life-giving processes.

From the cosmos to the molecules composing our body, nature displays its patterns as a template for creation. It is through pattern recognition and application that permaculture draws a lot of inspiration. Water, as the most powerful carrier of resonance, displays many patterns and serves as a guide in permaculture design. By observing water, we can effectively capture and store this powerful resource, ultimately transforming severely degraded landscapes, including deserts, into agriculturally productive ecosystems filled with biodiversity.

Just as we can see connections between the cosmos and the human body, we also see the connection between human health and soil health. Our health as humans, both physical and mental, is dependent on the health of the ecosystems from which our food is produced and water is drawn. The minerals and biology contained within our soil determine the fulfillment of protein and vitamins that are essential for human life. By using permaculture techniques such as no-till agriculture, guild planting, and incorporating trees and earthworks into our landscapes, we can build one of the most precious resources on this planet: top soil. As we remineralize and refertilize the soil, we can accelerate soil health, leading to crop health, and finally to human health.

Through pattern-based design grounded in ecology, permaculturists are rising up as some of the most powerful activists of our time. As Dr. David Suzuki puts it, “What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet.” The solutions for so many of the world’s problems are simple, but it is only through thoughtful design that we can increase efficiency.

Today more and more people are seeking creative solutions and tools to give back to the earth. Permaculturists are on the frontline, breaking ground, planting trees, purifying water, and greening landscapes. We all possess these capabilities; it is just a matter of reframing our thought process. It is time to move away from compartmentalization and separation, and towards a reintegration of processes and an understanding of the interconnectedness of all our systems through permaculture.

Day 1: Date: 16May2009

Time:10.00am-5.30pm

Venue: D-Space, 4th Floor, 62, Weld Quay, Georgetown

Cost: Free of Charge

Presentation 1 (90 mins): Introduction to Permacutlure: History, context, and examples of permaculture principles and sites in action

Presentation 2 (90 mins): Pattern Understanding and Application Looking at Natures template and comparing that with how we can use it in design.

Presentation 3 (90 mins): Soil, Water & Human Health Interconnectedness of Soil, Water, and human health and a degenerative and regenerative society

Presentation 4 (90 mins): Transition Time Paradigm Shifts ranging from community development models to self-sustaining agriculture systems

Day 2:

Date: 17May2009

Time: 3.00pm-6.30pm

Venue: Grassroot Organic Farm Bukit Kechil, Sg. Pinang, Balik Pulau, Penang.

Content: Hands-on workshop

About the speaker :

Doug E. Crouch

Trained as both a Permaculture Designer and Fish and Wildlife Manager, Doug has extensive knowledge surrounding landscape planning and creating aquaculture systems for all needs. He has worked in temperate, drylands, and tropical climates, extending from North and Central America to Asia and Oceania. This work includes managing land and water for tourism ventures, facilitating and co-creating educational programs, tropical aquaculture and wetlands restoration, permaculture design and implementation, and market gardening. Incorporating this knowledge and experience into educational programs has now become Doug’s main focus as he continues his design and development in various ecosystems.

GAUTIER GRAS

Having grown up and lived in large cities, Gautier came across books about natural farming and permaculture while traveling two years ago. The ideas were so different and empowering that he derived great inspiration from them. This became a driving force for his full development and study of food production systems and sensible design. His practical training includes volunteering in various ecosystems in USA, Australia, India, and Malaysia, while his theoretical training is rooted in extensive reading and university education.

Organiser: PAN-AP(Pesticide Action Network-Asia and the Pacific)

Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) is one of five regional centres of PAN, a global network which aims to eliminate the harm caused by pesticides and promote biodiversity- based ecological agriculture. It is committed to the empowerment of people especially women, agricultural workers, peasants and indigenous farmers. The Save Our Rice Campaign was launched in 2003 by PAN AP with its network partners in Asia in recognition of the critical role of rice, the world’s most important and political crop being the staple food of half its population. The foundation of the Campaign is the “Five Pillars of Rice Wisdom”: (1) Rice Culture, (2) Community Wisdom, (3) Biodiversity- based Ecological Agriculture, (4) Safe Food and (5) Food Sovereignty. The Campaign is dedicated to saving traditional local rice, small rice farmers, rice lands and the rice heritage of Asia through defending and advancing the cultural and food sovereignty of the grassroots and opposing the powerful threats to rice.

PLEASE CONTACT CHUN HONG 0124300901 tehchunhong@gmail.com or MEISHY 0125536898 ahloi903@gmail.com for registration.

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