Sustainable Living Project- Tampa, Florida

“Working to end hunger in our community.”

The Sustainable Living Project is happening in Tampa, Florida, where a group is working to provide fresh food to local food pantries. The project is run by the organization Tampa Bay Harvest. The organization has started a garden that provides fresh vegetables to the Salvation Army downtown. The project has been active for just over a year, and produces hundreds of pounds of fresh food for the needy in the neighborhood.

The garden has an aquaculture component, and is a closed loop system, making it very sustainable and a model for any ecovillage. It is a community based project located in an urban environment, demonstrating that ecovillages can occur anywhere. Neighbors close to the project often bring their food scraps to provide compost for the garden. By creating a community initiative, the garden has created a strong neighborhood bonded through a sense of purpose. Furthermore, the Tampa Bay Harvest organization has started to teach classes about sustainable garden practices and is using education to spread sustainable living ideals.

This effort is a great example for ecovillages throughout the world. Through education and creating a strong community, sustainable living practices are demonstrated through the Sustainable Living Project.

 

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To learn more about the project, read this news article: http://tbo.com/central-tampa/sustainable-living-project-marks-one-year-anniversary-on-earth-day-20140421/

or visit their website: http://tampabayharvest.org/

-AR

Sources:

Hammett, Yvette C. “Sustainable Living Project Marks One-year Anniversary on Earth Day.” TBO.com. Tampa Media Group, 21 Apr. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.

Tampa Bay Harvest. “Tampa Bay Harvest.” Tampa Bay Harvest. Tampa Bay Harvest, 2013. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.

 

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What is Permaculture?

“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.” – Bill Mollison (“father of permaculture” since 1978)

So what exactly is permaculture? And how does it relate to ecovillages? On a basic level, the word permaculture is a combination of the words permanent and agriculture. Permaculture is a way of the designing the environment while considering relationships within the food system and beyond. Permaculture focuses on making reliant consumers into responsible consumers.

A major part of permaculture is a focus on biomimicry and imitating processes in nature. Recycling of waste is particularly important, because so many people do not realize that when you throw something away, there really is no “away.” Everything on the Earth is connected, so waste has to go somewhere. Therefore, it is essential to focus on reducing waste and turning the waste that does occur into something useful. Consequently, the permaculture idea becomes a cycle of reusing and reducing. Through this notion, one is able to create a system where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Permaculture focuses on the relationships in nature and the idea that everything is connected. Some examples of permaculture practices include rotational grazing, harvesting rainfall, gardening, and strategic planning. Below are the permaculture principles that guide a successful permaculture establishment. The three major ethics are care for the Earth, fair share, and care for people. On the outside of these three principles, there are a variety of other important things to consider when thinking about permaculture.

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The above principles are a guide to help people re-think society’s behavior and change the way we think to be more sustainable. If you would like to learn more, there are a variety of resources available. Here are some of my personal favorites, but there are many more available:

Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren. The whole book is available from Amazon or a free summary can be downloaded from this website: http://permacultureprinciples.com/resources/free-downloads/

Article in the Daily Meal: http://www.thedailymeal.com/what-permaculture-and-how-you-can-volunteer-help-sustainable-agriculture

The website Permaculture Principles: http://permacultureprinciples.com/

 

Sources:

Epicure and Culture. “What Is Permaculture? (And How You Can Volunteer To Help Sustainable Agriculture).” The Daily Meal. Spanfeller Media Group, Inc., 17 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

Holmgren, David. Permaculture: Principles & Pathways beyond Sustainability. Hepburn, Vic.: Holmgren Design Services, 2002. Print.

Permafund. “Permaculture Design Principles.” Permaculture Principles. Permafund, 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

-AR

Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village: Cameroon, Africa

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7vVZhQE2Cc

“Together we share our knowledge to create the future for a better world”

In Cameroon, Africa, people have joined together to start planning an ecovillage that will hopefully be established by 2020. The ecovillage would be located on a five acre plot of land in Bafut, Cameroon. Currently, the ecovillage is still in its preliminary stages and is being planned by community members along with an organization called Better World Cameroon.

The ecovillage will consist of a few simple buildings, including a dining hall, a learning center, and an eco-lodge. Community members recently built a composting toilet on the land, which will serve as a preliminary step to a hopefully thriving community. The emphasis in the ecovillage will be placed on caring for each other and the land and creating an inclusive community.

The ecovillage members have many amazing ideas for the future of their land. They want to use the power of their ecovillage to reconnect people to their roots. This focus will be particularly on young people, who have started to view farming in a negative lens. The ecovillage members believe that young people need to be reminded of the benefits and beauty of farming, and have confidence that their ecovillage can accomplish this. Some other positive benefits of an ecovillage in Bafut would be to promote ecotourism in the area, to stop the deforestation that is currently happening throughout Cameroon, and to manage environmental resources. The ecovillage will also have a strong emphasis on education, and will teach people about the issues above as well as solutions such as permaculture and community. Another extremely important problem that the ecovillage will attempt to address is the issue of food sovereignty. The members of the ecovillage believe that Cameroonians have lost their ability to be food secure, and will try to regain food sovereignty while educating people about this very important issue.

I believe that this ecovillage plan is not only important, but truly inspirational. The Ndanifor ecovillage demonstrates that permaculture can be done anywhere and that it is a universal concept.

Elke-hoeing
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Sources:

Better World Cameroon. “Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village – Better World Cameroon.” Better World Cameroon. Better World Cameroon, 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village: Permaculture the African Way. Better World Cameroon, 2013. Youtube. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7vVZhQE2Cc&gt;.

(photos taken from above website)

-AR