Welcome to the Permaculture Association Blog

You can find a wealth of news and knowledge that follows the work of members and partners.

We’re looking for talented illustrators and writers for inclusion in our brand new long-format journal publication coming out this autumn. Plus, do you have a great idea, invention or hack that you’d like to share with the world? For example, an upcycled biochar kiln, a bicycle trailer, or novel chicken coop?

In permaculture terms the economy sometimes feels like a segregated monoculture planted with terminator seeds, sprayed with patented pesticides on venture capital backed farms designed to maximise profits in an unsustainable market place full of thieves and cheats. No wonder people prefer to potter in their gardens and allotments - and try to forget the craziness of corporate capitalism!

But no matter how much we try to ignore the corporate machine it ploughs on regardless and at various points in all of our lives we are forced to interact with the unsustainable, greed-based economy whether we like it or not. We all need to travel, buy energy, we like presents and holidays and now we are buying more and more of these goods and services online, from people we do not know.

The word ‘regeneration’ is fast becoming the keyword of this decade. With sustainability not living up to its meaning, and with the near daily reports of how climate change, global warming and our lifestyles are irreversibly damaging the planet, we need to think beyond business as normal. And while the business world is going gaga over missions to Mars and self driving cars, Carol Sanford calmly highlights what businesses should be focusing on to survive and become powerfully disruptive in the next 50 years of worldwide change.

An exciting food project called Grown in Totnes has started trading in this South Devon market town, selling processed grains, peas and flours to local shops, bakers and colleges.

It all started with the publication of the Crop Gaps Report, which identified gaps in the area’s local food provision of vegetable protein, grains and oils.

Members of the Transition Town Totnes Food Group went on a mission to supply grains and legumes - beans and peas - all grown, processed and sold within 30 miles of Totnes. They carried out a survey of potential customers using a questionnaire, studied the data in the report, and listed the skills and resources they would need and could access in the town.

In 2012, I started a small education charity in Southern Africa. In its first five years, it has made remarkable progress, but like many in development, I often worry about navigating my work in a way which feels ethical, innovative, holistic and which makes the most of local resources and wisdom. These challenges combined with the pressure of this kind of work can leave one feeling lost, isolated, or worse, burnt out.

A new course led by respected permaculture teacher Chris Evans seeks to address this. Permaculture for Development Workers invites practitioners working at all levels in development to consider incorporating permaculture into their approach and demonstrates how doing so could increase the suitability and sustainability of their programmes – as well as supporting development workers’ personal resilience.