Plant DB

Graham Burnett gb0063551 at cableinet.co.uk
Fri Dec 28 18:11:52 EST 2001


Hi Rich- i forwarded your request for financial help to some of the vegan
discussion lists I subscribe to, but have you been in touch with Vegan Organic
Network & movement for Compassionate Living re this issue. there is also the vegan
Village noticeboard, and of course our own permaculture UK list where I doon't
recall seeing this appeal...

let me know if I can help in getting your appeal out to these places.

Graham


----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Morris <pfaf at scs.leeds.ac.uk>
To: permaculture <permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: Plant DB


> > Subject: Re: plants db - fundraising
> > From: Allan Balliett <igg at igg.com>
> > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 09:08:59 -0500
>
> > I was off the list for a few weeks.
> > Can someone update me on the need for funding for the database?
> > Thanks
>
> It might well have been me who firsty asked. I'm a trustee of Plants For A
> Future
> and maintain their web-site and online version of the database.
> http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/D_search.html
> PFAF is in a bit of a tricky spot financially and we seriously need to
> get some funding for our many projects, database development is one of
> them.
> We are throwing the idea of releasing the database as open source, some
> funding
> could easily help prod us in the right direction.
>
> This is of course different to funding the database being discussed on the
> list.
> Funding for this would be nice as it is a really big task compiling the
> data.
> (many man years have gone into compiling the pfaf database).
>
> If you have any ideas re fundraising I'd love to hear from you.
> (webmaster at pfaf.org).
>
>
> > Subject: Re: Plant DB - data & user friendly
> > From:     1earth permaculture <permaculture1 at start.com.au>
> > Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 10:59:00 +1000
> > X-Message-Number: 7
>
> >>> _Useful_/_may be used_/traditionally used in PC zone 2, 3,
>
> >> To me this is not useful information, at least not in a PC sense of
> usefulness. I also think it can be misleading in a very basic sense.
>
> >> If I am ignorant of the PC emphasis on relations, it makes me *think*
> I know something about this plant in a PC sense (aha, it goes in zone
> 2 or 3!) when I really do not.
>
> But I am ignorant. By having the zone indication it could help me to
> think about zones more. It could help me think about a plant in a
> different way
> if it was listed as being in a zone I was not expecting.
>
> It is also a political tool. By using the database people are introduced
> to the concepts of zones and hence to permaculture.
>
> >> I can stick it in zone 2 or 3, it says so in the PC plant
> database...so what? Where, what context, in what sort of guilding,
> what relations to other plants (which ones?), what functions does it
> provide and support in zone 2, in zone 3 (same or different for each
> zone?)...??
>
> Done well it could help people think about relationships. Say
> for zone 4 you could list the different functions of plants in that
> zone:
> zone 4 - standard trees
> zone 4 - understory plants
> zone 4 - ground cover
>
> so now from using the database I am already begining to think about
> how diferent plants can be combined.
>
> > Different people search information in different ways. The same person
> > also searches the same information in different ways at different
> > times.
>
> > A "Permaculture Zone" search might not suit you (right now), but it IS
> > USEFUL for other people who are searching with a different mindset or
> > purpose than yours.
>
> > Permaculture zones are one effective way that permaculture
> > practitioners sort their information, so the idea of a permaculture
> > zone search function in the Plants DB is at the very least worth
> > exploring for it's possibilities.
>
> Broadly agree.
>
>
> Form (lost atribution)
> >>Seems the (information) rich get richer and the poor get nothing -
> again. The people that would most benefit from a Plants DB aren't
> being considered. Asia, South America and Africa should be catered
> for! And don't forget Australia and the Pacific :)
>
> Now if we are thinking of broading the use of the database to Africa
> we do need to think about an offline version. Computers are scacer,
> computers connected to the internet even more so, and costs of
> internet conections sky high. The technology used also needs to be simple
> (must run under win3.1). Language is also another major hurdle.
> I did a breakdown of hits on the pfaf site by country a while back
> http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/pfaf/stats.html
> with virtually no hits from Africa and a big skew towards the richer
> nations.
>
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