[permaculture] The Tragedy of the Himalayas By BRYAN

Patrick forgeadams at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 11 17:04:14 EST 2009

THE GREAT HIMALAYAN WATERSHED Agrarian Crisis, Mega-Dams and the Environment

--- On Wed, 12/9/09, permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org <permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:

From: permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org <permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: permaculture Digest, Vol 83, Issue 26
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 11:21 AM

Send permaculture mailing list submissions to
    permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
    permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org

You can reach the person managing the list at
    permaculture-owner at lists.ibiblio.org

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of permaculture digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. Steven Spangler and Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery in    Vista, CA.
      (ktho at comcast.net)
   2. All the nitogen fixing trees everywhere. Optimistic? (Ray Cirino)
   3. Re: Lupines and their uses. (Dieter Brand)
   4. The Tragedy of the Himalayas By BRYAN WALSH/Times    dec
      14/water (Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network)
   5. permaculture wiki (paul wheaton)
   6. Re: US National Permaculture Conference (paul wheaton)
   7. Re: permaculture wiki (mIEKAL aND)
   8. Re: Costa Rican PDC Course at Permaculture    University -
      various notes/responses (Dick Pierce)


Message: 1
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 21:06:32 -0800
From: <ktho at comcast.net>
Subject: [permaculture] Steven Spangler and Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery
    in    Vista, CA.
To: "'permaculture'" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <01a001ca788d$606760b0$21362210$@net>
Content-Type: text/plain;    charset="us-ascii"

I wanted to pass along a news story about Steven Spangler and Exotica Rare
Fruit Nursery in Vista, CA. The news story is on-line at

http://www.nctimes.com/business/article ... 4aefe.html 

He sounds like he has some interesting stuff in his nursery.

Best Regards,



Message: 2
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 23:41:36 -0800 (PST)
From: Ray Cirino <cobanation at yahoo.com>
Subject: [permaculture] All the nitogen fixing trees everywhere.
To: 'permaculture' <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <720221.34818.qm at web53301.mail.re2.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Dear fruit tree growers,
I couldn't help to realize that most of the USA have non edible trees in the cities and sprawl areas. When I drive around the LA area it drives me nuts seeing all front and back yards really into their non-edible boring landscape. Garden centers hardly stock any edibles. Here's what I think is going to happen. All the years America has been out of farming and everyone having an edible garden, people have not had to grow food, so they grew nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs. To grow good fruit, the soils need these nitrogen based trees to really pop. I think if we had been growing fruit trees the last 60 years we'd be in trouble, because most soils would lack the right balance. In conclusion now we can start planting fruit trees, because the soils are ready, waiting for a food forest. Maybe things aren't as bad as they look.   

The Great Challenges we now face as a species present the very opportunities that are giving birth to Ecological, Psychological, and Spiritual Sustainability.



Message: 3
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 02:18:49 -0800 (PST)
From: Dieter Brand <diebrand at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Lupines and their uses.
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <390898.43710.qm at web63404.mail.re1.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

in the South of Portugal, yellow lupines (with yellow flowers) are grown for N-fixing and white lupines are grown for eating.? Both are sown in October or November as soon as?there is enough soil humidity after the dry season.? The small (black and white) seeds of the yellow lupines can be broadcast into the stubble without too much losses, even though farmers usually plough before sowing.? The white lupines (with larger white seeds) need to be covered by soil or they will be eaten by worms.? Both can be cut for mulching or ploughed under as green manure at flowering in May.? For harvesting the seeds, you need to wait until about July.?The white lupine seeds are pickled and eaten as a light snack when drinking beer.? Fava beans are also grown in the same time period.? Fava beens need to be sown deeper than white lupines (1 to 2 inches) or else black birds and craws will pull them from the soil when germinating.
Dieter Brand

--- On Tue, 12/8/09, Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net> wrote:

From: Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
Subject: [permaculture] Lupines and their uses.
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 10:56 PM

I once did a little homebrew literature search on lupines. They
appear to have special uses on a permaculture site (that is what a 
_farm_ should be called), especially for nitrogen fixation and
building populations of beneficial microbes in the soil.

I would like to know more about the lupine varieties grown around the 
world and how they are used and what the benefits are from cultivation 
of this crop.

I noticed a picture of lovely lupine in bloom in the article on Keeping 
Phosphorous On the Farm at: 

On another note, after looking at the robust, beautiful, finely crafted
Permaculture Research Institute's website, http://permaculture.org.au,
I am impressed with the fact that the Australians, and New Zealanders & 
Tasmanians (ex. Bill Mollison and the Soil & Health Library) are way 
ahead of here on the North American continend in the arena of
development of the permaculture movement, networking within that 
movement, development of information resources for the public and 
possibly educational resources to include practitioner and certified 
designer training. I think they are way ahead of us in the Scandinavian 
countries and the UK and in much of eastern and western Europe. Of 
course there is great potential for the spread of the Permaculture 
movement and its methodologies in Russia as well.

I think we need to get with the program on this side of the big pond.
permaculture mailing list
permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
Google command to search archives:
site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring



Message: 4
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 07:21:12 -0800
From: Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
    <lakinroe at silcom.com>
Subject: [permaculture] The Tragedy of the Himalayas By BRYAN
    WALSH/Times    dec 14/water
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Message-ID: <p06240815c745707639f8@[]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

The Tragedy of the Himalayas
By BRYAN WALSH / LEH Friday, Dec. 04, 2009

The Indian town of Leh (altitude 11,500 ft.) receives almost no 
precipitation and depends on Himalayan glaciers to supply most of its 

The road to Khardung La begins in the Indian town of Leh on the 
northwestern fringe of the Himalayas. Exhaust-spewing army trucks 
rattle up the side of dry rock, past Buddhist monasteries clinging to 
the craggy mountainside and alongside small farms barely scraping 
fertility from the earth. Khardung La, the highest motorable mountain 
pass in the world, is more than 18,000 ft. above sea level, the air 
so thin that just standing there a few minutes leaves you feeling as 
if your head might lift off like a balloon. But if 65-year-old Syed 
Iqbal Hasnain is bothered by the altitude, he isn't showing it. The 
Indian glaciologist hops lightly from a car and walks to the edge of 
the pass, beneath fluttering Buddhist prayer flags. The rock is 
dusted with early winter snow, and there might not be much more this 
season or next, he says.
Reports from Leh indicate that precipitation has dropped during the 
past quarter-century as temperatures have risen, a possible 
consequence of climate change. But the real threat is to the heart of 
the greater Himalayas and the vast Tibetan Plateau, where more than 
40,000 sq. mi. of glaciers hold water in the largest collection of 
land ice outside the polar regions. "These glaciers are central to 
the region," says Hasnain, looking over Khardung La. "If we don't 
have snow and ice here, people will die."
(See pictures of Himalayan glaciers under threat.)
Scientists call it the third pole - but when it comes to clear and 
present threats from climate change, it may rank first. The 
high-altitude glaciers of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau - 
which cover parts of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and China - are 
the water tower of Asia. When the ice thaws and the snow melts every 
spring, the glaciers birth the great rivers of the region, the 
mightiest river system in the world: the Ganges, the Indus, the 
Brahmaputra, the Mekong, the Yellow, the Yangtze. Together, these 
rivers give material and spiritual sustenance to 3 billion people, 
nearly half of the world's population - and all are nursed by 
Himalayan ice. Monsoons come and go, filling the rivers at times and 
then leaving them lethargic, but the ice melt has always been regular 
and dependable in a region where water - or the lack of it - defines 
civilization. "This isn't like the polar ice caps," says Shubash 
Lohani, an officer with the Nepal program of the World Wildlife Fund 
(WWF). "You have a huge population downstream from the Himalayas who 
are dependent on it."
(Watch TIME's video "Creating New Land for Climate Refugees in Bangladesh.")
It's a population that is stressed for water, even if the ice doesn't 
disappear. According to the International Water Management Institute 
(IWMI), most of South Asia is already in a state of water scarcity, 
as is much of China. At the same time, the population in this part of 
the world is set to expand, even as economic growth increases 
competition for water used in agriculture and industry.

Regardless of the impact of climate change, there is a widening gap 
between water supplies and needs. In fact, a new report from the 
international consulting group McKinsey & Co. estimates that by 2030, 
India alone will have only 50% of the water that it needs under a 
business-as-usual scenario. Nor is Asia the only region that will 
grapple with water scarcity in a warmer world: the McKinsey report 
estimates that the globe will have 40% less water than it needs by 
2030 if nothing is done to change current consumption patterns. "The 
countries where water is already scarce are going to be the ones 
really vulnerable to climate change," says Colin Chartres, director 
general of the IWMI.

That makes the security of the Himalayan glaciers all the more 
important for the region and their potential loss all the more 
threatening. While it's difficult to get a comprehensive assessment 
of the tens of thousands of glaciers in the Himalayas - all above 
10,000 ft. - independent scientific studies indicate that the third 
pole is melting fast, probably because of warming temperatures 
brought on by climate change. Since 1960, almost a fifth of the 
Indian Himalayas' ice coverage has disappeared, and the 2007 
global-warming assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate 
Change judged that glaciers in the Himalayas were "receding faster 
than at any other place in the world." If global warming goes 
unchecked, the Himalayan melt will certainly get worse. This year 
Chinese researchers projected a 43% decrease in glaciated area by 
2070. If that happens, the impact could be catastrophic. Losing 
Himalayan meltwater would only stress the remaining resources 
further. High-mountain states like Nepal and Bhutan could suffer 
flash floods as glacial lakes gave way under the rush of accelerated 
melting. And since the rivers of the Himalayas are shared by nuclear 
powers that have engaged in violent conflict over the past 
half-century - India, Pakistan and China - the threat of a war over 
water can't be denied. "The warming of the past 20 years is getting 
more and more intense," says Yao Tandong, head of China's Institute 
of Tibetan Plateau Research. "If warming continues, [the impact] will 
be even more serious."

Whether the warming will continue is largely up to us. Next week, 
representatives from more than 190 nations will meet in Copenhagen, 
where they will work to hammer out a new, more equitable - and more 
effective - global climate deal. Expectations for the summit have 
been tamped down in recent weeks, in part because of sluggishness on 
the part of the U.S. Senate, which has yet to act on a bill that 
would cap and reduce the country's carbon emissions. There is some 
good news: President Obama will be in Copenhagen, and the U.S. is 
pledging to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, while 
China is promising to improve its energy efficiency. But now is the 
time to make the hard decisions that will set the world on a cleaner 
path, one that gives us a chance to avoid truly dangerous climate 
change. The potential loss of Himalayan ice is by no means the only 
threat from global warming, but it's one that can be seen in real 
time, with our own eyes. It can be hard to imagine the amount of 
energy it takes to melt a mountain glacier; it will take even more 
imagination to stop the melting. "We must have a global policy to 
reverse this trend," says Madhav Kumar Nepal, the Prime Minister of 
Nepal, whose impoverished country will be an early victim of warming. 
"This question is one of survival."

Scenes from a Warmer World
There's a saying about Leh that "the passes are so high and the land 
is so barren, only a dear friend or a serious enemy will reach here." 
That truth overlooks the stark beauty of this town of 27,000 in 
India's mountainous Ladakh region, but it accurately captures the 
harsh climate. At 10,000 ft. and surrounded by even higher mountains, 
Leh is in a cold desert, receiving less than 5 in. of precipitation a 
year. Young Buddhist monks in training carry tanks of water to the 
towering monasteries poised in cut-rock valleys. The region is 
permanently water-stressed, and the growth of tourism there has only 
stretched resources thinner. Without snowmelt from the mountains 
above and the Indus River, which flows south of the town, it's 
difficult to imagine anything living there at all. "Leh has always 
been dependent on the glacier for our livelihood," says Nisa Khatoon, 
who runs the WWF office in Leh. "When there is less snowfall, less 
ice, there is a water problem for Leh."

That's exactly what seems to be happening in Leh, whose people, along 
with those in other high-altitude regions of the Himalayas, are the 
first in the world to feel the impacts of ice loss. According to a 
study by the French environmental group GERES, average winter 
temperatures in the region have risen 1C, and snowfall has generally 
declined over the past 25 years. Although relatively little 
scientific study has been done on the cumulative effect of that 
warming on the ice and snowpack in the region - a problem that crops 
up repeatedly in research on the Himalayas, where sheer 
inaccessibility makes science expensive and dangerous - elders in the 
region say the ice they remember from childhood is long gone, having 
receded up the mountains, and water isn't as plentiful as it once was.

The community has been forced to adapt in unexpected ways. Chewang 
Norphel, a 74-year-old engineer who has lived in the region his 
entire life, has been building what he terms artificial glaciers, 
stone cisterns that can gather and store what meltwater exists. 
Because he keeps his "glaciers" in the shade - and because they're 
small, less than 30,000 sq. ft. - the water stays frozen after the 
winter and can be tapped in the spring to irrigate the farming 
villages that surround Leh. His invention is a way to compensate for 
the area's fluctuating water levels, but it's no replacement for 
glacial ice, which locals say is vanishing. "I have seen glaciers 
disappear in my own life," says Norphel. "I don't need the scientific 
data. I am the scientific data."
The ice loss is visible elsewhere too, including on the world's 
tallest mountain, in neighboring Nepal. The famous Khumbu glacier, 
near the end of the trail to the base camp for Mount Everest, has 
receded 5 km since Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary first ascended 
the peak in 1953. Sherpas who guide climbers up the mountain today 
say the trekking has gotten more treacherous and the trail harder to 
predict as warming has stolen the ice. More dangerous are the risks 
of bursting glacial lakes and flash flooding because of glaciers 
weakened by warming. The early stages of Himalayan melt will result 
in an increase of water flow and pressure within glaciers; when 
glaciers give way, releasing hundreds of thousands of gallons of 
water per second, entire villages could be wiped out in an instant, 
as happened at the glacial lake of Dig Tsho in 1985. "This threat is 
not theoretical for us," says Dawa Sherpa, a veteran Everest trekking 
guide. "This is real, and it will happen more and more. We don't see 
a very bright future."

In Nepal it's easy to gauge the threat of warming, where the 
vanishing glaciers can be seen with one's own eyes. But downstream, 
in the farmland and cities of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and China, 
the consequences are both more dire and less evident. According to 
the estimate of an Indian researcher, melt from the glaciers of the 
Himalayas supplies the rivers of Asia with more than 300 million cu. 
ft. of water every year - as much as 50% of the water flow of some 
major rivers (like the Indus, which irrigates India and Pakistan), 
according to the International Center for Integrated Mountain 
Development, an advocacy group based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Although 
more-rapid melting from warming would increase that water flow in the 
short term, potentially aiding agriculture, it would be like making 
ever larger withdrawals out of a limited bank account: eventually it 
will run dry. Given how fickle the monsoon can be - and the 
additional risk of climate change weakening those vital rains - the 
water tower of the Himalayas becomes all the more important. "It is 
the ice melt from these glaciers that sustains irrigation," says 
Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute. "The melting 
of these glaciers is the most massive threat to food security that we 
have ever projected."

It is also a threat to global security. In developing nations such as 
China and India, growing prosperity means ever greater demand for - 
and potential battles over - water. For countries that have long 
grappled with famine, that's a frightening possibility and one that 
could trigger international conflict. The rivers of the Himalayas 
crisscross international borders, while the mountains are shared by 
several nations. Already China has come under fire from its neighbors 
for damming rivers that eventually flow into other nations. And while 
security experts point out that cross-border conflict over water has 
been relatively rare - even India and Pakistan have so far managed to 
share the Indus - water scarcity has frequently led to internal civil 
conflict. In a water-stressed region with nuclear capabilities, it 
could be disastrous to let the most valuable commodity become rarer 
still. "Climate change is a real specter that we don't fully 
understand yet," says the IWMI's Chartres. "The impacts already seem 
to be stronger than we expected, and we could have real difficulties 
in the developing world."

The Search for Science
The trouble is that while melting glaciers remain a leading indicator 
of climate change, determining exactly how quickly they're melting 
has been difficult, especially in the remote Himalayas. Data on the 
ground remain thin, and records may go back only a few decades or are 
all but nonexistent in the case of many glaciers. Nor does it help 
that the nations that share the Himalayas do so jealously. India does 
not allow Chinese researchers to visit its glaciers, China is 
sensitive because of concerns over Tibet, and India and Pakistan 
cooperate little on science or almost anything else.

There is, unsurprisingly, active scientific disagreement about the 
impact of climate change on the glaciers. An Indian-government-backed 
report published in October claimed that many Indian glaciers are 
stable or that the rate of retreat has slowed in recent years, 
despite clear warming. Critics pointed out that the report was not 
peer-reviewed in a scientific journal and had major data gaps. But 
the lack of clarity makes it that much more difficult for 
policymakers to craft the right response. "The Himalayan data just 
isn't there," says Richard Armstrong, a senior research scientist at 
the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., who is 
skeptical that the glaciers are receding rapidly. "These glaciers are 
at a very high altitude, and what precipitation they get tends to 
fall as snow, which can add to their mass. There's a tendency to 

What's needed is cold, hard data in a cold, hard place. That's what 
Syed Iqbal Hasnain is after. A senior fellow at the Energy and 
Resources Institute in New Delhi, he began his career as a 
hydrologist before switching to the more demanding field of 
glaciology. For years he and a small band of students have climbed 
Himalayan glaciers, like the East Rathong, measuring them and 
tracking their changes. It's hard and expensive work - "not something 
Indian youth prefer as a profession," he says with a chuckle - but 
he's managed to add to the small body of scientific literature on 
Himalayan ice. Now he's embarking on a joint project with the eminent 
climatologist V. Ramanathan of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography 
and Eric Wilcox, an atmospheric scientist at NASA, to determine 
exactly how quickly some benchmark glaciers in the Indian Himalayas 
are melting. Hasnain's team will do the fieldwork, driving stakes 
with global-positioning-system capability into glaciers to let the 
researchers know year by year how the ice is changing. NASA will be 
able to augment that research with satellite data. The team will also 
test Ramanathan's hypothesis that black carbon - the heavy black soot 
from diesel combustion and wood-burning that pollutes local air - 
could play a large part in the melting of the Himalayas in addition 
to more traditional greenhouse gases. "Putting all this together, we 
can begin to get a reasonable estimate of the regional melt," says

An Agenda for Copenhagen
For Hasnain, who has devoted his career to studying the dynamics of 
Himalayan ice, establishing a firm benchmark will help clear up the 
uncertainty that still clouds the subject. But he has little doubt 
that the glaciers are melting fast, and he knows saving them will be 
vital for India, as well as the rest of Asia and the world. That will 
mean reducing carbon emissions. "The debate is over," he says. "We 
know the science. We see the threat. The time for action is now."

The place for action will be Copenhagen, the Danish capital, where 
diplomats from will meet from Dec. 7 to Dec. 18 to discuss a new 
global climate treaty. With the Kyoto Protocol - a flawed deal that 
the U.S. repudiated and places few demands on major developing 
nations - set to expire in 2012, time is running out to approve a 
more effective and equitable agreement, one that could put the world 
on the path to a safer future in which water will be more plentiful 
and damaging storms and other natural disasters less frequent. Global 
CO2 emissions rose 31% from 1997 to 2008, and emissions from China 
alone, now the world's biggest emitter, have more than doubled. 
Instead of leveling off, as many skeptics have argued, the observed 
effects of climate change, including glacial melt and species loss, 
have largely accelerated since 1997. "Global warming hasn't paused or 
declined or reversed," says Eric Steig, a climatologist at the 
University of Washington and a co-author of a just-released climate 
science update. "There is the possibility that the climate system 
could continue to warm to the highest end of the envelope of climate 

But turning back the momentum of climate change will be a momentous 
undertaking. A 2008 study by Ramanathan concluded that even if we 
halt the growth of greenhouse gas emissions immediately, we're 
committed to 4.3F of warming over the next several decades. While the 
global community, including the G-8 in a statement last year, has 
agreed not to allow the global temperature to rise more than 3.6F 
above preindustrial levels, we're already at 1.37F.

The longer we wait to change, the more carbon we add to the 
atmosphere and the greater the chance that we'll be locking ourselves 
into truly catastrophic warming. At Copenhagen and beyond, the 
mission to halt climate change must be led by the U.S. - though the 
major developing nations that will be responsible for most of the 
world's carbon emissions must follow closely. "This isn't an 
environmental problem. It's a humanitarian problem global in scope," 
says Frances Beinecke, president of the environmental-advocacy group 
Natural Resources Defense Council. "The longer we wait to act, the 
more expensive those changes will be."

If that's not enough, there are any number of other reasons to cut 
carbon: to create clean-energy jobs, to break our dependence on 
foreign oil, to cut pollution, to save money through energy 
efficiency. But ultimately we need to act because if we fail to do 
so, the science tells us that we are committing ourselves to an 
unstable and dangerous world in which geographic, economic and 
national security - not to mention the health of all earth's species 
- may be at stake. There are glimpses of that different world in the 
Himalayas, where warming has happened faster than elsewhere on the 
planet, where a mountain as immutable as Everest is changing before 
our eyes. "To me, continuing down our path is akin to committing 
suicide," says Ramanathan. "But for my granddaughter, I'm optimistic 
that we're going to solve these problems." If we don't act today, we 
will fail to safeguard tomorrow for everyone's children.


Message: 5
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 09:57:09 -0700
From: paul wheaton <paul at richsoil.com>
Subject: [permaculture] permaculture wiki
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
    <22d4eb790912090857g4efe388mfc13fef9d28351a at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

> Websites are cheap to run and wiki's don't consume a lot of bandwidth. This
> could be up in a month easily.
> Does anyone here have experience with wikis and social networking
> technologies?

This probably isn't a fit for what you are thinking, but ....
permies.com is about to push forward a wiki of sorts.  Some of the
permies folks wanted a place to distill some threads so that a person
wouldn't have to pour through a really long discussion to get the best

The software appears to now be running.  We've spent a lot of time
fiddling with it.  And now we just need to start fiddling with the

As for experience in social networking.  Well .... this probably
doesn't count for what you are thinking of, but I've been running
on-line forum-like things for over 20 years (anybody here familiar
with BBS's and the like (the online thing before the internet)).


Message: 6
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 10:08:47 -0700
From: paul wheaton <paul at richsoil.com>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] US National Permaculture Conference
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
    <22d4eb790912090908m2985400cnd72d1a24fac90e7 at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

I like the idea of advanced permaculture sessions.  I like meeting
people that really, really know what the hell they are doing.

There was talk of the pacific northwest convergence having two groups:
 one for those that have completed a PDC and then another that is open
to the public.  The thing I like about this is that you can have
something for the newbies and then something a bit more advanced.

It seems that if there were something on a more national scale, then
the advanced stuff could end up being more advanced.

Here's a thought:  It would seem that skeeter has this idea for a
national convergence.  I would like to propose that skeeter has called
dibs.  :)  It would seem that nobody else is doing a national
convergence, so it isn't like he is stepping on any toes.  Perhaps
somebody will leap up and call dibs for a US national convergence in
2011.  So in 2010 it will be done by skeeter and in 2011 it might be
on the east coast and in 2012 it might be in the south ....

I guess my point is:  skeeter brought it up.  It doesn't seem to be
interfering with anything.  I think it's a good thing.  Go for it
skeeter!  Do a national convergence for 2010!


Message: 7
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 11:43:09 -0600
From: mIEKAL aND <qazingulaza at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] permaculture wiki
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <4DBA426C-D837-4167-AEA0-1CEA172D2245 at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain;    charset=US-ASCII;    format=flowed;    delsp=yes

There is a full install of mediawiki with a lot of work put into it at:


Not sure who's moderating this, but it could easily be a good backbone  
for accumulating content if some sort of spam proof authentication was  
installed.  I removed spam from about 25 pages but there is still a  
lot more in there.  All that's really needed is some momentum to post  
content to it.


On Dec 9, 2009, at 10:57 AM, paul wheaton wrote:

>> Websites are cheap to run and wiki's don't consume a lot of  
>> bandwidth. This
>> could be up in a month easily.
>> Does anyone here have experience with wikis and social networking
>> technologies?
> This probably isn't a fit for what you are thinking, but ....
> permies.com is about to push forward a wiki of sorts.  Some of the
> permies folks wanted a place to distill some threads so that a person
> wouldn't have to pour through a really long discussion to get the best
> bits.
> The software appears to now be running.  We've spent a lot of time
> fiddling with it.  And now we just need to start fiddling with the
> content.
> As for experience in social networking.  Well .... this probably
> doesn't count for what you are thinking of, but I've been running
> on-line forum-like things for over 20 years (anybody here familiar
> with BBS's and the like (the online thing before the internet)).
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring


Message: 8
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 11:59:45 -0600
From: Dick Pierce <dickpiercedesigns at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Costa Rican PDC Course at Permaculture
    University - various notes/responses
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
    <d3fa65910912090959m4bf33d9cn6b1dc0a6f757b190 at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

I read over the Permaculture University's web site and PDC Course
announcement. I am concerned, as many of you are, that this seems to be
neither Permaculture nor Design and that the listed individuals seem to have
no PC background, at least not a PDC. I felt moved to send them a note to
this effect via the "contact us" feature of their website.

FYI and scan, I am coping my note below:

I know the W Coast of Costa Rica is great - spent time at Bosque de Cabo a
while back -love it. Your Village/Center seem to be beautiful and
well-functioned from the photos and write-up on your colorful website. Your
course in January seems to be a great collection of sustainable practices
that I assume both use and reflect the facilities that you have installed
and the expertise that you all have developed. A fine-looking course in
[more] sustainable living and "walking one's talk." It also looks to be a
great tropical and environmental experience/vacation. Best of luck.

I am sure your place is beautiful and a great teaching location, that you
have experience in building/operating the many sustainable topics on the
agenda, and that your motivations are to spread the sustainable,
earth-friendly "gospel" far and wide. However, as a Permaculture advocate
for 20 years and a Permaculture Instructor for 10 years, I do not see what
the Permaculture community would call a "Permaculture Design Course" in what
is written about your course, the curriculum, or the staff/facilitators. To
Permaculture folks the "Permaculture Design Course" is a very defined term -
a minimum of 72 hours of instruction (plus site visits, hands-on projects,
evening activities/speakers), that covers as a minimum the specific topics
of the PDC curriculumor the topics of the PC Design Manual by Bill Mollison.
At least the lead instructor should have a Permaculture Design Certificate
from a recognized course, and most often 2 or more years of
teaching/interning with a qualified PC insrtuctor. The curriculum can vary
by instructor, region, and audience, but always has standard elements such
as PC Ethics, Aims, Design Principles, etc. A PC Design Course always has a
section were students do and present a design, either as individuals or in
teams. These elements I see as missing from what I have read of your
materials to date.

As initially stated, your course appears to be a valuable, well-intentioned
collection of good/great sustainable practices, well in line with what
you've done at Osa Mtn and its climate/terrain. But it seems to me to be
neither "Permaculture" nor "Design" in the sense that I and many others use
these terms. I also did not read in your description of "About us" of anyone
graduating from a Permaculture Design Course - to me a prima pre-requisite
in conducting a PDC course. Nor did I read or see any description or
definition of what Permaculture is - this is very curious in light of the
fact that the organization is named "Permaculture University."

I wish you luck with your enterprise and your courses - the world needs a
lot of education - but I also wish that you would not use the words
Permaculture nor Permaculture Design Course in connection with your work. I
also would request that you read up on Permaculture as a 40-year, world-wide
movement, and the Permaculture Design Course and its content and teacher
requirements as they are practiced around the world.
If you would care to review my path to becoming a Permaculture Design
teacher, please check my bio on DickPierceDesigns.com and read up on the
formal requirements to teach the PDC that have existed in Austrailia and the
UK for many years.

Best wishes to you all in your efforts to bring environmental justice and
human joy/bounty to the world.

Dick Pierce
Permaculture Designer, Consultant, Teacher
Austin, TX, USA (winter), SE-MA, USA (summer)
DickPierceDesigns at gmail.com

On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 5:18 PM, Scott Pittman <scott at permaculture.org>wrote:

> Thank you Isabel for writing the scammers at Permaculture University - if
> everyone on this list would expose them for what they are at
> www.permacultureuniversitycostarica.org perhaps it would slow down the
> process.  I am going to see what I can do legally when I am in Costa Rica
> in
> January.  I have found that just shining light on such scam artists is
> usually enough to get them hide under another rock.
> Scott Pittman
> Director
> Permaculture Institute
> www.permaculture.org
> -----Original Message-----
> From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Udan Farm
> Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 9:09 PM
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] US National Permaculture Conference
> Thank you again Scott.
> I was thinking it was a good idea to hold a national conference-for about
> one day. Then I got to thinking about carbon and all those people flying in
> from everywhere.And then you reminded me how stressful those things can be
> to organize.
> So, yah, National no-Regional YES!!
> My thinking is that at our regional gatherings (the Southeastern one-yes,
> it
> is at Celo, NC-someone asked) we perhaps plan an extra day to talk about
> the
> subjects I mentioned (open source Wiki/pfaf kind of thing, Building a
> better
> designers manual, teaching skills, Large scale Permaculture, etc.)
> Maybe ALL of the regional gatherings could put some thought into that and
> see what comes up...Also, since the digital age is here, maybe we can start
> thinking about those kinds of things here-serious thought to planning
> things
> like that (I know nothing about open-source or wikis but it seems like a
> very good move)...
> As for the Costa Rica University...Oh, MY.  They are selling CONDOS! I did
> post to their board and ask who their teachers are.   :)
> Peace,Isabel
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Message: 9
> Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2009 16:26:48 -0700
> From: "Scott Pittman" <scott at permaculture.org>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] US National Permaculture Conference
>     proposal.
> To: "'permaculture'" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <5374C18CA1C6450488AE69E1C72962C1 at 1050A33921534E2>
> Content-Type: text/plain;    charset="US-ASCII"
> I organized a national pc convergence in the late eighties which Michael
> Pilarski as well as many others participated and it was one of the most
> fractious and stressful events of my short, at that time, permaculture
> career.  It was then that I realized that pc is a very anarchistic
> phenomenon containing many diverse personalities and philosophies who
> somehow maintain forward motion with an amazing degree of civility and
> support but put them together in one room and watch out!!
> I think that the regionals are sufficient to our needs right now and when
> there is a real need for a national it will happen.
> As time goes on I am even more convinced that we need to protect our turf.
> I recently received an email from the Permaculture University of Costa Rica
> which has no one who has taken a permaculture course but is offering the PC
> Design Course.  They were willing to pay me for certificates.  The white
> shoe crowd has discovered permaculture and sees dollars there;
> unfortunately
> some of the permaculture graduates have discovered and put on the white
> shoes and belts and headed to Bahrain.
> Scott Pittman
> Director
> Permaculture Institute
> www.permaculture.org
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring

DickPierceDesigns at gmail.com
SE-NE (summer) & Austin, TX (winter) cell- 512-992-8858

Please check out www.permie.us
Sept 14-25    -12-day PC Design -MV-MA
Sept 26- Nov -10-day PDC Design
                    Course, Austin TX - w'ends

-Dick's PC-Bio. on www.permie.us
-You Tube Dick Pierce for video clips


permaculture mailing list
permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org

End of permaculture Digest, Vol 83, Issue 26


More information about the permaculture mailing list