[permaculture] August 8/ Permaculture Around the World Series/Robyn Francis/Cuba

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Fri Jul 17 10:13:26 EDT 2009

Santa Barbara Permaculture Network
  Permaculture Around the World Series
with Robyn Francis from Australia speaking on
Permaculture in CUBA
Saturday, August 8, 6:30 - 8:30pm 2009, Donation $5
Santa Barbara Central Library, Faulkner Gallery

       Santa Barbara Permaculture Network continues its Permaculture 
Around the World series, this time welcoming Robyn Francis from 
Australia as she speaks about her past and future visits to Cuba 
where she and other Australian permaculturists have been credited 
with helping Cuba transform the islands agriculture to a more 
sustainable model through perrmaculture.

	Climate Change and Peak Oil are topics on the minds of many 
Americans today.  There is much to learn from Cuba's response to the 
sudden loss of cheap and abundant oil in the early 1990's with the 
fall of the Soviet Union and the continued U.S. Embargo in place 
since the 1960's.  Cuba's industrial model of agriculture under the 
Soviets was highly mechanized with monoculture crops reliant on 
petro-based pesticides and fertilizers.  The era in Cuba following 
the Soviet collapse is known to Cubans as the "Special Period" when 
it lost more than 50 percent of it oil imports, much of its food, and 
85 percent of its trade economy.  Transportation halted, people went 
hungry, and the average Cuban lost 30 pounds.

	Dictated by reality, Cubans began to bring agriculture into 
the city with urban gardens, cultivating vegetables wherever they 
could.  A small group of Australians assisted in this grass-roots 
effort, coming to Cuba in 1993 to teach Permaculture, a system based 
on sustainable agriculture that uses far less energy.  With a grant 
from the Cuban government they set up the first Permaculture 
demonstration site, that evolved into the Foundation for Nature and 
Humanity's Urban Permaculture demonstration site located in Havana. 
Today 50 percent of Havana's vegetables come from inside the city, 
while in other Cuban towns and cities, urban gardens produce from 80 
percent to more than 100 percent of what they need.

	More recently Australians have come back to Cuba to assist 
after two devastating hurricanes wrought massive destruction 
throughout Cuba in September 2008.  The loss of crops, soil and 
organic matter from the torrential rains and flooding, challenged all 
the islands agriculture, including the permaculture sites.

	Robyn Francis and the Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange 
(CAPE) toured the island to assess the damage, offer help, and take 
the opportunity to learn from the disaster to design more resilient 
systems for the future.

	Robyn Francis has just returned from a visit  to Cuba in June 
2009 as part of Cuban-Australia Permaculture Exchange (CAPE) and will 
be reporting on her observation in her talk on One-Earth Footprint - 
Learning from Cuba's Experience.  Discover the key factors enabling 
Cuba to survive collapse, live within its ecological footprint, and 
how this relates to Permaculture and Transition design. Don't miss 
the chance to learn from one of permaculture's earliest pioneers.

	Robyn Francis is an award-winning international permaculture 
designer, educator, presenter and innovator, with over 25 years of 
permaculture work throughout Australia New Zealand, USA, India, 
Indonesia, Germany, Cuba, and Taiwan, and including projects ranging 
from outback communities to urban development. . Robyn was founding 
director of Permaculture International Ltd (PIL) in 1987, editor of 
the Permaculture International Journal, designer and creator of 
Djanbung Gardens (www.  permaculture.com.au), one of Australia's 
leading permaculture centers.

	The event takes place on Saturday, Aug 8 , 6:30 pm at the 
downtown Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 East Anapamu St, Santa 
Barbara. Donation $5, no reservations needed.  The event is presented 
by Santa Barbara Permaculture Network Non-Profit. and Quailsprings 
Learning Oasis and Permaculture Farm.  For more information, (805) 
962-2571, margie at sbpermaculture.org,    www.sbpermaculture.org

More information about the permaculture mailing list