degrowth

By CHARLOTTE MILLAR – www.opendemocracy.net To get the most out of a community, you need a shared strategy, a space to grow, and to practice liberation.  For years I struggled with having a public side to my work. I’d become anxious at the …

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I have never had a good relationship with the word ‘economy’. To me, the word made me think of finance …

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As soon as Geoff Lawton realized he was having “dreams of self-sufficiency and living in a harmonious way with natural systems,” he started getting involved with permaculture. This was way before permaculture was the buzz word that it is today. Through his work, the movement has spread to like-minded individuals the world over.

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If you were an early American colonist and Jamestown farmer in the 1600’s, you would have been required by law to grow hemp simply because the world was being commanded by large fleets of ships, and those ships needed hemp rope and sails. Thomas Jefferson, the author of our Declaration of Independence was a hemp farmer, the document itself was written on hemp paper, and so was the U.S. Constitution.

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Hand forged kitchen knives made by Over Grow The Systems founder Sydney Woodward. Forged at White Crow Farm in Winlaw ...

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In a time before live media broadcasts and video games, everyone was raised free range.   Our parents were all raised free range – it was the only way of being raised.  It was the good ole days of riding a bike to the park, to a friend’s house or the store when penny candy was only a penny.  You could build forts, scrape legs and be pre exposed to a slew of forbidden activities without anyone being sued, just as long as you were back by dusk.

 

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I was 16 years old in 1970 and I went through my adolescence with those early alternative dreams of being self sufficient and living a natural life. Even before that as a child I had a love for natural systems like fishing, hiking, and harvesting and gathering from the wilderness. I was forever and always fascinated in natural ways of farming and growing things and some how it just seems right to me. It was a natural evolution that once I discovered that there was actually a design science named Permaculture that I got engaged and passionately involved. I took my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course with Bill Mollison in 1983 and it made perfect sense to me. So Permaculture Design is what inspired me. The way it can be used on a small family farm really appealed and made sense. And for me, I wanted to return that enthusiasm to as many people as possible by creating education and demonstration sites that are diverse as examples like Zaytuna Farm and the Permaculture Research Institute, Australia. My main theme here was to set up multiple demonstration sites and Permaculture design is the way of achieving that.

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1)  Eat local, organic and seasonal fruits and vegetables- know your farmer!
2)  Join a CSA Farm
3)  Shop at your local farmers market regularly.
4)  Grow a garden. Try growing and preserving at least 25% of your own food. Growing a garden can be super easy and highly rewarding. Container gardening is an option for those who lack space.
5)  Shop at local mom and pop businesses in your area instead of big box stores.
6)  Get thrifty: Shop at thrift stores. There are so many amazing treasures just waiting for a good home.

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Screen Printed Over Grow The System patch by artist Bubzee . Printed on re claimed fabrics.

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Ishmael author Daniel Quinn: Saving the World, Moving Beyond Civilization

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When we think about adapting humanity to the challenges of climate change, it’s tempting to reach for technological solutions. We talk about seeding our oceans and clouds with compounds designed to trigger rain or increasing carbon uptake. We talk about building grand structures to protect our coastlines from rising sea levels and storm surges.

However, as we discuss in Nature Climate Change, our focus on these high-tech, heavily engineered solutions is blinding us to a much easier, cheaper, simpler and better solution to adaptation: look after our planet’s ecosystems, and they will look after us.

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