Date Posted: September 22nd, 2012
Permaculture is a perspective on designing human settlements and food production created in Australia in the 1970s. It addresses soil conservation and water management, among other things, and uses an integrated approach to the siting and growing of perennial plants, vegetable and fruit crops, and animal systems. For a basic overview of the history, principles and development of permaculture, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture
Further information concerning Rusinga Island, Kenya, can be found through the internet at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusinga_Island
For more information on the specifics of the Badilisha project, and the principles of permaculture which it follows, visit: http://www.cultureofpermaculture.org/blog/2011/05/303/ . Alternatively, you can visit the Badilisha website directly at: http://www.badilisha.net/
There are plenty of resources on permaculture available on the internet. Here are some examples:
In http://www.permaculturecairns.com/Permaculturetropicsvideo.html, Bill Mollison (the “inventor” of permaculture) explains the fundamentals of permaculture in the tropics. In this video, you’ll see successful permaculture gardens created in some of the most difficult circumstances. You’ll also see no-dig, sheet mulch gardening, tropical planting guilds, land regeneration and examples from Australia, India and Zimbabwe.
A comprehensive guide to fruits, vegetables and herbs and spices is provided on http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/. The website includes bite-sized sections on design and implementation of permaculture gardens, as well as handy hints on specific crops.
National newspaper websites (e.g. The Daily Nation, Kenya http://allafrica.com/stories/201111010066.html) often carry stories of individual successes on their websites. This story is a good example of how an integrated system can almost eliminate waste, by recycling it to other parts of the garden.
Several stories from Africa can be found on the Plants for a Future website: http://digedibles.com/links/linksOld1.php#AF
Radio programs could summarize permaculture’s general method of designing agricultural systems, or specifics within the systems themselves. They could also highlight organizations which provide farmers with permaculture design courses. One possibility is to link up with a local college or institute, as in this example from Ghana: http://www.kita-ghana.org/services/farm-radio/ . Also, local NGOs often provide courses on permaculture design. An example from Tanzania is Food Water Shelter (http://www.foodwatershelter.org.au/current-project-tanzania.aspx ).
Schools are natural places to encourage young people to start mastering agricultural skills in general and permaculture specifically. By raising awareness within a community via the radio, it may be possible to coordinate a popular, community-wide project, such as this one in Zimbabwe: http://permaculturewest.org.au/ipc6/ch04/chirere/index.html