Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The impermanence of a Permaculturist

This year, 2015, has been a year with plenty of life changes.

Earlier in the year, I left Iceland, and the 4 year Icelandic Permaculture project I was developing at the Sólheimar intentional community. The two food forests I had there, were left behind, mostly to nature, without a caretaker. Some species were moved to a friend's property, a permaculture devotee, located in south Iceland, that was also starting a food forest.

Permaculture garden, located in Sólheimar, Iceland (2014)

In spring, I eagerly started a new project - the Permaculture Food Forest at Vale do Carvalho, in Mortágua, central Portugal. I was excited!

Food forest project, located in Mortágua, central Portugal (2015)

The project was going well for the first months, and quickly reached a staggering number of planted edible species of 230, in a short period of time! I worked there full-time and had a large collection of fruit trees, and other permaculture perennial vegetables, besides the common annual vegetables, including grains, millets, amaranths and quinoas, many types of beans and salads, medicinal herbs, Andean root crops, flowers, nuts, etc

In June however, I had a breakup with my partner. I had to abandon the new project, as it was located in my ex's family property. The project only lasted 4 months! Again, it was left to nature, as no one would take care of it in the times to follow.

I moved (again) many species to a friend's property - that lives south of Porto - and there we quickly started together a new food forest project, that already reached a total of 100 species. We call it the Food Forest of Paulo and Benjamim.

The start of a new food forest project, south of Porto, Portugal (2015)

During the summer, my motivation was mostly to travel. I was tired of such dramatic changes. I began searching for a place where I could settle down, buy some land, and meet like-minded people.

As of now, the abovementioned 3 food forests projects remain in spot, but only the last one, has the care of a friend. In the months ahead, I will travel to explore permaculture and community projects worldwide.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Permaculture workshop in Vienna, Austria

Last weekend, the Friday 13th November, I did a permaculture workshop for a group of people, located in a new cohousing project, in Vienna, Austria.

The workshop was named "PermaCityCulture"

The workshop flyer...

As a small group of enthusiastic gardeners gathered, I was enthusiastic to talk on how to do permaculture in the city, from urban balconies to raised beds in outdoors gardens.

The workshop started outdoors, in a quite philosophical manner...

 I talked about how to build good soil, in the raised beds of their cohousing project

For about an hour, I talked on using good principles of Permaculture, such as observing and inspiring ourselves from nature, be it in keeping the soil always with a green cover, or growing perennials, as a source of food.
Talking about comfrey, borage and nettles, as soil builders
Afterwards, the evening came, and we all continued with a presentation and a round talk indoors, with a beautiful view over the skyline of Vienna, in a cozy library room.

Vienna, Austria. 
In the end, we all had a good time, and I was offered a delicious dinner!