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This is a short break from some diaries I have in the pipeline: an urgent call to action for some fellow Permaculturalists who are doing groundbreaking (pun pun pun) work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.

Not only has their organization initiated one of the first permaculture projects at a public institution in the States, but they were recently recognized by the President of the United States for their efforts. They were awarded first place out of 1400 projects for the White House Campus Champions of Change.

Voters from around the world made their recognition by Obama's administration possible. Now we have the chance to help them spread a concept that does nothing but bring hope to individuals and communities to their neighbors.

I've been watching their stories over on the Permaculture Research Institute for a while now and decided to poke around their YouTube channel.

While watching Part 3/3 Growing a Model Sustainable Campus: UMass Permaculture Documentary Series, I noticed they had put a message at the beginning:

Our goal is for this (Part 3) video to reach 50,000 views by September 15, 2012. If we reach that milestone, UMass will help fund, design, and install a permaculture garden at three local Amherst Elementary Schools starting this October. Please watch and share the link widely if you feel moved by this cause!
The only problem? It is now September 13 and their video is running a very long way from 50,000- 5,879 at the moment.

Please take the time to watch this video and help these students, faculty members, and community organizers to bring vibrant gardens and a message of hope and change we all believe in to the next generation of Americans.

I have never posted an action diary before. While the other diaries in this series are calls to action, this one can be done by every single Kossack. We can send a message to UMass that we stand behind them, that we stand behind our values.

I do not attend UMass Amherst. I do not know Ryan Harb, one of the main organizers for this collaborative effort there.

But I do know that this community has the track record of driving change.

Can we help UMass Permaculture reach 50,000 views and bring the wonderful experience of a permaculture garden to elementary school students?

Permaculture gardens are designed to last decades, even centuries of production can be had from these systems.

Five minutes and twenty seconds is a small price to pay for a life altering experience for our next generation.

Can we do it?

I'm including this next section just for those who do not know about permaculture or agroecology. There are some useful links here...

-Again, I feel the need to let everyone know that I live seven time zones ahead of EST. I hate to do a drive by diary, but I just found out about this and, well, I wanted to help. They are doing excellent work- award winning work- and the children of these elementary schools deserve these gardens.-

Additional Resources

Excellent, must see documentary: John Liu's Green Gold- extended version of "Hope in a Changing Climate" that was presented at the recent Rio summit. I'll have to do a diary on this documentary. It is astounding.

There are some excellent video presentations from last year's International Permaculture Convergence held in Jordan, which followed a permaculture design course taught at the world-renowned "Greening the Desert Part II" site in the Dead Sea Valley. Here is a link to the documentary about the site, and here is a photo update from 2011 (around the time of the Convergence). John Liu's Green Gold also features the site and is probably newer than the 2011 pictures. If you scroll to the bottom of this webpage, you will find links to video presentations given at the convergence. Most were delivered in Bedouin tents near Wadi Rum.

You can also find a few more great documentaries in the first diary of this series- one about rainforest restoration to provide habitat for orangutans and a standard of living for the local people using agroecological methods as well as a documentary about Sepp Holzer, a very famous Austrian noted for his ability to cultivate citrus in the Alps.

My favorite books:

Edible Forest Gardens, Vol I and II. David Jacke with Eric Toensmeier. Chelsea Green, 2006.
Sepp Holzer's Permaculture. Sepp Holzer, translated by Anna Sapsford-Francis. Chelsea Green, 2010.
Gaia's Garden. Toby Hemenway. Chelsea Green, 2009 (2nd edition).
Let the Water Do the Work. Bill Zeedyk and Van Clother. The Quivira Coalition, 2009.
The One Straw Revolution. Masanobu Fukuoka. Link will point you to a decent review.
Akinori Kimura's Miracle Apples. By Takuji Ishikawa, translated by Yoko Ono. This is an absolutely fantastic story. My favorite part is towards the end, chapter 22, when Kimura is told of his family's first success. Give it a read!

For a much fuller list of books on the subject, see Toby Hemenway's Permaculture Reading List. The article I linked to up top is also a great read.

There are plenty of materials online as well. The Permaculture Research Institute is excellent (Updated: formerly PRI Australia).

Youtube has plenty of videos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    A Victory Garden documents my family's experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles. A new blog following my life as an immigrant in Finland will be up soon.

    by FinchJ on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 12:33:36 PM PDT

  •  This is the change we can believe in. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary Mike

    Real change. Putting our values into practice. Can you spare five minutes for a chance to change lives?

    A Victory Garden documents my family's experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles. A new blog following my life as an immigrant in Finland will be up soon.

    by FinchJ on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 12:34:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm hoping they add up all the views (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FinchJ

    from all three videos in the series! It's projects like this that give me hope. Thank you, FinchJ :)

    •  Me too! And I hope that UMass gives them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mary Mike

      the money even if they don't reach their goal.

      I was extremely happy to see Obama learning about permaculture.

      The goals are hand in hand with Michelle Obama's initiatives.

      A Victory Garden documents my family's experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles. A new blog following my life as an immigrant in Finland will be up soon.

      by FinchJ on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:06:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks. I'll share this. And view it a few times. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FinchJ

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:16:34 PM PDT

  •  I heart the entire Northampton/Amherst model (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FinchJ, gmoke, Randtntx

    Supporting each other over corporate hacks in everything from local farming to paying a living wage. It's a lovely, lovely thing :)

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:22:22 PM PDT

    •  I had so wanted to spend some time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      in the Northeast before leaving the US. Seems like folks generally have a sense of society, community, and planning for the future that aligns with my views.

      While my alma mater way down south is getting in on the local food game, I never had near the success UMass Amherst is having with my student organizations.

      I partly cheer them on because I am envious to the point of wanting to see them flourish!

      A Victory Garden documents my family's experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles. A new blog following my life as an immigrant in Finland will be up soon.

      by FinchJ on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:26:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  MA Ag (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FinchJ, KenBee

      Massachusetts started its current push to support local agriculture as a result of the first energy crisis back in the early 1970s.  The Governor at that time, Frank Hatch, commissioned a report on local food resources because he wondered how the Commonwealth would feed itself in an extended energy crisis.  When the report showed that a very small percentage of the food eaten in MA was grown in MA, the Department of Food and Ag began its "Mass grown and fresher campaign" supporting local ag, direct marketing, and building a local economic infrastructure for the state.  

      When it started we had 12 or 18 farmers' markets.  Now we have over 400.  The community supported agriculture (CSA) model, paying a set fee at the beginning of the growing season to the farmer for a weekly supply of food all growing season, was born in the Pioneer Valley and has now spread around the world and into the meat and fishery markets as well.  Sustainable Business Network is hosting the Boston Local Food Festival (hird Annual Boston Local Food Festival on October 7, 2012 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm on theRose Kennedy Greenway and Wharf Area Parks where 40,000+ people and over 150 vendors will celebrate our local bounty (http://sbnmass.org/...).

      Some of us are going even farther, thinking about what it would be like to grow all our own food even in the city (http://www.dailykos.com/...).  

      Food is where we start from.  Everybody eats.  Good food, grown well is a reflection of the Garden of Biblical legend.  It may be the closest we get to Utopia.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

      by gmoke on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 02:19:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only up to 5900 need more clicks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FinchJ, KenBee

    Kinda surprised, I grew up 30 miles from Amherst.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 07:02:41 PM PDT

    •  Lets hope the administrators will be convinced by (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markdd, KenBee

      the energy on the ground and not on the web :)

      A Victory Garden documents my family's experience transitioning from suburban lawn to edible food forest based on permaculture principles. A new blog following my life as an immigrant in Finland will be up soon.

      by FinchJ on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:55:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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