Categories
Permaculture Writing

Utopia

A Permacultural Vision

A short story about a world where permacultural design is part of society.

Foreword

Hope unexpectedly returns to Earth and discovers a civilization that works with nature rather than against it; co-operates rather than competes; integrates rather than segregates; creates rather than consumes; values diversity as opposed to uniformity; and looks at Earth as the source rather than a resource.

Visit Utopia: A Permacultural Vision to get the e-book or sign-up for updates on the release of the hardcore and softcover editions.

Categories
Architecture and Design Permaculture

Eco-Design Symposium

Planting Seeds of Change & Building Networks

The Eco Design Symposium brought together designers, architects, landscape architects, engineers, and students in Toronto, on January 19, 2019 around the theme of ecological design within the context of the unfolding eco-crisis.

The goals of this symposium were to:

  • Foster conversations about designers role in the eco-crisis
  • Share examples of ecological design in action
  • Facilitate networking among like-minded people.

The Symposium included Presentations, Roundtables, an Unconference, and a Social. Despite the massive snowstorm we received during the event over 100 people attended!

This symposium was organized as part of the DesignTO festival,  happening from January 18-27,2019.  DesignTO takes design out of the studio and into the city, transforming the urban sphere into a celebration for all things design.

Speakers Included:

Christina Cholkan

Finding energy among both urban corridors and glacial mountains, Christina Cholkan has been inspired since the summer camp years to better understand how we can build healthier cities. With an interest in strategizing and developing applied solutions, Christina completed an Environmental Engineering degree at the University of Guelph and entered into Water Resource engineering consulting.

Daimen Hardie

Daimen Hardie is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Community Forests International. He works closely with teams in Canada and Tanzania on a shared mission to fight climate change by empowering rural communities to thrive with nature. To Learn more visit: https://forestsinternational.org/

Rob Avis

Rob Avis, P.Eng owns and operates Adaptive Habitat, a leading edge design firm for high-performance properties and Verge Permaculture, a globally recognized award-winning education business. To learn more: https://adaptivehabitat.ca/

Chris Magwood

Chris Magwood, from the Endeavour Centre near Peterborough will share research into the embodied carbon of buildings and the impacts that design can have in lowering emissions, as well as the Zero House, which is designed to have zero net energy use, zero carbon footprint and zero toxins. To learn more visit: http://endeavourcentre.org/instructors/chris-magwood/

Eric Davies

Eric Davies,  from the Faculty of Forestry University of Toronto, will share research into the biodiversity of the Greater Toronto Area ravine system, including mapping old growth trees, and charting eco-system health.  To learn more: http://www.ericdavies.ca/

Ya’el Santopinto

Ya’el Santopinto is a registered Architect and Associate at ERA Architects, where she specializes in affordable, healthy, and climate-resilient housing rehabilitation and retrofit. She is currently Project Architect on the retrofit of more than 650 units of affordable housing in Toronto, and on the retrofit and renewal of a Hamilton apartment tower to the Passive House EnerPHit standard.  To learn more visit: www.towerrenewal.com

You can visit the Eco-Design Symposium here for more information: https://ecodesignsymposium.ca/

See a Globe and Mail (scroll to the bottom) mention about the Symposium here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/style/article-this-duo-is-making-design-sustainable-and-sexy-at-the-same-time/

Thank you to Jayne Grigorovich for the logo and branding!

Also, special Thanks to the team at York Heritage Properties for hosting us at their space in The Bakery, Liberty Village.

Categories
Permaculture

Beyond Seasonal

Using permaculture to create delicious and healthy food

An experiential/experimental dinner event, hosted by Alan Kobayashi and Geoff Christou. 

The idea is to move beyond seasonal, using permaculture to create a resilient and healthy approach to food making.

Seven course meal with drink pairings. Scroll down for the menu.

Categories
Permaculture

Balsam Savanna

A Food Forest Project Promoting Growth, Learning, and Health

Balsam Savanna is an edible forest garden project which seeks to emulate the great richness of the forest.  We are converting a field which was used only for hay and straw into an intensively managed food forest near Parry Sound, Ontario.  

Inspired by the works of J.Russel SmithMasanobu FukuokaBill Mollison, as well as local tradition, this food forest is being managed for complexity, diversity, and self-sufficiency.  

Below is an photo from the second year of the project:

The project has three goals: 

Learning

  • to learn about land management which creates stronger and more resilient landscapes, embodies carbon, replenishes ground water, provides abundant food, and uses as much as possible native perennial plants and trees.  
  • How did ancient peoples use and manage the landscape in Ontario? This involves the study of ethnobotany, but also conversation with community members to learn of local traditions and practices
  • Agroforestry and multi-story agriculture
  • Symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationships that promote diverse insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals

Growth

  • To grow food in a way which also strengthens the environment and communities.
  • Coming together around a table, or fire: preparing the harvest: eating and drinking in groups… the coming together to feast, in is in some ways infinity old.
  • Plant, harvest, experiment with, and promote nut trees and native foods.  Nuts were a staple crop in Ontario for people for at least 11,000. Plants such as chokecherry, hawthorn, currants, gooseberries, wild leeks and garlic, and many more thrive in our climate yet due to lost cultural knowledge, destructive forestry practices, and a reliance on globalized food this great bounty is unharvested.  

Health

  • To foster vibrant, resilient, and diverse lands and people
  • Internally we seek to develop calmness, acceptance, joy, and compassion within our selves
  • Externally we seek to foster vibrant, resilient, and diverse environments.
  • Eating fresh locally grown food
  • Composting and recycling. Explore Terra preta and the mycorrhiza

You can stay updated by following the Balsam Savanna Food Forest blog posts here.