New Page!

Hi all!  People often ask us to recommend a few resources to get started in Permaculture, so we have put together a new page of some of the things that we have found helpful, practical, and useful over the years.  (Many of these resources can be purchased online and easily found with a Google search).  We have separated the resources into three sections:  Getting Started,Advanced, and Technical Help.  We will be continually adding to this page, but if you have any suggestions for us regarding resources that you have found to be extremely useful please let us know and we’ll try to get them included  (send suggestions to neverendingfood@gmail.com).  Here is s a sample of what can be found by visiting ‘Recommended Resources‘, but there are many more resources listed on the actual page so give it a visit.

Getting Started–The following are resources that are great for beginners or for those who are teaching people who are just being introduced to Permaculture ideas and practice.

Earth-Users-Guide-to-Permaculture-2nd-Edition-0Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture” by Rosemary Morrow--This helpful manual walks through the basics of Permaculture implementation including: understanding the land, creating a design, adding resilience, and even takes a look at the ‘invisible structures’ of social Permaculture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

381990“Permaculture in a Nutshell” by Patrick Whitefield–This short booklet is a great introduction to Permaculture ideas.  It is focused a bit more on temperate climate implementation, but takes a good look at both urban as well as rural application of Permaculture ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20130702introductiontopermaculture“Introduction to Permaculture” by Bill Mollison–This book is a combination of two older books called ‘Permaculture One’ and ‘Permaculture Two’.  It has revised the materials and made a more concise presentation of  introductory Permaculture concepts.

 

 

 

 

 

A Visit from E3!

Kusala teaching about Permaculture guilds and composting toilets!

Kusala teaching about Permaculture guilds and composting toilets!

We recently had a wonderful visit from and organization called ‘E3′ (Educate, Empower, Employ).  This is a faith-based group that works in the Dowa District of Malawi, primarily in a community called ‘Gusu’, to “help create ways to stimulate the local economy; build and use local assets which are then leveraged for greater and fairer market participation.”

This group received training in Permaculture Design several years ago and are now using these principles and ideas to address issues of food security, health, education, and economic development.  For this visit, E3 brought about 35 participants which included local farmers, members of local community groups, and project staff.

Chiku teaching about worm farming!

Chiku teaching about worm farming!

We are fortunate enough to currently have three interns at Never Ending Food (Emmanuel, Chiku, and Kusala) who can now give entire tours in English or Chichewa.  They decided to divided the large group into three smaller groups and spent the morning teaching about Permaculture Designs.  Their tours exposed the groups to concepts of:  Permaculture guilds and zones, water harvesting, nutrition, compost making, worm farming, fish farming, animal management, bee keeping, tree planting, mulching, Malawi’s 6 food groups, composting toilets, diversified staple field production, solar drying, fuel efficient stoves, the importance of using local resources, and much more!

Emmanuel teaching about compost making!

Emmanuel teaching about compost making!

Never Ending Food has recently received a donation of money from a group in Canada, which the interns are planning to use to take a group of local women farmers to visit the E3 project in the near future.  This ‘idea sharing’ fits in nicely with Permaculture’s third ethic of ‘Fair Share’ and helps to promote the implementation and uptake of ecologically sustainable ideas.

A big thanks to E3 for arranging the visit and to our three hard-working interns for the work they put into making the day a success!

Never Ending Food visits Norway!

Stacia and Kristof giving a Permaculture Presentation

Stacia and Kristof giving a Permaculture Presentation

Never Ending Food just had a wonderful opportunity to give a Permaculture presentation at the Telemark University College in Norway.  This college has four campuses located throughout the county of Telemark and the presentation took place at the campus located in the city of Bø.

Stacia and Kristof Nordin spoke about their experiences in using Permaculture principles to address development work in Malawi, Africa.  Their presentation was one of three presentations which were given that day to an international group of students who are interested in environmental, social, and ecological issues.  The first

A Trip to the School Garden

A Trip to the School Garden

presentation was on the Fairtrade movement in Norway, the second presentation was on Permaculture, and the third presentation was an interactive session which took place in the Bø campus school garden which is used for community outreach (including a local kindergarten which is located next to the campus).  The group that tends for this garden showed us around the garden, cooked us a soup from freshly picked garden veggies, and discussed their efforts to make the city of Bø a ‘Transition Town‘.   Transition towns are grassroots community projects which seek to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability by creating local groups that uphold the values of the transition network.

Jaw-dropping Natural Beauty!

Jaw-dropping Natural Beauty!

Despite working a bit in Norway, we also took some time for a bit of rest and relaxation.  Norway helped us to renew our commitment to using Permaculture principles to heal the earth.  It is absolutely remarkable what a country can do when it commits itself to a sustainable future.

Electric Tesla Fueling Station

Electric Tesla Fueling Station

Despite having large reserves of fossil fuels, the government of Norway is investing in clean and renewable energy, offering incredible incentives for the use of electric vehicles, and working to safeguard their immense wealth of natural beauty: soaring mountain ranges, majestic fjords, crystal clear water, and trees as far as the eye can see.  Let’s hope that the rest of the world can learn a few valuable lessons from Norway!

Another Successful PDC!

Kusamala PDC 2015 292aKusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology has just completed another fantastic Permaculture Design Course (PDC)!  This was a truly international group of people with participants coming from Malawi, Somalia, Germany, America, and Austria.  Kristof Nordin, from Never Ending Food, was brought on to assist with the facilitation of this course.

Kusamala PDC 2015 177aThe course followed the international curriculum for a 72-hour PDC and covered a wide range of topics from Permaculture principles to the hands-Kusamala PDC 2015 080aon application of these principles.  All 17 participants worked very hard to earn their certificates and they should be very proud to now call themselves internationally certified Permaculture Designers!

We hope that this latest batch of Designers will be able to apply their newly acquired Permaculture skills to every situation in every country that they come from.  All the best in the future!

A Visit from Food Tank!

Food Tank Visit 082a

Kristof, Danielle, and Stacia

This week Never Ending Food was honored to host Danielle Nierenberg from Food Tank in the United States.  Food Tank is a non-profit organization, which works to “offer solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty by creating a network of connections and information for all of us to consume and share. Food Tank is for farmers and producers, policy makers and government leaders, researchers and scientists, academics and journalists, and the funding and donor communities to collaborate on providing sustainable solutions for our most pressing environmental and social problems…Food Tank is focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. We spotlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.”

Food Tank Visit 003

Danielle getting a tour from Kusala

During Danielle’s visit, we were able to demonstrate some of the ways in which Never Ending Food has been applying Permaculture Designs towards sustainable development in Malawi.  We discussed many of the highly-nutritious, resilient, and locally available natural resources that are currently being ignored primarily due to a corporate push to monocrop or genetically engineer only a handful of commercial crops. Danielle was able to meet with Never Ending Food’s interns and see how our grassroots community outreach is being conducted.  We took a site visit to Maulana Village, home to of one of our interns, Kusala Biswick.  Kusala gave Danielle a tour of the village and spoke of some of the challenges which are often met when trying to promote agroecological approaches at a village level. He said that when his family started using Permaculture many neighboring households were suspicious of their motives.  Some people even tried to sabotage their efforts by cutting down their trees or free-ranging goats on their property, but in time people came to realize the value of these low-input and sustainable practices and eventually even the chief of the village has begun to make changes at the household level.  Kusala’s brother, Biswick, has now gone on to become the Permaculture Manager at Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology, and has been on the radio many times promoting Permaculture and the work that Maulana Village has been doing.

Food Tank Visit 047

Danielle Interviewing Afshan

Another site visit that we were able to make during Danielle’s stay was to Child Legacy International.  This is a Christian non-profit which is working in Malawi to provide holistic health care services.  Powered completely by renewable energy–solar panels and wind turbines–Child Legacy in Malawi has set up a medical facility which has been able to provide health care services to over 50,000 people since its opening in 2012.  During our visit, we were able to get a tour from Afshan Omar, a certified Permaculturalist, who has been working for over a year and a half with Child Legacy to help them integrate sustainable food production systems and increase access

Vertical Wall Planters

Vertical Wall Planters at Child Legacy

to year-round diversified nutrition.  Their comprehensive approach combines preventative care (i.e. balanced nutrition, environmental health, and mental well-being) with the medicinal services of their treatment wards.  The site includes fruit orchards, fish ponds, aquaponics, diversified vegetable gardens, staple food fields, nurseries, greenhouses, compost making facilities, and more.  They have even worked with local chiefs and communities to move towards the establishment of a forested ‘green belt’ which would link the surrounding villages while helping to provide access to fuelwood, non-timber forest products, and better land management practices.

Molly and Danielle at Kusamala

Molly and Danielle at Kusamala

We also had time to take Danielle to meet with the Director of Kusamala, Molly Cheatum, who is “responsible for the overall design and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan; project and financial management of grants, reports and outreach; and communication with the board of directors, donors and policymakers.”  Molly gave us a tour of Kusamala and we were able to see their commercial organic gardens, natural medicine gardens, staple food fields, food forests, outdoor classrooms, eco-sanitation, and office buildings.  Molly described the outreach that they’ve been doing with local farmers and the recent farmer’s field day that was held in the Dowa district.  She also elaborated on the plans that are being established to create a large-scale holistic livestock management area in conjunction with the Savory Institute.  Very exciting things happening in Malawi!

Beni Dancers

Beni Dancers

Chisamba Dancers

Chisamba Dancers

And, just by chance, when we visited the Kumbali Cultural Village we were fortunate enough to arrive on a day when a local group of cultural dancers were performing traditional dances such as Chisamba and Beni.  What a great way for us to share a bit of Malawi’s culture with Food Tank and to send Danielle off in style!  It was a wonderful week…inspiring, educational, informative, and rewarding!  Never Ending Food would like to wish Danielle all the best in her future travels and continued success with all the incredible work that Food Tank has been doing!