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Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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      This idea has been fermenting in the back of my mind for some time now - we (meaning we who practice permaculture) should make a bold statement. We should PROVE beyond any doubt to the world at large what permaculture can do by engaging in a massive permaculture project. For those of you who have seen Greening the Desert by geoff lawton, I am thinking of something like that on a much larger scale - an entire desert, for example. This would require a tremendous amount of trees and work, but if it looked like it was going well, support would probably pour in. For the Mojave Desert, you would need at least 60 million trees (mixed moringa and legumes). Could this be done?
 
jacque greenleaf
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Kirk, I know the Mojave looks barren to you, but it is in fact a world-class ecosystem with many unique plants and natural communities.

You would run into a storm of opposition such as you would not believe from the countless people who care about native landscapes, should you actually try to promote this. Not to mention violating a number of laws regarding endangered species.

Now if you wanted to afforest the cities of Lancaster/Palmdale, that would make a lot of sense, and could be quite popular! They are pretty grim habitats.
 
                            
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You could also think in terms of desert-ified landscapes, rather than desert eco-systems: for example, places that were once lush forest ecosystems and have becomes barren landscapes due to deforestation, erosion, etc. Mexico is full of places like this, including the spot where I live, once oak-pine-encino forest and now dried out, eroded land and agriculture... This same pattern is played out throughout much of southern Mexico with different historical/temporal variations. I think permaculture has to look towards restoring ecosystems, and such projects would gain a lot of support. However, in a lot of areas they may not be socially feasible because of factors such as land ownership conflicts, etc.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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The Mojave was just an example. Any large desert-type area would do. Also, I am sure that the current ecosystem could only benefit from tree plantings. You could still keep all of the current plants and animals. Besides, ultimately all desert areas will need some trees, or at least shelterbelts surrounding them, because they are spreading. This must be stopped and reversed at all costs.
 
jacque greenleaf
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Bill Mollison would describe what you are proposing - revamping a large more-or-less natural ecosystem to suit your (human) goal of improving on nature - as a type one error. He developed permaculture as a remedy for the type one errors he saw around him - among them, introducing exotic flora into a dryland environment.

It's a bad idea. Really.

You live in an environment that is the result of major type one errors over the past couple centuries. How about doing something constructive there?
 
Kirk Hutchison
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I have a few schemes in the works. Also, Mollison approved heartily of planting trees in deserts - a great many of which are not stable or natural in any way (the Mojave being an exception). Australia's deserts, for example, were created when the Aborigines (then newly arrived) burned the forests that covered the continent to the ground. Please, lets get away from the subject of the Mojave, which was only a name pulled off the top of my head. There are a great many areas in the U.S. that need this treatment - take the deserts of Texas as an example, or the Great Plains.
 
rose macaskie
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they plant pinus halpensis as a barrier to the sahara in marrocco and argelia and maybe they could plant even more autoctonous plants. According to Jesus Charco who writes about trees in the north of africa, the trees that limit the sahara are acacias. Juniperus oxyucedrus grow up in the pinus halpensiswoods t they plant to stop the desert palm trees are natural to there. I wondered how good palms could be to stop sands if you did not cut off the dead leaves from the bottom of their trunks dragos grow on the moutains in the sahara as do olives in crags and ravines beyond the reach of man who cuts leaves as forage and wood for fires. The trouble is that  old olives may live there but to get knew ones to take root is another question. These are the first ideas  that have occured to me and it is better to have some short post so until later. agri rose macaskie.
 
                              
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Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
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Deserts are growing at an alarming rate all over the world, so reclaiming what was once "something else" would be something useful.

I have the perfect place:  Haiti !

The Dominican Republic, and Haiti share the same Island of Hispañola, but the difference between both sides of the Island can be seen from space!

Having a massive permaculture "Invasion" to educate the people there, would benefit not only the locals, economy and ecology, but would show the world what could be done.

Here in the Dom. Rep. authorities have had a heck of a time enforcing the borders, because of the "organized" industry of crossing the border, to cut down trees for Charcoal. to sell back into Haiti. 

Haitians have no choice but buy this charcoal, they cannot afford LP. but with sustainable systems, fast growing trees / shrubs could be grown for firewood & timber.

So what could be more impressive than having the poorest country of America, rise from the ashes, and completely transform into a Green lush and abundant nation. that do not require international hand outs.

At the moment ( I am talking about condition that existed before the Earthquake ) there exist the problem, that the Government takes loans, or receives donations, to subsidize food, so that it is affordable, the problem is that this has killed almost all local farming because they cannot compete with subsidized imported food.  so they are stuck in this trap. almost all the money that the Government gets  whether by Aid, or by loan, goes toward food imports. creating a nation that get more and more in dept, and depends more and more on foreign imports.

I believe that if a small section of Haiti was selected ( lets say 2 -3 dozen communities ) and these people could be made self reliant , even productive. that these ideas would spread naturally across country.
 
                              
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Here is a clip I found that shows whats going on over there, when you look at these images, the first thought that goes through my head is,  man they sure could use Permaculture there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwwIu7K7Owg
 
Neal McSpadden
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Other societies telling Haiti what to do is what led them to such devastating poverty in the first place.  You can't make someone succeed.  What you can do is let them know what you have to offer and let them invite you in if they're willing.
 
Max Kennedy
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Have to agree that the concept of foresting a natural desert is not a good one.  However, a permaculture style reforestation of a clear cut area, multiculture vs monoculture reforestation, and managing the forest sustainably would be an excellent idea.  Here's an excellent model;

http://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest.html

I'd be interested in contributing/participating in something of this nature.
 
Daniel Zimmermann
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Kirk, just how big do you want to go?  I ask because I know of a place that has an ecosystem that was obliterated by man; now they want to get rid of the buildings and are exploring the idea of a new rurality.  The name of this place? 


 [size=15pt]Detroit, Michigan[/size].
 
                              
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tamo42 wrote:
Other societies telling Haiti what to do is what led them to such devastating poverty in the first place.  You can't make someone succeed.  What you can do is let them know what you have to offer and let them invite you in if they're willing.


I Totally agree,  I make those suggestions assuming that there is total agreement and desire by the locals, after all, if you didn't have support, the system would fail anyways.

It doesn't matter whether its in Haiti, the US, or the Sahara, the locals must have the desire and will, .

The so called "Help" being received in Haiti ( pre-Earthquake ) only made them more dependent, and deeper in dept.  nothing could demonstrate the great beneficial aspects of permaculture more than,  Greening a desert, feeding a people, and boosting economy all at once.

But like you said, of course there has to be an agreement. 

I still think it will happen, some groups have already established themselves in Haiti. once the seeds of Permaculture have been planted, others will see the benefits and will also want to participate.

 
rose macaskie
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      I don't think it is other nations tellinng you what to do that causes disaster, it is them not giving you the half off the information they have.
        What preserves clasism racism and sexism is not sharing information, to little schoooling to defend yourself in the modern world in which you are after all selli¡ling your goods to little lawyers and economists, to much manual work to study, no money to pay experts.
          People telling you a minimum and not teaching you to be bos does for countries. A boss maybe sits by the phone all day waiting for calls which are important or trying to find something out- This loooks and feels lazy for a person who is used to measuring their work by how much land they have dug. and other hard jobs.
  another thing that sound lazy to a person used to count their work by how much manual work they have done is to spend the time controling workers. i read a AMerican book about slaves it was a book againsst slavery and there was one story about a man who was known to be good at turning a slave into a good worker and he did things like preparing to go to town riding off and  then tying up his horse and sneaking back to suprise the workers so that they neve
          My husband does that if i am cleaning up the house to leave for a holiday say  he is reading in his room but it seems he is listen ing ning if i make myself a coffee he heres the preparation o fcoffe or smells it and  he shouts out to say there is no time for idling.          I would feel lazy if i was just listening to a worker but someone brought up to be a boss does not and maybe in a good boss the feeling that you are in your right to just be keeping your eye on others is good it makes for someone who keeps things going it is the sort of thing that is bad if it is over done but controling others is necessary in some situations like if you are a school teacher or if you don't want your business to fail it is an unlovign behavior however, a sor t f aniti christ behavior it is not lovign the other as yoursel it shows a lack of love a taking of the best situation for yourself. bosses even get others to be nasty so they look like nice people if they can  or pretend their worker could have worked harder to make the person they boss look like the bad one. ,
        Some people say you should not do this sort of things. usually the bosses who don't want others sharing their position,  you cant aoid alsorts of less nice behavior completely every thing becomes bad  if you do it too much. you have to be able to make fine decisions things in life aren't black and white.
         
      The boss knows how to do accounting and inquiring about how to run things, sitting in the pub waiting to exchange ideas or catch new information . If you don't teach people to be bosses as well as diggers and planters their country goes to pot .Foriegners dont tell people like those of haiti enough to allow them to make informed choices or to allow them to be flexible and change track when one thing does not turn out  that is how you keep the rich and poor status not giving enough indformation .agri rose macaskie..
 
                              
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Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
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Rose, i understand what your getting at,

There are some governments, leaders, etc. that want to keep the general population in the dark, and in "need" of them.

I can see how some governments and institutions would feel threatened by a population of people that can sustain themselves without any government. If people grow food, and "trade" actual produce, instead of paper money, how do you tax these people? ( I know they will always find a way lol ) .

well i guess this would be best for another thread, I know there is a lot of social and political facets to this.



 
rose macaskie
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        It is very relevant to what happens in places like Haiti and to permaculture as morality is part of permaculture.
          I don’t think there are any leaders who want to control the people i think there is a system that works like you put the pendulum of  a clock to work and it just works on its own and it is .it is automatic and strong or at least the class system is a pendulum not so much so.

  When Christ said "love your neighbor as yourself" instead of just love each other it was pretty clever psychologically. He knew that unless people put themselves i other peoples shoes they have trouble being nice. You can decide that the other person does not really like being part of things and will feel quiet  happy working while you party for instance if you think they are different from you without thinking you are being unkind and unloving .if you love without trying to imagine what they would feel like imagining what you would feel like in that situation. people are different but they have so much difficulty understanding others that it is better not to emphasis the difference much because emphasizing the differences makes them very short on sympathies for others.
      I think Freud talks of the me -you relation as a problematic force.
      I am in my own head i know every calculation i have made, i know i am clever but it is hard for me to know how clever you are because I only see that you have said good morning to me i don’t follow all your more complicated thoughts and i don't like your hair style and that prejudices me I think you are a silly prig maybe. I don't know much about you. To get over all this we have to be disciplined and say to ourselves, "although I don't know how clever he is I have to remember that i he is likely to be pretty clever, books and things treat all humans as if they were going to be able to understand pretty complicated things so i must talk to him as i would to myself" .
      Apart from the difficulty humans have in seeing each other’s abilities, normal conversation being often superficial, there is a desire to be of worth that will make me and many others look for the faults of others, unconsciously,  to find reason to think i am as good as them, but that later can become a reason to grossly undervalue others. You start trying to level the playing field a bit if someone looks clever, reflecting that they aren't good with people or they not good at poetry or maths or some such and then and end up making the other look abnormally stupid. People often do this and they don’t realize they have done it and this helps to stop the flow of information, people think others are too stupid to understand much.
      As observation is conditioned by  the observers expectations. For example, if I have got to think that someone else is silly it may be hard for me to believe that they said that clever thing I just heard them say, and it is easy to dismiss the clever things people have said, for instance by thinking, "they have copied someone else.
        This also works for people who looked silly to you from the beginning because they were hippy or fat or from another country or stupid rich, old if you are young and young if you are old, and so on, you despise them.  Also I can decide they have copied someone else when ever they made a clever or responsible remark and so are not clever. It takes discipline to avoid being prejudiced and always be on the lookout for other peoples abilities instead of their faults.
  Then there are tricks that safe guard the ego of the university guy for instance, that he seems to use without really knowing what he is doing, like if you want to think you are cleverer than others you can safe guard your ego by using difficult vocabulary and finding out your friend or the ignorant villagers indeed don't understand what you are talking about. Another trick is not give them the necessary background information making it hard for them to understand and then decide they are stupid not to understand you .
        In the case of individuals it is an I you situation in the case of other parts of society be it higher or lower your own section of society is the i section and the other sections are the other. Your country is I and the neighboring one the other country not me, and your own faith is I, and the other faith is you or the other.
        It is hard for the rich to see in the mental abilities of the poor and vice a versa. Don’t forget the vice a versa the rich or the university tend to forget that other groups despise them. All this means that people don't think it worth trying to explain many things to others. There are other forces at work, social ideas and social prejudices have taught them that this is so. So it is easy to have a lack of communication of knowledge between the peoples because of a condition that is built into our psyche.

      Another factor that contributes to the poor spread of knowledge, that makes people accept that some know more than them, that they have an unfair start and little future, is, as I said before, that is it is obviously necessary for some to captain the boat and others to row it and that it is necessary for those who will captain it to invert money, all this is so clear that people accept a menial role in life because they recognize the world would not work if everyone directed the work and women are of those who accept a lesser role and women also do it because it is considered that society ridiculizes men more if they have a worse job so they let men their husbands get a head start on them.

      Another thing that makes the flow of knowledge difficult is that the behavior that is necessary to direct an assignment includes keeping the way it is done to yourself as a way of stopping everyone squabbling with you for the reins of the situation. It is not a plot it is a system that works and the mechanics of which are so evidently important for efficiency that the injustice is accepted but if too few bosses or knowledgeable people are formed it can ruin a country you need a lot of people capable of running things in a country. Even though you need more workers you still need a lot of entrepreneurs and bosses.
      Pure meanness also makes people keep other from learning how to manage all aspects of the business to teach maybe their sons but not other workers and some are even mean with their sons and would rather be worth more than them. Apart from meaness, it is a big inversion to bring someone up to manage all sides of the business they will not be useful while they are learning the different sides of it.
      Ideas like the Islamic one that all boys from the age of thirteen have to be included in all the conversations of adult men how to sell a goat the house to resolve an argument and such, this makes it harder for the information to get lost or for a shortage of people with the necessary information. All cultures are wiser than others in some respects. agri rose macaskie.   
 
rose macaskie
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    Tropicguy. What i meant to write before i read your reply, is that if you are interested in changing deserts or places that have been turned into deserts then i have just found  a really good video on using rain to wet  dry places. Look up "sand dams Excellent development in kenya" on you tube. Excellent seems to be a British group that helps improve things and has quite a lot of videos on you tube on reforestation and dams. 
  Also look up "Rajendra Singh water harvesting" in google he  does something similar in India". agri rose macaskie.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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The bigger, the better! Anywhere would do, so long as it would make a big splash (and thus spreading the word about permaculture). I like the idea of a 'Permaculture Invasion' of Haiti. They definitely need it. We would have to start with rapidly growing, sustenance providing trees - namely moringa, Haiti being nearly and ideal habitat for it. This just might be workable.
 
                              
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@ Rose, I'll take a look at those videos tomorrow, ( on a slow connection at the moment ). looks interesting.

@Kirk, yes Moringa grow great here, its very drought tolerant, the only use I have seen people use it here for is for fence posts, and "Brujeria" , the local names are "Libertad" and "Amor Fino".

The tree that is most planted in arid areas, and has been super successful is the Neem tree.  It a very good shade tree, grows extremely fast  even in nasty soils.

In some villages in the dry hot southwest here, its sometimes the only tree you see.

But the Moringa has more uses, I mean, you can boost your nutrition, and even purify water.  what I like about this tree, is you can grow it like an herb, plant it, let it grow 3-4 months, then harvest it for the greens, and roots. Mature trees are full of seeds, so seeds is not a problem if you have a few mature trees around.

Haiti's main problem is deforestation, luckily they do get rain, but without forests, you have erosion, and all that.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Kirk Hutchison wrote:The bigger, the better!


Hm...hiding yeast in a big jar of flour is much more my style.

There are certain kinds of problems that only seem to happen once a project gets particularly big. Jeff vail writes fairly accessibly on the topic, using terms like "span of control" and "unbar's number."

Diagonal Economy

His vision is very big, but steps toward it would look very small and slow right now. I'm not sure I share his vision, but I think efforts to make it real would do more good, the less attention they drew.
 
                          
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Kirk, I understand what you are trying to say; and I understand that the Mojave was a bad choice, how about trying something a bit more challenging? Going to West Virginia or Montana and planting a forest on whats left after the coal companys strip mine coal out of the hills.

Or, on a smaller scale, find a vacant lot in the town where you live, buy it and create a demonstration permaculture garden. Invite your local garden clubs, the county extension office, the local schools, to come in and help, learn and get involved in permaculture.

Hank
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Hank wrote:
Or, on a smaller scale, find a vacant lot in the town where you live, buy it and create a demonstration permaculture garden. Invite your local garden clubs, the county extension office, the local schools, to come in and help, learn and get involved in permaculture.


  Unfortunately, vacant lots are rather expensive around here - over $100,000 for a small city lot. Abandon coalfields would be interesting. It would be best if we could get access to the land for free, or get some sort of grant to work with, since buying the land would be the only major expense.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Kirk Hutchison wrote: vacant lots are rather expensive around here - over $100,000 for a small city lot. Abandoned coalfields would be interesting.


There must be quarries inland from LA that supplied aggregate for construction, but are no longer as profitable in this housing bust. Perhaps some are tapped out. I think setting up a land trust is sometimes in the financial interest of large businesses that need to become smaller. Also, I bet the tremendous amount of work already done on such sites to store water and collect & classify subsoil would mean interesting opportunities.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Ahhhh.... I see. That could work. Indeed, that would be excellent!
 
                              
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That article, is a good insight, into how things are in Haiti. but the author obviously has little faith in permaculture, and offers no solutions, only that outside help has done more harm then good.  ( in some things I agree with that ).

But he mentions, that

"Why this happened depends on whom you ask- American leftists point to deforestation and its effect on the topsoil,"

Hmm? Is he actually stating that Liberals, are the only ones that believe that deforestation has effect on the topsoil?  I assume the "American Leftists" he is referring to are Liberals"

He cant actually believe that the deforestation in Haiti is natural, it shares the same Island and climate with the Dominican Republic, and deforestation is under control here.  ( for the most part ).

He makes Permies out to be some kind of wacky hippies. ( not that I think there is anything wrong with wacky hippies )

No "Big" permaculture project would be without obstacles, whether you do it in the USA, Haiti, Africa, Russia, or where ever.  the hardest part isn't the digging of the holes, or planting of the seeds, its the politics, and social support.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Which was actually part of the idea behind this whole discussion in the first place - if you can make a big enough statement, people will be more supportive. People who are on the brink of starvation tend to be more receptive to new ideas than fast food eating westerners, so a success in a place like Haiti could open the way for projects in wealthier countries.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Tropicguy wrote:"Why this happened depends on whom you ask- American leftists point to deforestation and its effect on the topsoil,"

Hmm? Is he actually stating that Liberals, are the only ones that believe that deforestation has effect on the topsoil?


No. Her alternate theory is that the extermination of pigs forced people into the city. The theory she attributes to leftists (she's an anarchist, btw, and so probably uses "leftists" to mean people a little more conservative and much more authoritarian than her, and "progressives" to mean people a much more conservative and a little more authoritarian than her) is that erosion forced Haitians off the land.

Another theory I've heard, but which she didn't mention, is that foreign aid, in the form of free imported rice, collapsed the market for cash crops and urbanized the population.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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I would assume that this, being a complex issue, was caused by a combination of factors.
 
                              
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Kirk Hutchison wrote:
Which was actually part of the idea behind this whole discussion in the first place - if you can make a big enough statement, people will be more supportive. People who are on the brink of starvation tend to be more receptive to new ideas than fast food eating westerners, so a success in a place like Haiti could open the way for projects in wealthier countries.


Ohh ok, lol,  I was definitely taking that  the wrong way.

@ Joel

Yes I have heard this many times, that the "donations of food" and money in the way of donations or loans, are used to subsidize food, which keeps local farmers not able to compete, so they just don't grow stuff commercially.

about a year or so ago, the government in Haiti received money from the "outside" that was intended to be used for projects, but food riots broke out, and well, that money had to be used to buy food.

Saw on the news yesterday that the US is considering sending 4 Billion in aid to Haiti, but it will be the US and other foreign aid  groups that will handle that money.

If all they do is build roads, homes, and "Free zone factories " ( sweat shops ), this will just keep Haitians in the same spot they are in, reliant on other countries.

But I am not that pessimistic, I think that the problem has been recognized, and hopefully they will help them be self reliant.
 
Max Kennedy
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Kirk Hutchison wrote:
I would assume that this, being a complex issue, was caused by a combination of factors.


This is actually the root of the problem.  It's not complex but very simple.  Too many people entitled to too much stuff and when the consequences of their actions come home to roost having their hands out to others for salvation.  Don't get me wrong, helping others is a noble thing done right, as with any other endeavour though there are 10 ways to do it wrong for every way to do it right.  As a race we have unfortunately taken on the attitude of entitlement and developed the ability to exceed natural limits through short term resource depletion.  Allegorically this is the give a man a fish scenario, very short term.  We need to start thinking differently, can what we do today continue indefinitely?  If not then it needs to be a stepping stone to get to that place and getting there needs to be an integral part of the plan.  Providing aid, such as in Haiti, has to be predicated on that ideal instead of the massive bandaid solutions (like LiveAid) that perpetuate the problem.  Here's the hard part, if those in need aren't willing to do the hard things to become self supporting long term, we need to step back and allow the consequences of their actions to take over.  This is true of the Haiti's but is also true of the AIG's, Chevrolet's etc. This is the teach a man to fish scenario, if he still chooses not to fish he starves.  It is also in keeping with the principles of Permaculture.  I expect there will be a lot of disagreement with this but at some point in time children have to become adults and be responsible for the consequences of their decisions.  We are a race of children!
 
                          
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My wife and I, instead of giving each other christmas gifts, gave a lamma to a family in South America. (The Heifer Project). It was up to that family to decide to use that lamma for wool production or food.  Short term use or long term use.  For us a simple decision. For them, more complicated.

Haiti is also more complicated.  It's a country that has been beat down by the rest of the world for a long time.  When do we say, and do we have the right to say, Haiti has had enough help, it's time they got up on their hind legs and run with the big boys. 

Another thought;

Back in the old days, the aristocracy understood they had a responsibility to provide for those in the lower classes that supported them.  Now we have an "aristocracy of money" that has little understanding of their responsibilites.

Personally I believe it's not a matter of the have-nots being "entitled" but a matter of the have's being "responsible".
 
Kirk Hutchison
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mekennedy1313 wrote:
Allegorically this is the give a man a fish scenario, very short term.


  Indeed, but what we are discussing here - a permaculture style assistance program - is not. We are talking about establishing forest gardens, teaching people how to make them, and distributing seeds. We can't just leave and let people starve. It is like a person with a broken leg - they cannot stand on their own, but given time on a splint, they will be able to.
 
Max Kennedy
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Not saying we shouldn't help.  Just saying that often "help" is ill considered.  It ends up supporting the institutions that led to the original problem or creating worse ones.  Examples are water pumps that break down and can't be repaired locally or keeping people alive and located in a place incapable of supporting the population.  Saving everyone and everything isn't helping, it's guaranteeing the problems will return worse than ever.  One of the hard realisations for Permaculture in Haiti is that it is necessary to reduce the population.  This doesn't mean advocating going out and shooting people.  It does mean that any help needs to include a population control plan.  This means family planning education, ensuring the education of women etc as it is measures like these that bring population growth under control.  There are cultures that wouldn't agree to things such as this, muslim extremists such as the taliban for example, and it is here that one needs to be prepared to walk away.  Haiti has been characterised by anarchy in recent times.  How acceptable something like this would be there I don't know but I suspect there would be strong opposition by some sectors.  It needs to be planned for is all I'm saying.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I wonder if permaculture design courses in Dominican refugee camps might be one way to go. The training will go to people who know Haiti, and have enough safety and distance from it to consider the larger picture.
 
                          
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Reforestation is one thing.  Food production is another.  In permaculture, you really have to be right there living in the midst of the trees so you can forage the end product.  It is not amenable to mechanical harvesting.  So there is no way to make this scale without also having a massive relocation program.

 
Kirk Hutchison
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The relocation is already occurring - a great many refugees haver already fled out of the cities, and more could be readily convinced (I think) if there was a promise of food.
 
paul wheaton
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Kirk,

I think your idea is excellent!  And, while the party poopers have made some good points, I think this is still an excellent idea.

The good news is, I think a few groups have beat you to the punch! 

There is a TED talk that has been posted here at permies (somewhere) where a big area that was quite desert-ish was loaded up with trees and they are now experiencing more rain!

I think there are similar projects with trees being planted in africa (video link somewhere here on permies).

I think it would be great to have a thread called something like "permaculture proof!" that ties this sort of stuff in, and then it is more a matter of bringing that information to the masses.

 
Kirk Hutchison
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  Indeed. I have seen that TED talk (by Willie Smitts, I think), and it was great. I love that site. It is too bad that sepp holzer, Bill Mollison, or Geoff Lawton have not been invited for a talk. Speaking of which, how to participants get selected? Could we nominate sepp holzer? That would really get the word out. I like the idea of the thread. If ever discussing permaculture with a non-permie, one could cite that as additional evidence of success.
 
gary gregory
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Hi Kirk,  Your enthusiasm is great!

How about doing a poll?    Worldwide.

Through this forum we should be able to find out how many desert acres around the planet  are already being permied.    Just define what criteria you use to define desert and ask for responses. 

 
Of course, I found a very beautiful couch. Definitely. And this tiny ad:
one giant gob of podcasts, videos and stuff
https://permies.com/wiki/37733/digital-market/digital-market/giant-gob-podcasts-videos-stuff
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