Immo Fiebrig

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since May 03, 2012
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Recent posts by Immo Fiebrig

Dear Jennifer,
Yes, I agree with that, maintenance is a general problem and to my experience also one of the reasons that sometimes tends to unfairly give e. g. permaculture a bad name as "hippie´s stuff".

The question is how to organize ongoing work after the initial hype has worn off, isn´t it? I believe either you find someone really engaged in the topic who wants to take the lead and who doesn´t have to work elsewhere full time for money. Otherwise there would have to be at least one person earning an income of some kind from the basic maintenance and through organizing workshops and group events ... otherwise it is not sustainable. Another aspect I have found really important is that as volunteer worker I really want to feel valued where I do the volunteer work. Intrigues, power games and other disrespectful behaviour or enforcement of strict behavioural rules like "no eating meat" (!), "not wearing shoes made of leather" (!) etc. will fend off people interested in working in a community but unwilling to subject to confining behaviour. I have found that there is a fine line between motivating people to live a more sustainable life with joy and downright forcing them in a patronizing way to do certain things, as some eco-warriors tend to do, somethimes also through more sutle straining or factual mobbing. I have been through it all. The latter won´t work for long...

So, I wish we will find good ways to manage such projects long term.
Kindly
Immo

3 years ago
Hello John Saltveit,

I can tell you about what is going on in Munich. The City Council has put aside some somewhat abandoned space near a public park for city gardeners. Anyone who wants to join and help seeding, planting or watering but also harvest, cook and share the food is welcome. The group has some main organizers, they are volunteers, and others who join on a more or less regular basis. It is not so much about feeding the people but about a joint activity that is healthy to everybody and it helps to overcome integration problems as well (additionally we have a numer of so called intercultural gardens in and around Munich to encourage migrants to come together with local people and co-operate in a peaceful manner for cultural integration - it works and the city administration has acknowledged that!).

There is also a German wide working webspace on the basis of something like google maps where people can mark public trees whose fruits you can freely harvest (and save the city council cleaning costs!). I believe there is something similar in the US too, isn´t there?

Kind regards
Immo
3 years ago
Dear Jason,

You would want space enough to hold the dimension of the structure and for you to have space beyond the Hügelbed, without ending up in something that feels more like a prison cell. On the other hand I have been on some of Sepp Holzer´s seminars in urban areas with little space and here is what I learnt: One way around the lack of space is to set the Hügelbed on the edge of your garden and use it as the boundary or "fence" at the same time as using its inner side for planting whatever you want to harvest. Growing berry bushes like raspberries on the outside would do no harm and it might be a friendly gesture to pedestrians passing by and pinch a bit. The habit of building fences around gardens in Europe is quite common, not so much in the US as far as I know. A "Hügelbed fencing" might be a nice thing between a useful growing area that saves space and some kind of fence protection to your private area.

Regards
Immo
3 years ago
Dear Joshua,

I think you really have to follow your intuition and find out what is best for you.

Here is a story of "guerilla gardeners" in the southern German city of Munich (München). Years back these gardeners started in a rather conspirative manner planting flowers and vegetables in public spaces, sometimes in small green spaces between parking lots at night. After some years of "illegal" acts and attempts by the city administration to prosecute the offenders, guerilla gardeners and city officers met on a joint event and decided to rather work together than fighting one another. A true win-win situation emerged. Now, a local NGO called Green City takes calls from citizens wanting to be patrons of specific public green spaces. They earmark those spaces, taking a note of the responsible person and inform the city council. The city council in turn stops servicing those spaces and saves public money. All parties are happy!

Good luck!
Immo
3 years ago
Dear Emily Cressey,

Maybe you want to check on the Dervaes Family in California mentioned in "Edible Cities", they are familiar with ducks, chicken, and even goats and as fas as I knonw they also give teaching sessions. Also Susanne Scoville in Detroit has experience with ducks (The Duck´N Roll Inn) and might be a valuable source of information and inspiration. Good luck!

Immo
3 years ago
Dear D. Logan,

In deed, the book project "Edible Cities" has a nice history of its own. So, to answer your question I would like to give you some more information about the wider context.

A class of 30 students at Sepp´s Krameterhof had only been holding the Holzer Permaculture Certificate in their hands for a few weeks in 2011, when the renown Austrian publisher "Kneipp-Verlag" approached Judith with the intention to produce a book on urban gardening, and more specifically, on urban permaculture. To cut a long story short, we ended up as intercultural Austro-Germano-Swiss team of authors, each one with his or her specific tasks. Austrian cook and event manager Judith Anger acted as the prime mover and project manager. Swiss-German professional organic gardener Martin Schnyder beautifully mastered the task of writing about recommended edibles, i. e. fruits and vegetables. I myself as a German writer, translator and overall publishing service provider within pharmaceutics, medicine and a healthy lifestile in the widest sense had been in charge of the conceptual design of the book and of about 90 % of the writing and editing task.

The publisher had confronted us with the seemingly unsurmountable challenge of producing the manuscript within just over three months and as would be usual, with only a rather meager budget! Travelling the world to visit all those beautiful projects, in spite of being an appealing thought, was out of the question. At that moment I realised if we had really learnt something at the Krameterhof and about permaculture and if we really believed in what we had learnt, this book should be produced in a "permaculture way", as a joint effort of a team of authors and a larger team of contributors and using easily available technologies. During 2 months we ploughed the web, made use of social networks and communication tools like Skype to identify appropriate projects worldwide, interview their leaders and produce a concise and at the same time a compelling and informative story. Writing happend within three weeks, working Monday to Monday from early morning till late at night. So far the context.

To answer your question, Sepp Holzer had always advocated a broad dissemination of permaculture knowledge, so bringing the concepts of permaculture into the urban area with its high population density seemed like the perfect multiplier at a moment when city farming was becoming a popular concept here in Europe as well and books on urban gardening were sprouting like mushrooms shortly afterwards. To us it seemed only obvious to ask Sepp, having been our main teacher and inspiration, to proofread our manuscript, give us his blessing as the patron and write the preface. It seemed more than appropriate to include him in this "book permaculture". It worked out perfectly I believe.
3 years ago
Dear Permies,
Tommorrow 15 Feb 2015 starts the book promotion for "Edible Cities", the book on worldwide urban permaculture projects co-authored by three of Sepp Holzer´s students and with an introduction by Sepp himself, translated into English and re-edited by Permanent Publications in the UK, printed in the US. I am looking forward to comments and questions from readers and readers-to-be.
Kind regards from Munich,
Immo Fiebrig (main author to the original German edition with the title "Jedem sein Grün!")
3 years ago
As far as I know, Ms Barada was convicted to 20 months in jail by the highest Austrian Court in Vienna, 4 of those had actually to be served, the rest to be served in case of misbehaviour. Reason for this conviction: multiple cases of fraud and a case of arson. The second conviction consisted of a payment of 200 daily rates or jail, in case the amount of money cannot be paid, because of libel and slander against Holzer´s permaculture. On the other hand Sepp Holzer has been acquitted of any of the accusations brought against him.
5 years ago