New Internationalist JULY Issue 402 Permaculture
From this month’s editor
‘Oh no! Not gardening!’ It was too much for one of my colleagues. I’d just decided, in blissful ignorance, to pick up ‘permaculture’ from the list of topics the co-operative chose at our annual meeting last year. Curiosity got the better of me. A few weeks later, a small group of friends gathered in the café of the Hornbeam Centre in Walthamstow, east London. I needed to talk to people who actually knew something about permaculture. Several of them had been involved in the struggle for global justice: a doctor who spent 10 years in Brazil; an activist who went to the World Social Forum in Mumbai. There, she told me, she’d been on a panel about water privatization – and a fellow panellist from India had asked her what was happening in Britain. A good question, she felt. Eventually she and some of the others, by different routes, decided that their next step should be to tackle their own backyard. I’d come to much the same sort of conclusion myself, after leaving Chile not long before the military coup in 1973. And it came to me now: instead of flying off to the Amazon or Africa,
I’d spare the air miles and write about permaculture in Britain. It’s been a strange experience, illuminated by one of the most radiant early-spring seasons I can ever remember, but confused by the discovery that I am in many ways more ignorant about my own backyard than I am about the Amazon. An innocent at home, you might say, exploring a good deal more than ‘gardening’. Even so, I never found anyone with a good word to say for slugs.
David Ransom for the New Internationalist Co-operative email@example.com
14 Barns to beacons A co-operative of ‘peasants’ in rural Dorset and a remarkable woman in the Brecon Beacons set some inspiring examples.
4 Edible Earth In search of bright ideas, David Ransom begins by learning some very basic lessons about how to design a more sustainable, permanent culture.
6 The ethical heart of permaculture Maddy Harland (pictured right) outlines the principles that make it beat.
7 The problem is the solution How the prospect of penury forced David Ransom to discover that there’s more than money to be saved both at work and at his new home on a Dutch barge.
10 Tasmanian roots The two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, set the ball rolling – Russ Grayson and Steve Payne tell their story.
16 10 DIY permaculture ideas From living roofs and forest gardens to animal tractors and chicken greenhouses.
18 Global common sense A brief tour around the permacultural world – North America, Nepal, Cuba, India, Palestine, Zimbabwe.
20 Permanent culture Had David Ransom known, he might well have taken the same path much sooner.
20 Action Contacts, books, websites.
21 SPECIAL FEATURE The Islamophobia debate When is it fair to criticize Islam and when is it not? Reader Amatullah Matthews protests at recent NI articles; Peter Tatchell argues that critics of fundamentalism are being silenced; while Sharif Gemie and Patricia Clarke offer a new context for the discussion.
12 No-dig for victory A fresh forest of networks is blooming in the inner cities of Bristol and London, where David Ransom tries to keep pace with Peak Oil as well.
2 Letters Victorian view of Darfur; IsraelPalestine debate; Buy Nothing Day. PLUS: Letter from Mauritius
25 Currents Thailand takes on Big Pharma; Latin America says ‘Bank off!’; why girlpower has a long way to go. PLUS: Speechmarks and Seriously
28 Big Bad World Polyp on tourism’s final frontier. PLUS: NI Prize Crossword
29 Worldbeaters Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency, the ISI, finds out what it is like to be in the firing line.
30 Mixed Media A special report from Toronto’s HOTDOCS film festival, featuring movies on Darfur, Abu Ghraib and climate change. Also, Jewish music and new folk, plus a book on lesbians in India and a novel about a Nigerian in Berlin.
32 Southern Exposure Boy with bike and gas mask in Ramallah, Palestine, photographed by Osama Silwadi.
33 View from Kutama Why does the West think Robert Mugabe has changed? Mthulisi Mathuthu argues that he hasn’t.
34 Essay: Much ado about oil Hugo Chávez’s new foreign policy makes sense, according to Alex Sánchez Nieto...
36 Country Profile: Burundi
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Front cover photograph: Michael York.
Magazine and cover design: Alan Hughes. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.