[Friday 5] £25,000 Permaculture Prizes, new video, and Flow Hive 2



Hi, this is Geoff.

Lots to get through this week, so let’s jump right in…

Deadline! £25,000 in Prizes: Earlier this year, my good friends and permaculture pioneers Maddy and Tim Harland launched an unprecedented permaculture-themed award: The Permaculture Magazine Prize. Open to any permaculture project in the world, awards consist of one main prize of £10,000, four runner-ups of £2,500 each, and a youth prize of £5,000 for those under 25. The intent behind this couldn’t be more timely. In Maddy and Tim’s own words: “In a time of global crisis, the world needs well-designed, regenerative and inspiring examples of permaculture. We have set up this prize to celebrate and support pioneering, best practice projects and tell these stories and shine a light in the darkness.” There are less than 2 weeks left to submit your entry, so don’t delay! Full details can be found here, and the entry form can be found here. Thank you, Maddy and Tim.

Still buzzing: Three years ago, Stuart and Cedar Anderson broke Indiego’s all-time crowdfunding record with their Flow Hive invention; after reaching their $70,000 goal in 8 minutes, they went on to raise more than $13 million to support the creation, manufacture, and further research & development of their beekeeping innovation. A look at this one-page overview of Flow Hive 2 (scroll down and click on “Flow Hive 2”) or this 5-minute intro video reveal why this product has taken the beekeeping world by storm. Although beekeeping purists might chafe against what they perceive as a “shortcut” that flattens some of the art involved in beekeeping, I believe that on balance this is something that will help both people and bees: By minimizing one of the most arduous tasks involved, it will encourage more individual families to take up beekeeping; and it will help bees by increasing the number of individual hives and locations across the planet, which may in turn help reverse the impending collapse alluded to in the incredible documentary, Vanishing of the Bees.

New Video — Transition Towns: One thing I get asked a lot is a variation of this question: How do we take the knowledge of permaculture design and expand its impact beyond our own backyard, farm, or client site? Bill laid out a compelling answer to this question in Chapter 14 of the Permaculture Designers’ Manual, “The Strategies of an Alternative Global Nation.” But translating his vision into a practical reality requires incredible organization and creativity. One uber-successful example of this is the work of Rob Hopkins, whose “transition towns” are a grassroots movement for localized economies and bonding communities. They aim to increase self-sufficiency at a community level by reducing the potential negative effects of climate destruction and economic instability. To see my conversation with Rob that we filmed onsite in Devon, UK, check out the latest video freshly posted inside The Permaculture Circle (TPC). As always, if you’re already enrolled in our free TPC learning community, you can view the full presentation here. And if you are not a member of TPC, you can quickly become one for free here), and immediately gain access to the new video as well as 100+ other videos and media resources. Enjoy!

R.I.P: 1500-year-old tree: A short but impactful piece in this month’s Atlantic begins like a mystery novel, and ends with a familiar call-to-action: Around 1,500 years ago, shortly after the collapse of the Roman Empire, a baobab tree started growing in what is now Namibia. The San people would eventually name the tree Homasi, and others would call it Grootboom, after the Afrikaans words for “big tree.” As new empires rose and fell, Homasi continued growing. As humans invented paper money, printing presses, cars, and computers, Homasi sprouted new twigs, branches, and even stems, becoming a five-trunked behemoth with a height of 32 meters and a girth to match. And then, in 2004, it collapsed.” A theory about what’s behind this, and the article in full, can be read here.

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.

That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have any comments / reactions / or a different point of view, please share on the blog-version of this Friday Five (and all past + future Friday Fives), all housed here.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


PS: Once a year, I invite my good friend and expert excavator, Glenn Armstrong, to our farm to help me co-teach an extensive 2-week Earthworks course. This is where permaculture design moves (no pun intended!) to an entirely different level and opens up worlds of possibilities: Glenn brings out the big, earthmoving machines in order to establish dams, swales, terraces, access roads and more. Doing earthworks incorrectly can lead to very costly mistakes; but getting both the theory and extensive hands-on experience that this course offers means that you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to get it right from the start: reading the design site, interpreting contour maps and using surveying tools, placing elements appropriately, using the basic terminology for earthworks and soil water management, and working with contractors to direct earth movers in action.

Again, I offer this as a face-to-face course only once per year, so if this is something that is of interest to you, I’d love to see you in about 5 weeks’ time at the end of July (30th July to 10th August, 2018).

And if the timing isn’t right, but you are still interested in coming out to the farm for a face-to-face PDC, farm tour, or the Permaculture-in-Action hands-on experience, feel free to check out the remaining 2018 dates here.



Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty Ltd 1158 Pinchins Road The Channon, AU-NSW 2480 Australia

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