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Permaculture: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Practice of Ecovillage Design

Permaculture: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Practice of Ecovillage Design

by Jan Martin Bang


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Permaculture design has been the bedrock of the growth of the worldwide network of Ecovillages since the mid 1990s. A well-developed set of educational programmes has evolved too. This book takes as its basis the well-known Permaculture Design Course.

This invaluable source book brings together everything students on such courses need to know about Ecovillage design. Starting with a historical survey of the tradition of intentional community, the book covers topics ranging from the size of community, gardening and farming, building and technology, to economics, and tools for helping communities to grow and develop.

Additionally, the guide features a number of richly observed Ecovillage case-studies with photographs, alongside lots of tips for facilitators and self-study groups.

This comprehensive book will also be of interest to those wishing to contribute to the founding and building of Ecovillage communities for a sustainable future.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782501671
Publisher: Floris Books
Publication date: 07/15/2015
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 386,008
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x (d)

About the Author

Jan Martin Bang was born in Norway and educated in England. He has taught Permaculture design for nearly two decades, and has lived in income-sharing communities for twenty-five years, in Israel and Norway. He is a former chair of the International Communal Studies Association, and is a Fellow of the Findhorn Foundation. He lives in rural Norway. His four previous books, Ecovillages, Growing Eco-Communities, Sakhnin, and A Portrait of Camphill, are published by Floris Books.

Table of Contents

Author's Foreword 13

Guest Preface by Kosha Joubert: Ecovillages in a Time of Transition 17

Chapter 1 Ecovillages 23

Intentional communities in the distant past 24

Pythagoreans 24

Monasticism 26

The recent past 28

Ecovillages today 31

Community profile: Hurdal Ecovillage 35

Starting group work 36

Tips for facilitators and groups 36

Hopi Poem 37

Some suggestions for groups 37

Introduction session (simple) 38

Introduction session (with pictures) 38

Getting to know your names 39

What to write on? 40

A Permaculture song 41

Fruit salad 42

Cosmic circle 42

Vision workshop 43

The ball game 44

Chapter 2 Permaculture Tools 47

Permaculture definitions 48

Biomimicry 51

Permaculture principles 52

Design as a divine art 53

Permaculture in the world 55

Transition towns 58

The changing face of Permaculture 59

Community profile: Earthaven 62

Tips for facilitators and groups 64

Permaculture principles 64

Chapter 3 The Size of Communities 67

Size of Ecoviliages 67

Privacy and integration 68

Greenfield or retrofitting 70

Community as organism 72

Community profile: Auroville by Ann Ellsie Morger 75

Tips for facilitators and groups 77

Whole community 77

Chapter 4 Farming 79

Small scale farmers 79

Forest farming 82

Community Supported Agriculture 84

Velwell Orchard 87

Farming in cities 87

Organic Bhutan 90

Biodynamic farming 90

The agricultural spectrum 92

Community profile: Solborg 93

Tips for facilitators and groups 95

Make your own companion plant groups 95

Chapter 5 Gardening, Soil and Plants 97

Soil architecture 97

Compost 99

Biochar 103

Nitrogen fixing in organic agriculture 103

What plants do with soil 104

Plant genetics - breeding or modification? 106

Plant communities 108

Food forests and forest gardens 110

Rotation HO

Garden Schedule 112

Garden design 114

Community profile: Lotan 115

Tips for facilitators and groups 117

Backcasting 117

Chapter 6 House Design 119

Design strategies and techniques 119

Permaculture zoning 122

Site planning 124

Energy and heating 126

Passive and active houses 128

Design values 130

Community profile: Lancaster Co-housing, Forgebank 131

Tips for facilitators and groups 134

Brainstorming and wild design 134

Chapter 7 Building 137

Materials 137

Stone 138

Earth 139

Bricks and blocks, tiles and pottery 141

Glass 142

Metals 142

Umber 143

Grass and stuff 144

Straw bales (SB) 144

Natural fibres 146

Paints 147

Junk, recycling and earthships 148

Plastics 149

A checklist of materials for sustainable building 150

Deeper considerations 150

Community profile: Friland 151

Tips for facilitators and groups 153

Solar tracking exercise 153

Chapter 8 Energy and Technology 155

Critique of nuclear with emphasis on Fukushima 155

Solar power 156

Falling water 158

Wind generators 159

A total system 162

Geological heat 162

Bio energy 163

Wood 163

Fuel pities of wood 165

Manure 166

Biogas 166

A word of warning about Biofuels 167

Unconventional energy sources 168

Carbon capture and storage 169

Bioregions 171

Community profile: Solheimar 173

Tips for facilitators and groups 175

Create a bigregion 175

Chapter 9 Water 177

Water on earth 177

Looking after our precious water 178

The magic of water 180

Uses of water 181

A few Permaculture principles 182

Landscapes and key lines 183

Wastewater 185

Flowforms 186

Natural water treatment technology 189

Rootzone treatment 189

A word of warning 191

Community profile: Vidaråsen 192

Tips for facilitators and groups 194

An exercise in swale construction 194

Chapter 10 Alternative Economics 197

The myth of progress 198

Economic background 199

Natural economics 201

Measuring economics 203

Ethical banking 204

Biblical economics 205

Islamic economics 206

Different kinds of money 207

Threefolding and peace work 207

LETS and other trading systems 209

Citizen's wage 211

Eight forms of capital 211

Community profile: Damanhur 213

Tips for facilitators and groups 216

Create an alternative currency 216

Chapter 11 How Groups Develop 219

Course lifecycles 219

Making decisions 221

Tools for better meetings 222

Listening exercise 222

Go arounds 222

Popcorn 222

Every one speaks first 223

Speaking from yourself 223

Consensus 223

Why consensus 224

The process of consensus 225

Consensus tasks 226

Open Space Technology 227

Typical meeting process 228

Conflict resolution 229

Active hope 231

Rudolf Steiner's words 232

Community profile: Svanholm 233

Tips for facilitators and groups 234

Evaluations 234

Chapter 12 Crises and Solutions 237

Mass extinctions in the past 237

Climate change 238

Peak Oil 239

Design solutions 243

Ecovillage profile auditing 245

Environmental footprint analysis 248

The Pachamama Alliance Symposium 249

From Zone 00 to Zone 5 250

Community profile: EcoMe 251

Appendix 1 Dragon Dreaming: Its power and promise for ecovillages John Croft Kosha Joubert 255

Appendix 2 The Ecovillage Design Mandala Kosha Joubert Robin Alfred 259

Appendix 3 Transition to Resilience Robin Alfred Kosha Joubert 265

Follow up and Further Reading 269

Index 277

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