‘Fair Share’ Friday – two new Permafund projects

‘Fair Share’ Friday – two new Permafund projects

PA’s Permafund is thrilled to announce funding for another two grant projects thanks to funding from the Quaker Service Australia (QSA)

Firstly, introducing the Organic Food Kenya Project (OFK). The OFK believe in sustainable permaculture models that are integrated into a community’s culture and traditional methods of agriculture. Their motto “give people a fish, they eat for a day, but teach people to fish, and they eat forever”, aligns with their focus on providing education and support to reduce poverty and food insecurity.

“These are long term investments in the skills and assets of community members to be able to successfully participate in the course and gain lifelong knowledge. It is OFK’s firm belief that the best investments are in people and their success.”

The funding provided via PA’s Permafund will support community training in permaculture, positively impacting on 3000 community members, including women and children.

Our second new project will be implemented by the Rwanwanja Youth Innovation Group (RIYG) in Uganda.

Since permaculture came to the Rwanwanja refugee settlement, many people are impressed with it, especially youth because they are able to capture and adapt it. Parents are learning from their children and many backyard gardens have been created, though COVID-19 has had some impact

The funding provided via PA’s Permafund will assist RIYG to expand the permaculture activities already happening. This will include planting trees to protect the soil and provide food, composting, permaculture training, rain water collection &, establishing backyard gardens to support the monthly food ration.

More information:

PA’s Permafund provides small grants of less than $2000 AUD to community permaculture projects across the globe. Since 2012, we have funded 54 projects in 16 countries that support food security, seed sovereignty, regenerative farming practices and water harvesting thanks to your generous donations.

Donations over $2 in Australia are tax deductible and are a great way to enact the third permaculture ethic ‘fair share’. We have a further six projects on our waitlist we’d like to fund at the start of 2021, for more information including to donate click here.

‘Fair Share’ Friday – two new Permafund projects

Fair Share Friday – introducing three new Permafund projects

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We had such a great response to our ‘February Fair Share’ promotion, that PA’s Permafund has allocated funding to an additional three projects. Thanks to your generous support, we’ve now supported a total 58 projects in 16 countries!

Our first new project is in Tanzania – funding practical permaculture for youth and women, and implemented by SuBeHuDe. This project will include permaculture training for 100 community members, supporting green jobs and employability to break the cycle of poverty.

Our second new project in the Philippines, supports the Seed4Com 7HUrban Permaculture project. This project will convert a property into an urban farm using permaculture principles & regenerative farming, with the aim of improving food security for the Indigenous community.

And last but not least – we will also be funding the 1000 tree project supported by Swayyam in Southern India. This is a rural initiative which will support small groups of marginal farmers to acquire fencing, water harvesting earthworks, drought tolerant native crop seeds and high quality tree saplings.

Why donate to Permafund?

“At Pip Media we follow the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share – by donating to Permafund we share some of the profits that come through the work we do… We know the donation will go to projects that have been carefully selected by the great team behind PA’s Permafund – Permaculture International Public Fund whom share similar values to Pip,” Robyn Rosenfelt, Editor Pip Magazine

Our farmers knowledge is increasing in permaculture systems, they are becoming resilient and are able to grow their own local food that benefits many families and more! When farmers are able to grow & eat their own local food it is the best way of giving power to our communities in ways that are truly regenerative, and improves the quality of life and biodiversity on Earth, for our children to inherit”, Grant recipient, Kenya

This is what PA’s Permafund is all about – enacting the the three ethics of permaculture (Earth Care, People Care & Fair Share) and supporting grassroots projects around the globe to build stronger communities.

How can I get involved?

Want to make a difference too? Donate to PA’s Permafund today and help build food security and stronger communities across the globe. Donations over $2 in Australia are tax deductible and are a great way to enact the third permaculture ethic ‘fair share’. For more information including to donate please click here.

Permafund Summer Lunch

Permafund Summer Lunch

It’s this time of year again. Can you believe it’s the end of 2021? What a year we have all had!

As this El Nina is well and truly settling in, the plains of Canberra a vividly green, dams are full and rivers a rushing downstream to reach the coast. Keyline properties will be fully recharged and swale designs are being tested. We are seeing extreme weather events not only here in Australia, but all around the world.

But, with 10 years of Permafund Australia activity, there’s lots to celebrate. Why don’t you join us, the Permafund Team, and host a long table lunch under the lush foliage of YOUR grapevines or pergola? 

This summer more than ever, let’s come together and feast on the abundance your work has provided. Let us think about our growing global community of people, the less fortunate and cook or prepare something from a culture other than your own. Use and value diversity.

Put on a feast, whether it’s a Kenyan or Indonesian, Nepalese or Indian inspired night, that is up to you, share the love through food. Ask people for a donation, whatever they can afford, and let us continue the great work of Permaculture direct action globally.

Register your event with permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au for more information and recipe ideas. 

Donations to Permafund are shared with grateful recipients who put their grants to work in a wide variety of creative environmental and community building projects around the world . All donations are warmly welcomed. Donate here.

Permafund team

Permafund aids Community Regeneration

Permafund aids Community Regeneration

Permaculture for Sustainable Communities in Kenya has provided this report after receiving a Permafund grant of $2,000 to promote local food that is more climate-friendly and less energy-consuming to improve food security and support a vibrant, resilient community.

The project was implemented in the Matungu District in Western Kenya for period of a year. It was to help the marginalised communities to grow their own healthy food during the COVID-19 crisis as a powerful way to reclaim communities and change the dynamics so that people would have wealth and power to combat hunger and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The community was able to invest in new tools for the project

As background,  Permaculture for Sustainable Communities reports that it’s estimated that 42% of Kenya’s GDP is derived from natural resource related sectors such as agriculture and forestry. These sectors are highly sensitive to climate change, a fact that makes rural based economies highly vulnerable. In the agriculture sector for example, smallholder farmers are the backbone of the economy, generating about 70% of their agricultural production while also being the custodians of precious agro-ecosystems.   Conversely, land, water resource base and populations whose livelihoods and food security are dependent on such resources have been subjected to the vagaries of land degradation, deforestation and the declining productivity of croplands. This has undermined the sustainability of food systems and productivity of natural landscapes.

To address these challenges, the Permaculture for Sustainable Communities project focuses on the development of regenerative farming to rebuild healthy community gardens as a nature-based solution for addressing ecosystem degradation and build climate change resilience.

Training including women and girls

It is therefore a practical intervention that serves as an entry point adaptation strategy to improve the productivity, efficiency, profitability and fairness of production from the landscape while also establishing an approach that builds rural land restoration. In essence, the ecosystem-based adaptation approach will ultimately reduce environmental impact of production while addressing food insecurity. To ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced and managed for the benefit of present and future generations, the project focuses on building healthy soils.

All ages are involved in demonstrations

The long-term goal of developing sustainable food systems is considered a high priority for Permaculture for Sustainable Communities.

Activities carried out included the training of farmers in permaculture practices and skills, the distribution of farm seeds and tools plus monitoring the project and evaluation of the outcomes.

Working with the landscape to capture water in the soil

Project achievements: Through the intensive training of 50 farmers in organic farming, synthetic fertilisers are now not used in their farms. Building and maintaining a rich, living soil through the addition of organic matter is a priority for the farmers as the solution for sustainable healthy soil for healthy food production. 

Hand watering new planting

The community’s farmers have knowledge in planting and then tilling in cover crops, which help protect the soil from erosion off-season and provides additional organic matter. They have learned about non- tilling and digging in of nitrogen-fixing cover crops, such as mucana or thithony whihc also adds nitrogen to the soil. Cover crops are commonly planted before or after the cash crop season or in conjunction with crop rotation and can also be planted between the rows of some crops, such as tree fruits.

Maize established in prepared field

The farmers have been in trained in pest control. They can make organic pesticides that are derived from naturally occurring sources. These include living organisms such as the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, which is used to control caterpillar pests, or plant derivatives such as neem, alvora and peepe leaves. 

Organic pest control integrates biological, cultural, and genetic controls to minimise pest damage. Biological control utilises the natural enemies of pests, such as predatory insects (e.g., ladybugs) or parasitoids (e.g. certain wasps) to attack insect pests. Pest cycles can be disrupted with cultural controls with crop rotation the most widely used. 

When local varieties of crops disappear, this can compromise food sovereignty and the ability of a community to access culturally appropriate food at a fair price. The region’s farmers are turning to traditional planting of numerous crop varieties that are resistant to specific pests and are diseases to restore food sovereignty in the community.

Abundant harvest ahead

Finally, because of a permaculture practices and knowledge the farmers have harvested plentiful green vegetables for home consumption. Two farmers have established herb gardens. Beans, maize, soya beans and potatoes have been harvested, making the region a food security hub.

Home gardens for vegetables and herbs

The project has benefited 50 farmers directly and benefit 350 directly.

From the project outcomes lessons have been learned.

There are multiple benefits from teaching farmers about building healthy soil by making organic fertiliser, including green manures, designing and adding swales into gardens to increase soil water content, growing native seeds, improving soil pH to benefit plant growth, increasing the availability of P and K and increasing microbial activity.

Gathering up the harvest
Preparing for harvest collection

Learning together with community members has led to improved problem solving and more effective work strategies.

Collecting the harvested maize

Through the supply of seeds and farm tools farmers worked harder to rebuild acidic gardens into organic food producing farm systems that have produced food security for many beneficiaries.

Working in groups helped many farmers learn how to establish herb gardens both for human medicine and for insect repellent.

The community working together helped permaculture knowledge reach more people in regions where many need this education.

The harvest ready for distribution

Challenges.

Long droughts are making certain crops to fail.

More encouragement needed for local climate- resistant crops to be grown.

Support needed for the community to adapt to setting up small home gardens irrigated by water harvesting. A shortage of tanks to capture water from rooftops is an issue.

The shortage of farm seeds and tools to equip more farmers is a problem. For example in one village you may find that only one home has a wheelbarrow.

A wheelbarrows is a valued asset

There is a high demand among farmers for training in permaculture practices and the establishment of working farm models. Financial support is needed to replicate the project in order to reach more people.

Donations to Permafund are supporting community organisations like Permaculture for Sustainable Communities around the world.  Contributions of $2.00 of more are tax deductible in Australia and can be made here.

Seed saving for future harvests
Permafund supports permaculture workshops in India

Permafund supports permaculture workshops in India

In 2018 the Integrated Rural Development Society (IRDS) of the Salem District, Tamil Nadu successfully applied for a Permfund micro grant to conduct training workshops for 50 tribal farmers from the Mannur, Alamarathukadu, and Poomarathupatti villages in the Kalrayan Hills.

Farmers with an interest in permaculture and new agriculture methods were identified with the help of farmer leaders before being introduced to the project’s goals and main activities.

Seed varieties shared during workshop

A series of workshops were conducted covering permaculture and organic agriculture methods to maximise return from the same land in multiple ways, the control of weeds by intercropping, making liquid fertiliser to increase micro-organisms in the soil and water harvesting to improve soil moisture.

Liquid fertiliser demonstration

Seeds and seedlings were distributed to increase the diversity of vegetable and indigenous grain crops being cultivated. The project has helped the farmers lessen their reliance on outside inputs and improve their harvests for better food security.

Intercropping increasing yields

On behalf of the tribal farmers, the IRDS team has expressed their sincere thanks to Permaculture Australia and Permafund for the partnership, cooperation and support that’s enabled the organisation to implement this important project in their community.

The activities of the Integrated Rural Development Society include raising awareness of the importance of protective, preventive health practices including providing clean drinking water and good sanitation.  Other major issues addressed by the organisation are the empowerment of women, environmental protection, HIV and AIDS awareness and health development through alternate medical practices such as naturopathy and yoga practices.

Tax deductible donations to Permafund support permaculture-oriented projects like this in Australia and overseas.

For more information please contact permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au.

A variety of crops fill the fields