Open Source Permaculture On Its Way to the Internet

Samuel Mann/CC BY 2.0. A permaculture garden in Otago, New Zealand.

From the urban sprawl of Istanbul and Mexico City to the Rocky Mountains in the United States and the deserts of Jordan, permaculture activists are gently greening the world one small patch at the time.

Prague-based documentary filmmaker and environmentalist Sophia Novack is hoping to help accelerate that process with the creation of Open Source Permaculture, a free online resource that she says would teach "anyone (including you!) ... how to grow an incredibly productive backyard permaculture garden."

Permaculture Social Networking
Though the full definition is more complex, permaculture, short for "permanent agriculture," is essentially a way of designing farms and gardens so they work like natural ecosystems. The methods used are generally low-tech, but permaculture activists haven't shied away from using the Internet to connect with resources and each other.

Richard Patterson/Sterling College/CC BY 2.0. A permaculture edible forest garden in Vermont.

The Worldwide Permaculture Network, created by a research institute in Australia, is a social networking hub for permaculturists, while Novack's Permaculture Media Blog and Permaculture Directory offer free access to thousands of videos and other educational materials and worldwide listings of sustainable-living events.

DIY Tips On Urban Permaculture
Novack is currently raising money on Indiegogo, a site similar to Kickstarter, to build the two main components of Open Source Permaculture, a "Q&A Website + Wiki" and a free "Urban Permaculture Guide eBook" that promises DIY tips on plenty of TreeHugger's favorite topics, including balcony gardening, vertical gardens, guerilla gardening, school gardens, community supported agriculture, composting, and rainwater collection.

With six days left in its campaign, Open Source Permaculture has raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 goal. "I believe local, community-oriented solutions are crucial to creating a more sustainable, resilient culture," Novack says. "My vision is to create a comprehensive online resource, so anyone and everyone wanting to create more sustainability in their home or community can have all the resources and support they need at their fingertips."

Tags: Czech Republic | Gardening | Permaculture | Social Media

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