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|Do You Speak Tree?|
|Written by Andy Goldring|
|Wednesday, 21 September 2011 21:19|
I can hardly believe this is the first day. Already it feels like a week, and the thought of blogging, describing the process to give a flavour of the day is daunting. It's hot and our desert setting makes this an extraordinary event. People of passion and enormous skill have gathered and are intent on sharing what they know. I've lost count of the number of conversations and my notebook is groaning with mind maps and drawings, scribbled notes and email addresses.
Alex McCausland impressed me with his work in Ethiopia. Over the last few years he has devoted much of his life to making a difference, and he has. Some excellent observation work has enabled him to develop and test simple approaches that can and are helping the people in the area he lives. New earth bag water tanks of around 4,000 litres have been installed at the local school and cost just $200, rather than the $2000 for a 10,000 litre plastic tank. A great affordable and appropriate technology. Within days of installation the tanks had been filled twice from rain and used to mix the earth that had lain in wait for months. This was used to fix the school, whose walls were in an ever worsening state of repair. The simple water system made it easy to mix the earth plaster, so the job got done. Now the water will be used to tend the plants in the garden that is emerging beside the tank, so the school will have its garden, with beautiful flowers and nutritious fruit, salads and vegetables. A beautiful combination of design thinking, appropriate technology and community development.
[time passes, oh so quickly]
OK, so now its actually the end of day three. My intention to blog has been thwarted by early morning walks to the top of red mountain rocks to greet the day, sketch and reflect; delayed by another intriguing workshop; interrupted by another conversation, a sweet tea and impromptu meeting. And its hot.
There is something I am sure about now, I knew it before, but here in Jordan it has been confirmed. Don't listen to excuses, excusers, nay sayers and fools. We can fix the planet, we can fix ourselves. We can, and we are. Permaculture has always been a connecting discipline, and at IPC10 it is clear that we are connecting powerfully to many networks and combining our efforts and the results are truly incredible. I've seen land written off as 'beyond repair', repaired. Not just nice pictures, hard facts too. Rivers flowing again. Communities that have reversed the cycle of poverty and desperation, towards health and abundance. Farmers that have been taught to 'speak tree' and recognise the opportunities for regeneration that lie in wait in their fields. Genius inventors that turn combustion into pyrolysis, in a tube that fits in an old coke can, and hoppers that allow farmers to enhance their crops, fix carbon and enrich the soil.
We know it can be done, a reversal in our fortunes. I'm not saying its easy, or just around the corner, but I do know its achievable. The question now is can we organise fast enough, spread the work, engage and empower communities in every continent. So some of our time has been spent discussing how we move forward as a global network. Tomorrow in the day long 'open space' workshop we will take this discussion further. Tonight I am off to sleep on the rocks beneath the stars. I have learnt a lot and made myself a promise to write more soon. I've seen treasures here, they need to be shared.