Bhutan: First Country with Completely Organic Farming

By shunning all but organic farming techniques, the Himalayan state will cement its status as a paradigm of sustainability

– John Vidal and Annie Kelly for the guardian

MDG : Bhutan : farmers transplanting rice shoots into rice paddies in Paro valley,

Already an overwhelmingly agrarian state,

Bhutan is aiming to become the world’s first completely organic country. Photograph: Alamy

Bhutan plans to become the first country in the world to turn its agriculture completely organic, banning the sales of pesticides and herbicides and relying on its own animals and farm waste for fertilisers.

But rather than accept that this will mean farmers of the small Himalayan kingdom of around 1.2m people (according to Pema Gyamtsho, Bhutan’s minister of agriculture and forests; the World Bank estimates it at around 740,000) will be able to grow less food, the government expects them to be able to grow more – and to export increasing amounts of high quality niche foods to neighbouring India, China and other countries.

The decision to go organic was both practical and philosophical, said Gyamtsho, in Delhi for the annual sustainable development conference last week. “Ours is a mountainous terrain. When we use chemicals they don’t stay where we use them, they impact the water and plants. We say that we need to consider all the environment. Most of our farm practices are traditional farming, so we are largely organic anyway.

“But we are Buddhists, too, and we believe in living in harmony with nature. Animals have the right to live, we like to to see plants happy and insects happy,” he said.

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Craft – Learning Traditional Folk Skills

Handmade Brooms

Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, the John C. Campbell Folk School has been keeping traditional folk skills alive since 1925.  They offer hundreds of weeklong and weekend classes, year-round, for adults in: craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.

Check them out here  https://www.folkschool.org/  and empower yourself!

1-800-365-5724

Commonly heard:

“Very cool place with lots of talented people, beautiful art, and great scenery! Highly Recommended”

“I am 26 and I have gone 3 times now. It usually takes me a year to save up enough money for the week and the trip but I have never been disappointed. This past year I was in their work/study program and it changed my life! I am planning on applying for their 4 month host position and it is my goal to find a job close enough to move there and get a chance to take more classes! The accommodations make you feel as if you never left home and you will truly make life long friends.”

“The surrounding hills and greenery of the farmhouses and the campus are relaxing and conducive to creativity. The Scandinavian folk school style suits me with their morning walks in the woods, song and story telling before breakfast, serious working atmosphere in the classes, visits to local studios, folk dance evenings, and of course their very good food. Give it a try.”

from the Shaker Oval Basket Class
Mill House at John C. Campbell Folk School

World leaders lost sight of their urgent purpose!



WWF Rio+20 closing statement (via World Wildlife Fund)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (21 June 2012) – With negotiations at an end, WWF Director General Jim Leape today issued the following closing statement about the Rio+20 summit: “This was a conference about life: about future generations; about the forests, oceans, rivers and lakes that we all depend on…

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PERMACULTURE & PEAK OIL:



PERMACULTURE & PEAK OIL: Beyond ‘Sustainability’ (via http://www.occupymonsanto360.org)

David Holmgren is co-originator (with Bill Mollison) of the permaculture concept and author of the recent book, PERMACULTURE: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. He talks about the need to move beyond the lulling hope that ‘green tech’ breakthroughs will allow world-wide ‘sustainable…

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Earth’s Water Cycle Intensifying



Earth’s Water Cycle Is Intensifying, Dry Is Getting Drier and Wet Is Getting Wetter (via Planetsave)

  The Earth’s water cycle is intensifying, leading to more evaporation in dry climates and more rain in wet climates. “A clear change in salinity has been detected in the world’s oceans, signalling shifts and an acceleration in the global rainfall and evaporation cycle.” A new study just published…

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Ten Great Resources to Market Your Arts and Crafts Online



Ten Great Resources to Market Your Arts and Crafts Online (via http://trader.intl.ws)

Selling your arts or crafts used to mean going to street fairs, bazaars, festivals, etc. Of course you still can do that, but maybe you do not have many of those opportunities where your live, or your circumstances do not allow you to do that, or you simply want to increase your market reach. In that…

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Free Online Video Permaculture Course – 40 Hours



Introduction to Permaculture – 40 hours of Free video lectures (via http://www.occupymonsanto360.org)

Permaculture means ‘permanent culture,’ (or ‘permanent agriculture’) and …’is the conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of a natural ecosystem.’ (Bill Mollison) This course will explore, through lectures, discussions…

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Five of the World’s Most Sustainable Building Concepts



GUEST POST: Five of the World’s Most Sustainable Building Concepts (via http://greenbuildingelements.com)

As most of us know from hearing the word too many times, sustainable building covers a very wide range of definitions. But regardless of how we might define something and spar on who has the best meaning, the idea of practicing sustainability for what we build and how we live is a measure we should…

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How One German Village Became a Renewable Energy Leader



Power Play — German Energy Revolution Video (via Clean Technica)

  The German village Schönau forced the grid operator to sell its local grid to them decades ago. Now, that village has become a renewable energy leader. As you can see in the video below, it’s a major producer of renewable energy. One of the pioneers there also has a wicked little electric vehicle…

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Startling GMO Update



GMO Alert: Startling New Research (via WV Outpost)

Time for a little GMO update and heckling of our nemesis, Monsanto and friends. New research demonstrates what most of us have suspected for years: GMOs and the poisons used on them are bad for everything on the planet. For ethical reasons, as well as the obstruction of research by Monsanto, little…

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