Permaculture at Paititi

Starting with Bill Mollison’s observations of Aboriginal Australians, the substantive roots of modern-day Permaculture stem largely from the indigenous cultures of the planet. Today, incredible wisdom, perspectives and techniques from indigenous cultures around the globe have been integrated into our Permaculture toolbox, all of which share similar and congruent practices given that all had the same teacher and guide, Mother Nature. These cultures, that lived in deep connection with nature both internally and externally, realized deep awareness of their interconnection with all life. They understood how life energy flows and how to work harmoniously within these flows and cycles. At Paititi it is our work as a community to embody this deep awareness of our symbiotic relationship with nature and we have found Permaculture to be a positive, empowering, proactive and solutions-based tool to support humanity to return to a harmonious lifestyle. At the grounds of our centers, we strive to provide for our own human needs as much as possible, be they food, clothing, shelter, medicine, energy or any other life-essential goods. In this process, we work to use natural renewable resources in a way that not only refrains from harming the environment, but in the long run actually improves it. Our projects include a demonstration farm that integrates sustainable agriculture and agroforestry, appropriate technology and sustainable infrastructure for local communities to live in healthy sanitary conditions, and reforestation and land rehabilitation. More qualitatively, we work on an ongoing basis to facilitate deeper connections with nature, which we understand as powerful tool and teacher for personal healing and transformation.

Current project focus:

Terra Pretta Soil Building Research - Terra Pretta is an ancient soil building practice developed thousands of years ago by the indigenous communities of the rainforest. Today this knowledge has largely been lost. However, there has been much recent interest in this practice as a potential key to solving the challenges involved with growing food in poor quality tropical soils. We are currently implementing research to rediscover this practice. Bio Char Production - Bio Char (or activated Charcoal) is known to be a major ingredient in the ancient Terra Pretta soil deposits found in the Amazon. We are currently implementing both ancient and modern processes for producing BioChar in a sustainable way. Agroforestry / Food Forest Development - Agroforestry is an agricultural system mimicking the natural functions of the rainforest incorporating food, fuel wood, fodder for animals, and medicinal plants among all three canopy layers commonly found in a tropical forest. A productive and well-managed Agroforestry system provides everything necessary for communities to flourish while at the same time creating the balance and resilience of a bio-diverse ecosystem that provides soil retention and creation, water conservation, habit creation and carbon sequestration. Sustainable Agriculture for Nutritional Health of the Native Population Composting Toilet Systems - With the proper system our human waste can be contained in simple and sanitary ways and transformed into a valuable resource. Rainwater Catchment - In the region where our center is located we receive 3 meter of rain annually on average. With all this fresh water, the majority of local villages do not have fresh uncontaminated drinking water. We are currently working to implement simple systems whereby local communities can maintain sources of clean drinking water collected from roof tops. Water Filtration Systems Designed using local materials including clay, sand and charcoal. BioGas Production Using simple affordable systems designed for collecting methane gas for cooking Permaculture Design Education programs for both the local and international community. Our courses integrate the connection between the inner and outer landscapes and the role it plays in the healing process. Community Seed Bank - Saving, collecting and making seeds available for local communities to implement diverse food forest and gardens. Fair-Trade Export Cooperative - Creating opportunities for local communities to export quality products at the micro scale. Translation of Permaculture Resource books into the common, local language, Spanish.