INTERESTING NEWS


“The classic permaculture model sounds like this: permaculture practiced on the land leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate community.

Social permaculture implies a second narrative possibility that sounds like this: permaculture practiced in the community leads to an abundance of material resources which can nourish and cultivate the land.”  ~ Butterside.com

Farm
Eden Heights Garden

Social and Ecological Permaculture Design Certification Course

March 7th-19th 2016 – Mon. to Fri.

The course is being designed and delivered by Jeff “Papillon” Ribier of the ButterSide and Mike Wird of Regenerative Lifestyles, Colorado, and is based on the classic Permaculture curriculum as inspired by the work of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.

It will take place in the Castle Bruce area at Eden Heights and Beyond Vitality plus various other sites across the island.

This certification course will expose participants to a wide variety of subjects in the form of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.  You will be studying in some of Dominica’s most beautiful gardens as well as in devastated and urbanized areas.  Residing on the design sites at Beyond Vitality and Eden Heights, looking through the lens of Permaculture, you will develop a deeper understanding of social and ecological patterns, principles and appropriate strategies.  And most importantly, the quality of the relationships between them.  There will be a series of presentations by local community organizers, farmers, botanists, builders too.

One thing you know when you visit Dominica whether you have an intricately planned itinerary or not there will be something more …

… because Dominica is such a spontaneous natural environment there is always more to enjoy then what is planned – a beautiful rainbow; the visit of an iguana;  a ripe fruit; the heavenly scent of flowers; the call of a bird.

The organizers are going out of their way to have both Dominican and International Students be able to participate. In my opinion this is essential for a truly eco sustainable educational tourism program.

This will enable the rare blending of those from Dominica interested in organic farming with those interested in organic farming throughout the world – I am sure a lifetime of friendships will evolve!

International Students:

You can choose to take a one week or two week program.

Early-bird rates end on December 15th, 2015.

Dominican Students:

Scholarships are available to a limited number of people – checkout who complete the PDC scholarship application form and return it to Sian at Eden Heights by January.

The program is available for people who can only attend a couple of days of workshops, as well as those interested in completing the whole course. Exact dates and topics for the 2 day packages will be confirmed in January.

There is a limited number of spots for this course, don’t wait too long.

Final sign-up deadline is February 1st, 2016 (no refunds are available beyond this date).

If you miss the deadline or wished there were a possibility for a payment plan, don’t give up!  We’ll work it out.

Contact us to see what can be arranged.  If you are choosing a payment plan, a non-refundable $300 deposit is required upon registration. Your registration will be handled with care and you will be on our standby list for the first available opening.

Accommodation is organized on a first registered/first served basis.

The link below gives you an overview of the itinerary; the topics covered during the training as well s the credentials of the teachers.

http://www.butterside.com/#instructors-guest-speakers

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GENET is a European network of non-governmental non-profit organisations engaged in the critical debate of genetic engineering, founded in 1995. GENET‘s mission  is to provide information on genetic engineering to its member organisations and the interested public and to support their activities and campaigns. At the moment, GENET has 51 member organisations in 27 European countries. GENET is an international non-profit association under Swiss law.

The purpose of GENET is to exchange information on genetic engineering and campaigns focussing on:

  • plant and animal breeding
  • human health
  • agriculture
  • animal welfare
  • food production

and its implications on

  • biological diversity
  • human genetics and medicine
  • the environment
  • the socioeconomic development

By informing interested organisations and individuals GENET facilitates the citizens’ involvement in decision-making processes which have to guide the development of this technology.

List of GMO-Free Regions

Dominica is listed as GMO Free on this website.

GM Crop report relating to: Dominica

 

 

Rediscovery of Black-capped Petrels on Dominica

Adam Brown goes face-to-face with the Diablotin.
Adam Brown goes face-to-face with the Diablotin.

A team of scientists from EPIC and Dominica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries have recorded 968 Diablotin, also known as the Black-capped Petrel, over the mountains of Dominica, a Lesser Antilles island for which the last confirmed date of nesting of that species is 1862. This rare seabird was once abundant on Dominica, but thought to be extirpated in the late 1800s due to overhunting and the introduction of mammalian species. Observations made with radar and supplemented by detection of vocalizations showed large numbers of petrels flying between the sea and potential nest areas in the island’s highest peaks. Details of the expedition are being released at the 20th International Meeting of BirdsCaribbean, taking place now in Kingston, Jamaica.Adam Brown, Co-Founder and Lead Scientist at EPIC states, “Finding this colony of petrels on Dominica is a real game-changer for Black-capped Petrel conservation. For years we thought the only remaining colonies of petrels were on Hispaniola, where nesting habitat is diminishing at an alarming rate and pressures of human activity are significant. Dominica is an island-nation where nature conservation is a high priority and forests needed by petrels are well protected, so we now have a huge new opportunity to undertake conservation efforts to preserve this imperiled species.”

Biologists from EPIC and the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division of Dominica’s environmental ministry teamed up in January 2015 to do a systematic survey of the entire island of Dominica to locate Diablotin and determine its status. The Diablotin is a very difficult bird to study, as it is a seabird that comes to shore only for a few months of the year to breed, flying into forested mountains at night to underground burrows. A portable marine radar array and night vision scopes allowed biologists to locate, identify and count flying petrels in in the dark. This technique was developed and used successfully to study Diablotin on Hispaniola.

Team member Arlington James during a radar survey on Dominica.
Team member Arlington James during a radar survey on Dominica.

The next step is to confirm breeding by locating active nests. The team is confident that petrels observed on Dominica are breeding but the discovery of birds, eggs or chicks in burrows would make their presence a certainty. Biologists will make expeditions into the mountains in early 2016 when breeding petrels are expected to return to Dominica. Dominica’s forests, many pristine due to strong protections, would appear to offer prime nesting habitat to petrels, but also make locating burrows a challenge.The Diablotin is considered one of the world’s rarest seabirds with an estimate of only 1,000-2,000 pairs remaining, and until recently, known to nest only on the island of Hispaniola (comprising the nations of Haiti and Dominican Republic). Biologists and others, who have formed an International Black-capped Petrel Conservation Group, held out hope that the species persisted on Dominica, buoyed by occasional findings of adult birds on the ground in coastal or inland areas. However, numerous searches to find evidence of nesting of this species on Dominica during the second half of the 20th century were unsuccessful. The dramatic re-discovery of Diablotin on Dominica gives that nation a huge role in securing the future of this species.

http://www.birdscaribbean.org/2015/07/rediscovery-of-black-capped-petrels-on-dominica/

Unless you are eating 100% organic the answer is yes!

The chemicals we put on our gardens and farms are often organophosphates and they are neurotoxins very similar to nerve gas.

Chemical warfare was introduced to a shocked world during the First World War. The development of chemical warfare agents during the Second World War led to the so-called “nerve gases,” which are quick-acting poisons attacking the nervous system. In the second world war Nerve Gas was a feared and terrible weapon. I remember my grandfather telling stories of people who had come back from the war and described the experience: convulsions; seizures; confusion; irritation; anger; loss of memory and executive function.

As a Health and Wellness Consultant and Writer I have written many articles on studies showing the dangers of agricultural chemicals and I knew more than one study had shown links between agricultural chemicals and Parkinson’s Disease.

Over the years as I delved more deeply I found there were a lot of similar symptoms in many Dementias; Parkinson’s Disease and other Brain Diseases of today.

I asked a local doctor that I respect very much if he thought there could be a connection. He said he theorized from his many years of observations that older farmers he saw were functioning differently neurologically then those the same age with other jobs with less exposure to chemicals.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Physical Symptoms
Mental Symptoms

Symptoms of Dementia

At first I could not find any studies linking agricultural chemicals and dementia but years later they are starting to be published one by one and it is sad to think that we are doing this to ourselves for money.

Then I found a study in France that supported my friends theory

I was just blown away when I began to realize that a lot of the chemicals that we put on our food are “neurotoxins” very similar to the nerve gas of Chemical Warfare.

Researchers measured the levels of pesticide byproducts in the urine of 1,139 children from across the United States. Children with above-average levels of one common byproduct had roughly twice the odds of getting a diagnosis of ADHD, according to the study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics.

Recently it was projected that one in —- would have dementia over the age of 60;

According to the ‘Gulf War and Health published by the National Academies Press: “the persistent abnormalities seen in sarin victims that last long after the acute toxicity has resolved appear to be similar to the long-term neurobehavioral effects seen after acute intoxication from organophosphate pesticides (Delgado et al., 2004; London et al., 1998; Rosenstock et al., 1991; Savage et al., 1988; Steenland et al., 1994; Wesseling et al., 2002).

Organophosphate pesticides (as well as sarin and VX nerve agent) irreversibly inactivate acetylcholinesterase, which is essential to nerve function in insects, humans, and many other animals.

Meta-analysis was carried out by the University College of London to determine the neurotoxic effects of long-term exposure to low levels of organophosphates (OPs) in occupational settings.

It was released around the start of January 2013 and their conclusions are

The majority of well designed studies found a significant association between low-level exposure to OPs and impaired neurobehavioral function which is consistent, small to moderate in magnitude and concerned primarily with cognitive functions such as psychomotor speed, executive function, visuospatial ability, working and visual memory.

Listen to what this farmer has to say about the organophosphates they were forced to dip their sheep in.

 

Listen to this Organic Farmer’s observations on Mad Cow disease and neurotoxins.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MheeiX2w8JU

This is a great way to highlight Dominica and new talent; congratulations Discover Dominica!

Dominica Challenge – this year’s winners

For Film

Trent and Josh

Dominica The New

http://www.dominicachallenge.com/portfolio_page/trent-and-josh/

 

For Photography (People’s Choice)

Trevor Paulhus

Closer to Eden

http://www.dominicachallenge.com/trevor-paulhus-closer-to-eden/#43

Dedicated to the people of Dominica!

I love the name of this farm!

I have watched them from their opening and it is so inspiring to see their dedication to educating and informing all – about organic farming.

They visit the local schools to talk about Organic Farming. As a teacher I would definitely include them in my programmes no matter what level I was teaching at. This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring we have a future generation of young adults informed about the benefits of Organic Farming and the environmental and health ramifications of Farming with Chemicals.

school presentation

They give farm tours with hands on activities for children of all ages. this is just an amazing outing for youth of all ages. They get to see with their own eyes that Organic Small Farms are a fun viable occupation that provides healthy nutritious food for the nation; lowers imports and protects the earth for future generations.

rolling compost

Their tours include fun and educational activities such as rolling compost games.

compost video

Multi media presentations.

story telling

and story telling.

They tailor their tours to all ages.

Visiting the island?

Their Organic Farm Tour is a wonderful introduction to Dominica’s traditional foods and methods of farming. it is child friendly and interesting to the entire family. You get to savour our local foods with more than one sense knowing that you are contributing to the development of a strong and vibrant Agro Eco Tourism Sector on island. This is  Responsible Tourism at its finest.

You can camp there if you want a Farm Vacation.

Studying Tropical Agriculture or Organic Agriculture?

seedlings 2

Students from all over the world visit this thriving organic farm in a tropical  environment to study with their trained and experienced Organic Agriculturist – Dawn.

Living on the island? 

D-Smart offers Educational Programmes for children of all ages. This is a great way to enhance their environmental awareness; keep them active; foster a love of gardening and immerse them in nature. Children who have a chance to get excited about the foods they eat  in an experience such as this are inspired to eat more healthy. This program strengthens the children’s appreciation and respect for their culture, organic farming, eco living and local foods.

 Dawn Francis is a trained permaculturist…focusing on the areas of sustainability and organic farming. Her training was done in Trinidad in 2011; there she obtained a certificate  in Permaculture at Wasamaki Ecosystems. She also trained with Al Casimir of the Dominica Ministry of Agriculture – Organic Division. Dawn continues to increase her knowledge through self study and on site experience.

Check out their Road Side Booth as you pass by Corona/Corona Estate between Pond Case and Sylvania on the Trans Insular Road newly renamed the .

Contact them at D-Smart Farms on Facebook. They can also be contacted at 767) 449-0581; farm.dsmart@facebook.com

Japan-based general trading company ITOCHU Corporation and kurkku – a firm that promotes environmentally conscious lifestyle through sales of sustainably sourced food and apparel – have pledged to improve the income of Indian farmers, their health, and the environment, by scaling up production of organically produced cotton, which is free of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers and has an approximately 30 percent higher market price.

http://cottonmarketnews.com/2012/08/30/japanese-program-to-support-organic-cotton-sector-of-india/

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