Been wanting to comment on this for awhile. I loved that this started through Craigslist!
I was at a presentation at Industry Canada last month about the service economy and how it could be increased in a low carbon society (called Green Servicizing). They provided examples such as:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3hS6BQDgwg (and Fortum Active)
But your example goes further as this adds to building community as you mentioned and connecting with the local ecosystem.
Thanks for this Chris! I added this information in a "Transition Town Ottawa" flyer we made for the Community Garden events! Great link!
...Thanks for your response, and your good points are well-taken. (Please feel free to post this email-- edited or verbatim-- where/how/-ever you see fit, in its support, and to have anyone else contact me.) I still await one from the Permaculture Research Institutes, although in Australia, for example, our late yesterday was their late Friday.
To clarify and put it simply, I'm of the "cautious contention" that everyone needs to have a reasonably sizeable/fertile piece of land that they can call their own-- at least on par with a so-called "owner"-- or it is doubtful this permaculture thing will work in the long run.
And I say this from the inside, as a fellow "Transitionist", which lends all the more gravity, in part because I wish I didn't feel like I have to (and despite whether you agree).
I imagine you've heard of the butterfly-effect/chaos theory? Well, simply put again; the mere gentle flapping of a butterfly's wings "today" can cascade into a full-blown out-of-control hurricane "tomorrow".
My weather vane is spinning unusually quickly for just such a potential effect with an otherwise ostensibly-innocuous "butterfly-as-the-land-sharing-thing", and so I'm very interested in nipping it in the bud, should my vane prove correct. ('Sharing' seems a misnomer if the "sharing" is somehow inequable-- perhaps a bit like a marriage, where the husband owns the house that the wife cleans.)
From what is understood, permaculture is, first and foremost, ethically about Care of The Earth, (and Care of People), and I suspect that the longer we maintain various kinds and degrees of dislocation of people from it, is the longer and harder the drag will be on our transition.
Species have come and gone in the grand natural historical scheme, and it may yet prove that humans, as exceptional as they think they are, won't be in this case. Certainly not if we keep repeating age-old mistakes, blowing ourselves backwards.
I'll leave you with these two quotes:
"Our intention in telling this story is... to honour a community that stood up for its rights, sacrificing greatly in the process. Not since the Metis Resistance of 1885 has there been an event as significant as 'the Oka Crisis' in proclaiming and defending Aboriginal rights. This country still has a lot to learn about respect for native people and their communities, and the script does not hold back from portraying the ignorance and racism of Governments and Canadian society".
~ Gil Cardinal,
Director, Indian Summer: The Oka Crisis
"The Eden that Europeans described when they reached North America was not a wilderness, but a well-managed resource, a complex combination of nature and culture, ecology and economy, a system so subtle and effective that it eluded the settlers who saw only natural wealth free for the taking. The result of this land grab in North America is that only 2% of the land is now wild, its major rivers are polluted, its lakes have caught fire, and its forests are dying from the top down.
The tragedy of this commons was that it never really was a commons after colonization, but was surrendered to plunder, privatization, and exploitation in the name of Manifest Destiny and progress."
winner of The Honorary Right Livelihood Award, the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Sophie Prize (Norway), the Leontief Prize from the Global Development and Environment Institute, chosen as Man of the Year 2008 by Adbusters magazine, and potential recipient of an awesome big warm hug prize from me ;)...has also mentioned their importance in his steady-state economics writings.