November Newsletter 2016

PERMACULTURE ASSOCIATION CYPRUS

NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER

October Permablitz Report

It was great to be back at Koukoulaki where we held our very first permablitz two years ago. We had a record turnout of more than 50 participants with a good number of attendees from the North. Truly a bicommunal event. A number of very enthusiastic children participated in the children’s programme. The main project of the day was the designing and building of an outdoor cob oven. This activity went so well that it was completed in a single day. The other major task completed was mulching sections of the land with sheep’s wool, a product which is often discarded here in Cyprus as there is no market for it. A fire pit was dug and some maintenance work was done on the main dome exterior. As it was a family oriented permablitz, designed to include the children in as many activities as possible, another project was turning an old bathtub into a worm farm which was insulated and decorated with cob. The children were supported by adults while actively participating in mixing the cob and creating the worm farm. A mini workshop introduced the children to the earthworm, it’s anatomy, lifecycle and usefulness in nature and our gardens. For younger children there was a crèche with creative activities in the main dome while those with artistic talent painted signs and decorative stones for the land. As always one of the highlights of the day was the potluck lunch with delicious, healthy food which created a pleasant atmosphere for socializing, sharing of ideas, networking and forming new friendships. The general consensus was that it was one of the best permablitz events to date, attesting to the hard work and organizational skills of the hostess and the Permablitz Organizing Committee.

Next Permablitz: 3rd of December near Kakopetria.

On the 3rd of December we will be working on the land of Polis and Eirini near Kakopetria which suffered destruction during the catastrophic Solea Valley fires in the summer of 2016. We will be helping with the rebuilding of structures on the land as well as constructing raised beds and starting some new and interesting projects. For a full list of suggested projects and to RSVP please click on the link below. There is more that needs doing than can be done in a single day so the final choice of projects to be tackled will depend on the number of participants attending on the day and what their skills and preferences are. Please note that due to the very steep nature of the terrain and construction work to the access road which is still in progress, this site is not child friendly.
For more details about the blitz please see the facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1852436341638333/

AGM Report
By Luke Louka

This year’s PAC (Permaculture Association Cyprus) AGM took place on the 20th November and it was a terrific success. There was a great turnout that included many new faces and we are very pleased to welcome two new active members: David Fowles, who has joined the Founder Circle, and Matt Starkey who has joined the Legal Form / Finance sub-committee.

During the course of the day, the group reviewed the progress made in 2016, which included establishing much of the structure and operating procedures for the association. We also spent a considerable amount of time looking forward to 2017 and the challenges it promises. The main topics discussed were: Legal Form and how this is to be adopted by PAC; Financial arrangements such as banking and fund-raising; the launch of the Permaculture Cyprus website – due in February 2017; the introduction of PDSs (Permablitz Demonstration Sites); and how to best raise awareness of PAC in the wider community.

We’d like to thank all those who attended and who made the event so positive and productive, and of course a special thanks to Kat Constantinou for hosting. It was a real pleasure to be in such a passionate and caring group of people who all contributed selflessly towards the greater cause of regenerating mother earth.

Permies – Meet our Local Permaculture Enthusiasts


This month we’re celebrating the achievements of Nicolas Netien and Maria Baltazzi. For those who don’t know, Nicolas and Maria manage Atsas Organic Farm near Evrichou in one of the most arid and windswept parts of the island. Using permaculture principles they set about creating a polyculture farm which, amoungst other things, now produces the best medicinal olive oil in the world. They recently set the record for the highest concentrations of oleocanthal and the highest total phenolic compounds ever recorded, officially making their olive oil the healthiest in the world. Nicolas shared how he went about achieving this in a webinar with Neil Spackman and Ralleigh Natham which was enthusiastically attended by participants from around the world. You can catch a replay of the webinar until Wednesday:
https://vimeo.com/193134101

Nicolas was also interviewed by Athan Gadanidis and rather than give you a watered down version we suggest you read the full interview with pictures on the Huffington Post website.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cyprus-rising_us_583734dce4b0a79f7433b4cd?timestamp=1480169378835

Kids Corner

Hey Kids! This month we are going to have fun with creepy crawlies. Spiders and insects can be pesky but they are also very useful. Did you know that without insects we would not have food to eat? That’s right, insects are pollinators and without pollinators our food would not grow and make seeds so that we can plant and grow more food. Spiders help to keep the bad guys from eating our food.

Make your own fun Bug Bingo game by printing out the sheets and cutting out and colouring the pieces.
You can find the links here:
http://familycrafts.about.com/od/bugcrafts/ss/Bug-Bingo-Game-Cards.htm

Do you want your children to be more in touch with nature and their environment? Join the discussion on our Facebook group Permie Kids Cyprus.


Get Involved

If you are excited about permaculture there are a number of ways in which you can support our efforts or join us. You can find the newly established Permaculture Association Cyprus (PAC) which is run on the principles of Sociocracy.
Media Circle: The media circle is about being part of the team that handles our media outlets, ie newsletter and forum
Education Circle: Set standards, accredit teachers and certify students
Outreach Circle: Contact government officials, businesses, institutions, schools
Permaculture Network Circle: Members and affiliates are connected to the association through the network
Job Creation Circle: Job creation is about linking up experts and possible apprentices
Permaculture Kids: Organise kids activities for permaculture events. Develop educational programmes to teach permaculture ethics and principles to children
Permablitz Organising Committee Circle: is exactly what the name suggests!

Participating in circles is a great opportunity to forge new friendships, make valuable contacts and have fun with us as together we learn, practice and teach permaculture and sustainable living in Cyprus.
Please feel free to contact any of the Founders Circle Members if you would like more information on how to participate in any of the circles.
email: permaculturecyprus@gmail.com

Founders Circle Members:
Luke Louka
Katerina Constantinou
Annelie Roux
Adam Bloom
Patrick Makedonas
Kitti Kovesdi
David Fowles