False profits (yes, I spelled that correctly), record-breaking olive oil (again)…

Hi, this is Geoff,

Today’s my birthday (63 years young!), and instead of receiving well-wishings, I want to extend them to each of you. Permaculture has been one of the most important things in my life. It’s far more than just “a job” – it’s my passion, it’s one of the primary frameworks through which I see the world, and above all, it’s the vehicle through which I am fortunate enough to connect to each of you.

I know that there are countless ways you can choose to spend your time, so it’s beautiful to see that you’ve made the conscious decision to learn about permaculture; and it’s an honor and privilege that you’ve chosen me to be one of your teachers on this journey.

Thank you beyond words.

Oh, and here’s how I spent my birthday morning 🙂

Here we go with the Friday Five…

From Austin to Antananarivo: Vitality-through-diversity is one of the bedrock principles of permaculture. So it was wonderful to see a similar diversity in the cities and types of climates who either won or were awarded special mention for their innovative work in urban agriculture at the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP). Anytime you have Toronto, Antananarivo, Austin, and Dakar all mentioned in the same breath, you know you have something special 🙂 Full details regarding this year’s competition here, and a downloadable summary of the best practices here.

Record-breaking olive oil (again!): Last year (December 9th to be exact), I shared with you in a Friday Five post news about Nicolas Netien, a French environmental engineer with olive groves in Morphou, northwest Cyprus. He and his wife, Maria, met here at Zaytuna Farm, where they did an internship and completed a teacher trainer course. They then got married, went to Greece, set up the Permaculture Research Institute in Greece (PRI Greece), taught the PDC course, and made headlines based on having the highest-ever-recorded concentrations of oleocanthal and total phenolic compounds found in their olive oil. This year, they’re back, showing that last year’s results weren’t a fluke: “The test later corroborated by NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) at the University of Athens by Drs. Prokopios Magiatis and Eleni Melliou was a record breaking 4947 mg/kg total polyphenols…Oleocanthal was off the charts at 3762 mg/kg. Atsas has set a new world record for the second year in a row.” I could fill up the rest of the Friday Five raving about what an incredible achievement this is, but instead I’ll let you read the details directly at Aristoleo, as well as seeing a short video presentation by Jordan’s own Princess Basma congratulating Nicolas and Maria on their incredible work.

Darwin gets a new finch: “The arrival 36 years ago of a strange bird to a remote island in the Galápagos archipelago has provided direct genetic evidence of a novel way in which new species arise.

On Nov. 23 in the journal Science, researchers from Princeton University and Uppsala University in Sweden report that the newcomer belonging to one species mated with a member of another species resident on the island, giving rise to a new species that today consists of roughly 30 individuals.” This may demonstrate that speciation through facilitating creative events is not a fiction; and that by understanding this and taking a thoughtful approach, we may be able to play a role in moulding an abundant world. Overview can be read here on the Princeton site, and the full research piece here.

False Profit: Not much for me to add here, as the headline says it all: “None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use.From the full piece, by David Roberts: “The notion of “externalities” is so technical, such an economist’s term. Got a few unfortunate side effects, so just move some numbers from Column A to Column B, right? But the UNEP report makes clear that what’s going on today is more than a few accounting oversights here and there. The distance between today’s industrial systems and truly sustainable industrial systems — systems that do not spend down stored natural capital but instead integrate into current energy and material flows — is not one of degree, but one of kind. What’s needed is not just better accounting but a new global industrial system, a new way of providing for human wellbeing, and fast.

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute, ably curated by PRI’s editor, Jason Freibergs (thank you, Jason!):

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share below.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


PS: Come spend New Year’s with us! We have a handful of spots left for our January, on-the-ground PDC course taught at Zaytuna Farm. We’re getting great water these days, and the combination of the warmth of the Australian summer with plenty of rain means that things are looking quite lush. If this fits your schedule, we’d love to have you. Full details here.

2017-12-10T13:03:51+00:00Blog|11 Comments