Tag Archives: Latvia

Weeds or Wisdom? Latvian Eco-Health Farmers on the Road to Resilience

Download PDF

by Guntra A. Aistara, Central European University

July 4, 2014

Condensed summary of chapter published in Environmental
Anthropology Engaging Ecotopian Imaginaries: Bioregionalism, Permaculture, and Ecovillages for a Sustainable Future,
Berghahn Books, 2013.

On a tour of organic farms in Austria in 2006, one farmer proudly showed off her raised garden beds brimming with a diversity of herbs, medicinal plants and vegetables, explaining that these were permaculture beds, whereby plants reseeded themselves, grew where they “felt best,” and worked in ecological systems with neighboring plants. Some of the Latvian organic farmers on the tour were shocked and amused, however, by their first encounter with permaculture, and what they described as “farming amidst weeds.” “Well, in that case I have permaculture everywhere in my farm…” muttered one farmer. Another commented that it all depends on how you present things to visitors: “When you come visit me, and I explain to you that this is permakultūra…don’t criticize it, because it comes from Eiropa (Europe).” Others insisted that permaculture meant farming as wisely as nature does, and that we might learn from it. Continue reading Weeds or Wisdom? Latvian Eco-Health Farmers on the Road to Resilience

Journey of the Latvian Permaculture Association

Download PDF

By: Arturs Polis, Co-founder of the Latvian Permaculture Association

Despite the fact that the European Permaculture Teachers Partnership never got accepted by the Latvian National agency, thus leaving Latvia (and Italy) out of the project, Latvian permaculturists have been working since then and are ready to share the common journey now.

There were only 4 PDC holders in Latvia who hardly knew each other in 2011. Arturs Polis was busy with organizing some permaculture related workshops in Ikskile Transition Initiative which he had co-founded, Gundega Jekabsone was working hard in her organic farm, Guntra Aistara together with Gundega and other active organic farmers organized a series of permaculture workshops on organic farms, and published an academic book chapter on the experience, and Ilze Mezniece was trying hard to bring the ideas of permaculture to subsistence farmers in a very remote country-side region through activities in her farm…

Arturs and Gundega had just returned from their 10 day long PDC course in Sieben Linden, when an invitation came to participate in the prospective EPT project. This was a strong motivator for these people to come together with a clear commitment to work, and this is how the Latvian Permaculture Association was born. Many weeks were invested to prepare and hand in the project application. Of course, it was a big disappointment to learn that Latvia was among the only 2 countries rejected to participate later on… However, the group stayed together, and despite the fact that members were scattered around and discussions happened mainly virtually, there are some good outcomes since then…

Continue reading Journey of the Latvian Permaculture Association