Implementing the Master Plan
Following the visit by Doug Bullock and his team from Terra Phoenix designs in March 2012, we have been implementing the first phases of our extensive Permaculture Masterplan and have already progressed significantly. Doug revisited the Temple in December 2012 and was pleased to confirm that the Temple is now very much “a working Permaculture Center”!
We still have much work ahead of us although we are pleased at the significant achievements that have been realized since 2012.
Ethics & Principles
- Earth Care – biodiversity is being increased onsite through the use of directed succession and by preventing harmful practices like slash and burn and hunting within Temple grounds.
- People Care – plant medicine healing is provided for the Temple’s many visitors, staff and local villagers.
- Redistribution of surplus:
- Sister NGO’s Alianza Arkana and Chaikuni Institute of Permaculture operations are partially funded by the Temple.
- Ecosocial enterprise initiative in development with Tres Unidos to develop sustainable livelihoods based on successional poly-cropping.
- Ecosocial enterprise initiative in development with Shipibo youth of Ucayali to revitalise traditional knowledge and increase community resilience.
- Integration with the local community:
- Contributing to the local economy through employment & purchasing products.
- Regular donations for communal benefit.
- Providing schoolteachers for the local school.
- Development of a local Permaculture network to share resources and knowledge.
- Micro enterprise created for local group of women based on ecoyarn products made from upcycled plastic waste.
- Permaculture education
- Increasing the capacity of our staff and volunteers to enact a positive change in the world.
- Comprehensive permaculture curriculum and educational tools in development.
Design & Planning
- Zone differentiation clearly defined, sectors established and soil types determined to allow crop specificity.
- Traditional knowledge of plants – Shipibo ethnobotanical knowledge used during workshops, plant diets and onsite medical treatment.
- Techniques and resources applied from analogue climates:
- Lo’I aquaculture systems used for the production of taro (Colocasia escuelenta) and water chestnuts (Eleocharis dulcis).
- Exotic tree crops planted – breadfruit, jackfruit, mangoes, avocados, etc.
- Integration of existing systems/elements:
- Revitalisation of derelict onsite agroforestry systems (chacras).
- Sustainable waste management:
- Grey water treatment systems throughout the site.
- Composting toilets and subsequent use of humanure for tree crop fertilisation.
- Upcycling of plastic waste to create eco-bricks which will be used for construction.
- Sacred geometry has been used in the design process to create edible and medicinal mandala gardens.
- Collaborative design process used in the creation of volunteer centre garden.
- Placement of infrastructure is consistent with permaculture planning, making use of sandy soils for drainage and mosquito control, and gradient variability for water distribution.
- Multiple water sources: rainwater catchment & springbox and a functional hierarchy of use.
- Natural building – demonstration building built using earthbag/cob techniques as a potential model for future construction.
- Alternative energy: solar panels and lanterns used for energy efficiency.
- Nurseries have been developed onsite to produce all the seedlings required for systems implementation and to create a germplasm bank for outreach initiatives.
- Swales, contour beds and banana circles used throughout the site.
- A recycling centre has been built to serve the Temple and local community.
- Local materials utilised for building construction – pole-wood and bombonaje thatch palm for roofs.
- Soil regeneration – biochar produced onsite and terra preta soils created through application to raised beds.
- Integrated fertility management:
- Use of invasive legume kupzu (Carnavalia sp.) for the production of high quality nutrient tea (the problem is the solution).
- Urine used for charging biochar.
- Food waste made into compost and added to banana circles.
- Humanure used for tree planting.
- Fungal inoculant used for legume species.
- Working with succession – shifting the forest towards pseudo-climax through the introduction of mature forest species.
- Edible landscaping used throughout Temple Zone 1.
- Food production – fruit, perennial vegetables and staple crops produced onsite and purchased from neighbouring communities.
- Polycropping and companion planting used extensively onsite.
- Medicinal gardens onsite.