Latest News & Updates

  • Back to Eden Film
    Posted Jan 21, 2013, 1:03 PM by Shifu Careaga
  • Bluegrass Greenworks 3rd Quarter Meeting
    Posted Aug 26, 2012, 3:07 PM by Shifu Careaga
  • 42nd Annual Environmental Commission Nomination Every year, starting 2012, Project Fangorn Lexington, KY Chapter will make a nomination for the efforts of the past few years. This year, the nomination goes to Rebecca Glasscock! We ...
    Posted Aug 18, 2012, 10:44 AM by Shifu Careaga
  • Requiem for a Species
    Posted Jul 31, 2012, 6:07 AM by Shifu Careaga
  • Great new videos Lawton's Guide to Permaculture - FREENatural Pools, a self-build guide.
    Posted Jul 13, 2012, 7:44 AM by Shifu Careaga
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What is Project Fangorn?  It is a collaborative, open-source effort to develop a sustainable locale that utilizes permaculture forest farming rather than monocultural agriculture.  Forest farming doesn't mean lumber only, it means fruits, nuts, roots, vegetables, herbs, fungi, wild game, fish, and syrups as well as timber.  The timber collected is not clear cut or even selective cuts of prime woods, but utilizes fallen or dying trees.  This is the Native American way to cultivate the land.
Project Fangorn is also a means to supply waste/compost removal for local urban areas, turn it into fertilizer (mixed with manure), and used as a forest mulch.  Because of the inclusion of fungi and other ground ecology, runoff will be minimized.
Where is Project Fangorn?  Currently in Lexington, KY while project collaborators continue research "in the field" looking for prime locations to begin building.

How did this all get started?

I (and most of the collaborators) have pretty much always known that we are not interested in typical living arrangements far away from nature, consuming everything in sight in a perpetual plastic existence.

I personally read a lot of Tom Brown Jr.'s books, as well as Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, and both influenced me into thinking that our way of living has become obsolete. 

Furthering that was my study of ancient Chinese Medicine which dictates that Man cannot be healthy out of balance with the world, vis-a-vis "Koyaanisqatsi" style.  Man needs a healthy balance between civilization and nature or he will consume himself.

In 2008 I began surfing the webspace of TED.com, which has been growing steadily for the last few years.  Talking with old friends about sustainable design now seemed like much more of a reality.  Fangorn was born, but it wasn't until I saw how Willie Smits did it in Borneo that I realized what I wanted to do.

Willie Smits Regrows a Rainforest

Not long after that "Avatar" came out and sealed the deal for me.  I knew for a fact that I had to spend my time and effort primarily on making this happen (after becoming established in my field, yet to do!)

The other aspect to this site will be in maintaining connections between various groups of like-minded "Green" groups and movements. 

We are still looking for a webmaster for that job, so for now, things will remain a little slower.

How does it work?

The forest is actually a very rich environment for producing "crops" but not in the traditional sense of the word.  Forests produce a number of products and their biodiversity and interactive elements protect and support more life than monoculture does, and need no pesticides. 

When an ecosystem reaches equilibrium, various aspects of the forest become useful in a variety of ways: edible, medicinal, structural, etc... not to mention the forest oxygenates the air, increases precipitation, protects against flooding, enhances human emotions, provides tourist destinations, and in the end has energetic potential in utmost need.

In a world of dying rain-forests, tundra, coral reefs, and mountaintop removal, it's time for mankind to evolve again and start living as we were meant to.  That doesn't mean loincloths and disease... but there has to be some balance between the dark past and the insanity we now find ourselves in as we cross the Peak Oil hump.

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