How can self-sufficient communities go ‘off-grid”? At a physical level, all humans need shelter, food and energy resources. These basic needs can be provided by an integrated permaculture system that incorporates water and waste management for food production, low-impact and sustainable materials for housing, with biogas and solar systems providing energy. When integrated together, energy from the sun drives all these systems at maximum efficiency and minimal final waste.
The Tamera community (see the Terra Nova project) in Southern Portugal is a good example of a large group of people working towards ‘going off-grid’ with respect to self-sufficiency in food production, water and waste management and energy.
Following the Memorial Gathering at Monkton Wyld, a group of Paulo’s friends and colleagues met at Tamera to carry forward his ideas about growing integrated regerative systems within communities. The decision was made to work parallel to the existing initiatives at Tamera and develop through practical research a blueprint that would be adaptable to disaster situations or to any other areas in need. Thus was born the Blueprint Project, which has its own dedicated website here <link>. In parallel to the Blueprint website, the intention is also for this RUG website to contain a growing commentary on Blueprint projects as they evolve.
The first Blueprint meeting was held in late 2014. You can read a summary report that gives a clear outline of the integrated systems approach - via this link:
This video was produced following the Blueprint meeting at Tamera in early 2015. It further explains the concepts behind integrated systems.