Since 2005 Richard Wallner has been developing 9 hectares of land in Charente in the west of France, following the principles of permaculture. In keeping with this he would like to construct a home and other farm buildings on his land so that he doesn’t need to use energy to get to work. He is supported by local politicians, including Françoise Coutant, the Green vice-president of the Poitou-Charente regional council. But the mayor of Wallner’s commune refuses to grant planning permission. If you support his efforts to create an organic farm, producing and selling ecologically friendly eggs and vegetables, you can sign a petition here.
If you understand French and have a few minutes to spare, there’s a lovely video of Richard Wallner explaining how he cultivates his land, the joy he feels in working with nature to do this and his aims to create an ecologically friendly farm in all senses: to use renewable energy and ecological building materials as well as organic methods of food production; and to create a model for others in rural communities to follow.
In a world that is rapidly running out of fuel and cannot feed large numbers of its people, this kind of local initiative and example seems to me to represent the only sustainable future.