Working with nature to grow food

This is one of many very interesting videos available on the internet about ‘permaculture’. In brief this is a set of principles that can guide how we live (and perhaps especially known for producing food in a more ecological way) based on understanding and working with the natural world, rather than against it.

I will be posting a lot more on this useful approach, but for those who are new to it, here is an interesting example.  A walk round the mountain farm established by Sepp Holzer and here presented by his son.   Sepp Holzer’s Mountain Permaculture Farm

 

 

Sherpa – documentary film review

 

SherpaPoster

The 2016 Llanberis Mountain Film Festival has just finished, and on its closing night I was able to see Sherpa – Trouble on Everest, the 2015 documentary from director Jennifer Peedom. Sherpa, as the name suggests, is about the Sherpa people of the Khumbu valley in Nepal who work in the profitable but treacherous climbing industry on Mount Everest. The film follows Phurba Tashi Sherpa as he guides a group of international climbers attempting an ascent of Everest in 2014. However, their expedition is interrupted by a massive avalanche, which threatens not only the lives but also the livelihoods of those who work on the mountain.

Sherpa is a visually stunning film. The audience is treated to serene vistas from Himalayan peaks as well as hair-raising point-of-view footage of midnight glacier crossings. Against this backdrop of beauty and danger, the film-makers explore the increasing commercialisation of Mount Everest and the effects this has on Sherpa communities. After the avalanche, the film-makers become battlefront journalists, reporting on rescue attempts as they occur and bearing witness to growing tensions between the Nepalese guides and foreign tourism enterprises. The film is both exciting and informative, and I was sometimes saddened and other times inspired by the events it depicts.

If Sherpa has a failing, it’s that it tries to capture too much in its 96-minute running time. The first half of the film is a broad look at Sherpa culture from the 1950s until today, whereas the second half focuses almost entirely on the aftermath of the avalanche. Each half could warrant a documentary of its own, but when squeezed together into a single film, neither felt completely satisfying and I found myself wanting more. However, this is still a great documentary for anyone interested in mountaineering, Everest or the Sherpas themselves.

– Alexander Tuxford

Off to the Outdoor Show

Steve and Arran Evison are off to the Outdoor Show in London today. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is up to and hopefully making some new friends contacts. If you have not been before, it can be an interesting event, if perhaps a little too focused on outdoor adventure, personal challenge and gear and rather less on the Nearly Wild environments themselves and how to experience, learn about and enjoy them more.