Cool Streets Helps Save The Environment – And Electricity Consumption

Tree lined street in the North End, Boston, Massachusetts.

Urban homeowners can do their part to fight the effects of climate change by planting more trees – and even lower their own monthly electricity bill while helping to protect the environment from global warming. Even just planting a small tree in your yard can make a difference on your monthly costs, and by letting the tree mature, you can save as much as $400 each year – according to […]

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The Five Zones of Permaculture – Zones Zero and One

gardening tools on wooden table

The Five Zones of Permaculture: The best way to break down a permaculture ecosystem is into zones. Zones are a great way of boiling down the elements of our design based upon the frequency of human use and plant or animal needs. Elements which are attended to frequently are located closer to the dwelling and those that need limited contact or thrive in isolation are located further away. The zones […]

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How & Why We Are Going to Build a Mandala Garden

Mandala Garden

Let it be said from the outset that the following discussion of mandala gardens is based on a relatively large one, over 100 square meters, that a host of volunteers and I will soon be doing for the Garden of Hope in Guatemala. Our mandala garden, as most mandala gardens are, will be a series of keyhole beds, so in this article, we will be sure to discuss what exactly […]

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Why do we need Wildlife?

Why do we need Wildlife?

And what can we do about it? Abundant wildlife is the first sign of a healthy planet. For far too long (like since the birth of chemical agriculture in the late nineteenth century) we have thought humans can control Planet Earth. Previous retrograde steps would be the enclosures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For Scotland, the Highland clearances spring to mind. Any intelligent management of the land and our […]

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Shallots: The Fancy Vegetable

Shallots

If you are peruser of recipes you have undoubtedly come across the term shallots. Shallots are often in dishes that are savory and lean towards the gourmet and fancy side of the culinary spectrum. They are subtle in flavor and add just the right note to enhance or bring out the flavor of other fine foods. What exactly is a shallot? Shallots are a member of the Liliaceae family (Lily […]

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Is Climate Change the Shock We Need to Make the Switch to Urban Farming?

Is Climate Change the Shock We Need to Make the Switch to Urban Farming? feat

The rising demand for food around the globe is prompting the need for both scientists and farmers to deal with failing crop yields as a result of global warming. Steady increases in both wealth and population are leading to projections that by 2050, demand for food will be up 70 percent – but around the world, the staple crops of wheat, soybean, sorghum, barley, rice, and maize, are providing lower […]

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Is there a Solution to the Decline in Freshwater Supply?

Is there a Solution to the Decline in Freshwater Supply? feat

The supply of freshwater in the world is running out and running out fast! (1) Less than 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh, with most of it trapped underground or in ice and glaciers. That only leaves less than 1% accessible for drinking and supporting life as we know it. Fresh water is finite yet we continue to waste it not knowing that we are dooming ourselves to a […]

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The Secret Under Your Feet: Soil

Earthworms and soil in hand

If you’re new to organic homesteading, you might have the romantic idea that since you are growing food the “natural” way, all you need to do is sow some seeds and Mother Nature will take care of the rest. Sadly, this isn’t true. If you’re planning to turn your yard into a permaculture paradise, don’t waste all your hard work by ignoring a vital step: improving your soil. You can’t […]

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All Hail Kale!

All Hail Kale! Feat

Kale is a cool-season leafy vegetable that resides in the Brassicaceae family (mustard family) along with cabbage, broccoli, and broccoli rabe. It’s a native to Asia Minor and the eastern Mediterranean, and the Greeks were growing several varieties by the 4th century BC. Kale became quite the world traveler and was a common vegetable in Europe until the end of the 15th century, and then it even found its way […]

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Water Farming Part 1: Why And How Can We Start Farming Water?

farming, gardening and agriculture concept - watering cans at farm water tank

Permaculture design is about working with energies. If you have already got lots of elements in your design, such as trees, buildings and animals, it may not be very practical to design a water system from scratch. However, it seems energy efficient to take into account the flow of water as the starting point of any design. As much as possible, it’s advisable to plan where the water is going […]

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