GIS in Permaculture

GIS in Permaculture feat

When planning your permaculture oasis, there are few planning tools as powerful as GIS. What is GIS you ask? GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, is a fancy way to say playing with maps on your computer. For us, it is taking imagery and map information to better understand a piece of land. There are numerous computer software out there, but GoogleEarth is a great place (and free) to start. Once […]

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A Sustainable Alternative to Conventional Tillage

Farmers working in the fields hoeing and tilling the fertile soil during a summer sunny day

Soil has been described as “the fragile, living skin of the Earth” and yet its’ fragility has often been ignored in the continuous use of tillage techniques in modern agriculture. Tilling is the process of preparing land for growing crops by mechanically modifying soil structure. Other names for tilling include digging, plowing, cultivation, etc. This technique was adopted by farmers 10,000 years ago for a number of reasons. However, years […]

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Planning For The “Longpath,” According To Ari Wallach

Planning For The “Longpath,” According To Ari Wallach

With our attention spans getting shorter and our global, civilization-scale problems growing larger, it’s time we started thinking about the future. In a TED Talk from October 2016, strategic consultant Ari Wallach offered three ways people can develop long-term plans – thinking ten or 20 years out, instead of just six months or only a few weeks. “Short-termism, for many reasons, has pervaded every nook and cranny of our reality,” […]

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Coastal Erosion Mayhem

Coastal Erosion Mayhem feat

Coastal erosion is the removal of coastal material such as cliffs and marshes by sea waves or human activities causing seawater to encroach into the land. This is a huge problem because approximately 23% of the world population lives within 100 km distance of the coast. All these inhabitants are exposed to the risk of flooding and losing their property. 1800 km of the 4500 km of the English coast […]

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Using the Community as Part of Your Own Permaculture Design

Huerta de la Esperanza (-Garden of Hope-)

When beginning with a permaculture design, when we get out our pencils and graph paper and start dreaming a little, we often do so with a rather insular perspective of what our systems can be. We think of how to be sustainable on our own quarter-acre. We think of how to go about doing it all by ourselves. For me, someone who rarely envisions more than a couple of acres […]

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The Koanga Institute: Farming for the Future

The Koanga Institute Farming for the Future feature

While most may think of permaculture, and they immediately imagine sustainable agriculture, renewable energy sources and other similar aspects, how many actually think generations ahead into the future, and how permaculturalists today can affect them for the better? This is exactly what Kay Baxter and Bob Corker are doing in New Zealand, at the Koanga Institute, the largest and most comprehensive seed repository in the southern hemisphere and a permaculture […]

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Permaculture – Bringing Together The Layers And The Zones

Garden-design-web

On the outer fringes of your landscape, there may be areas of wilderness. How are we to tend to these wild patches in a way that fosters increase in edibles in zones 4 and 5? And how do we maximize our food production in our first three zones? Using our permaculture principles, we can increase the bounty of wild plants already on the land and introduce native species to the […]

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Inimitably Asparagus

Asparagus Feat

There are so many things that make Asparagus one distinctively unique vegetable. From the way it tastes to the way it grows, nothing is typical for this peculiar perennial. Once grouped together in the same Liliaceae (lily) family as onions and garlics, asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is now separated out into the Asparagaceae family. While asparagus may have just been relatively recently reclassified, it’s nothing new in the world of vegetables […]

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How Weed Barriers can Improve the Quality of Your Garden

Batten fence

While permaculturists strive to live sustainably and limit their impact on the environment, it can be a challenge to manage garden pests without the use of harmful chemical sprays. Weeds dig their roots into your soil and steal nutrients, water, and sunlight from other plants – while expanding its own system to disperse offspring throughout your garden. Using a weed barrier can help you fend off these frustrating intruders without […]

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When Space is Abundant: Using Acreage to Generate Income For Your Homestead

Using-Acreage-to-Generate-Income-For-Your-Homestead-feat-web

Your homestead is capable of being so much more than a source of sustenance and self reliance. It can also be a source of income! Wide open spaces are perfect for flexing your income potential as a homesteader. These four ways to utilize acreage to your maximum benefit are a great way to get started. Renting Out Pasture Land- This is an easy passive source of income that requires minimal […]

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Water-Farming Part 2: Practical Ways to Harvest Your Sky-Fruits

Water Farming Feat

In Part 1 of this article (1), I went over the importance of incorporating water and water flow into any design you make, as well as sharing some ideas about how, if we want to encourage using water in a way which is beneficial for ourselves and our environment, we need to also reconsider how we relate to this element  (for more ideas about this see 2). The easiest and […]

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Confessions of a Community Garden Coordinator

Confessions of a Community Garden Coordinator feat

Since it is now April, and because spring is (finally!) officially upon us up here in Minnesota in the United States, we’re about to start the next growing season in the community garden that I help to plan and coordinate for. For me, the garden absolutely comes with some excitement of yet another opportunity to grow our own food, to build community, and to get outside and spend some time […]

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