Courses/Workshops — by Penny Kothe March 18, 2013
Canberra, Australia’s capital, has been lacking access to permaculture education. Whilst the surrounding areas of Bungendore, Braidwood, Bredbo, Murrumbateman and Yass show some great examples of permaculture applications, and Permablitz ACT exists as a growing and active group, a group of independent permaculture specialists have now set up Permaculture eXchange to address the need for more formal permaculture education in the Canberra Region.Comments (0)
Land — by Penny Kothe January 31, 2013
Continuing from the last post, the last few months of 2012 at ‘Caroola’ were a hive of activity, with many visitors taking the opportunity to help out along the way….Comments (0)
Courses/Workshops, Society, Village Development — by Penny Kothe January 30, 2013
As 2012, “The Year of the Farmer”, came to a close, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest insights into the country’s ageing farming population tells an urgent and cautionary tale that was largely overlooked.
Critical Human Succession
Today the average Australian farmer is 53 years old (with 25% over 65) and the issue of ‘structural aging’ (Barr, 2012) confirms that the next five to ten years will be critical in terms of the succession planning that determines who will manage and control the production of Australia’s domestic food supply as well as the $32.5 billion farm export market that has contributed so significantly to the economy.
With farm businesses becoming increasingly more complex, moving away from traditional farming practices toward business management, and with the worldwide need for farm outputs to grow by an estimated 70% by 2050, these farming businesses face significant challenges in ensuring that the current generation will want to succeed them.Comments (2)
Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Swales, Working Animals — by Penny Kothe November 21, 2012
Capturing water before it runs off your property is key to rehydrating parched landscapes. Building ‘swales’ or channels along contour with uncompacted mounds is one way of assisting water infiltration.
Building swales can also be an expensive exercise utilising heavy machinery which is expensive to transport and hire.
Nick Huggins, of Jacmarall Farm uses an innovative way of building smaller swales that is within the economic reach of most small farmers. Using pigs to do the bulk of the digging work, Nick calls this ‘pigscavation’.Comments (2)
Land — by Penny Kothe November 9, 2012
Continuing from a previous, introductory, post.
I started out with the strategy of walking the paddock closest to the house. I took a spade and camera and walked along the boundaries and across the centre. Digging and looking at the soil, taking photographs, looking at the trees and the pasture, the slope, where was wet and not wet, erosion, fences and so forth…. A lovely late afternoon in the outdoors!Comments (3)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial — by Penny Kothe October 24, 2012
This passionfruit was growing in a family vegetable garden setting in Coonamble (western NSW, Australia), in a hot and dry climate with low rainfall, but the garden beds were irrigated by creek water. The vine is growing over a farm fence which has three horizontal wires. Surrounding the vine in the understorey is sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) which has provided a good green mulch and soil cultivator for the surrounding area. The images are taken at the end of Autumn and the crop looks to be coming along nicely.
Plant family: Passifloraceae
Common name: Passion Fruit, Passionfruit, Purple Granadilla.
Commercial Farm Projects — by Penny Kothe October 16, 2012
‘Caroola’ is an example of a small-scale conventional farm conversion to permaculture (small by Australian farming standards), or at least it will be. It’s not often you get to see a project of this type through its lifetime and the thought processes behind it, so I thought I’d share, and welcome any comments or input. In order to encourage other small scale farmers and would-be tree changers to see what can be achieved with degenerated and non-profitable land to make it sustainable in terms of economics, the earth and the people, I thought I’d share my story.Comments (6)