Category: Land

Guidelines for Perennial Polyculture Design

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Polyculture design can be bewildering and even intimidating. I’ve been planting and thinking about polycultures for over two decades. During that time I’ve planted a lot of failed polycultures that didn’t work for one reason or another, as well as some successful ones. I’ve also visited many sites in many climates and seen polycultures functioning very well – especially in the tropics, where agroforestry systems are much farther along than my cold temperate home.

I’ve assembled a set of guidelines for designing polycultures, that I’d like to share with you. They are a work in progress and far from perfect, but, in concert with the design process shown below, they have helped hundreds of people in my courses and workshops to feel ready to go home and design and install their own polycultures.

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3 Grasses that Are Effective in Rehabilitation of the Ecosystem of Tailing Dams

3 Grasses that Are Effective in Rehabilitation of the Ecosystem of Tailing Dams

These days, mining has become a terrible threat to nature with its widespread damaging impacts on environment and ecosystem. The noxious impacts of mining are mainly due from mine tailings. The mine tailings are highly acidic as well as toxic with a number of heavy metals including Cu, Zn, Mn, Ni, As, Fe and Hg. The abundance of heavy metals along with other harmful effects in the tailings and very […]

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5 Fun and Fruitful Techniques for Small-Scale Earthworks

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I’ve spent most of the last two years volunteering on farms throughout Central and South America, as well as a three-month sojourn through Spain, and in that time, I’ve learned a ton from the people I’ve worked with and, I like to think, shared a lot as well. I’ve been introduced to trees and plants I’d never encountered before. I’ve pruned and harvested in new ways. I’ve played with different […]

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Free Screening and E-Book this Weekend: The Greenhouse of the Future

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Hi Everyone, Curt from Greenhouse of the Future here. This weekend we are very glad to offer you a free E-book and a free streaming version of our film: The Greenhouse of the Future on www.permaculturenews.org Our mission is to help propel the Permaculture movement forward by developing an easy to build, 100% self-sufficient greenhouse/temple of health and abundance. We hope that our film will inspire and support you on […]

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Rapidly-Cut Swales with Tractor Blade

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We are making early progress on our 320-acre Missouri permaculture-farm project (Jordan Rubin’s Heal the Planet Farm). Last fall, a local dozer operator was brought in to dig the first swales. It was a small dozer but it did a respectable job and did the work in a relatively short period of time compared to an excavator. See the blog post with video here. Before we brought the dozer back […]

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Leader Follower Grazing System

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A multi-species, leader follower grazing system has recently been implemented here at the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI). Multi-species grazing has been shown to improve pasture quality, control weed growth, and enhance pasture utilization (getting the most out of every blade of grass). All of these are achieved while increasing the carrying capacity, enabling more animals to thrive off the same plot of land, continuing the cycle of land restoration. This […]

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Swales in North Texas Take on 2.5 inches of Rain and Perform Perfectly

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In this video, Jack Spirko, shows just how effective good Permaculture Earthworks are in capturing 26,000 Gallons of water from a “barn burner of a storm”. This morning we got 3 hours of pouring rain. Then this afternoon we got hit with close to an inch in less than 30 minutes, and it totally filled the swales and overflowed them all. To drive home how passive this water system is, […]

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The Magic and Mystery of Constructing a Herb Spiral and Why Every Suburban Lawn Should Have One

Herb Spiral (Panama) One of the first permaculture projects I did was building an herb spiral, and to be honest, the design has never ceased to delight me. Undoubtedly, that one and the few spirals that followed are amongst the most beautiful garden beds I’ve made. More importantly, they are also amazingly productive and a great way of getting into the mindset choosing the right spot to plant stuff, both […]

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Gabions for Gully Erosion Peru

Working on a project in the Sacred Valley Peru, I came across an opportunity to install Gabions to reduce soil erosion on a steep slope. A Gabion is a porous dam wall made from rock and small stones free standing or packed into a wire basket. They combat soil erosion by slowing the flow of water and dropping sediment and organic material behind the rock wall as water slowly leaks […]

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Organic Cattle and Grass Farming in Costa Rica

Finca Quijote is located in one of the wettest places on earth. We get 6 meters of rainfall per year on average. Our elevation is 800 meters above sea level to 1100 meters on the highest “cero” or mountain top. The 517 hectares of Quijote consists mostly of forest, some pristine old growth in the mountains, secondary forest where logging occurred years ago and some open land near the rivers […]

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Home Garden Soil Health Assessment

Download the complete Home Garden Soil Health Assessment document here Growing food in a home garden is sensational. The most obvious sensation is the taste. If you don’t know how much better home grown fruit and veggies can taste, then ask an old person what tomatoes used to taste like. But the sight of a productive garden can be inspiring as well. It takes a shift from the modern urban […]

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When the Water Ends

“When the Water Ends” tells the story of climate change conflicts in East Africa. For thousands of years, semi-nomadic pastoralists have followed fresh water sources and grazing land. They are accustomed to harsh environments and surviving with limited resources. But with the impacts of climate change, competition for water and pasture is escalating. Increased drought and decreased rainfall is fueling violent conflict over water and grazing lands.

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