Compost, Consumerism, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Anthea Hudson March 14, 2012
Richard Heinberg not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk, as we get to see in the video at bottom. Peak Moment host, Janaia Donaldson, visits Heinberg and his partner Janet Barocco in their own venture in sustainable living in suburban Santa Rosa, California.
When they bought the place in 2001 it was a complete disaster, Richard tells Janaia, but it had advantages that drew them to it, such as being within walking distance of where they worked and shopping areas, having a large ¼ acre block and the house itself being small enough that they felt capable of remodelling and caring for it.
The ‘before’ shot
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Dan Palmer March 13, 2012
Two days ago Dan and Will returned to a large VEG permaculture design and implementation project that was completed about five months ago. Via the videos below, take a virtual walk about the front and back yards — warts, ducks, giant silver beet, gorgeous connected multidimensional abundance and all!
You can also check out the design and before, during and after photos of the project here and also in our downloadable portfolio (warning: 38mb PDF!).
Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Sunny Soleil March 12, 2012
If you are new to permaculture, these three videos provide a delightful living introduction to the topic. As Angie takes you through the different zones on her farm in Wales, UK, you can try to spot how many concepts are integrated into her enthusiastic, holistic descriptions of how permaculture works.
Permaculture is not Organic Farming
In this first video we meet Angie and her family and visit some areas of her farm as we hear explanations of the difference between permaculture and organic farming and why permaculture is important.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Irrigation, Land, Material, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Robert Cork March 9, 2012
Just outside of Arusha, Tanzania, is ‘Kesho Leo’– a sustainable home for vulnerable women and children operated by FoodWaterShelter. The principles of permaculture underpin the daily lives of the Kesho Leo residents. It is currently the home of seven families, each headed by a Tanzanian mama who cares for up to five children, including orphans. In addition to the daily essentials, Kesho Leo provides the many other aspects that a ‘home’ needs; access to family and social support, access to education and health, and very importantly – access to community.
Permaculture meeting the needs of the Kesho Leo residents
Revolving around the community and education aspects of Kesho Leo are the permaculture systems that strive to provide all of the food, water and energy needs of the residents. Basic needs of water, sanitation and power are provided through rainwater harvesting, innovative batch compost toilet systems, and solar power.Comments (7)
Building, Community Projects, Consumerism, Economics, Land, Society, Village Development — by David Bollier March 7, 2012
I have been asked to address what the commons might have to say about urban spaces and urban life. The short answer is, a lot!
First, the language of the commons helps us assert a moral entitlement to public spaces again. It lets us challenge the unholy alliance of politicians, developers and professional architects and planners, and insist that city spaces serve our needs as ordinary people. This means, first of all, that commercial considerations cannot crowd out vital common purposes – as we see when the market or authoritarians take over.Comments (0)
Land, Livestock, Podcasts, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Evan Young March 5, 2012
Zaytuna Farm – Photo © Craig Mackintosh
In the middle of Winter 2011, Trades Hall in Melbourne hosted a debate between the environmental impacts of an omnivorous diet vs. a vegetarian diet. Evan Young, Permaculture Consultant and former Intern and Staff Member of PRI Australia argued in favour of an omnivorous diet, citing many examples both from nature and modern farming techniques that use the natural pattern. These techniques enhance the environment while providing nutritionally dense foods. The debate was recorded by local 3CR Community Radio show "Food Fight" and they later aired some extracts on their programme — the audio of which is below.
Click play to hear the talk!3CR 'Food Fight' Show Excerpts Evan Young on Omnivorous Diet Comments (0)
Conservation, Energy Systems, Irrigation, Land — by Anthea Hudson March 2, 2012
Measured irrigation at Prospect Community Garden
In developed nations, at least in the cities and most towns, we take it for granted that when we turn on a tap, water will flow…. When we flip a switch, electricity springs to our command. However this is not the reality for many communities around the world, where water is from non-mains sources and electricity may be non-existent.
Conventional automatic irrigation systems are designed to operate with pressurised water from the mains, and are run by mains electricity, and because of this are not suited to implementation in areas where these are not available, whether due to being in an isolated location, or one without the financial ability to install such infrastructure as mains water and power.Comments (5)
Animal Forage, Biodiversity, Biofuels, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Eric Toensmeier March 1, 2012
Trees are one of our most powerful tools to pull carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the soil for long-term storage. This is why reforestation and protecting intact forests are such important parts of plans to address climate change. Conventional climate change science tells us that the planet’s capacity for reforestation is limited, however, by the need to preserve land for agriculture.
But movements like agroforestry and permaculture show us that farming and trees are not mutually exclusive. From tree crops to contour strips of nitrogen fixing trees between bands of annual crops, there is a wealth of techniques that can give us the best of both worlds. These techniques, should a global effort get behind their implementation on a large scale, could have a major impact on climate change. They would also have numerous other benefits to the planet and its people.
A century ago, writer-farmers like J. Russell Smith coined the term “permanent agriculture” to describe food forestry and other farming practices that combated a key issue of their day — erosion and degradation of farmland. From Smith and his compatriots we in permaculture have taken the name of our movement, though our movement has grown to encompass much more than food forestry. Today these visionary ideas are more essential than ever, to address an environmental crisis on a scale Smith and his contemporaries could not have imagined.Comments (4)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Land, News, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Andrew Beard
In the Beacon Hill community of Seattle a revolutionary community garden is being developed to feed her people. The Beacon Food Forest is transforming a previously unused piece of public land into a vibrant food forest filled with hundreds of different varieties of edible plants, fruits and nuts. The seven acre plot uses perennial crops and sustainable methods rooted in permaculture to create a source of food available to all.Comments (3)
Bird Life, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Land, Soil Conservation — by Nicola Chatham
My property has been behaving itself since my last City Kids update. Without the tropical downpours and flooding Queensland suffered last summer, it’s been much easier to manage. The slope down under the house no longer hosts a makeshift waterfall, and the gravel driveway has stopped flowing like a river and getting washed down the storm water drain. I’ve learnt where the potholes are, filled most of them with gravel, and the remaining ones are easy to dodge once you know how.
My absolute delight this season, though, hasn’t been the orchard or the veggie patch, although they have made great progress, it’s been the five young ducklings whose parents honoured me by choosing my property to raise their precious offspring.Comments (6)
Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Developments, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Elin Lindhagen February 28, 2012
FMNR workshop, Feb 2012, Kenya
Rusinga Island is situated in Lake Victoria in the Western parts of Kenya. It is known for its prehistoric findings of primate fossils dating from 17 million years ago and for being the birthplace of the famously assassinated Kenyan politician, Tom Mboya, whose scholarship fund enabled Barack Obama’s father to study abroad. Not too many years ago it was still known to be a beautiful forested island, rich in unique bird species and with access to great fishing. Today the island is considered a vulnerable ecosystem with marginal agricultural land, leading one author to call it ‘one of the driest and most environmentally marginal agricultural zones in the region’(1).
Rapid population growth in the 1980s led to intensified pressure on natural resources such as trees and fish. At the same time, other communities started coming into Rusinga’s fishing waters to exploit the fish resources. Fish stocks started declining and the fishermen of Rusinga were forced to start looking for other ways of making an income. Many turned to agriculture but the Luo’s on Rusinga were traditionally fishermen, not farmers. Trees were cut down to make houses for a growing population, firewood to feed an increasing number of hungry stomachs and charcoal to make an income. Within a generation, what was once a richly forested island had become bare — suffering increasing droughts, soil erosion and crop failures due to the loss of trees.Comments (1)
Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Earth Banks, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting — by Ben Falloon
How To Move Your Farm Animals
Taranaki Farm shows you how to move a herd of cows, a flock of laying hens, some sheep and a stowaway frog in only 20 minutes… and in the process, heal farmland and local community.
Autumn Rain & Keyline Earthworks
Pairing Keyline Design farm layout to Polyface Farming methods makes Taranaki Farm genuinely unique in the world of sustainable/regenerative agriculture. Now with ten interlinked keyline dams and catchment road, drains and irrigation features, Taranaki Farm continues its investment in keyline design as a strategy for dryland water management which supports direct marketed, salad bar beef, pigerator pork and pastured chicken and egg enterprises.Comments (1)
Community Projects, Consumerism, Food Shortages, Land, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Wyan Carter
My partner and I have recently bought a house in Melbourne. I’m proud to say that we have deliberately avoided any pressure to buy a large house; our entire property is 170 square metres, and at least half of that is garden. I realise that’s not tiny, but it’s plenty smaller than places owned by a number of my friends and family. One of my cousins has recently built a house on a block of land, and his house alone would swallow our entire property three times over.
But as proud as I am of our small house mentality, I’ve started to realise that this does put some serious constraints on our ability to be independent and self-sufficient. Personally I’ve never been that committed to the dream of being self-sufficient on a good sized, rural block; I’d much rather be community-sufficient within a city suburb. But I don’t want to be vulnerable to crises and shocks, and growing food, fibre and fuel yourself is a big part of reducing that vulnerability.Comments (2)
Courses/Workshops, Land — by Milkwood Permaculture February 20, 2012
It is with great excitement that RegenAG announces an upcoming series of Applied Watershed Restoration courses in NSW and QLD with acclaimed watershed restoration and erosion control expert Craig Sponholtz, of Dryland Solutions.
We’ve managed to haul Craig out to Australia for a couple of weeks to skill us up on some ground-breaking, doable techniques in erosion control and passive water harvesting, as first brought to prominence in ‘Let the Water do the Work’ by Bill Zeedyk.Comments (3)
Food Forests, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Mike Wood February 16, 2012
A brief discussion on the merits of Ghetto Palm (Ailanthus altissima)
by Mike Wood
First, so we know what we’re talking about, see the Wikipedia entry on the ‘Tree of Heaven’ here.
This tree is considered to be an invasive species in Colorado, and no doubt in other places. Our fearless leaders have decreed it to be undesirable. There are no active eradication efforts to my knowledge. I will not discuss its demerits here, as those can be found in any official literature on invasives. Rather, I hope to demonstrate its utilities in the context of permaculture — pioneering, succession, land improvement, and ecological niches.
An interesting factoid I found in my research: one of these trees survived the Hiroshima A-bomb, 300 meters from where the bomb went off. It still lives today. Tough bugger. I have read much wailing and gnashing of teeth on forums about how difficult it is to kill. This is, in my opinion, a fact very much in its favor in the high desert steppe climate here, Colorado’s Front Range. It can gain a foothold nearly anywhere; I’ve observed it growing from minute cracks in sidewalks, hard, nearly-granitic sand, gravel beds, and highly salted areas near roadways — making it an ideal candidate for land reclamation.Comments (16)