Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Sunny Soleil February 3, 2012
Carbon pirates bury black gold… so future generations will be richer. – John Rogers
Biochar is being promoted as the soil saving miracle of the century promising outrageously high yields of crops as well as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The first video ‘The Promise of Biochar’ explains what biochar is, how valuable it is and how the Amazonian Indians used it to enhance fertility of the soil and promote carbon sequestration.
200 year old Brazilian soil [Terra Preta] which has been treated in this way was found to be ultra fertile and bio-diverse even centuries later. Also shown is an in-field experiment comparing the vast increase in crop production through using biochar techniques versus slash/burn or mineral fertilizer methods.
Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Seeds, Soil Composition, Structure, Trees — by Chris McLeod January 24, 2012
As people become urbanised, they start looking at the world in urban ways. What does that car or house say about that person? How does that person’s occupation affect their social standing? People may not admit it, but they understand the answers to these questions intuitively. As permaculturalists, we need to apply these same observational skills to our permacultural adventures.
These observational skills are important for permaculture because they allow you to read a landscape. No two pieces of land are ever the same! Whether that land is in an urban area or a rural area you can gather a huge amount of information as to its suitability for your next permaculture project simply by observation over a period of time. These skills will also allow you to identify ways to adapt your land to your particular purpose.
Reading a landscape is an observational skill so I have decided to take you on a virtual tour of the mountain range that I live in and tell you what I see in the different spots that we stop off at. I will highlight things at each location that I have learned on my food forest permaculture journey, and that I hope to impart to you the reader. I hope you enjoy the tour!Comments (16)
Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, People Systems, Processing & Food Preservation, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Swales, Village Development, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Dan Smith January 21, 2012
A certain coal-strewn road in Madrid, New Mexico
— the remnants of a now defunct railway.
Alternately barren and spectacular, the southwest United States has piqued the imagination of Americans and people across the world for generations. The site of gold rushes, Native American homelands, and a culture of lawlessness that has yet to fade completely, much of the land was degraded and destroyed long before Hollywood discovered how to cash in on retelling stories from its checkered past. Films may glorify the breadth and scope of the iconic terrain, but the essence and character of the Southwest ecology has been drastically altered; it little resembles what it once was.Comments (6)
Conservation, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Structure, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Greg Bell January 20, 2012
Editor’s Note: It’d be great if more people would share their successes and failures in similar fashion as Greg has below. The reason I say this is three-fold — 1) you get valuable feedback from readers on how to overcome your challenges, 2) readers can learn from your mistakes and thus hopefully avoid them, and 3) people new to permaculture will have a decent dose of reality as they start their on-the-ground work, and so won’t give up in despair the moment things don’t immediately pan out as anticipated! Send your articles to editor (at) permaculturenews.org !
Incredible results from the master after just three months
in the same temperate climate as us.
Did you and our family have the same experience? Did you watch
Geoff’s Food Forest DVD with mouth agape, saying “wow” to yourself at
least a dozen times?
You saw it — plan, excavate, mulch, plant. Stand back and be amazed as your planned accelerated succession of productive plants unfolds.
We were lucky enough to have the property and funds to give it a try. I think we’ve failed. Here I’ll explain what we did, mistakes we know about, and the results. Maybe you can spot more mistakes and give us some ideas of where we can go from here.Comments (38)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Consumerism, Development & Property Trusts, Economics, Land, People Systems, Plant Systems, Society, Village Development — by David Bollier January 16, 2012
Rarely have I read an essay that knits together some very different commons with such wisdom and depth. Joline Blais’ 2006 essay, “Indigenous Domain: Pilgrims, Permaculture and Perl,” is a wonderfully insightful analysis that reveals the underlying unity and logic of commons principles. Her piece appeared in Intelligent Agent (vol. 6, no. 2), published by the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts.
Blais’ essay is valuable because it speaks to the rift that is said to separate commons based on natural resources and those of cyberspace. The segregation of those two classes of commons has always bothered me. There are of course significant differences between managing depletable natural resources and managing cheap and limitless stores of digital information. Yet it has always struck me that the two great tribes of commoners have much more in common than not, and should be in closer consultation with each other.Comments (1)
Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Albert Bates January 13, 2012
Former stockbroker Brian Bankston now calls himself the “Keyline Cowboy” after a carbon farming course at The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center transformed his life. He quit his job, bought a keyline plow and compost tea brewer, and moved to The Farm.
For the past 10 years or so, the land management decisions of The Farm (a 40-year-old intentional community on 1750 acres in rural Tennessee, pop. ~200) have been informed by permaculture. Permaculture was influential in the design and early curricula of The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center in 1994, and since many, if not all, of the community’s residents have now been exposed to it, it is not surprising to learn that a number of people serving on various village committees, as well some in public office in the surrounding county, have Permaculture Design certificates.
Our relationship with permaculture traces back to our connection to Bill Mollison, one of permaculture’s founders, who received the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” in the year after we did. RLA winners are a gregarious lot and gather from time to time to swap tales, so we have been fortunate to share such meetings with Bill over the past 30 years. We are also fortunate to have had the influence of an erstwhile neighbor, Peter Bane, who for many years published the quarterly Permaculture Activist from his former home in Primm Springs, Tennessee.
Today, as a permaculture instructor, I travel to many of the convergences of the movement and have come to know many practitioners. Our Farm team has taught permaculture courses on six continents and in 27 countries now, so it would only be surprising if The Farm did not have permaculture going on.Comments (5)
Compost, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Mark Feineigle January 4, 2012
What is it?
Hugelkultur is a composting method that uses large pieces of rotting wood as the centerpiece for long term humus building decomposition. The decomposition process takes place below the ground, while at the same time allowing you to cultivate the raised, or sunken, hugelkultur bed. This allows the plants to take advantage of nutrients released during decomposition. Hugelkultur, in its infinite variations, has been developed and practiced by key permaculture proponents such as Sepp Holzer and Masanobu Fukuoka for decades.
Courses/Workshops, Dams, Earth Banks, Land, Swales, Terraces — by Bonnie Freibergs December 15, 2011
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
This is a courtesy reminder to mention that the 10% ‘early bird’ discount ($110) for the January Permaculture Earthworks course being taught by Geoff Lawton at Zaytuna Farm will expire on Monday the 19th of December. If you’re planning to take part in this fantastic course, now’s the time to book.Comments (0)
Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Deforestation, Energy Systems, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Mark Feineigle
In the book Another Kind of Garden, the methods of Jean Pain are revealed. He spent his entire short-lived life studying brush land and forest protection, specifically fire prevention, alongside his wife Ida. These studies led to an enormous amount of practical knowledge for composting, heating water, as well as harvesting methane, all of which are by-products of maintaining a forest or brush land with fire prevention techniques. While this knowledge is applicable in many instances, it is worth remembering that the root of all of this knowledge lies in forest preservation. All of the activities described below are by-products of that process. The book goes into detail with the economics of such an operation. I will focus on the applications.Comments (3)
Community Projects, Conferences, Demonstration Sites, Education, Education Centres, Land, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 14, 2011
Permaculture at U.S. Universities – UMass Amherst Case Study
Ryan Harb gave this 1-hour talk at the Tenth International Permaculture Convergence (IPC10) in the Wadi Rum desert in southern Jordan in September 2011. Here’s a little background to get you interested:
UMass Amherst transformed a 1/4 grass lawn on campus into a thriving, abundant, permaculture garden during the 2010-2011 academic year. Learn how this student-led project can be easily replicated and spread to other campuses, institutions.. any piece of land for that matter. UMass Amherst is one of the first university’s undertaking a project like this, directly on campus, and supplying the food to its dining commons.
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 8, 2011
Consultant Matt Kilby stands before one of the swales he has
put in at Gippsland farm, Nambrok.
Photographer: Kath Sullivan
Matt Kilby, the ‘man of a thousand trees‘, shares thoughts with ABC Rural on his work (with Nick Huggins alongside) over the last 18 months at Nambrock, a property in Gippsland, southern Victoria, Australia.
"The first thing we did was put in a swale. A swale is a ditch which runs dead level to contour. The idea of the swale is more of a tree planting system." he said.
"We plant all our trees on the top side of the swale. We plant fertility building trees and all the leaf mulch falls into the swale or ditch, and turns into humic acid when it fills up with water. So all the nutrients are then spread back onto the surface and spread completely around the landscape." he said, describing the swale as a natural way to irrigate. — ABC Rural
Click play to hear the talk!Matt Kilby talks about restoring Nambrok Comments (2)
Building, Land, Society, Village Development — by Oyvind Holmstad December 6, 2011
The problem is that we are adapting to the wrong things — to images, or to short-term greed, or to the clutter of mechanics. These maladaptations are known as “antipatterns” — a term coined not by Alexander, but by software engineers. An antipattern is something that does things wrong, yet is attractive for some reason (profitable or easy in the short term, but dysfunctional, wasteful of resources, unsustainable, unhealthy in the long term). It also keeps re-appearing. Sounds like our economy and wasteful lifestyle? — Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros
CC Gjøvik, an example of a multilayered antipattern
The permaculture focus is on tracking patterns in nature and design, to create pleasure for ourselves and to find good examples for the world. Patterns work in a multitude of connections with their surroundings, and the more connections there are, the richer are the pattern languages the patterns are part of.
Unfortunately, although our pattern languages might have a deep poetry, not all people feel attracted to their harmony (meaning "the quality without a name"). Today’s disconnected people are attracted by antipatterns, this is because they are profitable or easy in the short term, and human nature is greedy and lazy. We are short term thinkers — in a world of competition the winner takes it all, and today’s capitalism is all about materialism.Comments (5)
Conservation, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson November 23, 2011
Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson
This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape.
If you were one of the early explorers, walking into a wide floodplain system in the early 1800s, more than likely you would have found some form of discontinuous watercourse. One example is known as a ‘chain of ponds’, in which you’d find small bodies of open water, about a metre below the level of the floodplain, held in place and separated from the next pond by a marshy plug of reeds such as Phragmites.Comments (15)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Land, Urban Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 17, 2011
Daniel Diškanec checks out his new edible friends
Photos © Craig Mackintosh
I should have shared these pictures back in August, when the pictures were taken, but was too tied up with preparations for the Tenth International Permaculture Conference (IPC10) in Jordan. Though late, I trust you’ll appreciate them anyway.
If you didn’t catch them already, be sure to read the previous two posts on this homeless camp in the mountainous north-central part of Slovakia (here and here). It’ll help you appreciate my personal satisfaction from seeing the magic of developing abundance with this project — one that can truly use the additional health-giving produce pictured and the increased economic resiliency it brings.Comments (1)
Courses/Workshops, Land, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Theron Beaudreau November 16, 2011
The Urban Consultancy and Design Course experience at the Permaculture Research Institute.
Imagine, you’re perusing the Sunday paper, thumbing through various articles, world news, sports, opinion pieces… yea, we’ve all been there. What feelings arise for you as the images pass by your eyes? Article after article, world news and local… everything seems so dismal.
In disgust and with a freshly drained world view, you fold the paper up and drop it back down on the table. Just before looking away and try to forget the morning sorrow a small advertisement catches your eye.
DESIGN & INSTALL
Free garden? Sounds too good to be true. But it’s about the only positive thing you’ve seen this morning. What have you got to lose?
What you don’t know is that, behind the scenes, there are 20 knowledge-hungry permaculture students waiting to get out of the classroom and get their hands dirty in your very own backyard!Comments (15)