Category: General

Insecticide use by nearby cotton farms is causing “devastating” losses for an Australian bee keeper.

bees and invasion  bees

Insecticide use by nearby cotton farms is causing “devastating” losses for an Australian beekeeper One of Australia’s largest commercial honey bee pollinators says he has lost more than 500 hives since 2008 due to insecticide spray drift from cotton farms in the area – and has been relocating many of his bees to mitigate the risk. “To go out and see all your hives or your bees dead on the […]

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Blueberries: A Garden Must Have

Blueberries

Nothing says summertime like fresh ripe blueberries.  Their taste, texture, and color are all pleasures to behold.  Blueberries are a culinary delight with overwhelming nutritional benefits. They can be added to almost any meal or eaten straight from the garden.  With their unique sweetness and high nutritional profile, blueberries offer an attractive and useful addition to your garden. Origin Until the 20th century blueberries as we know them did not […]

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Invisible Infrastructure: How We Build Our Lives Together

How We Build Our Lives Together feat

Developing the physical infrastructure of our campus gets me up every morning. I don’t need coffee nor an alarm clock; I’m just excited to keep building. Building the orchards and earthworks, furniture for my home, a better feeder for our chickens; these are the projects that rev my permaculture engine. They are concrete, you can see the results of your physical labor immediately, and they are often the first projects of burgeoning permaculture sites. It requires little effort to dedicate the time, space, resources and money to these projects. Yet their impact on the success of a project, despite all this dedication, pales in comparison to another type of infrastructure; the invisible infrastructure.

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Graham Bell – A Conversation Between Generations

Graham Bell – A Conversation Between Generations

This is best to listen to when working in the garden, or cooking, doing the dishes, etc. Graham Bell tells a long, winding story, reminding me of those told by Bill Mollison, but also my grandmother. She had a knack for opening several threads, and just as I was starting to get lost in them, she would close them up one by one, in a very satisfying manner. This chat […]

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Super Adobe – An Accessible Doorway to Earthen Building

Super Adobe – An Accessible Doorway to Earthen Building  feat

In the courses I run I observe how much fun people have when building with earth. It is intuitive, kind, forgiving and fun. It literally connects us to the earth. One earthen building technique that’s a creative and low cost way of getting started in the natural building world is super adobe. The concept is old. Bags would be filled to create a barrier that is solid, bulletproof in fact! […]

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The Definition of Sustainable – Permaculture

The Definition of Sustainable - Permaculture feat

Sustainable living includes the practice of reducing or lowering your dependency and use of natural resources by replacing it with different kinds of suitable alternatives. It can be ensured via two things: 1. You can either stop consuming products that do not promote sustainability or 2. You can change the way you conduct your daily activities and come up with measures that can promote sustainable living. There are several steps […]

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Volunteering for Volunteers: A Slow Evolution of Hosting Free Labor

Caoba Farms

Recently, I’ve been working with volunteers in two capacities. I oversee the daily, walk-in volunteer program at Caoba Farms, which is currently undergoing a massive organizational overhaul, an effort to make it more predictable and attentive. On the other end of the spectrum, I’m now working weekly as a volunteer for Garden of Hope, helping to physically implement a permaculture design that I’ve been voluntarily developing for the roughly one-acre […]

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Homestead Sausage

Sausage Feat

I recently was interrogated by a reader about sausage and mushrooms we grow on our homestead. I thought they were right, and I needed to write about one of our biggest sources of fast food SAUSAGE. So, thank you Twiddlebug. When I say sausage, I don’t generally just mean pork. I just mean anything you want to grind and mix up. I generally use some sort of meat, but you […]

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Does Labeling Permaculture as “Easy” Set Newbies Up For Failure?

Rustic hand-made painted wooden Tomato sign next to young tomato

Permaculture is a fairly new concept to me – and it’s not, at the same time. The idea of working with, rather than against, nature in order to create infinitely sustainable systems makes sense to me on a basic level, even though it is not a current practice of mine. My educational background and emotional mindset bring me squarely on the path of caring for the Earth, caring for its […]

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Make your garden Unique with Chayotes

Chayote fruits hang on trellis.

Looking like a yellow-green pear, tasting mildly sweet, and offering a crisp texture, the chayote is a one of a kind squash.  Pronounced “chi-oh-tay”, this fruit is known by many names such as vegetable pear, christophine, chocho, and mirliton.  It is a member of the vast Cucurbitaceae Family (cucumber family), which also includes cucumbers, watermelons, zucchinis, and pumpkins.   The chayote, (Sechium edule) originates from Mexico and Central America and its […]

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Why Our Urban Areas Need Permaculture: The Problem is the Solution!

Urban Permaculture Feat

According to the United Nations, it has been estimated that approximately 66% of the world’s global population will be living in cities by the year 2050. The implications of that statistic for humanity and for our environment are great. Since cities are typically very resource-intensive, requiring vast amounts of energy, water, food, and other natural resources, they place a very large burden on our planet to run them. However, it […]

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Corporations Seeking More Power than Governments: Ideas for working with power-flow

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Last month a report (1) was published by five international rights groups analysing the possible side effects of a new free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (2), currently being negotiated among 16 Asian and Pacific states. The main concern of the report is that the agreement would put into law the ISDS, or Investor-State Dispute Settlement, essentially giving multi-national corporations the right not to adhere to national legislation […]

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