Category: Commercial Farm Projects

Advice for Developing a Permaculture Internship Program

Timber-frame raisings have become an annual intern group experience There is no better way to gain hands on experience in permaculture than by spending time on an established (or establishing) site and learning what the work entails day-in and day-out. Interning on a site should provide an equal exchange of one’s labor for the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills. This is a risk mitigation strategy: it allows interns to […]

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Sheep Vegetation Management in British Columbia, Canada

Permaculture principle #11: Use edges and value the marginal. The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place, these are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system. — Holmgren Let’s talk about clearcuts in Northern BC. Clearcuts are edges, between the forest and cleared land where fast growing broad-leafed plants like fireweed and alder outcompete conifer seedlings. We think of clearcuts as ugly […]

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Progressing Permaculture at Caroola Farm (NSW, Australia)

Caroola Farm Open Day We are now coming into our second Spring at Caroola Farm after devastating fires in the Summer of 2013 and we are pumped at the progress we’ve made. We had our first ‘Open Day’ on International Permaculture Day this year and were blown away by the attendance of over 500 people — it put a bit of pressure on the new compost toilets and was a […]

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Make Use of the USDA’s Unofficial Support of Permaculture

VersaLand fields: Tree shelters protect an emerging 145 acre permaculture farm Even though they do not know it, the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is supporting permaculture. You won’t find this word brandied within any official publications, and most extension agents would give you a quizzical look if you brought up a concept such as zonation, yet there exists a language and support system for many of the most […]

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Low-Tech Natural Nursery Strategies (Washington, USA)

When most people think about nurseries and plant propagation, they conjure up rows and rows of black pots and the smell of moist palettes of artificial fertilizer. But there is no natural law which dictates this to be the only, or even a preferable way in which to propagate plants. While in-situ propagation from seed has been proven to be the healthiest and most energy efficient means of mass propagating […]

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Crowdfunding Your Permaculture Project – Which Type is the Best Fit?

A crowdfunded planting As many farmers and founders of food-based businesses have discovered, crowdfunding is a tool that can enable you raise anywhere from thousands, to tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch projects that might never have gotten off the ground otherwise. But what type of crowdfunding are we talking about? The conversation can get confusing quickly, because people use the term “crowdfunding” to refer […]

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Three Pioneers in Permaculture (video)

Here are some videos produced years ago that are worth viewing, fresh from “the vault”. They come as a trio and are presented together (50 mins). There is a wealth of information and it will be particularly helpful for those who are new to permaculture and its application.

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Moving Past Organic Food Into Nutrient Density

Many farmers and growers are in massive amounts of debt. Many still want to go organic but the time and red tape needed to do so will deliver them into bankruptcy. I have outlined a few steps a farmer/grower can take to move around the red tape and speed up the process of producing and selling high quality, in demand, profitable, beyond organic food called Nutrient Dense Food (the next […]

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Using Practical Permaculture Principles to Help Us Think Like an Ecosystem

At Hill Top Farm the functions and dynamics of healthy natural ecosystems provide the framework and inspiration for our on-farm decision-making, as well as the structure and content of our Permaculture courses. Nature has had millions of years to fine tune the process of designing sustainable self-maintaining ecosystems. Natural ecosystems, whether they are rainforests or desert scrublands, do not produce waste or pollution. Non-renewable resources are not part of the […]

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New Trees in Guatemala That Are Not Just for Reforestation

Special bicycle for shelling coffee beans It sounds strange to speak of poverty as an exciting opportunity, but many of the projects in Guatemala make me do just that. I’m particularly impressed with those working with trees. Reforestation is often not so simple as just planting trees. Mass agriculture has created a need for serious reforestation efforts, but that need doesn’t override humanitarian concerns like malnutrition and poverty. A largely […]

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Start Growing! Part 4: Have You Considered SPIN Farming?

In previous parts of the Start Growing! series, we’ve talked about how to buy a farm debt-free, even without money, and how we should value our time if we’re going to be financially sustainable. Did you know that’s what SPIN Farming is about? When I first heard of it I falsely assumed it was something like square-foot gardening with a twist. Nope. Not even close.

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TERA (Tracked Earth Repair Apparatus) For Large Scale Earth Repair

“Mechanized labour” in the form of earthmoving equipment, tractors, and the myriad attachments that may be utilized in conjunction with their use provide us with an amazing opportunity to perform a great deal of beneficial work. They help in rapidly establishing efforts to reverse land degradation and desertification on a grand scale. It’s an immense job requiring considerable work input. Given the urgent importance of undertaking this activity, finding the […]

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