Biological Cleaning, Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Gabions, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Nick Huggins September 28, 2010
Story by Nick Huggins.
Video by Patrick Blampied.
For the past month I have been in and out of airports and driving from one end of the Australian continent consulting and talking Permaculture, and one topic that is of great interest to me – the repair of the Australian Landscape.Comments (22)
Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Society — by Elena Symeonidou September 18, 2010
The view from Tao’s Center. It is end of April and the pastures are already
dry and barren. Only oleander and villas grow here easily.
One year has passed since my Permaculture Design Course in Melbourne, taught by Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton. At the first day of the course, I clearly remember Geoff saying to our 84-strong group that this course would change our lives. It certainly changed mine. One year later, here I am, back in my homeland, Greece, after several years of absence, fully engaged in a permaculture project in Tao’s Center, on Paros island in the Cyclades.Comments (7)
Animal Forage, Bird Life, Commercial Farm Projects, DVDs/Books, Financial Management, Fish, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Livestock, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation — by Ethan Roland September 7, 2010
Resource alert: At bottom of this blog post is a download option for more than a thousand enterprise budgets.
Permaculture designers: It’s time to get serious about profitability.
Farmers & Greenhorns: You already know what I’m talking about. I’ve been working on an integrated ecological farm design for the Ashokan Center in the Hudson River Valley bioregion. The design calls for a mega-diversity of organic enterprises: Multi-species rotational grazing, hardy kiwi vineyards, mixed-fruit orchards, agroforestry & silvopasture, no-till & greenhouse vegetables, gourmet & medicinal mushrooms, and more. There are 200+ edible & useful species spread across 13 acres of farm and 200+ acres of forest.Comments (16)
Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, News, Plant Systems, Society — by Paul Douglas
There they go again, making liars out of us, undermining our critique that their industry is contributing to the wholesale destruction of water, soil, air and biodiversity.
You know what the farmers have done, don’t you? They’ve only gone and realised that a diverse range of endemic, perennial, drought-proof fodder crops are better for their farm animals, their soil, the atmosphere and their bank balance than introduced, annual, copyrighted fodder crops. Not only that, but there is a symbiosis occurring between the annual pasture crops and perennial natives which is causing both sets of plants to grow better than they would normally otherwise. I happened upon this information via the Landline show on TV last week. I am constantly amazed by how much farmers are warming to the benefits and joys of permaculture elements without even realising it. They’ve been trialling alternative fodder crops, starting with the admittedly non endemic tagasaste “to repair the land and provide feed and shelter for [their] sheep”, and farmers in rural Australia have also long been planting Old Man Saltbush, both as a stock fodder and a way of helping combat soil salinity. This was also reported on Landline in 2008. Recently, they’ve begun trying out other crops, especially native perennial shrubs and have been crash grazing the test paddocks with sheep and experimenting with plant and crop row spacings in order to maximise yield.Comments (7)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education Centres, Networking Sites, News, People Systems, Project Positions, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 18, 2010
How to Help Us Educate the World and Save Our Futures
Note: This is an update on PRI’s position and direction, and an opportunity for you to get paid to help!
The short version: We’re now paying you to write for us! Click here to get started.
The background/long version follows:
Over the last two years since I took over the running of this site, I’ve been pleased to see significant growth in traffic. I’m not so narrow-minded as to believe this is just due to my efforts or Geoff and Nadia Lawton’s or the rest of the PRI team, however. Aside from the tremendous support and input from the wider permaculture community, I also note that current events and the spread of information through the internet is threatening to actually wake the world up – and this ‘awakening’ is seeing an unprecedented growth in interest in sustainability, transition and the creation of resilient people systems. This interest certainly isn’t coming too soon, but better late than never.Comments (44)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 6, 2010
Preamble: From my recent trip to Jordan, I shared with you all the news, with loads of pictures, about the International Permaculture Conference (IPC) that will be held there in September 2011. I also slipped over the border to take a quick peek at Murad Alkufash’s work in the West Bank, and took video of the Jawaseri school garden project. In my bid to multitask, I also had opportunity to accompany Geoff Lawton on a consultation in the Wadi Rum district in the south of the country, where we combined the consultation with our investigations for a campsite for the IPC (photos of the latter can be seen via the first link above).
The consultation on its own, however, is deserving of a post. It was highly interesting for many reasons that I shall outline here.
Permaculture designer/teacher, Geoff Lawton, looks at water pumped from
an aquifer under Jordan’s famous Wadi Rum desert region.
All photographs © copyright Craig Mackintosh
The Wadi Rum desert in the south of Jordan happens to be the site of Jordan’s largest mixed farm – Rum Farm. It might, for good reason, seem odd that this beautiful but largely abiotic location would host a large scale farm, let alone Jordan’s largest, but it begins to make sense when you learn that under the Wadi Rum desert (and stretching under the border mountains and well into Saudi Arabia) is a large aquifer. In fact, much of this desert nation’s water supply is dependent on this single water source.Comments (21)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Compost, News, Rehabilitation, Urban Projects — by Kym Kruse July 16, 2010
Close to nine months ago, a group of passionate young Far North locals decided to approach their local council with the idea of making high quality compost for agriculture from municipal waste. A few days ago we marked a moment in time when, after a steep learning curve or two and 1000’s of hours of work, we signed the contract under the shade of a eucalypt on the bonnet of a Holden Commodore. The Tablelands Regional Council had voted and now signed to support Trust Nature FNQ in its “Vital Soils Initiative”.Comments (8)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Education Centres, Podcasts — by Patrick Blampied June 17, 2010
‘Confessions of a Permaculture Aid Worker’ is a weekly podcast show from PRI Australia aimed at documenting the experiences of people out in the field and making more information available about what’s happening in the Permaculture world.
In Episode 6 I’m speaking to David Spicer who has been working on in Morocco, teaching a course as well as consulting for a farm there.
Click play to hear the talk:Confessions of a Permaculture Aid Worker, Episode 6 - David Spicer, Morocco Comments (5)
Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Nick Huggins May 19, 2010
It can be hard making the leap from studying Permaculture to actually working it so I thought I’d share my first experience on making that leap.Flying Blind with Four Photos and an Outdated Google Map
Hop in my shoes – I was asked to consult and work on a property in inland New South Wales, with some of the worst drought conditions in Australia, after some of the world’s leading consultants on land hydration and rehabilitation had been there.Comments (11)
Aid Projects, Alternatives to Political Systems, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Economics, Education Centres, Ethical Investment, Financial Management, Food Shortages, Networking Sites, People Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 16, 2010
Contemplating the past, present and future – and land redistribution – in the middle of
nowhere somewhere in Chile.
All photos © copyright Craig Mackintosh
He stares back at us from the t-shirts of millions of youths worldwide. Che Guevara’s face has become one of the most recognisable counter-cultural and political symbols ever known. The history books tell us the man was famously sympathetic to the lot of the poor, and that his overriding passion was to fight against inequality, oppression, control. Che comes to my mind as I write this article from South America, because, in his rise to power, one of his driving ambitions, and which became one of his key responsibilities under Castro, was land redistribution – where he sought to break the stranglehold that was keeping the masses impoverished and robbing them of their potential. I bring this topic up, as, when I look at what’s happening in the world, and the radical changes needed to put us onto a sustainable path, the issue keeps coming back to my mind. These two words – land redistribution – strike fear into the hearts of the rich, and feelings of ambition and even violent revolution in those of the poor, yet, if we’re to stake a claim on the future, I feel we must, both rich and poor, come to terms with them.Comments (14)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Urban Projects — by Michelle Avis May 12, 2010
This is part one of a four part series about Rob & Michelle’s three month journey exploring, visiting and learning about the what’s going on in the permaculture scene in Australia.
The idea to do a tour de Australia permaculture emerged when my partner Rob and I seriously started talking about me leaving my full time corporate job to join him in his permaculture consulting business. I have to admit that although exciting, the idea of officially crossing the line was also terrifying. We agreed that a trip to Australia to seek out similar businesses, do some research, gain some experience and make connections would be a great launching point. Although we would have needed a year to visit and see all the great things going on here. (Australia is really, really big!) I can’t hardly express how valuable an experience this three month journey alone has been.Comments (9)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, News, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by P. David Stockhausen May 10, 2010
Permaculture solutions have come to life at a Wagga Wagga farm in the midst of a heated debate over water. What Kevin Rudd Claim’s will help the Murray Darling River system and the Lower Lakes region has some farmers in the area fuming. Farmers and residents throughout the Murray Darling region have larger concerns over the Australian government’s 3.1 Billion Dollar irrigation buyback scheme. The Rudd government is reacting to reduced productivity in the area and increasing demand for irrigated water downstream. Yet, some local farmers are curious as to how the proposed plan will affect production in the area, and reports show that many aren’t feeling optimistic.Comments (9)
Commercial Farm Projects, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation — by Milkwood Permaculture May 7, 2010
Image by Granny Buttons
Grazing animals bad, undisturbed grass good. That’s how we personally thought regeneration worked, five years ago. And we were not alone. You could be forgiven for thinking that any and all grazing animals (particularly of the introduced kind) have no role whatsoever to play in regenerating pastures, soils and land, simply because we know how much damage badly-managed grazing and animal management can do. And we as a society do love a good bit of polarity, especially when it comes to nature. Perhaps it’s our quest for simplicity. At the same time, we inherently know that an ecosystem cannot be simplified down to a set of polar opposites.Comments (7)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Markets & Outlets — by Doron Francis April 9, 2010
by Doron Francis, CERES Food Connect
Food prices have been going up for some time now. According to OECD data Australia has the highest food price inflation in the western world, and, for the first time, Australia is now importing more fruit and veg than it exports. The reasons for this are many: global demand has pushed up prices as populations increase, severe and prolonged drought locally has lead to shortages, demand for oil is increasing whilst production is decreasing and the loss of biodiversity as our land becomes infertile due to unsustainable farming has caused widespread soil erosion, salinity and depletion of water resources.
Australians are spending nearly 20 percent of their weekly household budget on food and the promise of cheap abundant food is diminishing rapidly. Most of us are well aware of the problems, however this isn’t the whole story. Unfortunately food prices are hugely inflated by retailers and middle men. According to the The National Farmers Federation, “producers receive as little as 5 per cent of the price paid by consumers”. The duopoly of Coles and Woolworths enjoy a 87% share of the grocery market allowing them to dictate pricing to producers and inflate retail prices at will.Comments (1)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Consumerism, Economics, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Milkwood Permaculture April 1, 2010
When I lived in the city, I always loved the idea of a microfarm. In my head, a microfarm was a plot of land with a footprint the size of a city terrace which was simultaneously blooming with flowers and vegetables, honking with geese, clucking with chickens and covered in trailing greenery and mulch, with someone driving a wheelbarrow through the plot, delivering hay to some minature cows while a small but sturdy windmill creaks overhead.Comments (2)