Animal Forage, Economics, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Rhamis Kent December 16, 2010
More and more articles are being written that continue to hit the proverbial "nail on the head". This one was posted to the Energy Bulletin website a couple of days ago. It does a great job of summarizing the problems with annual monoculture-based food systems and the advantages of those which are perennial polyculture-based.
The evidence is undeniable and overwhelming. It has been for a very long time. Now it’s just time to "do the damn thing".
I’ve included a portion of this piece summarizing "The Four Smiling Faces of Perennial Polyculture":Comments (4)
Animal Forage, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Trees — by Samantha Downing December 2, 2010
If you’re a first generation farmer and you manage to find a dirt cheap property to begin your farming endeavours, there’s a good chance there’ll be some kind of weed that you’ll have to deal with. In our case, it was Gorse, Ulex europeaus, a weed of national significance. In permaculture terms, gorse is a pioneer plant. It colonises disturbed ground, and is often seen in erosion gullies, which is the niche it occupies on my property.
Gorse with flower and seed pods
Like most weeds, gorse provides important ecosystem services. A member of the pea family, it fixes nitrogen and its prickly, bushy growth habit provides habitat for birds and animals whilst its dense root structure helps combat erosion. Given that it is a weed of national significance and in order to maintain good relations with our neighbours, managing the gorse was a priority. Most advice we received was to "cut and paint" — cut back gorse bushes and paint with the appropriate herbicide. Chemical management is not an avenue I was willing to pursue due to the potential effects of herbicide on soil and animal life. A permaculture approach requires an analysis of the species to understand its growing needs, potential harvestable uses and its interactions with other parts of the system.Comments (10)
Animal Housing, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Forests, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Trees — by Julia Mitchell
When one thinks of trees and the benefit they have for us as humans, the obvious comes to mind: Trees help reduce the effects of global warming by reducing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The photosynthetic process provides the trees with nutrients, and humans with the primary element required to sustain life — oxygen. Trees are often referred to as the “lungs of the world.”
All of the above is mainstream knowledge. It is the basic information we learn as children in grade school. But what if I told you it’s only the tip of the iceberg? Trees are more than just the “lungs of the world”. Their role on this earth is pervasive, yet so often taken for granted.
So, what is a tree?Comments (8)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects — by Nicola Chatham November 25, 2010
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our Permaculture journey
"How does a tree make a mango? I’ve never thought about it like that before, but isn’t that crazy? A tree can make a mango!"
"Yes, dear,” says Chris.
We’re driving around the back streets of Cooroy, getting to know our new extended neighbourhood, and we just passed a grove of mango trees.
"No one’s mangos have fruited this season. I’ve heard it’s due to too much rain," I say.
“So we could get some on our tree next year?"
“Isn’t that amazing? A tree can make a mango…" I’m aware my realisation sounds like someone who’s just tried smoking pot for the first time.
"I’m taking you home. You’re freaking me out today. You’re a bit hyper," jokes Chris, glancing at me side-ways.Comments (14)
Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Nick Huggins November 20, 2010
A footnote on the progress of the Southern Beaches Community Garden at Tugun in south east Queensland, Australia.
Just after planting
Our last planting of the food forest was held on the 4th August 2010. Since then we have had a very wet winter and spring this year in the lead up to the wet season in Queensland. So our food forest in now on its own and thriving.Comments (11)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Alex McCausland November 4, 2010
The really fascinating thing about south Ethiopia is its diversity, both cultural and ecological. And the crossover between these two is agriculture. So when one moves about in the south, one encounters different agricultural systems which usually have interesting features specific to the area you are in, depending both on the cultural practices of different ethnic groups and on the local climate.
These last few days I was lucky enough to be able to take the time to visit my in-laws in Siltie country (where my wife comes from). Siltie is an area about 200km south of Addis and about 400km north of Konso where we are based. In Siltie the crop of greatest importance is Enset ventricosum, a species endemic to South Ethiopia which has some fascinating properties making it of great interest to Permaculture applications in other areas of the world. Enset is farmed in a mixed system along with grain crops, coffee and others. It is a fascinating plant, related to and resembling the banana tree, but taller, fatter and with no bananas (which gives rise to its English language name “the false banana”).Comments (10)
Community Projects, Conservation, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Global Warming/Climate Change, Livestock, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 21, 2010
Some of you will remember the excellent Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration article provided by Tony Rinaudo of World Vision. It shared a rapid and highly effective way to reforest degraded landscapes by simply letting the ‘underground forest’ (the seeds, roots and shoots already existing in the landscape) do what it already wants to do: that being to just grow! Instead of expensive projects with imported seed, nurseries, propagation, watering, etc., Niger has seen net afforestation on a massive scale (over 5 million hectares in Niger alone) by simply educating locals in protecting and pruning the plants already at their feet.Comments (4)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Land, Livestock, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton September 20, 2010
Editor’s Note: This post is a good reminder to ensure you take good before, during and after photos as you implement projects! Case studies like this become an awesome portfolio for yourselves, and help people to see the practical potential in permaculture. It can be totally inspiring, and help get people moving on the ground!
Case Study – Noela’s Garden, as installed by Geoff and Nadia Lawton
This is a story about a garden that Nadia and I were asked to establish in 2006. It’s a very small space – the area is 95m2. A friend of a friend asked if we could get involved to help to design and implement a garden. Nadia had only recently arrived in Australia and I wanted her and I to put a garden in together as a ‘start to finish’ job so she could get a feel for how we establish small space gardens in Australia, as she already had experience in small space gardening in Jordan.
The area on the North side of Noela’s house.
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, News, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 2, 2010
Ascension Island, in the South Atlantic (source)
It seems Darwin was a permaculturist!
In his days globetrotting aboard HMS Beagle, Darwin set in motion the transformation of a dead, volcanic island rock – Ascension Island, described by nearby islanders as "a cinder" – into a green, rain-creating oasis. How did he do it?Comments (7)
Building, Energy Systems, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems — by Mari Korhonen August 16, 2010
In cool and cold areas the length of the growing season and the cold temperatures are the main challenge for growing things and supporting oneself. As part of the search for cold climate permaculture strategies I came across integrated greenhouse designs that seem to have a lot to offer to us in the cool climates. This is a little report from a trip to the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute’s solar greenhouse workshop in Basalt, Colorado. There, during his thirty five years of living on the site, Jerome Osentowski the director at CRMPI, has overcome the challenges of his steep sloping land at 2,200 meters above sea level with advanced integrated greenhouse designs as a feature in the overall system. They have stretched his climatic zones all the way to the subtropic – all year round, with no fossil fuels used.Comments (11)
Food Forests, Plant Systems — by Marcel Werps August 12, 2010
Most of us will be familiar with the Hindu and Buddhist concept of Karma as a factor in our personal lives. In nature, as a general rule, we can experience Karma, as a direct reaction by, for example, animals – as a response to our behaviour and attitude towards them.
Action and reaction. Cause and effect. It is my contention that this concept is also operative in the plant world, as a response to our treatment of them.
If we accept the basic law of Isaac Newton about action and reaction, then surely our dealings with the plant world have their consequences.Comments (6)
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)
Building, Energy Systems, Food Forests, General, Land, Plant Systems, Retrofitting, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Adrian Buckley July 31, 2010
The modern-day education system is almost entirely bent on creating an army of university professors and other specialists. We have been systematically trained to specialize, and as a result we approach problem-solving by studying parts of a whole, where the connections between them are commonly ignored.Comments (15)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Peter Dilley July 30, 2010
IDEP’s Companion Planting Guide
Click here for full PDF
Sometimes you end up wishing you had a resource at hand to make it easier to apply Permaculture principles. This was the case for myself when it came time to start thinking about beneficial groupings of plants and those groupings that do not go well together.Comments (37)
Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Land, Markets & Outlets, People Systems, Retrofitting, Social Gatherings, Society, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Matt Lees
Have you ever grown your own food? Studies have shown that people who eat organic produce from their own garden have an increased sense of well being and good health.
In September 2007 I met a group of motivated, hardcore volunteer gardeners. When I say hardcore, some of these guys where involved with the guerrilla gardeners. They turn unused trashy areas and transform them into edible, self-sustaining gardens.
It started like this….
Some groups even go to extremes like dressing up in council uniforms or go out in the middle of the night and load their vans armed with fruit tree seedlings, compost and shovels.Comments (4)