Food Plants - Annual, Food Shortages, Nurseries & Propogation, Urban Projects — by Matthew Trotter March 10, 2010
One cool product that I’ve had the pleasure of using is the Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter. (Note: I’ve since stumbled up on DIY version of this product made with 5-gallon buckets. How cool is that?) It’s kind of an experimental product as is, and I was using it in an even more experimental way. I got the Topsy Turvy so that I could utilize the vertical space in my indoor container garden. Not being able to grow a garden would have been the bane of my college dorm room existence…. but I wasn’t about to let someone tell me that I couldn’t do it.Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Bird Life, Consumerism, Economics, Fish, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, General, Livestock, People Systems, Plant Systems, Society, Village Development — by Kyle Chamberlain March 4, 2010
by Kyle Chamberlain, The Human Habitat Project
Our bonds with other species are as vital, to survival, as our bonds with other people. If we don’t choose our company carefully, disaster is likely to ensue.
As a species, we should be shopping for the best relationships. There’s a lot a stake, and we don’t want to be abused or neglected. When searching for a good fit, we should keep in mind the following characteristics of good relationships.Comments (4)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Project Positions, Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Kevin Mascarenhas February 7, 2010
The Ijatz cooperative is possibly the best demonstration of the transformative power of permaculture in Guatemala. The site, in San Lucas Toliman near Lake Atitlan, was purchased at low cost since the parish council considered the land to be of low value. Previously, it was a swampy bog inundated with refuse and flood water from the surrounding hills.
In classic permaculture style, within the problem lay the seeds of the solution. The deforestation due to conventional agriculture in these surrounding hills has caused soil erosion and during the rainy season much of this rich volcanic black top soil is washed downstream. This annual bounty has been redirected through the Ijatz site using a sequence of channels and sink holes, which in turn slows the water flow enabling the nutrient rich humus to be captured and stored on site. The earth has been moulded to create slopes, edges and contours essential for increased growing opportunity.Comments (15)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, People Systems, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 6, 2010
Just as I was leaving Jordan, after making the Greening the Desert II update video, another little project was just getting underway – the Jawaseri School Garden project. A few people have emailed pictures of progress over the last few months and I’ve combined these with Geoff’s narration from the PRI home base in Australia, to give you all a bit of an idea what’s happening there. May it inspire you to do similar where you are!
Permaculture education should be in every school, everywhere. If it was, I believe most of the world’s problems could be solved within a decade.Comments (6)
Consumerism, DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Medicinal Plants, peak oil — by Isabell Shipard February 2, 2010
When Derrick, Isabell, and children Angela, Vicky and RIcky, shifted to Nambour in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast over 30 years ago, our desire was have land to grow our own food and be as self-sufficient as possible. We bought an acre of land and soon realized that a bigger block of land would be the way to go, so that we could have our own milk, meat and eggs. We purchased a larger 20 acre block, with approximately 10 acres of cleared land on the outskirts of Nambour.
It was about this time, that we heard Bill Mollison speak on Permaculture, with zones, to encourage a design plan that integrates the environment, plants and people with a vision of possibilities.
Vegetable and herb gardens were started and fruit trees were planted. Poultry, dairy goats, pigs and milking cows were added. Derrick being very gifted with skills of building fences, sheds, and as ‘a fix-it man’ was able to do many and varied tasks on the farm. Derrick, being a butcher by trade, was also able to turn the animals into cuts of meat for the freezer, mince into sausages, meat into smoked hams.Comments (8)
Conservation, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 20, 2009
Permaculture is all about mimicking natural systems – patterning our agriculture and other critical human needs on the symbiotic processes we observe all around us. If you compare nature’s methods we see that stable natural plant systems are polycultures, and perennial, whereas our modern industrial agriculture is the exact opposite – largely being monocultures and annuals.
But, imagine if the annual crops we rely on the most, grains and pulses, could be made to grow perennially instead. No end/beginning of year ploughing, no annual replanting, etc. It would save enormous amounts of time and energy on cultivation and planting, and allow soils to remain undisturbed for longer, with immense benefits to soil life, structure, organic matter and carbon content.
The video below highlights this out-of-the-box permaculture thinking. The Land Institute in Kansas has been working solidly on engineering annuals into perennials (by way of natural plant breeding – not by gene gun). They take ancient wild, perennial varieties of grains, and cross them with their modern annual counterparts, and repeat, and repeat, until they end up with a harvestable product from a plant that doesn’t have to be resown every year. Or at least that’s the aim. This is still a work in progress, but their purpose is "to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops".Comments (10)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Carolyn Payne November 13, 2009
That comment use to cross my mind, but luckily I got over it.
I completed my PDC in January ‘09 with Geoff at Zaytuna farm, along with a lovely range of fellow students from the far reaches of the globe. I sincerely hope they also post stories to share – come on guys, it’s time to be brave!
I returned to my home in south western Victoria (Australia) a changed woman, and I sometimes wonder what it was I use to believe in before I was transformed.Comments (2)
Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 10, 2009
An urban hideaway managed by Cam, Jesse and Yarrow Wilson
(Yarrow was taking a break for this shot)
All photographs © Craig Mackintosh
On my recent trip to the Bill Mollison/Geoff Lawton course in Melbourne, that I forced myself to miss so I could go on site visits in the area, Cam Wilson kindly offered to be my guide – giving me very knowledgeable insights into the places we visited. As well as the Dalpura Farm site we just posted about and giving me the heads up on Angelo the Wizard, covered in this post, Cam took me to see the very cool stuff he’s doing on an urban block currently under his expert control in the ‘burbs of Melbourne.Comments (8)
Aid Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Shortages, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 3, 2009
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was a man worthy of respect. Born into slavery (his mother was purchased), he lived and died as a black man in an age of racial segregation. He was lucky enough, however, that his owners were a decent couple, who helped him to read and write, and ultimately ended up raising George as their own son (George, his sister and mother were all stolen and resold at one point — the original owner was only ever able to retrieve George).
George was encouraged to study and learn, and that he did — until he became one of the greatest agricultural researchers of his age.Comments (1)
Courses/Workshops, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 3, 2009
There’s alchemy and magic afoot in Melbourne, where we take a look at Bill and Geoff’s PDC and the garden of a certain urban magician called Angelo.
Bill Mollison at Trinity College, Melbourne
All photographs © Craig Mackintosh
I had never been to Melbourne before this week, but from my very short exposure to it over the last few days, I can already sense that it is a very strange place….
Take yesterday for example. I was in town, and noticed someone had dropped their purse on the sidewalk. There was a lot of foot traffic, and so, standing at a distance, I watched to see what people would do – you know, once they noticed it. Would they pocket it and hurry off? Would they look around for its owner, or maybe a policeman to hand it to?Comments (10)
Food Plants - Annual, Recipes — by Geoff Lawton May 6, 2009
Salad Mallow (Corchorus olitorius)
(Mulaheyah, Egyptian Spinach, Jews Mallow)
Salad Mallow was the first name I knew for this amazing plant and it arrived into our extremely diverse selection of kitchen garden zone one crops in a seed packet from Shipards Herb Farm, Nambour, Queensland, Australia. Isabell Shipard has been a good friend, fellow permaculturist, and an incredible wealth of knowledge on herbs and useful plants for over 25 years – therefore, this little packet of seeds came from a very trusted source and, as usual, came with an information sheet that made it sound like it could possibly be a valuable addition if it was going to be reasonably easy to grow.Comments (14)
Biological Cleaning, Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by David Perkins May 1, 2009
Editor’s Note: David Perkins recently sat his PDC with Geoff Lawton and Darren Doherty, and has been very busy since….
Recent developments at Kailash-Akhara, Adi Yoga Retreat Center, Phu Rua, Loei, Thailand.
By David Perkins (Dharmadeva) – Farm Manager and resident permaculture designer and educator at Kailash-Akhara.
This report provides an overview of many aspects of creating a retreat center and living sustainably using the principles of permaculture. Short monthly updates will be given to keep our wider community informed.
Training Hall & Papaya
Food Plants - Annual, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Seeds — by Isabell Shipard April 6, 2009
Editor’s Note: Today we get some practical tips from Isabell Shipard, a lady whose work I featured recently. You’ll hear from Isabell from time to time – helping us get to know a little more about the herbs and other plants whose attributes, uses and benefits are often unknown or ignored. For a lot more info like this, consider purchasing one of Isabell’s really excellent books – you can find them in our book section.
Chia (Salvia rhyacophila) is a hardy annual herb 1-1.5m high, that belongs to the Salvia family, with its name coming from the Latin ‘salare’ which means to save, referring to its curative properties. Blue flowers spike to 10cm long, set on terminal stems, and fill out to a seed head (that is similar in appearance to a wheat seed head) with pin-head sized, brown, shiny seeds. Plants adapt to a wide range of soils, climates and minimal rainfall.
In the plant’s native habitat of South-west America, it has been highly valued as a staple food for hundreds of years. In Mexico, it was used as money and to pay taxes. A small handful of seeds and plenty of water supplied energy and sustenance, for a man traveling for 24 hours, and it is said that an Indian can exist on it for many days if necessary. Several USA universities have researched the endurance properties of chia and found that a tablespoon of seed could sustain a person for 24 hours, with hard labour. Richard Lucas, in his book, ‘Common and uncommon uses of herbs for healthy living’, encourages anyone to try it, and discover its unique ability to provide the go power to get through a busy day with a hop, skip and a jump. The seeds have valuable medicinal properties and nutritional content, with essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and 30% protein. In USA it is grown as a commercial crop and seed is available in Health Food Shops.Comments (100)
DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 17, 2009
Isabell Shipard – herbalist/educator
One of the best aspects of Permaculture is being able to begin to take control back over our own lives. Rather than being just a captive cog in the huge destructive machine that is our present globalised industrial society (a machine running full speed towards a great yawning precipice), transitioning to Permaculture systems enables us to stand as individuals, making our own choices and, as far as possible, creating our own destiny.
One of the most important aspects of this is taking control back over our own health and personal well-being. In a world where industry profits from illness, and where institutions like the FDA (in cahoots with pharmaceutical companies and governments) seek to maximise their profiteering by outlawing more natural alternatives (see the disconcerting ‘Codex Alimentarius’ video at bottom, narrated by Judi Dench, and even has an appearance from Mel Gibson), the good news is that nature is always there for us – we just need to tap into the wealth of knowledge that is out there to help us to sustainably take advantage of it.Comments (0)
Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Bird Life, Breeds, Food Plants - Annual, Plant Systems, Working Animals — by Bill Mollison March 7, 2009
PIJ #58, Mar – May 1996
Aigamo ducks in rice paddy
Mr. Takao Furuno’s modest business card reveals that he is a farmer in a world where “one duck creates boundless treasure”.
He farms rice very successfully in Japan and is a private aid volunteer, working in Vietnam when I met him. He had a message for all rice farmers, perhaps all wet paddy farmers, and gave me his book (all in Japanese) on the duck-rice paddy design he has perfected. Luckily I also have a condensed translation.Comments (12)