Weeds – What Are They Good for? (Victoria, Australia)

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems.

The subject of ‘weeds’ has always seemed to me to incite far more controversy than it should. The best description of a weed is, “a plant out of place”. It seems to me that if you have a weed, then you have an available niche in your garden that an unwanted opportunistic plant has taken… Read more »

Desert Food Forest and Organic Commercial Production in Three Years – Update on Wadi Rum Consultancy (Jordan)

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Outside the fence On August 6, 2010 Craig Mackintosh posted on my initial consultancy for the site I’m reporting on today. Three years and three months later, I can give an update on what has transpired since.

Addressing the Causes of Land Degradation, Food/Nutritional Insecurity and Poverty: a New Approach to Agricultural Intensification in the Tropics and Subtropics

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, GMOs, Health & Disease, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

by Roger RB Leakey, Agroforestry and Novel Crops Unit, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Photo 1: A multifunctional agriculture landscape in Viet Nam with many income-generating tree-based production systems on hillsides surrounding an area of intensive food production on the most fertile soils. Abstract The shortage of new land… Read more »

My Visit to the Greening the Desert Sequel Site, November 2013

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects.

The Jordan Valley Permaculture Proejct (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) in November 2013. (Photo: Geoff Lawton) I experienced a very diverse range of activities during my two weeks in Jordan, teaching a tree care course and helping in the farm activities, at the PRI Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert –… Read more »

The Natural Capital Plant Database

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, News, Plant Systems, Trees.

by Daniel Halsey The database is working very well and I encourage all permaculture designers to try it out. Especially the spreadsheet download. Let me know if you would like free access for a time to try it out. The Natural Capital™ Plant Database is a repository of plant information for ecological design. Our partner… Read more »

Permaculture Paradise at Val & Eli’s Garden (Jacksonville, Florida)

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects.

Val and Eli take us on a tour of their permagarden in Jacksonville FL. They have created a wonderful, natural space filled with self-sustaining fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicines, colors, water, fragrances, and wildlife… at their fingertips. And below, Val and Eli continue to harvest the organic riches of their food forest and now cut back… Read more »

Mohamed Hijri: A Simple Solution to the Coming Phosphorus Crisis (video)

Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Biologist Mohamed Hijri brings to light a farming crisis no one is talking about: We are running out of phosphorus, an essential element that’s a key component of DNA and the basis of cellular communication. All roads of this crisis lead back to how we farm — with chemical fertilizers chock-full of the element, which… Read more »

Hill Country Permaculture: The Way of the Fox (Central Texas)

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Foxes are renowned for being clever and nimble — elusive when sought as prey and very hard to keep out of a chicken coop when on the prowl. Many years ago, sitting at dinner with some long time "Hill Country" (AKA central Texas USA) farmers, I learned something about foxes that’s stuck with me ever… Read more »

What Plants Talk About

Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees.

In 1973, Lyall Watson, a South African botanist, claimed that plants had emotions that could be recorded on a lie detector test. His research was fiercely dismissed by many in the scientific community. Recently, researchers at The University of Western Australia relaunched the debate by revealing that plants not only respond to sound, but that… Read more »

Pseudo-grains for Lesotho – Permaculture Design for Disaster

Posted by & filed under Desertification, Food Plants - Annual, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Quinoa This year’s very dry autumn, winter and spring in Lesotho is ringing alarm bells throughout the country. The capital city, Maseru, is down to a very limited supply of potable water. There is no significant rainfall forecast until the summer season, December / February. Last year’s grain crop was slightly better than the two… Read more »