Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Jonathan Chan December 22, 2010
Jonathon (Joni) is writing from his volunteer Permaculture position with the Social Policy Ecology Research Institute (SPERI), based at their Farmer Field School, Human Ecology Practice Area (HEPA), located in the Huong Son District, Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam.
Mr Chau and Mr Phuoc
Leaving the lush rain forest setting of HEPA and heading south for two hours, we arrive at Quang Binh Province, the site of another SPERI Farmer Field School (FFS), the Centre of Community Capacity Development (CCCD). Dave and I were on our first field trip as new members of the SPERI community, guided by the fantastic Mr Chau, and fellow Australian permaculturalist Robert Gray. CCCD was to be our base for the next few days as we visited a couple of ‘key farmers’ in the area – farmers who demonstrate what is referred to as ‘eco-farming’ in Vietnam. The first was Mr Phuoc, located in Quan Binh Province. We were told that all permaculturalists who visit Mr Phuoc’s farm get very excited when they see the work he is doing. But I can say that even with this in mind, the experience far outweighed my expectations.Comments (4)
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)
Comedy Break, Demonstration Sites, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Land, Plant Systems, Swales — by Nicola Chatham December 7, 2010
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our Permaculture journey
“Andrew, I need to talk to you about something,” I’ve sought out the new president of the Community Garden at Peregian Beach, Andrew Maitland, to ask an important yet delicate question.
“It’s about slugs,”
“Yes, I have a lovely, bumper crop of slugs.”Comments (10)
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)
Commercial Farm Projects, Economics, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Village Development — by Judith Goldsmith November 3, 2010
Richard Alan Miller likes to tell the classic story of one of the first farmers who came to him for help.
He had 400 acres in Iowa in corn, which was infested with burdock. He had tried everything — spraying, everything — and he couldn’t get rid of the stuff. The bank was threatening him with foreclosure.
He came to a workshop I’d given at Charlie Walter’s Acres U.S.A. conference in Kansas City, and got in touch with me. When the bank heard I’d been hired to consult, the banker gave him a one-year stay of execution. I advised him to: sell half his land; sell half of his capital equipment; and then I had him get rid of his noxious weed — which was the corn! — and grow what nature wanted him to grow, which was the burdock!
I helped him sell all his burdock crop to Asian markets in Chicago, at two dollars a pound fresh (I advised him that he’d only get 60 cents a pound dried), where they couldn’t get enough of it for kim chee and fresh vegetables. After the first year, he was out of foreclosure. After three years, he owned his own land outright . . . and he started buying back his old land, and putting it into timber for his grandchildren!
Miller’s consulting does not always result in such dramatic conversion, but it has brought financial stability to many other small- to mid-size farmers and would-be farmers throughout the U.S.Comments (24)
Biological Cleaning, Compost, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Andrew Jones October 29, 2010
The dry tropics cover a significant land area of the planet, particularly around the regions of the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Characterized by a majority of the year when evaporation potential is greater than rainfall, they also support rapid biomass growth during and following the rainy season. Legume species normally form a significant portion of the species present, and provide for rapid biomass production.
Management of this biomass can be tricky, particularly when left above ground in dry mulch piles, as it normally stays dry, inhibiting both fungal and bacterial breakdown. On the flip side, dry tropics soils, whether sandy or clay-based are in need of organic matter to balance structure, enhance water retention or drainage and build humus. One approach for creating such conditions are mulch pit gardens.
Papaya, banana, and coconut circles are developed by digging pits up to two meters in diameter (for papaya or banana – up to three meters for coconuts) and about 1 meter deep. These are then filled with dampened, compacted organic material to a height of 1 meter above ground. Up to seven plants of the appropriate type are then planted in the rim of the pit. Taro or other moisture loving plants may be planted on the inside edge, and sweet potato along the outside edge to provide a living mulch as well as extra production.
Double mulch pit greywater system being developed at Baja BioSana, Baja
Community Projects, Food Plants - Perennial, Processing & Food Preservation, Seeds, Trees — by Mari Korhonen October 19, 2010
A few weeks back we spent a weekend at my friends’ organic apple orchard and nursery here in Finland, where they were juicing the last of this year’s apple harvest. The timing was a little late, since the peak of the season had already passed, but our hosts were still eager to have a try with their new hand powered apple crusher and juice press, and store the yumminess and vitamins for the winter.
However, there was also an another motive driving this action of testing the new hand operated equipment, in addition to the direct benefits of local organic winter drinks for the family.Comments (11)
Demonstration Sites, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Urban Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 14, 2010
Remember Geoff’s great post on How to Establish a Small Space Intensive Food Garden? In this video below, which I’ve also just added to the original post, Geoff talks to Noela about her observations on how easy the garden is to maintain, etc.Comments (0)
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Urban Projects — by Tiny Eglington October 8, 2010
– Tiny Eglington’s method, educator Geoff Lawton
This is a photo report of a vegetable garden built for Ann Foster in Condobolin, NSW Australia, which shows basic steps that allow you to build your own permaculture veggie patch.
You don’t need much, but you do need:Comments (15)
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants — by Judith Goldsmith October 6, 2010
Judith Goldsmith first promoted winter gardening in her book, “Strawberries in November: A Guide to Year-Round Gardening in the East Bay”. She got her first basics in Permaculture from an introductory intensive with Cathé Fish of the Sierra Permaculture Guild. Her food forest in the San Francisco Bay area includes three kinds of apples (one grafted), plums, peach, persimmon, pomegranate, guava, roses (for rose hips), kumquat, Meyer lemon, Makrud lime (edible leaf), and blackberries.
I hope you don’t mind me being a bit regional here. This article is not for areas that get snow or frequent frost during winter, but a good-sized (and, with climate change, growing) chunk of the world has a “Mediterranean” climate, including western Australia, western South Africa, the ring of countries around the Mediterranean Sea (Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Morocco, etc), coastal Chile, and my area, California. (Notice they all have the ocean on their west, which keeps their winters mild.) “Mediterranean” means that during a large part of the year we have no or little rain, and since this arid condition is among those that can really benefit from Permaculture practices, it might benefit many who check in here to talk about the benefits of winter gardening.Comments (6)
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.
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Matthew Lynch September 13, 2010
Editor’s Note: We welcome new writer Matthew Lynch as he treats us to this awesome first post! Matthew is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, but will soon be sharing his exploits as he visits permaculture sites across Europe, before heading back to Hawaii to set up a permaculture business there.
Six months ago I graduated from my Permaculture Design Course (PDC) at Southern Cross Permaculture, bright eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to change the world.
I raced back home and made my first compost pile in the middle of the lawn, then set about the task of redesigning my parent’s suburban backyard in Melbourne to a productive permacultural paradise.
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)