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)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 11, 2009
The Greening the Desert II video I shared with you recently was edited in Jordan. Now that I’m back at my desk again I’ve had time to edit it slightly. I’ve added the original five-minute Greening the Desert clip in to the front of it, to ensure viewers have context for Part II (and we’ve also had requests for both to be made available together), as well as cut a few minutes out of Part II to keep it flowing a little better. You can not only watch online below and embed on your own websites (click for embed code at top right of video screen), but it’s also available for download, so those who’d like to have a ‘hard copy’ to circulate are welcome to download, burn to disk or transfer to USB key, etc., and circulate freely.
Download: You’ll see the option to download the 913 megabyte MP4 file at bottom right side of this page.
Greening the Desert II (including Part I) – Greening the Middle East
(Duration: 36 mins)
Tips for playing: If it’s slow to load, turn off High Definition (HD) on the player.
If you still have problems, click play (on low or high def) and then after it’s started,
click on pause. The video will then continue to buffer into your computer.
Play once fully loaded.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Kelly Kellogg at this juncture. Kelly donated initial funding that enabled the purchase of the land for the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project site (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’). But, upon watching the Greening the Desert Part II video, Kelly was inspired to donate an additional $20,000. These gifts are very encouraging to us as we try to solve problems at source (teach a man to fish…). Others who may feel inspired to donate to help us move this work forward faster can do so here.
A little background on the video follows:Comments (28)
Aid Projects, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Land, News, Plant Systems, Project Positions, Rehabilitation, Trees, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 9, 2009
The video embedded in this page spotlights the excellent work of Willie Smits I profiled a little while ago, where rainforest restoration in Borneo not only restored biodiversity and gave increased livelihood opportunities to local people, but it also increased cloud cover and rainfall as well. It’s well worth a watch:
We’re pleased to announce that we’re partnering with the makers of the video above, WeForest, to help establish self-replicating permaculture reforestation demonstration sites in accordance with our Permaculture Master Plan, in several worldwide locations – starting in Zambia in the first instance. Our Geoff Lawton has just agreed to be on their advisory board, and we’ll be working to supply guidance, knowhow and staff to pioneer these projects.
This is just one example of the many encouraging collaborative results we get as people boil current events down to their only logical conclusion – discovering we need to quit battling nature and get busy harnessing biological synergies to repair the earth and rebuild sustainable community interactions.Comments (4)
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)
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 Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Nurseries & Propogation, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 24, 2009
Clearing grass prior to planting a tree
Over the last week the team have planted around 400 trees up on the top section of the property. And, of course, this is not a monocrop planting – but a mix of 18 different types of trees, all planted in an area of about 15 x 100 metres.
For your interest, here’s a list of what’s been planted:Comments (10)
Animal Forage, Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Fish, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems, Urban Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 21, 2009
Could converting swimming pools into fish ponds be another way to increase food security as we head out onto peak oil’s downhill slope?
A Permaculture fish pond in development
Swimming pools get a bad rap in enviro-circles, and for good reason. They cost a great deal to construct – using a lot of CO2 intensive materials in the process – they waste huge amounts of water and energy for maintenance, use chemicals to keep them clear and ’safe’, and they take up a lot of space that could be utilised for more productive purposes (like growing veggies!). Many people also just find them a lot of work to look after, which is especially annoying when their usage is often only seasonal at best.
But, what if you’re already lumbered with a pool and are trying to make the best of the situation? Maybe it came with your property, or hindsight has kicked in after you’ve shelled out thousands to install something you almost never use…. What then?Comments (32)
Food Plants - Perennial, Processing & Food Preservation — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 21, 2009
Mmm…. I don’t know about you, but potatoes are one of my favourite foods. Here at Zaytuna we were a tad late in potato planting, so we’re having to cover our potato rows at night – as even here in the sub-tropics we’re getting some winter frosts. A couple more weeks and we should have a good crop to harvest – which will add to all the sweet potatoes and pumpkins we’ve already gleaned from the soil.
Anyway, here’s a tip on storing seed potatoes for future planting – simply layer them in a container with dry sawdust. Easy.Comments (2)
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 - Perennial, Processing & Food Preservation, Trees — by Cecilia Macaulay April 20, 2009
This week I’m shopping for a persimmon tree for the Edible Japanese Garden I’m creating. Of course I will be planting a sweet, rather than an astringent, or ’shibui’* persimmon. The sweet ones, such as Fuyu, are squat-shaped, and can be eaten either crunchy or yielding. The long-shaped Hachiya variety, the ones Aussies first planted before we knew better (sorry Hachiya), are awfully ’shibui’. You have to wait until they become syrupy-ripe before eating, otherwise, biting into one will give you that ‘cotton-wool-in-the-mouth’ reaction. Awful. I find slush and string almost as unattractive as shibui, and so too it seems, do the Japanese. They usually hang the autumn harvest under the eaves, and let the dry winter air transform them into something like enchanted dried apricots: intense, chewy, and frosted in sugar crystals. ‘Hoshi Gaki’, in Japanese.Comments (1)
Animal Forage, Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology — by PIJ April 13, 2009
PIJ #63, June-Aug 1997
by Linda Woodrow
How to harvest weeds for their best nutrients
Sometimes gardening seems to me like alchemy. Organic material that is of no value to us is converted into organic material of high value, and, like alchemy, the process seems almost magic.
Soil micro-organisms and plants do the converting, but they can’t do it without something to convert. The role of humans is to set up the system, supply the raw materials, and harvest the product.
The first law of gardening is the law of conservation of matter
There are very many sources of organic matter, but the kinds I look for are rich in a wide range of nutrient elements, concentrated, easily collected, and easily converted. One source that beautifully satisfies all these requirements is weeds.Comments (10)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Village Development — by PIJ
PIJ #58, Mar – May 1996
By Dr Danny Hunter
Editor’s Note: This decade-old article spotlights local indigenous knowledge found in the Maldives – a land today threatened by rising seas. The Maldive Islands have the unfortunate title of having the lowest highest point in the world – only 2.3 metres.
The atolls of the Maldives represent a delicate and unique ecosystem that is highly sensitive to changes resulting from human, climatic and environmental activity. Within this fragile ecosystem a number of indigenous farming systems have evolved that are ecologically and culturally sustainable. Of these, the homegarden has been the most enduring and diverse.
The Maldives is an archipelago made up of about 1200 islands that are scattered in a line running for 800km southwest of the tip of India. Although the total area of the country occupies 90,000km2 of Indian Ocean, its land area is a tiny 300km2.Comments (2)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Seeds, Trees — by Isabell Shipard April 11, 2009
Photo credit: Melanie Brown
Also known as Horseradish Tree, Marango Tree, Murunga, Kelor, Shobhanjan, Ben Tree and Moringa Tree. Moringa oleifera syn. M. pterygosperma F. Moringaceae
A handsome, multi-purpose, small legume tree, 3-8 metres tall, fast growing and drought hardy, with a shady, leaf canopy of very attractive tripinnate ferny foliage, making its presence appealing wherever it is planted. Small, waxy, creamy-white flowers, resembling miniature orchids, form in clusters on terminal stems, followed by 20-30cm long round pods. Pods look very much like drumsticks, a good reason for the plant’s common name. The shell of the pod splits into 3 sections revealing a row of neatly packed, wing-edged, round, brown seeds.
Propagation is by seed. Seed must be relatively fresh to give a good germination. Warm temperatures are important for germination. Keep planted seeds well out of reach of mice and wood lizards, as the seed is nutty and considered a tasty morsel by these little scavengers. Stem cuttings, 10-60cm long, can also be struck in spring and summer.Comments (12)