Exploring Sustainable Livelihoods in Laikipia (Kenya)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Medicinal Plants, News, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Elin Lindhagen, Director, PRI-Kenya Some members of the women’s group Since it started in 2013, the Laikipia Permaculture Project in Kenya has rapidly grown with the help of the inexhaustible passion of Joseph Lentunyoi, founder and manager of the project. From the first women’s group, Nabulu, which approached the newly established Laikipia Permaculture Centre, wanting… Read more »

Does Comfrey Really Improve Soil?

Posted by & filed under Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation.

All of us who have studied permaculture have heard some impressive claims about comfrey. It is a dynamic nutrient accumulator; it improves the soil; it is “a slow motion fountain” of nutrients, bringing them up from the subsoil to improve the topsoil. We’ve heard lots of anecdotal evidence, but where is the empirical data for… Read more »

Hardy Gingers for the Food Forest Understory

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) can handle 5°F/-15°C. The rhizomes make a great tea and are wonderful shredded into stir-frys or cooked with rice. When I visit tropical and subtropical forest gardens I often see ginger, turmeric, galangal, and cardamom in the understory, beneath and between the fruit trees. In fact, according to P.K. Nair’s fantastic Tropical… Read more »

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 »

Delicious and Nutritious – Moringa is a Miracle Tree!

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Trees.

The uses and health benefits of Moringa are amazing; some even call it miraculous! It is truly a ‘jack of all trades’ tree that can be a food, fuel, medicine, and tonic! Even if you are not a salad lover, by drying and grinding the leaves it can be added to a traditional food like… 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 »

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 »