Category: Plant Systems

Central Texas Permaculture: Learning by Working

About a year ago I began volunteering at a small school and permaculture education center just south of Austin, Texas. At the time, I was working at a nursery in the city. I had an interest in plant care but no real awareness of permaculture. Since then, I have been on the fast-track to full permaculture immersion, learning by working. Right around the time I was introduced to permaculture, I […]

Read More >
2 Comments

Qualifying Dynamic Accumulators: a Sub-Group of the Hyperaccumulators.

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a popular Dynamic Accumulator. To the untrained eye, a lot of scientific language appears superfluous – yet may best describe some detail or process within a broader concept. The scientifically trained eye, likewise, may be suspicious of superfluous language. Robert Kourik first uses the phrase ‘dynamic accumulators’, in 1986 to describe plants considered a valuable addition to composting due to their mineral/nutritional content. Theoretically, dynamic accumulators […]

Read More >
4 Comments

How to Make a Productive Patio

It would be great if we all had an acre or two, the time, and inclination to grow our own food, but the realities of the day are that the majority of people have moved into more confined, urban and suburban settings in order to be closer to jobs, entertainment, school districts, conveniences, and whatever else tickles our fancies. It’s the world as it is: Over half of us live […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Necessity Turns On the Innovative Side in Plants

-Extreme nutrient scarcity pushes plant roots in Australian kwongan bushlands to cook up ingenious strategies to survive For a general onlooker, the Australian Outback is nothing more than a bland empty void with low scrubs and bushes. But the kwongan bushland found in the south-west Australia has an unusually rich biodiversity even though subsisting on some of the world’s most infertile soils. In fact, the soil is so barren, that […]

Read More >
0 Comment

The Magic and Mystery of Constructing a Herb Spiral and Why Every Suburban Lawn Should Have One

Herb Spiral (Panama) One of the first permaculture projects I did was building an herb spiral, and to be honest, the design has never ceased to delight me. Undoubtedly, that one and the few spirals that followed are amongst the most beautiful garden beds I’ve made. More importantly, they are also amazingly productive and a great way of getting into the mindset choosing the right spot to plant stuff, both […]

Read More >
7 Comments

Are you Environmentally Organic?

Today the organic food movement is no longer considered to be a luxurious fad, enjoyed exclusively by those with the financial resources to care. Indeed, our common high street supermarkets have been cashing in on our desire to live a greener, more sustainable life and the organic market is thought to be worth in excess of $14 billion in the USA. But looking beyond the feel-good marketing, there are an […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Planting in Pots and Other Ways of Playing with Permaculture in the Big City

Growing your own food doesn’t require expanses of acreage. It doesn’t require a tractor. It doesn’t require complete self-sufficiency. As we all well know by now, it doesn’t require chemicals, either. It doesn’t even require a garden, at least not in the way we’ve come to picture one. In some instance, it doesn’t even require soil. There are so many things they are not necessary for anyone to start growing […]

Read More >
4 Comments

The Facts about Dynamic Accumulators

The Facts about Dynamic Accumulators

Within the world of Permaculture we often find reference to plants known as Dynamic Accumulators. In brief, this is the idea that certain plants (often deep-rooted ones) will draw up nutrients from the lower layers of the soil, and these nutrients will be stored in the plants’ leaves. When the leaves fall in autumn and winter and are broken down, those stored nutrients are then incorporated into the upper layers […]

Read More >
47 Comments

Organic Cattle and Grass Farming in Costa Rica

Finca Quijote is located in one of the wettest places on earth. We get 6 meters of rainfall per year on average. Our elevation is 800 meters above sea level to 1100 meters on the highest “cero” or mountain top. The 517 hectares of Quijote consists mostly of forest, some pristine old growth in the mountains, secondary forest where logging occurred years ago and some open land near the rivers […]

Read More >
3 Comments

“Poo to Peaches” – a Composting Toilet Kickstarter

To learn more about the Poo to Peaches project and become a backer, visit the Kickstarter page Every day, the average person flushes 10 gallons of clean drinking water down the toilet. This constitutes a waste of two precious resources: scarce water supplies and human manure, which could instead be composted to form a fertile soil amendment. While composting toilets (CTs) of various styles are commercially available and legal for […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Creating a Forest Floor through Chop and Drop

Tom Kendall from the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast Tom Kendall from the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast talks about his plans for the swimming pond which was dug 2 years ago. Support species are establishing growth, but after a big rain it is time to do some chopping and dropping and encouraging the growth of other species by creating a forest floor.

Read More >
6 Comments