Category: Soil Rehabilitation

Invasive Trees in Colorado, Part I

A brief discussion on the merits of Ghetto Palm (Ailanthus altissima) by Mike Wood First, so we know what we’re talking about, see the Wikipedia entry on the ‘Tree of Heaven’ here. This tree is considered to be an invasive species in Colorado, and no doubt in other places. Our fearless leaders have decreed it to be undesirable. There are no active eradication efforts to my knowledge. I will not […]

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How to Prepare a Beneficial Microorganism Mixture

Many have heard of EM mixtures, sold worldwide with cultures of effective microorganisms, that due to their symbiotic relationships with each other can benefit the microorganisms’ ecosystem in our soils, compost piles and toilets. They are known to boost yield and speed the composting process and are sold worldwide for their positive effect. You can read more about the commercial brands of EM and the process of their discovery by […]

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The Biochar Miracle

Carbon pirates bury black gold… so future generations will be richer. – John Rogers Biochar is being promoted as the soil saving miracle of the century promising outrageously high yields of crops as well as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The first video ‘The Promise of Biochar’ explains what biochar is, how valuable it is and how the Amazonian Indians used it to enhance fertility of the soil and […]

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Permaculture in Damaged Lands: Degradation and Restoration in New Mexico

A certain coal-strewn road in Madrid, New Mexico — the remnants of a now defunct railway. Alternately barren and spectacular, the southwest United States has piqued the imagination of Americans and people across the world for generations. The site of gold rushes, Native American homelands, and a culture of lawlessness that has yet to fade completely, much of the land was degraded and destroyed long before Hollywood discovered how to […]

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Swale Fail?

Editor’s Note: It’d be great if more people would share their successes and failures in similar fashion as Greg has below. The reason I say this is three-fold — 1) you get valuable feedback from readers on how to overcome your challenges, 2) readers can learn from your mistakes and thus hopefully avoid them, and 3) people new to permaculture will have a decent dose of reality as they start […]

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Who Needs Grass?

who needs grass feat

The Kniskerns’ yard is a sustainable smorgasbord Over a period of less than 10 years, James and Mary Kniskern transformed their sod-based lawn into a vibrant, blooming habitat that not only reduces their impact on the land but also rewards them with a bounty of edible plants as well as honey-producing bees. The fifth of an acre where James and Mary Kniskern live in Arnold [Maryland, USA] was about what […]

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Permaculture at The Farm

permaculture at the farm feat

Former stockbroker Brian Bankston now calls himself the “Keyline Cowboy” after a carbon farming course at The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center transformed his life. He quit his job, bought a keyline plow and compost tea brewer, and moved to The Farm. Climate Prophylaxis For the past 10 years or so, the land management decisions of The Farm (a 40-year-old intentional community on 1750 acres in rural Tennessee, pop. ~200) have […]

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Greeks Reclaim the Land to Ease the Pain of Economic Austerity

A group of community-minded gardeners have turned a former Athens airport into a blooming vegetable plot, showing how Greece’s eroded soil holds the keys to a revival in farming and a way to buck the jobless trend. by Beatrice Yannacopoulou. Article originally published on The Ecologist All photographs courtesy: Dimitris.V.Geronikos "If we want to survive on this land we must first help to heal the earth," said Nicolas Netién, agro-ecologist, […]

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Hugelkultur: Composting Whole Trees With Ease

What is it? Hugelkultur is a composting method that uses large pieces of rotting wood as the centerpiece for long term humus building decomposition. The decomposition process takes place below the ground, while at the same time allowing you to cultivate the raised, or sunken, hugelkultur bed. This allows the plants to take advantage of nutrients released during decomposition. Hugelkultur, in its infinite variations, has been developed and practiced by […]

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The Jean Pain Way

In the book Another Kind of Garden, the methods of Jean Pain are revealed. He spent his entire short-lived life studying brush land and forest protection, specifically fire prevention, alongside his wife Ida. These studies led to an enormous amount of practical knowledge for composting, heating water, as well as harvesting methane, all of which are by-products of maintaining a forest or brush land with fire prevention techniques. While this […]

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ABC Rural Talks to Matt Kilby About Farm Restoration Through Installing Trees and Swales (Podcast)

Consultant Matt Kilby stands before one of the swales he has put in at Gippsland farm, Nambrok. Photographer: Kath Sullivan Matt Kilby, the ‘man of a thousand trees‘, shares thoughts with ABC Rural on his work (with Nick Huggins alongside) over the last 18 months at Nambrock, a property in Gippsland, southern Victoria, Australia. "The first thing we did was put in a swale. A swale is a ditch which […]

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