Category: Soil Rehabilitation

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?

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

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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Greening the Desert Video – now also with French Subtitles

Many thanks to Jeremy, Christina, Erik, Lamia and Kristen for all the work that went into creating the French translation subtitle file for both Parts I & II of the Greening the Desert video below. As a result, I’ve been able to upload a version suitable for your French-speaking friends and family, should you have some. After clicking play, click on the ‘CC’ button at bottom of the video to […]

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Urine: Closing the NPK Loop

The Stockholm Environment Institute conducted experiments and collected data that shows the usefulness of a resource every one of us has access to — urine. When utilized as a fertilizer, urine can provide an alternative to chemical fertilizers. The impacts ripple far beyond the nutrient value of the urine; in developing regions, diverting a urine waste stream to fertilizer has a significant economic value. These benefits can easily be recognized […]

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The Dehydration and Rehydration of the Australian Landscape

Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape. If you were one of the early explorers, walking into a wide floodplain system in the early 1800s, more than likely you […]

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New book: Equine Permaculture – Regenerative Horse Property Design & Pasture Management

Equine Permaculture: Regenerative Horse Property Design & Pasture Management A collection of articles, 80 pages by Mariette van den Berg & Nicholas Huggins Generally, horse keeping is considered to be a costly hobby or business, especially with current price rises in living expenses and feed costs. On top of that, horse and land owners encounter high input costs or difficulties to maintain pastures and sustain the dietary needs of horses.

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