Seeding Into Frost Heaves: Leveraging a Natural Soil Disturbance Event

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Land, Plant Systems, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

A close up of frost heaves A common winter sight in most cold temperate regions are frost-heaves; areas of water-saturated soil that have been uplifted due to freezing. Frost-heaving is generally regarded as an undesirable dynamic, because it evidences a lack of organic material or mulch capable of sheltering the soil (and it’s microinhabitants) from… Read more »

FoodWaterShelter Fast Fact: Recipes for Healthy, Happy Plants (Tanzania)

Posted by & filed under Compost, Insects, Soil Rehabilitation.

The spoils of Kesho Leo’s permaculture garden beds (Arusha, Tanzania) Healthy plants in healthy soil shouldn’t generally suffer from serious insect infestations or diseases (see here, here and here for more on this). So if you’re having severe problems with either, look for reasons that your plants may already be stressed, and therefore more vulnerable… Read more »

Differences in Tilled and No Till Soils – A Demonstration

Posted by & filed under Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

In this video agronomist Mark Scarpitti of USDA-NRCS Ohio state demonstrates the differences between tilled and no-till soils by doing two simple tests. Slide test: In this test, a piece of soil is put in water to check how soil structure is held together. When water starts to rush into the porous spaces in the… Read more »

Soil: The Hidden Frontier

Posted by & filed under Compost, Courses/Workshops, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

Permaculturists everywhere are crazy about patterns. We are taught to “zen-out” so we can observe patterns in nature and society. But if patterns are the glue in permaculture, how do we begin to pick apart the patterns that we can’t even see with the naked eye? Enter world renowned soil biologist Dr. Elaine Ingham and… Read more »

Dune Stabilisation in the Mali Inner Delta

Posted by & filed under Desertification, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation.

The Sobé village located in Deboye Rural District, just like the northern part of the Mali inner delta, is threatened by drought, and encroaching dunes. Wetlands International and its partners are trying to meet this challenge by planting Euphorbia balsamifera, a species adapted to the local environment. The first part of this dune stabilization work… Read more »

Omaha Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health – Presentation Resources

Posted by & filed under Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Recently, I had the honor of attending a national conference on cover crops and soil health. The conference was held in Omaha, Nebraska on February 17th to the 19th, sponsored primarily by the Howard G Buffett foundation and SARE (Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education). The attendees represented university specialists, seed vendors, farmers, non-profit groups, and… Read more »

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 »

Building the Chicken Tractor on Steroids

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Bird Life, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Fencing, Land, Livestock, Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals.

Trailer only — watch full video here! "Who can weld?" Geoff asks. Keen to impress, my hand goes up. “I will see you at the shed after dinner tonight then”, a twinkle of excitement in his eye. This is the story of the chicken tractor on steroids from concept to birth.

Earthworks Course Introduction with Geoff Lawton (video)

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, Dams, Land, Material, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Surveying, Swales, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Trailer only – watch the full video here! If you’re considering doing Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Certificate Course later this month and want to know more, check out the Bonus $1200 Earthworks course we are including for free. It’s a mixture of classroom and field lectures that will bring you up to speed and teach… Read more »