Category: Soil Rehabilitation

Australia Leads the World with Wheelie Bin Compost Toilets

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Photo: Ingrid Pullen Splendour in the Grass is a music, arts and culture festival held near Byron Bay in Northern New South Wales, Australia. It is a 3-day event attended by more than 30,000 people (on an area of 256 ha., or 660 acres — partly adjacent to a large nature reserve) and it is considered the country’s largest winter music festival. The festival has won many awards for its […]

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Create a Hugelmound Landscape

Hugelmounds are a truly amazing regenerative landscaping technique. They could be your preferred method of soil re-building and regeneration, and here’s why. There’s a lot to consider when understanding the best and most environmentally balanced way of creating your new forest garden and permaculture landscape. Hugelcultures, or "hugel mounds", are a way of creating raised beds, which over time break down into mounds of fertility. They work on the principle […]

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Intensive Silvopasture – a Win-Win for Carbon and Yield

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I don’t have rights to a photo of intensive silvopasture, but in this image we have high density of leucaena with pasture below, thus a very similar pattern. Ethan Roland for scale. As I research my book on carbon-sequestering agriculture I am occasionally struck by particularly promising techniques that mitigate climate change, build soils, and actually increase production of human food or other yields. One such system that has me […]

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Report on 5-Day Permaculture Workshop for the Etse Fewus Herbalists Association in Fitch, North Soha, Ethiopia: Part 1

Several years ago we were visited at our project site in Konso, South Ethiopia by an Australian lady called Elizabeth D’Avigdor and her daughter, May. We gave her a tour around our site and showed her what we were up to at the time. I vaguely remember her mentioning that she was working on a project somewhere up north. Several years later I heard from her again. She sent me […]

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Mycelium Running: How Fungi Can Help Save the World

by Paul Stamets. Review by Sher June. When research biologist Paul Stamets suggests fungi can help save the world, he is absolutely serious. In fact, he contends they can rescue it in several different ways. There are the medicines to be derived from fungi, probably more than we can yet imagine. Fungi for insect pest control. Fungi can absorb and often digest toxins from their environments — toxins as diverse […]

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Sheet Mulching over Aggressive Perennials

Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) We permaculturalists like to say there is no such thing as a weed, just a plant whose virtues we haven’t yet learned to appreciate. But when we talk about sheet mulching, we’re usually not concerned just with improving the soil, we also intend to smother the existing, unwanted vegetation so we can start fresh. In fact, I will bet you that every single time you hear […]

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Sheep Vegetation Management in British Columbia, Canada

Permaculture principle #11: Use edges and value the marginal. The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place, these are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system. — Holmgren Let’s talk about clearcuts in Northern BC. Clearcuts are edges, between the forest and cleared land where fast growing broad-leafed plants like fireweed and alder outcompete conifer seedlings. We think of clearcuts as ugly […]

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How to Increase the Rate of Biological Nitrogen Fixation

This short article is a chapter from my book “Fertilizer for Free: How to make the most from Biological Nitrogen Fixation”. One important question permaculture designers should ask themselves: Is there anything you can do to increase the rate of biological nitrogen fixation? The benefits of having more nitrogen rich organic matter in the soil are myriad. Starting with: higher general productivity richer and more diverse soil life more available […]

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How to Prepare and Take Care of a No-Dig Vegetable Garden (Slovenia)

Welcome to no-dig gardening. This is a tutorial which is written in a form of questions and answers. Questions will lead you on a path, and answers will give further directions. I want to share with you seven years of experience with no-dig gardening which gives abundant yields and improves soil life and quality year after year. First we will take a look at natural patterns, weeds and learn about […]

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More Thinking Out Loud About Earth Repair Tools: The Agricultural Specification Unimog

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Continuing with the theme of my last piece, another ideal potential equipment platform is the agricultural spec’d Unimog, manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. These are highly versatile and very reliable vehicles equipped with capabilities typically associated with tractors — namely 3-point linkages, PTOs (Power Take Offs), and hydraulics. Just as with the tractor, a broad array of implements may be used for the purpose of repairing degraded landscapes.

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Oh, The Beds I’ve Made: No-Till Gardening in Tropical Panama

One of the most exciting parts of taking the reins to a hectare of lakeside land in Panama was planning just exactly what kind of experimenting was going to be on order. We knew there would be a food forest. We knew there’d be a vegetable garden, fresh herbs, and lots of very dense clay soil with which to contend. Much of the space was steep hillsides, but at the […]

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How to Permanently Improve Your Sandy Soil

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Size of a pumpkin leaf: 42 cm, that’s 16.5″. Not bad for a sandy soil! One of the problems a lot of people have is how to improve the fertility of sandy soil. One solution is to add more organic matter (compost, manure, wood chips), but unfortunately if you live in a hot and humid climate the stuff you put in the soil is going to decompose quickly, since microbial […]

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