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 »

Swale Pathways (Tasmania, Australia)

Posted by & filed under Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Terraces, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

by Good Life Permaculture Diagram of a traditional swale system Hobart is Australia’s second driest capital city (Adelaide’s first) so catching and storing water is often on my mind. Annually we get approximately 615mm, most of which arrives in the cooler months in and around Winter. During Summer our soils will dry out so ferociously… Read more »

Advanced Cell Grazing with Geoff Lawton

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Fencing, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation.

Trailer only – watch full video here! Last year on Permaculture News there was an excellent article on Advanced Cell Grazing by Nick Burtner who documents the circular cattle lane-way on Geoff Lawton’s 66 acre Zaytuna Farm. Geoff devised a system of easy to install temporary electric-fenced cattle lane-ways that lead to over 38 grazing… Read more »

Biological Carpeting

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation.

Biological Carpeting is a method introduced to us by Rodger Savory of Savory Grassland Management. Rodger is the son of Holistic Management founder Allan Savory and managed the African Centre for Holistic Management’s research station at Dimbangombe, Zimbabwe for six years. At our home and training site, Rosella Waters on the Atherton Tablelands in northern… Read more »

Bhaskar Save, the Gandhi of Natural Farming

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Sage of a minimalist farming system based on non-violence and all of nature’s biodiversity that produces in abundance with no chemical inputs. by Bharat Mansata Bhaskar Save, acclaimed ‘Gandhi of Natural Farming’, turned 92 on 27 January 2014, having inspired and mentored 3 generations of organic farmers. Masanobu Fukuoka, the legendary Japanese natural farmer, visited… Read more »

Trophic Cascades – On the Reintroduction of Wolves to Yellowstone National Park

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Biodiversity, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Rehabilitation.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. — John Muir The eradication of wolves from Yellowstone National Park is a classic example of the Us and Them approach to wildlife management — where a simplistic, selfish and reductionist mindset sees nature as something… Read more »

Reversing Desertification with Gabions

Posted by & filed under Desertification, Gabions, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Trailer only – watch full video here! Gabions are rocks and small boulders packed into a wire basket to combat soil erosion on the side of steep slopes. But to Geoff Lawton, they are more commonly used to pacify storm water in a flash flood event and to build soil in strategic locations in the… Read more »

Under Cover Farmers (videos)

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Conservation.

While researching cover cropping, I came across the video above, featuring an explanation from the Rodale Institute (U.S.) of their “No Till Roller Crimper” which is used to lay down the cover crop in a no till farming environment. Another video I uncovered (below) may be of interest to those pursuing permaculture practice in the… Read more »