Category: Soil Rehabilitation

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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Can a Cow Produce 100 Pounds of Pig Feed a Day? (Poland)

This entry is about cows and pigs. But before we get down and dirty let’s start with some basic facts about humans’ and pigs’ nutrition to make sure we’re on the same page. What does it take to fatten pigs efficiency? It is said that all animals need proteins to be fattened efficient. Is it really true? Not entirely — in fact all we really need is a substance which […]

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How to Steal from Your Neighbors and Have Them Love You For It (Panama)

Stolen leaves over yucca plants with banana circle backer The first time I did it I did so on the sly. I needed some mulch for a piece of dried up clay I was hoping to convert into a forest floor upon which I planned to grow a food forest. The piece of land next door was thick with leaves, and having seen the groundskeeper over there laboring with a […]

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Ducks in a Permaculture System (Scotland)

by James Reid, PRI Tap o’ Noth You don’t have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency. — Bill Mollison It was reading the above quote that made us want to acquire some ducks here at PRI Tap o’ Noth in North East Scotland. The idea of using the natural foraging instinct of the duck to rid our kitchen garden of slugs and snails, by encouraging them to browse […]

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TERA (Tracked Earth Repair Apparatus) For Large Scale Earth Repair

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“Mechanized labour” in the form of earthmoving equipment, tractors, and the myriad attachments that may be utilized in conjunction with their use provide us with an amazing opportunity to perform a great deal of beneficial work. They help in rapidly establishing efforts to reverse land degradation and desertification on a grand scale. It’s an immense job requiring considerable work input. Given the urgent importance of undertaking this activity, finding the […]

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