Report on Implementation Activities in Konso Secondary and Jarso Primary Schools in July 2012 (Ethiopia)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Rehabilitation, Retrofitting, Seeds, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Alex McCausland August 17, 2012
In May 2012 we ran a PDC at Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge on which we trained four local teachers, along with other participants, two from each of two local schools in Konso, South Ethiopia, where we are based. The selected teachers from the two schools, Konso Secondary and Jarso Primary, are science teachers responsible for the schools’ environmental clubs. During the training they produced permaculture designs for their school compounds, which they have gone on to begin implementing with their school communities.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Land, Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 13, 2012
Those who watched The Man Who Stopped the Desert (trailer here), will want to follow up with this short video — What Yacouba did next….
Yacouba Sawadogo has learnt something we all need to realise — that we can be a positive element on this planet, through observation and working with natural systems. The methods Yacouba utilises could, if taken up with widespread enthusiasm, re-green the entire Sahel — and arid regions worldwide. These techniques are not complicated. Indeed, any permaculturist with a rudimentary understanding of soil science will appreciate the logic behind them. Only recently, after 30 years of stubborn perseverance, Yacouba is now getting some funding to enable him to train farmers in his local region. Let’s hope Yacouba finally reaches a tipping point in his soil-revitalising outreach.Comments (8)
Animal Forage, Compost, Food Forests, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Chris McLeod August 11, 2012
Poo. We all do it. Even the smallest microbes do it. However, when you are connected to a centralised sewerage system, unless it stops working – which is not much fun – you don’t have to think about it much at all. A quick flush and off it goes, somewhere else, to be processed at some distant location, somehow or another. It’s all very mysterious really and for most of us it is someone else’s problem. However, when you are not connected to a centralised sewerage system, it is inevitable that you’ll become more acquainted with the stuff sooner or later.Comments (17)
Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation — by Ecofilms July 23, 2012
A couple of years ago whilst shooting the Food Forest DVD with Geoff Lawton he remarked how “only on edges do we get fertility” or words to that effect. At the time that phrase didn’t really make much sense to me but when you stop and think for a moment how nature creates soil, those words begin to ring true.Comments (1)
Compost, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation — by Briana Lyon July 20, 2012
One of the first projects for anyone who wants to garden is building a garden bed. There are some pretty cost effective means for making a fast, aerated and high nutrient garden bed with no digging! This particular method I’d like to share with you has been practiced and written about by many, it is called ’sheet mulching’, and it is a very valuable tool.Comments (6)
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Rob Avis July 11, 2012
by Rob Avis
Permaculturists everywhere are crazy about their compost teas and extracts. They have turned building compost tea brewers into a science and concocting the perfect tea recipe into an art. We love our compost brews too, and since we’re always getting questions about the compost tea process, we thought it was time to sit down and write a post about it. In this article we’ll explain the difference between a tea and an extract, discuss the best ingredients and recipes, and give you the step-by-step how-to for making your own compost tea brewer.Comments (6)
Community Projects, Compost, Consumerism, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Processing & Food Preservation, Recipes, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Trees, Urban Projects, peak oil — by Anthea Hudson July 3, 2012
I doubt many would disagree that food is one of the most important things that we are going to need to become reconnected to, in times to come. Without a reliable food source, much hardship can be predicted and even potentially losses of life. In the future, food security will probably rely much more on sources of our own creation, by producing food ourselves and establishing networks with others in our community.
We will also need to acquire the knowledge to put these food systems into practice. It’s one thing to have wheat seeds to plant, but wheat doesn’t grow and become bread by itself. We have to know, and become proficient in, the processes involved in whatever we plan to produce — preferably before there is an urgent necessity to do so!
The activities below will introduce your children (and you!) to some of the principles and practices of creating food resilience.Comments (8)
Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Joel Dunn June 30, 2012
Harvesting oats as green native perennial pasture
grows up between the cereal rows (Seis, 2006)
Pasture cropping is a farmer-initiated land management system that seamlessly integrates cropping with pasture production, and allows grain growing to function as part of a truly perennial agriculture. Annual winter growing (C3) cereal crops are direct drilled into living summer growing (C4) perennial pasture grasses as the pasture sward enters the dormant phase of its growth cycle, allowing year-round growth and eliminating fallow and bare ground. This cereal production for grain and fodder is integrated with an intensive time controlled grazing system. There are important sustainability benefits of maintaining more perennial plants across agricultural landscapes, and the low input costs and flexible nature of the system make it attractive to producers.
Pasture cropping has already captured the imagination of the permaculture community because of its potential to make grain cropping compatible with permanent, regenerative agriculture. This review provides an in depth discussion of the development of pasture cropping systems in the NSW Central West, techniques and strategies of the system, environmental and economic factors, the dissemination of the technology around the Australian cereal-livestock zone, and potential future development and adoption.Comments (9)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Land, Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel
The Keyline Contribution to Permaculture
Without Percival Alfred (P.A.) Yeomans and his Keyline concepts Permaculture as we know it would not exist. Bill Mollison is quick to tip his hat toward this debt in the very first paragraph of Permaculture Two: Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture. Here, after making the claim that Permaculture is different from all other approaches to agriculture due to its use of “conscious design,” he respectfully qualifies, “with the notable exception of Keyline concepts.”
In fact, most of the major themes that were developed into the permaculture approach were exploratory trails originally blazed by the practical visionary, P.A. Yeomans.(1) His relentless experimentation, fearless ‘trial-and-error’ mistake-making, tireless reflection, ongoing adjustment, and ‘learning by doing,’ (as well as his unique set of skills and knowledge in hydrology and engineering) made him one of the most innovative ‘adaptive managers’ of agricultural history.
The Keyline process he developed was the first farm/ranch planning approach to:Comments (7)
Compost, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Rehabilitation — by Mark Feineigle June 24, 2012
Over the last two years, here in South West Pennsylvania, a snow and wind storm knocked down a few trees in the back yard. This provided both resources and opened up a nice hole in the canopy where I could put those resources to use. The first thing I wanted to do was collect all of the yard refuse, both to see what I had to work with and to view the uncluttered land.
Compost, Courses/Workshops, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Paul Taylor June 21, 2012
Paul Taylor, the main teacher of our ‘How to Make Your Own Natural Fertilizer’ biological soil science course, is the managing director of Trust Nature Pty Ltd. Paul has been working as a recognized educator and sustainable design consultant for the past 30 years. Paul has Australian Federal Government FarmReady approval as an educator, is a recognized Permaculture Teacher and organic soil management specialist and has completed his Certificate IV in Education, Training and Assessment, qualifying him as an educator under the Australian Federal Government VET (Vocational Education and Training) guidelines. Paul has worked extensively as a consultant and educator in Australia, India, the Middle East and the U.S.A.Comments (0)
Conservation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Angelo Eliades June 6, 2012
Currently, approximately 80% of the food crops grown in the world are annual plants, and it’s been this way for quite some time. Perennial plant food crops are pretty much in the minority in terms of how the human race derives its nutrition.
Permaculture strongly emphasises the importance of using perennial plants in our food production systems. When we consider the permanent agriculture aspect of permaculture, it should be apparent that we would need to utilise perennial plants to construct a permanent system, rather than using annual crops to create temporary systems, which are there one season, and return to bare earth the next.
The preference for perennial plants is stated explicitly in the seventh permaculture design principle — Small Scale Intensive Systems. It describes the use of perennial plants instead of annual plants as one of the features that differentiates permaculture small scale intensive systems from either conventional commercial or peasant farming systems.
To many people, the reason we use perennial plants is simply because they don’t need to be replanted each year, and don’t die down each year, saving us a lot of effort digging, sowing seeds, and cleaning up at the end of the season — and then they simply leave their understanding at that.Comments (69)
Compost, Energy Systems, Fungi, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Christopher Nesbitt
Maya Mountain Research Farm (MMRF) is a small NGO and working farm located in southern Belize. The farm has about 20 acres of managed land, with the remaining 50 acres managed for limited extraction of timber, fuel wood and medicinals and as a wildlife corridor between the Columbia River Forest Reserve and the Columbia river. We are a working demonstration farm, focusing on agroforestry and the intersection between agriculture and ecology. One thing we have done is to provide a working example of an alternative to raising pigs with corn, which is a local practice amongst Kekchi and Mopan Maya farmers, and combine that with the making and applying of biochar while cooking the pig food.Comments (20)
Animal Housing, Biodiversity, Biological Cleaning, Bird Life, Building, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Conservation, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 1, 2012
Paradise Dam, April 2012, from the now-climaxing food forest
Photos © Craig Mackintosh (unless otherwise indicated)
Zaytuna Farm Video Tour, duration 41 minutes
Note: Switch YouTube player to HD if your internet connection allows
Having spent the last few years seeking to establish and assist projects worldwide, and hearing some readers requesting more info on our own permaculture base site, I thought it high time I take a moment away from promoting other projects to shine a little light on our own work!
It had been a long time since I last visited Zaytuna Farm. Arriving in April 2012, more than two and a half years after my September 2009 visit, I was somewhat taken aback…. Back in 2009 the farm could somewhat be described as an unruly child — full of energy and enthusiasm, and flush with life, but not at all mature. Now, as I see Geoff Lawton’s vision for the property being played out more fully, we could compare the farm to more of a blossoming and beautiful teenager, still fresh in youth, but demonstrating a clearer sense of direction.
Geoff’s long term strategies are becoming evident, and it really is a sight, and site, to behold!Comments (22)
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Structure — by Rob Avis May 28, 2012
A few weeks ago we had our amazing interns prepare a soil sample to be sent off to the Soil Food Web Lab in Vulcan, Alberta. (See the blog, Testing Our Soil for a Nutrient Dense Garden). A few quick weeks later, our analysis came back, and we were told by the lab that our “sample’s biology numbers were one of the best we have seen for garden samples”.
We’ve been telling people for years now that compost is the most effective way to improve soil texture, nutrient density, tilth, carbon content and overall health, and now the results are in.
When we started our garden almost four years ago, growing anything in our backyard seemed hopeless. You can see (top right) what our soil looked like when we started. It was basically chunks of sand and clay with the consistency of concrete. Not a very welcoming home for new seeds.Comments (5)