Category: Soil Conservation

Dredged Up

Never mind the evidence, we’ll do something eye-catching. by George Monbiot For a moment that rarest of beasts, common sense, poked a nose out of its burrow and sniffed the air. Assailed by angry farmers demanding dredging in the Somerset levels, the environment secretary, Owen Paterson broke with protocol and said something sensible. Dredging is often not the best long term or economic solution and increased dredging of rivers on […]

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Phosphorous Starvation Threatens the World

A fully referenced version of this paper is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here. The world is running short of phosphate ore for chemical fertilizers; recovering phosphate from waste and reducing phosphate use in phosphate rich countries can alleviate the shortage and simultaneously prevent environmental pollution. by Prof Joe Cummins Phosphorus a limiting nutrient Earth seems to be growing sicker every year along with […]

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Wake up Before it is Too Late – Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate

Click to download (5mb PDF) In late September of last year (2013) the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) put out the latest in their Trade and Environment Review series — titled Wake up Before it is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate. Alert readers may already be aware of this document — as it was the springboard for a […]

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Drowning in Money

The hidden and remarkable story of why devastating floods keep happening. by George Monbiot We all know what’s gone wrong, or we think we do: not enough spending on flood defences. It’s true that the government’s cuts have exposed thousands of homes to greater risk, and that the cuts will become more dangerous as climate change kicks in(1).  But too little public spending is a small part of problem. It […]

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The Power of Bamboo (video)

Geoff Lawton inside a protective wall of bamboo Bamboo. A lot of people love it. A lot of people hate it. Where are you on the bamboo bandwagon? Are you a lover or a fighter? Well, I remember my father making me cut out a line of running black bamboo with a blunt spade which had taken off down our suburban street and was on its way to engulfing our […]

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Swales Filled by Melting Ice and Snow (Texas, USA)

We just harvested over 20,000 gallons of ice and snow melt into our swales. by Jack Spirko Last week we had about 4 inches of snow and ice — mostly ice. It totally coated the roads and shut down the city for about four days. Yesterday (7 days into it) we finally got a really warm day and major melt. This is the result — 20,000 plus gallons of water […]

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Keyline Design as an Organizing Pattern for Permaculture Design, Part 2 (Sweden)

This is part 2 of a series of 5 articles looking at design considerations for our Cold Climate Permaculture site using the Keyline Scale of Permanence as a organizing framework, as well as an informative read for anyone interested. The aesthetic curves of the Keyline layout at ridgedale PERMACULTURE The previous article introduced some basic Keyline concepts and looked at the Site Specifics and how the Landform will influence the […]

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Desert Food Forest and Organic Commercial Production in Three Years – Update on Wadi Rum Consultancy (Jordan)

Outside the fence On August 6, 2010 Craig Mackintosh posted on my initial consultancy for the site I’m reporting on today. Three years and three months later, I can give an update on what has transpired since.

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Addressing the Causes of Land Degradation, Food/Nutritional Insecurity and Poverty: a New Approach to Agricultural Intensification in the Tropics and Subtropics

by Roger RB Leakey, Agroforestry and Novel Crops Unit, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Photo 1: A multifunctional agriculture landscape in Viet Nam with many income-generating tree-based production systems on hillsides surrounding an area of intensive food production on the most fertile soils. Abstract The shortage of new land for agriculture and the poverty of smallholder farmers in the tropics are serious constraints on […]

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UNCCD Land for Life Award Winners for 2013 (India, Mexico, Africa): Practical, Doable, Magic

Educating small-holder farmers in India Every year the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) presents awards and supportive prize-money to projects that have had a positive impact on combating desertification and restoring watersheds and the hydrological cycle. This year’s awards went to excellent projects in India, Mexico and Africa. Watch the fantastic videos below, from John D. Liu and the rest of the EEMP team, to find our more […]

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Rough, Ready, But Very Real – a November 2013 Update on the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site)

Project from above, featuring a garbage-accumulating fence edge Well, you would be hard pressed to find a tougher block of land — a 400m below sea level, West facing slope, in an extremely hot, arid climate, with extremely poor, shallow highly alkaline top ‘soil’, covered in rocks, with a limited water supply and in a mostly Palestinian refugee-populated village. When we first started working on the site local farmers thought […]

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India’s Foundation for Ecological Security Awarded Land for Life Award

India’s Foundation for Ecological Security is currently in the process of restoring over half a million acres of common land in small scale farming communities across the country. The video above, from our friends John D. Liu and his team at the EEMPC, will give you an excellent look at the work of the foundation and just some of the stunning results they’ve helped to facilitate. You’ll see satisfying before/after […]

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