Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Paul Wheaton May 17, 2013
by Paul Wheaton
Mark Vander Meer gives a presentation on soil science as it relates to forestry. I was presenting in another room at the same time, so Mark gave permission to Jocelyn Campbell to record this for me. Once I saw it, I thought it was so good, that I asked Mark if it was okay to put it up on YouTube.
Mark is a soil scientist who works as a wild restoration ecologist in Montana. His presentation focuses on soil restoration and is very much question driven.
He starts off by talking about the watershed death spiral, where the soil loses its ability to hold water. Mark identifies three main reasons for that to occur: Compaction, roads, and loss of soil organic matter. He explains that the problem results in streams and springs disappearing.Comments (2)
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure — by Oyvind Holmstad December 7, 2012
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 10, 2012
I love the nice progression of logic in this presentation. Running the numbers like this shows not only how powerful a carbon sink our earth’s soils can be, under the right management, but also just how futile and what a goose-chasing diversion most contemporary technological ‘fixes’ for climate change really are.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Stephanie Blennerhassett October 31, 2012
PDCs are tricky. For two weeks we tumble into this community of unfamiliarly familiar, curious strangers. The constant whirlwind of habits, obligations, and distractions that composes our lives momentarily dissipates and we are thrust into this world where our main responsibility is to be open-minded, observe, think, learn, and connect. Yet, at the end of the day, we are singular beings and we all have our lives that we will return to. As PDC participants, we are exposed to this new paradigm together, share bemusement at fractal patterns and individual inspirations, and then suddenly depart the entropy we fell into and hopefully go off with the intent to use permaculture as a framework for making society and the environment more resilient.
However, after I was formally introduced to permaculture, as a nomadic recent college graduate, I was not sure how permaculture could be a tangible part of my life. The fulfillment from a sense of belonging and purpose I experienced during the PDC instilled within me a restless need to contribute to a project and/or community. So, I found myself asking, “Now what?”.Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Material, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water — by Alex McCausland October 25, 2012
Editor’s Note: Regular readers will have appreciated Alex McCausland’s regular and comprehensive reports from precariously positioned Ethiopia, and the great work he and his team have been doing on the ground. If you want to learn practical permaculture and gain real-world permaculture aid work experience in a location rich in agricultural history, then please consider taking Alex’s next PDC, to be held in southern Ethiopia between December 10 — 22, 2012. Your tuition fees directly support this important educational aid work.
The Hafto Solar Community Water Project site project is a solar powered water supply facility for the surrounding community of Hafto in the Hadiya Zone, South Ethiopia. The project was planned and implemented by a German NGO called DWC and is owned and run by a local NGO called SMART. The facility supplies water to about 1500 surrounding community members within an approximate 1km radius. There is a small charge for the water of about 0.01 Ethiopian Birr per liter (1$=18Birr) which covers the running costs of the project. The community members currently come to the site with donkeys to collect the water in jerry-cans which they take home for use.Comments (3)
Compost, Conservation, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 4, 2012
The yard in winter, before work begins…
A great many people today are living in fear. The future looks uncertain, but bleak. Many cannot see a future at all. The post-WWII baby boomer generation, with their short-lived cheap energy era, have been largely calling the shots, shaping the world we have today. After the miseries of two world wars, they set a course for excess. They and their descendants have been spending profligately, borrowing resources and finances from their children and grandchildren — and the deficit has increased so rapidly that the present generation is already having to foot the bill. We’ve been living the dream, and living in a dream — seeking to live lifestyles without limits — and now it’s time to pay the piper, as it were. We’re discovering that we were the children and grandchildren that society was borrowing from.
Conservation, Land, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Conservation, Structure, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 19, 2012
With the U.S. and other countries caught in unprecedented droughts, and arid areas of the world growing in tandem, this simple method for speeding revegetation at scale offers a lot of promise.
The barren, arid landscapes of the world are notoriously hard to revegetate. Indeed, the earth in these regions is usually very hard to describe as ’soil’. As vegetation dies off, the soil gets exposed to intense heat and evaporation, and any seeds that are present, or applied, are then unable to get the moisture they need to germinate and survive. With plant roots, organic matter and microorganisms no longer present in the soil, it rapidly loses any of the structure it once possessed. Soil erosion from rain events and harsh winds then easily undermine nature’s attempts at natural, progressive restoration, by sending any accumulated soil particles elsewhere, or out into the ocean.
Human intervention has been, in many cases, the driving force in starting this destructive cycle, and, as evidenced by the rapid advancement of desertification worldwide, it’s also clear that it will only be through human intervention that we can reverse it.Comments (10)
Aquaculture, Compost, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Material, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Surveying, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Richard Perkins September 15, 2012
A reflection following a great time finding solutions for dryland water management in Portugal
I’m enjoying working on a job connecting up extensive irrigation in the mountains of Extremadura, Spain, and relaxing for a couple of days after a successful and effective Dryland Water Management intensive at the budding Permaculture Institute, Vale De Lama, near Lagos in the South of Portugal.
This week we have been looking at all aspects of water design, focusing mostly on this varied site where all manner of interventions are necessary to halt the onslaught of the desertification process and regenerate the diverse mixed polycultures and rich soils that had a biological diversity comparative to more tropical regions at one time.
Something that is clear after working so intensively with integrative and regenerative systems design around the globe in different climate zones is that most places I turn up at have been degraded heavily and the localized cultural approach and ecological understanding is often limited by familiarization with the current conditions and often destructive agricultural practices.Comments (7)
Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects — by Joshua Finch September 4, 2012
November 2010-November 2011 went by quickly with a lot of hard labor double digging our compacted clay to see us produce a fair amount of veggie in a short period of time. After the summer months, we begin cover cropping.
by Joshua Finch
We started here in 2010:
November 2010: One section of our typical American lawn with some potential
pathways being imprinted on the landscape.
By the end of the sixth slide show (see YouTube slide shows further below), we wind up here:Comments (3)
Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Structure, Urban Projects — by Joel Dunn August 18, 2012
by Joel Dunn
Raised beds are great for deep, friable soil and good drainage, and also provide a nice structure for annual veggie rotations. However, the set-up costs for both the raised edging and imported soil to fill the beds can be a turn-off. This little photo journal illustrates a couple of simple cost savers I used for raised beds installed this year.Comments (3)
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)
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)
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)
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)