Biodiversity, Compost, Conservation, Fungi, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 24, 2010
Measuring Soil Carbon Change
As we all (should) know well, land use changes over the last several centuries have significantly increased atmospheric CO2 levels. Soil mismanagement, which has increased in tandem with our burgeoning human population, has released mammoth amounts of carbon from the soil, where it is a positive, into the atmosphere, where it becomes, in its present excessive levels, a negative instead. Correct soil management, in contrast, can play a significant role in reversing that trend by pulling excess atmospheric CO2 out of the sky, through photosynthesis, and returning it to the soil in humus, the stable, final state of decomposition of organic matter – thus transforming excess CO2 from being a pollutant into a rich habitat for the micro- and macro-organisms that are the foundation of all life on this planet. Permaculture, through its favouring small scale, low-to-no till polycultures, and where the soil is always protected by a ’skin’ of plant or mulch cover, and maintained by appropriate naturally harvested moisture levels, is a powerful system for restoring the Gaia state of carbon balance.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 30, 2010
This great little clip by Emma Piper-Burket takes an early 2009 look at a couple of permaculture projects in Jordan. These are projects shown at greater length and at a later date (October 2009) in the Greening the Desert II video many of you will have already watched. I’m not sure what exactly what month Emma visited the project, but as our Eric Seider (one of the directors of PRI USA) was filmed there at the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka Greening the Desert, The Sequel), it’d have to be January or February. Eric was key in the initial establishment of the site, which is now coming along nicely 18 months later. Expect some updates from this site in the next few weeks as yours truly will be heading there again.
Conservation, Irrigation, Land, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Adrian Buckley May 20, 2010
by Adrian Buckley, Permaculture Designer, B. of Community Design, Calgary, Canada
Good soil is nothing without water! Fortunately, there are simple and inexpensive methods available to us for capturing and storing rain water to meet our irrigation needs. It all starts from a firm understanding of how water flows on your property and designing to make the most use of it.Comments (7)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, News, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by P. David Stockhausen May 10, 2010
Permaculture solutions have come to life at a Wagga Wagga farm in the midst of a heated debate over water. What Kevin Rudd Claim’s will help the Murray Darling River system and the Lower Lakes region has some farmers in the area fuming. Farmers and residents throughout the Murray Darling region have larger concerns over the Australian government’s 3.1 Billion Dollar irrigation buyback scheme. The Rudd government is reacting to reduced productivity in the area and increasing demand for irrigated water downstream. Yet, some local farmers are curious as to how the proposed plan will affect production in the area, and reports show that many aren’t feeling optimistic.Comments (9)
Compost, Conservation, DVDs/Books, Food Shortages, Fungi, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 8, 2010
Regeneration – an Earth
How biological farming builds healthier
soils, healthier plants, healthier animals
and certain hope in an uncertain world.
In a kind of army style ‘about-face’, society is increasingly turning away from the reductionist, extractive agriculture that rushed onto the world after WWII. Today people are, thankfully, realising that you cannot convert biodiverse natural systems into monocultures – into a factory floor environment – and expect success. With the soils that support all life on this planet getting rapidly eroded and diminished in critical organic matter, people are realising that farming is far more about biology than it is about chemistry, more about feeding the soil than feeding the plant, and are realising that our futures, our very survival, depends on our coming to grips with biological processes and learning to harness them.
I’ve just uploaded the new Regeneration – an Earth Saving Revolution DVD to our online store. This DVD examines the thoughts and work of some of the many individuals who are now leading the way forward in farming techniques that are simultaneously highly productive and entirely sustainable. It’s an inspiration-packed DVD that’s worth circulating to all.
Our survival now truly depends on how fast this kind of information can be made to pervade society at all levels, and how rapidly we can rebuild society to accommodate, integrate and harmonise with it.
Trailer to follow:Comments (7)
Conservation, Dams, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, News, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Patrick Blampied April 29, 2010
Last week Permaculture consultant Nick Huggins spoke to Anne Delaney from the ABC Riverina Breakfast radio program in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Listen here:
A backgrounder: Two Permaculture consultants, currently drought proofing a property in Livingstone, are calling for an end to the Australian Government’s water buy-back scheme, saying turning off the taps rather than helping farmers repair degraded landscape is selling the Riverina’s future short.Comments (9)
Conservation, Deforestation, Food Forests, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Trees, Waste Water — by Geoff Lawton April 27, 2010
Peter’s Lawton’s Rocket Pot and Rocket Rack system is an incredible new innovation in nursery systems.
I believe the Rocket Pot system is incredibly innovative, and the best nursery tree growing system that I have ever come across anywhere in the world. This system is something that I support because the trees grow healthier and more quickly, and with an abundant root zone. The roots actually grow in an untangled form, rapidly, in full sun, without the need for shade cloth or extra irrigation systems.Comments (1)
Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Land, Rehabilitation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Rob Avis April 16, 2010
Rob Avis, of Canada-based Verge Permaculture, explains how swales at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia work to re-hydrate the landscape and re-charge aquifers.Comments (5)
Conservation, Consumerism, Economics, Potable Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 12, 2010
Free Range Studios have been doing an outstanding job of boiling important topics down into user-friendly sound bites that encourage the viral spread of thought-provoking information. We’ve seen The Story of Stuff, The Story of Cap and Trade, and now I introduce you to the latest in the series – The Story of Bottled Water:
This might be hard for the average world citizen to understand, but I remember, after growing up in a land flowing with pristine water supplies (New Zealand) and then heading overseas, being rather surprised – even shocked – to be introduced to the concept of buying water. Coming from the heart of an island covered in stream- and river-laden mountains and valleys, the thought of surrendering my hard-earned cash for a bottle of water seemed obscene.
To me it was just one small step away from companies selling us the very air we need to breathe.Comments (3)
Please Get Behind Our Efforts to Demonstrate Sustainable Development and Relief for Chile Quake/Tsunami Victims
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Ethical Investment, Irrigation, Networking Sites, News, People Systems, Society, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Grifen Hope March 20, 2010
Editor’s Preamble: Permaculturists famously endeavour to ‘turn the problem into a solution’. At the moment we have a tremendous opportunity to apply this principle in wonderful, productive ways in disaster-hit Chile. The quake-tsunami combo that hit on February 27, 2010 has created a void just begging for sustainable relief and re-development. Grifen Hope, who writes below and who leads out at Ecoescuela El Manzano, a partner organisation to the Permaculture Research Institute, is well positioned to fill that void with all kinds of permaculture goodness – in the form of low-cost environmentally friendly buildings, improved sanitation and nutrient cycling through construction of composting toilets, water harvesting systems and in education in home garden design, etc. Grifen’s already established and successful project and his national contacts make this a particularly significant opportunity, to not only directly help people in great need at this time, but to also offer more holistic and community centred alternatives to local and national government – alternatives with far greater short and long term potential than those offered by the scores of contractors seeking to cash in on misery. PRI Australia feels so strongly about assisting Grifen with his noble ambitions, that we’re putting forward the first AU$1,000 donation. Both PRI Australia and PRI USA are taking donations for this cause (people in the U.S. will want to donate through PRI USA, to take advantage of their tax-exampt non-profit status). In the interests of transparency, PRI USA will take 5 percent of donations to cover administration and the work that had to be done to facilitate the legal aspects of sponsoring this project – but that 5% will help PRI USA develop its own projects). PRI Australia will pass 100% of donations to the project in Chile. Additionally, as we feel this work deserves significant exposure, and as we seek to ensure that valuable permaculture relief work gets noticed at the highest levels, to attract further governmental support for future disasters worldwide, PRI Australia and myself (Craig Mackintosh) will share the costs for myself to go to Chile to cover and report on Grifen’s work via photographs, writing and video. I would like to take this opportunity to ask people to get behind this in whatever way they can. Donations, large or small, will all assist in what is the very best form of aid work. Perhaps ask your employer to match your donation – many will. Additionally, people with contacts in government, aid agencies and other NGOs are invited to share this page with them. Thanks in advance to the worldwide permaculture community for getting behind this work. You never know – in the future you may be the recipient of such assistance.
Update: ‘Letters from Chile‘ reports from Craig are coming in. Check them out!
|Donate via PRI USA (USA residents)*
Other non-paypal methods of donating here
|Donate via PRI Australia (rest of world)*
Other non-paypal methods of donating here
|*Please be sure to click on the ‘Add special instructions to seller’ link, and then type ‘CHILE’ in the field provided, to ensure these fund are correctly diverted.|
El Manzano in Transition – Towards Community Resilience, by Design
by Grifen Hope of Ecoescuela El ManzanoComments (3)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Swales, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Patrick Blampied March 16, 2010
Swales hold and soak water that would otherwise get away without doing anything positive for your property. In fact it can cause problems – like soil erosion.
Swales are critical features in the design of any permaculture project but most of the applications you see on youtube are broad acre properties and many people might think that’s what they’re reserved for. Not true!
Small swales are very useful in urban gardens and can double as footpaths. Have a look at my video of Geoff Lawtons kitchen garden, which is a great example of how to improve your urban garden.
Much Love! PatComments (9)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, People Systems, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 6, 2010
Just as I was leaving Jordan, after making the Greening the Desert II update video, another little project was just getting underway – the Jawaseri School Garden project. A few people have emailed pictures of progress over the last few months and I’ve combined these with Geoff’s narration from the PRI home base in Australia, to give you all a bit of an idea what’s happening there. May it inspire you to do similar where you are!
Permaculture education should be in every school, everywhere. If it was, I believe most of the world’s problems could be solved within a decade.Comments (6)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Energy Systems, People Systems, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 16, 2010
Part VI of a series – If you haven’t already, please read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V before continuing. This series is part of my work for the Sustainable (R)evolution book project.
A coconut shell is an excellent, biodegradable planter.
The coir (husk fibre) is extracted and mixed with soil to become a potting mix
with particularly good water retention capacity (the fibre reduces evaporation).
All photographs © Craig Mackintosh
The world’s largest water harvesting earthworks has transformed Sri Lanka, or at least large parts of it, from aridity to lushness. This mainframe design provides biological resources that villagers can use to maximise biodiversity for personal and environmental health. In similar fashion the ‘mainframe design’ of the ‘invisible structures’ of Sarvodaya’s community network provide avenues for the free flow of permaculture information to help achieve this goal. The good news is that many villagers are making use of these resources and this potential, despite constant attempts by Big Agri to lure them, through offers of free product samples and demonstrations, into chemical dependency.Comments (12)
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Food Forests, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Material, Natural Swimming, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Kym Kruse January 9, 2010
The Mushroom Dam overlooking the beach area
It’s taken a while to find the time to sit down and report on Part B of our earthworks here at Rosella Waters, near Cairns in far North Queensland. Phase I Part A was documented whilst the process was taking place. This latest update however will rely on memory and hurried notes made during the process, together with numerous photos. Large excavations such as the two large dams we constructed in part A are considerably easier to direct and far less time consuming than the finer detail work using smaller machinery as we experienced in putting in Part B.Comments (6)
Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 5, 2010
India is a country where water shortages have become so acute that the failed monsoon rains in 2009 had people literally killing each other over buckets of water, and tensions are still rising. (See this video also.) In many places cities are receiving less than half the water their populations need to meet basic requirements, and the constant bickering between individual states often breaks down into violent clashes.Comments (1)