Posted by & filed under General.

by Rob Avis

Read Part I here!

Opportunity is about seeing things differently

What is amazing about permaculture is the number of solutions that are contained within the design system. I often say that the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) provides people with a solution matrix they can use to run their problems through. A lot of the time, these derived solutions are not considered in mainstream design professions. As an engineer, doing my PDC brought together a lot of disconnected concepts from school and the petroleum industry in a way that I had never considered before. Permaculture became hugely beneficial in shaping the way I saw design, and it is through this transformative lens that I now see the following niches and opportunities for new permaculture students.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Land, Plant Systems, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.


A close up of frost heaves

A common winter sight in most cold temperate regions are frost-heaves; areas of water-saturated soil that have been uplifted due to freezing.

Frost-heaving is generally regarded as an undesirable dynamic, because it evidences a lack of organic material or mulch capable of sheltering the soil (and it’s microinhabitants) from freezing.

However, on degraded and compacted sites, frost heaves are really a great opportunity for establishing vegetation which can ultimately protect and nurture soil life.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under GMOs, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

by GM Freeze

The European Union is considering a hugely significant change to the way genetically modified (GM) crops are authorised. Proposals for “national opt-outs” appear to allow individual countries to make their own decisions about whether or not to grow GM, but past experience shows that the risk of cross-border contamination is likely to make a nonsense of national bans.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under GMOs, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer, has been farming in Cornwall for nearly thirty years and has actively campaigned on behalf of family farmers for over fifteen years, travelling extensively in Europe, India, Canada and the USA.

In this short documentary he investigates the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA ten years after their introduction. He travels across the US interviewing farmers and other specialists about their experiences of growing GM.

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Trees.

Dedicated to the memory of Peter Brew 1954-2010


Classic bunya bunya canopy profile at the Bunya Mountains National Park

Equinox gift from the subtropics

It feels like a classic autumn break after a horrible gardening season with alternating cool and scorching hot dry conditions, insect plagues and disease. We’ve had a series of nice rains bringing the first germinating winter clovers, grasses and lush annuals that most people call weeds. It will soon be chestnut harvest time (if we can net some trees against the sulphur crested cockatoos). Soon we will be eating roast chestnuts for breakfast; a small but significant implementation of the permaculture vision of tree crop staples providing a larger part of diet to reduce dependence on wheat, potatoes and other annual staple crops that dominate world food supply.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

New research confirms that DNA fragments derived from meals, large enough to carry complete genes, can escape degradation and enter the human circulatory system, and so can RNA, raising serious concerns over new nucleic acids introduced into the human food chain via genetically modified organisms.

by Dr Mae-Wan Ho

A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here.

Food RNA gets into blood and so does DNA

We have alerted readers to research showing how tiny RNA molecules in food eaten can circulate in the bloodstream and turn genes off in the body [1], raising concerns over the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which introduce many novel and synthetic nucleic acids into the human food chain ([2] How Food Affects Genes, SiS 53). New research shows that pieces of DNA large enough to code for complete genes can also escape degradation in the gut and enter the human circulatory system, and the presence of circulating RNA from food is much more extensive and widespread.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Financial Management, Village Development.

by Rob Avis

I’ve been running Verge Permaculture for five years now, and before that worked as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. Starting a business was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I didn’t know if Verge was going to work out, if anyone would hire me or take my courses, or if I could really make a difference. Keeping these experiences in mind, I recently reached out to some of the best in the field to get their advice for those just starting out in permaculture, particularly around untapped opportunities and common barriers. We got responses from the following amazing people:


Adam Brock – The GrowHaus


Ben Falk – Whole Systems Design


Ethan Roland – Appleseed Permaculture


Geoff Lawton


Rhamis Kent


Richard Perkins – Ridgedale Permaculture

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Education Centres.

Here’s a typical morning pick of diverse vegetables from the main crop at Zaytuna Farm — today it’s potato, amaranth, spinach, turnip, carrot, long red radish, snow peas, silver beet, sweet root, cassava, arrow root, rocket, Egyptian mustard, turmeric, lettuce, Ethiopian cabbage, daikon radish, beetroot, bok choy, yellow cherry tomato, sweet potato, zucchini and taro.

This is nutrient dense super-food — with zero food miles and zero food guilt.

You are what you eat and it’s even better if it is what you grow.

Read more »