Cold Comfort

In which the author recounts a chilling and idiotic brush with death. by George Monbiot It was a beautiful morning, a Saturday in October, and I was having tea with my next-door neighbour. We began talking – for this was almost 20 years ago – about the road the government was intending to build around the town of Newbury, some 30 miles away. When the machinery moved in, we planned […]

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Cold Climate Permaculture Video

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A lot of people wonder if they can apply Permaculture design to their farm if they live in a cold climate. When Geoff Lawton visited Ben Falk’s farm in Vermont earlier this year, he saw the fruit of good permaculture design when applied with skillful observation. The end result is a beautiful, cold climate permaculture paradise. Ben’s farm is a wonderful place to walk through and to visit. Fish rise […]

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How Goats Built My Food Forest and Gave Me Fuel for My Rocket Stove


When Geoff Lawton told me that he had discovered a novel way to use goats to design his food forest, it seemed a most unlikely idea. In fact I was a little skeptical. Were the goats replacing the work of his interns? Did he manage to train his goats to work with axes and cut down trees? This was something I’d like to see. “No, nothing like that.” explained Geoff, […]

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Are We Using Invasive Species? (Kyrgyzstan)

The rabbit has been an invasive species all across the globe for over 2000 years, but is most commonly known as a pest in Australia. Image courtesy of J.J. Harrison (creative commons) In agriculture we often have to ask ourselves a very serious question. Are we planting invasive species? This question deals with some incredibly important scenarios. Over the past few centuries humans have unintentionally done some pretty serious damage […]

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Help This Farmer Stop Monsanto’s GM Canola

You might not have heard of Steve Marsh yet but this man could lose everything to protect your right to eat GM-free food. Who is Steve Marsh? Steve Marsh is an Australian farmer who lost his organic certification when Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) canola blew onto his farm from a neighbouring property in 2010. Since then, Steve lost most of his income and has been struggling to get his organic […]

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Philosophy and Science – Or The Gospel According to Popper

by Nancy Swanson, Ph.D. Physics, Florida State University Science and philosophy have historically been intertwined; science was developed as a discipline in an attempt to answer some basic philosophical questions. These are: How do we know that there is anything “out there” independent from our subjective experience? And What is real (or true)? The astute reader may have noticed that other disciplines have also set about answering these questions. They […]

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Invest in Humanity (video)

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In this compelling video montage (an artistic blend of TED talks, Burning Man, Samsara and others) Tim Jackson redefines our understanding of investment. It is an invitation to embrace a new form of economy; one bridging our shared past with our common future. In Tim’s words, "prosperity is a shared endeavor" and it requires first that we understand the essence of being fully human.

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Regenerating Rusinga Project – Helping RIOFA Go ‘Boom’ (Kenya)

Julie lives on Rusinga Island. She is a woman, a mother, a farmer and a widow. Her husband died in 2002, leaving her with a half built house, with only rough walls and no roof. Though her children were well educated they did not manage to find a job and were unable to support their mother. Eleven years on Julie still lives in the shell of a house — just […]

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

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We just harvested over 20,000 gallons of ice and snow melt into our swales. 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 gently soaked into […]

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A Bicycle-Powered Water Pump (Malawi, Africa)

Sitting quietly at Butterfly, on the shores of Lake Malawi, it always struck me as odd when I would hear of people in the U.K. and the ‘leisure time’ they allotted themselves to keep fit. I found it stranger when people would want to do it while here on holiday, but each to their own. Living in a place like Malawi for over ten years you see the amount of […]

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My Visit to PRI Zaytuna Farm


After studying and working with Permaculture in Mexico for the last four years of my life, it was an honour to be able to visit Zaytuna Farm for the first time — the home of the Permaculture Research Institute Zaytuna Farm, Australia. The visit was in the month of August, 2013, which had really nice weather during the day and was quite cool at night. Despite being in the sub-tropics, […]

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A Permaculture Design Course in Malawi (March, 2014)

When: March 17th-29th, 2014 Where: Nkhata Bay, Malawi, Africa Venue: Butterfly Space Facilitator: Lisa Swennen Cost: $600 USD Click here to find out more and to book!

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