Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres.

Grow food, repair land, build community. Join PRI Certified Permaculture Teacher Kenton Zerbin for a 72 hour Permaculture Design Course which will empower you to create systems of abundance!

Paying $1000 to our Kickstarter campaign gets you a place on this PDC!

Learn how to design and create efficient and resilient gardens that feed, homes that meet your needs, and businesses that thrive; on-the-ground practical knowledge and skills for self-sufficiency and inter-dependency!

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Market prices, grower input costs, the weather and rainfall are beyond the control of individual farmers, but the single biggest resource that they can manage in order to continue to reap the benefits from is the soil. – Dr Elaine Ingham

World leading authority on regenerative agricultural production, soil microbiologist Dr Elaine Ingham, will conduct a complete Soil Food Web Course Online that starts on September 15th, 2014

Click Here for Registration Details

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Posted by & filed under Conferences, Social Gatherings.

by Daniel Halsey

North America’s first convergence may not have had the flash of a renaissance festival, but the content of the presentations and conversations eclipsed even the intermittent thunderstorms and driving rain. Brilliant minds, diplomatic discourse, and energy.

The 2014 North American convergence was held at Harmony Park in southern Minnesota, USA. Attendees at the convergence were treated to an early and intense thunderstorm and tornado watch, as is the common practice in Minnesota for any outdoor event in summer. Sunny and fresh cool mornings welcomed everybody to the day’s events (and to dry out their tents).

Harmony Park is an oak savannah and wetland in the midst of the upper midwest agricultural landscape. Just off the interstate highway, attendees had a 90-minute commute from the airport or train station. Many drove from the coasts and from as far south as Texas. Most states were represented and we even broke off into groups at one point to build regional communication.

Permaculturists from Mexico, Canada, and some folks from India, Germany and Norway also attended.

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Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, News.

Growstuff, a website for backyard vegetable gardeners created by Australian software developer Alex Bayley, has launched a campaign to provide open data for food growers worldwide.

With interest in home-grown food on the rise —  a recent study found 52% of Australian households grow some of their own food and 13% more are planning to start, with similar growth reported in other countries — Growstuff looks set to become an important resource.

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Posted by & filed under General.

Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster and name it Laniakea, which means ‘immeasurable heaven’ in Hawaiian.

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Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Village Development.

A view of Rancho Mastatal through the Zone 1 gardens

I’ve had the opportunity to become of one the co-directors for the Rancho Mastatal Sustainable Education Center in Costa Rica over the last five years. It is now my primary home and where I practice and teach permaculture design. The site and all that it encompasses present an established model for groups and individuals interested in building permaculture-based education/demonstration centers. I hope this graphically inclined article can serve as an introduction to this work and a base for future articles detailing our successes, challenges, ideas, and projects.

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Posted by & filed under Health & Disease, Peak Oil, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

by Julie Wilson, Natural News

Earlier this month, scientists presented groundbreaking research at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) 248th National Meeting and Exposition regarding the potential dangers of hydraulic fracking.

The meeting featured nearly 12,000 presentations on a range of scientific topics. A team of researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of the Pacific disclosed information they obtained from reviewing the contents used in the hydraulic fracking process.

Led by William Stringfellow, Ph.D., the study’s results raised concerns about several ingredients used in the controversial drilling process. Stringfellow conducted the review in hopes of solving public debate over the controversial drilling.

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Posted by & filed under Design.

What is often left out in much of permaculture teaching is the "how to install the design". And not only what that entails, but steps in how to do it. It is most manageable when the design is implemented in stages (you cannot put the electrical systems into a building without the mainframe support in), and should build upon each other. As well, it is wise to note that it is possible for some of the later steps to be started in earlier stages — this is encouraged when possible.

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Posted by & filed under Insects.

Note: If you haven’t already done so, you can read Part I here.

Worker pupae

Hold on to your hats, ‘cause this story contains awesome parenting, sexual suppression, and murderous rampages!

A honeybee egg hatches after three days, and then emerges a tiny white larva that is completely helpless. It is meticulously cared for by its older sisters, who feed it a protein rich substance called royal jelly, from a special gland in their head. All bee babies get the same food for the first three days, and then an interesting phenomenon happens as the bees use nutrition to manipulate the development of workers vs. new queens.

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Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

One of the most exciting parts of taking the reins to a hectare of lakeside land in Panama was planning just exactly what kind of experimenting was going to be on order. We knew there would be a food forest. We knew there’d be a vegetable garden, fresh herbs, and lots of very dense clay soil with which to contend. Much of the space was steep hillsides, but at the bottom of those slopes sat a nice little swath of land that had already been dotted with plantains (the banana-like fruit, not the weed) and yucca. Beyond that, there was a lot of canvas to play with.

So, my wife Emma and I got out our notebooks and started sketching, putting this here, that there, and whittling out spots for all of the different types of no-till/one-till beds we’d discovered over the last half-year (from volunteering on farms). Some of the designs we’d only read about; some of them we’d helped to build. All of them were a step away from conventional garden rows. All of them were chosen with concern for the ground we were working — not being the most fertile we’d ever seen.

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