7 Perennial Shrubs and Trees with Edible Leaves

Mulberry Tree (Courtesy of Vivian Evans)

Mama always insisted I eat something green. I think a lot of moms are that way. Frankly, now, some thirty-odd years later, I’m quite thankful to her for teaching me to appreciate a variety of flavors and textures for making sure I stayed on the healthy straight and narrow. As an adult, I don’t find it difficult or disconcerting to try new foods, but in fact, it’s exciting. Eating leaves […]

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What is a Rocket Mass Heater?

What is a Rocket Mass Heater?

The experts on all things rocket mass heaters, Ernie and Erica Wisner, are back with their latest book on rocket mass heaters. The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide will show you from start to finish how to build a rocket mass heater. This book details all of the ins and outs of the rocket mass heater design that Ernie and Erica have perfected, and shows how the most cost effective […]

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Geoff Lawton, Murujan Permaculture Design, and Taman Pertanian Kuantan Park

Geoff Lawton, Murujan Permaculture Design, and Taman Pertanian Kuantan Park

Can a nearly 300 acre park, damaged by poor maintenance and environmental factors be brought back to life with permaculture? Geoff Lawton goes to Malaysia to help make it happen. Taman Pertania Kuantan today is a heart breaking example of how a shared community space can become damaged by lack of care and lack of knowledge. The state-owned park was long a favourite place for residents to gather, and it’s […]

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Intercropping: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why We Do It

Strip Intercropping (Courtesy of Oregon State University)

Get into permaculture and within no time an entire field of jargon is sprouting up around you, and while it can be exciting to have all these new ideas to ponder and play with, it can also be a bit intimidating…bewildering…intense. Well, at some point or another we’ve all felt that way, but even so, it’s time to talk about one of those mysterious terms: intercropping. In order to have […]

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What Are Soil pH Testing Kits and Why They Are An Invaluable Tool

What Are Soil pH Testing Kits and Why They Are An Invaluable Tool

What are soil pH testing kits? Why are they useful? In this article we will discuss why a soil pH testing kit is invaluable for agriculture. We will also discuss how to use the data you get from soil pH testing to help you maximise your yield and make your crops healthier. Why soil pH is important in food production Before we discuss how soil pH testing kits work, first […]

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Heat Your Home with Less Wood

rmh-tipi-pri

Another year, another blink of an eye, and summer has already evaporated. As the wildflowers begin to thin and the days start to shorten, autumn will be marching breathlessly to our doors in the coming month, with winter hot on her heels. I know you’ve enjoyed your summer – your tan lines are still fresh, your garden is lush and fruiting – I know you don’t want to let go, […]

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How To Grow A Forest In Your Backyard

How To Grow A Forest In Your Backyard

Forests don’t have to be far-flung nature reserves, isolated from human life. Instead, we can grow them right where we are — even in cities. Eco-entrepreneur and TED Fellow Shubhendu Sharma grows ultra-dense, biodiverse mini-forests of native species in urban areas by engineering soil, microbes and biomass to kickstart natural growth processes. Follow along as he describes how to grow a 100-year-old forest in just 10 years, and learn how […]

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Less is More & The Pursuit of Happiness

Less is More & The Pursuit of Happiness

In my first post, The Mark of the Baby Boomers: The Internet and Drought, I confessed to being a boomer myself, and to having a joint responsibility for the state of the planet. I promised to share ideas about ensuring the survival of the planet. This is what I hope to do here, but first another confession. When I read all the other posts on this website, I feel out […]

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Vandana Shiva on Einstein’s Influence and Organic Soil

Vandana Shiva on Einstein’s Influence and Organic Soil

In a sneak preview of a film that Dr Shiva has been working on recently, Dr. Vandana Shiva discuss’s her interest in science, as inspired by Albert Einstein.

Traditional seeds have more nutrients as they are bred for nutrients. They are bred by the communities who will eat them. When industry enters the picture on seed, it has an opposite idea. – Dr. Vandana Shiva

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How to Harvest Enough Dry Beans and Other Legumes to Feed a Family

Scarlet Runner Beans

I’ve been growing beans now for a while. They are a big part of my diet, and the nitrogen-fixing bacteria many legumes (not just beans) have are a huge factor of garden design. It’s common practice for me to simply plant a load of beans and peas as soon as a bed is made, both to chop-and-drop but also to pull a good harvest from the first planting. Something I’m […]

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Mastering Farming Even Before Humans

Mastering Farming Even Before Humans feat

Humans are not the first species to farm on Earth. Nor are they the first species to have taken agriculture to industrial scale to feed millions. Three species from the insect world have been farming fungi from the last 20-65 million years. Ants, termites and ambrosia beetles are the first species to have mastered the ability to harvest food from crops and farming is so close to their heart that […]

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Nitrogen Fixing Species for Agroforestry Systems

Caragana-arborescens-feature

I am currently working on a Regenerative Landscape Design for a site in Todorovo, Bulgaria. The plan is to establish an Agroforestry system known as Alley Cropping wherein rows of mixed species edible trees and shrubs are planted at intervals with spaces for herbs, forage and/or grain crops to be grown in between. It’s a dynamic system which is inherently diverse, providing multiple yields and excellent habitat for wildlife while at the same time being relatively resilient to a changing climate.

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