Apple Turnover

Apple offers 21st Century technology – with 19th Century ethics. Bangka Island (Source) Are you excited by the launch of Apple’s new iPhones? Have you decided to get one? Do you have any idea what you’re buying? If so, you’re on your own. When asked where it obtains its minerals, Apple, which has done so much to persuade us that it is deft, cool and responsive, looks arrogant, lumbering and […]

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Nitrogen-fixing for All Crops Not the Answer

Editor’s Note: A couple of months ago, I sent this link to Dr. Mae-Wan Ho to see if she had thoughts on the news from the University of Nottingham that they had found a way to manipulate plants so they can take nitrogen directly out of the atmosphere — bypassing the ‘need’ for chemical fertilisers. It has been hailed as a "ground breaking" solution to solving environmental problems and hunger. […]

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The Backwards Forest Garden

the backwards forest garden feat

Walking Backwards into the Forest. Photo by David Ashwanden For a huge number of permaculture enthusiasts, the places where we live are not nearly wild enough. When it comes to paved yards, rigidly laid-out fields and neatly weed-free lawns the reaction can be quite a radical pull in the other direction as we try to re-weave together our “civilised” cultures with the half-forgotten but still ever-present naked forces of nature.

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Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia, for August 2013

Editor’s Note: I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Susan for taking the initiative for this excellent series, and, I’d also like to second Susan’s request for volunteers to continue it! There may also be individuals who would like to start a similar series for other climate zones. Either way, you’re encouraged to contact Susan, as outlined below, to find out how to proceed. This is the late Winter […]

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Marla Spivak: Why Bees Are Disappearing

Back in 2007, when the words ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ first hit the media spotlight, I wrote an article that sought to steer through all the reductionist scientific responses — where scientists and the public sought silver bullet solutions by trying to pinpoint a single cause for the mysterious and globally widespread disappearance of millions of bees — to share my thoughts that CCD was not caused by just a single […]

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OrBio – a Cover Crop Strategy for Market Gardens

A bug’s eye view of the sky, from a stand of cover crop Photo © Craig Mackintosh A recent post by Australian permaculture aid worker, Miles Durand, writing from Lesotho, reminded me to share a method of growing vegetable crops alongside cover crops that I learned when I studied organic biological horticulture many years ago. In the context of the holistic soil science and natural pest control studies I was […]

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Soil, not Dirt – Dr Elaine Ingham Talks Soil Microbiology

Dr. Elaine Ingham talks about soil fertility and the role of soil microbial life. Dr. Ingham is a world-renowned soil biologist who pioneered many of the currently used biological soil amendment techniques and pioneered the testing of soil microbial life as an indicator of soil and plant health. Dr. Ingham is the Chief Scientist at the Rodale Institute. She is the founder of the Sustainable Studies Institute and the Soil […]

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Law of the Landed

A remarkable “mistake” by the police hints at who wields power in the UK. by George Monbiot Who runs this country? It’s a question every voter should ask themselves. Look at the revelations about the mass surveillance of citizens by GCHQ and the US National Security Agency; the exposure of the intimate relationships between Rupert Murdoch’s companies, the police and the government; the failure to rein in the excesses of […]

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Holistic Management Survey

Allan Savory’s recent TED talk has brought much publicity to Holistic Management, and a lot of conversation around this management framework and its impact on the land and its stewards. Holistic Management offers the prospect of much improved land management, with benefits for food production, biodiversity and even the stability of the global climate, while halting and reversing desertification. There has been an outpouring of support from HM practitioners and […]

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Pricing the Priceless

The market has not solved the problem of power: it has simply given it another name. by George Monbiot On this we can agree: the relationship between people and the natural world is broken. We fail to value the systems that keep us alive. We treat both natural resources and the biosphere’s capacity to absorb our waste as if they were worth nothing. The obvious answer is to place a […]

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Healing the Planet Through Photosynthesis and Carbon Sequestration

If we implement wise geoengineering, even eating meat could help tackle the backlog of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon depleted soil, at left, compared to a carbon rich soil, at right. Eating meat is bad for the planet, right? That hamburger you’re contemplating for lunch comes from a cow that, most likely, was raised within the industrial agriculture system. Which means it was fed huge amounts of corn that […]

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