Posted by & filed under Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation.

The Stockholm Environment Institute conducted experiments and collected data that shows the usefulness of a resource every one of us has access to — urine. When utilized as a fertilizer, urine can provide an alternative to chemical fertilizers. The impacts ripple far beyond the nutrient value of the urine; in developing regions, diverting a urine waste stream to fertilizer has a significant economic value. These benefits can easily be recognized at the individual level, and scale all the way up to industrial operations.

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Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Trees.

I thought I’d share this excellent, growing resource on edible plants for specific regions.

At time of writing the Learn Grow project has created comprehensive plant list info for the following regions:

In addition, the site has two disks available that should be of direct interest to Australian permaculturists:

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Posted by & filed under Presentations/Demonstrations.

Do you wonder about the future? Yours? Your children’s? Your grandchildren’s?

Hear Ted Trainer speak on the issues that matter.

Free ~ Free ~ Free ~ Free

Where: Mulubinba Room, City Hall, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
When: 3.30 p.m. Tuesday 29 November 2011
Who: Ted Trainer

Ted Trainer is author of The Simpler Way; The Conserver Society; Abandon affluence, etc. Ted will speak on the current unsustainable economic system, its effects on society and how we may turn this around before it’s too late.

As a teaser, see an article on this site from Ted here: Can Permaculture Save the World???

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease.

Some of you will have seen the sensational ‘news’ that the New Zealand government is planning to introduce a law that "takes away the human right to grow food". Hopefully you’ll also realise that good ‘ol everything-is-a-conspiracy Alex Jones, who has the Infowars site where the above-linked article has been posted, has a very strong tendency to instantly hop on anything that’ll make a headline, without too much investigation….

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Society, Trees.

Save Ferris! Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was a 1986 movie about a teenager, his girlfriend and best mate — all of whom were just about to finish high school and enter the adult world. It represented for them a moment in time; a very hedonistic look into their lives for just one day, where responsibility and long term planning were dismissed. I’ve always felt that it captured the spirit of the times of 1986, which also, by a strange coincidence, was the time of Morning in America, Ronald Reagan and the return of cheap energy for industrial countries. The question that I would like to know, whilst hedonism is fun, is it responsible and sustainable?

As a bit of background, I was born in the early 1970s and during the first two decades of my life, fruit tasted, well, like fruit, regardless of where it was purchased. However, slowly things started to change. Supermarket fruit stopped tasting like fruit should and started tasting like water. At about this time, I stopped buying fruit at the supermarket and moved onto the city markets. Melbourne is lucky to have the Queen Victoria Market just on the edge of its CBD (as well as a few other inner city markets) which sell fresh fruit and vegetables. Nice. It was all sorted, fruit tasted like fruit should again. However, it was not to be that way for long!

Over time the market fruit also started to taste bland and I started to get desperate for tasty fruit. I began visiting and purchasing direct from commercial orchards on the eastern edge of the city. The joke was on me because these were the same people who were selling to the wholesale markets who then on-sold that same fruit to the retail markets! It was the same fruit! I was simply cutting out the middle men. This is when I started to understand that the change was because of economics, as fruit was paid for by weight and not by quality.

So, what the heck, I gave up and started growing my own fruit.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Medicinal Plants, Seeds.

The Hemp Farm is the world’s first public demonstration, education and working farm growing low-THC industrial hemp.

Based on the North Coast of NSW (Byron Bay), the hemp farm is dedicated to the many uses of this estranged plant. Grown under Government license, hemp does not contain psychoactive quantities of the drug ingredient.

The benefits of growing hemp fit with permaculture principles. Hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides, can clean up waste water (of which it does not require much) and offers many uses from both its stem and seed.

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Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, For Sale, Medicinal Plants.

Refractometers are used for quite a lot of things — drug diagnosis, gemology, veterinary medicine, aquarium upkeep and farming.

In gardens and farming it is an all-in-one tool that can be used to test the health of your crops, via a brix rating system. A refractometer uses refractive light passing through plant sap or fruit or vegetable juice to take a reading of nutrient levels. A high rating is good news for your crops — they should be healthy, disease and pest resistant, high in nutritional value and you’re likely to have a good harvest. A low rating means that your crop will not grow to its potential due to some external limiting factor, such as: a dilution of its nutrients due to high nitrate content, a mineral imbalance in the soil allowing weeds to flourish and take from your harvest, a low calcium content in the soil or a low/steady boron reading indicating an issue with the translocation of sugars within the plant.

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Posted by & filed under Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson

This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape.

If you were one of the early explorers, walking into a wide floodplain system in the early 1800s, more than likely you would have found some form of discontinuous watercourse. One example is known as a ‘chain of ponds’, in which you’d find small bodies of open water, about a metre below the level of the floodplain, held in place and separated from the next pond by a marshy plug of reeds such as Phragmites.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Our intern program is centred around learning by doing. Here at Mulloon Creek Natural Farms there’s a great mix of both the established bread and butter commercial operations, as well as a lot of innovative development that’s taking place over the coming years within our ecological agricultural practices. If you’re interested in the large-scale design and implementation side of landscape health within a productive farm environment, be sure to visit our website to find out more.

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

by Delvin Solkinson, Ali Ma and Tamara Griffiths

It was a beautiful day on this conscious community land. Kangaroos bounced by the window while all manner of tropical birds celebrated the sun with a chorus of beautifully orchestrated songs. We are staying in a bunkhouse which is clean and comfortable despite massive spiders that seem to go unnoticed by the locals.

Stumbling down to the common building we find a spread of delicious fruit, breads and spreads, tea, coffee and cereals. The day begins with a check in — we are all asked what kind of tree we felt like! Robin has us do a very interesting revision process where we all write memories of yesterday on small scraps of paper. On the floor she places cups symbolizing breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner and we all place our little papers across the board in a representation of the day and when things happened. It’s amazing to see so many memory fragments spread out across the floor. This also gives us a sense of the highlights as things like our incredible thai dinner the night before are celebrated by many different scraps of paper.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Developments.


The ‘after map’ design — does not resemble the actual implementation

This is an update on my recent post on new school projects here in Ethiopia. We visited Karat Primary School again as a group on Friday 28th October 2011. The group comprised Alex McCausland, Tichafa Makovere, Rhamis Kent (an international permaculture trainer accredited by the PRI Australia) and five permaculture students; two Ethiopians from Fiche, North Shoa, two Mexicans and one American, who were participating on an international Permaculture Design Certificate course at SFEL.

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