Join author and educator Eric Toensmeier and friends for a hands-on and fun-filled weekend of Edible Forest Gardening (EFG) – gardens which mimic the structures and functions of natural ecosystems while producing food and other products, with an emphasis on low-maintenance perennial crops. Our learning and design exercises will be informed by our site, a homestead rich in gardens, young food forests and a plant nursery specializing in native and permaculture species regeneratively grown.
In any attempt to comprehend a puzzle, or choose a new path forward, the first requirement is to see and comprehend each of the possibilities. We wish to bring to the attention of the energy community a potential food and biomass energy paradigm, previously unknown, to your considerations.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
I have long seen the Countryside Alliance as a neo-feudal organisation, run by the landowning class and resentful of the intrusions of democracy upon its traditional privileges.
The Alliance, whose board is populated by dukes, lords and baronesses, asserts the right of its members to kill what they want and how they want. When anyone objects, it characterises the objection as the oppression of rural people by urbanites. In reality, rural opinion on these and other matters is diverse and divided, while many of the most ardent killers (who spend a fortune on shooting grouse, stags and driven pheasants) make their money in the City and other parts of the urban economy. This is not a clash between rural and urban values, but a clash between aristocratic and democratic values.
The Apios Institute for Regenerative Perennial Agriculture has spent several years developing a user–generated resource on food forests. Users can add content on species, polycultures, and sites. This content ranges from videos, text, recipes, and photos, and emphasizes personal experience or direct observation of species in other gardens and the wild. Thus far we have focused on cold climates, but we are working on building our system to include (over time) all the world’s climates. We have pilot tested a version in Spanish for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.
Now I will share with you my Beautiful Gardens with Little Work method, so you can enjoy a nice garden — and one that does not require your throwing a lot of chemicals, fertilizers and a ton of money at it in order for it to thrive.
Beautiful gardens are often created by designers and use exotic plants that need special soil and a lot of chemicals and fertilizers to look good. Without these inputs, if you are lucky enough for your exotic plants to survive at all, it will likely be little more than a green (or brownish) shrub, with few or no flowers.
Frequently, beautiful flowers only bloom because of chemicals. If you don’t add these to the soil (or leaves), plants will refuse to give you any bloom, and you will see only green, or the feared brown of an unhappy plant. Therefore, you will have to spend a lot, poison your soil and be aware at all times about the needs of your plants.
So, how can we get beautiful gardens without spending a lot of money, time and effort? Read on.
In the early spring of 2012, U.S. farmers were on their way to planting some 96 million acres in corn, the most in 75 years. A warm early spring got the crop off to a great start. Analysts were predicting the largest corn harvest on record.
Participation in Permaculture is a web survey designed to help us learn about who is doing permaculture, how we are participating, and how it’s affecting our lives and landscapes. It’s part of a emerging phenomenon: doing research to systematically track and assess our impacts.
Holmgren and Mollison broke up with institutional science back when they forged the permaculture perspective and birthed a movement. They had good reasons for doing so — in the 1970s, there was virtually no scientific research to support the practical proposals they were making. Science wasn’t ready.
For the past 34 years, permaculture has largely stayed on the track of an independent grassroots movement. If you search the massive databases of peer-reviewed scientific literature, there is almost (but not quite) zero mention of permaculture. That’s not a criticism of permaculture’s history — we’ve been busy growing a movement, project by project.
But the separation between permaculture and science is becoming more and more arbitrary and unnecessary. Over the past three decades, parallel disciplines to permaculture have emerged and matured within the scientific community: agroecology, agroforestry, ecological waste and water treatment, resilience science, participatory research methods, and much more. All of these approaches have accumulated an invaluable and impressive body of empirical research and theory. Science is ready. Now we need to show up.
We now stock rain gauges of three different sizes, the Australian RainMaxx Rain Gauge System, from 90ml to 150ml to the large 280ml rain gauge.
These are essential tools for gauging one’s rainfall when monitoring the establishment of a permaculture project. All sites need a rain gauge so that you can carefully assess the amount of rain that you get over a period of time.
In some of the more arid regions it is essential that you know how much rain occurs and how quickly that rain arrives as in some of the desert regions of the world the bulk of the rain arrives in a small amount of time, with large rainfalls once or twice a year. It is essential to have these recorded so that you can carefully assess your expected growth rates and establishment phases — it’s an important part of making judgments on how quickly you can move forward with your pioneering systems and the results that can be expected. It is one of the best assessment tools that a permaculture practitioner can use to gauge their research results.
Whether you are actually timing your tree planting period or gauging your window of opportunity to establish a cover crop when pioneering a food crop or food forest, these instruments are very simple yet extremely essential for people everywhere to take their rain readings to be recorded in a diary along with the crop / harvest results and system establishment research photographs.
The Australian federal government has issued a green paper on a National Food Plan for public consultation, which will include a series of public meetings in various places over the next several weeks, until September 30, 2012.
This is an excellent opportunity for permaculturists, localvores, agro-ecologists, etc., to get their message across and help ensure that it’s not just the big corporations who shape Australia’s food future (to their own disastrous ends).
Inset, at right, is the full Green Paper, and here is a summary. You’ll see that the focus is on dollars and exports, rather than sustainable peak-oil-generation resilience.
There are several ways you can give input on this topic. Find our more here, and register for a meeting near you here.
Please share this page, and encourage as many lucid souls as you can to get involved and breathe some sanity into Australia’s food future.
I’ve often seen people sign off their emails with "Peace, love and permaculture". Central to permaculture concepts is an anti-war message. Sustainable prosperity can equal peace. This video, complete with cameo appearances from Geoff Lawton and snippets of our DVDs, tells us that more and more people see this connection.
A couple of years ago whilst shooting the Food Forest DVD with Geoff Lawton he remarked how “only on edges do we get fertility” or words to that effect. At the time that phrase didn’t really make much sense to me but when you stop and think for a moment how nature creates soil, those words begin to ring true.