Posted by & filed under General, Soil, Soil Conservation.

By Cheri‐Lynn McCabe and Sandra Bartram


Photograph courtesy of Lexicon of Sustainability (

“If we as human beings are to continue to live on this planet we have to stop destroying her.” –Dr. Elaine Ingham Montreal 2015

Historically, soils have not received the respect nor the attention they deserve. Mechanical and biological processes have not been as well understood as they need to be because the green revolution has masked the severity of the crisis. Ironically, the green revolution was the period of time in the twentieth century during which crop yields were dramatically increased through the use of chemicals and high‐yield cropping. In addition, the degradation of soils through nutrient loss, infertility, increased salinity, erosion and desertification has been identified by the United Nations as one of the most serious threats facing humanity today. Healthy soils are as essential as clean air and water, and protecting these basic elements should be the foundation of all sustainability policies. Globally, plants provide, either directly or indirectly, 99.7% of all food calories for the planet.1 Soil conservation and management should be the top priority of all nations, and appropriately the UN has designated 2015 as the International Year of Soils.

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Posted by & filed under General, Soil, Soil Conservation.


Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison to soil loss. So why don’t we talk about it?

Imagine a wonderful world, a planet on which there was no threat of climate breakdown, no loss of freshwater, no antibiotic resistance, no obesity crisis, no terrorism, no war. Surely, then, we would be out of major danger? Sorry. Even if everything else were miraculously fixed, we’re knackered if we don’t address an issue considered so marginal and irrelevant that you can go for months without seeing it in a newspaper.

It’s literally and – it seems – metaphorically, beneath us. To judge by its absence from the media, most journalists consider it unworthy of consideration. But all human life depends on it. We knew this long ago, but somehow it has been forgotten. As a Sanscrit text written in around 1500 BC noted, “Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it”.

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Posted by & filed under General, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.


It’ such a key part of our lives – indeed, all of life – that it can be said to be quite literally elementary; but much of the way in which this vital force is being used appears sometimes to lack some understanding of what water is, and how it behaves.

A Fragile Resource?

Much of current thinking (see for example 1) emphasises the fragility of our access to water and the dangers of using too much of it.

“Save water,” we are told; the implication being “This is a finite resource – be careful of using it up!”

This notion of scarcity and wastefulness is akin to the perception of fossil fuels and their use, but when examined closely it can be seen that as a resource water behaves somewhat differently.

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Posted by & filed under General.


I have seen on Ted, about Allan Savory, then the photos Before/After about holistic management, that make me feel better.

By miraculous chance, I discovered those articles on PRI written by Dan Palmer about holistic management.

Therefore I started to work on those articles. I studied, summarized, in a mind map way, all the questions I’ll have to ask myself to define my holistic context : The Savory way, and the Palmer way. At this time, I was understanding that I was very interested and at the same time, I was struggling on two points.

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Posted by & filed under General.

004 gardens at honeycomb valley farm rosella patch

We are seeking expressions of interest from an individual/s interested in setting up their own organic, permaculture or biodynamic market garden business/s within Honeycomb Valley Farm, Nabiac, NSW.

We have land available (initially 3 acres to 15 acres of the 90 acre farm with potential for more – this is a separate area to where tourists currently enjoy established gardens) plus water from a 3 megalitre dam available for nominal lease for a person/people/group who would like to run their own professional organic market garden business/s from the farm. We also have some equipment available for agreed usage cost eg: small Kubota 26hp with detachable bucket & rotary hoe.

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Posted by & filed under Medicinal Plants, Plants.


Chamomile Bunches

It has crept up on us slowly, perhaps without the initial intentions of what we are now left with: prescription medicine. Medicine, for all of the valuable attributes it provides, has been an equally destructive force. Like the chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture, the onslaught of fix-it-all antibiotics and a pills-over-health mentality has put us in more need of more and stronger medicines to combat the highly involved bacteria, infections, diseases and viruses.

Why is it that, in a time when technology has advanced so far, there are notable escalations in allergies and chronic diseases, namely in the first world? It’s counterintuitive, and many of us out here in the real world are catching wind of what may be the cause: Too much technology. Food, once believed to be a health promoter, has become a detriment. Medicine, once believed to be curative, often comes with so many side effects it hardly seems worth “getting better”.

And, herein may lie the answer, an old adage that seems to be cropping up more and more frequently these days: Let food be thy medicine. Of course, it starts with prevention, a daily dose of fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (and minus the excess sodium, syrup and processing), to have healthy immune systems. Thus, in our permaculture gardens, we are growing quality, organic food, thick with nutrients that they’ve gotten from the rich soils we create. It’s a good start.

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Posted by & filed under Community, General.

Imagine a place that people can go to get through their problems and prepare their selves to restart a new life. Imagine that these process includes learning a permacultural way of understanding the reality. That’s what ARCAH’s project is working to reach in a therapeutic community (CT) SP- Brazil.


View of our permacultural yard in the CT

ARCAH is a Brazilian NGO who’s vision is to be efficient and to offer quality support to social projects and business focused on the reduction and, where possible, eradication of homelessness through programs developed from productive occupational therapy on self-sustainable farms.

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Posted by & filed under Economics, Energy Systems, General.


Zaytuna Farms Solar Panels on the Shed Roof

My Intentions in writing this article are to share with you my personal experiences of ten years of research as a consumer and a potential customer, just wanting to do the right thing for the earth when it comes to having a cold beer and a cool house while living in Sydney by supplying my property with a renewable energy source in the traditional manner; that is, using small roof top P.V solar arrays and a Bi-Directional, grid feed inverter.

Now as any good permaculture teacher would say to most questions you throw at them, I am about to answer this question in the same manner;

Q. Is going solar the best thing for the earth when it comes to my power needs? A. “Well it all depends – on the weather; wether you do or wether you don’t !”

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