Restoring Heavy Metal Contaminated Soils Using Compost

Restoring Heavy Metal Contaminated Soils Using Compost feat

Metals become contaminants when their amounts in soil, reach levels that are toxic to human life, plants or other biological organisms. This creates a need for soil remediation. Remediation is the process of reducing the toxicity of contaminants or ridding the soil completely of toxic contaminants. Heavy metals (for example, arsenic, cadmium, lead and zinc) fall under the group of inorganic chemical contaminants (5). These metals are released into the […]

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20 Quick-Producing Perennial Fruit Trees, Vines, Bushes, and Grasses

Serviceberries (Courtesy of RichardBH)

Quick is a relative term, especially when it comes to fruit, but what we’ll generally boil down to is in this article is some form of production in three years or less. While three years is certainly longer than it takes to grow some green beans and tomatoes, in the scheme of creating a perennial food forest that will provide for years to come, it’s nothing. What’s more, with this […]

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Reflections from our Time Capsule

Reflections from our Time Capsule feat

As my Permaculture Training at Zaytuna comes to an end, I am choosing this time to reflect on possibly one of the most influential periods of my life. An opportunity to dive into Permacuture head first, to breath, eat and feel a Permaculture demonstration site in action. Nothing has ever made me feel more alive, more exhausted and given me a greater sense of urgency. In our Zaytuna farm time […]

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Modeling Sustainable Food Systems

Modeling Sustainable Food Systems feat

Sustainability has become quite the buzzword inside the environmentalist circle and out, but what does sustainability mean and how can we measure is? A 1987 UN report known as Our Common Future, defines sustainability as, “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Often, sustainability is viewed under an agricultural lens, bringing in concepts such as organic farming and permaculture, […]

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The Essential Guide to Everything you Need to Know about Growing Walnuts – Juglans regia

The Essential Guide to Everything you Need to Know about Growing Walnuts - Juglans regia feat

If I were to tell you of an apocalypse proof asset that is 100% guaranteed to increase in value, both in the short (3 yrs) and long term (300 yrs), will contribute to your good health, provides aesthetic pleasure to your surroundings, has the potential to replicate itself exponentially and has parts that can be dipped into smooth melted dark chocolate, covered in cocoa powder and eaten, surely you’ll be chuffed to learn that I’m referring to none other than Juglans regia – The Walnut tree.

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The Birth of a Wooden House: Carpentry and Resilience in Latvia

The Birth of a Wooden House feat

In this video Jacob Neeman shows us an account of the building of his house in Latvia. What do you need to build a wooden house? Jacob starts at the beginning, with the forest. From a permaculture perspective this is very interesting; he is clearly engaging with the local ecosystem and uses mainly natural and local resources, with “Lime, sand and concrete mixture [used] only in small amounts”. Every step […]

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Installing an Urban Food Forest – Updated

Installing an Urban Food Forest feat

Last year, the city of Pottstown, Pa., saw new growth and opportunity in the world of permaculture, as several local and broader groups came together to transform a dead, empty lot into a food forest. Biochar Bob from The Biochar Company and Soil Reef Biochar took viewers around the space, introducing them to participants and the project. The empty lot, situated perfectly in an urban space, near a busy street, […]

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Biochar-Mineral Complex and Compost Influences Soil Bacteria and Quality

Mineral Complex and Compost Influences Soil Bacteria and Quality feat

Biochar is a carbon rich substance produced from pyrolysis-a process involving thermal degradation of biomass (such as manure, leaves, wood) in the absence of oxygen. It is used as a soil enhancer in agriculture because it has the capacity to enhance crop growth by retaining nutrients in the soil for crop uptake (1,2,3). Biochar is also gaining popularity because it has the potential to reduce emission of nitrous-oxide a potent […]

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The Power of Permaculture: An Enthusiastic Introduction

The Power of Permaculture: An Enthusiastic Introduction

In this video, UMASS student Ryan Harb tells the TEDx audience in Utica, New York State, about the permaculture project he initiated back in 2010 which resulted in the first public university permaculture garden in the United States. During the talk he gives a very succinct definition of permaculture and how it can practically apply to “all people, not just those of us who are privileged”. If you are new […]

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Non-Traditional Education: Reconnecting to our Roots

Reconnecting to our Roots feat

Modern, conventional education systems do not work for everyone. They cater well enough to many of today’s students but not to a significant portion of the population that might be better served by alternative pedagogical approaches. In most countries, at the age of 4 or 5, or even younger, kids are shuffled into busy classrooms to learn subjects that will reportedly prepare them for a successful future. As our economies […]

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How and Why to Rotate Your Annual Crops


Sure enough the bulk of us permies are working to establish perennial sources of food, cultivating food forests for high yields with low inputs. Nevertheless, annual food crops are often what our kitchen gardens are chiefly comprised of. It’s no big shock, really, as that has been what most of us have grown up eating, enjoy the flavor of, and thus want to grow. No doubt, we should be cultivating […]

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Biochar, A Brief History

Charcoal picture

Biochar, while boasting an ancient history, is actually just gaining popularity among many circles today. While it’s believed that ancient South American cultures would use biochar (or burning agricultural waste, covered in soil) to increase soil productivity, the term wasn’t coined until Peter Read did so in 2005, to describe a substance that looks almost like charcoal, but that is actually biomass carbonized and made into a solid material, used […]

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