What Zone 5 Has Taught Me

Defining those infamous “zones” across your landscape is one of the first and most cherished challenges that newcomers to permaculture embrace. For most people, the idea of defining certain tasks and characteristics to different areas of the land seems like a common sense idea, and the permaculture concept of zones offers a straightforward path towards that end. It also allows people to begin to envision the transformation of the landscape […]

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Manure: An Overview of This Shi…ning Addition to the Garden

Manure: An Overview of This Shi…ning Addition to the Garden

Organic gardens really benefit from manure, and that is no mystery. However, it’s important to be aware of what kind of manure is at your disposal because they are not all equally desirable. Some manures, dare we say, are choice garden additions, while others take a lot of coaxing, a slow and patient cook, from composting gurus. Chicken manure is vastly different from cow manure, which is largely different dog […]

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Remarkable Rutabagas

What do you get when you cross a turnip (Brassica rapa) and wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea)? A rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica) of course! While that may sound like a joke from primary school, it really is where the rutabaga comes from. In fact, once you see this marvelous root vegetable you will definitely note the similarities between it and turnips and cabbage. The root of the rutabaga looks much like a […]

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The Top Composting Toilet Designs

One of the most unsustainable aspects of our current civilization is related to how we deal with our own waste. For thousands of years, agrarian civilizations have understood that the fertility that one takes from the land in the form of crops, must be returned to the land in a similar manner. Both animal and human wastes have been used by indigenous and peasant cultures to maintain the sacred balance […]

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Benefits and Barriers to Framing Traceability in Industrial Farms

There are growing environmental challenges and stakeholders in different sectors of the economy across the world are increasingly aware of the environment. This awareness has extended to social issues faced around the world. Industrial farms within agricultural supply chains are concerned about these issues – they have to address the aforementioned issues within their operations to gain a competitive market advantage. As mentioned earlier in one of my previous articles, […]

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Culture Jamming Art: Book Launch Invite

Culture Jamming Art: Book Launch Invite

This is one final reminder for those in Melbourne who might be interested in attending my book launch this Friday, 20 October, at 5.30pm, at Melbourne University. More details and RSVPs at this link, please share with others who may be interested. There will be live music from the amazing Matt Wicking and free beer and cider from the Good Brew Company. There will also been an exhibition of some […]

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Drip Allocation with Octopus IV

It probably is about the fourth prototype, but the IV actually stands for Intravenous like the gravity drip apparatus used to administer fluids or drugs to patients in medical situations. In this case we are administering measured and adjustable water volumes to individual or groups of adjacent plants at controlled intervals. This occurs so slowly we can guide this moisture vertically down a capped finger sized surge pipe to their root zone to potentially reduce evaporation, pest and weed life support and salt accumulation. The cap should stick out just above the mulch for occasional inspection if plants start wilting.

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The Perks of Raising Chickens

For many people who have grown interested in gaining a certain sense of autonomy through taking responsibility for growing a part of their own food, a simple backyard garden or even a container garden on your window will is considered a good place to start. Making the leap from growing tomatoes and peppers to raising a small flock of chickens, however, is a step that not everyone is ready to […]

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Australia’s Capacity for Pumped Hydro-Storage Could Support a Completely Renewable Power Grid Within 20 Years

A recent analysis conducted by the Australian National University (ANU) has revealed that the country has the potential to store up to 1,000 times more renewable energy than it would ever need. The study, which saw a team of researchers investigating tens of thousands of pumped hydro sites around Australia, offered significant insight into the country’s storage capacity. According to lead researcher Andrew Blakers, an engineering professor with ANU, at […]

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How Do You Use Urine?

Composting toilets are a great thing. They take what has become a problem in modern systems—human excrement—and make it into something useful: rich compost. Despite simple and effective ways of making composting toilets, humanure does still bring about some controversy with those who are worried about pathogens. Confident composters won’t hesitate to put a well-rotted humanure compost in vegetable gardens, whereas less trusting composters opt for applying it to fruit […]

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A Primer on Creating Soil

Good agriculture depends on good soil. The problem over the past 10,000 years of our human attempt to live off the land (and especially during the last sixty years or so), is that crops take nutrients from the soil, and without proper husbandry, soil fertility will deplete. The “pseudo-solution” offered by the Green Revolution has been to import petroleum-based fertilizers to make up for our lack of stewardship of the […]

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Another Way of Learning

After thirty years of engagement with Permaculture, it never ceases to amaze me how the Permaculture Design Course (PDC) changes peoples’ lives. This brilliant understanding of how to meet peoples’ needs, without working so hard, and at the same time learning to minimise waste was crafted by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren before I came along to connect with it.  I’m also hugely aware that it has always been a […]

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