Category: Animals

Silvopasture: A Sustainable Way to Raise Large Livestock

Every year millions of acres of forest are cut down to make room for ever-growing herds of livestock. Our industrial diet is centered on the consumption of meat. The combination of these two issues brings us face to face with a serious problem. We are destroying our forests and some of the most pristine ecosystems on earth just so that we can enjoy a nightly steak. What if we could […]

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The Benefits of Keeping Chickens

Though it may not be for everybody, there are many potential benefits to keeping chickens in your yard, whether they’re free range or in a coop. It can be rewarding in many ways, and it isn’t just about eggs! Though of course, that’s a big part of it. They can be good for gardens, they make great pets for the family, among many other things. They are surprisingly loving and […]

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Beckoning the Bats: What They Do for Our Gardens and How to Attract Them There

In permaculture, we look for opportunities to expand on biodiversity, as well as take advantage of functions that can occur naturally or with minimal inputs from us. While often this takes the form of rotationally grazing domesticated animals, including them in waste cycles, and using them for pest control (a la not a slug problem but a duck shortage), we are also inclined to make the most of wild fauna […]

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Closed-Loop Farming in Costa Rica

I woke up to the sound and smell of a chicken coop. It was a mild March morning in La Argentina, a small town on Costa Rica’s southeastern edge. I was staying on a small-scale, family farm of the gracious Señora Ana. Her farm, as with many of her neighbor’s, incorporates animal, vegetable, and fish production into a closed-loop system. Closed-loop farming is, in essence, the most primitive form of […]

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Eight Tips For Selecting The Right Breed Of Chicken For Your Backyard

Keeping backyard chickens is a joy shared by many. The sight of a flock of ladies scratching around your garden is a sight that warms the soul (as long as its not your vegie garden). There are so many beautiful, practical, bred for purpose, and exotic heritage breeds to choose from it can be very difficult to make a decision about which breed is for you! Throw into the mix […]

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Why do we need Wildlife?

Why do we need Wildlife?

And what can we do about it? Abundant wildlife is the first sign of a healthy planet. For far too long (like since the birth of chemical agriculture in the late nineteenth century) we have thought humans can control Planet Earth. Previous retrograde steps would be the enclosures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For Scotland, the Highland clearances spring to mind. Any intelligent management of the land and our […]

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Harvesting Water as Inspired by a Darkling Beetle

Water is a scarce commodity in dry regions so scientists have come up with an ingenious way of collecting water from fog to provide relief to people living in these areas. The idea is borrowed from a beetle that lives in the desert and is able to keep itself alive by trapping water on its body, the Namib or Darkling beetle. Such a technique of harnessing water would be both […]

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Production of bee-friendly insecticide to remain in Australia

Innovate Ag, the company behind the bio-insecticide Sero-X, has managed to secure funding that will allow them to continue producing this game-changing product in its home of northern New South Wales. Thanks to a new partnership with Belgium-based Biological Products of Agriculture (Bi-PA), Innovate Ag will be able to commercialize Sero-X – and begin distributing it around the world. Using an active ingredient made from the peptides of the butterfly […]

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Ding Dong Monsanto’s Gone

We may finally have a solution to the plant killer Monsanto: MycoPesticide, a super spectacular amazing natural pesticide created, or better said, realized by Paul Stamets. This special man that is king of mushrooms has found a possible way to bring down Monsanto that carelessly tests chemicals on you, me, your children, and the planet! Paul Stamets should be a household name because he just may have saved all of […]

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Insecticide use by nearby cotton farms is causing “devastating” losses for an Australian bee keeper.

Insecticide use by nearby cotton farms is causing “devastating” losses for an Australian beekeeper One of Australia’s largest commercial honey bee pollinators says he has lost more than 500 hives since 2008 due to insecticide spray drift from cotton farms in the area – and has been relocating many of his bees to mitigate the risk. “To go out and see all your hives or your bees dead on the […]

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Attracting Bees to the Garden and Keeping Them There without a Hive

People are in the fight for the rights of bees these days. After a couple of award-winning documentaries (Vanishing of the Bees, Colony) and some real worry in the headlines, the masses have shown up, at least in spirit. The kings of agrochemicals are being badgered, outlawed, and lampooned around every turnover of borders, all in the name of bees. Now, we mustn’t pretend like there are no other voices […]

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Manuka Honey’s Healing Power: Exclusive Property or One of Many?

Manuka honey is well-known for its health benefits (see for example 1).Though famous as a product from New Zealand, the results of recent studies (2) show that the Australian variety is just as potent as its New Zealand cousin. But how does this affect the global honey market? And is it even appropriate, from a permaculture perspective, to place such importance on ‘manuka’ as oppose to other honeys? What is […]

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