Category: Animals

Is Aquaponics the Right Choice?

Aquaponics has become a quick celebrity in sustainable food production, and many beginners are interested in creating these systems. In terms of permaculture design, there is some potential in using them, but equally so, it’s important not to lose sight of matching the design to the landscape and resources available. In other words, there are occasions when aquaponics is a sensible option, but not every occasion.   The Basic Premise […]

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A Beginners Guide to Egg Laying Chickens

Egg laying chicken sitting in nest box

With spring upon us in the northern hemisphere, lots of people are adding baby chicks to their homestead. Keeping your own chickens is a fantastic way to produce healthy, home-grown eggs and is easier than you think. In this guide I will outline everything you need to know to get your chickens laying eggs! Picking the Right Breed First of all, you need to make sure you choose a breed […]

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A Primer on Raising Goats

Goats have gotten a reputation as one of the peskiest, most irritating, and bothersome farm animals. Images of “Billy” goats eating tin cans or tearing clothing off the line as it dries have been commonplace for several generations. While raising goats certainly does come with its own set of challenges, many of the supposed challenges to raising goats can be adequately dealt with through proper design that best utilizes the […]

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What Animals and a Barn Offer to Permaculture Design

The Importance of Animals in Permaculture Landscapes Our agrarian past reminds us that farming without animals is like trying to drive a car without gasoline. While crop rotations, cover crops and periodically maintaining the land fallow were some strategies our grandparents used for keeping the farm productive, the dairy cow, the flock of chickens, and the few hogs were the guarantee of the continued fertility of the fields. When done […]

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The Importance of Pasture: How to take Advantage of What Animals Bring to the Farm

While barns are important on any farm, keeping animals on pasture is almost always the better option. Pasture raised animals are usually much healthier and the meat and other animal based food products they offer come with much more nutrients when those animals are raised in a natural setting. From a humanist and ethical standpoint, animals that are allowed to live outside for the majority of their lives are much […]

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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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Traces of Pesticides Discovered In 75 per cent Of The World’s Honey

Residue from potentially harmful pesticides has been discovered in 75 per cent of honey sampled from around the world, according to a study conducted by Swiss scientists that was published in the journal Science in October 2017. The researchers sampled 198 different honeys sourced from every continent, excluding Antarctica, testing for the presence of five unique neonicotinoid pesticides that are frequently applied to crops. These insecticides are so efficient that […]

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Benefits of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey has recently been deemed a “super food” that has the ability to treat many health conditions. While some are not sensible, others have scientific proof to back up the claims. While honey, in general, had been used to treat different ailments prior to modern medicine, antibiotic popularity wiped out the use of honey as a serious solution. Different types of honey produce levels of hydrogen peroxide that reach […]

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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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