Category: Land

The Benefits of Creating Wetlands on Your Farm

Wetlands are some of the most important ecosystems on our planet harboring some of the highest rates of biodiversity in the world. They are fundamental for purifying the water we use and also for creating habitat for thousands of threatened species. Unfortunately, wetlands often get in the way of industrial development which has an unhealthy love affair with cement. For that reason, wetlands are often drained to make way for […]

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8 Tips for Starting your Tropical Homestead

You’ve just purchased your dream property in tropical Costa Rica. You want to grow your own food. You are anxious to get to work now, have bought some plants from a nursery you randomly drove by, and have a shovel in hand, but where to start? Most of our clients fall on either side of a spectrum of project implementation. Either they experience paralysis by analysis, overthinking every step, their […]

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Permaculture and the Importance of Landscape Design

As more and more people learn about the problems that industrial agriculture (and industrial civilization in general) have caused the world, there is a growing interest in all things organic. From larger organic sections at your grocery store to the explosion of the local food movement with farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture programs, organic livelihoods are on the rise. When it comes to actually growing your own food in […]

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Storing Water in the Landscape: A Swales and Ponds Primer

Rain is one of the leading causes of soil erosion. The problem isn’t with rain itself, but rather with bad land management practices and farming practices that aren’t designed to take advantage of rainfall in a holistic manner. The best place to store water is in the landscape itself, and through the process of design, water can be effectively stored in the landscape for increased fertility, longer growing season, and […]

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How & Why We Are Going to Build a Mandala Garden

Let it be said from the outset that the following discussion of mandala gardens is based on a relatively large one, over 100 square meters, that a host of volunteers and I will soon be doing for the Garden of Hope in Guatemala. Our mandala garden, as most mandala gardens are, will be a series of keyhole beds, so in this article, we will be sure to discuss what exactly […]

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Urban Agriculture and Food Sovereignty

Urban agriculture (UA) in public spaces may have been the unloved child that mainstream western society abandoned in the 17th century in favour of ornamental gardening, but fortunately it hasn’t been abandoned by everyone. Many people in the community, in defiance of irrational design fads imposed from above by local authorities, have continued to grow food close to where they live. More than just growing food, UA is powerful transformative. […]

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Reducing Your Footprint When You Haven’t Built a Permaculture Site from the Ground Up

In the ideal world of most budding permaculture enthusiasts, which I still consider myself, we would have pieces of land sizeable enough to begin the adventure of a lifetime. We would be designing our own energy-efficient homes with passive solar heating in the winter and deciduous vines clambering around to keep the sun off in the summer. We would have the space for luscious gardens and food forests to grow […]

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Installing an Urban Food Forest – Updated

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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Building Ponds & Talking Liners

We all know that harvesting and storing rainwater is a huge part of designing a garden, and while swales are super functional and a fantastic way to hydrate a landscape, I—like many others—dream of an area replete with ponds. I want those permanent water features to attract wildlife, to swim in, and to use for irrigation if and when that’s necessary. Consequently, in daydreaming of some day soon owning a […]

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Comparative look at Organic and Conventional Farming

Comparative look at Organic and Conventional Farming

Organic farming has in the recent past gained popularity. Farmers are willing to take up the risks associated with this venture and commit themselves to stringent measures required to attain organic farming certification. Consequently, with the growing interest in this form of organic, there is a rise in criticism of the same measure by those who have kept on opposing organic farming. Conventional farming standards, that are heavily seen to […]

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Intercropping: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why We Do It

Get into permaculture and within no time an entire field of jargon is sprouting up around you, and while it can be exciting to have all these new ideas to ponder and play with, it can also be a bit intimidating…bewildering…intense. Well, at some point or another we’ve all felt that way, but even so, it’s time to talk about one of those mysterious terms: intercropping. In order to have […]

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