Category: General

Permaculture and Community part 1: Permaculture as a Tool for Peace

For many, permaculture offers not only practical guidelines but also a particular lens through which to view the world. With the permaculture ethics and principles in mind, it is perhaps easier to maintain a holistic view of the world and yourself within it. This means, in my experience and opinion, that you can be more open-minded about what comes into and goes out of your experience, and by seeing the […]

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Pesticides Pollution

Pesticides are chemicals that are used to kill or control pests. This includes herbicides that are used for getting rid of weeds, insecticides used to treat fungicides, nematocides used to control nematodes as well as rodenticides used to treat vertebrate poisoning. Why pesticides can be harmful Pesticides contain ingredients such as oxygen, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen, and bromine as well as heavy metals such as arsenic, copper sulfates, lead, and […]

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12 Autumn Activities for the Temperate Homestead

For those who have followed my articles over the years, you might be aware of two things: A recent relocation and the fact that, in fact, I do not yet have a homestead of my own. My wife Emma and I spent quite nearly over two years in search of a piece of land in Central America, and in the end, we watched a couple of deals fall apart and, […]

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Global Climate Change & its Link to Soil Organisms

When people think of the consequences of global warming, most jump to the melting ice caps and death of beloved polar bears. We know that as our Earth undergoes climate change, it’s adversely affecting the ecological balance in complex ways. For the first time, however, a study done at the University of California Berkley, has linked climate change to the downfall of microbial species that are considered essential to ecological […]

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The Need to Limit Energy Use

Energy: An Addiction or a Necessity? Energy is arguably the most defining aspect of industrial civilization. For the first couple hundred thousand years of human existence, our ability to affect the world around us was limited by the amount of energy the human body can produce. It is estimated that, on average, a fit laborer can produce about 75 Watts of energy over an eight hour period. To those of […]

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Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth

Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth

Last friday, I launched my new book called Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth. This book is the outcome of a year-long collaboration with culture jamming artists around the world who produced over 170 images that make up the substance of the book. You can see some of the images here and the book is available for purchase here. What role might art need to play in the […]

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The Importance of Guilds and Nitrogen Fixers

How is it that the natural world provides excessive abundance while not relying on any external sources of nutrients? Nature produces her own fertility needs, firstly through accumulating organic matter on the soil surface which protects the soil, adds to the layer of humus, and stimulates the biological activity of the soil. The natural world, however, also takes advantage of the abundance of nitrogen in the air to supply plants […]

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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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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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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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