Category: General

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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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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Mo’ Mulberry – The Essential Guide to All You Need to Know About Mulberry

Paul Alfrey from Balkan Ecology Project takes a close look at these incredible plants including how to grow them, the uses of Mulberry and growing Mulberry in polycultures, permaculture and agroforestry. Not many plants offer so much to the grower while demanding so little in return. A tree that requires so little attention and care, that even if there were an RSPP – Royal Society for the Protection of Plants […]

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Outstanding Onions

Onions (Allium cepa L.), being the most extensively cultivated species of the Allium genus, are a root crop that nearly everyone has heard about, seen, or eaten.  However, don’t let their perceived commonness lull you into thinking they’re uninteresting.  Onions are quite a fascinating garden vegetable that has some remarkable characteristics.      Onions of Olden Times It’s thought that for well over 7,000 years the onion has been consumed or […]

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Ethical Investment Harbors

Investing locally in Ethical Companies One of the defining characteristics of our modern day civilization is that our language has turned drastically Orwellian. In the world of finance and investing, we consider a “responsible” investor to be he or she who is able to maximize their returns through “making their money work for them.” The problem, however, is that the vast majority of people are anything but responsible with how […]

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Australian Farmers Benefit from the Use of Biosolids

The use of human biosolids to improve pastures has been catching on in New South Wales – to the point where demand for the resource from area farmers is outstripping Sydney Water’s available supply. Each year, the company reuses 100 per cent of biosolids produced, for a total of approximately 180,000 tonnes. “The soils on our farm are of poor quality and fragile, with low organic matter and poor structure […]

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