Category: General

120 Most Read Posts of 2009

Given it’s holiday season for many of you, and, with the recession and all, many of you in the southern hemisphere will be, hopefully, spending time in the garden preparing for uncertain times. But, there’ll be rainy days where you may well be pressing your nose up against the glass, wishing you could go outside and play but not being allowed to, and of course the rest of us in […]

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The Buffalo Commons

Here’s an idea that should be embraced and championed by all earth repair advocates: The Buffalo Commons. The Buffalo Commons is a conceptual proposal to create a vast nature preserve by returning 139,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of the drier portion of the Great Plains to native prairie, and by reintroducing the buffalo, or American Bison, that once grazed the short grass prairie.

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The Tricks of the Human Mind

When studying the human mind, one of the most fascinating – and at times startling – insights is that there is sometimes a serious discrepancy between the tale the human mind spins to itself, and actual reality. One especially striking demonstration of the extent of the distortions introduced by the brain’s data pre-processing was given by Edward Adelson, MIT professor of vision science, with the "checkershadow illusion": The squares marked […]

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The Art of Scything

by Trish Allen of Rainbow Valley Farm A modern take on an ancient farming method is becoming a new movement sweeping the lush pastures of New Zealand. The art of scything has seen a recent resurgence with permaculturalists and Ecoshow directors Joanna Pearsall and Bryan Innes holding a series of workshops around the country starting at Rainbow Valley Farm under the expert eye of visiting Austrian scything teacher Christoff Schneider. […]

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Permaculture Miracles in the Austrian Mountains

Photo credit: Keith Johnson I’d like to introduce you to Sepp Holzer, a man who not only produces food in a very unlikely location, at a high and frigid altitude in Austria, but is also growing very unlikely crops there as well — and all without the use of chemicals, and with minimal input of human labour. I guess you could call him a European counterpart of people like Bill […]

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The Key to Management is Trust

PIJ #40, June – Aug 1991 Very often ‘management’ is mistaken for control. And control usually leads to friction and so is inefficient – there is wasted energy. Control also stifles creativity, our best management tool. True management then, is a far more subtle relationship in which trust, communication and control intermingle towards common goals. And the key to it all is trust. Possibly the only way to lasting peace […]

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Rejoining Gaia – Restore Our Ecosystem Symbiosis

The first step to solving a problem is admitting to it. To change, use different thinking than what created it. How do we get from “our lifestyle is not negotiable” to “living a mutually beneficial lifestyle for us and our ecosystem?” The mother of all long-term problems is that our culture has become an “anti-ecosystem.” Humans lived in symbiosis with all life for three million years before the agricultural revolution. […]

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Bill Mollison Interview from 1991

Editor’s Note: Here’s a great Bill Mollison interview to throw into the mix. The interviewer is Alan AtKisson, who caught Bill in Seattle in ’91, and interviewed him in a downtown hotel to the ironic accompaniment of traffic noise. Alan: Permaculture is a slippery idea to me. But from what I read, it seems that not even those who actually do permaculture really know what it is. Bill: I’m certain […]

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Projects – On-the-Ground Permaculture Experience

Why roughing it in Africa or South America or Asia might be the best thing to happen to you. The more astute amongst you may have noticed we’ve added a ‘Projects’ section to the site. Over time we’ll build this section up to better reflect the kind of permaculture work that is going on worldwide. We also plan to add a ‘People’ section, where we profile permaculturists (minimum requirement that […]

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Hypocrites Unite!

At least we have some ideals to fall short of. by George Monbiot – journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist In her new book, Not In My Name, Julie Burchill reserves her grandest fury about hypocrites for environmentalists. We are, she says, pious, sexless and contemptuous of humankind. All of us are posh and rich, and have found in environmentalism a new excuse for lecturing the poor. We […]

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Going to Pot!

You don’t have to have land, or even a backyard, to grow delicious food. Instead you can use containers – on balconies, rooftops, concrete, and the many underutilised nooks and crannies around the home or workplace. For city dwellers it can be a chance to obtain fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, and keep in touch with nature. Here Alanna Moore explains how to establish a container garden. A World View […]

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Claiming the Common Ground

Swedish architect and researcher Lena Jarlov looks at the history and value of creating gardens in the grounds of apartment buildings. She says that these forgotten areas can be transformed into places of rich human exchange. Also, by cultivating food gardens, the tenants reconnect with the earth and can harvest chemical-free vegetables, fruit and berries. Our towns and cities are full of unrealised gardens and it is important and urgent […]

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