Category: Animal Forage

Joel Salatin and the Expression of Chickenness

Joel Salatin runs one of the best examples of a fully functional & productive sustainable farming operation found anywhere in the United States at Polyface Farms. It may not fit the precise permaculture mold, but it does demonstrate what’s possible without the use of expensive and destructive chemical inputs & CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). He recently participated in the TEDxMidAtlantic (similar to TED Talks) series of lectures to discuss […]

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Convert Your Eco-Unfriendly Swimming Pool into a Biologically Active and Attractive Fish Farm!

Could converting swimming pools into fish ponds be another way to increase food security as we head out onto peak oil’s downhill slope? A Permaculture fish pond in development Swimming pools get a bad rap in enviro-circles, and for good reason. They cost a great deal to construct – using a lot of CO2 intensive materials in the process – they waste huge amounts of water and energy for maintenance, […]

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Wonder Weeds

PIJ #63, June-Aug 1997 by Linda Woodrow How to harvest weeds for their best nutrients Sometimes gardening seems to me like alchemy. Organic material that is of no value to us is converted into organic material of high value, and, like alchemy, the process seems almost magic. Soil micro-organisms and plants do the converting, but they can’t do it without something to convert. The role of humans is to set […]

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The Carob

PIJ #58, March-May 1996 by Frances Lang Carob, or St John’s Bread, is known in the botanical world as Ceratonia siliqua from the Caesalpiniaceae family. It is a small to medium sized, long-lived evergreen tree with dense foliage. Leaves are glossy, green, round and leathery, new growth is bronze coloured. Trees are single sexed and so will need a male and female tree to produce pods. One male tree can […]

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The One Duck Revolution

PIJ #58, Mar – May 1996 Aigamo ducks in rice paddy Mr. Takao Furuno’s modest business card reveals that he is a farmer in a world where “one duck creates boundless treasure”. He farms rice very successfully in Japan and is a private aid volunteer, working in Vietnam when I met him. He had a message for all rice farmers, perhaps all wet paddy farmers, and gave me his book […]

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Tamarind Tree

PIJ #48, Sep – Nov 1993 The graceful tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) is believed to have originated in Africa and is now cultivated in many parts of the tropical world. Although in the legume family, it does not fix nitrogen; however, its many attractive qualities make it a splendid addition to the large permaculture garden. It is one of the most useful of tropical trees – for shelter, shade, food […]

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Adaptable Acacias

by Leza Bennetts and Erika Birmingham Acacias are evergreen, nitrogen-fixing plants ranging in form from ground covers to tall trees. There are more than 1200 species worldwide. There are many roles for acacias in permaculture design such as increasing soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, rehabilitation of degraded soils and in reforestation. They are useful for erosion control due to their rapid growth and effective seed dispersal, and many species sucker […]

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Nitrogen Fixing Trees – The Multipurpose Pioneers

The myths about the wonders of nitrogen fixing trees are many. Craig Elevitch (see bio at bottom) and Kim Wilkinson explain how to use them effectively. Nitrogen Fixing Trees for Permaculture Flowers of the leguminous tree, Kowhai, the national flower of New Zealand Nitrogen fixation is a pattern of nutrient cycling which has successfully been used in perennial agriculture for millennia. This article focuses on legumes, which are nitrogen fixers […]

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The Development of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration

Editor’s Note: Arguably one of the most successful land regeneration projects in the world, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneraton (FMNR), beginning in Niger during the 1980s, has revegetated three million hectares of arid land in that country alone – bringing back biodiversity in flora and fauna, increasing soil humus (and thus carbon) content, improving water retention and microclimates, and dramatically improving the health and viability of local communities. It is now […]

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