Category: Food Plants – Annual

Edible Weeds

Last monday morning I had a chance to go for an edible weed foray with my friends Adam and Annie from Eat That Weed. It was early autumn here in south eastern Australia and quite dry but we still managed to find some of their favourite edible weeds including dandelion, purslane and sow thistle. They shared with us why weeds are important to pay attention to and how to broaden […]

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Bhaskar Save, the Gandhi of Natural Farming

Sage of a minimalist farming system based on non-violence and all of nature’s biodiversity that produces in abundance with no chemical inputs. by Bharat Mansata Bhaskar Save, acclaimed ‘Gandhi of Natural Farming’, turned 92 on 27 January 2014, having inspired and mentored 3 generations of organic farmers. Masanobu Fukuoka, the legendary Japanese natural farmer, visited Save’s farm in 1996, and described it as “the best in the world”, ahead of […]

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From Desert to Oasis in 4 Years (Jordan)

Geoff Lawton’s next video in his ever-expanding lineup takes you to Wadi Rum in Jordan where he consulted on a 10 acre organic farm and rebuilt their failing farm into a commercial success. Wadi Rum looks very much like your classic inhospitable desert region. It was used in the early 1960s as the backdrop set for the David Lean’s masterpiece, “Lawrence of Arabia.” If you’ve ever watched the movie as […]

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Learning About Permaculture Design from Organic Annual Vegetable Farmers

Some people will tell you that there is no place in permaculture for annual crops. I’m known as something of a perennials enthusiast myself. But permaculture is in part a design system that can be applied to many areas of our lives, and this certainly includes annual crop production. In 2002 I was privileged to spend the weekend interviewing a panel of highly experienced organic farmers through my work with […]

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Weeds – What Are They Good for? (Victoria, Australia)

The subject of ‘weeds’ has always seemed to me to incite far more controversy than it should. The best description of a weed is, “a plant out of place”. It seems to me that if you have a weed, then you have an available niche in your garden that an unwanted opportunistic plant has taken advantage of. To remove that unwanted, opportunistic plant, you have to perform the act of […]

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Desert Food Forest and Organic Commercial Production in Three Years – Update on Wadi Rum Consultancy (Jordan)

Outside the fence On August 6, 2010 Craig Mackintosh posted on my initial consultancy for the site I’m reporting on today. Three years and three months later, I can give an update on what has transpired since.

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Addressing the Causes of Land Degradation, Food/Nutritional Insecurity and Poverty: a New Approach to Agricultural Intensification in the Tropics and Subtropics

by Roger RB Leakey, Agroforestry and Novel Crops Unit, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Photo 1: A multifunctional agriculture landscape in Viet Nam with many income-generating tree-based production systems on hillsides surrounding an area of intensive food production on the most fertile soils. Abstract The shortage of new land for agriculture and the poverty of smallholder farmers in the tropics are serious constraints on […]

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My Visit to the Greening the Desert Sequel Site, November 2013

The Jordan Valley Permaculture Proejct (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) in November 2013. (Photo: Geoff Lawton) I experienced a very diverse range of activities during my two weeks in Jordan, teaching a tree care course and helping in the farm activities, at the PRI Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ site) at 400 metres below sea level in the Dead Sea Valley. I […]

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Permaculture Paradise at Val & Eli’s Garden (Jacksonville, Florida)

Val and Eli take us on a tour of their permagarden in Jacksonville FL. They have created a wonderful, natural space filled with self-sustaining fruits, vegetables, herbs, medicines, colors, water, fragrances, and wildlife… at their fingertips. And below, Val and Eli continue to harvest the organic riches of their food forest and now cut back their garden to nourish their fruit trees with natural, free fertilizers. No artificial fertilizers, herbicides, […]

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China and the Soybean Challenge

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Some 3,000 years ago, farmers in eastern China domesticated the soybean. In 1765, the first soybeans arrived in North America, but they did not soon catch on as a crop. For 150 years or so the soybean languished as a curiosity in gardens. 1 Then in the late 1920s, a market for soybean oil began to develop, moving the soybean from the garden […]

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Mohamed Hijri: A Simple Solution to the Coming Phosphorus Crisis (video)

Biologist Mohamed Hijri brings to light a farming crisis no one is talking about: We are running out of phosphorus, an essential element that’s a key component of DNA and the basis of cellular communication. All roads of this crisis lead back to how we farm — with chemical fertilizers chock-full of the element, which plants are not efficient at absorbing. One solution? Perhaps … a microscopic mushroom. — TED […]

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