Category: Trees

Food Forests Across America

For Erik Ohlsen, a Californian based Permaculture teacher and designer, 2009 is shaping up to become a year like no other. "I run my own Permaculture contracting business and am about to launch a Food Forest campaign for 2009” he said. Erik’s dream is to encourage people to roll out a Food Forest systems across America. “My vision is to educate communities as to the whole system benefits of food […]

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Street Orchards for Community Security

Street Orchards for Community Security

© Brad Lancaster, www.HarvestingRainwater.com Fig. 24.The heat island effect. An excessively wide, exposed, solar-oven-like residential street in Tucson, Arizona absorbs the sun’s heat during the day like a battery, then radiates it out at night. This local warming effect has raised summer temperatures in Tucson by 6°F (3°C) since the 1940s, which contributes to global warming since the higher temperatures result in people using air conditioners more, which are powered […]

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Planting Trees and Managing Soils to Sequester Carbon

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute, Washington D.C., U.S.A. As of 2007, the shrinking forests in the tropical regions were releasing 2.2 billion tons of carbon per year. Meanwhile, expanding forests in the temperate regions were absorbing 0.7 billion tons of carbon annually. On balance, a net of some 1.5 billion tons of carbon were being released into the atmosphere each year, contributing to global warming.

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Weeds or Wild Nature?

Reprinted with permission from the “Permaculture International Journal” (PIJ) (No. 61, Dec-Feb 1997). The world’s striving for racial tolerance doesn’t always extend to plants. A key criticism of permaculture’s approach to building sustainable organic systems has been its perceived willingness to favour the introduction of exotic species. Is it better to build systems that include exotics or should reforestation aim only to replace what has been taken away? Is a […]

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Desert Ways

Mongongo Tree Whether it is an issue of conserving water of using suitable plant species, thriving in a desert environment is a masterful act of management. Permaculture co-founder Bill Mollison has spent time in many of the world’s arid regions and here shares his observations on surviving in some of them. Building Abundance into Sandy Deserts Why should we garden, when there are so many mongongo trees in the world? […]

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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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Trees Giving Up Battle, But Sustainable Farming Offers Hope

The silver bullet solution to climate change in many people’s book is to simply ‘plant a tree’. A recent study indicates that it might not be quite that simple… The ability of forests to soak up man-made carbon dioxide is weakening, according to an analysis of two decades of data from more than 30 sites in the frozen north. The finding published today is crucial, because it means that more […]

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A Pattern Revolution

by Warren Brush, Quail Springs All over the world, an ancient way of being has combined its elemental forces with the truths gained in the modern age to spark the fires of a new and imperative revolution. It is a subtle revolution of knowing the story of where all that sustains us comes from, and of honoring those things deeply. This revolution’s power draws from an ancient well of knowing […]

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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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Strange Fruit

A hard commercial logic dictates that the only way to get good fruit today is to grow your own. by George Monbiot – journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist I feel almost shy about writing this column. It contains no revelations, no call to arms. No one gets savaged: well, only mildly. The subject is almost inconsequential. Yet it has become an obsession which, at this time of […]

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