Category: Trees

The Bunya-Bunya Pine (Araucaria bidwillii)

by Byron Joel, oaktreedesigns.com.au A mature bunya pine showing classic conical growing habit Of all the striking aspects of the subtropical regions of Australia’s east coast, the landforms, the climate, the exotic fauna… few offer as immediately impressive a sight as a fully mature Bunya pine. Reaching a recorded height of 45m, with trunks like a sauropod’s leg and sporting cones bigger than a bowling ball, few things say ancient […]

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Rough, Ready, But Very Real – a November 2013 Update on the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site)

Project from above, featuring a garbage-accumulating fence edge Well, you would be hard pressed to find a tougher block of land — a 400m below sea level, West facing slope, in an extremely hot, arid climate, with extremely poor, shallow highly alkaline top ‘soil’, covered in rocks, with a limited water supply and in a mostly Palestinian refugee-populated village. When we first started working on the site local farmers thought […]

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Gangi Setty and the Green Tree Foundation Project (India)

The Green Tree Foundation is a small non-profit organization that promotes permaculture techniques to local farmers in the Antapur district in Andra Pradesh, India. The organizations are devising solutions to alleviate serious water scarcity and eroded soil. However, it was Gangi Setty, the founder behind GTF, that made my trip to visit them most memorable. Gangi, a delightfully peculiar man, is an elementary school teacher, a full-time philosopher and a […]

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Post-2015 Development: Africans Show the Way

Time to move on from redefining the problems and concentrate on solutions already seeded on the ground. by Prof Roger Leakey (lead author of a UN funded, 3-year, 400-scientist strong IAASTD report that showed that the globalised agricultural model is not working, and showing how returning to diverse, small-scale, localised agricultural systems can feed a growing population and mitigate climate change and other vulnerabilities). Redefining problems without solutions A multifunctional […]

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Miracle Farms – a 5-acre Commercial Permaculture Orchard (Southern Quebec)

Twenty years ago, Stefan Sobkowiak bought a commercial apple orchard with the intention of converting it to an organic orchard. He did just that, but eventually understood the limitations of the organic model originating from monoculture. He then decided to tear out most of the trees and replant in a way that would maximize biodiversity and yield while minimizing maintenance. Inspired by permaculture principles, the orchard now counts over 100 […]

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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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Hill Country Permaculture: The Way of the Fox (Central Texas)

Foxes are renowned for being clever and nimble — elusive when sought as prey and very hard to keep out of a chicken coop when on the prowl. Many years ago, sitting at dinner with some long time "Hill Country" (AKA central Texas USA) farmers, I learned something about foxes that’s stuck with me ever since. A fox’s tail weighs as much as the rest of its body and thus […]

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What Plants Talk About

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7MOe5clOtI In 1973, Lyall Watson, a South African botanist, claimed that plants had emotions that could be recorded on a lie detector test. His research was fiercely dismissed by many in the scientific community. Recently, researchers at The University of Western Australia relaunched the debate by revealing that plants not only respond to sound, but that they also communicate to each other by making "clicking" sounds. (The article was published […]

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PRI Zaytuna Farm Internship Project – Slope Stabilisation

My chosen internship project at PRI Zaytuna Farm was to stabilize and prevent erosion on a steep slope from an excavation back cut. I also wanted to build topsoil and increase fertility as most of the slope is subsoil clay. This is a picture of the slope before doing anything to it I decided to try the Net and Pan method described in the Permaculture Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison. […]

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Tough Fruit

A line of thought evolving from the interest in both epigenetics and the Paleo diet has led to an exploration of low cultivated, western European, Asian and North American fruit trees in our Food Forest systems. What does this mean? Well, we all love fruit. A fresh, crispy apple or sweet, fleshy nectarine are hard to beat, but how often do we need to eat such super sweet treats bred […]

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Fruits and Nuts: Our Cold-Climate Favorites (Massachusetts, USA)

An excerpt from Paradise Lot: Two Plant Geeks, One Tenth of an Acre, and the Making of an Edible Garden Oasis in the City by Eric Toensmeier with contributions from Jonathan Bates Grapes August is the beginning of our fruit and nut harvest. Since we have little room for fruit and nut trees, we had to prioritize the species we most love to eat, with the prime fruit growing space […]

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Small Scale Nursery Applications: Reflections from Loping Coyote Farms Nursery (NV, USA)

by Neil Bertrando , Eric Toensmeier Plant materials are a critical component of any homestead or agroecology site, and by using the permaculture design concept, we can figure out many yields to pattern into our management activities. I want to explore some opportunities presented by integrating a small scale nursery into the process of site development, based on my experiences in a high desert climate context on sites of <2 […]

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