Category: Soil

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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Jean Pain Composting – All the Energy You Need, From the Garden

by Benjamin Falloon, TaranakiFarm.com My partner Nina Grundner and I have just finished translating a 15 minute german video documentary short on the frenchman Jean Pain. For those unfamiliar with his work, I’ll quote wikipedia verbatim…. Jean Pain (1930 – 1981) was a French innovator who developed a compost based bioenergy system that produced 100% of his energy needs. He heated water to 60 degrees celsius at a rate of […]

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Compost & Compost Tea Workshop

A workshop in the utilization of local “waste” in providing all the required nutrients for productive systems, with Paul Taylor. FarmReady Approved Course ID# FRTC0185 July 18th – July 19th 2009. 09:00-17:00 with lunch break Malanda • Atherton Tablelands • Far North Queensland $265 for 2 Days Incl. Morning & Afternoon Tea & Lunch Topics include: Making “backyard compost” The principles of compost tea Compost tea brewers Creating beneficial soil […]

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Organic Waste Matters

by Kym Kruse, of Free Range Permaculture Next time you go to throw that banana peel in the bin, stop and think about the environmental impact that action has. As with most things these days, we are quickly running out of landfill space. More than 50% of all household waste, from vegetable scraps to garden waste, can be recycled or composted. By doing this you can not only help your […]

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Each Step is the Way – Part I

Editor’s Note: David Perkins recently sat his PDC with Geoff Lawton and Darren Doherty, and has been very busy since…. Recent developments at Kailash-Akhara, Adi Yoga Retreat Center, Phu Rua, Loei, Thailand. By David Perkins (Dharmadeva) – Farm Manager and resident permaculture designer and educator at Kailash-Akhara. This report provides an overview of many aspects of creating a retreat center and living sustainably using the principles of permaculture. Short monthly […]

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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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Community-Based Rainforest Restoration Work is Huge Success in Borneo

In his twenty minute talk, Willie Smits (a Dutch forestry scientist who emigrated to Indonesia 20 years ago to help the country grow trees) explains how a chance encounter with a dying baby Orangutan changed the direction of his work – culminating not only in his creating the biggest orangutan rehabilitation center in the world, but also in restoring large tracts of rainforest in a community-based endeavour that is bringing […]

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Keyline Design – Mark IV

‘Soil, Water & Carbon for Every Farm’ – Building Soils, Harvesting Rainwater, Storing Carbon by Abe Collins & Darren Doherty Introduction Keyline Design was first developed by the great Australian, P.A. Yeomans (1904-1984), in the late 1940s & 50s initially as a practical response to the unpredictable rainfall regime he found on his new property, ‘Nevallan’, to the west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Soil Conservation, as developed by […]

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Report on our Iranian Consultancy Trip of December 2008

Editor’s Note: Iran has been making headlines in the media a great deal over the last few years. Here’s a side to the story you don’t normally get to hear, as experienced by our own Geoff Lawton. We are applying Permaculture techniques to restore the landscape in the hottest place on the planet In December 2008 it was our great pleasure and honour to be invited to Iran to work […]

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Greening the Desert Project Outcomes Profiled

Most readers will be familiar with the awesome, seemingly miraculous work Geoff and Nadia Lawton accomplished with the ‘Greening the Desert‘ project in Jordan (not to be confused with the new Jordan Valley Permaculture Project, where completely new miracles are under way). Well, this work has now been well profiled in the ProAct Network’s recent release: The Role of Environmental Management in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Annex […]

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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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Vetiver Grass – A Hedge Against Erosion

PIJ #54, March – May 1995 Soil erosion is perhaps the world’s most chronic environmental problem that is literally costing the earth. The soil it carries off now totals 20 billion tons a year and this loss is not only severely degrading the environment, it is eroding the economic viability of countries. Despite enormous effort, standard soil conservation methods have been largely unsuccessful. However, a remarkable tropical grass may hold […]

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