Category: Soil Biology

Nottinghill Forest Garden – Project Overview 2010 – 2014

This is Part one of a series of Articles, that critically discuss’s the Nottinghill Forest Garden Project from Analysis – to Implementation – to Future Idea’s. Fall 2010: Initial Site Analysis & Goal Setting An initial site analysis for our property was much easier than at others due to a variety of factors: a) we have lived and observed (albeit with less attention to detail than now) the property throughout […]

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Re-Greening a Mountain

When Geoff Lawton says this is the best Permaculture demonstration site on the planet, then you have to stop and listen. “Where is it exactly?” I asked, as I’ve never heard of this place. I didn’t know the Chinese were even into permaculture. “Kadoorie Farm” he said and he insisted we go there and film. “It’s in Hong Kong on a massive mountain. The whole place has been redeveloped. You […]

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This Zero-Cost, Waste-Eliminating Practice Can Produce Abundant Crops from Healthy, Restored Soils for Generations to Come

Photography by Jasmine A Koster What is zero-cost, waste-eliminating and can restore soils to fertility to produce abundant crops for generations to come? Biochar. Gloria Flora gave a presentation on biochar at the Fourth Annual Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence. She discussed biochar as a method for producing energy and amending soil from waste products that end up in the landfill. “This is the Permaculture idea of capturing everything…with the pig, […]

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Worm Farming at Zaytuna Farm

Photos © Ingrid Pullen Worms are an essential part of a permanent agricultural system. At Zaytuna Farm worm farming has been developed into a very productive system. The feed stock we use is the contents of composting toilets and animal manures. The worm farm product is included in the potting mix for the plants grown in the plant nursery of the farm, producing very healthy and productive plants.

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Fred Kirschenmann: Soil – from Dirt to Lifeline (TED video)

Fred Kirschenmann has been involved in sustainable agriculture and food issues for most of his life. He currently serves as both a Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, and as President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also still provides management oversight of his family’s 2,600 acre organic farm in south central North Dakota. […]

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Nitrogen: the Double-Edged Sword

Dutch clover cover crop between cabbage rows Nitrogen is a component of protein and DNA and as such, is essential to all living things. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, around 97% of the nitrogen supporting life on earth was fixed biologically. Over the last century, intensification of farming, coupled with a lack of understanding of soil microbial communities, has resulted in reduced biological activity and an increased application of industrially […]

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The Secret Of El Dorado – Terra Preta

In this documentary a legendary civilization thought to be too good to be true on the basis of the stories told by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana, is found to be a real part of history. We can separate fact from fiction here, in that the golden riverbanks the Spaniard told of were not golden with precious metal strewn along them, but with something far more precious — crops!

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Black Magic: The Secrets of Amazonian Fertility

The great Amazon rainforest. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Bones. Charcoal. Ash. Blood. Feces. Food waste. Pottery shards. Before I began my journey into permaculture and regenerative ecology, if you asked me why someone would gather and bury these things together, I would have guessed at some kind of disgusting voodoo magic ritual. But for those initiated into the alchemy of composting and soil generation, this is actually a recipe […]

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Report on 5-Day Permaculture Workshop for the Etse Fewus Herbalists Association in Fitch, North Soha, Ethiopia: Part 1

Several years ago we were visited at our project site in Konso, South Ethiopia by an Australian lady called Elizabeth D’Avigdor and her daughter, May. We gave her a tour around our site and showed her what we were up to at the time. I vaguely remember her mentioning that she was working on a project somewhere up north. Several years later I heard from her again. She sent me […]

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