The Importance of Tree Crops in Sustainable Agriculture

Tree Crops are the most common perennial agricultural method. More specifically, orchards are one of the most common and successful forms of perennial agriculture. A well-maintained peach orchard will give you a steady crop for up to 20 years. An apple orchard can last up to 50 years and well-maintained pecan tree may very well continue to produce for up to 150 years. Our agricultural systems have been designed almost […]

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Heating (and Cooling) Passively When It’s Too Late to Design Your Home for It

One of the more difficult things about taking on a permaculture lifestyle when we already have an established residence is that, because the practice is based on efficient design, many times we having seemingly come to the game too late. Once a brick-and-mortar house is built and our savings are invested, it’s no small task to start renovating it to have a built in grey water system or south-facing aspect. […]

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Climate Change and the Challenge to All Forms of Agriculture

We´ve all heard of climate change and probably understand the basics of how excess greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide produced by our society´s burning of fossil fuels is causing the earth´s temperature to rise. We´ve most likely seen maps of what the world will look like when the glaciers and icebergs melt causing the ocean to rise and most of us probably accept that it is a danger to our […]

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Can a House be a Sustainable Part of the Landscape?

The modern-day housing industry is notorious for leaving out any and all elements of design. Most home contractors design the houses they build around a minimum square footage (the more, the better) and a price range in the several hundred-thousand-dollar range. These houses are designed behind desks or in offices without ever setting foot on the actual piece of land where the home is to be built. The actual piece […]

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The Mortgage as the Most Important Part of Modern Housing

What is a home and what purpose should it hold for our lives? In our modern society, our homes are designed and built to offer us comfort and separation from the world around us. The homes we live in are like tiny bubbles of convenience, comforts, and luxuries that make us forget the places we inhabit. Once in our homes, we completely forget about the world around us. With the […]

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Propagation Techniques

Establishing a tree-based perennial agriculture system can cost a lot of money, especially if you´re planning on buying $30 dollar bagged fruit trees at your local orchard. Luckily, you can propagate many of the trees you are planning to plant by yourself. One of the easiest and best known ways to propagate many different trees, bushes, and other perennial plants is through planting seeds. Many nitrogen-fixing trees and bushes can […]

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Challenges of Choice

Even before permaculture vernacular had become commonplace to us, my wife Emma and I were active in our pursuit of living more in keeping with how we wanted to treat the planet, its animals, and our fellow humans. We were already ardent boycotters, believers in fair wages, in animal rights, in corporate responsibility. We signed petitions. We were vegans who mostly cooked from scratch. We even shopped locally, utilizing farmers’ […]

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The Problems with Corporations and Phantom Wealth

In the late 1800´s, corporations became people. It´s kind of hard to imagine Shell or Wal-Mart or other immensely large companies as a person that could be considered your neighbor, but for judicial and legal purposes, corporations have many of the same rights and protections as any ordinary person. Corporate personhood paved the way for mega-corporations to effectively govern the world. Of the world´s 100 largest economies, 51 of them […]

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The Mindset of Monoculture

Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, it has been fairly easy to fall into the mindset of monoculture. The lure of big machines offering us power and control; making our lives easier in some senses, but more complicated in others; has led us into an all-encompassing embrace of the mindset and paradigm that made the modern-day world possible. For thousands of years, we collectively labored away at a lifestyle […]

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The Watson Wick Flush Toilet System

During a recent visit to a friend´s organic farm in Costa Rica, I made my way up the steps to his composting toilet system surrounded by bamboo posts and palm-thatched roofing. As I sat there listening to the birds, I noticed a small poster hanging on the door. It was a comic strip with two drawings. The first drawing showed two extraterrestrials staring into a toilet with question marks over […]

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Perennial Polycultures and the Richness of Diversity

The Way Nature Provides Imagine walking down a country road. On one side of the road, you see acres and acres of corn grown in neat rows. On the other side of the road stands an old-growth forest filled with towering trees and a thick underbrush. If you were to ask anyone which side of the road produced the most food, almost everyone would say that the cornfield is a […]

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33 Books That Have Enriched My Permaculture Life

There was a time, some years ago, in which I aspired to be a fiction writer, and in those years, I found inspiration in the words of authors who wrote fiction (Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins are two that feel prominent). From there, I entered the world of travel writing, and I studied the works of people (Pico Iyer, Paul Theroux, Tim Cahill, Bill Bryson) prominent in that field. I […]

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