7 Productive Zone-7 Plants That I Think I’m Falling For

I love discovering new, useful plants to incorporate into garden design schemes. Of course, there are a great number of plants many of us have never heard of, let alone know how to utilize, but one of the great things about the permaculture mindset is that it constantly yields wonderful, unfamiliar flora to cultivate. There are many ways a plant or tree can be useful. Food is one that we […]

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What do lizards, procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with your brain? Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series about the “lizard brain” – made up of the oldest parts of the human brain, (Please see Part 1 of this Series for a note about my use of the term, “lizard brain.”) The lizard brain co-exists with our more recently evolved brain regions and can cause all kinds of havoc if we don’t understand how to make good use of it. To summarize […]

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12-Plus Methods for Keeping Challenging Weeds and Pests Out of the Garden

  With organic gardening, especially at the outset, comes a few new challenges for transitioning growers. Pesticides and other chemicals have, for several decades, become the go-to solution for all things in the garden, and now that many of us are clearing our heads from that fog, we are left to rediscover methods for dealing with everyday garden problems.  When herbicides have been the trick for combating weeds, how do […]

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What do lizards, procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with your brain? Part 1

  Did you know there’s a lizard in your brain that’s the source of all your resistance to difficult, boring, intimidating or uncomfortable tasks?    And that this lizard can be re-trained, using Permaculture principles and (un)common sense, to help you reach your goals, instead of sabotaging them?  This Series of articles will show you how.  Here, in Part 1, I’ll explain the human brain structure in very simple terms. We’ll meet […]

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Weeds Aren’t Actually All That Bad

Weeds, many say, are but misunderstood plants, plants that have somehow fallen out of favor. Often, they are ready growers, keen to pop up where space has allowed, and typically they are doing so to perform some sort of vital ecological function. Geoff Lawton says they are “symptom” of a flawed situation rather than the actual problem.   Weeds are working to right wrongs. They cover the ground. They prevent erosion. […]

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How to Start an Urban Farm

Like any new venture, starting an urban farm is a daunting and difficult task. Not only do you have to find land to farm, but that land also must be suitable for growing food. Not only do you have to know how to grow food, but you also have to know what to do with your bounty when harvest time comes around. What has often been referred to as “the […]

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Unwanted Chemical Pool Gets Permaculture Makeover

Six months into our pool to pond conversion and the problem really has become the solution. For some time, we had been flirting with the idea of doing something productive with our unwanted 12,000 gallon in-ground swimming pool. It was during my Permaculture design course with Geoff Lawton last year that I decided to commit to a full conversion to an aquaculture wetland. What seemed like my most daunting project […]

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How to Make Instant Garden Beds

A common problem when just starting a garden is dealing with the fact that we’ve not had time to condition the soil, fostering it into something heaving with fertility. Or, maybe we just aren’t that far into gardening yet anyway and don’t know what to do. Basically, it seems we are left with the option of using what we have and hoping for the best, or we can spend a […]

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How To Motivate Kids To Learn About Permaculture

When my kids were toddlers, they wanted to help me in the garden every spring. They were more than happy to wear a silly straw hat like Dad and work the soil with a trowel. I would take the opportunity to talk to them about how our compost was conditioning the soil and how the worms helped the plants grow.  But by the time early summer rolled around, they had […]

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Different Methods for Propagating Fruit Trees from Cuttings, Etc.

While saving seeds is a great practice and every budding grower should be starting a personal seed bank, certain plants and trees are better propagated via cuttings. This is particularly the case with many fruit trees because they won’t produce the same quality of fruit as their parent plant.   While it can be a good idea to produce a variety of species and encourage the sowing of wild oats, so […]

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Fixes for Nutrient Deficient Soil

Basic understanding of plant health comes from the soil they grow in. Their nutrition is vital to their health and overall sustainability, so it’s essential for plants to get all of the macronutrients necessary to thrive. However, there are times we still struggle with a plant mysteriously dying off long before its time. It happens, but this is often indicative of a bigger problem with the nutrients in the soil. […]

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How Dry Composting Toilets Work

Dry composting toilets are an efficient, cyclical way of dealing with human waste without using and/or fouling fresh water, which is in ever-dwindling supply on the planet. Using clean water to flush human excrement sends it into either a septic system, which eventually has to be pumped and the sludge moved to larger facilities where it will then be dealt with, or sewer mains, where it congregates into a horribly […]

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