Imagining A Better World: The Art Of Degrowth

We are living in an age of gross ecological overshoot – our demands on the planet far exceed what is sustainable. Wealth is extremely concentrated while billions go hungry. And with the world’s population heading toward 11 billion by the end of the century, something has to give. One response to these overlapping crises is degrowth. This movement argues that the developed regions of the world, including Australia, will need […]

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Black Maca, Mashua, and the Richness of Andean Tubers

For thousands of years, the ancient Incan empire developed a strong, resilient agriculture system that thrived even in the tough climate of the highlands of the Andes Mountains. One of the principles of their agricultural development was the diversification of different species that were well adapted to the local climatic conditions. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN considers the Andes region to be one of the […]

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A Primer on Raising Goats

Goats have gotten a reputation as one of the peskiest, most irritating, and bothersome farm animals. Images of “Billy” goats eating tin cans or tearing clothing off the line as it dries have been commonplace for several generations. While raising goats certainly does come with its own set of challenges, many of the supposed challenges to raising goats can be adequately dealt with through proper design that best utilizes the […]

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Exceptional Elderberries

Ah, elderberries, deliciously poisonous, yet good for you. The fruit you should eat…if you know what you’re eating. While they say all berries are edible, at least once, the berry of the Sambucus genus is indeed edible but MUST be cooked first to break down the cyanide-inducing glycoside. Why? Because, eating too much of the cyanide-inducing glycosides will cause a toxic buildup of cyanide (yes, that is poison) in the […]

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No-Till Farming for Healthier Soil and Lifestyles

Masanobu Fukuoka, the late Japanese farmer, developed a unique farming system he called “Natural Farming.” Trying to replicate what he saw in Nature, Fukuoka´s no till system allowed the soil to continually grow in fertility. Through the use of mulch and cover crops, this system effectively allows for continuous harvests of crop rotations, eliminates weeds and builds healthy top soil allowing for organic food production that is ecologically sustainable. Problems […]

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The Rainforest Information Centre

For more than a year the Rainforest Information Centre (RIC) has been struggling to prevent mining at our beloved Los Cedros Biological Reserve: In June of 2016 we found out that a mining concession had been surreptitiously handed to a Canadian mining company, although this was not announced by the Ecuadorean government until August of this year. Realizing this was part of a much larger problem, RIC started collaborating with […]

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Assessing a Property Before Designing It

For the purpose of this article and the scope of which I’m looking to explore, we are going to begin by assuming a hypothetical property is already bought and paid for. In short, we won’t be going into all of the legal assessment ideas that might be involved when buying a property, though many of these thoughts could help in choosing one to buy. Instead, we’ll be looking at assessing […]

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Permaculture and Community part 1: Permaculture as a Tool for Peace

For many, permaculture offers not only practical guidelines but also a particular lens through which to view the world. With the permaculture ethics and principles in mind, it is perhaps easier to maintain a holistic view of the world and yourself within it. This means, in my experience and opinion, that you can be more open-minded about what comes into and goes out of your experience, and by seeing the […]

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What Animals and a Barn Offer to Permaculture Design

The Importance of Animals in Permaculture Landscapes Our agrarian past reminds us that farming without animals is like trying to drive a car without gasoline. While crop rotations, cover crops and periodically maintaining the land fallow were some strategies our grandparents used for keeping the farm productive, the dairy cow, the flock of chickens, and the few hogs were the guarantee of the continued fertility of the fields. When done […]

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Pesticides Pollution

Pesticides are chemicals that are used to kill or control pests. This includes herbicides that are used for getting rid of weeds, insecticides used to treat fungicides, nematocides used to control nematodes as well as rodenticides used to treat vertebrate poisoning. Why pesticides can be harmful Pesticides contain ingredients such as oxygen, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen, and bromine as well as heavy metals such as arsenic, copper sulfates, lead, and […]

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The Importance of Pasture: How to take Advantage of What Animals Bring to the Farm

While barns are important on any farm, keeping animals on pasture is almost always the better option. Pasture raised animals are usually much healthier and the meat and other animal based food products they offer come with much more nutrients when those animals are raised in a natural setting. From a humanist and ethical standpoint, animals that are allowed to live outside for the majority of their lives are much […]

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12 Autumn Activities for the Temperate Homestead

For those who have followed my articles over the years, you might be aware of two things: A recent relocation and the fact that, in fact, I do not yet have a homestead of my own. My wife Emma and I spent quite nearly over two years in search of a piece of land in Central America, and in the end, we watched a couple of deals fall apart and, […]

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