Australian Farmers Benefit from the Use of Biosolids

The use of human biosolids to improve pastures has been catching on in New South Wales – to the point where demand for the resource from area farmers is outstripping Sydney Water’s available supply. Each year, the company reuses 100 per cent of biosolids produced, for a total of approximately 180,000 tonnes. “The soils on our farm are of poor quality and fragile, with low organic matter and poor structure […]

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The New Suburbanism

Many people in industrial societies live in the suburbs which are really neither city nor country living. Many people have openly criticized the suburban way of life as the apex of consumer lifestyle highly dependent on fossil fuel input. Suburban life is a sort of pseudo-rural life where affluent middle and upper-class people purchase land “in the country” in order to enjoy the tranquility of being close to nature and […]

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Evaporation to Aid in Providing Energy

A group of out-of-the-box thinkers from Columbia University recently published a study that claims they may have found a way to efficiently harness energy from the byproduct of evaporation. They’ve been able to put their work into meaningful numbers, estimating that if we implemented their design idea, we could provide power for 70% of the country. The way their evaporation engine works is by way of gathering power from the […]

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How to Forage Safely as a Beginner

Disclaimer: Always seek local advise prior to consumption of wild mushrooms. I guess, to be completely honest, the best ways to forage as beginner would be to either hire a guide to take you or attend some sort of class. However, I’m going to come at this thing assuming most people are at least somewhat like me and bit tight with the budget. Truly, and even still, I plan to […]

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Diversity and Scale

Functional, productive diversity is an essential element in the design science of permaculture. Diversity is a very good thing and we absolutely want to be stacking as much useful diversity into our designs as we can. There are a few things to note, however, about the use of diversity in design. Firstly, as mentioned above, we want our diversity to be functional and productive. This means that we want a […]

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Lawns to Gardens

Lawn Island Farms, whose mission is to turn Suburban Lawns to Suburban Gardens, was founded by Jim and Rosette Adams in New York, United States. Born and raised in Uganda, Rosette was used to cooking meals straight from the garden, as opposed to purchased from a grocery store. To Rosette, learning that Americans didn’t grow their own food was shocking – and after taking a job at a local community […]

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Questioning the Growth Economy

If you have ever driven through rural Kentucky or Ohio or Pennsylvania, chances are you have run across a horse drawn carriage with a group of people who appear to have emerged from the 1700´s. Many Amish and Mennonite communities still ardently and stubbornly maintain a pre-technological and pre-industrial lifestyle despite being surrounded by consumer capitalist civilization. For many observers, these simple, hardworking farm communities are like a living antique; […]

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The Amazing Hazel – The Essential Guide to Everything you need to know about Hazels

Hazel is a multi-purpose champion of a plant that is super easy to grow, produces delicious nuts, pliable wood that can be crafted into a variety of products, provides early fodder for bees and an encouraging spectacle when flowering during the mid-winter.

What more can I say…. a plant so good people started naming their daughters after it.

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What Defines Appropriate Technology?

Our Current Addiction to Technology If there is one defining aspect of our modern civilization it´s that we are a technological species. Compared to other organisms with whom we share this planet, we Homo sapiens aren´t exactly well adapted to long term survival. We have no coat of fur to keep us warm, we don´t have sharp teeth or claws to hunt with, and we´re extremely vulnerable to the elements […]

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The Cost of Food Insecurity

In many developing countries, undernutrition is a recognized – and well documented – crisis. However, with increasing urbanization, another health concern is beginning to emerge as people choose to consume foods of convenience rather than exert the effort it takes to grow their own produce. While nutritious foods are still readily available in rural areas, the industrial urban systems involved with food processing and supply means these healthy foods are […]

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Backhoes versus a Back and a Hoe: The Question of Machines in Permaculture

We have led several natural building workshops over the years, mostly focusing on building with cob. Usually, a pattern related to people´s energy levels and enthusiasm becomes apparent. The first day, people are excited and anxious to take their shoes off and start getting muddy. They want to cut the “theory” part short in order to get straight to the praxis of building with earth. After a day or two […]

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Captivating Capers

closeup of beautiful caper buds and flower

Capers (Capparis spinose), the caper bush, also called Flinders rose, is a perennial plant that is known to have round, plump leaves and large fragrant white to light pink flowers. What the plant is best known for though are the edible (unripe/unopened) flower buds (capers) and the oblong fruit that is filled with many seeds (caper berries) that it produces. There are other Capparis species that are used for medicinal […]

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