Tree Crops

Chestnut bud in spring day

For thousands of years, farmers have generally differentiated forestry and agriculture. Forests were either left alone or planted and maintained as a source of fuel and building material. In the best of cases, certain trees also offered forage for livestock and other farm animals. The farm fields were generally kept clear of any trees because farming was relegated to nothing more than the planting and harvesting of annual (mostly grain) […]

Read More >
0 Comment

“Free” Fertilizer is Saving Rural Farmers

Revitalizing dead soil can be done in just one planting season, thanks to Shivansh farming. Rural farmers can use whatever materials are available to them to restore their livelihoods – lowering their costs and increasing their yields. The majority of the world’s poorest farmers use a nitrogen fertilizer called urea. The chemical was initially produced to serve industrial agriculture, but many small-scale farmers were swayed by the fertilizer’s promise of […]

Read More >
7 Comments

The Best Perennial Vegetables

One of the tasks that I most dislike about the farming life is preparing the raised beds each time I want to plant out a crop of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, or onion. While I do enjoy eating a fresh tomato from my garden, the tedious, repetitive tasks of preparing the garden bed, weeding, and then planting out a winter cover crop does take up more time than I would like. […]

Read More >
5 Comments

Reducing Resource Use (Energy and Water) in Industrialised Farms

Resources such as energy and water are consumed directly and indirectly throughout the supply chain of products emancipating from industrialised farms. The indirect use of resources in this context refers to the resources that are used for operations carried out by a third party on behalf of an industrialised farm as well as those resources used to fuel activities or processes that are linked indirectly to them. The indirect use […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Cold Frames, How and Why

Before moving to the temperate climate, I’d assumed that winter was pretty much a wash for growing a decent crop. I knew soils were good and summers abundant, all of which led to lots of food storage for getting through winter. I even looked forward to the squashes and pumpkins, and I couldn’t wait for the berries and hard fruits. That all seemed doable, even exciting in a way, but […]

Read More >
1 Comment

The Shower Tractor

No, not a diesel-powered agricultural behemoth with a bathroom behind the cabin. This is much simpler; a portable shower which can be easily moved to water the garden wherever it’s needed. Our small 1-acre property, which gets around 800mm rain each year, often benefits from a little extra water during dry spells. Some extra water will mean plants will continue growing which would otherwise become dried hay-like lifeless husks. Adding […]

Read More >
1 Comment

The Uses of a Bunyip Water Level

Learning how to make use of the rain falling on your roof is one of the central tenets of permaculture. No matter how well you plan out your landscape design, however, you´ll never be able to catch all of the water that falls on your site for a pond or for a cistern. And even if you build a massive pond or cistern, the best way to hold water on […]

Read More >
9 Comments

Clarifying the Components of Permaculture

As a permaculture teacher one of the very first things I want to offer my students is a conceptual way to understand what permaculture is made up of. I want to answer the question, likely not yet asked, of ‘how do we make organisational sense of all this content that is being or about to be taught in a Permaculture Design Certificate?’. Permaculture is a vast field of knowledge, there […]

Read More >
4 Comments

Rubble Trenches and Lime Mortars to Avoid Cement for Construction Purposes

The most important part of any home is its foundation. While roofs can be replaced and walls can be knocked over and raised once again, a bad foundation is often impossible to fix. In the modern day construction industry, almost every house sits on a cement slab foundation that is buried beneath the frost line underneath the walls of your home. While cement certainly has high compression strength, there are […]

Read More >
2 Comments

Tasty Turnips

Turnips (Brassica rapa var. rapa L.) are a member of the Brassicaceae family of plants (aka mustard plants) which includes some veggies we are pretty familiar with such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and arugula. Like many of the vegetables from this family, turnips are great because they have a unique taste all their own. Plus, with turnips, you can eat both the root and the green! They didn’t fall off […]

Read More >
2 Comments

The Problems with our Industrial Water System Today

Imagine that you´re in your home on a rainy afternoon. It has been raining for two days straight now and your front yard is full of puddles. The water is rushing along the drain ways on the side of the road and the local news is talking about the stress on the local sewer system that this extra rain is causing. When you turn on the faucet in your kitchen […]

Read More >
1 Comment

5 “Grow-Your-Own” Mulch Plants for the Tropics

The tropical forest is constantly self-mulching. After a walk in the woods I usually return with bits of leaves and twigs caught in my hair. Lying in bed at night, my partner and I often hear branches and even whole trees tumbling toward the great soil food web below. This self-mulching is one important piece in the self-renewing fertility cycle of the tropical forest. And of all the functions of […]

Read More >
6 Comments