Simple Approaches to Making and Using Foliar Fertilizers

One of our main goals in the permaculture garden is to foster soil life, and there are many methods we use for accomplishing this goal. We apply thick mulches and add plenty of organic matter. We practice no-dig methods so as not to harm existing soil life, and we enhance richness by adding things like worm compost, manure, and leaf mold. We increase fertility with nitrogen-fixing plants. We cultivate perennial […]

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The Best Species for Coppice Forestry

It seems almost miraculous: you cut a tree down to its stump, and a couple years later it has grown several meters high once again. Like that mythical dragon who grows two heads for every one you cut off, there are dozens of different species of trees who have an incredible ability to regrow after severe cutting. Coppice forestry, the practice of cutting certain species of trees down to their […]

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The Revolutionary Civilizational Paradigm Eco Villages

The vast majority of people in the world no longer live in any sort of human settlement that could be considered a village. Rather, the increased urbanization of our species and the displacement of rural communities has led to a collection of isolated individuals who have very little relationship to the geographical place where they live and the people they share that place with. During the last two decades, however, […]

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Stevia

detail of stevia plantation in brazil

Stevia, also called sweetleaf or sugarleaf, is probably something we have all heard of. It seems to have risen in popularity in recent times and can be found in several of the foods we eat. However, even with this plant’s rising fame, we may not know exactly what it is. With stevia being up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, with relatively no calories, it can be an important component […]

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Organic Pesticides, Biological Controls, and Finding what Can Be Grown

Bugs are inevitably a part of growing things. While most of the bugs out there are good for the soil and good for your plants, there are plenty of pests that will drive you crazy while you try to salvage a tomato crop ravaged by white flies or a peach harvest destroyed by aphids. Conventional agriculture since the times of the Green Revolution has taken advantage of the distress that […]

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A Simple Solar Light to Light Up Your Life

In the developed world it can be pretty easy to take light bulbs for granted. For 1.6 billion people around the world that don’t have access to electricity, light is a precious commodity.  Out of the nearly 25% of the world’s population that has to go without electricity, many of them also live in makeshift, ramshackle housing in shanty towns thrown together with whatever sheet metal and spare wood they […]

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The Crises that Have Come with Urbanization

One of the defining aspects of our current civilization and one of the most worrying trends of modernity is our urbanization as a species. When we take the long view of human history, it becomes obvious that for 99% of our history, we have been a rural people, the majority of us making our living off the land and in small, agrarian communities. Though history (especially the last 2,000 years […]

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Healthy Horseradish

The Brassicaceae family (mustard family) has so many amazing vegetables in it that grow splendidly in our gardens. Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia Armoracia) is no exception. This rugged member of the family, like its relatives arugula, wasabi, and radishes, has a definite bite to its flavor. In fact, horseradish can be downright hot and gets hotter after you grate it and let it sit. Placing it in white wine […]

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Wal-Mart or the Farmer´s Market: Marketing Alternatives for the Small Farmer

I´m not going to lie: I hate Wal-Mart. Not only do I hate going to Wal-Mart and fighting the crowds of thousands of people searching for the cheapest way to feed their families and dress their children, but I also hate what Wal-Mart represents: the maximum expression of our globalized economy always searching for competitive advantages through cutting costs, mistreating employees, and destroying earth´s ecosystems. I hate that every day […]

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What Permaculture Should Mean to Homesteaders

What is Permaculture? Permaculture is a movement that’s taken flight in recent years. The dictionary describes Permaculture as “the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.” However, it is so much more than that vague description. It is a philosophy, a way to structure your home, and a way of life. Bill Mollison says that Permaculture is working alongside and with nature, rather than against it. Looking […]

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Elon Musk is Dead Wrong about Mars!

I am inspired by the phenomenally innovative work of, California based, Elon Musk. You may know him as the founder and CEO of the ground breaking Tesla Company. You may know that in spite of Elon growing up with the smell of mind-numbing bureaucratic paralysis in the Pretoria air, his thinking on electric cars and battery storage is proving to be hugely disruptive. His bold ideas will absolutely and fundamentally […]

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9 Productive Plants for Water Gardens

In permaculture design, water is the first priority. We try to find its natural routes on and off the property, slow it down, spread it out, and harvest it for use in times when it isn’t so abundant. In this regard, ponds (below surface water catchments, often naturally formed) and dams (walled-off catchments that retain water) are routinely part of a permaculture site. Designers should strive to make these bodies […]

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