General — by Owen Hablutzel May 15, 2013
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Is there a global permaculture revolution rising now?
The short answer is: Absolutely!
The wide variety of serious and increasingly complex issues confronting people and ecosystems worldwide are leading folks to seek solutions they can apply right now. Today. An increasing number of the public are recognizing the urgency of addressing these issues. At the same time the systemic inadequacy of present governance institutions to shift the current situation towards a sustainable trajectory becomes more and more obvious. People are simply past waiting for their ‘rulers’ to get their acts together. They want to be involved in meaningful and responsible actions which they can perform themselves, and in their communities, immediately. More and more folks, every day, in every culture on the planet, are pro-actively using their birthright of human agency, moving beyond merely ‘hoping’ that things work out, and passionately engaging… doing the actual necessary work to help create positive outcomes in their communities and world.Comments (0)
Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel May 3, 2013
Though too often vilified, both ‘cows’ and ‘plows’ have proven to be among our most effective and available tools for restoring healthy ecological and eco-agricultural systems in our landscapes. Bucking the trend in conservation that has denounced these tools from early on was Aldo Leopold – perhaps best known for his influential Land Ethic from 1948. In his earlier, groundbreaking book about working with ecosystems and wildlife, Game Management (1933), his preface made the visionary but provocative claim that “Game can be restored by the creative use of the same tools which have heretofore destroyed it — ax, plow, cow, fire, and gun.”Comments (2)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Land, Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel June 30, 2012
The Keyline Contribution to Permaculture
Without Percival Alfred (P.A.) Yeomans and his Keyline concepts Permaculture as we know it would not exist. Bill Mollison is quick to tip his hat toward this debt in the very first paragraph of Permaculture Two: Practical Design for Town and Country in Permanent Agriculture. Here, after making the claim that Permaculture is different from all other approaches to agriculture due to its use of “conscious design,” he respectfully qualifies, “with the notable exception of Keyline concepts.”
In fact, most of the major themes that were developed into the permaculture approach were exploratory trails originally blazed by the practical visionary, P.A. Yeomans.(1) His relentless experimentation, fearless ‘trial-and-error’ mistake-making, tireless reflection, ongoing adjustment, and ‘learning by doing,’ (as well as his unique set of skills and knowledge in hydrology and engineering) made him one of the most innovative ‘adaptive managers’ of agricultural history.
The Keyline process he developed was the first farm/ranch planning approach to:Comments (7)
Conservation, DVDs/Books, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Material, Natural Swimming, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Terraces, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel July 14, 2011
The volume reviewed below comes highly recommended for all Permaculturists working in or around any water channels, and particularly on the broad-acre. While the methods happen to apply most immediately in drylands, they will apply directly anywhere that erosion, down-cutting, rapid gully formation, and other forms of channel incision occur. Keep in mind that these techniques will also apply in ephemeral channels that only carry water during rare rain storms, and are otherwise ‘dry.’
Importantly, even if you are working more within mesic environments and do not see a lot of actively incising channels, just the knowledge you will gain about stream dynamics and working with various stream powers and flood-regimes will be applicable and invaluable to your work. These factors, such as the ‘bankfull’ flood, and the specific inter-relations and ratios of multiple stream variables remain the same as basic physics of water flow no matter what the environment. These physics will dictate exactly where and where not to place any kind of built structure within an active water channel, and enable you to predict results of your efforts with much greater precision. How many of us doing this kind of work have lost stream structures to a “gully-washer”? The knowledge and approach in this book could have saved many a headache, cash outlay, and enabled construction of more durable, persistent, and ultimately useful work.
Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Urban Projects — by Owen Hablutzel August 28, 2010
The Los Angeles Arboretum:
is a unique 127 acre botanical garden and historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and located in the city of Arcadia [just outside of Los Angeles]. Home to plant collections from all over the world, including many rare and endangered species… (from the LA Arboretum website)
This respected Los Angeles institution has now broken new ground by being home to a Permaculture “first,” as detailed in the article that follows…
Fun-tastic Permasphere, L.A. Arboretum
by Erin Marteal
The planting methods in the Permaculture Sphere follow two basic Permaculture principles: 1. Make use of the resources you have, and 2. Mimic nature. When you eat a tomato, simply smoodge the seeds out on the ground and let nature take it from there. Look to the fruits of the market to provide your seeds rather than those little expensive packets. The squirrels might make off with some, but they’re bound to leave a few behind to take root in your garden.Comments (2)
DVDs/Books — by Owen Hablutzel June 4, 2010
Book by Brian Walker and David Salt
Island Press – 2006
Reviewed by Owen Hablutzel
When is the last time you were surprised? It might have been a brand new volunteer plant in the garden, bizarre and beautiful fungi in the pasture, an incredible storm on the horizon, or a blessed windfall on the balance sheets! Given the inherent unpredictable nature of wholes – complex adaptive systems from cells, to bodies, to farms, societies and all of nature – we can be sure that surprise and unexpected change will happen quite frequently. If this is true at the home, farm or business scale it is all the more so at the regional, national, and global scales in today’s always changing and increasingly interconnected world.Comments (0)
Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Society — by Owen Hablutzel January 18, 2010
December 3-5, 2009
Orella Ranch, CA
Remember the Chicken?
The ‘Permaculture Chicken’ is a classic example used by Bill Mollison and many subsequent Permaculture teachers to illustrate an extremely useful analysis technique for use when designing systems. In the case of the classic chicken example, this ‘element’ of the system – the chicken – is analyzed for its needs (inputs) and its products (outputs). Using this information a designer can begin to make connections between each of the diverse components of the system, integrating all of these elements into a whole, functional system.Comments (1)
Compost, Courses/Workshops, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation — by Owen Hablutzel November 8, 2009
October 30 – November 1, 2009
Orella Ranch, Gaviota Coast, California.
A wise person once said that soil is not only more complex than we know, it is more complex than we can ever know! The good news is humans have lately achieved a level of practically applicable knowledge and experience in soil biology to be absolutely capable of massive, positive impacts on sustainable soil use world-wide! It is undoubtedly true that we’ll never know everything, but no matter – we already know enough to get very, very busy!Comments (10)