Animal Housing, Bird Life, Livestock — by Eric Seider May 20, 2013
If any of you have had any experience with ducks, you’ll know that they produce and deposit enormous amounts of nutrient — aka duck poo. It usually ends up over everything they come in contact with. A general good practice is to keep them on water and then either fertigate (fertilize while irrigating) with that water and/or use them in connection with an aquaculture system (a fish pond with ducks produce more fish then without). But there are plenty of books and articles about what to do with ducks, so I’ll finish my digression and return to the subject at hand — that of a water source for ducks that they can’t poo in. Well, not without really trying to.Comments (2)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Fencing, Rehabilitation, Working Animals — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 12, 2013
Almost everyone who is exposed to permaculture concepts has seen the above graphic (from Bill Mollison’s Introduction to Permaculture). It’s a great way to get people thinking about how to create whole, functional systems that use different elements (like a chicken) in combination with other elements (like those found in your garden), to save labour and increase productivity. It is for many an eye-opening concept, but one that is quickly grasped, and one that encourages observation on the products and behaviours of many other elements — be they ‘animal, vegetable or mineral’.
It’s a great lead-in to permaculture thinking.
The gentleman in the video below well exemplifies this thinking. He clearly knows how to ‘manage’ his little chicken workforce. He knows what they love to do, and he knows they’ll charge him little to nothing for it. He recognises that to get the most out of the chicken, can also mean giving most to the chicken. This is a typical permaculture win-win.Comments (3)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Building, Compost, Livestock, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals — by Rick Pickett March 20, 2013
Rehabilitating degraded land in the Peruvian Amazon requires utilizing many tools in ecological agriculture’s arsenal. We use a mix of sea kelp, calcium solutions, organic fertilizers, and rock phosphate to add nutrients to our sacha inchi and mocambo polycultures.
One fertilizing solution we were without on the farm when I arrived was the mighty worm bin.* Vermiculture, or vermicompost, is a low-tech, organic method of using the digestive capacity of redworms (Eisenia fetida) to recycle animal and kitchen wastes into solid and/or liquid organic fertilizers. The worms may also be used as a high-protein feed for poultry. Some enterprising farmers also get into the business of selling the worms, castings and/or teas.Comments (7)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Breeds, Insects, Working Animals — by Catherine Griggs February 5, 2013
This article is for all those people out there who are under regular attack from the cursed slug. If you live in Great Britain or North Wales like I do, you know all to well about these little beasts. 2012 was a year of slug plagues for most gardeners in the UK due to the wet and humid weather which provided ideal breeding conditions. And with climate change these wet, humid summers are not likely to go away, so it’s best to get prepared.
Slug plagues are of course a symptom of an unbalanced ecosystem in that their natural predators and parasites are not abundant enough to balance the slug population. A balanced ecosystem takes time to establish so slugs can be a big problem in newly created permaculture gardens, especially when mulch is used. I would like to tell you about the fastest most entertaining and resourceful way of getting rid of your slugs.Comments (10)
Animal Forage, Bird Life, Breeds, Food Forests, Insects, Livestock, Plant Systems, Working Animals — by Eric Toensmeier January 24, 2013
Cattle grazing under alder in silvopasture system
at Las Canadas, Huatusco, Mexico
Integrating livestock seems to be the best way to have a larger-scale food forest (anything over one hectare or a couple of acres). If done properly, livestock integration can greatly reduce labor and fossil fuel needs. It can create the conditions for happy and healthy livestock. Done poorly, it can ruin soils and destroy crops. Here are a few things that I’ve been learning as I travel around and view this aspect of permaculture in action (plus some important tidbits from reading).Comments (30)
Bird Life, Plant Systems — by Zaia Kendall November 15, 2012
Using a safe deterrent for bush turkeys…
A good friend of mine had a problem with a bush turkey (also called scrub turkeys, bush chooks and I am sure a number of other names not suitable for publication…). The bush turkey had decided to make a nest very close to his home, and he was not happy about that at all. After shooing the turkey away numerous times, whereupon it, of course, returned every time, he pondered the problem….Comments (4)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Land, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water — by Dan Palmer October 17, 2012
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
The Site-Specific Design Problem
The problem was how do you drain a duck pond in a way that
- directs the overflow to the same exit pipe as when you drain it totally
- doesn’t involve reaching your hand to the bottom of a pond full of duck poo
- lets you easily drain out every last millimetre of sludge, and
- lets you refill the pond without having to wait around to turn the tap off when it’s full.
Below is the design in which this conundrum arose. The duck pond is just above the tank in the lower left (under an apricot) and the infiltration path/trench it feeds is the worm-like thing curving up and around under the fruit trees….Comments (1)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Livestock, Working Animals — by Ecofilms October 8, 2012
Here’s a great idea for a chicken coop built to fit the dimensions of straw bales. A simple four post construction with a raised floor and tin roof is all you need. Both sides of the chicken coop have temporary straw-bale walls that keeps the coop warm in winter and cool in summer. Chickens lay their eggs and roost in the center of the coop. In the springtime you replace the straw with fresh material. You don’t need to build any extra timber walls as the straw bales will keep the elements from entering the coop and keep the chickens nice and cosy.
The discarded bales can be either used as mulch bedding for the garden or used as deep litter for the chickens to scratch through and fertilize the material. Either way, its an efficient way to build your coop and keep the chickens happy.Comments (3)
Animal Forage, Bird Life, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Trees — by Chris McLeod September 14, 2012
Writing the series about Food Forests has made me aware of how much interest there is in them and how they can vary from region to region, but it also highlighted to me just how difficult it may be for people to actually visit a food forest.
However, thanks to the wonders of the internet and YouTube, people have the opportunity to take a virtual tour of a food forest and see how it progresses over time without leaving their chair!Comments (4)
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Bird Life, Food Plants - Annual, Irrigation, Livestock, Plant Systems, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals — by Charlie Jones August 22, 2012
You don’t need to eat fish to set up a backyard aquaponics system! Ducks are a great alternative and produce a huge amount of nutrient for growing veggies (not to mention providing eggs, meat and snail and slug control!) and they’re generally good friends to have around. At the Farm of Fluff, Chris and James set up this ‘quaquaponics’ system with a few bits and pieces we’d collected from the side of the road — and so far it’s doing brilliantly! You need a strong pump and good filtration to cope with the large particles coming through though! (We found a whole tomato blocking the drain one day, so check and clean regularly!)Comments (7)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Fencing, Land, Livestock, Working Animals — by Dan Palmer July 18, 2012
In late 2009 we were engaged to complete a design for a ¼ acre block in the Melbourne suburbs. It was for a family of four and the husband in particular was keen to grow lots of food.Comments (4)
Bird Life, Food Plants - Perennial — by Mari Korhonen July 3, 2012
An easy trick for saving your strawberries from birds!
Here’s a little tip I learned last summer from a friend for saving your strawberries from getting munched by birds:
Early in the season, before the strawberries start turning red, pick some little strawberry-sized stones and paint them red. When you scatter these fake strawberries along your berry patch, the curious and hungry birds come to check them out with a feast on their mind. But once encountering these fairly boring imposter berries they soon lose their interest and leave the patch alone — even after the real ones start to ripen….
It’s also fun to do with kids, parents, grandparents, friends… anyone!Comments (7)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Breeds, Building, Fencing, Livestock, Urban Projects, Working Animals — by Dan Palmer June 21, 2012
When designing edible gardens, a site-specific problem will often crop up. One of the most enjoyable aspects of permaculture design for us is devising site-specific solutions to those problems. In this short series we give four examples, all bona fide VEG originals, with a new one each month for the next four months.
Part One – the Chook/Fox Filter
The Site-Specific Design Problem
In 2005 Dan from VEG lived in a Melbourne sharehouse with abundant veggie gardens, a woodrow-style chook tractor and several chooks, as shown below. Another chook tractor is shown in the next photo to give a better idea of what the thing looked like — a lightweight moveable bottomless chook pen.
Animal Housing, Biodiversity, Biological Cleaning, Bird Life, Building, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Conservation, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 1, 2012
Paradise Dam, April 2012, from the now-climaxing food forest
Photos © Craig Mackintosh (unless otherwise indicated)
Zaytuna Farm Video Tour, duration 41 minutes
Note: Switch YouTube player to HD if your internet connection allows
Having spent the last few years seeking to establish and assist projects worldwide, and hearing some readers requesting more info on our own permaculture base site, I thought it high time I take a moment away from promoting other projects to shine a little light on our own work!
It had been a long time since I last visited Zaytuna Farm. Arriving in April 2012, more than two and a half years after my September 2009 visit, I was somewhat taken aback…. Back in 2009 the farm could somewhat be described as an unruly child — full of energy and enthusiasm, and flush with life, but not at all mature. Now, as I see Geoff Lawton’s vision for the property being played out more fully, we could compare the farm to more of a blossoming and beautiful teenager, still fresh in youth, but demonstrating a clearer sense of direction.
Geoff’s long term strategies are becoming evident, and it really is a sight, and site, to behold!Comments (22)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Dan Palmer March 13, 2012
Two days ago Dan and Will returned to a large VEG permaculture design and implementation project that was completed about five months ago. Via the videos below, take a virtual walk about the front and back yards — warts, ducks, giant silver beet, gorgeous connected multidimensional abundance and all!
You can also check out the design and before, during and after photos of the project here and also in our downloadable portfolio (warning: 38mb PDF!).