Success in Tough Times (France)

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Land, Livestock, People Systems, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees.

by Steve Hanson 2012 is our eighth year of small scale farming in France and has seen us move from income dependence to financial security and independence. Looking back over the last eight years at our mistakes and our successes in getting to this point demonstrates the value of an integrated approach. When we arrived… Read more »

The Gift of the Maya

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees.

As we approach the winter solstice and the end of one long count and the beginning of another, our understanding of the Mayan world is rapidly being transformed by new knowledge. The traditional Mayan narrative in western literature is perhaps best exemplified by the writings of Jared Diamond and Joseph Tainter, who ascribe the collapse… Read more »

Practical Plants Database

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees.

Fresh onto the interweb is a project that I had on my own things-to-do list for some time now, but this new site may well have saved me the pain. It’s a great new plant database, with over 7400 plant profiles and the very cool ability to drill-down to suitable plants by ticking off what… Read more »

My Experience of Permaculture Aid Work in Ethiopia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting.

I’m not sure it’s possible, looking back now, to say exactly what I was expecting when I hopped on that plane and flew to Ethiopia for an internship at Strawberry Fields, but one thing I am sure of is that it’s been one of the most transformative, edifying experiences I’ve had in my life.

Finding Sustainability in Ecosystem Restoration

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had… Read more »

Talking Teds

Posted by & filed under Bird Life, Plant Systems.

by Zaia Kendall, PRI Sunshine Coast 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… Read more »

How To Survive the Coming Crises (free Geoff Lawton video)

Posted by & filed under Dams, DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Peak Oil, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting.

At time of writing, our Zaytuna Farm Video Tour video has had almost 11,000 views, after only six months. A lot of people expressed their appreciation for this video, with some describing it as a "free DVD". Where we can, we want to provide more inspirational/instructional material for free, and today I’m writing to let… Read more »

Tony Lovell on Soil Carbon: Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs – In the Earth (TEDx video)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees.

I love the nice progression of logic in this presentation. Running the numbers like this shows not only how powerful a carbon sink our earth’s soils can be, under the right management, but also just how futile and what a goose-chasing diversion most contemporary technological ‘fixes’ for climate change really are.

Planting Days Are Here! (Al Baydha, Saudi Arabia)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

by Neal Spackman This week the project started planting the swales with 1000 very hardy desert trees. The team is working in shifts of laying drip line, digging holes, manuring and mulching swales, putting in compost, planting, mulching again, and then adjusting the drip emitter.

Food Forests, Part 6: Diversity, or Picking a Garden Salad

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems.

One benefit of a single crop farm is that it isn’t hard to remember what it is that you are growing! Most of that single crop is sown at one point in time, grows at about the same rate and is then harvested at about the same time. 100% too easy, well apart from all… Read more »

Update on Permaculture Implementation and Design Development at Hafto Site, Hadiya Zone, Ethiopia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Material, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Seeds, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation.

Editor’s Note: Regular readers will have appreciated Alex McCausland’s regular and comprehensive reports from precariously positioned Ethiopia, and the great work he and his team have been doing on the ground. If you want to learn practical permaculture and gain real-world permaculture aid work experience in a location rich in agricultural history, then please consider… Read more »

Goodbye Columbus

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

A.Eisenstaedt, Oklahoma Farmer 1942, Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Forest gardening is about as close as any strategy comes to addressing all of the most pressing needs of humans in one great sweep. Climate change, peak oil, poverty, extinction, and civil strife– all are rooted in the ground, and in most cases, those roots belong… Read more »