Conservation, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Angelo Eliades October 21, 2011
We’re all familiar with the concept of forests — lush, abundant expanses of pristine wilderness, teeming with life, a richness of biodiversity and awe-inspiring to behold. Trees and plants intertwined, filling every possible space, the very well-spring of life itself!
Forests exist fine on their own. There’s no mowing, weeding, spraying, or digging required. No pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides or nasty chemicals. No work and no people either. They somehow do very well, thank you.
Now, imagine if everything in this lush, abundant, spectacular forest was edible!Comments (36)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 20, 2011
I’ve been a fan of Maarten Stapper’s work for a while now. In fact, further below you’ll find an article I wrote, way back in 2007, about his experiences at the hands of his former employer — Australia’s publicly funded CSIRO agricultural research body. I’d recommend you read the article before watching Maarten’s IPC10 Convergence presentation, as it’ll give you a good backgrounder on his valuable work and his commendable ethics. I say ethics because instead of compromising his principles so as to retain favour with those putting bread on his table, he stood his ground… and got sacked instead.Comments Off
Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, News, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 13, 2011
The Rodale Institute’s 30-year
Farming Systems Trial report (1.3mb PDF)
The Rodale Institute has been, for a full 30 years now, conducting a long-term comparative Farming Systems Trial. Starting in 1981, when it was already abundantly clear that industrialising nature was creating far more problems than it solved, the Rodale Institute began documented research comparing organically fertilised fields and conventionally fertilised fields on its 330 acre farm in Pennsylvania, USA.
It’s the longest running comparative study of its kind in the world.
In time for their trial’s 30-year anniversary, the institute has put out a report outlining its documented observations. You can download this report via the link at right.
This report is one of several well-researched reports that have come out in recent years, including the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Failure to Yield report (which proves GMOs do not perform as claimed) and the IAASTD’s 400-scientist-strong, 3-year worldwide study (which concluded we need to quickly transition back to relocalised, diverse, agroecological methods).Comments (6)
Building, Community Projects, Land, Plant Systems, Society, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 10, 2011
It seems there is a plant able to fill almost any niche. In this case Strangler Figs are painstakingly trained over generations to stop massive soil erosion in the rainiest place on earth, and, more, to create almost indestructible living pedestrian bridges which will last for centuries despite mega rain events.
You have to admire the community thinking that goes into this beautiful work. These people, walking on centuries-old living bridges, realise the gift given them by their ancestors, and so they pay it forward by donating their labour to build more, even though they won’t benefit from it in their own lifetimes. Voices from the past, perhaps, urge them to follow their predecessors’ gracious example by investing a little energy into a wondrous gift to future generations. Imagine if we could spin our culture around to think like this.Comments (2)
Compost, DVDs/Books, Dams, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Trees — by Paul Wheaton October 8, 2011
Click play to hear the talk!Review of Geoff Lawton's Food Forest DVD, by Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe
Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe (www.veganicpermaculture.com) watch Geoff Lawton‘s Food Forest video and Helen really loved it. It shows a food forest as they start it, at 6 months, a year, 3 years, 10 years.
Paul thinks it is one of the best permaculture videos. Lawton starts by talking about three concepts: the layering of systems (there are 7-10 layers of a forest), succession of systems (how nature repairs itself), and time (working with different events — eg: sun, shade, flood over time). Paul shares Helen’s hesitancy using the word “permaculture.” They also talk about the word “science” and “studies.” Lawton has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd recovery plants. The first are: annuals, nitrogen fixers, ground covers and leguminous shrubs. The second are medium size nitrogen fixing trees (later to be chopped at head height in order to nurture the longer term trees). The third are longer term nitrogen fixing trees.Comments (1)
Tony Rinaudo: “Against the odds: Reversing desertification in arid and semi arid lands” (IPC Presentation – Video)
Aid Projects, Animal Forage, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conferences, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Land, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Presentations/Demonstrations, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 3, 2011
Tony Rinaudo’s IPC10 conference presentation was one of the highlights of the event for three good reasons — 1) because of the scale of impact his Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) work has achieved (more than 30,000 km² of re-greened, regenerated land to date); 2) the utter simplicity — and thus doability — of this work (it requires no financial investment or out-of-reach technologies, only a little educational guidance and community collaboration), and 3) the speed at which this regeneration can occur and lives can improve.
We’ve brought people’s attention to FMNR before…
… and now I have the great pleasure of being able to share Tony’s IPC10 conference talk in high definition video (at top). Note: If you want to see the slides in higher quality, you can download Tony’s presentation (9mb Powerpoint) and click through it in a different window as Tony talks if you like.
Readers can also download:Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Animal Forage, Community Projects, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Trees — by Harry Byrne Wykman
One of the highlights of the tenth International Permaculture Convergence was meeting Tony Rinaudo of World Vision Australia. Tony is a living example of the posture required for the development of truly regenerative systems. Tony has come to see patterns of people, plants and landscape which allow deserts to grow trees again. He does this by opening himself to the voice of the land.
While working in Niger, Tony noticed that what appeared to be small shrubs were in fact trees which had been coppiced by continuous grazing pressure, firewood harvesting and the impulse of farmers to keep crop land free of trees. Tony calls these trees ‘the underground forest.’Comments Off
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Education Centres, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Water Harvesting — by Geraldine Quinlan September 11, 2011
by Geraldine Quinlan, from Ireland, a new intern at the Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge in Ethiopia
In the morning we visited Gocha Primary School. Before starting work together Tichafa gathered everyone in the classroom. He spoke about the importance of growing food for independence from food aid and eventually to sell at the market for profit whilst also taking environmental action for the school, the immediate community and finally the country. This would create an income for the school.Comments (3)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees — by Drew Sullivan September 6, 2011
School children take part in Nendo Dango in Argentina´s Rio Negro Province, Patagonia.
As part of a reforestation program around Argentina´s Eco Capital, El Bolsón, 21 schools have transformed their assembly halls into assembly lines for the production of over 25,000 seed clay balls utilizing the ancient technique of Nendo Dango. The method, re-invented by the ´father of natural farming´, Masanobu Fukuoka, was taught to the people of El Bolsón 3 years ago when Panos Manikis, Fukuoka´s most learned disciple, came to hold a series of workshops. Today, led by an inspiring group of permaculture activists, the technique is being used to do more than just rejuvenate the 1,200 hectares of forest that was incinerated in a 3-day fire earlier this year.Comments (3)
Courses/Workshops, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Gordon Williams September 5, 2011
The 3-day Food Forest Workshop at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm, starting September 21st, is drawing near. Book now to secure your place.
This Black Sapote (sometimes called chocolate pudding fruit) sits in a pool
of light coming through foliage of surrounding support species
One of the main concepts of Permaculture is that of growing perennial plant poly-cultures that don’t require planting every year and provide for many of our needs such as food, fiber and fuel. This is a more regenerative approach that builds soil, instead of destroying it through repeated cultivation, and saves us from so much hard work.
By applying ecological principles through design we can assemble the species from which we wish to obtain a yield in a way that mimics nature so the system is productive, resilient and beautiful. Each different plant in the system fills a role and a niche and leaves little space for ‘weeds’. Productive vines, trees, shrubs, tubers, herbs and ground covers are all assembled as if they were a natural forest.
Put simply, it’s a food forest or forest garden.Comments (1)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees — by Andrew Perlot September 3, 2011
A newly-planted section of bananas, papayas, and citrus on this organic
fruit farm near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
As I’ve wandered around southeast Asia for the last 10 months I’ve kept my eye out for interesting farming techniques among the locals, but have mostly been disappointed.
Whatever ancestral knowledge of organic, integrated agriculture that may have existed seems to have declined or been lost entirely among the general population of Indonesia, Thailand, and Laos in the last few decades as cheap chemical fertilizers and pesticides have become increasingly prevalent.
When I arrived in Cambodia, though, the story was different. The country is decades behind its neighbors in terms of development because of the famous purges of the Kymer Rouge and years of civil war.Comments (13)
Aid Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 30, 2011
Latifa inspects project development from a unique vantage point
It’s been just over a year since I’ve visited the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) site, and I’m keen to check out progress when I visit next month (September 2011). In the meantime, Geoff, who is in Jordan now to help organise the upcoming Tenth International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (IPC10), has sent through a few pictures I can share today.Comments (16)
Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Insects, Plant Systems, Working Animals — by Mari Korhonen August 19, 2011
I recently saw a new film, Queen Of The Sun: What are the bees telling us?, about the global honeybee crisis and colony collapse disorder. From a holistic perspective the movie tells a story of transformation of beekeeping and the relationship of humans and bees to explore what is really going on. Once there were times when honey was so appreciated it could not be sold but only given away, yet now we have moved into an era of ruthless one sided exploitation in the search of economical profits, both in beekeeping as well as the agricultural and land use practices surrounding it. As most of us are aware, we have now come to face the consequences of this transformation. Queen of the Sun is a fascinating prelude to rediscovering the synergistic relationship between humans and bees, and is complemented on a practical level by natural beekeeping. Bee guardianship, a natural beekeeping approach taught by Corwin Bell from Boulder, Colorado, encourages and appreciates the beeness of bees and helps to nurture their currently delicate existence by integrating top bar hives into our own backyards, gardens and farms. I think permaculturists could do a lot of good by linking up with these people.Comments (7)
Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Trees — by Chuck Burr
by Chuck Burr, Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute (SOPI)
Here are the Summer permaculture tips and tricks from the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute — enjoy and pass them on.
1. Permaculture blueberries. After two years of hand-weeding our two acres of blueberries we have let them go wild. The plants are five years old now and can compete with the former hay field grasses with the help of us discharging the mowing trimmings back into the blueberry rows as mulch. The tall grass deters birds from eating berries. Last year we lost our first harvest to birds before we got a Bird Gard Pro and reflective tape from Oregon Vineyard Supply. The blueberries started in fully tilled rows with 3” of fresh sawdust. Wood chips will also do. We also added initially enough soil sulfur to bring the pH down from about 6.2 to 5.2. Prune in the winter to encourage new growth, remove disease and wandering branches. We salted the field with pecan trees. Blueberries are a medium term 15–20 year crop and will be pushed out when the pecans are in full swing, so we have already designed in the succession. Several rows are also capped with Honeycrisp apples.Comments (6)
Building, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Swales, Terraces, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Andrew Perlot August 11, 2011
Sandot Sukkaew explains the difference between his own organic rice paddies
and the chemically-treated ones in the background.
As the forests were felled, the life-giving water disappeared – Thai farmer Sandot Sukkaew made that critical connection decades ago while laboring in the mud of his father’s rice paddies, and he’s spent the past 20 years trying to remedy the situation.Comments (4)