Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Trees — by George Monbiot October 22, 2012
If we lose the ash tree, we’ll lose culture as well as nature.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
Reading the shocking news about ash die-back, the disease that has now killed most of Denmark’s ash trees and many of those across the rest of northern Europe, I was reminded that when we lose our wildlife we lose some of our stories.
The death of a species, especially a species as significant as the ash, punches a hole not only in nature, but also in our culture.Comments (7)
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Albert Bates October 19, 2012
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 to trees.Comments (1)
Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Trees — by Chris McLeod October 15, 2012
Writing the article 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!
To this end, I’ll post semi regular updates with video here. The updates will be warts and all, meaning that I’ll discuss the things that are working as well as those that aren’t. It should be an interesting journey and I welcome dialogue, constructive questions and observations about the developing food forest and other activities here.Comments (6)
Animal Forage, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees — by Susan Kwong October 11, 2012
This is the first monthly post for the research project about perennial plants and perennialising annual plants providing food in temperate climate Australia. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information on a month by month basis, then this information is collated and published early the following month.Comments (7)
Compost, Conservation, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 4, 2012
The yard in winter, before work begins…
A great many people today are living in fear. The future looks uncertain, but bleak. Many cannot see a future at all. The post-WWII baby boomer generation, with their short-lived cheap energy era, have been largely calling the shots, shaping the world we have today. After the miseries of two world wars, they set a course for excess. They and their descendants have been spending profligately, borrowing resources and finances from their children and grandchildren — and the deficit has increased so rapidly that the present generation is already having to foot the bill. We’ve been living the dream, and living in a dream — seeking to live lifestyles without limits — and now it’s time to pay the piper, as it were. We’re discovering that we were the children and grandchildren that society was borrowing from.
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)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 10, 2012
Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 6, 2012
Regular readers will know we are doing what we can to support Vandana Shiva’s "Occupy the Seed" campaign, running between 2 — 16 October, 2012. This worthy "Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action" is a call to respect and liberate the world’s seeds and to maximise their diversity — their being the very basis of our existence, and an absolute wonder of biological ‘magic’ in their own right. On Wednesday September 5th, as an act of solidarity of purpose between the Permaculture Research Institute and Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya Network (an organisation that has to date successfully conserved more than 5000 crop varieties), Geoff and Vandana talked together on how we can recreate a more successful and healthy world through increased diversity, in contrast to the systematic biodiversity loss currently seen through the reductionist systems of Big Agri. Take a watch, and be sure to get involved!Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Susan Kwong
This article and research proposal were initially inspired by reading Eric Toensmeier’s article User-Generated Food Forest Resource is Online, encouraging food forest gardeners to contribute to this expanding database, and the discussion ensuing from Angelo Eliade’s article on Perennial Plants and Permaculture, among others, debating the planting of annuals versus the planting of perennials, as well as, I have to say, a personal obsession about food forests and perennial food plants in general.
I have also been concerned by many comments in discussions about needing to continue with our annual grains. I wish to add some perspectives to these matters as a nutritionist, counselor, herbalist and naturopath, specialising in the use of food as a medicine, whether preventative medicine or otherwise, and to propose a research project that I hope will provide a furtherance of our permaculture goals.Comments (11)
Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects — by Joshua Finch September 4, 2012
November 2010-November 2011 went by quickly with a lot of hard labor double digging our compacted clay to see us produce a fair amount of veggie in a short period of time. After the summer months, we begin cover cropping.
by Joshua Finch
We started here in 2010:
November 2010: One section of our typical American lawn with some potential
pathways being imprinted on the landscape.
By the end of the sixth slide show (see YouTube slide shows further below), we wind up here:Comments (3)
Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 3, 2012
For 15 years, in the 1980s and early 1990s, John worked as a television journalist in China for CBS News, Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), and Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF German Television). Over the years he had to do virtually every job in remote television production and gained some skills that were in demand.
As John grew in his work he was also observing China as it emerged from isolation and poverty. It was exhilarating to see China stand up but terrifying to consider the pollution and environmental implications of its rise. John would go to his office and think, "someone should really do something about the environment", but what he meant was "someone else". After some time he began to feel that his own attitude was part of the problem. If John was unwilling to change his life, why would anyone else? At this point he decided to found the "Environmental Education Media Project for China (EEMPC)" and to devote his energies to understanding and communicating about the environment and ecology. Since the mid-1990s, the EEMPC has distributed hundreds of existing films in China and John have made dozens of environmental and ecological films in China and around the world.
Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, For Sale, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Trees, Urban Projects — by Wayne Fleming August 28, 2012
With 80% of Australians living in the suburbs, this reality is a hurdle for responsible edible landscapers who know that not all the cookie cutters that we are forced to live amongst share the same vision.Comments (3)
Biodiversity, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees — by Eric Toensmeier August 25, 2012
Note: this is a piece that was originally to be published in Edible Forest Gardens, which I coauthored with Dave Jacke. Yes, there are parts we cut out, it would have been even longer! Dave reviewed and edited that version of this article, though I have substantially updated it here and he is not to blame for any errors that have crept in. This article only addresses the species present in the Matrix of Edible Forest Gardens and, as such, only covers the eastern forest region of the US and Canada from Zones 4-7. Using the hotlinks in this and my last few posts you can construct a similar layout for any climate.
Compositional diversity, the mix of plant species and other living and non-living elements, is a critical element of a stable forest garden ecosystem. This is particularly important in the case of pests and diseases, which frequently only attack closely related plant species. For example, many of the fruits that grow in our climate are from the Rose family, including apples, pears, cherries, peaches, and plums. While these are delicious fruits, they share many pests and diseases, like the dreaded plum curculio. By diversifying the forest garden to include unrelated fruits like kiwi, pawpaw, and persimmon, you can make sure that curculios will not ruin all of your harvest in a bad year. Maximizing compositional diversity can also help to create resource-partitioning guilds, because plants from different families frequently have different strategies and use different nutrients, have different root patterns, or may be otherwise less likely to compete. For example, plants in the lily order tend to have bulbs or tubers close to the soil surface, while many members of the Apiaceae (in the aralia order) are typically taprooted or have deep, branching roots.
Edible fruits of blue bean, Decaisnea fargesii. A member of the very minor
Lardizabalaceae family, in the buttercup order Ranunculales. This species
is barely related to common forest garden fruits like pears, blueberries, or
grapes, sharing few or no pests and diseases with them, and thus an
example of omega level diversity in action. Plus it looks super cool!
Compost, Fungi, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Trees — by Chris McLeod August 22, 2012
A while back, the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia presented an article on hugelkultur raised beds (see also here and here). I found the idea of planting out raised beds made of tree saplings covered in a bit of soil and woody mulch to be intriguing.
I’d never heard of hugelkultur before, but living surrounded by eucalyptus forest started me thinking about the possibilities. I’m not sure that hugelkultur techniques are practiced in Australia and perhaps the reason for this is that eucalyptus trees can take many decades to break down into soil. This is probably a bit slow compared to the tree species used in hugelkultur beds in Europe.Comments (16)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, DVDs/Books, Education, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Seeds, Society, Trees, Village Development — by Navdanya International August 20, 2012
The Manifesto on the Future of Seeds outlines ways and means to strengthen and accelerate the movement toward sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, biodiversity and agricultural diversity and help defend the rights of farmers to save, share, use and improve seeds, as well as to enhance our collective capacity to adapt to the hazards and uncertainties of environmental and economic change.
The Manifesto on the Future of Food develops in detail principles on which to base the transition to a sustainable food and agricultural system as outlined in the Florence Declaration on the Global Rights to Food. Most importantly it sets out practical vision, ideas and programs toward ensuring that food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable, more accessible, and toward putting food quality, food safety and public health above corporate profits.
The Manifesto on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security highlights the need to change to a productive model that minimizes the system’s vulnerability to external shocks and hazards and that contributes sustainably to mitigating the effects of climate change, based on a strong multifunctionality able to maximize the role of agriculture as a service of the ecosystem and as a tool to strengthen such system, and that guarantees family farming a pivotal role in a new system of production.
The Manifesto on the Future of Knowledge Systems: knowledge sovereignty for a healthy planet makes evident that the multiple crises that face humanity today — the financial implosion and economic collapse, climate chaos and the energy and food crises — are rooted in a reductionist, fragmented and mechanical way of thinking, with the world being equated to a huge machine, free to be manipulated and improved at will. A new way of thinking is vital for the return to a balanced and healthy planet, one based on sustainability, resilience and equity. Some of the themes addressed include: corporate control of science and the merging of knowledge and power; the commercialization of knowledge and biopiracy; the need to integrate traditional and indigenous cultural knowledge with independent science.Comments (2)