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)
Courses/Workshops, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling — by David Spicer October 7, 2011
If you want to learn much more about sustainable saw milling, take Dave Spicer’s upcoming (27 November 2011) 1-day course, where you can gain from his extensive expertise in this area.
We all need to be loggers and we all need to be greenies. We all live in timber houses. — Bill Mollison
Low tech and high tech saw milling
In 2006 I brought a portable Lucas sawmill and have been milling timber ever since. I must say it’s a great feeling turning a raw resource into a useable product on site.
“Mill to the log”
I’ve milled timber in town right in the front yard, and on farms with no hauling.
There are many types of portable sawmills, even a chainsaw used to mill timber.Comments (4)
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 (0)
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)
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 August 19, 2011
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)
Animal Forage, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Nicollas Mauro August 10, 2011
On permaculture, vegetarianism, grasses and tree fetishism
Cow on Zaytuna Farm
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Meat and livestock farming are not praised by a lot of environmental activists. Meat production stands accused of stealing food from the mouths of the poor in two-thirds world countries, driving climate change, and being resource consuming. For example, the famous UK activist George Monbiot, published many times on this site, wrote in 2002 that “[veganism i]s the only ethical response to what is arguably the world’s most urgent social justice issue”(1), before retracting this in 2010, saying “I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly”(2).
What happened between those two articles? Well, Monbiot read a book written by livestock farmer and UK permaculturist Simon Fairlie in 2010, whose title is “Meat – a benign extravagance”(3). It’s a very well written book that also debunks quite a few myths about vegan arguments (e.g. that much of the water consumed by animals is from rainfall on grasses used to make the hay, or that if the world suddenly become vegan, no more proteins would be available(4)).Comments (23)
Biodiversity, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 9, 2011
Looking for a transitional form of agriculture as we try to wean ourselves off fossil-fuel based farming systems into smaller scaled, localised and sustainable ways of providing for ourselves? Enter, alleycropping — the practice of planting rows of trees (ideally on contour) through fields to create alleys, or corridors, of alternating trees and ground crops.Comments (3)
Deforestation, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 31, 2011
Here’s some great weekend inspiration to encourage you into a more productive new week. I think you’ll enjoy this one.
Duration: 9 mins
Courses/Workshops, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Trees — by Gordon Williams July 13, 2011
Would you like to have food for your family now and into the future — food that is truly fresh and packed with flavour, and food that doesn’t cost the Earth? Would you like it to be grown in a way that not only doesn’t destroy soil, but builds it instead, so that people can be fed long after you’re gone? Would it be asking too much for this food to be grown in a way that cleans the air and the water as it passes through, and which contributes to climate restoration?
What you need is a food forest.
Once a rainforest, then cleared for timber and grazing land, a food forest now
grows around this old decaying stump from the original forest.
Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Recipes, Trees, Urban Projects — by Nicola Chatham June 30, 2011
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our Permaculture journey.
Ah… Autumn… beautiful!
“It’s just too hard!” the voice in my head said. “How am I going to cope with the house, garden, turbo-charged grass and eroding drive-way on my own, now that Chris has moved back to Brisbane for work?”
Then my eye was caught by something orange on the swale. Wandering over, I noticed flies were buzzing around it like mad. Closer inspection revealed, draped under the new navel orange tree, this!Comments (16)
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, Food Forests, Fungi, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 24, 2011
This video is from way back in 2004, so some of the political comments at the end are way out of date, but, that trivia aside, the rest of the video is one of the best presentations of holistic common sense I’ve heard in quite a while. I think many of you will find a lot of satisfaction in listening to David’s lucid observations on how natural systems work.Comments (2)