Ecosystem Mimicry in Subtropical Florida

Posted by & filed under Land, Plant Systems, Trees.

Ecosystem mimicry is one of the concepts at the heart of permaculture. The food forest or edible forest garden, for example, strives to replicate the structure, relationships, and successional pathways of natural forest ecosystems. I’m fortunate to have had the chance to travel and teach in different regions and ecosystems. In many cases I return… Read more »

Stories from our Food Gardens (e-Book)

Posted by & filed under Compost, Demonstration Sites, DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees.

The world is dotted with individuals that are driving change from the inside out, inspired by the principles and approach of permaculture. I wanted to share with you “Stories from our Food Gardens” an e-publication made possible by the Saville Foundation here in South Africa, written by Melveen Jackson. Their partnership is an example of… Read more »

Food Forests and Natural Pest Control – Observations

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

Hearing Geoff Lawton speak about the effectiveness of natural pest control in food forests during my PDC studies is what originally prompted me to design and build a backyard food forest garden. Nature taking care of pests in the garden? It sounded too good to believe, and coming from a science background, I just had… Read more »

Eaglemont Project Matures (Australia)

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Trees, Urban Projects.

During the Christmas break VEG’s Dan & family paid a social call to customers-become-friends Julian & Linda in Eaglemont, Victoria, Australia. We documented the large-scale design and implementation project we completed for Julian & Linda last year (see the design and during photos here and some shots of where it was all at about 10… Read more »

Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia, for November 2012

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

This is the third monthly post for the research project about perennial plants and perennialising annual plants providing food in temperate climate Australia — we have now completed the posts for Spring 2012. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information… Read more »

Fernglade Farm – Mid Summer (January) 2013 Update

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Trees.

What a difference six weeks has made to the food forest here! The change in climate between cool and wet to hot and dry happened in less than a week during early October and since that time there has been no significant rainfall. The rain probably won’t fall here now until about April based on… Read more »

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 »

Fernglade Farm – Early Summer (November) 2012 Update (Australia)

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Trees.

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… Read more »

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 »