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 »

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.

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 »

Ash Cloud

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Economics, Society, Trees.

How conservatism turned into an orgy of destruction. by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom. There was a time when conservatism meant what the word suggests. It was an attempt to keep things as they are: to arrest economic and social change, to defend the position of the dominant… Read more »

Heart Rot

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Trees.

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… Read more »