Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Paul Wheaton May 17, 2013
by Paul Wheaton
Mark Vander Meer gives a presentation on soil science as it relates to forestry. I was presenting in another room at the same time, so Mark gave permission to Jocelyn Campbell to record this for me. Once I saw it, I thought it was so good, that I asked Mark if it was okay to put it up on YouTube.
Mark is a soil scientist who works as a wild restoration ecologist in Montana. His presentation focuses on soil restoration and is very much question driven.
He starts off by talking about the watershed death spiral, where the soil loses its ability to hold water. Mark identifies three main reasons for that to occur: Compaction, roads, and loss of soil organic matter. He explains that the problem results in streams and springs disappearing.Comments (4)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Building, Compost, Livestock, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals — by Rick Pickett March 20, 2013
Rehabilitating degraded land in the Peruvian Amazon requires utilizing many tools in ecological agriculture’s arsenal. We use a mix of sea kelp, calcium solutions, organic fertilizers, and rock phosphate to add nutrients to our sacha inchi and mocambo polycultures.
One fertilizing solution we were without on the farm when I arrived was the mighty worm bin.* Vermiculture, or vermicompost, is a low-tech, organic method of using the digestive capacity of redworms (Eisenia fetida) to recycle animal and kitchen wastes into solid and/or liquid organic fertilizers. The worms may also be used as a high-protein feed for poultry. Some enterprising farmers also get into the business of selling the worms, castings and/or teas.Comments (5)
SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) Turns Problem into Solution With Composting Toilets (Haiti)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 3, 2013
A few months ago I shared a three minute video from John D. Liu of the EEMP about the work of SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) — an organisation that’s doing great work in Haiti to improve sanitation in a sustainable and affordable way, whilst simultaneously turning the problem (human waste) into a solution (improving agricultural production whilst reducing the incidence of diseases like cholera). John has just sent me the latest edit from his video work on the impoverished island nation, so below you’ll find an extended look at the work of SOIL, and its context. This video makes an excellent follow-up to the article we just posted a couple of days ago: Recycling Animal and Human Dung is the Key to Sustainable Farming.
Compost, Conservation, Health & Disease, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Kris De Decker March 1, 2013
© Kris De Decker, low-tech magazine (edited by Shameez Joubert)
© Illustrations in red & black: Diego Marmolejo
Flushing the water closet is handy, but it wreaks ecological havoc, deprives agricultural soils of essential nutrients and makes food production dependent on fossil fuels.
For 4,000 years, human excrements and urine were considered extremely valuable trade products in China, Korea and Japan. Human dung was transported over specially designed canal networks by boats.
Thanks to the application of human "waste" products as fertilizers to agricultural fields, the East managed to feed a large population without polluting their drinking water. Meanwhile, cities in medieval Europe turned into open sewers. The concept was modernized in late 19th century Holland, with Charles Liernur’s sophisticated vacuum sewer system.Comments (5)
Compost, DVDs/Books, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Trees — by David Bartlett February 21, 2013
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 what is possible when certain individuals are backed by opportunity and funds. To me it emphasizes the well-talked-of potential that permaculture has to flow out of our backyards and influence mainstream development. South Africa (and in this particular case, the province of KwaZulu-Natal), without doubt provides a great canvas on which to show these dynamics at work, so we get excited to see it happening in reality.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Urban Projects — by Salah Hammad January 15, 2013
Our one month long internship at the Greening the Desert Project (the ‘Sequel site’) just ended. Ten students arriving from seven different countries were part of the first internship to take place at the project site in the Dead Sea Valley in Jordan. This will be a journey through pictures on what Geoff, Nadia, the interns and the WWOOFers were up to.Comments (7)
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure — by Oyvind Holmstad December 7, 2012
Compost, Urban Projects — by Juraj Marcek December 5, 2012Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Compost, Conservation, Health & Disease, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 4, 2012
In June of this year, SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) won the new UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) ‘Land for Life Award‘ and received $40,000 to support their excellent practical educational work in biologically based sanitation — aka: composting toilets.
Watch the video to hear our good friend John D. Liu of the EEMP tell us all about it.
I’m sure you will all want to join me in congratulating the SOIL team for this fantastic achievement, and in thanking them for their life- and ecology-enhancing efforts. These simple permaculture solutions cost far less and are far more effective than the industrialised world’s high cost approaches (high cost in both economic and ecological terms) and bring important net benefits in soil rehabilitation, phosphorus and other nutrient cycling and food security.
Update: See longer, updated video here.
- Humanure Handbook – Free Download
- When “Eww” Turns to “Ooh!”
- Life at Zaytuna: Closing the Loop
- Phosphorus Matters
- Phosphorus Matters II – Keeping Phosphorus on Farms
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Stephanie Blennerhassett October 31, 2012
PDCs are tricky. For two weeks we tumble into this community of unfamiliarly familiar, curious strangers. The constant whirlwind of habits, obligations, and distractions that composes our lives momentarily dissipates and we are thrust into this world where our main responsibility is to be open-minded, observe, think, learn, and connect. Yet, at the end of the day, we are singular beings and we all have our lives that we will return to. As PDC participants, we are exposed to this new paradigm together, share bemusement at fractal patterns and individual inspirations, and then suddenly depart the entropy we fell into and hopefully go off with the intent to use permaculture as a framework for making society and the environment more resilient.
However, after I was formally introduced to permaculture, as a nomadic recent college graduate, I was not sure how permaculture could be a tangible part of my life. The fulfillment from a sense of belonging and purpose I experienced during the PDC instilled within me a restless need to contribute to a project and/or community. So, I found myself asking, “Now what?”.Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Material, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water — by Alex McCausland October 25, 2012
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 taking Alex’s next PDC, to be held in southern Ethiopia between December 10 — 22, 2012. Your tuition fees directly support this important educational aid work.
The Hafto Solar Community Water Project site project is a solar powered water supply facility for the surrounding community of Hafto in the Hadiya Zone, South Ethiopia. The project was planned and implemented by a German NGO called DWC and is owned and run by a local NGO called SMART. The facility supplies water to about 1500 surrounding community members within an approximate 1km radius. There is a small charge for the water of about 0.01 Ethiopian Birr per liter (1$=18Birr) which covers the running costs of the project. The community members currently come to the site with donkeys to collect the water in jerry-cans which they take home for use.Comments (3)
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.
Compost, Food Plants - Annual, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 1, 2012
I’ve personally seen produce growing quite large in far northern latitude places like Alaska and Norway, where the summer sun goes around and around and around, giving plants a gentle but steady application of solar goodness. But, the vegetables in this video go even further…. This Alaskan gentleman has been breaking size records with his additions of aerated compost teas. His methods result in tasty, healthy, high-brix vegetables that repel insect attacks.
P.S. To learn more about these methods, check out one of Paul Taylor’s Sustainable Soil Management courses in our courses section.Comments (2)
Compost, Food Plants - Annual, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 27, 2012
This is a very cool video on fungal dominated humus and enormous vegetables. Besides a humungous pumpkin, you’ll also get to see microorganisms at work, at 400x magnification.Comments (1)
Aquaculture, Compost, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Material, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Surveying, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Richard Perkins September 15, 2012
A reflection following a great time finding solutions for dryland water management in Portugal
I’m enjoying working on a job connecting up extensive irrigation in the mountains of Extremadura, Spain, and relaxing for a couple of days after a successful and effective Dryland Water Management intensive at the budding Permaculture Institute, Vale De Lama, near Lagos in the South of Portugal.
This week we have been looking at all aspects of water design, focusing mostly on this varied site where all manner of interventions are necessary to halt the onslaught of the desertification process and regenerate the diverse mixed polycultures and rich soils that had a biological diversity comparative to more tropical regions at one time.
Something that is clear after working so intensively with integrative and regenerative systems design around the globe in different climate zones is that most places I turn up at have been degraded heavily and the localized cultural approach and ecological understanding is often limited by familiarization with the current conditions and often destructive agricultural practices.Comments (7)