Introduction to Naturalised Nursery Practice

Posted by & filed under Compost, Fungi, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition.

Applying the understandings of ecosystem mimicry to create alternative solutions to current nursery practices of disease control, fertilisation and sterile mediums. It is my belief that nature is our greatest teacher. By observing nature we can see that a tree in a forest is self-maintaining. It does not rely on fertilisation, irrigation, pesticides or fungicides… Read more »

Rough, Ready, But Very Real – a November 2013 Update on the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Animal Housing, Biological Cleaning, Building, Community Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Fencing, Food Forests, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Project from above, featuring a garbage-accumulating fence edge Well, you would be hard pressed to find a tougher block of land — a 400m below sea level, West facing slope, in an extremely hot, arid climate, with extremely poor, shallow highly alkaline top ‘soil’, covered in rocks, with a limited water supply and in a… Read more »

Gangi Setty and the Green Tree Foundation Project (India)

Posted by & filed under Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Compost, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, Society, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Water Harvesting.

The Green Tree Foundation is a small non-profit organization that promotes permaculture techniques to local farmers in the Antapur district in Andra Pradesh, India. The organizations are devising solutions to alleviate serious water scarcity and eroded soil. However, it was Gangi Setty, the founder behind GTF, that made my trip to visit them most memorable…. Read more »

A Worm Farm in Your Duck Coop! (Alaska)

Posted by & filed under Animal Housing, Bird Life, Compost, Land, Livestock, Urban Projects, Working Animals.

In my last article I discussed the challenges of keeping ducks in backyard permaculture. There are two primary problems, at their worst in the coop itself; first is the soggy, mucky mess — from both wet poop and spillage from the waterer. The second problem is that ducks’ webbed feet pack the poop down, and… Read more »

An Experiment with Soil

Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil Rehabilitation.

Beginning to plant a garden in poor soil is probably guaranteed to disappoint, but what’s the most effective way to create a good environment to give your seedlings a head-start? I embarked on an experiment to see if I could find out. Join me, if you like, on a voyage of soil discovery. Choosing my… Read more »

Soil, not Dirt – Dr Elaine Ingham Talks Soil Microbiology

Posted by & filed under Compost, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Soil Salination, Structure.

Dr. Elaine Ingham talks about soil fertility and the role of soil microbial life. Dr. Ingham is a world-renowned soil biologist who pioneered many of the currently used biological soil amendment techniques and pioneered the testing of soil microbial life as an indicator of soil and plant health. Dr. Ingham is the Chief Scientist at… Read more »

Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture – UN Agencies Call for an End to Industrial Agriculture & Food System

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Compost, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Peak Oil, People Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

A rising chorus from UN agencies on how food security, poverty, gender inequality and climate change can all be addressed by a radical transformation of our agriculture and food system. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website and is otherwise available for download here. Agriculture… Read more »

Get Your Food from a Firehose

Posted by & filed under Compost, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation.

We have been delving into the dirty secret behind our food, which is that it comes from bacteria — primarily, with considerable assistance from a social network of fungi, nematodes, micro-arthropods and soil-dwelling microbes of various descriptions. Most people, asked what plants eat, answer something like, "sunlight, water and dirt." Water and sunlight play an… Read more »

Report on Permaculture Training in Dembe Dollo, Western Ethiopia (Part 3)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Village Development.

This is part three of a report on a community training program we ran in Dembe Dolo, Wolega, Eastern Ethiopia back in June, 2013. If you didn’t catch the last installments you can read them here: Part 1, Part 2. If you recall we started the training program off with introductions from the group and… Read more »

A Computer Geek Starts a Garden, Part II – We Are Chlorophyll Managers

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Compost, Economics, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

Last night I ate a couple of dozen cherry tomatoes from my just-getting-started garden. A little pepper and salt and I was in tomato heaven. I was expecting them to taste a whole lot better than the supermarket ‘tomatoes‘ I’m otherwise forced to consume, and I was not at all disappointed. Indeed, every cell of… Read more »

Cover Crops Solutions Chart

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Compost, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Conservation.

Click pic to download PDF As most readers of this site will recognise, nature always works to protect the soil from from wind and water erosion — by covering it with living foliage. In doing so, the cycle of life and death continues, increasing the soil’s fertility over time. Alas, many ‘modern’ gardeners have allowed… Read more »