Bhaskar Save, the Gandhi of Natural Farming

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Sage of a minimalist farming system based on non-violence and all of nature’s biodiversity that produces in abundance with no chemical inputs. by Bharat Mansata Bhaskar Save, acclaimed ‘Gandhi of Natural Farming’, turned 92 on 27 January 2014, having inspired and mentored 3 generations of organic farmers. Masanobu Fukuoka, the legendary Japanese natural farmer, visited… Read more »

How to Grow Chickens Without Buying Grain – by Only Feeding Them Compost

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Bird Life, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Fungi, Land, Livestock, Soil Rehabilitation.

Whilst on a tour of the US, Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton was giving a talk at Montpelier, Vermont, when a young man suggested we film his boss, compost maestro Karl Hammer and his amazing system of feeding compost to his flock of 100-plus chickens, and without feeding them any grain. Chickens live off the compost… Read more »

A Simple Recipe for Fertiliser Tea

Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil Biology.

This is a very simple fertiliser tea recipe which all plants I have used it on have responded very well to. It uses wild plants which are generally abundant throughout Europe, although I am not sure about the rest of the world; you’ll have to look around for yourself. The ratio I used here is… Read more »

Composting Techniques for Anyone

Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil Rehabilitation, Urban Projects.

Compost bins can be made of repurposed materials, like these pallets. Composting doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it require a strong back, large acreage, livestock waste or expensive bins. Even apartment-dwellers or those with physical limitations can put their kitchen waste to work. The following are composting techniques from the simplest to the… Read more »

UNCCD Land for Life Award Winners for 2013 (India, Mexico, Africa): Practical, Doable, Magic

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Bio-regional Organisations, Community Projects, Compost, Deforestation, Desertification, Education, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Educating small-holder farmers in India Every year the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) presents awards and supportive prize-money to projects that have had a positive impact on combating desertification and restoring watersheds and the hydrological cycle. This year’s awards went to excellent projects in India, Mexico and Africa. Watch the fantastic videos below,… Read more »

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 »