OrBio – a Cover Crop Strategy for Market Gardens

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Conservation.

A bug’s eye view of the sky, from a stand of cover crop Photo © Craig Mackintosh A recent post by Australian permaculture aid worker, Miles Durand, writing from Lesotho, reminded me to share a method of growing vegetable crops alongside cover crops that I learned when I studied organic biological horticulture many years ago…. 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 »

Healing the Planet Through Photosynthesis and Carbon Sequestration

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change, Livestock, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation.

If we implement wise geoengineering, even eating meat could help tackle the backlog of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon depleted soil, at left, compared to a carbon rich soil, at right. Eating meat is bad for the planet, right? That hamburger you’re contemplating for lunch comes from a cow that, most likely, was raised… 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 »

Wildlife Friendly Gardening Begins Beneath Us

Posted by & filed under Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

Why dig? Why turn over tonnes of topsoil year after year. We know permanent soil has properties that annual crops need and which sustains bio diversity. Why disturb and destroy the goodness that nature provides? Salad, herbs, onions, garlic, brassica, peas, beans, and ornamentals are examples of plants that can be cultivated without digging. One… 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 »

Maximum Yield Cropping System (MYCS)

Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation.

There are many economic, social and environmental benefits to be gained by increasing the current yield from existing food production areas, including increased employment, food production and community food security, and most important, the prevention of clearing more forests for food production. Natural ecosystem services are essential for human existence, providing life support functions such… 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 »

UNCCD Land for Life Award Winner – TEMA (Turkey)

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

The UNCCD’s Land for Life Award winners were announced on the World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June 2012, during the Rio+20 Summit. Joint first place went to the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA) in Turkey (along with SOIL, in Haiti), this film looks at their project.

Humanitarian Vetiver Project, East Sumba, Indonesia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Animal Forage, Community Projects, Deforestation, Desertification, Food Shortages, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Lined up for free treatment I am a young Christian missionary doctor on the Island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia. My work entails providing health and welfare to the indigenous village people who live in remote areas of East Sumba. Most are either Christian or Marupa; they are extremely poor and many have no support… Read more »