Hill Country Permaculture: The Way of the Fox (Central Texas)

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Foxes are renowned for being clever and nimble — elusive when sought as prey and very hard to keep out of a chicken coop when on the prowl. Many years ago, sitting at dinner with some long time "Hill Country" (AKA central Texas USA) farmers, I learned something about foxes that’s stuck with me ever… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Re-Mineralizing Soils with Bio-Fertilizer

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

Remineralizing soils that have been damaged by shortsighted agriculture practices can be done using Bio-Fertilizer. This video shows you how to get started! by Theron Beaudreau Working with damaged soils can be a huge challenge. In the world we live in today, it’s hard to find soils that haven’t been damaged through agricultural or urban… Read more »

Cow Horns, Weeds and Worms (Lesotho)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Miles Durand (right), in Lesotho Introduction Lesotho is a small, mountainous country in Southern Africa. There has been an alarming two third reduction in its food production since colonial times. The signs and causes are self-evident and can be seen on the landscape and within the population. There is an urgent need to move the… Read more »

Living Soil Saves Lives!

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Soil Salination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

A non-profit teaches a soil education program to combat the farmer suicide epidemic in rural India. By Tejal Heblekar, and edited by Eileen Mello A few kilometers from the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Orissa, rural farmers have gathered around a microscope to see what lies hidden in the ground. The Hummingbird… Read more »