Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Albert Bates January 13, 2012
Former stockbroker Brian Bankston now calls himself the “Keyline Cowboy” after a carbon farming course at The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center transformed his life. He quit his job, bought a keyline plow and compost tea brewer, and moved to The Farm.
For the past 10 years or so, the land management decisions of The Farm (a 40-year-old intentional community on 1750 acres in rural Tennessee, pop. ~200) have been informed by permaculture. Permaculture was influential in the design and early curricula of The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center in 1994, and since many, if not all, of the community’s residents have now been exposed to it, it is not surprising to learn that a number of people serving on various village committees, as well some in public office in the surrounding county, have Permaculture Design certificates.
Our relationship with permaculture traces back to our connection to Bill Mollison, one of permaculture’s founders, who received the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” in the year after we did. RLA winners are a gregarious lot and gather from time to time to swap tales, so we have been fortunate to share such meetings with Bill over the past 30 years. We are also fortunate to have had the influence of an erstwhile neighbor, Peter Bane, who for many years published the quarterly Permaculture Activist from his former home in Primm Springs, Tennessee.
Today, as a permaculture instructor, I travel to many of the convergences of the movement and have come to know many practitioners. Our Farm team has taught permaculture courses on six continents and in 27 countries now, so it would only be surprising if The Farm did not have permaculture going on.Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Food Shortages, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Salination, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Beatrice Yannacopoulou
A group of community-minded gardeners have turned a former Athens airport into a blooming vegetable plot, showing how Greece’s eroded soil holds the keys to a revival in farming and a way to buck the jobless trend.
by Beatrice Yannacopoulou. Article originally published on The Ecologist
All photographs courtesy: Dimitris.V.Geronikos
"If we want to survive on this land we must first help to heal the earth," said Nicolas Netién, agro-ecologist, teacher and co-creator of the NGO Permaculture Research Institute Hellas. He was talking to a group of some fifty people of all ages who had gathered for two days of workshops on self-sufficiency, how to self-organize, agro-ecology and composting. This small gathering was taking place on a beautifully sunny autumn day at the former Athens airport, Ellinikon.Comments (3)
Biofuels, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute January 12, 2012
by Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute
The world’s farmers produced more grain in 2011 than ever before. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the global grain harvest coming in at 2,295 million tons, up 53 million tons from the previous record in 2009. Consumption grew by 90 million tons over the same period to 2,280 million tons. Yet with global grain production actually falling short of consumption in 7 of the past 12 years, stocks remain worryingly low, leaving the world vulnerable to food price shocks.
Nearly half the calories consumed around the world come directly from grain, with grain-fed animal products making up part of the remainder. Three grains dominate the world harvest: wheat and rice, which are primarily eaten directly as food, and corn, which is largely used as a feedgrain for livestock. Wheat was the largest of the world’s grain harvests until the mid-1990s. Then corn production surged ahead in response to growing demand for grain-fed animal products and, more recently, for fuel ethanol. Despite a drop in the important U.S. harvest due mostly to high summer temperatures, global corn production hit 868 million tons in 2011, an all-time high. The harvests of wheat (689 million tons) and rice (461 million tons) were also records. (See Excel data.)
Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Nuclear, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Sunny Soleil January 4, 2012
Most of us know about pine needle tea as a rich source of Vitamin C, but now white pine pollen is to being promoted as a highly nutritious superfood powder. But who needs to buy it when you can pick your own?
Arthur Haines shows you how and when to harvest pine pollen with strategies for gathering sufficient to make tinctures or use as food. Haines also goes into detail about the nutritional chemistry of pine pollen which is rich in non-enzymatic anti-oxidants like pro vitamin A, B Complex, C, D and E plus a host of minerals and amino acids. Apparently pine pollen is also a great defence against radioactive Cesium that is appearing in dairy and other foods in the US.
Consumerism, Economics, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Steve Kretzmann December 10, 2011
First the good news: President Obama is standing firm on his decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline, and he’s threatened to veto any attempt by Congress to move that timeline up.
Of course, that’s exactly what those legislators who are most bought by Big Oil are trying to do. They’re trying to attach legislation that would speed up the pipeline to laws that would give relief to hard working people in these tough times. They’re daring the President to veto the whole bill, and it’s up to us to stop them.
Why are they doing this?
They say it’s because of jobs.
But the reality is the only jobs study not funded by the oil industry shows that the pipeline is likely to create no jobs, and might even cost more jobs than it creates.
They say it’s because of energy security.Comments (1)
Conservation, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson November 23, 2011
Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson
This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape.
If you were one of the early explorers, walking into a wide floodplain system in the early 1800s, more than likely you would have found some form of discontinuous watercourse. One example is known as a ‘chain of ponds’, in which you’d find small bodies of open water, about a metre below the level of the floodplain, held in place and separated from the next pond by a marshy plug of reeds such as Phragmites.Comments (15)
Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Regional Water Cycle, Salination, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 15, 2011
This excellent little video, put together by Anselm Ibing, introduces a new series on sustainable land use in Jordan. It kicks off with a concise look at historical aspects relating to Jordan’s present ecological situation. I’m now left looking forward to Part II….
- Letters from Jordan: ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site Contrasts Against Jordan Insanities
- Jordan Valley Permaculture Project Update: Post IPC Happenings
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Urban Projects, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 8, 2011
Staring into the eyes of the future of Jordan, one wonders how things could be….
All Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Al Jazeera’s very recent feature of the new ‘Greening the Desert’ site
Why did the photojournalist cross the road? It sounds like the beginning of a joke, and, in a way, it was. I was standing at a busy road in Amman, Jordan, contemplating crossing. I say ‘contemplating’ as there were three lanes in each direction, and the traffic was moving fast. Several hundred metres away I spied a pedestrian overpass, but, before reason could sway impulse, I saw an opening and took it. Then, with three lanes behind me, standing proudly on the 1-metre wide centre strip, it seemed that the deity in charge of roads decided to conspire against me…. In the 37°C+ heat, I watched, waited, and then watched and waited some more. The minutes dragged by. A few times I ventured one foot forward, only to snatch it back again. The sun blazed. I began to have visions of being stuck here until the traffic slowed in the evening….Comments (16)
Aid Projects, Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 5, 2011
Here’s a sneak peek at Morocco — looking at water issues and the need to relearn traditional catchment management whilst adding in modern permaculture techniques of water harvesting and food forest development. David’s point about market gluts due to farmers all growing the same crop and harvesting it all at the same time is an important one. Diversity is stability — ecologically and economically.
Duration: 5 minutes
Owen Hablutzel: “Water and Transformation in Dryland Systems – Resilience Science & Keyline Application” (IPC10 Presentation – Video)
Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 4, 2011
Owen’s talk here is quite fascinating. While most in permaculture will recognise the importance of mainframe design, Owen’s talk goes a step further, and dips headlong into mainframe concepts as well. If you’re one of those right-side brain type people who just loves thinking a little above and beyond and immersing yourself into a bit of creative theory, you’ll find this talk from Owen hard to pause. If it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t panic, as Owen brings the theoretical aspects back onto the ground throughout, to show how it plays out (and boy does it play out) on a tangible property he’s been working on in the U.S. of A. — in this case the large broad acre Whirlwind Farm. In essence, Owen’s talk is about restorative, resilience farming: how we can think about it, and achieve it.Comments (4)
Animal Forage, Biodiversity, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, GMOs, Health & Disease, Plant Systems, Presentations/Demonstrations, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 25, 2011
If you didn’t catch it already, be sure to check out the previous post with Dr. Maarten Stapper’s first IPC10 convergence presentation. And, after several attempts, I finally managed to get his second presentation uploaded — you can click play above to watch this as well. With decades of experience in the farming industry, Dr. Stapper has a great deal to share, and a lot of insight to go with it.Comments (1)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 20, 2011
I’ve been a fan of Maarten Stapper’s work for a while now. In fact, further below you’ll find an article I wrote, way back in 2007, about his experiences at the hands of his former employer — Australia’s publicly funded CSIRO agricultural research body. I’d recommend you read the article before watching Maarten’s IPC10 Convergence presentation, as it’ll give you a good backgrounder on his valuable work and his commendable ethics. I say ethics because instead of compromising his principles so as to retain favour with those putting bread on his table, he stood his ground… and got sacked instead.Comments (0)
Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, News, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 13, 2011
The Rodale Institute’s 30-year
Farming Systems Trial report (1.3mb PDF)
The Rodale Institute has been, for a full 30 years now, conducting a long-term comparative Farming Systems Trial. Starting in 1981, when it was already abundantly clear that industrialising nature was creating far more problems than it solved, the Rodale Institute began documented research comparing organically fertilised fields and conventionally fertilised fields on its 330 acre farm in Pennsylvania, USA.
It’s the longest running comparative study of its kind in the world.
In time for their trial’s 30-year anniversary, the institute has put out a report outlining its documented observations. You can download this report via the link at right.
This report is one of several well-researched reports that have come out in recent years, including the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Failure to Yield report (which proves GMOs do not perform as claimed) and the IAASTD’s 400-scientist-strong, 3-year worldwide study (which concluded we need to quickly transition back to relocalised, diverse, agroecological methods).Comments (6)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Monika Goforth October 1, 2011
by Monika Goforth and Terry Leahy, University of Newcastle, Australia
To use permaculture lingo, Chikukwa can be described as a real edge, both in terms of ecology, culture and language, and the edge effect has certainly produced something rich. The community here has a sense of being both somewhat innocent and progressive at the same time. It is as if they skipped the industrialized phase and went straight into becoming a sustainable community. — Lindhagen 2010
This shot shows how the Chikukwa lands looked in the early nineties,
bare hillsides and soil erosion, with the consequence in poor nutrition.
This picture shows a small section of the Chikukwa clan lands as they are now.
The houses nestled among orchards, the bunds with vetiver grass in the
cropping fields and the extensive woodlots are all typical of this design strategy.
The Chikukwa Ecological Land Trust (CELUCT) is a unique community permaculture organisation in the Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe. Set in the highlands bordering Mozambique, the region is heavily populated and has suffered from deforestation, serious erosion and soil degradation since the area was named a Tribal Trust Land in the colonial era. In this setting, the Chikukwa community has developed a successful permaculture program involving around 8,000 farmers in what Chan (2010) calls “one of the largest and relatively unknown permaculture sites in the world.” So, how did a remote Zimbabwean farming community learn and implement permaculture techniques? What have been the effects?Comments (20)
Biological Cleaning, Conferences, Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Urban Projects, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 28, 2011
Brad Lancaster presents at the IPC10, Amman, Jordan, Sept. 2011
Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Brad of harvestingrainwater.com has well-honed presentation skills — urban water harvesting has never been more interesting and compelling than after Brad has laid it all before you, and injected no small measure of fun and humour into it as well. I applaud Brad’s valuable contribution to the permaculture toolkit, as I’m sure will you after watching the video below!Comments (4)