Posted by & filed under Land, Plant Systems, Urban Projects.

I’ve been advancing my guerilla gardening efforts recently, with a significant new raised bed now beautifying my nature strip, as seen in the picture at right. I thought in this post I could provide a brief overview of how to build a cheap raised bed, either for use on your nature strip or in your front or back yards. This overview might seem a bit basic for the handy builders among you, so I direct this post to those who are beginning their journey into guerilla gardening and urban agriculture.

I was moved to write this post after attending an environmental festival recently where raised beds like the one I have built were priced between $800 and $1000! Mine cost considerably less than $100, including the soil and plants, and that’ll pay for itself soon enough. I also earned the joy of construction, making me doubly well off. Below I describe the method for building a raised garden bed that is two boards high, which provides good depth.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Ethical Investment, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Maximum security, maximum return. Who doesn’t want that? In a world of uncertainty and change, more than a few people are reconsidering where it is they want their money.

I grew up being encouraged to save and invest in savings. The two are not the same thing. To invest in savings is to invest in money itself. To put your money into money… such a strange idea. But in a civilization bent on growth, how can your money not grow as well? It really isn’t a bad idea if you have faith that growth never ends….

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Posted by & filed under Biological Cleaning, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I’m so blown away by the work of John Todd. He works on a huge scale cleaning horrendous toxins out of water. I suspect he knows a bit about permaculture. I saw Bill Mollison’s book listed on one of his websites.

Above is a video that I think gives amazing insight on using plants (and even snails) to clean toxins from water.

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

OMG! That is internet speak for Oh My Goodness! The first day at the internship was something no one could prepare me for: the open air, the cattle, the horses, chickens, food forests, pasture, correctly built structures that harmonize with the sun, swales, ponds, dams, and embarking on a journey and communal living with people from all over the world. “A far cry from my native North East Texas – and I am so grateful!” was what I thought while setting up my tent in the middle of this small shire in The Channon, NSW, Australia. I was to call this truly awesome place my home for the next 10 weeks.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Urban Projects.

It’s spring time for the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka "Greening the Desert – the Sequel"), the lowest place on earth (400 metres below sea level) and one of the hottest and driest, and our trees and gardens are full of produce. During the internship that was held at the project in November 2012 the students worked on installing a new irrigation system that has obviously made a big difference!

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Peak Oil, Society.

by Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute

Politicians, lobbyists, and tourists alike can ride bicycles along a specially marked lane between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, part of the 115 miles of bicycle lanes and paths that now crisscross Washington, DC. In Copenhagen, commuters can ride to work following a “green wave” of signal lights timed for bikers. Residents in China’s “happiest city,” Hangzhou, can move easily from public transit onto physically separated bike tracks that have been carved out of the vast majority of roadways. And on any given Sunday in Mexico City, some 15,000 cyclists join together on a circuit of major thoroughfares closed to motorized traffic. What is even more exciting is that in each of these locations, people can jump right into cycling without even owning a bicycle. Welcome to the era of the Bike Share.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Education, Society.

The case for banning advertisements aimed at children is overwhelming.

by George Monbiot

How many people believe this makes the world a better place? A company called TenNine has hung advertising hoardings in the corridors and common rooms of 750 British schools(1). Among its clients are Nike, Adidas, Orange, Tesco and Unilever(2). It boasts that its “high impact platform delivers right to the heart of the 11-18 year old market.”(3)

Other firms are closing in. Boomerang Media, which represents Sega, Atari, Virgin, Umbro and others, has persuaded schools to distribute Revlon perfume samples to their pupils(4). This campaign, it says, “was effectively linked into their PSHE and PE classes”. PSHE means personal, social, health and economic education, or “learning to live life well”(5). How the disbursement of perfume by teachers helps children to keep fit and live well is a mystery I will leave you to ponder.

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Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects.

The trailer for my next video is up:

"Urban Permaculture: The Micro Space" trailer
Register your email here and we’ll let you know when
the full movie is ready to watch

Many of you have been asking what Permaculture can do for you in the small Urban space.

Well, one of my students, Angelo, has transformed his tiny Melbourne backyard into an amazing productive garden and documented every detail over the last 4 years. You’ll find out how much food you could grow in the micro space when you apply Permaculture design creatively.

You will be amazed.

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Posted by & filed under Building.

Photos © Craig Mackintosh

The main buildings at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm remind me a little of those cute homes I saw in tales in children’s books as a kid. You know — the edible type, made of sugar, etc. The natural colour, texture and shape all lend themselves to this nostalgia. But, despite appearances, most of these structures are actually made of straw bale (with a daub and lime render over top), so even though they look great, I wouldn’t encourage you to try to eat them.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, GMOs, Health & Disease.

Billionaires forgo iron-rich crops in push for GM bananas in India

Nature has given us a cornucopia of biodiversity rich in nutrients. Malnutrition and nutrient deficiency result from destroying biodiversity. The Green Revolution has spread monocultures of chemical rice and wheat, driving out biodiversity from our farms and diets. And what survived as spontaneous crops — like amaranth greens (chaulai) and chenopodium (bathua) that are rich in iron — were sprayed with poisons and herbicides. Instead of cherishing them as iron- and vitamin-rich gifts, these vegetables were treated as “weeds”.

The “monoculture of the mind” treats diversity as disease and creates coercive structures to remodel this biologically and culturally diverse world of ours on the concepts of one privileged class, one race and one gender of a single species. As “the monoculture of the mind” took over, biodiversity disappeared from our farms and food. It’s the destruction of biodiverse rich cultivation and diets that has led us to the malnutrition crisis.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres.

The Rak Tamachat farm was a great introduction to motivated, intelligent permaculturists, and the beginnings of a robust permaculture farm in the works.

Jake (Australia) and Mark (Texas) gave me a grand tour of the farm. The first thing we saw was the grey water system, here the tap water used for cooking and washing dishes is funneled through a bucket filter that is piped to irrigate an herb garden nearby.

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