Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Urban Projects.

In his fantastic book Complete Book Of Fruit Growing in Australia Louis Glowinski wrote that "the banana is the most important fruit crop of the wet tropics, and may have been the first fruit cultivated by man".

That first caught my eye when I first read through the book, but living in Melbourne, Australia, a warm temperate climate, bananas weren’t the highest priority for me to grow. Having recently moved to the subtropics I see them everywhere!

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Posted by & filed under Society.

How our governments now talk about human beings.

To blot people out of existence first you must blot them from your mind. Then you can persuade yourself that what you are doing is moral and necessary. Today, this isn’t difficult. Those who act without compassion can draw upon a system of thought and language whose purpose is to shield them – and blind us – to the consequences.

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Posted by & filed under Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation.


The great Amazon rainforest.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Bones. Charcoal. Ash. Blood. Feces. Food waste. Pottery shards. Before I began my journey into permaculture and regenerative ecology, if you asked me why someone would gather and bury these things together, I would have guessed at some kind of disgusting voodoo magic ritual. But for those initiated into the alchemy of composting and soil generation, this is actually a recipe for the most nutrient-dense, hyper-fertile soil on the planet — terra preta, or “black earth”.

The story of how terra preta was used by ancient amazonian peoples, rediscovered in modern times, and how it subsequently revolutionized our concept of the Amazon jungle and inhabitants, is a fascinating one, and it carries many lessons for us in modern times as we learn how to “leave no trace” (or even better, leave a regenerative trace) and develop a sustainable lifestyle and culture.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Here at Zaytuna Farm we have a gallery of permaculture earthworks — 17 dams, kilometres of contour swales, roads, pads, gabions, cross pipes, and all sorts of different installations that involved some sort of machinery!

It’s one thing to be the artist designing this sort of gallery, but I always wondered how it feels to be the artist/craftsman moving all this earth. It is an art form of some sort — the subtleties, the details, the eye for curves and contours, are all as impressive as any piece of art in any gallery. The difference is that the Zaytuna permaculture gallery is producing food, building fertility, soaking water and rehabilitating land, working with nature to create an example of an abundant system that can be replicated.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Village Development.

Are you a passionate and knowledgeable permaculturalist? Would you like to live in a developing ecovillage for a year ‘rent free’ as part of a documentary project? Do you want to explore a life of frugal abundance? If so, read on!

Over the last 12 months the Simplicity Institute has been involved in the development of an ecovillage permaculture farm out near Moe, Victoria, Australia (about 1 hour 45 mins from Melbourne). To date the communities involved have built a small Earthship, a beautiful cob cabin, and last week we made great progress on an earthbag dome and a pizza oven. There are bees buzzing, beers brewing, water tanks collecting, and communities forming. We’ve also planted 40 odd fruit trees and have established some large vegetable gardens, with more to come. The 20-acre property has a large dam, a large shed, a large greenhouse and chicken coop, as well as a more conventional house.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Land, Medicinal Plants, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting.


A gnome (the author) in the Communal Garden

Make no mistake, the war is on. The commodity is food, the source needs to be sustainable, and the community needs to know about it. If you are already into permaculture, or just gaining an interest, then congratulations and welcome to the peace-loving yet active front lines. We call it guerilla gardening.

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Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Biodiversity, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems, Urban Projects.

Where I grew up, I had two swimming choices. The first was in various rivers and ‘swimming holes’ (deeper parts of rivers, where the shape of the riverbank creates a calmer, very slow-flowing area to bathe in) around the town I lived in, and the second was the local public swimming pool. The former, while preferable, required transport — which, back in the day, my family rarely had access to. The latter was better than many, in that it was an open air public pool (no roof), so, like in the rivers, we could swim with sunshine and the great blue sky overhead (or even in the rain). But, as is usually the case, the public pool, devoid of any natural biological cleaning elements, necessitated the use of chemicals — notably chlorine, with its associated negative health effects.

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Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books.

A summary of permaculture concepts and principles taken from Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, by David Holmgren

It contains an introduction to permaculture, thoughts about the future of the movement and the values and use of the permaculture principles. A great way to expand your knowledge in preparation for the full length book. This PDF eBook contains interactivity that is best viewed using Adobe Reader.

Available in the following languages – free to download and share:

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Society, Village Development.

50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their homes — a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syrian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school. Melissa Fleming of the UN’s refugee agency calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps are healing places where people can develop the skills they’ll need to rebuild their hometowns.

Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Registration is now officially open for the 2015 Carbon Farming Course, to be held February 3-22, 2015 at the Taconic Retreat Center in New York’s Hudson Valley, USA. Based on your survey responses, the Carbon Farming Team chose a top-notch palette of topics and trainers for the event. Workshops include:

  • Holistic Management & Grazing
  • Keyline Farming
  • Carbon Farming Intensive
  • Financing Regenerative Agriculture
  • Living Soils
  • Restoration Agriculture
  • …and more!

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