Posted by & filed under GMOs.

85 % US export market to China destroyed as domestic prices for corn dropped 11 cents per bushel.

by Dr Mae-Wan Ho

US corn prices plummeted as China rejected all shipments containing traces of Syngenta’s MIR162. Farmers from 5 major corn growing states have filed 3 class action lawsuits against Syngenta, claiming damages of more than $1 billion [1, 2].

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Posted by & filed under General.

We’re out in the hot Sonoran Desert, somewhere near Tucson, Arizona. It’s hot. Very hot. I’m down to a small amount of water in my bottle and it’s disappearing fast. I’m starting to think one could go crazy and possibly die of thirst out here filming this stuff. Luckily I’m with Geoff Lawton and Brad Lancaster, both experts in water harvesting. Geoff, however, has abandoned me under the shade of a desert tree with my camera gear to go wandering off with Brad into the desert, searching for something rumored to be out there.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Consumerism, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Peak Oil, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

This Saturday we’re joining concerned citizens all over the world who are coming together to take a stand against fracking. Will you join us?

As you know, fracking is an ongoing disaster for communities around the U.S.A. and increasingly around the world. But that hasn’t stopped the fossil fuel industry — they’re on the march, working tirelessly to buy off politicians and dig up every last bit of oil and gas they can find.

That’s why we’re taking part in the Global Frackdown on October 11th, to shine a light on this dirty and dangerous industry and help put a stop to it.

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Posted by & filed under Land, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation.

Hugelmounds are a truly amazing regenerative landscaping technique. They could be your preferred method of soil re-building and regeneration, and here’s why.

There’s a lot to consider when understanding the best and most environmentally balanced way of creating your new forest garden and permaculture landscape.

Hugelcultures, or "hugel mounds", are a way of creating raised beds, which over time break down into mounds of fertility. They work on the principle of mimicking how a forest works to regenerate itself — the dead wood falls and begins to decompose, fallen branches and leaf litter begin to accumulate on top. Year after year, rich soil begins to form because it creates a diverse habitat for decomposers, fungi and bacteria to thrive.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Food Forests, Trees.

In trying to find different varieties of stone fruit to create the Tree of 40 Fruit, I realized that for various reasons, including industrialization and the creation of enormous monocultures, we are losing diversity in food production and that heirloom, antique, and native varieties that were less commercially viable were disappearing. I saw this as an opportunity to, in some way, preserve these varieties. In addition to maintaining these varieties in my nursery, I graft them to the Tree of 40 Fruit. Additionally, when I place a Tree of 40 Fruit, I go to local farmers and growers to collect stone fruit varieties and graft them to the trees. In this way they become an archive of the agricultural history of where they are located as well as a means to preserve antique and native varieties.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects.

I couldn’t watch. I couldn’t look away. Another Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza — the fourth such event since I moved to Palestine eight years ago. The mounting death toll, the blood-drenched images, the shattered buildings, the raids on UN shelters where people sought shelter, the bombing of hospitals and other vital infrastructure such as the power station. Water shortage, death, destruction. Again.

It’s enough to make you want to scream and bang your head on the floor. Gaza is bad enough already, even without the bombing.

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Posted by & filed under Processing & Food Preservation.

My mother-in-law, Amptee, is a very traditional Jordanian woman, having lived on and from the desert land all her life, and is a wealth of knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation.

The olive is a very traditional part of the Jordan diet and culture, as it has for 1000s of years. In fact, not far from our site there are olive trees that are more than 2000 years old and still fruiting well.

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Posted by & filed under Animal Processing, Food Forests, Trees.

by Paul Kean, Tiger Hill Permaculture

Tiger Hill Farm is situated in the Southern Midlands in Tasmania and is set amongst 10,000 acres of mixed private forestry and crown land. The farm is 70 acres in size and is home to Tiger Hill Permaculture, a registered primary production business and private farm forestry project. The long term vision is to align with the PRI Master Plan by becoming an educational community demonstrating sustainable agriculture and self-sufficiency via Permaculture design.

Having been on the property now for 4 years and taking into consideration the effects of everything I do on the land, I have observed closely the local environment. As I am funding the project solely from a salary income, I have weighed up numerous options for a multitude of small to large projects on the site in the hope to create cost effective solutions to my design strategies.

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Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees.


I don’t have rights to a photo of intensive silvopasture, but in this image we have high density
of leucaena with pasture below, thus a very similar pattern. Ethan Roland for scale.

As I research my book on carbon-sequestering agriculture I am occasionally struck by particularly promising techniques that mitigate climate change, build soils, and actually increase production of human food or other yields. One such system that has me excited this week is intensive silvopasture.

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Health & Disease.

We have all heard the terms ‘farm fresh’, ‘farm raised’, ‘cage free’, ‘free range’, ‘organic’, ‘pastured’, and, well, I am sure the list goes on and on, but what do they really mean and what are we getting?

Small farmers are not only farming nowadays but they have now also taken on the task of being educators and marketers (not by choice might I add).

Here is a look into understanding the market and making informed decisions about what we buy and where.

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation.

Several years ago we were visited at our project site in Konso, South Ethiopia by an Australian lady called Elizabeth D’Avigdor and her daughter, May. We gave her a tour around our site and showed her what we were up to at the time. I vaguely remember her mentioning that she was working on a project somewhere up north. Several years later I heard from her again. She sent me several articles (here and here for example) about the project she had been instrumental in establishing in Fitche, North Shoa, an area north of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

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