Posted by & filed under Comedy Break, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Society.

The Lorax, published in video form on our site here, is a much-loved children’s tale by Dr. Seuss — one with a strong environmental message (the original book version was banned in some schools and libraries in the US due to pressure by the forestry lobbies). Now, above, you can watch an updated version, where, I’m very sorry to say, you’ll discover that the Lorax, who formerly spoke for the trees, has now sold out to commercial interests….

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Compost, Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Conservation.

Photo: Ingrid Pullen

Splendour in the Grass is a music, arts and culture festival held near Byron Bay in Northern New South Wales, Australia. It is a 3-day event attended by more than 30,000 people (on an area of 256 ha., or 660 acres — partly adjacent to a large nature reserve) and it is considered the country’s largest winter music festival. The festival has won many awards for its environmental policies, and the management continues to work with permaculture principles to keep improving and implementing the best policies they can achieve.

This year, after six wheelie bin dry compost toilets were previously trialed and complimented for their functions as “low-odour” and “waterless”, approval was granted to install hundreds more. The festival organisers commissioned 258 of them, designed and built from re-purposed shipping containers. As re-locatable dry compost toilet blocks they are an infinitely more sustainable solution than the typical ‘porta-loo’, and resolve some issues that outdoor venues face, including a significant reduction in waste-water truck movements and the transportation of hundreds of port-a-loos and showers to and from the site. This created a dramatic reduction in waste being sent to the Byron Shire Council’s sewerage treatment plant.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

I first met Paul ‘Ringo’ Kean sometime during the early portion of 2009 while staying at Zaytuna Farm. That year, we had the good fortune of being given the opportunity to take a number of courses being offered with both Geoff Lawton and Paul Taylor as instructors.

From my time becoming acquainted with Ringo – and in particular, his professional background working as an earthmover in the mining industry – I could immediately recognize that he had a very unique and valuable skill set to put to use as a permaculture designer and field operator. Earthworks as applied within the confines of permaculture as a practical pursuit is one of the topics most people who have taken a design course find most challenging – both large and small scale. There is certainly a technical aspect of this specific facet of the design system many people are uncomfortable with or (at the very least) aren’t terribly confident in implementing. One would think any chance given to develop improved hands-on understanding of how to more effectively utilize earthmoving technologies – and potential work capacity they represent – would be very welcome.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

We will be running a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course between December 22nd to January 5th, 2015!

This 15-Day intensive course follows the standard accredited 72-hour course and will include several hands-on sessions including making Bio-vital compost, bio fertilizer, actively aerated compost tea, vegetable beds and organic gardening, land surveying, natural building and much more!

This course is in English only — there will be no translation.

The course will be hosted in an organic olive farm in the foothills of the gorgeous Ourika valley, 25km south of Marrakesh, right on the way to historical and scenic destinations such as the Siti Fatma waterfall, Lake Lalla Takerkoust, the Oukaimeden ski resort, the ancient Berber village of Tinmel and the Toubkal national park.

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Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Fish, Plant Systems.

Lake Taihu algal bloom (Credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Lake Taihu experienced its worst ever algal bloom at the height of summer, pushing researchers to search for new solutions. They decided to try a new technology, Aqua Biofilter, that is designed to remove nutrients that fuel algal blooms. An ambitious aspect of the project was to launch the world’s largest aquaponics system, over 4 acres in size, using new technologies in combination with old world bamboo that is used in traditional Chinese building. Experiments growing rice on fish ponds provided a foundation for scaling up to lakes and larger water bodies for earth and water repair.

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Posted by & filed under General.

What happens when Louis Schwartzberg and Morgan Freeman collaborate? A poetic message filled with hope and optimism.

Presented to world leaders at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit in New York, this short film shows that the world we believe in is possible. We already have the appropriate technology to harness nature sustainably. Thanks to permaculture (and all the seers who helped shape it), we constantly learn how to regenerate land, work more harmoniously with nature while benefiting from a fertile planet.

It is all happening here and now! Let’s feed this positive attitude towards life!

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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