Posted by & filed under Education, Fungi, Processing & Food Preservation.


Everyone is at least somewhat familiar with the plant kingdom but the fungi kingdom is very little known and understood and yet the more we look into mushrooms the more they seem to offer. Some mushroom species have the ability to clean up serious toxins in our environment and some offer valuable medicine. They all play a part in the decomposition process by pulling apart lignin and cellulose in fallen trees and woodchips in our garden.

Growing mushrooms is both an art and a science. At times they can be tricky and uncooperative and other times when you’re just about ready to give up on them they’ll surprise you with the biggest, tastiest crop you’ve ever seen.

For a while I was making mushroom kits so that people could grow gourmet mushrooms at home. It was a fun job and really pushed my education in mushroom cultivation forward but it never felt all that rewarding. I much prefer teaching people the process so that they have the skills to grow gourmet mushrooms from scratch. Teach a person to fish right?

It all starts with mycelium. The more mycelium you grow the more mushrooms you grow so the process of mushroom growing can be seen as different steps to expand your mushroom mycelium. Mushroom cultivator their own method. I like to keep it simple and straightforward. You can start the mycelium growing process in a number of different ways but the most tried and true method is growing them on petri dishes.

Growing Mushroom Cultures on Petri Dishes

First I mix the media that I use to pour into my petri dishes. You can use a handful of different ingredients but I prefer to use malt extract powder, agar agar and a pinch of yeast.

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Posted by & filed under Education, General.

“Your Potty is a Wonderland”

With only three more days to fund the Kickstarter “Poo to Peaches – a Composting Toilet Book”, we need your help! We are still about $3,800 shy of our goal. We hope this video, a spoof on John Mayers’ “Your Body is a Wonderland”, will inspire you to drop a little nutrient on us and help us with this last big push to realize our goal. We’re relying on our permaculture community to help us make low-cost, permittable composting toilets a reality.

We hope you enjoy the goofiness of “Your Potty is a Wonderland” .

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Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books, Events, Resources & News, General.

Yekra Player

Please click above to watch the Trailer

INHABIT – A Permaculture Perspective

Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our planet? This is the premise behind permaculture: a design process based on the replication of patterns found in nature. INHABIT explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design lens of permaculture. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.

Posted by & filed under Earthworks & Earth Resources, Education, Food & Food Support Systems, General, Plants, Soil, Soil Biology, Soil Composition.


This is Part two of a series of Articles, that critically discuss’s the Nottinghill Forest Garden Project from Analysis – to Implementation – to Future Idea’s.

Part one can be found here

Site Preparation Discussion

“Mainframe Design”

Although observation and basic design began in 2010, we did not commence the garden in earnest until January of 2011. After analyzing our site’s conditions and forming a basic long-term vision for the garden, I had to figure out a path to get us there.

The most pressing matters to begin solving fall under what Geoff Lawton likes to call “mainframe design.” Water, access, and soil are fundamentals that need to be examined before moving onto finer details; getting these right (or close to it) from the start will make the rest much easier. Before examining how these were designed, let us look at the overall strategy for each.

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Posted by & filed under Education, General.


2014 was a busy year at Sugarloaf Permaculture. Half way through we started teaching our first PDC that was held at the local community gardens over 14 Sundays. After finishing at the end of November, I was relieved as my evenings were less pressured without the constant preparation and some Sundays were ours again. After some days, while out in the garden, I reflected on the huge number of hours that went into preparing the content for presentation. Yes, I am somewhat of perfectionist and wanted to create a resource that students could keep and refer back to any time (a
collection of PowerPoints). But, I wondered how many potential teachers out there were put off by the amount of preparation needed? Anyhow, the thoughts of sharing this resource set emerged and so I decided to go back through the presentations again to improve them further and to ask permission of others who had contributed.

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Posted by & filed under Community, Design, Food & Food Support Systems.

Launched in January 2013, the City of Vancouver’s Food Strategy represents the culmination of over ten years of policy, planning and community organizing towards the creation of a healthy, just and sustainable food system.

None of this would be possible without the creativity and dedication of countless individuals, community groups, and local businesses. This video highlights some key areas that have made a big impact in Vancouver. To get involved, visit

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Posted by & filed under Education, General.


Introduction: Resilience through Diversity

Nature is most abundant on the edge. The interface between two or more ecosystems, organisms, or cultures is often where the most valuable, diverse and productive elements of a system emerge. Like the diversity of a healthy ecosystem, diverse educational communities are more resilient, socially efficient, and sustainable. In the face of global environmental and economic challenges, English as Second Language (ESL) and Multicultural educators have the opportunity to facilitate the interpretation of scientific knowledge for diverse communities of international stakeholders. By teaching language through context and applying Permaculture design to curriculum design, urban educators can facilitate the exchange of ecological wisdom in an international context.

Permaculture in Context: The International High School at Lafayette

The International High School at Lafayette (IHSL) is a public school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn that serves 350 late-entry English Language Learners (ELLs) speaking 50 different languages. The Internationals Model of ESL Education focuses on language development through context, heterogeneous grouping, project-based learning, and autonomous decision making. Learn more about IHSL by watching the MacArthur foundation-funded documentary “I Learn America,”

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Posted by & filed under General, Plants.


Take eating local one step further and grow your own native edibles. It’s not only delicious, attracts native wildlife but often requires less work on your behalf because Australian plants are generally hardy just like the environments they usually grow in. I’ve listed a few to get you started.

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Posted by & filed under Building, Community, Demonstration Sites, Design, Education Centres, Permaculture Projects.

Tom Kendall from the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast

Tom Kendall talks about what the next step is for the Biogas Bio Digester at his Permaculture Demonstration Site “Maungaraeeda”, which is the location of the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast. The Bio Digester already creates enough gas to cook some meals on, but it is ready for the next step to increase gas production.

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Posted by & filed under General.


Shopping secondhand starts off for most as an act of frugality. We notice that buying a car, a computer, a TV, furniture, guitar, sweater … anything! … is so much cheaper if it’s been used for a year or two prior, maybe even shows a bit of wear, that unsightly scar on the paint job or the stain from an errant cup of coffee. We take joy in finding stuff for unbelievably good deals.

As students or budding entrepreneurs or just run-of-the-mill misers, this discounted shopping makes perfect sense. In fact, it makes having some things, what would otherwise be unattainable, possible. All of this stuff is still perfectly functional, often even downright optimal. Simply, because it lacks the thrill of “brand new,” which instantly puts items on a pedestal, sometimes quite literally a showroom pedestal, the price takes a nosedive.

After all, many of us were brought up in worlds in which secondhand equated to other people’s old stuff as opposed to logical options. If it wasn’t good enough for them, but it’s good enough for us, then it would seem we are somehow lesser. Of course, our sensible brain knows this is nonsense, but the reality of cultural norms, antiquated ideals, can be challenging to get over.

Well, for me, for a myriad of reasons, this is one cool kid faux pas I’ve learned to live with: Secondhand shopping is not just about budgeting anymore; rather, it is something we should all be doing for the good of the planet, for our fellow humans and for the other things—sentient or not—with which we are sharing the planet.

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Posted by & filed under Food & Food Support Systems, General, Plant Systems, Plants.

To learn more about the Poo to Peaches project and become a backer, visit the Kickstarter page

Every day, the average person flushes 10 gallons of clean drinking water down the toilet. This constitutes a waste of two precious resources: scarce water supplies and human manure, which could instead be composted to form a fertile soil amendment.

While composting toilets (CTs) of various styles are commercially available and legal for home use, they are often too expensive for many would-be users. There are excellent designs out there for affordable, easy-to-construct CT systems, but local laws typically prohibit their use.

Several years ago, the Tucson, Arizona-based nonprofit Watershed Management Group (WMG) set out to change this paradigm. Working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, WMG launched a “Soil Stewards” pilot program to install and monitor 24 site-built CT systems in homes and organizations throughout southern Arizona. The end goal with this program is to develop a safe and effective, do-it-yourself CT design that is legally permitted for Arizona residents.

The group used two main designs in this project: the Omick barrel composting toilet and Nogales double chamber composting toilet.

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