Aid Projects, Community Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Miles Durand June 20, 2013
Miles Durand (right), in Lesotho
Lesotho is a small, mountainous country in Southern Africa. There has been an alarming two third reduction in its food production since colonial times. The signs and causes are self-evident and can be seen on the landscape and within the population. There is an urgent need to move the existing agriculture, in decline, to one of ascendancy in food production, and return the soil to good health and fertility. Many of the ingredients needed for this transformation are located within the country and its neighbour of South Africa. And within the world wide sustainable / conservation agriculture community, accessible on the internet is all the knowledge, information and technology needed to make it happen.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Tejal Heblekar June 6, 2013
A non-profit teaches a soil education program to combat the farmer suicide epidemic in rural India.
By Tejal Heblekar, and edited by Eileen Mello
A few kilometers from the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Orissa, rural farmers have gathered around a microscope to see what lies hidden in the ground. The Hummingbird Project, an American based non-profit organization, has equipped a soil laboratory with a microscope and resources for visiting farmers to test the quality of their farm’s soil and learn specific organic methods for improving its health. Farmers are eager to use the lab resources to test their samples and excitedly look from the microscope to the computer, watching the enhanced images of microbes moving throughout the soil. Proud chemical farmers are shocked to discover their samples — white and chalky with synthetic fertilizer salts and residues and reeking like chemicals — have no biodiversity like that found in samples from farms employing organic techniques.Comments (3)
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Samuel Bonello June 4, 2013
Learn all about Humus, the layer of soil essential for healthy food production which is being gradually depleted by unsustainable farming practices.Comments (4)
Before and during shots of a compost pile built for demonstration during a
PDC.So this is 14 days into the process, not 60 days at completion.
Many words these days have become so broad in their use that they have lost real meaning. The word ‘love’ is a perfect example. In one breath people express love for a dog, pizza and their partner. The word compost has suffered a similar fate. What many call compost is more accurately defined as “an accumulation of rotten/rotting organic material” or “a stinky breeding place for flies”. I love compost so I want to rectify this rotten situation.Comments (9)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Soil Biology — by Oscar Morand May 29, 2013
I will always remember this day, as my first day actually witnessing a practical understanding of the Reams Biological Theory of Ionization and the Trophobiosis Theory of Francis Chaboussou.Comments (14)
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Paul Wheaton May 17, 2013
by Paul Wheaton
Mark Vander Meer gives a presentation on soil science as it relates to forestry. I was presenting in another room at the same time, so Mark gave permission to Jocelyn Campbell to record this for me. Once I saw it, I thought it was so good, that I asked Mark if it was okay to put it up on YouTube.
Mark is a soil scientist who works as a wild restoration ecologist in Montana. His presentation focuses on soil restoration and is very much question driven.
He starts off by talking about the watershed death spiral, where the soil loses its ability to hold water. Mark identifies three main reasons for that to occur: Compaction, roads, and loss of soil organic matter. He explains that the problem results in streams and springs disappearing.Comments (4)
Biological Cleaning, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Sheri Menelli April 29, 2013
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.Comments (2)
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure — by Oyvind Holmstad December 7, 2012
Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 10, 2012
I love the nice progression of logic in this presentation. Running the numbers like this shows not only how powerful a carbon sink our earth’s soils can be, under the right management, but also just how futile and what a goose-chasing diversion most contemporary technological ‘fixes’ for climate change really are.Comments (2)
Compost, Conservation, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 4, 2012
The yard in winter, before work begins…
A great many people today are living in fear. The future looks uncertain, but bleak. Many cannot see a future at all. The post-WWII baby boomer generation, with their short-lived cheap energy era, have been largely calling the shots, shaping the world we have today. After the miseries of two world wars, they set a course for excess. They and their descendants have been spending profligately, borrowing resources and finances from their children and grandchildren — and the deficit has increased so rapidly that the present generation is already having to foot the bill. We’ve been living the dream, and living in a dream — seeking to live lifestyles without limits — and now it’s time to pay the piper, as it were. We’re discovering that we were the children and grandchildren that society was borrowing from.
Compost, Food Plants - Annual, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 1, 2012
I’ve personally seen produce growing quite large in far northern latitude places like Alaska and Norway, where the summer sun goes around and around and around, giving plants a gentle but steady application of solar goodness. But, the vegetables in this video go even further…. This Alaskan gentleman has been breaking size records with his additions of aerated compost teas. His methods result in tasty, healthy, high-brix vegetables that repel insect attacks.
P.S. To learn more about these methods, check out one of Paul Taylor’s Sustainable Soil Management courses in our courses section.Comments (2)
Compost, Food Plants - Annual, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 27, 2012
This is a very cool video on fungal dominated humus and enormous vegetables. Besides a humungous pumpkin, you’ll also get to see microorganisms at work, at 400x magnification.Comments (1)
Aquaculture, Compost, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Material, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Surveying, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Richard Perkins September 15, 2012
A reflection following a great time finding solutions for dryland water management in Portugal
I’m enjoying working on a job connecting up extensive irrigation in the mountains of Extremadura, Spain, and relaxing for a couple of days after a successful and effective Dryland Water Management intensive at the budding Permaculture Institute, Vale De Lama, near Lagos in the South of Portugal.
This week we have been looking at all aspects of water design, focusing mostly on this varied site where all manner of interventions are necessary to halt the onslaught of the desertification process and regenerate the diverse mixed polycultures and rich soils that had a biological diversity comparative to more tropical regions at one time.
Something that is clear after working so intensively with integrative and regenerative systems design around the globe in different climate zones is that most places I turn up at have been degraded heavily and the localized cultural approach and ecological understanding is often limited by familiarization with the current conditions and often destructive agricultural practices.Comments (7)
Compost, Fungi, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Trees — by Chris McLeod August 22, 2012
A while back, the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia presented an article on hugelkultur raised beds (see also here and here). I found the idea of planting out raised beds made of tree saplings covered in a bit of soil and woody mulch to be intriguing.
I’d never heard of hugelkultur before, but living surrounded by eucalyptus forest started me thinking about the possibilities. I’m not sure that hugelkultur techniques are practiced in Australia and perhaps the reason for this is that eucalyptus trees can take many decades to break down into soil. This is probably a bit slow compared to the tree species used in hugelkultur beds in Europe.Comments (16)
Animal Forage, Compost, Food Forests, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Chris McLeod August 11, 2012
Poo. We all do it. Even the smallest microbes do it. However, when you are connected to a centralised sewerage system, unless it stops working – which is not much fun – you don’t have to think about it much at all. A quick flush and off it goes, somewhere else, to be processed at some distant location, somehow or another. It’s all very mysterious really and for most of us it is someone else’s problem. However, when you are not connected to a centralised sewerage system, it is inevitable that you’ll become more acquainted with the stuff sooner or later.Comments (18)