Posted by & filed under Animal Housing, Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Fencing, Livestock.

Taranaki Farm is truly a wonderful place to witness. The farm focuses on producing pastured poultry, beef and pork, with laying hens moved onto new pasture every few days. It is a great combination of high tech and old-world, using electric fencing to keep the animals on fresh grass. This style of animal management helps to keep the animals parasite free, eliminates the problems of over-grazing and gives the pastures a good hit of natural fertility! Ben Falloon, the Taranki Farm steward, is passionate about regenerative agriculture and was more than happy to show us his systems that he’s worked out to keep the farm highly productive and chemical free. Instead of telling people what Taranaki Farm is about he prefers to show them and runs farm tours.

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Breeds, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Livestock, Urban Projects.

by Kay Baxter, PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute)

This is an update on our urban permaculture garden experiment which integrates the best ideas from our Permaculture Design Course students into a working urban garden here in our North Island, New Zealand temperate climate.

Our end product includes rabbits, chickens, a 36 sq m biointensive garden, 2 vines, 19 fruit trees, 15 berry bushes, 1 olive and 3 nut trees. We have since added guinea pigs.

The rabbits, guinea pigs and eggs will go a long way towards producing optimal quantities of the fat soluble vitamins and minerals we believe are required in an optimal diet for our family of four and we can provide fresh vegetables on a daily basis. We can also provide fresh fruit on a daily basis, with dried fruit out of season, within three years. We will be producing olive oil and pickled olives for daily use, as well as nuts on a regular basis in about three years also.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under GMOs.

Editor’s Note: I love this news! But, be prepared for a counter-attack by Big Biotech….

Help me celebrate two of Vermont’s heroes who were instrumental in passing the USA’s first unrestricted mandatory labeling bill for GMOs. Senator David Zuckerman and Representative Carolyn Partridge describe the amazing efforts, which spanned more than a decade, resulting in this unprecedented, game-changing new law. They also describe what you can do to help their state with the expected legal challenge by big biotech and/or the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Here are the quick facts:

Read more »

Posted by & filed under General.

The terrible howlers in James Lovelock’s new book show that genius is no defence against being wrong.

Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, and a pioneering modern environmentalist, has been
the focus of attacks by vested interests for decades.

Is there anyone as stimulating, infuriating, fascinating and contradictory as James Lovelock? As I found during our radio discussion this week, at 94 he’s as acute and lively as ever. And, as ever, I kept switching between delighting in what he said and groaning with despair. He has greatly enriched our understanding and experience of the living planet. And he doesn’t half talk some rubbish sometimes.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination.

Bangladesh, home for one of the largest deltas in the world, is facing the adverse effects of climate change with riverbank erosion and flood water inundation during the annual monsoon. This has resulted in loss of agriculture crops, livestock and homesteads. The amount of cultivable land is reducing every year in an ever-changing landscape. Sandbar cropping has made a positive impact in converting these unfertile barren sandbars into food producing lands. This has aided in providing climate-resilient livelihoods to the vulnerable farmers by strengthening their food security.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Markets & Outlets, Village Development.

This 3 minute video shows how it took a personal crises, a 5-year ultra-low budget trip around the world and a romance with permaculture to discover my niche in life. It tells the story of Farmwell — how any local farmer or food hub can now jumpstart their business online with easy access to the same technology that global corporations have used to take over the world.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Seeds.

If you live or work in Latin America, or Central America, and are into permaculture, chances are you will be referred to the IMAP, which is located in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala. The IMAP, which stands for Instituto Mesoamericano de Permacultura (Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute) describes itself as “promoting permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and food sovereignty in Guatemala,” but their reach and influence stretches out over all of Central and Latin America. They also emphasise the importance of recovering, guarding, and teaching Mayan ancestral knowledge.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Irrigation, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.


The world water crisis is undisputable, yet surprisingly little work is being done to promote, develop and understand more efficient, low cost irrigation systems. Drip is considered the ‘choice’ but is ill suited for remote areas with low technology and unpressurized, unfiltered water systems. The systems described here will work well and use less water than drip. Capturing and utilizing any rain that falls is also desirable. First, make use of catchments and hard surfaces to collect rainwater in cisterns. Then save as much water on the land as possible with micro catchments, pitting, swales and imprinting. Check dams in the gullies of course. Mulch, compost or brush bits if you have them.

Alternative irrigation systems

I have worked with and tested many alternative systems from traditional cultures and worked on new methods that work well and use much less water. These generally also reduce weed growth, minimize disease problems and improve yield. These systems include many you may never have heard of, including:

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, News.

Public access to scientific information and the scientists’ ability to make the information generally available to the public are both under threat simultaneously as tremendous opportunities are opening up to counter the threat. TheSparc has been created to take full advantage of the opportunities for distributing scientific information and promoting public access.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Conferences, GMOs, Health & Disease, News, Presentations/Demonstrations.

Free online summit — April 26th to May 4, 2014

Joining John and Ocean Robbins are celebrities like Woody Harrelson, Jane Goodall, Alicia Silverstone, Amy Goodman, and more!

These cultural persuaders are joining with expert doctors and food activists because they’ve realized that if we don’t do something now, we’re in trouble.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Education, Education Centres, Village Development.

Check out this charming short video for a look at kids of various ages learning about different plants and topics relating to permaculture. The video description even tells us that “they ran a farmers’ market that earned over $170” that was used to fund and sustain their project!

Tracker Kids is part of Trackers Earth, a Portland-based outdoor program provider. They teach both kids and adults outdoor skills, survival, artisan crafts, and gardening.

Read more »