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

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

Fall 2010: Initial Site Analysis & Goal Setting

An initial site analysis for our property was much easier than at others due to a variety of factors:

a) we have lived and observed (albeit with less attention to detail than now) the property throughout the past decade,

b) the yard is mowed and trimmed regularly, making line of sight observation straightforward, and

c) due to its location, high quality satellite imagery could be coupled with accurate climate data for meta data gathering.

From my perspective, it is beneficial to begin observation from afar- gathering information about the region in general before assessing details. This method allows the forces which interact with the property on a larger scale to be internalized into your thinking about the place before becoming wedded to any one potential future, only to realize later that due to outside factors, that vision is inviable.

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Posted by & filed under Earthworks & Earth Resources, Swales, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water.

Part One

Phil Williams of takes you through a two-part video of him installing a grey water and silt pond project he has. He explains some of the issues and he talks through resolutions to making it work.

Phil was a conventional landscape contractor and designer for twelve years. He learned quite a bit about how to run equipment and how to manage a job, but the lack of sustainability of the industry was too much and he walked away.

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Posted by & filed under General.

Photos © Ingrid Pullen

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Though we are less than three months into 2015, already the year has seen some momentous occasions in the sphere of changing attitudes towards food and agriculture. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (1) has designated this year the ‘Year of Soils’ (2): a positive sign, perhaps, that soil is becoming recognised by international organisations, although the time designation does seem to beg the question of whether or not they plan to continue caring for soils next year as well.

New ways becoming more popular?

The ‘Year of Soils’ at least shows that soil-care is permeating into ‘mainstream’ thinking; even governments and corporations are recognising that when we care for our natural systems, it’s better for everyone. Some current examples of people coming together to do this are the International Conference on Natural Resource Management for Food and Rural Livelihoods (3), which is being held in New Delhi, India, this week and is sponsored by the Indian government; and next month’s International Ecological Forum (4) in Marbella, Spain which will bring together “entrepreneurs, government officials, top managers of banks, state corporations [and] international investors” to:

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops, Education, Events, Resources & News, General.

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Geoff Lawton’s Online Permaculture Design Course

Over the last few days we’ve been inundated with people seeking admittance to do Geoff Lawton’s Online PDC course. People have been phoning and emailing us for help and advice.

Some people say they’ve only discovered the course after it was officially closed . Others needed more time to get their tuition funds together. If you’re one of these people and feel like you’ve missed out, Geoff has announced a 24 hour extended period of time for people eager to do this years course to register. It starts Now!

It’s not too late to start. You’ll have to catch up, as we are now moving into Week 3 of the course.

This offer will not be repeated again this year.

Click on this link to get started.

Related articles:

Geoff Lawton’s Online Permaculture Design Course: Is it Worth Doing?

Tour of Geoff Lawton’s Online PDC and Farm!

Online PDC Has Me Talking to Myself

Online Permaculture Earthworks Course Bonus

Posted by & filed under Community, Design, Food & Food Support Systems, General, Nurseries & Propogation, Plants, Trees.

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Raised beds and other experiments

Besides the area dedicated to the food forest several other small agronomic trials are carried over in raised beds or small plots between the young trees in the Picasso Food Forest. In particular, 10 raised beds were built during the winter 2014 to:

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Posted by & filed under Community, Events, Resources & News, General, News, Population, Society.

One man’s struggle for sustainable farming on his land in the occupied West Bank is not only a fight against occupation. It suggests that international environmental law provides a legal avenue for Palestinians to sue for their rights.

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Fayez and Muna Taneeb harvesting beans in one of their polytunnels (photo Alice Gray)

Fayez al-Taneeb is an energetic man with a vision – of community resilience and sustainability. He is an organic farmer, a union member and an activist with the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, who has steadfastly resisted displacement from his farm for several decades. He believes that Permaculture, a comprehensive design strategy for sustainable living and farming that originated in Australia in the 1970s and has a growing global following, forms an important component of any Palestinian non-violent resistance strategy

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Posted by & filed under General.

The absurdly efficient, ridiculously cheap, surprisingly comfortable way to heat your home

About this project – Paul’s Kickstarter can be found here

The annual cost of a rocket mass heater is less than a tenth of the annual cost of natural gas – and that’s if you buy the fuel instead of harvest it yourself. And a rocket mass heater emits less than a tenth of the greenhouse gasses. Many rocket mass heaters will heat a home with a tenth of the wood of what a conventional wood stove will use. The trick is to mix modern science with knowledge from hundreds of years ago: Burn the smoke; capture heat from the exhaust; focus on the more efficient forms of heat (radiant and conductive heat are favored over convective heat); and, most of all, use a mass to hold the heat for days

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Posted by & filed under Animals, General.

An educational film on raising chickens with nature from hatching to the plate (and everything in between).

Justin’s Kickstarter Project can be found here

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The Film

Chickens are the gateway towards complete self-reliance.

Chickens are a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to be more connected to their food. Not only are they fun to raise; they offer eggs, meat, fertilizer, and they are capable of all kinds of work! I guarantee, that if you follow the methods we teach, you’ll gain valuable partners in your future food adventures!

We’ll show you everything you need to know to grow 100% of ALL your own chicken products! By using simple permaculture techniques you’ll learn how to work with nature to minimize input, while maximizing output.

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Posted by & filed under General, Medicinal Plants, Plants.

Thyme – Thymus spp.

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photo Daniela Longo

The second in the series ‘Medicinal plants and Permaculture’ is the hardy and highly aromatic Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Although this time of year in the northern hemisphere is a slow one for plants, this herb is highly useful for winter ailments, for adults and children alike. Considering stacking functions; as a vigorous perennial this plant also provides year-round ground cover and foliage through the long winter months even in the coldest climates. Whilst during the summer, it is adored bee fodder giving a distinctive flavour to the honey (1), a carpet of pretty delicate flowers and full aroma. Like permaculture, herbal medicine forms part of a strategy that helps to build resilience and reduce disasters by maintaining a healthy, optimal equilibrium. A variety of herbs can be used through the year in advance of changing seasons to build resistance and immunity within the body. Thyme is a great herb to use as a pre-cursor to the onset of winter, and through winter to maintain optimal health and well-being (although also highly useful at other times too, depending on the ailment and constitution of the individual).

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Posted by & filed under Animals, General, Population, Society, Why Permaculture?.

I love to travel. Whether that’s camping, road trips, conventions, visiting family… I enjoy all of it. I feel most alive when exploring a new place, or being a part of the natural world, or experiencing something new. Perhaps because I work from a home office most of the time, getting out and about is especially gratifying. And we have a need to experience things for ourselves – looking at a picture of the Rocky Mountains is not the same as going there.

As a child I travelled quite a bit, from England to visit all my family, to California on road trips, camping treks across BC, and the highlight of each summer was a trip to the Oregon coast. I am so fortunate to have been born in British Columbia and explored the southern regions of this diverse province. And my favourite place on planet earth, if I had to choose one, would be the Oregon coast. It’s a magical place, with the dark skies at night, beautiful uncrowded sandy beaches, and of course the never-ending roar of the ocean. Perhaps because my mind always seems to be busy, the white noise of the surf seems to shift my brain down a few notches.

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Yaquina Head, December 27th 2014

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