Soil Compaction II: Effects, Prevention and Control

Earth cross section

In the previous article about soil compaction we discussed briefly the causes of soil compaction, the different levels and various ways of detecting a compacted soil. In this article we will discuss the effects of compaction as well as methods of prevention and control. Effects of soil compaction • Soil structure: Soil is made up of sand, silt, clay and organic material. The way in which these particles are arranged […]

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A Brief Overview of Plant Life Cycles

A Brief Overview of Plant Life Cycles feat

Plant types are grouped by the growing seasons required to complete a life cycle. In general, plants are classified as Annual, Biennial, Perennial, or Ephemeral. Factors that determine the classification of a plant include location, reproduction, and environmental roles. The harvest times for most produce varies depending upon environmental factors. Annual plants Are those whose life cycle is completed over a year’s time. Annuals are usually planted in the spring, […]

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How Plant-based Permaculture Is Possible

Eggplant

I get laughed at a lot. It’s frequent enough that, when I tell people of my intention to build a permaculture system without using domesticated animals, I sort of give a preemptive grin. While I believe most permies mean well in advising me, most seem pretty dead-set on the idea that a vegan permaculture garden just can’t work. In a lot of ways, I won’t lie, the proposition scares me, […]

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Soil Compaction I: An Introduction

Soil Compaction I: An Introduction

Soil compaction occurs when the amount of open spaces between soil particles (referred to as porosity) is reduced, and soils become denser, physically hard, and more difficult to permeate.(1) Soil compaction can be induced by a natural cause (as with the case of heavy impact of rain drops) or by anthropogenic causes including; excessive machinery use, intensive cropping, short crop rotations, intensive grazing and poor soil management.(2,3) A compacted soil […]

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The Permaculture Cat

The Permaculture Cat

There is a saying “Cats were once believed to be God – Cats have never forgotten this”. Going by how my own cats behave I tend to believe there’s a lot of truth in that. Love them or not, cats have been kept by mankind for centuries. Some for pure companionship, some revered for their specific breed traits, some for their hunting abilities. Farmers more than anyone know how useful […]

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Flow Hive Update!

Flow Hive Update feat

Flow Hive is the brainchild of father-and-son team, Stu and Cedar Anderson. Passionate beekeepers, they knew there was a better alternative to traditional beekeeping methods. After years of hard work and brainstorming, Flow Hive was born. No one, however, could have anticipated the overwhelming success the project would experience via crowdfunding. The Indiegogo campaign launched in February 2015, with a goal of $70,000. Within 15 minutes, they had gathered $250,000 […]

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How Well Do Data and Sustainability Go Together?

Web resources

Recently I asked the question ‘should we debate the future of our cities?’. Topics that come to mind include whether we still need architectural gluttons gobbling our resources: whether they should be electrically self-sustaining, and whether we will have enough water to quench their voracious thirsts in time to come. I keep coming back to the same thought. Are we acting intelligently by isolating some blocks of land for residential […]

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Best Practices to Support Women in Permaculture

OmegaTeacherTrainingSide690x300

In my article “A Pattern Language for Women in Permaculture”, published in the Permaculture Activist in August 2013, each pattern identified a core solution to a problem that undermines women’s full involvement and leadership in permaculture. Since then, I’ve been collecting “best practices” that support women’s participation in the permaculture community, so that we can move from discussion to effective action. These practices were identified by many people, from many places (including in a working group at the 2014 North American Permaculture Convergence). I regret that it is impractical to list the names of all those who helped shape this document, and am grateful for the generous engagement of many contributors. Permaculture Design Magazine published this article in its Fall 2015 “Decolonizing Permaculture” issue. In this online version of the article, there are many hyperlinks to resources.

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Understanding Urban Agriculture – Part 3, Calculating the Food Production Potential of a City

Community vegetable garden

It has been well said that we do not see things as they are, but as we are ourselves. Every man looks through the eyes of his prejudices, of his preconceived notions. Hence, it is the most difficult thing in the world to broaden a man so that he will realize truth as other men see it. Samuel Silas Curry, 1891 What does it take to convince a person that […]

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How To Know When Your Soil Needs Nitrogen

green winter wheat growing

Nitrogen deposited in the soil may undergo mineralization; this is the conversion of organic nitrogen to inorganic plant available forms (nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+)).1 Nitrate is a highly mobile nutrient in the soil. It is negatively charged and so cannot be held on to by negatively charged soil (clay and silt) particles. This is why it is vulnerable to being leached down the soil profile. Nitrogen is a necessity […]

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Antibacterial Soap Ingredients Banned by FDA

Antibacterial Soap Ingredients Banned by FDA

Just a short time ago the US FDA banned the manufacture of antibacterial hand soaps and body wash containing certain active chemical ingredients. This follows a proposed rule that began in December of 2013 to determine the effectiveness of the chemicals and consumer safety over an extended period of daily use, as concerns began to arise from studies that showed that Triclosan could be a key factor in bacterial resistance […]

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Gardens Aren’t Just for Plants, So What Else Is There?

Garden Patio

Like any budding permaculturalist, I spend a lot of my design time obsessing about what plants to include, how I’ll be piecing together this guild or time-sequencing that bed. I want my crops to fix nitrogen, provide food, deter pest, create mulch, make shade, prevent erosion, and, oh, how the functions add up. Who can help it? It’s a wonderful world we live in, and wonderful task we are involved […]

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