Deciding Factors: Permaculture, Society and the Wisdom of Crowds

One inspirational thing which learning about permaculture can help us to realise is that there are abundant resources in the world for everyone to live together in harmony. But when it actually comes down to putting techniques for doing this into practice, often what can stand in the way is what Alan Watts called the “element of irreducible rascality”(1); that thing which makes us all human, but which can sometimes […]

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The Many Types of At-Home Composting

So you’re interested in making your own compost, but you’re overwhelmed by all of the different methods. Or maybe you’re not sure if there’s a method that will work for you. You’re in the right place. With this overview, the decision will be easy. Your first decision? Indoor or outdoor. Since there are fewer types of indoor composting systems, we will cover those first. Composting Indoors If you’ve chosen to […]

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5 Ways to Prepare Beds for Tree and Shrub Planting – Which One is Best?

Balkan Ecology Project have been looking at various ways to prepare beds for planting, specifically for planting trees and shrubs. During this post we’ll introduce you to a trial started this spring where we’re looking at 5 different bed preparation methods to see which method works best. We’ll go through how to implement each method, why they are useful and finally look at the criteria we are judging the effectiveness […]

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How Homesteading Can be a Job

Have you ever wondered if it was possible to quit your day job and live completely self-sufficiently, entirely off the land without having to listen to anyone else? Doing exactly what you want every day, fulfilling work that brings you joy and fulfillment? With homesteading this is not only possible, but almost guaranteed. Full-Time Work As a homesteader, you will very likely have many activities and chores to tend to […]

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A Primer on Growing Quinoa and Amaranth

Growing grains in permaculture is often looked down upon as a symbol of unsustainable farming practices. Indeed, the annual tillage of the soil to grow monocultures of one type of grain that needs a heavy dose of pesticides and chemical fertilizers has caused an untold amount of damage to the topsoil and to farm ecosystems over the years. However, indigenous communities and small peasant families around the world have been […]

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Australian Landfills: Why Your Waste Counts

Australia committed to stopping the practice of burning trash as a means to get rid of its garbage back in the mid-1900’s. Since then, the majority of waste has been ending up in Australian landfills; both regulated and unregulated. It’s estimated that there are 600 registered landfills in the country with as many as 2,000 small, private, and non-registered landfills. About 40% of Australian waste ends up in these plots […]

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Benefits of a Composting Toilet

Benefits of a Composting Toilet

When contemplating living off-grid, a tiny home, or reducing your use of natural resources in your home, one of the biggest things to come up is what type of water system you will use. There are plenty of options to choose from, you could use a well, a gray water system, water directly from a stream or river, or the simplest kind, a rain catch. If you are choosing a […]

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How Creative Constraints Drive Innovation and Discovery

“Imagine you’re asked to invent something new,” begins a recent TED-Ed lesson by advertising account manager Brandon Rodriguez. “It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size.” While having the freedom to explore your imagination to come up with an invention of your choice might seem liberating, Rodriguez said most people are, in fact, paralyzed when faced with such a challenge. Without any […]

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Earth Tubes: A Natural Way to Air Condition Your Home

There is nothing nicer than coming inside on a hot, muggy summer day to feel the freshness of an air-conditioned home. Traditional air conditioners, however, are one of the most energy-intensive appliances in our homes. Only a couple feet underneath where you are standing, however, the air is always a comfortable 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If only it were possible to get that cool air from underneath your feet into your […]

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Traceability in Farming Supply Chains

There are growing environmental challenges and people are increasingly aware of the environment. This awareness has extended to social issues faced around the world. Businesses within farming supply chains are concerned about these issues – they have to ensure that they are addressed within their operations to gain a competitive advantage. Customers are asking critical questions about the social and environmental credentials of the food they eat. Customers want to […]

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The Truth Behind Your Bio Coffee Cup

Recycling cardboard and plastic material is not as easy as it may seem. Some forms of the material are recyclable, while others are not. Thinking that all these components have the ability to be recycled is a common misconception and ends with trash wrongfully ending up in recycling bins. For example, the plastic bags you’re given at the grocery store are non-recyclable; along with cling wrap, foam trays, some hot […]

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Mushrooms for Foraging: 7 (or More) Ways to Get Started

Emma and I arrived in North Carolina about two months ago, right around the height of morel season, and that was the buzz. Morels are a very popular springtime mushroom around these parts and others in the US, but they have the reputation of being a bit elusive, difficult to find even for those who know what they are (and aren’t) looking for. As for us, other than eating them […]

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