Open Permaculture School https://www.openpermaculture.com Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:02:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Benefits of Cover Cropshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/10-benefits-cover-crops https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/10-benefits-cover-crops#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:56:34 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37965 What are the Benefits of Cover Crops? Cover crops – sometimes called green manures – are plants that are used primarily to help improve a location, primarily because of the advantages they bring to the soil. Cover crops are often used to help ‘repair’ soil that has been depleted or eroded. There are many benefits […]

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What are the Benefits of Cover Crops?

Cover crops – sometimes called green manures – are plants that are used primarily to help improve a location, primarily because of the advantages they bring to the soil. Cover crops are often used to help ‘repair’ soil that has been depleted or eroded. There are many benefits the permaculture gardener can get from using cover crop planting.

Prevent Erosion
In permaculture practice, bare earth is something to be avoided. Ground that is exposed to the elements is at a greater risk of erosion by wind and water runoff. This can mean the removal of the rich topsoil and the compaction of the soil underneath, making planting much harder. Cover crops help to stabilize the soil, prevent runoff and both binding the soil together and improving its structure.

Improve Soil Structure
The roots of the cover crop will also help to improve the structure of the soil. The foliage of the plants helps to prevent compaction of the soil by protecting it from rain, erosion and, in some cases, livestock.

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10 Easy Steps To Your Own Worm Farmhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/10-easy-steps-worm-farm https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/10-easy-steps-worm-farm#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:52:22 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37519 Worms are definitely on the side of the permaculturist when it comes to benefit to the garden. They are one of the most effective methods of conditioning the soil. Worms break up the soil structure, allowing it to become aerated and allowing moisture to percolate down into it. This “loosening” of the soil also enables […]

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Worms are definitely on the side of the permaculturist when it comes to benefit to the garden. They are one of the most effective methods of conditioning the soil. Worms break up the soil structure, allowing it to become aerated and allowing moisture to percolate down into it. This “loosening” of the soil also enables plant roots to penetrate deeper into the soil, bringing nutrients up towards the surface.

Worms also break down organic matter, releasing nutrients into the soil from where they can be used by plants. As they eat their way through organic matter, they produce castings, which are a natural nutrient-rich form of compost, that is an ideal addition to your garden beds.

Instituting a worm farm on your permaculture plot ensures a consistent supply of castings, helping your soil stay in top condition year round. Creating a worm farm, in which the animals breed, mature and process material is easy and can be done in just a few steps.

Find Containers
You need a container that can drain to keep your worm farm in. While there are specially made worm farm containers on the market, you can just as easily use recycled materials – which is better for the environment and your pocket.

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12 Beneficial Insects For Your Permaculture Plothttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/12-beneficial-insects-permaculture-plot https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/12-beneficial-insects-permaculture-plot#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:21:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37568 Know About The Beneficial Insects For Your Permaculture Plot Insects are the most numerous type of animal on the planet. With tens of thousands of different species and billions of individuals alive at any one time, they are among the most important creatures as well, providing a food for many other animals, and helping to […]

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Know About The Beneficial Insects For Your Permaculture Plot

Insects are the most numerous type of animal on the planet. With tens of thousands of different species and billions of individuals alive at any one time, they are among the most important creatures as well, providing a food for many other animals, and helping to pollinate plants. Insects are, therefore, important to a permaculture plot as well.

Some insects are, however, more beneficial to your garden than others, primarily because they help keep populations of “pests” – insects that damage crops – down. Here are some of the little critters that will help keep your permaculture plot in balance.

Lacewings
While the lacewing gets its name from the delicate green tracery of veins on the wings of the adult, it is the larvae of the species that is of most benefit in terms of pest control. Sometimes called “aphid lions” for their voracious appetite for said pests, the larvae also prey upon small caterpillars, mealy bugs and insect eggs. As soon as the larvae hatch they search for food and can eat as many as 40 aphids per day, often, in rather macabre fashion, placing the desiccated husks of their victims on their backs as camouflage. .

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12 Things Not To Put In Your Permaculture Compost Pilehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/12-things-put-compost-pile https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/12-things-put-compost-pile#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:31:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37479 Compost is one of the permaculture gardener’s most potent tools. It recycles “waste” from the garden and the home and turns it into a material rich in nutrients, which soils benefit from immensely. Composting essentially means the decomposition of organic matter by enzymes and microorganisms. This decomposition releases nutrients from the material that, once the […]

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Compost is one of the permaculture gardener’s most potent tools. It recycles “waste” from the garden and the home and turns it into a material rich in nutrients, which soils benefit from immensely. Composting essentially means the decomposition of organic matter by enzymes and microorganisms. This decomposition releases nutrients from the material that, once the compost is added to the soil, become available for plants and soil organisms to use. There are lots of different things that you can put into your compost pile, including vegetables and fruit scraps from the kitchen, prunings, leaf litter and grass clippings from the garden, and even dead animals.

Tea and Coffee Bags
Coffee grounds and tealeaves definitively have a place in a permaculture garden. They are useful additions to the compost pile, adding generous amounts of phosphorous and potassium – two elements essential to plants – as well as to worm farms. However, coffee grounds and tealeaves must only be used in compost if they are “bag less.” The bags that some coffee and tea products come in do not break down rapidly in a permaculture compost pile, and can contain chemicals you don’t want in your soil.

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15 Things to Observe Before Starting your Permaculture Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/15-things-observe-starting-permaculture-design https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/15-things-observe-starting-permaculture-design#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:10:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37317 Create Your Permaculture Design Considering The Following Things When you first start considering turning a site into a permaculture garden, you need to do a thorough analysis of the plot. You need to get to know the land, the organisms that live on it and the influences that act upon it. By understanding the land, […]

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Create Your Permaculture Design Considering The Following Things

When you first start considering turning a site into a permaculture garden, you need to do a thorough analysis of the plot. You need to get to know the land, the organisms that live on it and the influences that act upon it. By understanding the land, you can work with it to make the changes a permaculture garden will need to thrive. One of the primary means of analyzing a plot is observation. Looking at the land, watching how it changes with the season, and how it reacts to events, will be a great bedrock of knowledge on which to base your subsequent permaculture design. The longer the period you can simply observe the land before altering it, the better, as you will see how it changes over the seasons. Here are some of the primary things that you should observe when analyzing your site.

Shade
Different species of plant require different amounts of shade and direct sunlight. Observing how the sun falls on your plot will help you decide which plants to site in which locations. It could also help you orientate your garden beds to allow for the maximum amount of sunshine to hit them, and also demonstrate where shade might provide relief for livestock.

Wind
The wind is a significant factor in the growing potential of a plot.

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9 Things Chickens Bring To A Permaculture Gardenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/9-things-chickens-bring-permaculture-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/9-things-chickens-bring-permaculture-garden#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:32:34 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37480 Things Chickens Introduce To A Permaculture Plot Chickens are often the gateway animals for permaculture gardeners. They are one of the best ways to gain an introduction to keeping livestock, and may well, space permitting, give you the bug for incorporating other types of creature into your site. There are many things that chickens bring […]

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Things Chickens Introduce To A Permaculture Plot

Chickens are often the gateway animals for permaculture gardeners. They are one of the best ways to gain an introduction to keeping livestock, and may well, space permitting, give you the bug for incorporating other types of creature into your site. There are many things that chickens bring to a permaculture garden. These are considered the chicken’s products and a very varied. As long as you provide for the birds’ needs, you will enjoy all the following benefits of keeping chickens in a permaculture garden.

Food
One of the primary reasons to keep chickens is that they provide food. Given the right sort of conditions, many species will produce eggs on most days. The Rhode Island Red, for example, averages 300 eggs per year per bird. Not only does this give you a consistent supply as tasty food, you can be sure of exactly what has gone into the production of the eggs, from the welfare of the birds to the food that has been processed by them. In modern egg production facilities, cramped unnatural conditions and the use of antibiotics are common.

Chickens can also provide meat.

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A 9-Step Easy Sheet Permaculture Mulching Techniquehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/9-step-easy-sheet-mulching-technique https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/9-step-easy-sheet-mulching-technique#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:09:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37316 Mulch is marvelous. It performs a variety of functions that help save the permaculture gardener time and effort, while providing the soil and plants with a great deal of organic matter, making for healthier soil and, thus, healthier plants. Permaculture Mulching refers to the covering of areas of soil with one or more layers of […]

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Mulch is marvelous. It performs a variety of functions that help save the permaculture gardener time and effort, while providing the soil and plants with a great deal of organic matter, making for healthier soil and, thus, healthier plants. Permaculture Mulching refers to the covering of areas of soil with one or more layers of material. In a permaculture garden these layers are organic in nature, and the mulch benefits the soil in several ways. Firstly, it helps to preserve moisture in the soil by protecting it from excessive evaporation. Mulch also improves the health and quality of the soil by creating a stable environment for bacteria and microorganisms to function, as well as via the nutrients in the mulch itself, which are slowly broken down and added to the soil. Mulch also adds organic matter to the soil when it is used to control weed growth. It can be used to cover a crop you wish to get rid off, starving it of light, so that it dies and rots into the soil. Furthermore, mulch can help improve the visual appeal of a garden, covering bare earth and adding texture to the ground.

There are many different ways a permaculturist can mulch their garden.

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Aquaponics: The Drought Resistant Environmentally Consistent Garden Veggie Hydro Showhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/aquaponics-drought-resistant-evironmentally-consistent-garden-veggie-hydro-show-heres https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/aquaponics-drought-resistant-evironmentally-consistent-garden-veggie-hydro-show-heres#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 16:11:43 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35870 Aquaponics creates an artificial but naturally sustainable means to grow plants and raise fish while using water efficiently. It combines a hydroponic style growing method with the use of fish livestock to close a natural system loop. Fish emulsion is a common organic fertilizer. This fertilizer is actually nothing more than fish waste, which is […]

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Aquaponics creates an artificial but naturally sustainable means to grow plants and raise fish while using water efficiently. It combines a hydroponic style growing method with the use of fish livestock to close a natural system loop. Fish emulsion is a common organic fertilizer. This fertilizer is actually nothing more than fish waste, which is taken up through hydroponic plant roots and used for growth and fruit production. This process filters out waste products that would have otherwise built up to toxic levels in the fish tank without regular water changes.

Aquaponics wastes no water except what is lost through evaporation and plant respiration. Plants and fish benefit from natural filtration and you benefit from fresh fish and fruits grown organically with minimal waste. It sounds complicated, but in truth, anyone can build their own aquaponics set up right at home through planning and research. Species choice and logistical constraints should be considered before building. Every setup is different, but through a few basic principles, aquaponics can be successfully used anywhere there is light.

Species choice is the most important consideration for an aquaponics setup. By matching species with similar environmental requirements, higher yields can be achieved. The primary factors to consider are light requirements, temperature, and space.

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Drought! Permaculture – When the Rain Stops Fallinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/drought-permaculture-rain-stops-falling https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/drought-permaculture-rain-stops-falling#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 04:19:22 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35711 It seems to me that when summer comes there are many plans we all have for our gardens. Some things are going in the ground, others are being harvested, and still others we are testing in new spots and maybe even by using new methods. Regardless of what we are planting this year, we are […]

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It seems to me that when summer comes there are many plans we all have for our gardens. Some things are going in the ground, others are being harvested, and still others we are testing in new spots and maybe even by using new methods. Regardless of what we are planting this year, we are likely also thinking about caring for our garden. If we have moved into perennials for the most part or are sticking with a large number of annuals we still have the main issues of pest control, nutrients, and of course water. There are numerous strategies how to get water to our plants, but many of us rely on rainfall. What do we do, however, when the rain doesn’t come? There are many strategies we can employ if this happens and some of us have tried seemingly dozens of them. The most important thing we are looking at, however, is infrastructure. You aren’t thinking about infrastructure? You should be, and here are ten reasons why:

1. Hugelkulture. Most of us are familiar with the concept of hugelkulture, but for those new to the idea it can be an amazing addition to your growing spaces. The basis of hugelkulture is the development of a grow bed that incorporates wood or other biomass as the base. This is then covered with soil, compost, and even mulch.

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Earthships, Straw Bale Homes & Biodomeshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/earthships-straw-bale-homes-and-biodomes https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/earthships-straw-bale-homes-and-biodomes#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:20:53 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=34162 Have you always wanted to live in an earthship? How about a straw bale house? Whether you have a great deal of knowledge about these different styles of homes, or you never heard of them before, they are quite interesting to behold. People have been building homes out of natural materials in their pure forms […]

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Have you always wanted to live in an earthship? How about a straw bale house? Whether you have a great deal of knowledge about these different styles of homes, or you never heard of them before, they are quite interesting to behold. People have been building homes out of natural materials in their pure forms throughout history. There has been a resurgence of interest in alternative housing styles in recent years. People are getting back to the fundamentals of nature, as well as wanting to reduce their carbon footprint in various ways. Recent years have shown more innovative design plans being implemented all of the time.

A close look at the different types of housing that are commonly built today is important. Now that advances have been made in finding materials that are more durable and cost effective, it is an increasingly distinct possibility to have an off-the-grid home. There are many factors that play a part in this trends. Groups are forming to discuss and find solutions to make it a reality for more individuals and families. All around the world, this trend is quickly on its way to skyrocketing.

One Man’s Earthship Story
Stuart Simmons of Durango, Colorado spent $62,000 for 55 acres of land near Durango. He was determined to build a home that was off the grid.

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Eight Animals and the Plants that Repel Themhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-animals-plants-repel https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-animals-plants-repel#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:31:00 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38103 Use Plants To Repel Animals On A Permaculture Plot Just like a natural ecosystem, a permaculture design should always be looking to achieve balance. Establishing biodiversity is one way of doing this, but planting many species of plants, which in turn attract lots of different animals, from insects and spiders to birds and frogs. However, […]

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Use Plants To Repel Animals On A Permaculture Plot

Just like a natural ecosystem, a permaculture design should always be looking to achieve balance. Establishing biodiversity is one way of doing this, but planting many species of plants, which in turn attract lots of different animals, from insects and spiders to birds and frogs. However, in managed systems sometimes nature needs a helping hand to retain that balance. On a permaculture plot, you can use plants to help protect others from the unwanted attentions of animals.

There are many different combinations of species that can be used to keep insect populations at manageable levels, either by deploying scents that deter insects, attracting species that predate on other problem animals or attracting birds and amphibians for the same purpose. But plants and other organic material can also be deployed to repel larger animals that may damage your plot and eat your crops.

Rabbits
Rabbits will eat a wide variety of vegetation given the chance, particularly if food is scarce elsewhere. However, there are some species of plant that they do not like and which can actively repel them.

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Eight Benefits of Trees in Urban Areashttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-benefits-trees-urban-areas https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-benefits-trees-urban-areas#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:11:32 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38569 Benefits of Trees To Humans and Urban Areas As population growth and the concentration of work in urban areas put more pressure on those areas to provide housing, infrastructure, entertainment and services to the inhabitants, so green elements of the landscape are threatened. In many urban centers, more and more green space is being taken […]

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Benefits of Trees To Humans and Urban Areas

As population growth and the concentration of work in urban areas put more pressure on those areas to provide housing, infrastructure, entertainment and services to the inhabitants, so green elements of the landscape are threatened. In many urban centers, more and more green space is being taken over by construction, and a reduction in the number of trees in towns and cities is common.

However, this is a development that should be resisted whenever possible. Trees are important to urban areas, for many reasons, and can actually help tackle some of the problems that are inherently a part of towns and cities, as well as global concerns.

Prevent Climate Change
Trees are a crucial component in preventing climate change. Climate change is due to the greenhouse effect – gases caused primarily by human activity such as the burning of fossil fuels enters the atmosphere and prevents sunlight radiating back out, causing the heat to buildup around the Earth. One of the primary motors of this effect is rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Trees take in CO2 as part of the process of photosynthesis, storing the carbon as cellulose in their trunks to provide themselves with energy.

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Eight Chemical Elements In Soilhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-chemical-elements-soil https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-chemical-elements-soil#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:40:03 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37534 Major Chemical Elements In Soil There are a wide variety of chemical elements that go to make up soils. Some are detrimental to plants if present in too high a quantity – such as aluminum and lead – while others are used by plants in various chemical and metabolic processes to help them grow and reproduce, […]

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Major Chemical Elements In Soil

There are a wide variety of chemical elements that go to make up soils. Some are detrimental to plants if present in too high a quantity – such as aluminum and lead – while others are used by plants in various chemical and metabolic processes to help them grow and reproduce, and can cause growth and yield problems if not sufficiently available. The availability of chemical elements will vary according to the conditions acting on your permaculture plot, such as the soil composition, the amount of rainfall, and the pH of the soil. Fortunately, they are easy ways for permaculture gardeners can ensure plants have access to sufficient levels of them. Here are ten chemical elements essential to all plants.

Potassium
Considered a macronutrient because of the high quantities a plant needs in order to thrive, potassium aids the healthy growth and reproduction of plants. It helps regulate water uptake and transpiration, the activation of enzymes and the processing of protein. As such, a deficiency of potassium results in stunted growth, a weakening of root systems and poor crop production. So, getting a good amount of potassium in the soil for plants to use is crucial.

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Eight Edible Flowers That Fit Permaculture Plothttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-edible-flowers https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-edible-flowers#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:41:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38033 Flowering plants that don’t produce a fruit or vegetable can seem a bit of a luxury in the permaculture garden. Sure, they may look beautiful, but unless they are performing a function in a guild (such as daffodils suppressing grass around an apple tree), this single function can look a little underwhelming in the context […]

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Flowering plants that don’t produce a fruit or vegetable can seem a bit of a luxury in the permaculture garden. Sure, they may look beautiful, but unless they are performing a function in a guild (such as daffodils suppressing grass around an apple tree), this single function can look a little underwhelming in the context of an integrated garden ecosystem.

Fortunately, however, there are lots of species of flower that have more than one function, providing both an attractive color to your plot and an edible bloom to your kitchen. There are also vegetable and herb species whose flowers are edible as well as their crop, adding another dimension to these plants (although, of course, the flowers of vegetable plants will turn into said vegetables, so pluck judiciously).

Adding flowers to dishes is not a very common practice, but eating blooms does have a long history. The Ancient Romans certainly used them as part of their cuisine, while the Chinese have included flowers like chrysanthemums in their diet for thousands of years. In fact, you may have been eating flowers without even realizing it – capers are actually the unripe flower buds of a Mediterranean perennial plant that have been pickled in wine or vinegar.

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Eight Fruits Harvesting Guidehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-fruits-harvesting-guide https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-fruits-harvesting-guide#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:02:10 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38175 There are few more satisfying activities on the permaculture plot than eating ripe fruit directly from the plant. Plucking a apple from the bough of a tree and crunching into it, standing there in the open air; or easing a pear from its stalk to take back to the kitchen and slice over your breakfast […]

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There are few more satisfying activities on the permaculture plot than eating ripe fruit directly from the plant. Plucking a apple from the bough of a tree and crunching into it, standing there in the open air; or easing a pear from its stalk to take back to the kitchen and slice over your breakfast cereal; or getting your fingers stained with the juice of ripe strawberries or raspberries as you harvest the sweet bombs of flavour – these are some of the intensely pleasurable experiences that come with cultivating fruit on your site.

To fully appreciate them – and to ensure they are at their tastiest and most nutritious – it is important to know when to do fruits harvesting. This avoids picking unripe fruit that is harder to use in the kitchen, or allowing fruit to go overripe and so end up in the compost pile. Here is a guide about the visual and textural clues to look for so you know when various fruits are ripe for the picking.

Cantaloupe
The first sign that a cantaloupe is becoming ready for harvest is that the ‘netting’ that covers the surface will become more pronounced and turn beige from its previous green colour.

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Eight Problems with Palm Oil Productionhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-problems-palm-oil-production https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-problems-palm-oil-production#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:48:44 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37711 Problems Associated With Palm Oil Production One of the reasons some people turn to permaculture is a great concern with the impact that modern commercial agricultural practices are having on the planet. To meet the demands of consumers, and to maximize profits, agricultural practices have increasingly turned from nature in an attempt to increase yield […]

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Problems Associated With Palm Oil Production

One of the reasons some people turn to permaculture is a great concern with the impact that modern commercial agricultural practices are having on the planet. To meet the demands of consumers, and to maximize profits, agricultural practices have increasingly turned from nature in an attempt to increase yield over the short-term, with alarming consequences for the planet, at a local and global level.

Among the most problematic of agricultural products in this respect is palm oil. It is divisive because palm oil was initially touted as a ‘green’ crop and literally a fuel in making products less harmful to the atmosphere. The oil is a key component in biodiesel, considered a potential replacement for fossil fuel-based gasoline as an energy source for automobiles.

Palm oil is also marketed as a healthier alternative to other vegetable oils in food as it has lower levels of unsaturated trans fats that are often detrimental to human health. The added bonus that links these two purported benefits was that palm oil that had been used to fry food, for instance, could then be used to create biodiesel, making it a multi-function product. Palm oil is also used extensively in many industrial food production processes.

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Eight Reasons You Need a Worm Farmhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-reasons-need-worm-farm https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-reasons-need-worm-farm#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:24:30 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=33577 Imagine hundreds of slimy worms slithering through rotting vegetables. Their tiny white egg sacs are littered throughout partially decomposed and wholly unrecognizable food scraps. Silently, their population doubles every three months as their insatiable appetite grows. Imagine wet clumps of muddy dirt coating a soft, moldy red pepper as tiny pink bodies chew and squirm […]

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Imagine hundreds of slimy worms slithering through rotting vegetables. Their tiny white egg sacs are littered throughout partially decomposed and wholly unrecognizable food scraps. Silently, their population doubles every three months as their insatiable appetite grows. Imagine wet clumps of muddy dirt coating a soft, moldy red pepper as tiny pink bodies chew and squirm without rest through endless soft spots and widening holes. Now imagine them in your living room. Welcome to the world of worm farms, or vermicomposting.

It might sound gross, but it isn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, every person on the planet should have at least one (preferably two) vermicomposting bins. Not everyone has a garden, and some don’t even really like dirt, but for the environmentally conscious, vermicompost is a must. It reduces waste, creates a perfectly balanced organic fertilizer, requires little to no maintenance, can be kept virtually anywhere, and most importantly, doesn’t smell (if properly managed). The following are eight reasons why vermiculture, worm farms, and compost should be for everyone.

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Eight Steps to Create a Raised Keyhole Bedhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-steps-create-raised-keyhole-bed https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-steps-create-raised-keyhole-bed#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 03:58:10 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38168 How To Create A Single Raised Keyhole Bed? Along with the herb spiral, keyhole beds are often among the first permaculture design methods that a student becomes familiar with. They are often used in permaculture designs because they maximize the available planting space in a bed. Planting in a circle is much more efficient than […]

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How To Create A Single Raised Keyhole Bed?

Along with the herb spiral, keyhole beds are often among the first permaculture design methods that a student becomes familiar with. They are often used in permaculture designs because they maximize the available planting space in a bed. Planting in a circle is much more efficient than planting in straight rows, allowing you to fit a greater number of plants into the space and thus, increase your yield.

Keyhole beds can either be stand-alone structures or combined into a series, with keyhole access points branching from a central path (winding to increase edge, of course). This will depend on the amount of space you are cultivating as garden beds, as well as your mobility and access. For instance, if you are in a wheelchair you will need more keyhole space to access the bed, while the bed will be narrower to accommodate your range of reach.

Garden beds using the keyhole design can be at ground level or raised. Raised beds make tending the garden easier, and can prove very productive as they are established on lots of compostable material, and constantly fed more nutrients from a center point. This is also energy efficient as they are no-dig beds.

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Eight Things to Consider When Siting a New Propertyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-things-consider-siting-new-property https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-things-consider-siting-new-property#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 22:57:33 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39034 Factors To Consider When Siting A New Property For many people, applying the principles of permaculture to their property involves redesigning the land to include productive vegetative ecosystems, and modifying the house to improve energy efficiency and minimize water waste. However, for those who by a piece of land with the intention of building a […]

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Factors To Consider When Siting A New Property

For many people, applying the principles of permaculture to their property involves redesigning the land to include productive vegetative ecosystems, and modifying the house to improve energy efficiency and minimize water waste. However, for those who by a piece of land with the intention of building a new property on it, permaculture ideas, techniques and analysis can be used from the ground up, as it were. They are important for deciding where and in what position the property will be sited – for cohesion with the surrounding environment and for functioning as efficiently as possible whatever the local climate conditions, and making life for those inhabiting the property as pleasant as possible.

Vegetation
One of the first things to analyze when assessing where to site a new property is the native vegetation that is currently on the plot. As permaculturists, we always look for ways to work with what nature has provided, and native plants already on site can influence where you put your new property. For instance, they can help to modify temperatures in the property, with trees providing shade or acting as a windbreak to divert temperature-lowering breezes.

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Eight Tips for Designing a Pondhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-tips-designing-pond https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-tips-designing-pond#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:31:55 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38104 Best Tips To Consider For Designing A Pond Incorporating a pond into a permaculture design has a number of benefits that it brings to the site as a whole. There is the obvious function of providing the site with a body of water. Not only can this contribute to irrigation of the plot, but it […]

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Best Tips To Consider For Designing A Pond

Incorporating a pond into a permaculture design has a number of benefits that it brings to the site as a whole. There is the obvious function of providing the site with a body of water. Not only can this contribute to irrigation of the plot, but it can also affect nearby microclimates (as water absorbs and releases heat from the sun more slowly than the surrounding land, as well as reflecting sunlight), attract different species of wildlife, and add another aesthetic dimension to the plot. Here are some of the things to consider when designing a pond for your permaculture garden.

Shape
One of the central features of permaculture design is the maximization of edges. This refers to the locations where two different ecosystems come up against one another. Each ecosystem benefits from the interplay between the two that these edge zones – sometimes called ‘ecotones’ – provide, and they are typically among the most productive and biodiverse locations on a permaculture site. The edge principle can be applied to pond design by using a non-standard shape that has lots of inlets and spurs. A pond with a ‘wavy’ perimeter has a lot more edge than a circular one.

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Eight Tips to Increase Yield From Your Garden Bedshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-tips-increase-yield-garden-beds https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-tips-increase-yield-garden-beds#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:23:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38810 Permaculture seeks to maximize the yield from a cultivated plot. Without compromising the health of the plants, the soil or the animal life that is interlinked with the garden, increasing the yield from a permaculture site is one of the primary considerations when coming up with a design. Of course, maximizing yield in such a […]

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Permaculture seeks to maximize the yield from a cultivated plot. Without compromising the health of the plants, the soil or the animal life that is interlinked with the garden, increasing the yield from a permaculture site is one of the primary considerations when coming up with a design.

Of course, maximizing yield in such a garden is only done with the principles and techniques of permaculture – care for the earth, use less resources, and so on – in mind. Maximizing yield is also the primary motivation of industrial agriculture, but it is achieved in a far more harmful manner: by growing monocultures, by using chemical fertilizers and pesticides which, while protecting the crop, have deleterious effects on many other parts of the ecosystem, and by impinging upon natural environments in the quest for more product.

In the permaculture garden we seek to maximize yield via less destructive or intrusive methods, and techniques that work in harmony rather than in an antagonistic relation to nature. Below are some tips to help increase the yield of harvestable crops from your site, without the use of unnatural or harmful techniques.

Go Vertical
Many plants benefit from growing upwards – which benefits the permaculture gardener by requiring less square footage at ground level.

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Eight Varieties of Cucumber to Growhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-varieties-cucumber-grow https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-varieties-cucumber-grow#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:13:38 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38572 Cucumbers are a great summer vegetable crop. Their crisp, cool flavour and relatively high water content mean that picking a rips cucumber from the vine on a hot day and adding to a salad or a sandwich is a real pleasure. But cucumbers can be enjoyed all year round with some varieties lending themselves particularly […]

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Cucumbers are a great summer vegetable crop. Their crisp, cool flavour and relatively high water content mean that picking a rips cucumber from the vine on a hot day and adding to a salad or a sandwich is a real pleasure. But cucumbers can be enjoyed all year round with some varieties lending themselves particularly well to pickling. This vegetable originated in India over 4000 years ago, but today it is cultivated on farms and in gardens around the world. Permaculturists have a wide variety of cultivars to choose from. However, there are varieties of cucumber that are easy to grow and require similar growing conditions and care.

Almost all cucumber species prefer a position in full sunlight. However, they do not do so well if that means constant high temperatures, above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or so. If you are in a climate with consistently high temperatures in the summer, consider planting in a location that affords partial shade for part of the day. Cucumbers are relatively low-lying crops, so can be planted next to some taller species to achieve this microclimate modification. Cucumbers also need quite a lot of water. The soil, particularly when the plants are flowering and fruiting, should be kept damp.

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Eight Ways to Reduce Water Consumption in the Homehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-ways-reduce-water-consumption-home https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eight-ways-reduce-water-consumption-home#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:49:27 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37712 Learn How To Reduce Water Consumption At Home Given that it is essential to everything about our lives – from the basic physiological needs to stay alive through cultivation of food to industrial development and technological innovation – it can sometimes seem that we treat water with a disregard that does not even recognize its […]

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Learn How To Reduce Water Consumption At Home

Given that it is essential to everything about our lives – from the basic physiological needs to stay alive through cultivation of food to industrial development and technological innovation – it can sometimes seem that we treat water with a disregard that does not even recognize its importance. It is as though we can’t envisage the supply every running out. But water is not an infinite resource, and it is becoming scarcer. As such, it is beholden to us all to do what we can to preserve water and avoid wasting it. Indeed, no less an authority than Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon said, in 2013, “Water is central to the well‐being of people and the planet. We must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource.” Here are some tips to help you reduce water consumption at home and garden.

Check for Leaks
It sounds minor, but regularly checking your home taps and appliances, as well as your garden water supply for leaks can save a significant amount of water.

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Eleven Beneficial Insect Eating Birdshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eleven-beneficial-insect-eating-birds https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eleven-beneficial-insect-eating-birds#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:51:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37518 In a permaculture garden, balance is the order of the day. A permaculturist is looking to create ecosystems where no one species or type of organism becomes too abundant so as to crowd out or smother another. In order to create this harmonious system, checks and balances have to come into play. Because we are […]

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In a permaculture garden, balance is the order of the day. A permaculturist is looking to create ecosystems where no one species or type of organism becomes too abundant so as to crowd out or smother another. In order to create this harmonious system, checks and balances have to come into play. Because we are permaculturists we want to try and institute checks and balances that are organic or natural, rather than inputting inorganic materials into the system. Examples include planting thorny shrubs to prevent deer decimating crops, and mulching a weed crop to prevent it spreading and colonizing a location.

Another method by which natural processes are used to keep a system balanced is to attract insect eating birds to your site that eat insect species that, allowed to multiply unchecked, could prove detrimental to certain plant species or other insect populations.

Many insect populations bloom in the spring and summer. This is when they can be particularly dangerous to overpopulation in your permaculture garden. Fortunately, this is also the period when birds need most insects as they need more food to feed their young.

An abundant supply of insects to eat is not sufficient to attract birds to your plot. You will also need to have sufficient tree and shrub cover.

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Eleven Functions of Treeshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eleven-functions-trees https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eleven-functions-trees#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:50:56 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37517 Know The Most Significant Functions Of Trees Trees are integral parts of most permaculture designs. They are also an incredibly important part of the global ecosystem. One of the reasons that designs make trees a central component is that they perform so many different functions. Harvest Perhaps the most immediately obvious function of a tree […]

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Know The Most Significant Functions Of Trees

Trees are integral parts of most permaculture designs. They are also an incredibly important part of the global ecosystem. One of the reasons that designs make trees a central component is that they perform so many different functions.

Harvest
Perhaps the most immediately obvious function of a tree is to provide a harvest. Many of the trees in a permaculture design will be fruit trees for this reason. With judicious design, even a small plot can support a number of different fruit trees, providing succession harvesting so that you have a fruit crop at different points throughout the year, and offering variety to your harvest and, hence, diet.

Mulch
When leaves fall from the branches of trees, they are just starting the next stage of the cycling of nutrients through an ecosystem. Fallen leaves are one of nature’s great mulches. Leaving the foliage on the ground allows it to rot and all the nutrients contained within it to return to the soil where they can be used by the tree and other plants to create more growth. A good covering of fallen leaves also acts to help prevent excess evaporation of moisture from the soil and keep weeds in check.

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Eleven Inputs to Help Design your Sitehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eleven-inputs-help-design-site https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/eleven-inputs-help-design-site#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:22:19 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37083 How To Design Your Site – Permaculture When you are looking to start a permaculture garden, one of the first tasks you will need to do is to read your land. By gathering as much information as possible about the site, you put yourself in the best position to make decisions about your design that […]

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How To Design Your Site – Permaculture

When you are looking to start a permaculture garden, one of the first tasks you will need to do is to read your land. By gathering as much information as possible about the site, you put yourself in the best position to make decisions about your design that will result in a thriving, productive permaculture site. There are several different means by which you can get information about how to design your site better.

Observation
The simplest, but often the most effective, method of reading you land is observation. Looking at your site – as well as touching, smelling and tasting it –often and over a prolonged period, is one of the best ways to determine how different parts of it, and influences upon it, act. This can give you a good idea of large-scale phenomena, but also works on a smaller scale when looking at specific problems. Say you have a patch of ground that doesn’t seem to be as productive as others. Observe everything that might be connected to that problem – from wind potentially eroding the soil to a lack of nitrogen-fixing plants or leaf litter to add organic matter to the soil.

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Fish Species Suitable for Aquaponics Systemhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/fish-species-suitable-aquaponics https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/fish-species-suitable-aquaponics#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 05:48:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35847 Aquaponics systems are becoming more and more popular as additions to permaculture gardens. In fact, they are becoming increasingly important in the struggle to create more efficient and green methods of producing food. By allowing two harvests – of plants and fishes – as well as generating significant economies of energy input, water use and […]

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Aquaponics systems are becoming more and more popular as additions to permaculture gardens. In fact, they are becoming increasingly important in the struggle to create more efficient and green methods of producing food. By allowing two harvests – of plants and fishes – as well as generating significant economies of energy input, water use and space, aquaponics systems may well have a claim to be one of the food production systems of the future – the beauty being that they already exist in the here and now. (Of course, aquaponics methods of agriculture have played a part throughout human history and remain important to many cultures, but remain relatively unutilized in the West.)

If you are considering establishing an aquaponics system as part of your permaculture plot, one of the key decisions you will need to make is which species of fish to stock it with. There are lots of factors that will come into play when making this decision – everything from what type of food the species needs, how it interacts with plant roots, their size and, of course, what they taste like. And, as with other permaculture systems that you institute, a thorough analysis of the needs, products and inherent characteristics of the fish should be done as well.

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Five Categories of Plants for Pondshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-categories-plants-ponds https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-categories-plants-ponds#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:24:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=36975 Main Categories Of Plants For Ponds A pond is a very beneficial feature to incorporate into a permaculture property. Water ecosystems are very productive and ponds provide an opportunity to increase both biodiversity and harvest species on your property. Ponds also store water and attract a variety of wildlife. To ensure a good variety of […]

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Main Categories Of Plants For Ponds

A pond is a very beneficial feature to incorporate into a permaculture property. Water ecosystems are very productive and ponds provide an opportunity to increase both biodiversity and harvest species on your property. Ponds also store water and attract a variety of wildlife. To ensure a good variety of plant life, there are five main categories of plants for ponds to consider.

Rooted Floating
Rooted floating plants grow vertically, with their roots in the bed of the pond and their leaves and flowers growing towards the surface, and their leaves and flowers floating on it. Their primary stems don’t necessarily have to breach the surface of the pond, but they will rarely grow without being within 10 centimeters or so of the surface. This is because they love the sun and need lots of direct sunlight in order to grow and thrive. The leaves that do reach the surface can provide beneficial shade and protection for fish, while species that flower help attract insects to your pond, which, in turn, provide food for amphibians and fish.

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Five Chicken Bedding Optionshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-chicken-bedding-options https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-chicken-bedding-options#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:27:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38680 Chicken Bedding Options For Your Permaculture Plot So you’ve decided to keep some chickens on your permaculture plot? Great. They will provide you with many benefits, from the obvious yield of fresh eggs to the other positives of keeping pest populations down, turning the topsoil of your garden beds, and providing delightful interactions as they […]

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Chicken Bedding Options For Your Permaculture Plot

So you’ve decided to keep some chickens on your permaculture plot? Great. They will provide you with many benefits, from the obvious yield of fresh eggs to the other positives of keeping pest populations down, turning the topsoil of your garden beds, and providing delightful interactions as they display their character and personality. In return, you will have analyzed the birds’ needs and devised suitable methods to meet them on your site, from providing fresh food and water to protecting them from potential predators.

One of the key elements needed in chicken livestock rearing is a shelter. This provides the birds not only with protection from predators and the elements, but also a place to exhibit their natural perching and nesting behaviors and somewhere for them to lay their eggs. There are several decisions to make about the shelter, including siting it so that it is well ventilated by protected from exposure to wind or excessive sun, possibly elevating it so that it is out of the reach of predators such as foxes and makes collecting eggs easier on you, and how large it needs to be to comfortably house your flock. Another key consideration with regard to your chicken house is the type of bedding you lay down in it.

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Five Common Chicken Diseases and How to Spot Themhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-common-chicken-diseases-spot https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-common-chicken-diseases-spot#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 22:58:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39036 Know How To Identify Common Chicken Diseases By constantly striving to meet the needs of your chickens, and raising them in harmony with nature, your chances of keeping your flock free from disease if pretty high. Managing a coop so that the risk of pathogens developing is minimized – by using the deep litter method […]

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Know How To Identify Common Chicken Diseases

By constantly striving to meet the needs of your chickens, and raising them in harmony with nature, your chances of keeping your flock free from disease if pretty high. Managing a coop so that the risk of pathogens developing is minimized – by using the deep litter method or regularly replacing dirty bedding – ensuring that the birds have a varied diet that mimics their natural food foraging, incorporating grains, seeds, insects and kitchen scraps, and keeping the supply of fresh drinking water clean and uncontaminated will go a long way to maintaining a healthy flock. However, even with the best chicken rearing practices in place, there is always a chance that your birds can get ill or injured.

Viruses can spread from wild birds, or pathogens can develop in the soil where the chickens free range; and sometimes it can imply mystify the permaculture gardener where a disease has come from. It can also be difficult to find a veterinarian who specializes in avian health to give a correct diagnosis.

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Five Elements of Healthy Soil Compositionhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-elements-healthy-soil-composition https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-elements-healthy-soil-composition#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:18:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37079 Know More About Healthy Soil Composition Good, healthy soil is essential for any permaculture garden. As the growing medium for your plants, it is the foundation on which everything else is based. A healthy soil’s main task, besides giving the plants something to physically be in, is to break down organic matter into forms that […]

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Know More About Healthy Soil Composition

Good, healthy soil is essential for any permaculture garden. As the growing medium for your plants, it is the foundation on which everything else is based. A healthy soil’s main task, besides giving the plants something to physically be in, is to break down organic matter into forms that can be utilized by plants and other organisms. There are five elements of a healthy soil that interact to enable this function to be performed.

Moisture
The moisture level in a healthy soil is important for the health of the plants growing in it. The water that is in the soil, either from rainwater or irrigation, provides the vehicle through which soluble nutrients become available to plant roots. While you don’t want soil to become waterlogged, as a general rule, it is preferable to slow the rate that water leaves the soil. Some moisture in a soil will transform from liquid to gas and evaporate into the air. This depends on temperature and atmospheric pressure, and occurs particularly in places with little rain. Adding ground cover plants and preventing direct sun or strong winds attacking the soil can help retain moisture in the soil.

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Five Factors that Affect Microclimateshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-factors-affect-microclimates https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-factors-affect-microclimates#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:20:28 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37081 Across a permaculture site, there are few things that are uniform. With biodiversity and the maximization of edge key principles in permaculture gardening, you site is unlikely to look very uniform, not to mention that each individual plant grows in its own unique way. But also, your site is unlikely to feel uniform. Across a […]

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Across a permaculture site, there are few things that are uniform. With biodiversity and the maximization of edge key principles in permaculture gardening, you site is unlikely to look very uniform, not to mention that each individual plant grows in its own unique way. But also, your site is unlikely to feel uniform. Across a single location, there can be a significant number of different microclimates. These microclimates have different atmospheric conditions from the areas they are next to, with variations in temperature, light and water all likely to be present.

The good news is that once you understand how different factors affect microclimates, you can modify those factors through your design to create, change and improve the microclimates on your property.

There are five main factors that affect microclimates.

Topography
The shape of the land is a significant influence on microclimates. While on a large scale, weather systems have a certain predictability (related to the rotation of the earth and the interplay between ocean and land), these patterns can get disrupted at the local level by topographical features such as aspect and slope.

Aspect refers to the direction that a slope faces.

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Five Friendly Forrest Fellashttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-friendly-forrest-fellas-fur-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-friendly-forrest-fellas-fur-garden#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 17:35:28 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35915 Forrest Fellas That Help Fur Your Garden Following plant life, animals in a permaculture garden are necessary for the ecosystem to flourish. They keep pests in check, pollinate flowers, fertilize your garden for you, and in some cases be eaten. Always encourage biodiversity in your area by creating plenty of diverse habitats. The closer your […]

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Forrest Fellas That Help Fur Your Garden

Following plant life, animals in a permaculture garden are necessary for the ecosystem to flourish. They keep pests in check, pollinate flowers, fertilize your garden for you, and in some cases be eaten. Always encourage biodiversity in your area by creating plenty of diverse habitats. The closer your garden resembles the edge of two or more ecosystems, the more biodiversity will occur. For a healthy ecosystem in your backyard, consider these animals and their needs to encourage a neighborly relationship:

5. Snakes
Okay I get it, you don’t like them. They might creep you out, but unless you live in a tropical climate, it is unlikely that any venomous snakes live in your area. In any case, leave them alone and they will likely slither away as soon as they notice you approaching. Let’s be honest, snakes are more scared of you than you are of them. They’ll eat chipmunks, mice, large insects, or any variety of garden pests that might get to your food before you do. In most cases, they notice you before you notice them, and the same holds true for their prey. A woodpile or rock wall creates the perfect hiding places to attract our slithering serpentine friends.

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Five Functions of Soilshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-functions-soils https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-functions-soils#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:08:52 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37315 Importance and Functions Of Soil Soil is amazing. It is the medium in which much plant and animal life depends. It is also a dynamic system, changing according to the environmental factors that act upon it, and the influence of humans. It forms part of an intricate ecosystem, interacting with the plants and organisms that […]

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Importance and Functions Of Soil

Soil is amazing. It is the medium in which much plant and animal life depends. It is also a dynamic system, changing according to the environmental factors that act upon it, and the influence of humans. It forms part of an intricate ecosystem, interacting with the plants and organisms that live in and on it, the rock beneath it, the topography of the landscape on which it sits and the climate around it. There are several functions that soil performs.

Support
On a basic level, soil provides a medium in which plants can grow. It serves as an anchor for the plant roots, and acts as a holding ‘tank’ of moisture that the roots can access when they need to. A healthy soil, with sufficient moisture, a good balance of gases, and plenty of organic matter is the ideal medium for plants to grow in, and permaculture gardeners have a primary focus on making sure the soil is hospitable to the plants they wish to grow.

The degree of support and anchorage that the soil gives to plants will affect which species will thrive in particular soils. Several variable properties of the soil that affect plant growth include how fine or coarse the texture of the soil is, the degree of aeration, the proportion of organic matter, and the ability to retain moisture.

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Five Methods of Natural Pest Managementhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-methods-natural-pest-management https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-methods-natural-pest-management#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:38:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37533 Effective Natural Management Techniques In permaculture design, we are always looking for natural ways to solve problems. So, for instance, if we detect a lack of nitrogen in the soil, we might consider planting a leguminous crop to help fix higher levels of the element in the soil. Or if we notice that deer have […]

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Effective Natural Management Techniques

In permaculture design, we are always looking for natural ways to solve problems. So, for instance, if we detect a lack of nitrogen in the soil, we might consider planting a leguminous crop to help fix higher levels of the element in the soil. Or if we notice that deer have been nibbling the vegetable patch, we might plan to plant a thorny shrub to act as a barrier.

Another potential problem that can affect permaculture gardens is overpopulation of insect pests. These are insects that, if allowed to breed in too great a number, can negatively impact the success of crops and the populations of other organisms.

Naturally, as a permaculture gardener, we do not want to tackle this situation with expensive, damaging inorganic pesticides, whose effects can be much more far-reaching than we initially consider – such as killing unintended species, becoming part of the food chain, and leaching into the soil and from there the water table. Rather, we look to nature for a solution and design our site to maximize the effectiveness of nature’s answers. Here are some of the ways permaculture designers can harness nature to manage pest populations.

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Five Reasons for Rewildinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-reasons-rewilding https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-reasons-rewilding#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:26:25 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38679 Rewilding is an ecological idea that is gradually gaining traction within environmental circles, and it bears significant comparison with some of permaculture’s guiding principles. Permaculture emphasizes the preservation of natural ecosystems and making efforts to repair ecosystems that have been damaged by human activity. Rewilding also proposes people taking a proactive approach to assisting natural […]

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Rewilding is an ecological idea that is gradually gaining traction within environmental circles, and it bears significant comparison with some of permaculture’s guiding principles. Permaculture emphasizes the preservation of natural ecosystems and making efforts to repair ecosystems that have been damaged by human activity. Rewilding also proposes people taking a proactive approach to assisting natural ecosystems retain their former diversity and abundance – which have been curtailed by human encroachment on the land.

Whereas much wilderness management as it is currently practiced seeks to somehow contain or suppress natural processes, or managing the environment for the benefit of a single species, rewilding proposes letting nature re-find its own balance – in many ways letting the land turn feral, so that nature itself can work out what is best for it. Rewilding is about making a whole wilderness ecosystem truly wild – self-sustaining, abundant and diverse (which just happen to coincide with the aims of permaculture design). It is about creating a future in which humans and nature are equal parts of a global ecosystem, rather than separate and often antagonistic elements.

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Five Reasons to Eat Less Meathttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-reasons-eat-less-meat https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-reasons-eat-less-meat#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:11:57 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37319 Top Reasons To Eat Less Meat There are many ways in which modern agricultural practices harm the environment. Clearing of native vegetation destroys biodiversity and deprives wildlife of habitat. Planting of monocultures requires the addition of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides that then leach into the water table. Both of these are harmful to the climate […]

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Top Reasons To Eat Less Meat

There are many ways in which modern agricultural practices harm the environment. Clearing of native vegetation destroys biodiversity and deprives wildlife of habitat. Planting of monocultures requires the addition of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides that then leach into the water table. Both of these are harmful to the climate as well, releasing carbon that is sequestered in the soil, and reducing the plant cover that would take carbon dioxide from the air. One of the most harmful agricultural practices, on several levels, is the production of meat. As permaculturists, we should always be seeking to minimize our harmful effects on the planet, so taking a look at the meat we eat is art of that assessment. Here are some reasons why cutting down on the meat in your diet will benefit the earth.

Climate Change
Modern agricultural meat production is one of the worst contributors to man-made climate change. Indeed, a report produced in 2006 by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization calculated that the global meat industry was responsible for as much as 18 percent of all man-made greenhouse gases. That is a greater proportion than the emissions produced by all the cars, trucks, and airplanes in the world combined.

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Five Threats to Global Biodiversityhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-threats-global-biodiversity https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-threats-global-biodiversity#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:26:15 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38100 What Is Global Biodiversity? One of the key principles that underpin all permaculture design is the effort to increase the biodiversity of a site. Biodiversity essentially refers to the number and variability of species of plants and animals within an ecosystem. These range from bacteria, algae and fungi up to birds, mammals and trees. An […]

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What Is Global Biodiversity?

One of the key principles that underpin all permaculture design is the effort to increase the biodiversity of a site. Biodiversity essentially refers to the number and variability of species of plants and animals within an ecosystem. These range from bacteria, algae and fungi up to birds, mammals and trees. An ecosystem with a rich biodiversity has many plants and animals at many different levels, creating a system that is balanced and self-sustaining.

In a permaculture garden, we seek to replicate these natural systems, increasing the numbers of different plants on the site which will in turn attract a range of insect species that will support a variety of larger animals (as well as providing produce for the gardener).

Not only is biodiversity important on the level of the permaculture plot, it is crucial to the health of the planet as a whole. Biodiverse systems not only provide us with resources and food, they preserve climate stability, provide oxygen, help keep water sources clean, prevent overpopulation of pest species, and provide us with enjoyment and pleasure.

Unfortunately, the biodiversity of the planet is under threat as never before. This is due to the pressures put upon the natural world by the human population – a population that is now over 7 billion strong and still growing rapidly.

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Five Tips For Composting Toiletshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-tips-composting-toilets https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-tips-composting-toilets#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:43:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38035 According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water in the home and garden per day. Of that, as much as 27 percent can be down to toilet use alone. When you consider that the standard modern toilet uses an approximately 1.6 gallons of water for […]

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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water in the home and garden per day. Of that, as much as 27 percent can be down to toilet use alone. When you consider that the standard modern toilet uses an approximately 1.6 gallons of water for each flush (with older models sometimes using as much as 7 gallons) it’s easy to see how it adds up.

Because water is not (as many people think) an infinite resource, such levels of use are going to be unsustainable in the long-term. Permaculture emphasizes the preservation and efficient use of water on the land (through mulching, planting native species, contouring, and so on) and in the home (taking showers rather than baths, reusing bathwater for irrigation, and similar techniques).

One significant step towards conserving water is the use of a composting toilet. For some people, the thought of a composting toilet is a step too far, imagining that they are smelly or unhygienic in some way. But, in fact, composting toilets are very sanitary and do not smell if treated correctly.

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Five Tips for Predicting Frosthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-tips-predicting-frost https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-tips-predicting-frost#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:29:16 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38682 Tips For Predicting Frost in A Permaculture Garden Frost can be a tricky thing for the permaculture garden. For many plants, an unexpected frost can cause damage to the plants and even cause a crop to fail. Other plants, in contrast, actually benefit from a frost. The flavor of broccoli, for instance, actually improves if […]

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Tips For Predicting Frost in A Permaculture Garden

Frost can be a tricky thing for the permaculture garden. For many plants, an unexpected frost can cause damage to the plants and even cause a crop to fail. Other plants, in contrast, actually benefit from a frost. The flavor of broccoli, for instance, actually improves if the plant has experienced a frost, while carrots get sweeter as the temperature drops.

It can seem daunting to try to plant all your vegetables and fruits at just the right time so they can be harvested before, during or after the first frosts of winter depending on their individual needs, and many gardeners have a lot of anxiety about protecting those plants that need it from the negative effects of a frost. There are these days, with constant developments in technology, much more accurate ways of estimating when the first frosts in a particular area will arrive. This draws on knowledge we have about the way global weather systems move and interact. However, as with many things on the permaculture plot, such estimations can never be an exact science. Local factors such as aspect, topography, temperature and human activity can impact upon the timing of a frost’s arrival.

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Five Types of Composting Methodhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-types-composting-method https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-types-composting-method#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 22:59:23 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39037 Types Of Composting Compost is one of the most energy efficient and green ways of improving the quality of the soil on a permaculture plot. It avoids wastage by transforming refuse from the garden and the kitchen into nutrient-rich humus that when added to soil will provide the plants growing in it a plentiful supply […]

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Types Of Composting

Compost is one of the most energy efficient and green ways of improving the quality of the soil on a permaculture plot. It avoids wastage by transforming refuse from the garden and the kitchen into nutrient-rich humus that when added to soil will provide the plants growing in it a plentiful supply of the nutrients they need to grow, thrive and set abundant crops.

There are two fundamental forms of composting technique: hot and cold. The former is quicker at turning organic material into usable compost, but does require more time and effort from the permaculture gardener to achieve the effect. Hot composting involves keeping the temperature at the center of the compost pile elevated, ideally to somewhere between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The pile needs to be kept moist – so that it is the consistency of a damp sponge – and the gardener needs to turn it once a week or so. This moves colder material from the outside of the pile to the inside where it is heated and so breaks down into rich humus more quickly. Hot composting has the advantage that it will produce useable compost quickly, and the high temperatures mean that it can break down weed seeds.

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Five Types Of Manure For Your Permaculture Gardenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-types-manure-permaculture-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-types-manure-permaculture-garden#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:31:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37478 Manure For Your Permaculture Garden Manure can be a very valuable addition to your permaculture garden. As part of compost or mulch, it can add lots of beneficial nutrients to the soil, as well as helping the soil retain moisture. Not only that but you are recycling a supposed ‘waste’ product. Not all manures, however, […]

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Manure For Your Permaculture Garden

Manure can be a very valuable addition to your permaculture garden. As part of compost or mulch, it can add lots of beneficial nutrients to the soil, as well as helping the soil retain moisture. Not only that but you are recycling a supposed ‘waste’ product.

Not all manures, however, are created equally. The digestive systems of different species of animals processes food in different ways, meaning their waste products vary in terms of the nutrients they can give to a soil, and hence to plants. These different properties also mean that they can require different treatment by the permaculturist to make them effective additions to the garden.

If you keep livestock on your permaculture site, you will have a ready supply of manure that you can utilize in your growing beds. If, however, you are not raising animals on-site, you should be able to source manure from local suppliers. Before you consider purchasing manure, ask at farms and stables in your area. They will more than likely be pleased to let you take some manure of their hands, and it is a good way of making connections in your local community. You could perhaps offer to exchange a regular supply of manure for a proportion of your subsequent harvest.

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Five Types of Rainwater Tankhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-types-rainwater-tank https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-types-rainwater-tank#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:50:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37713 Types Of Rainwater Tank For A Permaculture Garden If you can afford to, installing a rainwater tank is a good idea not just for permaculturists (although it does correspond very neatly with permaculture’s focus on recycling resources and trying to maximize the number of functions they perform) but also for everyone. They are particularly useful […]

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Types Of Rainwater Tank For A Permaculture Garden

If you can afford to, installing a rainwater tank is a good idea not just for permaculturists (although it does correspond very neatly with permaculture’s focus on recycling resources and trying to maximize the number of functions they perform) but also for everyone. They are particularly useful in areas that experience periods of low rainfall and high temperatures, as they can store water from previous rainy seasons for use as irrigation when the climate does not provide for the garden. Indeed, in one such country, Australia, the installation of rainwater tanks is becoming more and more popular, with more than a quarter of homeowners now having one on their property. There are even some locations – often those prone to drought in the summer – where new homes being built must include a rainwater tank mandatorily.

Rainwater tanks harvest the rainwater that falls on a property’s roof, diverting the flow from the guttering into a tank, rather than allowing it to enter the drain. The stored water can be used to irrigate your plot, but can also be utilized in flushing the toilet and running laundry appliances. Because the water captured in the tanks if free, you will save on water bills, as well as avoiding wasting water.

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Five Ways of Propagating Plantshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-ways-propagating-plants https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/five-ways-propagating-plants#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 01:05:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37181 Ways Of Propagating Plants In Permaculture Propagating plants means creating new plants from existing specimens, and is an important part of permaculture. It means that you can have a self-sustaining site; you can preserve local, indigenous and heirloom species, and cut the cost of buying seeds, seedlings or new plants. There are several methods that […]

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Ways Of Propagating Plants In Permaculture

Propagating plants means creating new plants from existing specimens, and is an important part of permaculture. It means that you can have a self-sustaining site; you can preserve local, indigenous and heirloom species, and cut the cost of buying seeds, seedlings or new plants. There are several methods that gardeners use to propagate plants.

Seeds
Seeds are the natural way flowering plants reproduce. The plants produce flowers, which either contain both male and female parts (stamens and pistils, respectively) in one bloom or have separate flowers for the male and female organs. The flowers get pollinated when pollen is transported from one plant’s stamen (male organ) to another’s pistil (the female equivalent). This can occur via the wind or, more commonly, by insects visiting the plants and inadvertently carrying pollen off to another plant. (It is to attract these pollinating insects that flowers are coloured, shaped and perfumed in different ways, as well as providing nectar.) Once this happens a seed develops in the female parts of the plant.

Growing plants from seeds is one of the easiest methods of propagating species.

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Four alternatives to dairy milkhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-alternatives-dairy-milk https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-alternatives-dairy-milk#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 03:32:40 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39612 Many permaculturists chose to keep goats, sheep and even cattle, not for the meat yield they provide, but for the milk. This is of course a good way for vegetarians to experience livestock rearing as well as giving them access to milk that they know has been unadulterated by chemicals or other unknown additions such […]

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Many permaculturists chose to keep goats, sheep and even cattle, not for the meat yield they provide, but for the milk. This is of course a good way for vegetarians to experience livestock rearing as well as giving them access to milk that they know has been unadulterated by chemicals or other unknown additions such as preservatives. It also allows permaculture gardeners to avoid purchasing milk that has been produced by the industrial dairy industry. This industry is often reported to put great physical strain on lactating cows to produce as much milk as possible, sometimes leading to deformed udders and other physical complications from the virtually continuous cycles of pregnancy and milk provision that such animals are subjected to. The dairy industry, being predicated on the maximization of profit, also regards males calves born to dairy cows to be economically worthless, and male newborns are typically euthanized just hours after birth. Rearing animals to produce your own milk helps to avoid this senseless waste and cruelty.

However, if your permaculture plot or skill set does not allow you to raise animals for milk and you still wish to avoid drinking industrially produced milk products, or indeed if you are vegan and refrain from all dairy products, there are alternatives, namely plant-based milks.

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Four Methods of Rainwater Harvestinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-methods-rainwater-harvesting https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-methods-rainwater-harvesting#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:58:36 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37967 It can be easy to take rainwater for granted, particularly if you live in a temperate or tropical climate where drought is a rare event. But we need to pay more attention to rainwater, because this resource, so essential to all live on earth, is not infinite. We should all be conscious of the water […]

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It can be easy to take rainwater for granted, particularly if you live in a temperate or tropical climate where drought is a rare event. But we need to pay more attention to rainwater, because this resource, so essential to all live on earth, is not infinite. We should all be conscious of the water we use (and waste), and make efforts to maximize the functions for which water is used. This is one of the reasons why permaculture design highlights the use of mulch and cover crops to slow the rate water percolates through the soil, and suggests the use of landscape contouring and swale-building to slow the runoff of rain from the land.

Another strategy to maximize water efficiency is rainwater harvesting. This refers is the deliberate collection of rainwater from surfaces that it falls on, rather than letting the water simply run off and enter the municipal drainage system. The collected water is then stored and utilized for multiple functions in the garden and home.

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Four Reasons to Consider a Pond in your Permaculture Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-reasons-consider-pond-permaculture-design https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-reasons-consider-pond-permaculture-design#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:19:36 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37080 Why You Should Consider A Pond In Your Permaculture Design? Water is important on many levels. At the most fundamental, it is an essential ingredient for all life on earth. In a permaculture garden, the effective use and re-use of water is an essential part of any design. As a general rule, permaculturists seek to […]

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Why You Should Consider A Pond In Your Permaculture Design?

Water is important on many levels. At the most fundamental, it is an essential ingredient for all life on earth. In a permaculture garden, the effective use and re-use of water is an essential part of any design. As a general rule, permaculturists seek to slow the flow of water off their property. By slowing and storing water within the boundaries of their site, the gardener not only makes the use of water more efficient, but provides a constant supply of water to the garden, even in times of adverse weather conditions.

One of the ways you can keep water on your property is by establishing a pond. There are several benefits to doing so.

Water Storage
A simple function of having a pond in your permaculture site is that it is an easy, convenient way to store water. Having freshwater available on your property in case of emergency can bring peace of mind, and is a simple way of developing the mindset of self-reliance, rather than depending on large-scale systems that are outside of your control, such as the municipal water system.

A pond can also be beneficial for storing rain runoff.

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Four Types of Complementary Currencieshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-types-complementary-currencies https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-types-complementary-currencies#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:21:51 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38808 What Are The Types Of Complementary Currencies? ‘Complementary currency’ is a term that is gradually becoming more widely known. Indeed, In July 2014, California passed a law that made complimentary currencies legal forms of exchange, whereas previously they has existed in something of a legal grey area. So a lot more people are asking just […]

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What Are The Types Of Complementary Currencies?

‘Complementary currency’ is a term that is gradually becoming more widely known. Indeed, In July 2014, California passed a law that made complimentary currencies legal forms of exchange, whereas previously they has existed in something of a legal grey area. So a lot more people are asking just what are complementary currencies.

Complementary currencies are, in essence, an agreement between parties to use something other than the national currency as a medium of exchange. Often they are restricted to a certain locality – a town or county, for instance – but may also have regional or even global reach. These forms of exchange are designed to allow people’s needs to be met where otherwise resources to meet those needs would go unused or would be exported out of the area.

Many people, particularly those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo, decry complementary currencies as somehow undermining the dollar. But the key part of the phrase is ‘complementary’. These forms of exchange are rarely designed to replace dollars entirely; they run alongside the national currency rather than in opposition to it.

These forms of exchange become important for several reasons.

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Four Types of Succession Plantinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-types-succession-planting https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-types-succession-planting#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:45:05 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38037 Succession planting is a useful technique for maximizing the vegetable yield from a permaculture plot. Used in vegetable plantings it can mean that you can harvest a number of crops across the whole growing season – and avoid having a glut as when everything ripens simultaneously. A bit of planning before planting can ensure that […]

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Succession planting is a useful technique for maximizing the vegetable yield from a permaculture plot. Used in vegetable plantings it can mean that you can harvest a number of crops across the whole growing season – and avoid having a glut as when everything ripens simultaneously. A bit of planning before planting can ensure that you have access to fresh vegetables for as long as possible through the year, and that you are not overwhelmed with any one crop. Furthermore, succession planting also reduces the risk of crop failure, as you don’t have all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. If you have single crop with all specimens planted at the same time, a period of adverse weather or a pest insect population bloom could leave you with nothing for the whole season. Succession planting, therefore, is not only efficient; it is a safeguard for providing you and your family with a consistent supply of vegetables from the permaculture garden.

With any of these methods, there are several variable factors that you need to consider before you decide what and when to plant. The first, and arguably most important, factor is the length of the growing season.

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Four Ways Plants Use Waterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-ways-plants-use-water https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-ways-plants-use-water#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:55:20 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37963 Know Ways Plants Use Water Like all life on earth, plants need water to survive and grow. Indeed, like humans, water is the primary element that makes up the structure of plants. Human bodies are comprised of around 70 percent water, but in plants this proportion can be as much as 95 percent. Water is […]

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Know Ways Plants Use Water

Like all life on earth, plants need water to survive and grow. Indeed, like humans, water is the primary element that makes up the structure of plants. Human bodies are comprised of around 70 percent water, but in plants this proportion can be as much as 95 percent. Water is also essential to the way a plant receives nutrients and provides energy for itself. Thus, water is arguably the most essential substance required by plants. That is why many elements of permaculture design – from using swales and contouring to slow runoff from the land and allowing it to sink into the soil to mulching to prevent evaporation of moisture from the soil surface – emphasis the preservation of water so that it can be provided to plants.

There are four primary ways in which plants use water to survive and grow.

Structure
Unlike animals, plants do not have and internal or external skeleton to give them strength of structure.

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Four Ways Soil Gets Abusedhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-ways-soil-gets-abused https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-ways-soil-gets-abused#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 01:04:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37180 Ways Soil Gets Abused In The Modern World In the modern world soil is continually coming under attack. That might sound alarmist, but the fact that it isn’t on the front page of the newspaper, doesn’t mean that the quality of soils is not being degenerated across the world at an ever-increasing rate. If the […]

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Ways Soil Gets Abused In The Modern World

In the modern world soil is continually coming under attack. That might sound alarmist, but the fact that it isn’t on the front page of the newspaper, doesn’t mean that the quality of soils is not being degenerated across the world at an ever-increasing rate. If the soil is the earth’s skin, a complex ecosystem that is the anchor for life on the planet, the human race appears to be treating it with disdain.

Poor Agricultural Practices
Modern agricultural practices tend to degrade the soil, leading to high rates of erosion and loss of topsoil and nutrients. For instance, overgrazing by animals, which are often overstocked, can reduce ground cover, which exposes soil to the eroding elements of rain and wind, as well as compacting the land. Monocultures – the growing of a single crop – are very detrimental to soil quality, as it does not provide enough variety to maintain a healthy ecosystem both above and within the soil. Because crops are grown for as much harvest as possible, they do not self-mulch, while a single crop is more susceptible to pests and diseases. Thus, farmers use artificial fertilizers and biocides to protect their investment.

Such effects are magnified by destructive ploughing techniques.

Read Four Ways Soil Gets Abused on Open Permaculture School!

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Four Ways To Preserve Fruit And Vegetableshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-ways-preserve-fruit-vegetables https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/four-ways-preserve-fruit-vegetables#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:40:43 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37535 Ways To Preserve Fruit And Vegetables In A Permaculture Plot A permaculture design seeks to maximize the yield of food that grows in it. By promoting biodiversity, succession planting, stacking systems and the efficiency of use of space, a permaculture plot should be able, space permitting, provide a large proportion of the gardener’s required fruit, […]

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Ways To Preserve Fruit And Vegetables In A Permaculture Plot

A permaculture design seeks to maximize the yield of food that grows in it. By promoting biodiversity, succession planting, stacking systems and the efficiency of use of space, a permaculture plot should be able, space permitting, provide a large proportion of the gardener’s required fruit, vegetables and herbs. And by treating the plants and soil with respect, making sure that there is a lot of organic matter in the soil so that plants can attain all the nutrients they need, the gardener should cultivate strong, healthy plants that give a large edible harvest.

One of the most appealing things about growing your own food is that you can go from earth to table in the minimum amount of time, ensuring your fruits and vegetables are at their freshest and most nutritious. But sometimes your productive plot will produce more harvest than you can eat fresh.

This abundance is not simply to be left to wither on the branch or rot on the ground. There are several options that the permaculturist can employ to utilize the extra food.

It could provide an opportunity to exchange with other local food growers.

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Functions Of Windbreakshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/functions-windbreak-can-perform https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/functions-windbreak-can-perform#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:25:27 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=36977 Functions Of Windbreaks In Permaculture Wind is a significant part of any climatic system. It interacts with other weather elements and can impact upon a permaculture site in a variety of ways, from modifying temperatures to affecting livestock. When you conduct a site survey and sector analysis of your permaculture garden, documenting the pattern of […]

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Functions Of Windbreaks In Permaculture

Wind is a significant part of any climatic system. It interacts with other weather elements and can impact upon a permaculture site in a variety of ways, from modifying temperatures to affecting livestock. When you conduct a site survey and sector analysis of your permaculture garden, documenting the pattern of the wind is an important inclusion. On a larger scale winds follow fairly regular patterns, with air moving from cooler areas to warmer ones (such as from the ocean to the land) and from areas of high pressure to low.

At the level of the individual site, other factors can influence wind patterns, such as obstacles and topography. Fortunately, wind can also be deliberately directed and its movement altered. One of the primary ways to do this is by planting a windbreak.

Windbreaks can contribute to the tree cover on your property and be permeable to a degree to avoid too much of an abrupt disturbance in the wind pattern (which can create different problems). Choose species that are suited to your climate and site conditions, and that have deep anchoring root systems and, ideally, grow quickly so that the windbreak can get established.

Read Functions Of Windbreaks on Open Permaculture School!

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How Cities are Changing Our Foodhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/cities-are-changing-our-food https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/cities-are-changing-our-food#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:07:37 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35921 Cities are Changing our Food As a city girl I had whole heartedly embraced the fast pace modern lifestyle of shopping, cocktail time and lying on the beach as a weekly routine. I did though have my hippy traits like being vegetarian, chanting OM and embracing spirituality. Gardening though and growing my own food was […]

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Cities are Changing our Food
As a city girl I had whole heartedly embraced the fast pace modern lifestyle of shopping, cocktail time and lying on the beach as a weekly routine. I did though have my hippy traits like being vegetarian, chanting OM and embracing spirituality. Gardening though and growing my own food was for as far as I was concerned, for peasants and gave retired people something to do.

I was all into the organic movement eating pesticide free food and using chemical free products both for my home and personal hygiene. Although a bit more expensive it was easy to go to the supermarket and health food store to buy what I needed. What that experience did not offer me though was the valuable understanding I gained by a direct experience with my food, about food.

It was back in February 2012 where on an ashram stay at my local Yoga Centre I took part in a weekend farming project that involved planting, picking and mulching the soil for their organic garden. It could have been the direct experience of putting my hands in the soil that felt so great, the actual picking of the vegetables for the yummiest food I had eaten in a long time or the rosy cheeks I had returning home. Possibly all three reasons were responsible for my awakening.

Today being able to walk into my backyard and cut my own tomatoes and cucumbers for my salad is certainly a delightful experience. The most unexpected part from this home food growing experience is the mindset and skills I have developed. It has improved my outlook towards life and has made me accountable for my actions in regards to the sustainability of the environment, especially our food systems.
Many of the agricultural food production systems in Australia and around the world are not sustainable and can lead to negative impacts both environmental and personal. It is though necessary to keep producing food for an ever-increasing population in a sustainable way if we are to survive and be able to grow food to feed ourselves and others off the land.

Increasing costs of fuel are affecting transportation of food from rural to urban settings and between countries. Large scale agricultural production and fertilizer costs are increasing as well as polluting the environment.

Read How Cities are Changing Our Food on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Attract Bats to Gardenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/attract-bats-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/attract-bats-garden#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:07:08 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39048 Learn How To Attract Bats To Garden Apart from the obvious exception of owls, most bird species are active during the day. But many insect species are nocturnal, and pests can damage crops in the night with nothing to stop them. That’s when attracting bats to your permaculture plot can provide a solution. All bats […]

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Learn How To Attract Bats To Garden

Apart from the obvious exception of owls, most bird species are active during the day. But many insect species are nocturnal, and pests can damage crops in the night with nothing to stop them. That’s when attracting bats to your permaculture plot can provide a solution. All bats are night-feeders, and most are insectivores, taking insects on the wing, scooping them from the surface of water bodies, or foraging for them in trees, shrubs and ground cover, all the time using their echolocation abilities to hone in on prey with ultrasonic sound. A few of the more than 40 species of bat that inhabit the U.S. feed on nectar and fruit. But these species are beneficial to the garden as well, with nectar-feeders helping to pollinate plants, and fruit feeders eating fallen fruit that could become home to insect pest larvae.

Using permaculture design to attracting bats to your site is also beneficial to the animals as well. Not only are you creating conditions that will meet their needs, you are providing important bat-friendly habitat.

Read How to Attract Bats to Garden on Open Permaculture School!

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How to attract dragonflies to your plothttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/attract-dragonflies-plot https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/attract-dragonflies-plot#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:47:03 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39724 Dragonflies are one of the most beautiful insects to visit the permaculture plot. The symmetry of their two pairs of wings, the coloration on their elongated bodies and the large eyes, combined with their elegance of movement when in the air, make for an attractive insect visitor or inhabitant of your site. But behind that […]

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Dragonflies are one of the most beautiful insects to visit the permaculture plot. The symmetry of their two pairs of wings, the coloration on their elongated bodies and the large eyes, combined with their elegance of movement when in the air, make for an attractive insect visitor or inhabitant of your site. But behind that aesthetically pleasing exterior lies a voracious predator. And it is this large appetite for other insects that makes dragonflies so useful to gardeners – as a method of pest control, dragonflies are actually among the most efficient. They are particularly useful if you live on a site that has problems with mosquitoes, and so can serve to make the permaculture garden a nicer place for humans to be. Dragonflies predate mosquitoes, both at the larval stage and as adults and a healthy population of dragonflies can ensure mosquitoes do not trouble you excessively even during their most active periods. They will also help to control populations of midges, and other flying bugs.

Water
Dragonflies need access to water throughout their life cycle, so instituting a body of water on your permaculture plot is the primary means by which to attract dragonflies to your site.

Read How to attract dragonflies to your plot on Open Permaculture School!

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How to bring permaculture into the workplacehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/bring-permaculture-workplace https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/bring-permaculture-workplace#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:54:48 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39674 While putting permaculture principles into practice at home is a matter of choice for you and your family, applying them to the workplace can be more difficult. Some permaculturists are able to make a living from their plot or their permaculture skills – such as teaching courses or consulting for individuals or organizations who wish […]

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While putting permaculture principles into practice at home is a matter of choice for you and your family, applying them to the workplace can be more difficult. Some permaculturists are able to make a living from their plot or their permaculture skills – such as teaching courses or consulting for individuals or organizations who wish to implement green designs – but for many, their permaculture site at home is combined with working for a conventional business to provide for their family. Of course, with permaculture, we seek to change how economies are run by promoting notions such as local cooperatives, un-hierarchical business structures and efforts to make commerce more environmentally sustainable, but given the way the modern western economy works, it is a fact of life that most people must have a job to secure enough money to live, and typically the businesses at which these jobs are based do not have permaculture ideas at their center. However, the principles and practice of permaculture do not have to remain separated from your working life, only ever to be practiced in your pare time at home – by taking responsibility for certain procedures and talking to your employers, you can bring permaculture to work as well.

Read How to bring permaculture into the workplace on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Build a Chicken Dust Bathhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/build-chicken-dust-bath https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/build-chicken-dust-bath#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:02:24 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39042 Way Is A Chicken Dust Bath Necessary? Chickens don’t wash – at least not in the traditional sense of the word. While they are quite happy to potter about in a gentle rain, you won’t see them splashing around in a puddle and certainly not taking a dip in the pond. But that doesn’t mean […]

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Way Is A Chicken Dust Bath Necessary?

Chickens don’t wash – at least not in the traditional sense of the word. While they are quite happy to potter about in a gentle rain, you won’t see them splashing around in a puddle and certainly not taking a dip in the pond. But that doesn’t mean that chickens are dirty birds; far from it in fact. They like to keep their plumage in good condition for insulation, comfort and display, as well as to prevent pests or diseases getting a foothold. So if they don’t use water, how do they keep themselves clean? The answer is dust.

Chickens will regularly take a dust bath, which involves crouching in dust, sand or fine dirt and flicking the dust over their bodies with their wings, as well as wriggling the underside of their bodies against the ground, using the abrasion to remove parasites and mites. It is a behavior that they share with many bird species, including emu, turkey and quail, as well as some mammals – horses, for instance, will regularly roll in dust to relieve themselves of parasites and to dry themselves of sweat after exercise.

Left to their own devices, chickens will seek to establish a dust bath within their territory.

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How to Build a Cold Framehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/build-cold-frame https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/build-cold-frame#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:01:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39041 Know How To Build A Cold Frame On a permaculture plot, the gardener is always looking for ways to maximize yield. There are many ways of trying to achieve this, including interplanting different species to fit more plants into a space, and choosing native species which are adapted to the local climate, so are more […]

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Know How To Build A Cold Frame

On a permaculture plot, the gardener is always looking for ways to maximize yield. There are many ways of trying to achieve this, including interplanting different species to fit more plants into a space, and choosing native species which are adapted to the local climate, so are more likely to thrive and produce an abundant crop.

One of the key factors in determining what will grow and how well it will grow in a site is the climate. In the early stages of making a permaculture design, analysis of the climate – from patterns of rainfall and drought, to winds, temperature and frost – is central to deciding what to plant where.

However, a permaculture gardener can also use a variety of techniques to improve or lessen the impact of climate and weather conditions, often prolonging the growing season for fruiting crops, thus maximizing yield. Techniques include using plants and manmade structures to influence microclimates, starting seeds indoors or in a greenhouse so they have a ‘head start’ when they are planted out in the garden, and mulching to prevent the soil temperature falling too far. Another method of prolonging the growing season is to use a cold frame.

Read How to Build a Cold Frame on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Build a Raised Garden Bedhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/build-raised-garden-bed https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/build-raised-garden-bed#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:03:57 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39045 Raised garden beds are exactly what their name promises – they are beds in which you can plant vegetables where the planting medium has been raised higher than the surrounding land. Raised beds have many benefits for the permaculture gardener. They prevent the soil becoming compacted, which in turn helps with water drainage and soil […]

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Raised garden beds are exactly what their name promises – they are beds in which you can plant vegetables where the planting medium has been raised higher than the surrounding land. Raised beds have many benefits for the permaculture gardener. They prevent the soil becoming compacted, which in turn helps with water drainage and soil aeration. The containment of the soil by the raised bed also helps to prevent erosion by wind and rain, while the improved structure of the soil means that it is typically slightly warmer than the surrounding earth, meaning you can usually plant in raised beds earlier in the season. Having such well-structured and healthy soil also means that raised beds can typically support more individual plants that ground-level beds, so making them amenable to the permaculture principle of maximizing yield wherever possible. And it must not be forgotten that raising your garden beds makes tended, maintaining and harvesting from them, easier on the gardener, involving less bending. Thus, they are particularly valuable for older gardeners or those with restricted mobility.

Read How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Choose a Wind Turbinehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/choose-wind-turbine https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/choose-wind-turbine#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:03:27 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39044 Wind power is one of the fastest-growing sectors of energy production on the planet. Even though the burning of fossil fuels still dominates the energy landscape – not only because of the way machinery and technology has been developed to utilize it, but also because of a lack of political will to change things when […]

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Wind power is one of the fastest-growing sectors of energy production on the planet. Even though the burning of fossil fuels still dominates the energy landscape – not only because of the way machinery and technology has been developed to utilize it, but also because of a lack of political will to change things when so many major political parties receive large donations from coal, oil and gas companies – ‘greener’ sources of energy such as wind are becoming a more frequent part of the conversation about how we will provide the energy we need on a planet that has reached peak oil and continues to add to its population.

There are several reasons why wind is a valuable source of energy production. Besides not polluting the atmosphere as the combustion of fossil fuels does, wind power is green because it is sustainable. As long as the wind blows (and winds will blow as long as the sun shines, because winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, in combination with the irregularities in the Earth’s surface and rotation of the planet) it can be harnessed to produce energy. And, another benefit, wind is free.

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How to Do a 4-Bed Crop Rotationhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/4-bed-crop-rotation https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/4-bed-crop-rotation#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:32:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38687 Crop rotation is a term more commonly associated with farmers – although increasingly less so in the modern age of monoculture and industrial food production. It is a practice that farmers for many thousands of years utilized to preserve the health of the soil and their crops. It is actually a technique that can be […]

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Crop rotation is a term more commonly associated with farmers – although increasingly less so in the modern age of monoculture and industrial food production. It is a practice that farmers for many thousands of years utilized to preserve the health of the soil and their crops. It is actually a technique that can be applied on any scale, and it is ideally suited to permaculture plots for the benefits it brings. The idea of crop rotation is that different plant species are planted in different areas of the garden bed in successive seasons, so no plant is in the same patch of soil for more than one crop growing cycle. There are several benefits to crop rotation.

Perhaps the primary reason to use crop rotation is that it prevents the build up of diseases in the soil. Many pathogens and harmful bacteria affect a certain species or family of plant. If the same plant is grown in the same area of soil for several growing seasons this allows the disease time to build up and can eventually lead to crop failure. By rotating the crops, with different families following one another, these harmful microorganisms are kept in check. The same goes for potentially damaging pest insect populations.

Read How to Do a 4-Bed Crop Rotation on Open Permaculture School!

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How to espalier fruit treeshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/espalier-fruit-trees https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/espalier-fruit-trees#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 03:33:56 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39614 The term espaliering refers to the training of a tree so that it grows flat. Often this means growing against a wall, but it can also involve training the tree so that it grows laterally along a trellis or simply along wires. The technique allows the tree to grow “flatter”, with more width but less […]

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The term espaliering refers to the training of a tree so that it grows flat. Often this means growing against a wall, but it can also involve training the tree so that it grows laterally along a trellis or simply along wires. The technique allows the tree to grow “flatter”, with more width but less depth. While often used to guide the shape of ornamental trees, espaliering is also a handy technique for use on fruit trees, which are very resilient and responsive to the pruning the method requires. Espaliering is useful for permaculture gardeners with limited space who wish top grow a fruit tree, and for those who want to make use of a microclimate to aid the tree’s growth, by taking advantage of the warmth radiated by a wall that receives direct sunlight, for instance. (Indeed, the technique was first developed in 16th century Europe to help grow fruit trees used to colder climes grow in temperate regions by exposing them to suntraps and warm brickwork.)

Position
Fruit trees that require espaliering are most often those against walls, typically by those who lack space on their plot or who have a courtyard garden. However, espaliering can also be used to train trees that, for instance, divide garden beds.

Read How to espalier fruit trees on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Feed Chickenshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/feed-chickens https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/feed-chickens#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:26:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38816 Ways To Feed Chickens One of the most essential needs of the chickens you keep as livestock on your permaculture plot is, of course, food. Providing a balanced, varied diet for your birds will ensure that they remain healthy and give you all the yields chickens bring to the site – from scratching that turns […]

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Ways To Feed Chickens

One of the most essential needs of the chickens you keep as livestock on your permaculture plot is, of course, food. Providing a balanced, varied diet for your birds will ensure that they remain healthy and give you all the yields chickens bring to the site – from scratching that turns the soil to providing eggs. There are several elements that go into a suitable diet for your chickens.

Grain
The primary nutrient that chickens need is protein, and supplying the birds with grain and seed will go a long way to fulfilling that need. You can source manufactured chicken feed made from grain, which will often have additional ingredients such as cod liver oil or fishmeal added to up the protein quotient. If purchasing grain, source from a reputable supplier and make sure it is organic and not tainted with chemicals or antibiotics.

With enough space you can grow the grains to feed your chickens, either as part of a food forest or as ground cover crops. The varieties you grow will largely depend upon your local climate, but options include rye, oats, rice, barley, corn, sorghum and millet.

Read How to Feed Chickens on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Graft Fruit Treeshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/graft-fruit-trees https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/graft-fruit-trees#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:08:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39050 Learn How To Graft Fruit Trees Grafting is a technique that allows you to combine a cutting from one tree with the rootstock of another. This can be useful to continue to get a reliable crop of a particular cultivar – for instance, the seed from certain types of apple trees will not go on […]

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Learn How To Graft Fruit Trees

Grafting is a technique that allows you to combine a cutting from one tree with the rootstock of another. This can be useful to continue to get a reliable crop of a particular cultivar – for instance, the seed from certain types of apple trees will not go on to be copies of the parent tree so grafting allow you to reproduce from the original cultivar – but also allows you to continue to utilize a vigorous rootstock even when the tree may have lost its production value, and to combine species to produce hybrid fruit. Grafting is also useful as a way of repairing trees that may have been damaged by climatic events such as strong winds or disease, allowing you to replace dead branches that have had to be removed with young, living stems. There are several different methods for grafting fruit trees.

Whip
The whip method of grafting needs the branch to which the graft will be attached and the appendage – called the scion – to be roughly the same size and diameter to work effectively. The branches also need to be quite slender, no more than half an inch across as there is less support for the graft than in other methods.

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How to Grow Apricotshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-apricots https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-apricots#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:09:14 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39052 Apricots that are eaten directly from a tree your have grown are considerably tastier than any available in the supermarket. Perhaps the achievement of successfully raising the crop of fruit subconsciously adds to the pleasure, but growing apricots in a permaculture plot ensures they have the most natural and unadulterated flavor possible. Many permaculture gardeners […]

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Apricots that are eaten directly from a tree your have grown are considerably tastier than any available in the supermarket. Perhaps the achievement of successfully raising the crop of fruit subconsciously adds to the pleasure, but growing apricots in a permaculture plot ensures they have the most natural and unadulterated flavor possible. Many permaculture gardeners may initially think that an apricot tree will only thrive in tropical conditions, but while they are susceptible to frosts and cold conditions, with a little care and attention and the use of suitable microclimates, apricots can be grown in most conditions. They are also useful trees in that they are self-pollinating, so even permaculturists with small plot can grow a crop of apricots, as you only need a single tree for fruit to set year after year.

Varieties
Check with local gardeners, nurseries and horticultural societies which native species are suited to your area. This will depend upon the soil and climatic conditions in your location.

Read How to Grow Apricots on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Grow Asparagushttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-asparagus https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-asparagus#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:24:38 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38812 Know How To Grow Asparagus Asparagus is a vegetable that belongs to the allium family, which also comprises leeks, onions, chives and shallots. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor areas, but has since been cultivated in most countries around the world. Contrary to many people’s conception, asparagus is a hardy plant and […]

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Know How To Grow Asparagus

Asparagus is a vegetable that belongs to the allium family, which also comprises leeks, onions, chives and shallots. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor areas, but has since been cultivated in most countries around the world. Contrary to many people’s conception, asparagus is a hardy plant and adaptable to most climate conditions, and indeed, as a perennial that overwinters in the ground, they thrive in places that have winter ground freezes. Asparagus is also a very healthy vegetable, providing good levels of a wide range of nutrients. These include potassium, B vitamins and calcium. And with no fat and virtually no calories, asparagus delivers all these positive benefits without any downside.

Position
Choose a position where your asparagus can stay permanently. They are a perennial plant and, given the right conditions and maintenance, can provide you with crops for years, even decades. Indeed, you won’t be harvesting them until at least the third year after planting, as the root system takes some time to grow strong enough to withstand harvest. Ideally you want to give the asparagus a position in full sunlight.

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How to Grow Figshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-figs https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-figs#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:01:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39040 Learn How To Grow Figs While you can buy dried figs all year round, they are a very different proposition to fresh figs, particularly those that you have grown yourself. While dried figs have a uniform texture and a necessarily dry (although still flavorful) taste, fresh figs have a bit more going on to intrigue […]

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Learn How To Grow Figs

While you can buy dried figs all year round, they are a very different proposition to fresh figs, particularly those that you have grown yourself. While dried figs have a uniform texture and a necessarily dry (although still flavorful) taste, fresh figs have a bit more going on to intrigue the palate. The skin is smooth, but then gives way to chewy, sweet flesh, with the crunchy seeds giving a final surprise in the middle. Not only that, fresh figs are also nutritious, giving you a good dose of fiber, potassium and calcium. The other good news when it comes to cultivating your own figs on your permaculture plot is that the leaves of the plants can also be used in the kitchen, which makes the fig tree very amenable to the permaculture principle of maximizing yield from the elements of a site.

Some gardeners can be put off cultivating their own fig trees, as they fear they may lack the warm temperatures that help to ensure a bountiful harvest. But as permaculturists we can manipulate the microclimate around the fig tree to help ensure a good setting of fruit.

Read How to Grow Figs on Open Permaculture School!

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How to grow fruit trees in containershttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-fruit-trees-containers https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-fruit-trees-containers#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:51:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39732 Firstly, growing fruit trees in containers is a great option for permaculture gardeners who are short on space. They may not have garden beds with sufficient room to accommodate a fruit tree with its spreading roots, particularly if they want to grow as much variety of plant life in a small bed as possible (by […]

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Firstly, growing fruit trees in containers is a great option for permaculture gardeners who are short on space. They may not have garden beds with sufficient room to accommodate a fruit tree with its spreading roots, particularly if they want to grow as much variety of plant life in a small bed as possible (by inter-planting, for example). The technique is also useful for those who don’t have the option of planting directly into the ground, perhaps because their property only comes with a paved courtyard or small patio as its outside space. Growing fruit trees in containers is ideal for permaculture gardeners who are renting a property. It can be disconcerting in the increasingly unreliable rental sector, to put effort into establishing and nurturing a garden only to then have to vacate the property and leave the garden in situ (although doing so can be considered a gift to the subsequent inhabitants). Growing in containers allows renters to take their fruit trees with them when they move house.

However even without space constraints or the desire to have transferable plants to move between properties, cultivating fruit trees in containers can have benefits for many permaculture gardeners.

Read How to grow fruit trees in containers on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Grow Garlichttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-garlic https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-garlic#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:15:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38574 Ways To Grow Garlic In Your Own Permaculture Plot Garlic has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is mentioned in ancient Greek, Indian and Chinese writings, while garlic bulbs were found in the Tomb of Tutankhamen when archeologists first opened it in 1922. The bulbs were found to date from 1500 BC. With such […]

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Ways To Grow Garlic In Your Own Permaculture Plot

Garlic has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is mentioned in ancient Greek, Indian and Chinese writings, while garlic bulbs were found in the Tomb of Tutankhamen when archeologists first opened it in 1922. The bulbs were found to date from 1500 BC.

With such an illustrious history to tap into, permaculture gardeners may well want to make garlic a part of their plot design. In fact, if you cook with garlic – and it is increasingly found in kitchens everywhere – it is a good idea to grow your own. This is because the vast majority of garlic is imported, and usually treated with chemicals to preserve it during transportation.

Choose Variety
Garlic comes in two types: soft-neck and hard-neck. This classification refers to the relative stiffness of the stem just above the bulb. Generally, soft-neck species last longer in storage, while hard-neck varieties are hardier. Soft-necks prefer a milder climate than their hard-neck cousins, but with judicious use of microclimates, permaculturists in most areas should be able to cultivate either or both. Purple-striped and Porcelain are popular choices of hard-neck species, while Artichoke garlic and Silverskins give good crops of soft-necks.

Read How to Grow Garlic on Open Permaculture School!

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How to grow kalehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-kale https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-kale#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:53:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39672 In recent years kale has gained renown for being one of the healthiest vegetables around. While the fact that it’s reputation needed to be reanimated – it has a long history of cultivation dating back centuries, having been grown in Ancient Rome and Egypt and brought to the U.S. in the 1600s, but rather fell […]

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In recent years kale has gained renown for being one of the healthiest vegetables around. While the fact that it’s reputation needed to be reanimated – it has a long history of cultivation dating back centuries, having been grown in Ancient Rome and Egypt and brought to the U.S. in the 1600s, but rather fell off the radar in the 20th century – it is fully deserved. It contains no fat, is very low in calories and has high levels of fiber that aids digestion. Kale also comes with good amounts of iron, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C and K. Not only that, but this leafy green is one of the best vegetable providers of calcium. With so many benefits, kale is a useful addition to anyone’s kitchen. Fortunately, the plant is also relatively simple to grow and can adapt to climate and soil conditions on most permaculture plots. In fact, kale is arguably the hardiest member of the plant family it belongs to – the brassicas, along with the likes of broccoli, cabbage and collards.

Variety
There are lots of different varieties of kale.

Read How to grow kale on Open Permaculture School!

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How to grow peppershttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-peppers https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-peppers#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:50:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39729 Peppers are great additions to a permaculture plot, not only because they are relatively easy to grow and provide good crops when given the right growing conditions, but also because there is such a range of potential cultivars, so that every permaculture gardener should be able to find one that suits their taste. Cultivars in […]

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Peppers are great additions to a permaculture plot, not only because they are relatively easy to grow and provide good crops when given the right growing conditions, but also because there is such a range of potential cultivars, so that every permaculture gardener should be able to find one that suits their taste. Cultivars in the pepper family range from big, round capsicums to long thin chili peppers. All have similar requirements in the garden, and provide similar nutrients, including high levels of antioxidants and Vitamin C. The other benefit of growing peppers is that they can be harvested at various stages of their mature development, providing the permaculturists with a crop right through the growing season; a crop that changes in taste and texture as the time passes.

Variety
While peppers have a diversity of tastes – ranging from a deep fruitiness to an almost chocolate flavor – they are typically differentiated by their respective amounts of heat when eaten. The crucial substance in this regard is capsaicin, and the more of it that a pepper variety contains the more it will provide heat.

Read How to grow peppers on Open Permaculture School!

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How to grow plumshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-plums https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-plums#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:55:32 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39675 Plums are a valuable addition to a suitable permaculture plot, as their fruit can be eaten fresh, are ideal for baking, and plum trees typically provide a bountiful harvest so some of the fruit can be utilized for preserving in jams and jellies. Type There are two main types of plum – European and Japanese. […]

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Plums are a valuable addition to a suitable permaculture plot, as their fruit can be eaten fresh, are ideal for baking, and plum trees typically provide a bountiful harvest so some of the fruit can be utilized for preserving in jams and jellies.

Type
There are two main types of plum – European and Japanese. Within these groups there are many species available, and the best for your permaculture plot will depend on the climate and soil conditions of your location. Ask local growers or garden societies which species have worked well for them. Many European species are self-pollinating, so you only need one specimen, while many Japanese varieties need two or more trees to pollinate. If planting multiple trees, leave at least 10 meters between them to allow space to mature.

While in theory you can plant the stone from a plum your have just eaten – either from a fruit that you have bought, or one that you have plucked from an existing tree on your permaculture plot – it is not the best way to ensure you get a fruiting plant. The stones do not represent a true copy of the parent tree, and so fruit is not guaranteed.

Read How to grow plums on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Grow Rhubarbhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-rhubarb https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-rhubarb#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:26:12 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38815 Learn How To Grow Rhubarb Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that has a long history of cultivation and use. It is native to the cold climates of the Himalayas and Siberia. It appears in written recipes in England in the late 1700s, and since then has been grown in many countries across the world. Despite […]

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Learn How To Grow Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that has a long history of cultivation and use. It is native to the cold climates of the Himalayas and Siberia. It appears in written recipes in England in the late 1700s, and since then has been grown in many countries across the world. Despite being a vegetable, it is commonly mistaken for a fruit, as the majority of recipes that use rhubarb are puddings and desserts. It is also a healthy addition to your diet, being full of fiber, calcium and potassium, as well as lots of vitamins and minerals. With its distinctive thick red stems and large leafy tops – which can grow a meter or more tall – rhubarb also makes an aesthetic addition to the permaculture garden. It favors a cooler climate and does best with a cold temperature while it overwinters in the ground. Areas with high humidity and very high temperatures during the summer months are not as suited to growing rhubarb, but permaculturists in such locations who wish to grow the vegetable can employ a number of planting techniques to moderate the microclimate to ensure a good crop.

Position
Rhubarb plants like to be in full sun, but with cooler air temperatures.

Read How to Grow Rhubarb on Open Permaculture School!

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How to grow soya beanshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-soya-beans https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-soya-beans#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:46:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39723 Soya beans may seem like an exotic vegetable to consider planting in your permaculture plot, and its origins in South East Asia would suggest that it is not necessarily suited to growing in more temperate climes. However, as long as you have a reasonably long, hot summer (the seeds take between 65 and 85 days […]

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Soya beans may seem like an exotic vegetable to consider planting in your permaculture plot, and its origins in South East Asia would suggest that it is not necessarily suited to growing in more temperate climes. However, as long as you have a reasonably long, hot summer (the seeds take between 65 and 85 days to mature to their harvestable state), you should be able to grow this great source of plant protein on your site. Besides the high protein content, soya beans are also a god source of iron, calcium and fiber. One of the great benefits of soya beans is that they are self-pollinating annuals, so you should be able to get a good crop from just a few plants and be able to harvest year after year.

Variety
There are thousands of varieties of soya beans available to cultivate. Talk to local growers and gardening societies to find out the best ones for your location. Some popular varieties include Ustie; which is a cultivar that will do well even in more temperate summers; Black Jet, which is renowned for its hardiness; Envy, which is well known for the heaviness of its crops; and Cowrie, which reaches maturity quicker than a lot of other varieties.

Read How to grow soya beans on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Grow Strawberrieshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-strawberries https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-strawberries#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:31:53 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38686 Learn How To Grow Strawberries There are many reasons to make strawberries a part of the design for your permaculture plot. Not only do they taste great – even when eaten straight from the plant – they contain lots of vitamins and minerals so are good for you to. They are adaptable plants, able to […]

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Learn How To Grow Strawberries

There are many reasons to make strawberries a part of the design for your permaculture plot. Not only do they taste great – even when eaten straight from the plant – they contain lots of vitamins and minerals so are good for you to. They are adaptable plants, able to grow in most conditions as long as they get lots of sunshine, and can be grown in baskets and containers by those short on space. Strawberry plants are also perennial, so you get annual crops from the same plants over several years.

Choose Variety
Strawberries are cultivated from seedlings, so source an organic supplier. You may be able to source seedlings from a fellow gardener’s plants, but these will not be as strong as newly grown seedlings, which are preferable if you are establishing a perennial patch. Most species can adapt to a variety f climates and condition, but perhaps ask local growers which they have had the most success with. Popular varieties include Redchief, which is renowned for its resistance to disease, Honeyoye, which are good at overwintering and producing naturally sweet berries, and Earligrow, which offers one of the earliest harvests.

Position
Strawberry plants like lots of full sunlight.

Read How to Grow Strawberries on Open Permaculture School!

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How to grow Swiss chardhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-swiss-chard https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-swiss-chard#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:47:39 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39725 Despite its name, Swiss chard is not native to Switzerland – it takes its moniker from the fact that it was identified and categorized by a Swiss botanist. And indeed its name can cause further confusion, and it is known by many different ones. Today, it is often referred to as silverbeet, Roman kale or […]

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Despite its name, Swiss chard is not native to Switzerland – it takes its moniker from the fact that it was identified and categorized by a Swiss botanist. And indeed its name can cause further confusion, and it is known by many different ones. Today, it is often referred to as silverbeet, Roman kale or strawberry spinach, while in the past it has gone under such names as seakale and leaf beet. It is popular vegetables in Mediterranean countries and is particularly revered in the southern areas of France. Fortunately, its cultivation is not restricted to such locations, and its relative hardiness makes it a good option for permaculture plots in many different places. As a cruciferous vegetable, it benefits from exposure to a frost or two, so can make a good late season vegetable for your garden. In terms of nutrition, Swiss chard is a big-hitter, giving you high levels of dietary fiber alongside vitamins A, C and K. It is also a good source of trace elements such as magnesium and potassium, which play a role in ensuring the body’s physiological processes remain in good working order, and is also very low in calories.

Read How to grow Swiss chard on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Grow Walnutshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-walnuts https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/grow-walnuts#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:04:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39047 Ways To Grow Walnuts Effectively It is often claimed that walnuts were one of the first food crops to be cultivated by human beings. Their history is certainly a long one, with its roots reaching back to ancient Persia. The Romans regarded the nuts as food of the Gods, while when first imported into the United […]

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Ways To Grow Walnuts Effectively

It is often claimed that walnuts were one of the first food crops to be cultivated by human beings. Their history is certainly a long one, with its roots reaching back to ancient Persia. The Romans regarded the nuts as food of the Gods, while when first imported into the United Kingdom walnuts were reserved for royalty alone. In the U.S. walnut cultivation is thought to date back to the late 1700s.

And it’s not just history that walnuts are rich in. They are also nutritious, being one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 acids, which help the brain function. They also contain good levels of fiber, protein and antioxidants.

Growing your own walnut tree can seem a little daunting, as they are long living – with some having the potential to last up to 200 years – and don’t produce a reliable harvest for about a decade. But planting a walnut tree brings other benefits to the site, with its tall, broad canopy attractive to wildlife and capable of significant windbreak and shade capacity. The walnut is also an attractive tree, setting small bright flowers in spring. Furthermore, planting a walnut tree is an investment in the future.

Read How to Grow Walnuts on Open Permaculture School!

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How to harness energy from the city in innovative wayshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/harness-energy-city-innovative-ways https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/harness-energy-city-innovative-ways#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:48:14 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39726 Cities are often described in terms that evoke the idea of energy. People talk about tem as ‘engines of growth’, as the ‘motors’ of modern life. While cites have certainly been the site for many developments in human society that have benefitted the population, whether the energy of the city that has been a central […]

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Cities are often described in terms that evoke the idea of energy. People talk about tem as ‘engines of growth’, as the ‘motors’ of modern life. While cites have certainly been the site for many developments in human society that have benefitted the population, whether the energy of the city that has been a central part in transforming many modern societies into urban rather than a rural one, and from a manufacturing –based to a service-based model, has helped people as much as is often claimed (typically by the richest and most powerful) is open for discussion. Where the energy of cities becomes more tangible is in the amount that they use.

Metropolitan areas use a lot of energy – from the resources and mechanical power required t construct them to the energy needed to provide the inhabitants with light, heat and water. The sheer density of the population of a city – in terms of both living space and also the attendant aspects that come with it, such as increased numbers of vehicles on the roads – makes them the most energy-demanding of all forms of habitation.

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How to Introduce New Chickens to Flockhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/introduce-new-chickens-flock https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/introduce-new-chickens-flock#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:00:03 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39038 Ways To Introduce New Chickens To Flock In Your Garden A flock of chickens is something that will change and evolve over time. Nature will take its course, and the permaculture gardener will intervene as well – harvesting birds, relocating chicks, and so on. A gardener keeping a flock of chickens will also need to […]

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Ways To Introduce New Chickens To Flock In Your Garden

A flock of chickens is something that will change and evolve over time. Nature will take its course, and the permaculture gardener will intervene as well – harvesting birds, relocating chicks, and so on. A gardener keeping a flock of chickens will also need to replace chickens to ensure a continued supply of eggs, as a bird’s laying capacity will diminish with age. Or they may decide that they really love keeping chickens as livestock and look to expand their flock, perhaps so they can increase egg production in order to set up a stall at the local former’s market.

However, introducing new birds to an existing flock is not simply a matter of releasing them into the coop or run, and letting them get on with it. Chicken flocks do have a sort of society, with hierarchies and territory. New birds will need to learn the ‘pecking order’ and establish their position in the hierarchy of the flock. Every bird in the flock has a position in the order of things in relation to the other birds. This order is typically reinforced over food, with the senior chickens eating first before allowing the more lowly birds at the food.

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How to Keep Duckshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/keep-ducks https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/keep-ducks#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:30:39 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38684 Know How To Keep Ducks In Your Permaculture Garden If a permaculture gardener is thinking about getting some poultry as livestock, more often then not their first inclination is to have some chickens. A reasonable enough assumption, when chickens are much more common on smallholdings and constitute the most popular meat in America. There is […]

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Know How To Keep Ducks In Your Permaculture Garden

If a permaculture gardener is thinking about getting some poultry as livestock, more often then not their first inclination is to have some chickens. A reasonable enough assumption, when chickens are much more common on smallholdings and constitute the most popular meat in America. There is also a lot of information available about keeping chickens, and the birds seem ideally suited to a permaculture plot, with several yields and relatively energy and time efficient in terms of maintenance.

Chickens are great, but the permaculturist might want to take a moment and consider ducks as an alternative poultry livestock animal. The y have many of the benefits of chickens but with added attractions all their own. For instance, ducks produce eggs that are richer in taste and more loaded with nutrients than chicken eggs. Protein, calcium, iron and potassium levels are all higher in duck eggs than chicken eggs, and they are just as versatile in the kitchen, suitable for everything from baking to poaching.

Read How to Keep Ducks on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Make a No Dig Bedhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/make-dig-bed https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/make-dig-bed#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:31:21 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38685 Understand How To Make A No Dig Bed One of the most immediately striking ways in terms of practical activity that permaculture gardening differs from common gardening and agricultural practices is that it emphasizes, wherever possible, leaving the soil undisturbed. In most cultivation techniques, tilling, Ploughing or turning the soil is a common practice, but […]

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Understand How To Make A No Dig Bed

One of the most immediately striking ways in terms of practical activity that permaculture gardening differs from common gardening and agricultural practices is that it emphasizes, wherever possible, leaving the soil undisturbed. In most cultivation techniques, tilling, Ploughing or turning the soil is a common practice, but permaculture recognizes that doing so upsets the complex ecosystem that exists in soils, involving the plants that grow in them and the organisms that live within them.

As in many aspects of permaculture design, we can see the template for the no-dig garden in nature. Natural ecosystems rarely feature an element that digs the ground, yet plants still thrive in many systems. Take a deciduous forest, for example. As leaves fall from the trees they form a ‘carpet’ on the ground, disturbed only perhaps by the rooting of animals and the efforts of the wind. Nothing other than plant roots digs down into the ground. Yet seeds germinate and establish new plants and the forest system flourishes – with no digging.

Permaculture gardeners can design to replicate this natural system, by instituting a no-dig garden bed. This is a planting bed that is layered with organic material, rather than soil, in such as way that it does not require digging.

Read How to Make a No Dig Bed on Open Permaculture School!

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How to map your plothttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/map-plot https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/map-plot#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:50:41 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39730 When first looking to apply permaculture principles and design to a property, one of the most useful tools you can have at hand is a detailed map of the site. It gives you a blueprint of where your site is at the moment, and so provides a framework in which to work as you design […]

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When first looking to apply permaculture principles and design to a property, one of the most useful tools you can have at hand is a detailed map of the site. It gives you a blueprint of where your site is at the moment, and so provides a framework in which to work as you design your permaculture garden. By plotting the dimensions of your site, noting the native species already growing there, marking the immoveable structures, and any other features you wish to retain, you can then experiment with design ideas on the map using overlays. These are a common feature of much permaculture design, whereby you use tracing paper to sketch out design ideas and then place them over your map to see how they configure with the size, shape and features of your site. It is a very useful way of trying out strategies and ideas before embarking on the physical labor to institute them. Making an accurate map of your permaculture plot will also give you an idea of the space you have available to devote to different kinds of cultivation to meet the needs of you and your family. Having mapped you plot you may find that you only really have sufficient space to institute zone 1 and 2 crops, or that you can configure the site to provide a wider range of plants.

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How to Minimize E Wastehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/minimize-e-waste https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/minimize-e-waste#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:30:00 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38683 Ways To Minimize E Waste ‘E-waste’ is not a word that is particularly well known, but it is likely to become much more prevalent in the future. E-waste is the shorthand for electronic waste, and refers to discarded electrical and electronic devices. These include smartphones, laptops, tablets, computers, monitors, electronic office equipment and entertainment devices […]

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Ways To Minimize E Waste

‘E-waste’ is not a word that is particularly well known, but it is likely to become much more prevalent in the future. E-waste is the shorthand for electronic waste, and refers to discarded electrical and electronic devices. These include smartphones, laptops, tablets, computers, monitors, electronic office equipment and entertainment devices such as games consoles. In fact, anything digital that has been thrown away can be classed as e-waste. This type of refuse is the fastest growing category of waste in the U.S. and with the constant release of new models of electronic equipment, combined with a consumerist culture that promotes disposability, it is only likely to become more of a problem. And the problem is not just an American one; e-waste is a global concern. A report by the United Nations in 2012 put the globally generated amount of e-waste at 50 million tons – which is equivalent to around seven kilograms for every person on the planet.

There are distinct problems with e-waste that pose dangers to the environment and humans. These are due to the wide variety of dangerous chemicals that electronic devices contain.

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How to Plan an Orchardhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/plan-orchard https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/plan-orchard#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:25:44 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38814 Ways To Plan An Orchard There are few things finer in life than going out of your house on a summer’s morning – perhaps holding your child by their hand – to pick the fruit you will eat with your breakfast. Plucking a ripe pear or a crisp apple from the branch, savoring its aroma […]

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Ways To Plan An Orchard

There are few things finer in life than going out of your house on a summer’s morning – perhaps holding your child by their hand – to pick the fruit you will eat with your breakfast. Plucking a ripe pear or a crisp apple from the branch, savoring its aroma and looking forward to the fresh, deep taste that comes from cultivating crops in harmony with nature is a wondrous thing.

Most permaculture gardeners with sufficient space will include at least one fruit tree in their garden design. It can provide a focal point in a small suburban plot, or even, if a dwarf variety, add variety to a courtyard garden. Fruit trees are typically the centerpieces of the common permaculture planting technique of guilds, and they bring a lot of benefits to any site, from shade to protect plants and deep roots to improve the soil structure, to attracting birds to the garden and, of course, providing a crop for eating.

For those with more space, an orchard can be a very attractive option. Indeed, orchards are arguably the most likely legacy of your permaculture garden, as with a little care and attention, they will provide fruit for years to come.

Read How to Plan an Orchard on Open Permaculture School!

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How to Plant a Treehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/plant-tree https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/plant-tree#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:04:19 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39046 Planting a tree sounds like an easy enough task, doesn’t it? After all generations of farmers and gardeners have been doing it across the world. But what all those who have successfully planted and cultivated trees knew was that there is a little more to it than simply digging a whole and putting the tree […]

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Planting a tree sounds like an easy enough task, doesn’t it? After all generations of farmers and gardeners have been doing it across the world. But what all those who have successfully planted and cultivated trees knew was that there is a little more to it than simply digging a whole and putting the tree in it – at least there is if you want to ensure the tree has a good start in life, is able to establish itself, and produce crops for the gardener year after year.

Planting a tree is a very fulfilling act. It says that you are investing in the future, hopefully planting something now that will continue to produce crops for you and your loved ones for many years into the future, and perhaps even for after you are gone. It also initiates an ecosystem centered around that tree – bringing birds and insects to the garden, providing shaded conditions underneath that suit lower-lying plants – guild planting around a central tree is a particularly effective way of placing species – and altering the soil conditions. Trees can also be valuable additions to the permaculture plot in terms of shading the house to reduce energy consumption, and diverting winds to protect plants and animals.

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How to prepare your plot for winterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/prepare-plot-winter https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/prepare-plot-winter#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:49:32 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39728 With some honorable exceptions most fruit and vegetable plants die off or enter a period of dormancy over the winter months. Having woken up in spring and spent the summer maturing and providing crops, the plants will either have completed their life cycle or will need to essentially recharge their batteries over winter so they […]

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With some honorable exceptions most fruit and vegetable plants die off or enter a period of dormancy over the winter months. Having woken up in spring and spent the summer maturing and providing crops, the plants will either have completed their life cycle or will need to essentially recharge their batteries over winter so they are ready to repeat the process the next year.

Given all the edible, aesthetic and experiential delights that your plot will hopefully have providing over the flowering, growing and harvesting periods of the year, it is only right perhaps that you prepare it well for the colder months ahead – and doing so will be a great step to ensuring that your permaculture comes back to full vigor when spring arrives.

Plan for winter crops
One of the best ways to prepare your permaculture plot for winter is to plant some edible cultivars that will give you crops during the winter months. Cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, collards, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and chard can be sown in the late summer to give you green leafy crops in the winter, when most other plants on the site have either died off or gone into a dormant state. Indeed, the flavor of these types of vegetables is actually improved by exposure to the colder temperatures of winter.

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How to protect your garden from droughthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/protect-garden-drought https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/protect-garden-drought#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:48:49 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39727 Ninety-eight percent of all climate scientists agree that global warming – predominantly caused by human activity, from the burning of fossil fuels to the intensive farming of livestock and the pollution of the world’s oceans – is a fact. (The remaining two percent, by the way, are almost all scientists whose research has been funded […]

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Ninety-eight percent of all climate scientists agree that global warming – predominantly caused by human activity, from the burning of fossil fuels to the intensive farming of livestock and the pollution of the world’s oceans – is a fact. (The remaining two percent, by the way, are almost all scientists whose research has been funded at least in part by fossil fuel companies.) Besides rising sea levels and increased incidences of extreme weather events like hurricanes and tsunamis, one of the primary effects global warming has on the planet is longer and more intense periods of drought. Indeed, recent years have seen record droughts in many parts of the world. For example, in 2014, four Central American countries – Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – experienced their worst drought on record, causing more than half a million families to face hunger from failing crops and livestock losses. The same year, the state of Queensland in Australia experienced its largest recorded drought, with approximately 80 percent of the area of the state affected. While much of the United States saw drought conditions for successive summers from 2010, with many locations experiencing, in 2013, their driest year for over 130 years.

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How to repair flood damaged soilhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/repair-flood-damaged-soil https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/repair-flood-damaged-soil#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:53:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39673 Flooding is becoming more frequent across the world, and more severe when it happens. In 2014 alone, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Romania experienced rainfall and subsequent flooding on the worst scale in nearly a century. But in many other countries flooding is a more regular and often more devastating occurrence in recent decades. There can be […]

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Flooding is becoming more frequent across the world, and more severe when it happens. In 2014 alone, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Romania experienced rainfall and subsequent flooding on the worst scale in nearly a century. But in many other countries flooding is a more regular and often more devastating occurrence in recent decades. There can be several reasons why this occurs. The increased urbanization of many nations, with higher proportions of the population living in cities than in the countryside, means a greater degree of impenetrable land surface. Concrete buildings, tarmac roads and sidewalks cause rainfall to run off rather than sink into the land, as it would in rural and wilderness areas. If municipal drainage systems are not able to cope with excessive rainfall, the water floods the city (in 2011 Brisbane in Australia suffered severe flooding throughout the city center because of this).

In rural areas as well, though, flooding is a more common phenomena than it was centuries ago. Some of the reasons for this include the increase prevalence of monoculture agricultural practices that strip the land of biodiversity and make it more prone to flooding. This is exacerbated by the fact that such practices typically make erosion of the topsoil – the part of the soil profile best suited to the absorption of moisture – more likely.

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How to Save Energy in the Kitchenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/save-energy-kitchen https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/save-energy-kitchen#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:16:49 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38576 Here Is How To Save Energy In Kitchen It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the food that satisfies and sustains families is prepared, and is often the room that leads directly out to the garden, being a ‘edge’ if you like between the outside and […]

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Here Is How To Save Energy In Kitchen

It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the food that satisfies and sustains families is prepared, and is often the room that leads directly out to the garden, being a ‘edge’ if you like between the outside and the inside of the building. With cooking, washing, food storage and many other activities taking place in the kitchen, it can also be a particularly energy-hungry spot in the house. Here is how you can reduce your energy usage in the kitchen.

Kettle
Using a kettle to boil water uses less energy than boiling it on the stove. No heat escapes the kettle, unlike the stovetop, where heat escapes around the base and sides of a saucepan, making it less efficient. So, if you are cooking something that needs to be boiled – such as vegetables – it is beneficial to boil the kettle first and pour that water into the saucepan then switch on the heat. It will have to come back up to boiling temperature, but will have a ‘head start’, so to speak and use less energy to get there. In addition, when boiling the kettle, ensure you only boil as much water as you need for the task at hand.

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How to Shop Sustainablyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/shop-sustainably https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/shop-sustainably#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:16:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38575 Ways To Show Sustainably It is unlikely that even those with the most extensive of permaculture plots will be able to be entirely self-sufficient. This means that we have to shop for at least some food and other manufactured products. This doesn’t mean we have to forgo the ethics and principles that underpin our permaculture […]

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Ways To Show Sustainably

It is unlikely that even those with the most extensive of permaculture plots will be able to be entirely self-sufficient. This means that we have to shop for at least some food and other manufactured products. This doesn’t mean we have to forgo the ethics and principles that underpin our permaculture plot when we venture into the marketplace; in fact, using the ideas the underpin permaculture in every aspect of our lives, including shopping, is a way to live more responsibly. When we are purchasing products, we need to have the reduction of waste, sustainability and care for the Earth at the centre of our buying habits.

And by shopping in a sustainable way, and choosing the products that we purchase based on the way they are produced, the impact they have on the natural world, and the resources they use, we are making a stand against the overarching way economies and business function in the modern world.

The good news is that the more and more people that make sustainable choices with regard to their shopping habits, the more likely changes in the way products are produced will occur. After all, the vast majority of companies are concerned above all else with making as much profit as possible.

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How to Spot Common Plant Diseaseshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/spot-common-plant-diseases https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/spot-common-plant-diseases#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:07:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39049 Methods To Identify Common Plant Diseases A permaculture plot that is designed and maintained in harmony with nature should remain fairly disease-free. With the right sort of companion planting, use of native species suited to the soil and climatic conditions, soil improvement and irrigation techniques, the plants on the site should generally be free from […]

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Methods To Identify Common Plant Diseases

A permaculture plot that is designed and maintained in harmony with nature should remain fairly disease-free. With the right sort of companion planting, use of native species suited to the soil and climatic conditions, soil improvement and irrigation techniques, the plants on the site should generally be free from the worst ravages of pest insects, nematodes and vegetative diseases. Indeed, there is a school of thought that if a disease does strike a plant on the permaculture plot then it is an opportunity for learning, to analyze the soil conditions, plant companions or climatic events that may have contributed to the occurrence. One of the ways of learning from plant diseases is to know the signs to look for, so that wherever possible remedial action can be taken to tackle the problem.

Cankers
Cankers are an abnormal development of tissue that affects stone fruit trees. There are strains that infect certain species, such as apple rot, but cankers can grow on many types of stone fruit tree. It takes the form of sunken or raised areas or growth that looks different to the surrounding wood, discolored and sometimes turned black.

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How to Stack Firewoodhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/stack-firewood https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/stack-firewood#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:25:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38813 Ways To Stack Firewood Having a wood burning stove, an open fireplace or a hydronic heater that uses the energy from burning wood to heat water for use in the home, is an ambition for many permaculturists. Such methods of heating and cooking are typically more environmentally friendly than electric or gas appliances, often more […]

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Ways To Stack Firewood

Having a wood burning stove, an open fireplace or a hydronic heater that uses the energy from burning wood to heat water for use in the home, is an ambition for many permaculturists. Such methods of heating and cooking are typically more environmentally friendly than electric or gas appliances, often more efficient at fulfilling their task, and add a certain charm to the home. Plus, if you have a lot of trees on your permaculture site, you can create a closed system of energy production, using timber from your plot in your home, so you do not need an outside source to complete the cycle from input to yield. However, even if you get your firewood from another source – one that is local, sustainable and has not treated the wood with any inorganic chemical compounds – wood burning appliances are still better for the planet and also likely to cost you less than conventional appliances.

One of the things about firewood is that it is – if harvested sustainably – fairly seasonal. Trees are typically pruned or harvested in the fall and winter to allow regrowth or the growth of new trees to occur the following spring. This means that those sourcing wood for their appliances will have a glut.

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How to Start a Community Gardenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-community-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-community-garden#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:02:55 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39043 Understand How To Start A Community Garden Permaculture puts forward the idea that working in harmony with nature and maximizing the possibilities for growing our own food can have a transformative effect on someone’s life. By extending the ideas and principles that underscore permaculture garden design into the realm of society and how people live […]

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Understand How To Start A Community Garden

Permaculture puts forward the idea that working in harmony with nature and maximizing the possibilities for growing our own food can have a transformative effect on someone’s life. By extending the ideas and principles that underscore permaculture garden design into the realm of society and how people live together, it can impact upon whole communities as well. Community gardens are one way for people to feel more connected to their neighborhoods – both to the land and the other people who live there – to feel more in control of the food they eat, to collaborate in ways that bypass the competition-based capitalist economies of the developed world, and to reduce their impact upon the Earth by reducing their energy consumption (by buying less imported food, for example).

Community gardens can be a practical way for those who do not own land to get involved with permaculture, but they are also beneficial to those who may already be cultivating food on their own plot. Community gardens provide a network of like-minded individuals, who can share techniques and advice, as well as pool resources in schemes such as tool sharing, so each individual does not need to purchase their own version of every tool.

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How to start a cooperative businesshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-cooperative-business https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-cooperative-business#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:56:24 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39676 A cooperative business is one that is owned and run by its members. These members could be simply a group of individuals who run the company, or constitute a larger membership, such as a customer base or organizations in the local community. The idea is that all the members of a cooperative have an equal […]

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A cooperative business is one that is owned and run by its members. These members could be simply a group of individuals who run the company, or constitute a larger membership, such as a customer base or organizations in the local community. The idea is that all the members of a cooperative have an equal say in how the business is run, and all share the profits. Typically, members will subscribe with a regular payment of money, or give an initial sum to help the business start, and receive an ongoing percentage of profit as the business operates.

Cooperative business are often set up by people who are disillusioned with the mode of capitalist business that dominates western societies, whereby individuals work for companies for pay, but have no say in how the business is run, and see all the profits going to the management and shareholders. As such, many co-ops are “green” businesses, seeking to trade while being more sustainable, having less impact on the environment, and being more community focused than traditional companies.

One particular sector that is seeing a substantial rise in the proliferation of cooperative businesses is food.

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How to Start a Small Produce Businesshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-small-produce-business https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-small-produce-business#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:08:41 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39051 Ways To Start A Small Produce Business If you cultivate more food than you and your family can consume – perhaps due to a glut at harvest time, or because plants have proved more prolific than first thought – you have a number of options for how to deal with the surplus. For certain fruits […]

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Ways To Start A Small Produce Business

If you cultivate more food than you and your family can consume – perhaps due to a glut at harvest time, or because plants have proved more prolific than first thought – you have a number of options for how to deal with the surplus. For certain fruits and vegetables you could use preserving techniques such as canning, fermenting, freezing and pickling to transform the food into forms that will last longer than if fresh. You could also swap the surplus with neighbors who have more than they need of different crops to yours, meaning both parties benefit from a wider variety of produce in their kitchen. Or, indeed, you could give it away to a local charity or community group. Another option is to sell your extra crops.

Starting a small business, either as a sole venture or a side business to a person’s primary job, has several benefits besides preventing food going to waste.

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How to start seeds indoorshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-seeds-indoors https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/start-seeds-indoors#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:51:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39731 There are several reasons why you might wish to do so. If you live in an area where the winters are long, and so the growing season is relatively short, starting seeds indoors gives you a head start when it comes to planting out. Indeed, any permaculture gardener who wishes to extend their growing season […]

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There are several reasons why you might wish to do so. If you live in an area where the winters are long, and so the growing season is relatively short, starting seeds indoors gives you a head start when it comes to planting out. Indeed, any permaculture gardener who wishes to extend their growing season can use starting seeds indoors; perhaps they may succession plant a crop that they wish to harvest over the entire season, with the first transplants providing a young crop before the mature plants of the second and third planting mature. Another reason may be that soil conditions on your plot are not ideal, perhaps with a high clay quotient. This can make it hard for seeds to germinate and push through the soil surface; starting the seeds indoors and transplanting seedlings out to the garden beds gives them a better chance of establishing themselves. And starting seeds early indoors can also potentially lead to greater yields as the plant has longer outside in the sunshine of spring and summer to generate energy and set fruit.

Sourcing seeds
There are several ways to get your hands on the seeds you want to cultivate.

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How to Use Household Appliances Efficientlyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/use-household-appliances-efficiently https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/use-household-appliances-efficiently#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:17:23 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38577 How To Use Household Appliances To Reduce Energy Consumption Most modern homes are filled with all manner of appliances and devices that use electricity. These appliances help to make life easier in some respects, washing our clothes for us for instance, or make life more comfortable, such as cooling our homes when the weather is […]

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How To Use Household Appliances To Reduce Energy Consumption

Most modern homes are filled with all manner of appliances and devices that use electricity. These appliances help to make life easier in some respects, washing our clothes for us for instance, or make life more comfortable, such as cooling our homes when the weather is hot. They also provide entertainment. However, given that the vast majority of electricity supplies are generated by the burning of fossil fuels, it is in the interests of the planet that we seek to minimize our power usage wherever possible. This will have the added benefit of reducing our energy bills as well. Here are some ways to reduce the energy consumption of some common household appliances.

General
As a general rule, wherever possible, switch appliances off completely when they are not in use. Many appliances, such as televisions and air conditioners, have standby modes where the appliance is not active but is ready to be reactivated at the touch of a button. However, being in standby mode still draws on power. This power is often used to light clock displays.

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Lecture 01 – Introductionhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-introduction-1 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-introduction-1#comments Wed, 01 May 2013 22:12:26 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4222 There are huge problems facing our world today, and permaculture is one path to a more sustainable and just world. Defining permaculture is tricky, because it encompasses so many elements. It is ecological agriculture and it is also permanent culture, incorporating social and political structures as well. Learn about Larry Korn's story of meeting natural farmer Masanobu Fukuoka and living on his farm to learn his methods of farming in harmony with nature. With no need for plowing, pruning, or weeding, Fukuoka increased his yields while decreasing his labor. Larry introduces the class to the history of permaculture, and discusses the reasons why we need permaculture today.

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Permaculture Fundamentals

There are huge problems facing our world today, and permaculture is one path to a more sustainable and just world. Concepts of permaculture have been practiced since ancient times, but the modern version of it was originally started by Bill Mollison. Defining permaculture and permaculture fundamentals is tricky, because it encompasses so many elements. It is ecological agriculture and it is also permanent culture, incorporating social and political structures as well. On a smaller scale, you can start living a permaculture lifestyle right now, beginning with yourself.

Learn about Larry Korn’s story of meeting natural farmer Masanobu Fukuoka and living on his farm to learn his methods of farming in harmony with nature. With no need for plowing, pruning, or weeding, Fukuoka increased his yields while decreasing his labor. Larry introduces the class to the history of permaculture, and discusses the reasons why we need permaculture today.

Read Lecture 01 – Introduction on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 02 – Introductionhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-introduction-2 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-introduction-2#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:41:12 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4444 Every action carries with it a set of principles and intentions, whether or not they've been chosen consciously. Principles provide a guiding framework for your designs and actions, but they won't guarantee success 100% of the time. There's a lot to consider in permaculture design - everything from water to animals to energy to plant guilds. Hear about some inspiring stories of farmers making money, chicken tractors, the best way to store your water, natural building, and cold climate farming.

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Permaculture Introduction

Every action carries with it a set of principles and intentions, whether or not they’ve been chosen consciously. Every person lives according to his/her own set of principles, and they are largely the same, but not exactly. Principles provide a guiding framework for your designs and actions, but they won’t guarantee success 100% of the time. There’s a lot to consider in permaculture design – everything from water to animals to energy to plant guilds.

Ultimately, there’s nothing really fancy about permaculture. Just practical methods that conserve energy and maximize harvests. Hear about some inspiring stories of farmers making money, chicken tractors, the best way to store your water, natural building, permaculture introduction, and cold climate farming.

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Lecture 03 – Ethicshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-ethics-3 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-ethics-3#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:42:38 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4447 Sustainability is a popular term these days, but it is only the first step. If we truly want to live here on this planet for as long as we can, it is imperative that we develop a harmonious and peaceful relationship with our home planet Earth. As one of the few people who saw potential for regreening the desert and regenerating natural resources, Masanobu Fukuoka was a visionary in natural farming. Larry, having worked with Fukuoka for many years, shares some of Fukuoka's ideas and philosophies. He explains the purpose of plant guilds in permaculture, the importance of spending time observing nature, the true ease of working in harmony with nature's flow, and the inspiring movement that is growing for a more sustainable food system and a more sustainable future.

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Permaculture Ethics

Sustainability is a popular term these days, but it is only the first step. If we truly want to live here on this planet for as long as we can, it is imperative that we develop a harmonious and peaceful relationship with our home planet Earth. Nature is our home and guide – from her we can learn to truly live sustainably.

As one of the few people who saw potential for regreening the desert and regenerating natural resources, Masanobu Fukuoka was a visionary in natural farming. Larry, having worked with Fukuoka for many years, shares some of Fukuoka’s ideas and philosophies. He explains the purpose of plant guilds in permaculture, permaculture ethics, the importance of spending time observing nature, the true ease of working in harmony with nature’s flow, and the inspiring movement that is growing for a more sustainable food system and a more sustainable future.

Read Lecture 03 – Ethics on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 04 – Principleshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-principles-4 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-principles-4#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:43:10 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4449 If you stick with conventional gardening, even using organic methods, you will be stuck doing a ton of work! The key in permaculture gardening is if you let nature do the work, you won't have to! Everything will flow in its right time. In this lesson, learn about how and why letting nature take over will ultimately help you become a better gardener. Learn about how weeds can help you cover ground and contribute to succession, and how you can grow thriving gardens even when you don't have much space.

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Permaculture Principles

If you stick with conventional gardening, even using organic methods, you will be stuck doing a ton of work! The key in permaculture gardening is if you let nature do the work, you won’t have to! Everything will flow in its right time. So don’t worry about making mistakes, because nature will help you restore and heal those mistakes. There’s a level of freedom in permaculture gardening you can’t get with conventional methods – your plants don’t have to be in orderly rows, and it doesn’t have to look like a clean cut grid of rows. In fact, it’s better if everything grew rampantly and fell free.

In this lesson, learn about how and why letting nature take over will ultimately help you become a better gardener. Learn about how weeds can help you cover ground and contribute to succession, permaculture principles, and how you can grow thriving gardens even when you don’t have much space.

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Lecture 05 – Principleshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-principles-5 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-principles-5#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:44:23 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4451 Modern agriculture has entirely neglected the idea of ecology in its quest to mechanize food production, bringing forth the issues we see today of poor soil quality, topsoil loss, biodiversity loss, and more. Learning about ecology allows us to develop ways to reverse these issues, increasing soil quality, building topsoil, and encouraging biodiversity growth. Larry explains ecological solutions in permaculture, such as the role of weeds in succession, and focuses on positive, solution-oriented perspectives.

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Permaculture Principles

Modern agriculture has entirely neglected the idea of ecology in its quest to mechanize food production, bringing forth the issues we see today of poor soil quality, topsoil loss, biodiversity loss, and more. Learning about ecology allows us to develop ways to reverse these issues, increasing soil quality, building topsoil, and encouraging biodiversity growth. Succession is one of the basic principles in ecology, and is key to managing food systems in a sustainable way.

Larry explains ecological solutions in permaculture, such as the role of weeds in succession, and focuses on positive, solution-oriented perspectives. He touches on taking public action for things you believe in, Fukuoka’s methods for building and healing the soil, and methods in forest gardening. Learn about planting in succession, ecological repercussions of harvest, community connections, permaculture principles and the progress permaculture as a movement has made in the last 30 years.

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Lecture 06 – Ecologyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-ecology-6 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-ecology-6#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:45:26 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4453 Soil has been overlooked in our modern society. In fact, it's the soil that does most of the work in growing fresh, nutritious food - it creates plant nutrients, filters water, and decomposes fresh organic matter into more nutrients. When you grow food with reverence to the ecological system, you can regenerate and replenish natural resources, and amplify your harvest. Larry teaches the class about humanity's role in ecology, the key players in the soil food web and how to keep them thriving, water issues, ecological niches, and improving biodiversity.

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Soil has been overlooked in our modern society. Industrial agriculture doesn’t respect the soil’s contribution to nutritious food, and has allowed it to wither. In fact, it’s the soil that does most of the work in growing fresh, nutritious food – it creates plant nutrients, filters water, and decomposes fresh organic matter into more nutrients. The soil food web is the backbone of a healthy soil ecosystem. Interestingly, soil is mostly water, so water issues are vital to soil.

When you grow food with reverence to the ecological system, you can regenerate and replenish natural resources, and amplify your harvest. Larry teaches the class about humanity’s role in ecology, the key players in the soil food web and how to keep them thriving, water issues, ecological niches, and improving biodiversity.

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Lecture 07 – Fundamentalshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-introduction-37 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-introduction-37#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:42:00 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4528 What do you think about the future? Is peak oil going to arrive? Is Nature going to torment us with natural disasters and human plagues? Or will we experience a planetary awakening? Learn about the role of permaculture in directing the course of humanity's future.

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What do you think about the future? Is peak oil going to arrive? Is Nature going to torment us with natural disasters and human plagues? Or will we experience a planetary awakening?

After a brief introduction, Jay engages the class in an activity to see where students align with possible future scenarios: (1) planetary collapse, (2) transition to stability using permaculture, (3) transition to sustainability using green technology while continuing to embrace the growth paradigm, (4) techno-spiritual fantasy of increasing our population to populate space and the moon, aliens are going to come and save us, we will have a planetary awakening, etc. At the end of the lesson, Jay encourages students to try an activity with a neighbor.

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Lecture 08 – Principleshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-principles-38 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-principles-38#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:42:36 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4530 What is Permaculture? One of the really incredible features of permaculture is its adaptability to different fields, from agriculture, horticulture, architecture, and ecology to socio-economic structures such as land access strategies and legal systems. Some of the overarching aims of permaculture are to re-forest the earth, reclaim and rebuild the soil, grow food where people are, sequester carbon to balance the biosphere, create regenerative culture, and more. Permaculture design is based on ethics and ecological principles. The first six permaculture principles are introduced in this lesson.

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What is permaculture? One definition states it is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally and culturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. Whatever your definition may be, one of the really incredible features of permaculture is its adaptability to different fields, from agriculture, horticulture, architecture, and ecology to socio-economic structures such as land access strategies and legal systems. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren are considered the “fathers of permaculture” for working together to develop this integrated system of ecological design. They created permaculture to have global applications, to integrate disparate schools of thought, and to create local, on the ground change that is meaningful to people and the earth.

Some of the overarching aims of permaculture are to re-forest the earth, reclaim and rebuild the soil, grow food where people are, sequester carbon to balance the biosphere, create regenerative culture, catalyze a global grassroots movement, planetary healing, restorative justice, education for self-reliance, and more. Permaculture design is based on ethics and ecological principles. The first six permaculture principles are introduced in this lesson.

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Lecture 09 – Principleshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-principles-39 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-fundamentals/permaculture-fundamentals-principles-39#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:43:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4532 The permaculture principles are based on patterns found universally in nature. If we design our systems to work in the same way nature does, then we have a much better chance of living sustainably. This lesson finishes the discussion with the last six principles of permaculture, while also touching on holistic perspectives and developing an intuitive connection with nature.

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The permaculture principles are based on patterns found universally in nature. If we design our systems to work in the same way nature does, then we have a much better chance of living sustainably. The first six principles were covered previously, so this lesson finishes the discussion with the last six principles of permaculture. These principles focus on the role of diversity, stacking functions, waste as a resource, and small-scale approaches to designing creative solutions.

The permaculture outlook is inherently holistic, not quick to place judgment, but rather considering its contribution to the whole. Oftentimes, invasive species are considered “bad”, but since they are already present, some permaculturists choose not to demonize them. Instead, they are considered for their worth and value to people and the local ecosystem.

When you closely observe and work with nature, you become acutely aware of  disturbances. Ultimately, we are aiming to decrease our level of disturbance and increase our level of awareness. This lesson also looks at success stories of people in this field, and what kind of routines this person would develop to cultivate this type of intuitive awareness.

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Lecture 10 – Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-23 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-23#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:46:59 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4455 If you haven't considered nature's designs before, it might seem a bit chaotic. But if you look a little closer, there's an intricate, intelligent order behind the chaos. Every design in nature, from leaf distance on a branch, to animal track patterns, to wind patterns, achieves an efficient balance of form and function. Learn about different types of patterns found in nature, that can enhance permaculture design.

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If you haven’t considered nature’s designs before, it might seem a bit chaotic. But if you look a little closer, there’s an intricate, intelligent order behind the chaos. Simple patterns repeat themselves over and over again, demonstrating their success in balancing form and function. Every design in nature, from leaf distance on a branch, to animal track patterns, to wind patterns, achieves an efficient balance of form and function.

Learn about different types of patterns found in nature, that can enhance permaculture design. Get to know nature’s ways to control soil erosion, the benefits of ubiquitous branching patterns, and the space-saving nature of circular forms. Nature is full of intelligent designs. We need look no further than outside our window for a little inspiration.

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Lecture 11 – Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-24 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-24#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:47:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4457 Every element of design serves a purpose and performs particular functions. Weeds become friends rather than enemies, and you develop a deep, comprehensive understanding of your garden and why it works the way it does. Larry continues his lesson on aspects of ecological garden design. Learn about different space designs, plant functions, useful and edible weeds, creating community through sharing, and urban/suburban garden design methods.

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Every element of design serves a purpose and performs particular functions. When you know the functions of particular plants and animals, putting together becomes much easier. Weeds become friends rather than enemies, and you develop a deep, comprehensive understanding of your garden and why it works the way it does. Not to mention, functional design saves energy and space. This is a huge benefit to every garden, whether urban, suburban, or rural farm.

Larry continues his lesson on aspects of ecological garden design. Learn about different space designs, plant functions, useful and edible weeds, creating community through sharing, and urban/suburban garden design methods.

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Lecture 12 – Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-larry-korn-100 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-larry-korn-100#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:26:21 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4612 Read Lecture 12 – Design on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 13 – Patternshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-patterns-40 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-patterns-40#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:45:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4540 Practicing the art of observation brings you in closer relationship to the land. You never know what interesting things you might find! In this lesson, Jay challenges you to observe the patterns in nature and reflect or journal about their potential functions. You will then be introduced to ways in which these patterns can be and have been applied in our everyday human world.

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Observation brings you closer to the land. The best way to observe natural patterns is to visit the same spot every day, sitting still, walking barefoot, or getting your hands in the dirt. When you visit without an agenda, that’s when you discover the most interesting things, like finding a wolf skull or having a raven fly by.

In this lesson, Jay challenges you to observe the patterns in nature and reflect or journal about their potential functions. Networking patterns can be found repeatedly in nature – mycelium, neural networks, root branching, dark matter, Internet connections, or even the trail systems of animals. You will then be introduced to ways in which these patterns can be and have been applied in our everyday human world.

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Lecture 14 – Patternshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-patterns-41 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-patterns-41#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:46:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4542 Nature is rich with patterns that serve both practical function and aesthetic form. They are so finely balanced and precisely tuned that they take on a sacred nature. Here, we'll take a look at several ubiquitious patterns that are found in nature and human cultures, and how they can apply to enhance permaculture design.

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Nature is rich with patterns that serve both practical function and aesthetic form. They are so finely balanced and precisely tuned that they take on a sacred nature. When we apply these patterns into permaculture design, we create more habitat and edge, work with natural cycles and seasons, and ensure our technology doesn’t harm nature.

Here, we’ll take a look at several ubiquitious patterns that are found in nature and human cultures: The arch pattern is found in our bodies and mimicked in our architecture. The spiral is an important pattern found pretty much everywhere. The wave is crucial to electromagnetism and is also a marker of seasonal changes.

 

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Lecture 15 – Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-43 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-43#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:44:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4534 Maps are an incredibly useful tool that can tell you an infinite number of things, including trails, topography, tides, roads, climate, zoning, sky, land use, maritime, and much more. Jay leads the class through a mapping exercise demonstrating how a map can even be used in your own home, incorporating zones and sectors.

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It’s easy to get lost in foreign territory. And just because you live in your home doesn’t necessarily mean you know where everything is. Lucky for you, people invented maps long ago to help navigate unknown territory. But how can you use a map in permaculture?

Jay introduces us to an incredible variety of different types of maps that serve different purposes. Types of maps include trails, topographical, tides, roads, climate, zoning, sky, land use, maritime, and many more. They can tell you an infinite number of things, and can help you decide where to design various elements of your permaculture site, depending on weather, topography, species distribution, water flow, wind flow, sun exposure, and more. Jay leads the class through a mapping exercise demonstrating how a map can even be used in your own home, incorporating zones and sectors.

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Lecture 16 – Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-44 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-44#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:44:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4536 Overcome the frustration and overwhelm of working with new land by learning about permaculture design methods and processes. This lesson teaches the Scale of Permanence through an interactive game, as well as niche analysis, keystone species, and design process.

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There are a lot of questions that come up when first working with new land. It can be frustrating and overwhelming. Fortunately, permaculture has many methods and processes that help break things down so you can develop a holistic understanding of the land and its many elements.

Mimicking nature’s highly efficient systems, permaculture design incorporates something called the Scale of Permanence, which orders elements on a scale of least permanence to the most permanent things on the property. Learn about how to use the Scale of Permanence through an interactive game. This lesson also covers niche analysis, keystone species, and design process. Humans may be a keystone species, for if we suddenly disappeared, the planetary ecosystem would collapse.

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Lecture 17 – Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-songdesign-47 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-songdesign-47#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:45:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4538 How do you know what to put in your garden and why? After Jay sings the "Permaculture Song", he shows you how to gain clarity on the different elements and functions of each piece of your design by drawing a diagram of needs, inputs, yields & outputs, behaviors, characteristics, and the connections between them. Ultimately, these niche analysis tools of design can be used to look at society-level structures such as holocracy and sociocracy.

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Singing makes permaculture more fun! Watch Jay sing the “Permaculture Song” before he goes into the analytics of niches.

How do you know what to put in your garden and why?

In this lesson, Jay shows you how to gain clarity on the different elements and functions of each piece of your design by drawing a diagram of needs, inputs, yields & outputs, behaviors, characteristics, and the connections between them. He expands on different ways to diagram things and how to integrate them to offer you a whole view of your garden. The basic structure of garden design can be extrapolated to society level structures like holocracy and sociocracy.

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Lecture 18 – Bird Songshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-bird-songs-48 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-bird-songs-48#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:46:40 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4544 Bird songs actually contain important information that you can tap into. Learn how to recognize five basic bird calls: 1. Song 2. Companion Call 3. Fledgling 4. Territorial Aggression 5. Alarm. Understanding bird language is one method of pattern recognition and observation that is easy for anyone to develop, demonstrating the very important, foremost permaculture principle: Observe and Interact.

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Bird songs actually contain important information that you can tap into. Birds can alert you to changes in climate or nearby dangers, if you are able to decode their song. Jay introduces the process of bird song recognition. There are five basic types of bird calls: 1. Song 2. Companion Call 3. Fledgling 4. Territorial Aggression 5. Alarm.

Understanding bird language is one method of pattern recognition and observation that is easy for anyone to develop, demonstrating the very important, foremost permaculture principle: Observe and Interact.

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Lecture 19 – Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-57 https://www.openpermaculture.com/design-and-patterns/design-and-patterns-design-57#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:21:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4488 Design that serves multiple functions is efficient in its use of energy and resources including time and space. Heat from a cob oven bench can be used for 11 different things! Learn more about multi-functional designs like carbon dioxide exchange between animals and plants in a greenhouse, sunken gardens for rain catchment, green roofs, upcycled building materials, and more.

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Design that serves multiple functions is efficient in its use of energy and resources including time and space. Heat from a cob oven bench can be used for 11 different things! When we can utilize natural outputs like heat, instead of simply letting it diffuse through the air, we get extra functions for free.

Learn more about multi-functional designs like carbon dioxide exchange between animals and plants in a greenhouse, sunken gardens for rain catchment, green roofs, upcycled building materials, and more. Urban areas are ripe with opportunity for multi-functional design. From wall spaces to window planters to balconies, there is a wealth of potential for permaculture design.

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Lecture 20 – Climatehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-climate-42 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-climate-42#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 02:47:22 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4546 Permaculture uses many simple methods to manipulate temperature and humidity in microclimates.

Zones and sectors are a permaculture method for incorporating natural energy flows like wind, water, sun, and fire into the garden design. Learn about different ways to create microclimates, and how to invite, block, or store wind, water, sun, and fire.

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It’s typical to think that climate can’t be controlled, but global warming proves otherwise. Our activities contribute to climate change whether we’re aware of it or not. Microclimates are a good way to start thinking about human-controlled climate. Permaculture uses many simple methods to manipulate temperature and humidity in microclimates.

Zones and sectors are a permaculture method for incorporating natural energy flows like wind, water, sun, and fire into the garden design. Learn about different ways to create microclimates, and how to invite, block, or store wind, water, sun, and fire.

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Lecture 200 – Aaron Jay Schmidthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-200-aaron-jay-schmidt https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-200-aaron-jay-schmidt#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:44:15 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6623 Aaron Jay Schmidt, intern, discusses eco-building, natural building, futuristic natural living building design and ideas at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Aaron Jay Schmidt, intern, discusses eco-building, natural building, futuristic natural living building design and ideas at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Lecture 201 – Alline and Kurthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-201-alline-kurt https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-201-alline-kurt#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:45:39 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6626 Alline and Kurt Anderson, co-owners, discuss solar power, wind power, running an eco B&B, ecovillage living, and straw bale building at their solar and wind powered, straw bale, natural plastered Eco B&B "The Milkweed Mercantile," Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutlege, MO.

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Alline and Kurt Anderson, co-owners, discuss solar power, wind power, running an eco B&B, ecovillage living, and straw bale building at their solar and wind powered, straw bale, natural plastered Eco B&B “The Milkweed Mercantile,” Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutlege, MO.

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Lecture 202 – Asher Gelbarthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-202-asher-gelbart https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-202-asher-gelbart#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:46:06 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6628 Asher Gelbart, biodiesel pioneer, homesteader, and sustainable living product maker, discusses biodiesel, spirituality, sustainable community, sustainable living, and eco-business at Asher's "Green Energy Now" biodiesel garage in Mimbres, NM.

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Asher Gelbart, biodiesel pioneer, homesteader, and sustainable living product maker, discusses biodiesel, spirituality, sustainable community, sustainable living, and eco-business at Asher’s “Green Energy Now” biodiesel garage in Mimbres, NM.

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Lecture 203 – Ashton Martinhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-203-ashton-martin https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-203-ashton-martin#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:46:36 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6630 Ashton Martin, garden intern, discusses gardening, farming, education, and sustainable community at Karlin Family Farms CSA in Lawrence, KS.

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Ashton Martin, garden intern, discusses gardening, farming, education, and sustainable community at Karlin Family Farms CSA in Lawrence, KS.

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Lecture 204 – Bill McKibbenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-204-bill-mckibben https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-204-bill-mckibben#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:47:15 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6632 Bill McKibben, 350.org founder, climate change expert, professor, author of multiple books, Christian, and interviewee in many films, discusses climate change, sustainable community, spirituality, and sustainability at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society Church in Middlebury, VT (Bill's hometown, and Greenest Church in the state of Vermont).

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Bill McKibben, 350.org founder, climate change expert, professor, author of multiple books, Christian, and interviewee in many films, discusses climate change, sustainable community, spirituality, and sustainability at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society Church in Middlebury, VT (Bill’s hometown, and Greenest Church in the state of Vermont).

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Lecture 205 – Bob Dixonhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-205-bob-dixon https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-205-bob-dixon#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:49:03 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6634 Bob Dixon, Mayor of Greensburg, KS, character in "Greensburg" Discovery Channel TV Show (executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio), and interviewee in much media, discusses sustainable community, sustainability, ancestors knowledge, christianity, conservatism, wind power, adobe brick building, and LEED building at the City Hall Chambers, Greensburg, KS (in brand new LEED Platinum City Hall building, after tornado destroyed old building and entire town).

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Bob Dixon, Mayor of Greensburg, KS, character in “Greensburg” Discovery Channel TV Show (executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio), and interviewee in much media, discusses sustainable community, sustainability, ancestors knowledge, christianity, conservatism, wind power, adobe brick building, and LEED building at the City Hall Chambers, Greensburg, KS (in brand new LEED Platinum City Hall building, after tornado destroyed old building and entire town).

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Lecture 206 – Brady and Troy Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-206-brady-troy-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-206-brady-troy-tour#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:49:32 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6636 Brady Karlin and Troy Karlin, brothers and co-founders of Karlin Family Farms CSA, discuss community supported agriculture, farming, and permaculture at the Karlin Family Farms CSA in Lawrence, KS.

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Brady Karlin and Troy Karlin, brothers and co-founders of Karlin Family Farms CSA, discuss community supported agriculture, farming, and permaculture at the Karlin Family Farms CSA in Lawrence, KS.

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Lecture 207 – Brady Karlinhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-207-brady-karlin https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-207-brady-karlin#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:49:59 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6638 Brady Karlin, permaculturist, bicyclist, raw foodist, character in Within Reach movie (joined bike journey for a few months and is featured for a segment of the movie), and co-creator of Karlin Family Far, discusses sustainable community, permaculture, sustainability, spirituality at the Karlin Family Farms CSA in Lawrence, KS.

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Brady Karlin, permaculturist, bicyclist, raw foodist, character in Within Reach movie (joined bike journey for a few months and is featured for a segment of the movie), and co-creator of Karlin Family Far, discusses sustainable community, permaculture, sustainability, spirituality at the Karlin Family Farms CSA in Lawrence, KS.

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Lecture 208 – Brother Scotthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-208-brother-scott https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-208-brother-scott#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:50:27 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6640 Brother Scott, co-founder, Solstice Homesteading Community, and guitar maker, discusses homesteading, sustainable community, and spirituality at Brewsters Pizza-Wimberly Brewing Company in Wimberly, TX.

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Brother Scott, co-founder, Solstice Homesteading Community, and guitar maker, discusses homesteading, sustainable community, and spirituality at Brewsters Pizza-Wimberly Brewing Company in Wimberly, TX.

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Lecture 209 – Bruce Colliehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-209-bruce-collie https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-209-bruce-collie#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:50:56 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6642 Bruce Collie, past Suberbowl winning 49er offensive linebacker (played with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice) and Eco-restaurant business builder/owner discusses eco-business at Brewsters Pizza-Wimberly Brewing Company in Wimberly, TX.

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Bruce Collie, past Suberbowl winning 49er offensive linebacker (played with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice) and Eco-restaurant business builder/owner discusses eco-business at Brewsters Pizza-Wimberly Brewing Company in Wimberly, TX.

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Lecture 21 – Climatehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-activityclimate-50 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-activityclimate-50#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:22:31 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4490 Climate seems like a force of nature you'd never control, but in fact there are ways to change it on both a large scale and a local, micro scale. A little game demonstrating group energy can show you the principles behind planetary climate change. Max also introduces plant guilds and communities, greywater systems, appropriate technology, and biomimicry.

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Max starts his introduction with a little game demonstrating the effects of group energy. He continues to tell a touching story of how his miraculous survival from a head on collision ultimately brought him to learn about permaculture, which contained much practical wisdom for sustainable living.

Climate and biogeography are the foundation to understanding what plants and animals will thrive in your garden. Max introduces basics of ecological zones, and how to modify weather on both a large scale and a local, micro scale. He also introduces plant guilds and communities, greywater systems, appropriate technology, and biomimicry.

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Lecture 210 – Charris Fordhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-210-charris-ford https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-210-charris-ford#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:51:26 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6644 Charris Ford, Daryl Hannah's eco-activism mentor, biodiesel pioneer, and sustainable community member discusses spirituality, sustainable community, rapping, sustainability, biodiesel, and Daryl Hannah at an Anonymous Hot Springs Community in Mimbres, NM.

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Charris Ford, Daryl Hannah’s eco-activism mentor, biodiesel pioneer, and sustainable community member discusses spirituality, sustainable community, rapping, sustainability, biodiesel, and Daryl Hannah at an Anonymous Hot Springs Community in Mimbres, NM.

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Lecture 211 – Cob and Meadowhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-211-cob-meadow https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-211-cob-meadow#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:52:33 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6646 Cob and Meadoe, members of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, non-violent communication (compassionate communication) practitioners, gardeners, and natural builders discuss conflict, non-violent communication, life in community raising kids and more at Cob and Meadow's home, "Thistledown," Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Cob and Meadoe, members of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, non-violent communication (compassionate communication) practitioners, gardeners, and natural builders discuss conflict, non-violent communication, life in community raising kids and more at Cob and Meadow’s home, “Thistledown,” Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Lecture 212 – Colin Seamanhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-212-colin-seaman https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-212-colin-seaman#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:53:01 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6648 Colin Seaman, son of Melissa Seaman, resident at Avalon Springs, discusses sustainable community from a kids perspective at Avalon Springs Spiritual Healing Sustainable Community in Middletown, CA.

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Colin Seaman, son of Melissa Seaman, resident at Avalon Springs, discusses sustainable community from a kids perspective at Avalon Springs Spiritual Healing Sustainable Community in Middletown, CA.

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Lecture 213 – Ina May Gaskinhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-213-ina-may-gaskin https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-213-ina-may-gaskin#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:53:49 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6650 Ina May Gaskin, (Mother of midwifery in USA and leading Midwife, author of multiple books including the well known book "Spiritual Midwifery," co-founder of The Farm (the largest commune in the USA during the 70's (at 1500 people at the time) and to this day one of the largest intentional/sustainable/spiritual communities in the USA (current population of 200), interviewee in many films, and recipient of "The Right Livelihood Award," discusses midwifery, sustainable community, and hospital birthing at Ina May Gaskin's house, The Farm in Summertown, TN.

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Ina May Gaskin, (Mother of midwifery in USA and leading Midwife, author of multiple books including the well known book “Spiritual Midwifery,” co-founder of The Farm (the largest commune in the USA during the 70’s (at 1500 people at the time) and to this day one of the largest intentional/sustainable/spiritual communities in the USA (current population of 200), interviewee in many films, and recipient of “The Right Livelihood Award,” discusses midwifery, sustainable community, and hospital birthing at Ina May Gaskin’s house, The Farm in Summertown, TN.

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Lecture 214 – Kassia Arbabihttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-214-kassia-arbabi https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-214-kassia-arbabi#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:57:26 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6652 Kassia Arbabi, member of Woodfolk House, previous member of nearby Twin Oaks Commune, gardener, and musician discusses sustainable community and gardening at the Woodfolk House Sustainable Community Co-op House in Charlottesville, VA.

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Kassia Arbabi, member of Woodfolk House, previous member of nearby Twin Oaks Commune, gardener, and musician discusses sustainable community and gardening at the Woodfolk House Sustainable Community Co-op House in Charlottesville, VA.

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Lecture 215 – Mandy & Ryanhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-215-mandy-ryan https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-215-mandy-ryan#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 02:57:49 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6654 Mandy Creighton, Executive Director, and Ryan Ao, Director/Founder of Within Reach movie, Within Reach sustainable community presentation, discuss the Within Reach movie, sustainable community, sustainability, non-violent communication, Marshal Rosenberg, Alfred Max Neef, fundamental human needs, mind map, mandala, economics, health, education, and food at the Liberty Hall Theater in Downtown Lawrence, KS.

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Mandy Creighton, Executive Director, and Ryan Ao, Director/Founder of Within Reach movie, Within Reach sustainable community presentation, discuss the Within Reach movie, sustainable community, sustainability, non-violent communication, Marshal Rosenberg, Alfred Max Neef, fundamental human needs, mind map, mandala, economics, health, education, and food at the Liberty Hall Theater in Downtown Lawrence, KS.

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Lecture 216 – Nina Leopold Bradleyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-216-nina-leopold-bradley https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-216-nina-leopold-bradley#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:00:21 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6656 Nina Leopold Bradley interview, Aldo Leopold's Daughter (Aldo wrote basically the first modern environmental classic book "A Sand County Almanac" and was partially if not totally responsible for the start of the environmental awareness movement in the USA), discusses sustainability, community, environment, and Aldo Leopold at Nina Leopold Bradley's Home in Baraboo, WI on Aldo Leopold's land within 1 mile proximity of "The Shack" that "A Sand County Almanac" takes place in.

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Nina Leopold Bradley interview, Aldo Leopold’s Daughter (Aldo wrote basically the first modern environmental classic book “A Sand County Almanac” and was partially if not totally responsible for the start of the environmental awareness movement in the USA), discusses sustainability, community, environment, and Aldo Leopold at Nina Leopold Bradley’s Home in Baraboo, WI on Aldo Leopold’s land within 1 mile proximity of “The Shack” that “A Sand County Almanac” takes place in.

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Lecture 217 – Pam Grouthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-217-pam-grout https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-217-pam-grout#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:36:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6658 Pam Grout, author of multiple best-selling books, mainstream magazine writer, screenwriter, and aspiring sustainable communitarian discusses scarcity, abundance, sustainable community, inspirational stories, money, gift economy, getting to know your neighbors, tearing down fences, doing sustainable community right where you are at, getting out of survival mode, unschooling, education, art and soul. spirituality. speaking in public, teaching, dancing rabbit ecovillage, possibility alliance, the zing, and creativity at the Karlin Family Farm in Lawrence, Kansas.

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Pam Grout, author of multiple best-selling books, mainstream magazine writer, screenwriter, and aspiring sustainable communitarian discusses scarcity, abundance, sustainable community, inspirational stories, money, gift economy, getting to know your neighbors, tearing down fences, doing sustainable community right where you are at, getting out of survival mode, unschooling, education, art and soul. spirituality. speaking in public, teaching, dancing rabbit ecovillage, possibility alliance, the zing, and creativity at the Karlin Family Farm in Lawrence, Kansas.

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Lecture 218 – Richard Heinberghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-218-richard-heinberg https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-218-richard-heinberg#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:37:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6660 Richard Heinberg, peak oil expert, professor, author of many books, and interviewee in many films discusses peak oil and community building at the Community Center in Sebastopol, CA.

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Richard Heinberg, peak oil expert, professor, author of many books, and interviewee in many films discusses peak oil and community building at the Community Center in Sebastopol, CA.

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Lecture 219 – Ruth Ann Wedelhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-219-ruth-ann-wedel https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-219-ruth-ann-wedel#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:37:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6662 Ruth Ann Wedel, site manager, resident of Greenstown, Christian, conservative, and environmentalist discusses spirituality, sustainability, sustainable community, and tornados at the Greensburg Greentown Headquarters LEED Building, and 510 Art Center (LEED Platinum) in Greensburg, KS.

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Ruth Ann Wedel, site manager, resident of Greenstown, Christian, conservative, and environmentalist discusses spirituality, sustainability, sustainable community, and tornados at the Greensburg Greentown Headquarters LEED Building, and 510 Art Center (LEED Platinum) in Greensburg, KS.

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Lecture 22 – Climate + Zoneshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-climatezones-51 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-climatezones-51#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:22:58 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4492 If the climate on your property isn't serving you well, you can create microclimates. Whether it's mitigating wind, blocking sunlight, or preventing fires, there's a solution available to fit your needs.
Max teaches the class about zone analysis. Zones are designed to minimize energy spent on traveling. Learn about creative ways to zone, and innovative methods to create microclimates in your area.

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If the climate on your property isn’t serving you well, you can create microclimates. Create heat by putting rocks under a tree, keeping the tree warm during cold winters. Through careful observation of the elements – air, water, fire, earth – you can harness their energies to create microclimates. Whether it’s mitigating wind, blocking sunlight, or preventing fires, there’s a solution available to fit your needs.

Max teaches the class about zone analysis. Zones are designed to minimize energy spent on traveling. Whatever needs the most attention and care from you should be closest to you in terms of distance. Those things that don’t need so much attention and care from you should be further away. Learn about creative ways to zone, and innovative methods to create microclimates in your area.

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Lecture 220 – Samhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-220-sam https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-220-sam#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:38:19 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6664 Sam, single mother and Ecovillage member discusses being a single mother in an ecovillage at Sam's eco-rental home "The Grain Silo," Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, MO.

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Sam, single mother and Ecovillage member discusses being a single mother in an ecovillage at Sam’s eco-rental home “The Grain Silo,” Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, MO.

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Lecture 221 – Scott Kellogghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-221-scott-kellogg https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-221-scott-kellogg#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:45:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6666 Scott Kellogg, Author "Toolbox for Sustainable City Living," co-founder of "The Rhyzome Collective, Austin, and TX urban anarchist sustainable community discusses Rhyzome Collective co-founder, sustainable community, anarchy, anarchist collective, anarchist sustainable community, urban sustainability, end times, 2012, children, conflicts, greywater, permitting, and compost toilets at The Rhyzome Collective in Austin, TX.

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Scott Kellogg, Author “Toolbox for Sustainable City Living,” co-founder of “The Rhyzome Collective, Austin, and TX urban anarchist sustainable community discusses Rhyzome Collective co-founder, sustainable community, anarchy, anarchist collective, anarchist sustainable community, urban sustainability, end times, 2012, children, conflicts, greywater, permitting, and compost toilets at The Rhyzome Collective in Austin, TX.

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Lecture 222 – Scott Mathiasonhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-222-scott-mathiason https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-222-scott-mathiason#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:46:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6668 Scott Mathiason, owner of Laguna Farm, Sebastopol, CA one of largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in nation at one point, biodiesel expert, veggie oil conversion expert, tinkerer, and genius discusses growing food, sustainable community, making ethanol out of trash wine, and biofuels at Laguna Farm Community Supported Agriculture in Sebastopol, CA.

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Scott Mathiason, owner of Laguna Farm, Sebastopol, CA one of largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in nation at one point, biodiesel expert, veggie oil conversion expert, tinkerer, and genius discusses growing food, sustainable community, making ethanol out of trash wine, and biofuels at Laguna Farm Community Supported Agriculture in Sebastopol, CA.

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Lecture 223 – Taylor Schmidt and Friendshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-223-taylor-schmidt-friends https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-223-taylor-schmidt-friends#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:46:37 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6670 Taylor Schmidt, Charlsea Crotts, and Georgia Rae Abrams: (1st 2 kids from Greensburg, stars of Greensburg TV show on Discovery Channel that Leonardo DiCaprio Executive Produced) discuss sustainability, sustainable community, Greensburg, and hope for future at the sidewalk in front of Studio 54 in Greensburg, KS.

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Taylor Schmidt, Charlsea Crotts, and Georgia Rae Abrams: (1st 2 kids from Greensburg, stars of Greensburg TV show on Discovery Channel that Leonardo DiCaprio Executive Produced) discuss sustainability, sustainable community, Greensburg, and hope for future at the sidewalk in front of Studio 54 in Greensburg, KS.

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Lecture 224 – Thomas and Alihttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-224-thomas-ali https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-224-thomas-ali#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:47:02 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6672 Ali Brown and Thomas Kortkamp @ Thomas's tiny eco/salvaged/natural building materials cabin discuss simple living, rooting, localization, wild edibles, food foraging, wild harvesting, eco-building, salvaged material building, and living roof at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, MO.

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Ali Brown and Thomas Kortkamp @ Thomas’s tiny eco/salvaged/natural building materials cabin discuss simple living, rooting, localization, wild edibles, food foraging, wild harvesting, eco-building, salvaged material building, and living roof at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, MO.

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Lecture 225 – Dan Phillipshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-225-dan-phillips https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-225-dan-phillips#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:47:22 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6674 Dan Phillips, recycled/salvaged materials builder, and TED Talk presenter discusses low income housing, recycled materials, and salvaged materials building at the neighborhood where he builds many of these homes with low income families in Huntsville, TX

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Dan Phillips, recycled/salvaged materials builder, and TED Talk presenter discusses low income housing, recycled materials, and salvaged materials building at the neighborhood where he builds many of these homes with low income families in Huntsville, TX

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Lecture 226 – Eustace Conwayhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-226-eustace-conway https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-226-eustace-conway#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:47:47 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6676 Eustace Conway, subject of Elizabeth Gilbert's book "The Last American Man," survival skills master, naturalist, founder/owner Turtle Island Preserve, sustainability expert, homesteading master, teacher, cross country horse back and covered wagon journeyer, roadkill utilization expert, mechanic, handyman, gardener, and farmer discusses sustainable community, survival skills, and naturalist at the Turtle Island Preserve in Boone, NC.

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Eustace Conway, subject of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “The Last American Man,” survival skills master, naturalist, founder/owner Turtle Island Preserve, sustainability expert, homesteading master, teacher, cross country horse back and covered wagon journeyer, roadkill utilization expert, mechanic, handyman, gardener, and farmer discusses sustainable community, survival skills, and naturalist at the Turtle Island Preserve in Boone, NC.

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Lecture 229 – Holy Scrap Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-229-holy-scrap-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-229-holy-scrap-tour#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:49:16 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6682 Wendy Jehanara and Mikey Skylar, musicians, innovators, sustainable homesteaders, localization advocates, local community advocates, co-founders of hot springs b&b, bloggers, skillsharers, founders of swap-o-rama-rama, engineer, female punk band members, and papercrete experts discuss sustainable community, localization, papercrete, solar systems, and sustainability topics at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

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Wendy Jehanara and Mikey Skylar, musicians, innovators, sustainable homesteaders, localization advocates, local community advocates, co-founders of hot springs b&b, bloggers, skillsharers, founders of swap-o-rama-rama, engineer, female punk band members, and papercrete experts discuss sustainable community, localization, papercrete, solar systems, and sustainability topics at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

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Lecture 23 – Shelter + Climatehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-shelterclimate-52 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-shelterclimate-52#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:23:37 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4494 Like growing food and plants, taking on the task of building shelters is a great feat. You can expect to make mistakes in the process and sometimes, you have to start all over again. But it's okay, just laugh at yourself and move on. In this lesson, learn about how to build shelters from natural materials like earthen plaster, straw, wood, cob, and papercrete.

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In permaculture, it’s okay to make mistakes – they’re an opportunity to exercise extra creativity. In fact, the problem is the solution. There are lots of great life lessons to be learned from studying permaculture. Like growing food and plants, taking on the task of building shelters is a great feat. You can expect to make mistakes in the process and sometimes, you have to start all over again. But it’s okay, just laugh at yourself and move on.

Learn about how to build shelters from natural materials like earthen plaster, straw, wood, cob, and papercrete. Study geodesic domes, wells, and walls. Max also goes on to talk about the three greatest challenges in permaculture and shares inspiring stories from social change around the world.

Read Lecture 23 – Shelter + Climate on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 230 – Janel Healyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-230-janel-healy https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-230-janel-healy#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:49:40 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6684 Janel Healy, intern at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, member of Twin Oaks Community, social media/networking staff member at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and professional cruise ship lounge singer discusses women's empowerment, natural building, intentional community, sustainable community, singing, and music.

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Janel Healy, intern at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, member of Twin Oaks Community, social media/networking staff member at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and professional cruise ship lounge singer discusses women’s empowerment, natural building, intentional community, sustainable community, singing, and music.

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Lecture 231 – Jen Jenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-231-jen-jen https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-231-jen-jen#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:50:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6686 Jen "Jen Jen" Newberry, intern at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and natural builder discusses natural building, underground home, sandbag building, and thermal mass at Jen's worktrade space, "The Knome Dome," Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Read Lecture 231 – Jen Jen on Open Permaculture School!

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Jen “Jen Jen” Newberry, intern at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and natural builder discusses natural building, underground home, sandbag building, and thermal mass at Jen’s worktrade space, “The Knome Dome,” Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Lecture 232 – Jes Karperhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-232-jes-karper https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-232-jes-karper#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:50:57 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6688 Jes Karper, Belizian rainforest naturalist, researcher, kayak tour guide, surfer, outdoor adventurer, traveling musician, sustainable communitarian, spiritual seeker, shaman, bug expert, mystic, sage, bohemian, and Tryon Life community farm lectureial member discusses spirituality and sustainable community at the Side of Highway east of Tucson, AZ.

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Jes Karper, Belizian rainforest naturalist, researcher, kayak tour guide, surfer, outdoor adventurer, traveling musician, sustainable communitarian, spiritual seeker, shaman, bug expert, mystic, sage, bohemian, and Tryon Life community farm lectureial member discusses spirituality and sustainable community at the Side of Highway east of Tucson, AZ.

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Lecture 233 – Jibran Ludwighttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-233-jibran-ludwig https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-233-jibran-ludwig#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:51:20 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6690 Jibran Ludwig, son of Maikwe Ludwig-Shaub, and resident at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage discusses children, governance, living in an ecovillage, and education at the Ultimate Frisbee Field, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Jibran Ludwig, son of Maikwe Ludwig-Shaub, and resident at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage discusses children, governance, living in an ecovillage, and education at the Ultimate Frisbee Field, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Lecture 234 – Laird Schaubhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-234-laird-schaub https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-234-laird-schaub#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:51:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6692 Laird Schaub, executive director, Fellowship for Intentional Community, and co-founder of Sandhill Farms Commune discusses intentional community and community decision making at the The Moon Lodge, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Laird Schaub, executive director, Fellowship for Intentional Community, and co-founder of Sandhill Farms Commune discusses intentional community and community decision making at the The Moon Lodge, Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Lecture 235 – Liat Batshirahttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-235-liat-batshira https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-235-liat-batshira#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:52:03 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6694 Liat Batshira, member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, natural builder, and gardener discusses natural building and sustainable community at the Liat's Bus "Aubergine," Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Liat Batshira, member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, natural builder, and gardener discusses natural building and sustainable community at the Liat’s Bus “Aubergine,” Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Read Lecture 235 – Liat Batshira on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 236 – Liat Batshira Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-236-liat-batshira-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-236-liat-batshira-tour#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:53:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6696 Liat Batshira, member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, natural builder, and gardener discusses sustainable community, ecovillage living, natural building, cob building, straw bale building, permaculture, gardening, and farming at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, MO.

Read Lecture 236 – Liat Batshira Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Liat Batshira, member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, natural builder, and gardener discusses sustainable community, ecovillage living, natural building, cob building, straw bale building, permaculture, gardening, and farming at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, MO.

Read Lecture 236 – Liat Batshira Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 237 – Libby and Tristenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-237-libby-tristen https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-237-libby-tristen#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:53:37 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6698 Libby Reinish and Tristen, "Whittled Down" blog creators, and homesteaders, discuss how to make a rocket stove at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

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Libby Reinish and Tristen, “Whittled Down” blog creators, and homesteaders, discuss how to make a rocket stove at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

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Lecture 238 – Maikwehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-238-maikwe https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-238-maikwe#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:54:01 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6700 Maikwe Schaub Ludwig, (married to Laird Schaub), member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, author, and Ted Talk presenter on topic of sustainable living, discusses spirituality and activism, sustainable community, and intentional community at Maikwe's home "The Moon Lodge," at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Read Lecture 238 – Maikwe on Open Permaculture School!

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Maikwe Schaub Ludwig, (married to Laird Schaub), member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, author, and Ted Talk presenter on topic of sustainable living, discusses spirituality and activism, sustainable community, and intentional community at Maikwe’s home “The Moon Lodge,” at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Read Lecture 238 – Maikwe on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 239 – Mark Maziottihttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-239-mark-maziotti https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-239-mark-maziotti#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:54:32 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6702 Mark Mazziotti, straw bale building expert, discusses straw bale building, gardening, and sustainable community homesteading.

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Mark Mazziotti, straw bale building expert, discusses straw bale building, gardening, and sustainable community homesteading.

Read Lecture 239 – Mark Maziotti on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 24 – Design + Soilshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/053-plants-climates-and-soils-designsoils https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/053-plants-climates-and-soils-designsoils#comments Thu, 16 May 2013 22:47:36 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4647 Frustrated by your soil? In this lesson, learn about some simple steps you can take to build healthy soil. Max teaches natural and human methods to build soil, and also touches on how to create microclimates.

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Soil is the cornerstone of life, and yet it eludes and frustrates most people. When your plants don’t grow well, it’s incredibly humbling to not know exactly what’s going on. If you take steps to nourish your soil, you can prevent frustrations from low nutrients, weeds, and disease later on.

In this lesson, Max introduces us to some foundational permaculture techniques to help build healthy soil, using a combination of both natural and human processes. These include lasagna gardening, using soil-building plants, sheet mulching, and easy ways to take care of weeds. He also touches on methods that help create microclimates, such as a sun trap, and a keyhole garden design known as a trigon.

Read Lecture 24 – Design + Soils on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 240 – Melissa Seamanhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-240-melissa-seaman https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-240-melissa-seaman#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:54:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6704 Melissa Seaman, co-founder of Avalan Springs Community, lawyer, Stanford graduate, and business expert, discusses spirituality and sustainable community at Avalon Springs in Middletown, CA.

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Melissa Seaman, co-founder of Avalan Springs Community, lawyer, Stanford graduate, and business expert, discusses spirituality and sustainable community at Avalon Springs in Middletown, CA.

Read Lecture 240 – Melissa Seaman on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 241 – Mikey Battery Weldinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-241-mikey-battery-welding https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-241-mikey-battery-welding#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:55:26 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6706 Mikey Skylar, innovator, sustainable homesteader, localization advocate, local community advocate, co-founder of hot springs b&b, blogger, skillsharer, engineer, papercrete expert, and tinkerer, discusses car battery welding and skillsharing at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

Read Lecture 241 – Mikey Battery Welding on Open Permaculture School!

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Mikey Skylar, innovator, sustainable homesteader, localization advocate, local community advocate, co-founder of hot springs b&b, blogger, skillsharer, engineer, papercrete expert, and tinkerer, discusses car battery welding and skillsharing at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

Read Lecture 241 – Mikey Battery Welding on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 242 – Tony Sirnahttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-242-tony-sirna https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-242-tony-sirna#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:55:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6708 Tony Sirna, co-founder of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, discusses ecovillage living, sustainable community, economics, intentional community, cooperative living, village design, alternative currency, and building codes at Tony's room in shared home "Skyhouse Coop/Commune," in the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Read Lecture 242 – Tony Sirna on Open Permaculture School!

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Tony Sirna, co-founder of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, discusses ecovillage living, sustainable community, economics, intentional community, cooperative living, village design, alternative currency, and building codes at Tony’s room in shared home “Skyhouse Coop/Commune,” in the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Read Lecture 242 – Tony Sirna on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 243 – Troy Karlinhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-243-troy-karlin https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-243-troy-karlin#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:56:08 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6710 Troy Karlin, brother of Brady Karling, owner of A1-Permaculture Landscape Company, co-creator of Karlin Family Farm, and spiritualist, discusses sustainable community, permaculture, sustainability, and spirituality at the Karlin Family Farm in Lawrence, Kansas.

Read Lecture 243 – Troy Karlin on Open Permaculture School!

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Troy Karlin, brother of Brady Karling, owner of A1-Permaculture Landscape Company, co-creator of Karlin Family Farm, and spiritualist, discusses sustainable community, permaculture, sustainability, and spirituality at the Karlin Family Farm in Lawrence, Kansas.

Read Lecture 243 – Troy Karlin on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 244 – Wendy and Mikeyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-244-wendy-mikey https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-244-wendy-mikey#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:56:29 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6712 Wendy Jehanara and Mikey Skylar, musicians, innovators, sustainable homesteaders, localization advocates, local community adcovates, co-founders of hot springs b&b, bloggers, skillsharers, founders of swap-o-rama-rama, engineer, female punk band members, and papercrete experts, discuss sustainable community, localization, papercrete, solar systems, and sustainability topics at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

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Wendy Jehanara and Mikey Skylar, musicians, innovators, sustainable homesteaders, localization advocates, local community adcovates, co-founders of hot springs b&b, bloggers, skillsharers, founders of swap-o-rama-rama, engineer, female punk band members, and papercrete experts, discuss sustainable community, localization, papercrete, solar systems, and sustainability topics at the Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

Read Lecture 244 – Wendy and Mikey on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 245 – Ziggy – Aprilhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-245-ziggy-april https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-245-ziggy-april#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:56:52 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6714 Ziggy Liloia and April Morales, Cob building experts, discuss Cob building, natural building, and reclaimed resources building at their home, "Gobcobatron," at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

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Ziggy Liloia and April Morales, Cob building experts, discuss Cob building, natural building, and reclaimed resources building at their home, “Gobcobatron,” at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Read Lecture 245 – Ziggy – April on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 246 – Albert Bateshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-246-albert-bates https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-246-albert-bates#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:57:25 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6716 Albert Bates, author of multiple books, founder of The Ecovillage Training Center, The Farm, TN, original founding member of The Farm, TN, lawyer, and biochar expert/author, discusses biochar, history of biochar, and the tierra preta soils at The Ecovillage Training Center, The Farm, in Summertown, TN.

Read Lecture 246 – Albert Bates on Open Permaculture School!

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Albert Bates, author of multiple books, founder of The Ecovillage Training Center, The Farm, TN, original founding member of The Farm, TN, lawyer, and biochar expert/author, discusses biochar, history of biochar, and the tierra preta soils at The Ecovillage Training Center, The Farm, in Summertown, TN.

Read Lecture 246 – Albert Bates on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 247 – Beth Campbellhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-247-beth-campbell https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-247-beth-campbell#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:57:48 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6718 Beth Campbell (AKA The Great Gitchigoomie), member of The Possibility Alliance, participant of the Superhero Bikerides, natural building professional, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Beth Campbell (AKA The Great Gitchigoomie), member of The Possibility Alliance, participant of the Superhero Bikerides, natural building professional, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

Read Lecture 247 – Beth Campbell on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 248 – David Water Ramhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-248-david-water-ram https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-248-david-water-ram#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:58:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6720 David, co-founder of Dunmire Hollow and Professional Wood Worker, discusses hydro power and water ram at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

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David, co-founder of Dunmire Hollow and Professional Wood Worker, discusses hydro power and water ram at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

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Lecture 249 – Ethan Hugheshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-249-ethan-hughes https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-249-ethan-hughes#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:58:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6722 Ethan Hughes (AKA The Zing), co-founder of The Possibility Alliance, co-founder of the Superhero Bike rides, international sustainable community member, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Ethan Hughes (AKA The Zing), co-founder of The Possibility Alliance, co-founder of the Superhero Bike rides, international sustainable community member, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

Read Lecture 249 – Ethan Hughes on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 25 – Soilshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-7 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-7#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:48:28 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4459 Soil is alive, going through a development process from young and fertile, to old and deadpan. Its texture, moisture content, and mineral content are all important to consider in choosing what to plant. Larry discusses a few big issues in permaculture and social change, then delves deep into the physical properties of soil - horizons, development, texture, organic matter, minerals, and nutrient composition.

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Soil is a complex system, with many different features that important in growing healthy plants. It’s alive, going through a development process from young and fertile, to old and deadpan. Its texture, moisture content, and mineral content are all important to consider in choosing what to plant.

Larry discusses a few big issues in permaculture and social change, then delves deep into the physical properties of soil – horizons, development, texture, organic matter, minerals, and nutrient composition.

Read Lecture 25 – Soils on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 250 – Harvey Bakerhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-250-harvey-baker https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-250-harvey-baker#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 03:59:04 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6724 Harvey Baker, co-founder Dunmire Hollow Sustainable Community, board member fellowship for intentional communities, board member, communal studies organization board member, professional woodworker, PhD in math, expert gardener, and soccer coach discusses intentional community, sustainable community, and old community from the 70's at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

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Harvey Baker, co-founder Dunmire Hollow Sustainable Community, board member fellowship for intentional communities, board member, communal studies organization board member, professional woodworker, PhD in math, expert gardener, and soccer coach discusses intentional community, sustainable community, and old community from the 70’s at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

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Lecture 251 – Harvey Baker Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-251-harvey-baker-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-251-harvey-baker-tour#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:00:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6726 Harvey Baker, co-founder Dunmire Hollow Sustainable Community, board member fellowship for intentional communities, board member, communal studies organization board member, professional woodworker, PhD in math, expert gardener, and soccer coach discusses intentional community, sustainable community, and old community from the 70's at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

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Harvey Baker, co-founder Dunmire Hollow Sustainable Community, board member fellowship for intentional communities, board member, communal studies organization board member, professional woodworker, PhD in math, expert gardener, and soccer coach discusses intentional community, sustainable community, and old community from the 70’s at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

Read Lecture 251 – Harvey Baker Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 252 – HSHS Skillsharehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-252-hshs-skillshare https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-252-hshs-skillshare#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:01:14 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6728 Holy Scrap Hot Springs Homesteading Online Blogging Community In Person Workshop Weekend discusses sustainability, homesteading, art, spirituality, how-to, community, alternative fuels, and sustainable community at Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

Read Lecture 252 – HSHS Skillshare on Open Permaculture School!

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Holy Scrap Hot Springs Homesteading Online Blogging Community In Person Workshop Weekend discusses sustainability, homesteading, art, spirituality, how-to, community, alternative fuels, and sustainable community at Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences in NM.

Read Lecture 252 – HSHS Skillshare on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 253 – Leigh Merinoffhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-253-leigh-merinoff https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-253-leigh-merinoff#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:01:34 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6730 Leigh Merinoff, philanthropist, personal environmental library owner, urban sustainable homesteader, artist, and potter, discusses wealthy area urban sustainable homesteading, native plants, and permaculture near Bergen, NJ.

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Leigh Merinoff, philanthropist, personal environmental library owner, urban sustainable homesteader, artist, and potter, discusses wealthy area urban sustainable homesteading, native plants, and permaculture near Bergen, NJ.

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Lecture 254 – Qubeckhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-254-qubeck https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-254-qubeck#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:02:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6732 The Qubeck Family, co-founders of Dunmire Hollow Community, discuss intentional community, sustainable community, old community from the 70's, and struggles of community at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

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The Qubeck Family, co-founders of Dunmire Hollow Community, discuss intentional community, sustainable community, old community from the 70’s, and struggles of community at Dunmire Hollow in Waynesboro, TN.

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Lecture 255 – Sarah Hugheshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-255-sarah-hughes https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-255-sarah-hughes#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:02:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6734 Sarah Hughes (AKA Tigerlily), co-founder of The Possibility Alliance, co-founder of the Superhero Bikerides, international sustainable community member, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Sarah Hughes (AKA Tigerlily), co-founder of The Possibility Alliance, co-founder of the Superhero Bikerides, international sustainable community member, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Lecture 256 – Stardust Laundryhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-256-stardust-laundry https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-256-stardust-laundry#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:03:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6736 Stardust, intern at Possibility Alliance, world traveler, superhero bike ride participant/organizer and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses handwashing laundry in an Amish style washbasin at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Stardust, intern at Possibility Alliance, world traveler, superhero bike ride participant/organizer and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses handwashing laundry in an Amish style washbasin at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Lecture 257 – The Zing Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-257-zing-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-257-zing-tour#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:03:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6738 Ethan Hughes (AKA The Zing), co-founder of The Possibility Alliance, co-founder of the Superhero Bike rides, international sustainable community member, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Ethan Hughes (AKA The Zing), co-founder of The Possibility Alliance, co-founder of the Superhero Bike rides, international sustainable community member, and lives with no petroleum or electricity use, discusses sustainable community, gift economy, sustainable living, and spirituality at the Possibility Alliance in MO.

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Lecture 258 – Twin Oakshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-258-twin-oaks https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-258-twin-oaks#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:04:06 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6740 Paxus Caltus, anti-nuclear activist, blogger, brother of lead singer from the band "They Might Be Giants," and member of Twin Oaks, discusses intentional community, communal living, and open relationships in Twin Oaks, VA.

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Paxus Caltus, anti-nuclear activist, blogger, brother of lead singer from the band “They Might Be Giants,” and member of Twin Oaks, discusses intentional community, communal living, and open relationships in Twin Oaks, VA.

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Lecture 259 – Paxushttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-259-paxus https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-259-paxus#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:04:26 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6742 Paxus Caltus, anti-nuclear activist, blogger, brother of lead singer from the band "They Might Be Giants," and member of Twin Oaks, discusses intentional community, communal living, and open relationships in Twin Oaks, VA.

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Paxus Caltus, anti-nuclear activist, blogger, brother of lead singer from the band “They Might Be Giants,” and member of Twin Oaks, discusses intentional community, communal living, and open relationships in Twin Oaks, VA.

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Lecture 26 – Soilshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-8 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-8#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:49:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4461 Understanding the biology and ecology of the soil is essential to prevent disasters like nitrate groundwater contamination and the creation of dead zones from excess nitrogen runoff. It is the biology in the soil that provides the nutrients, and so it is the biology that we must take care of in order to grow healthy, abundant plants. Larry teaches the class about nutrient migration, decomposition, root growth, rhizosphere interactions, beneficial microbes, the role of micro-organisms, the effects of plowing on the soil microbial community, and ways to build soil. He also discusses plant nutrients, animals, and composting worms.

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Addition of nitrate fertilizer to conventional crops has caused a slew of downstream problems, such as groundwater contamination, and dead zones in the ocean due to excess nitrogen runoff. Failure to understand the true mechanisms behind plant-soil nutrient exchange, as well as the persistent desire to mechanize agricultural ecosystems, are the root causes of these ecological disasters. It is the biology in the soil that provides the nutrients, and so it is the biology that we must take care of in order to grow healthy, abundant plants.

So what is the biology of the soil? Larry teaches the class about nutrient migration, decomposition, root growth, rhizosphere interactions, beneficial microbes, the role of micro-organisms, the effects of plowing on the soil microbial community, and ways to build soil. He also discusses plant nutrients, animals, and composting worms.

 

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Lecture 260 – Hydro Powerhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-260-hydro-power https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-260-hydro-power#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:04:47 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6744 Paul Caron, co-founder of Earthaven Community and professional woodworker discusses hydropower at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Paul Caron, co-founder of Earthaven Community and professional woodworker discusses hydropower at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Lecture 261 – Stocked Fish Pondhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-261-stocked-fish-pond https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-261-stocked-fish-pond#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:05:06 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6746 An anonymous fisherman discusses stocking a fish pond at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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An anonymous fisherman discusses stocking a fish pond at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Lecture 262 – DLC Earthaven Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-262-dlc-earthaven-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-262-dlc-earthaven-tour#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:05:25 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6748 Diana Leafe Christian, author, ecovillages expert, and past editor of Communities Magazine, discusses sustainable community and ecovillages at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Diana Leafe Christian, author, ecovillages expert, and past editor of Communities Magazine, discusses sustainable community and ecovillages at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Lecture 263 – Paul Caronhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-263-paul-caron https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-263-paul-caron#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:05:43 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6750 Paul Caron, co-founder Earthaven Community and professional woodworker, discusses sustainable community and getting along with the surrounding community/neighbors at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Paul Caron, co-founder Earthaven Community and professional woodworker, discusses sustainable community and getting along with the surrounding community/neighbors at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Lecture 264 – Havey Simple Manhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-264-havey-simple-man https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-264-havey-simple-man#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:06:03 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6752 Harvey Baumgard, Author of book about his mud house and simple man in WI, discusses simple homestead living, building a mud house with his hands, the Anastasia "Ringing Cedar of Russia" Book series, ET's/UFO's, growing food, pumping water, miniature horses, spirituality, tour of his homestead, and earthen sauna in Baraboo, WI.

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Harvey Baumgard, Author of book about his mud house and simple man in WI, discusses simple homestead living, building a mud house with his hands, the Anastasia “Ringing Cedar of Russia” Book series, ET’s/UFO’s, growing food, pumping water, miniature horses, spirituality, tour of his homestead, and earthen sauna in Baraboo, WI.

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Lecture 265 – Kristen Wrighthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-265-kristen-wright https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-265-kristen-wright#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:06:24 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6754 Kristen Wright, apartment gardener, discusses sustainable community and mainstream living while trying to live sustainably in an apartment in Jackson, Michigan.

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Kristen Wright, apartment gardener, discusses sustainable community and mainstream living while trying to live sustainably in an apartment in Jackson, Michigan.

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Lecture 266 – Earthaven Permaculture Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-266-earthaven-permaculture-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-266-earthaven-permaculture-tour#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:06:43 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6756 Melissa Thrumond, permaculture expert and Earthaven Ecovillage member discusses permaculture, Earthaven Ecovillage permaculture tour, and recycled material building at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Melissa Thrumond, permaculture expert and Earthaven Ecovillage member discusses permaculture, Earthaven Ecovillage permaculture tour, and recycled material building at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Lecture 267 – Red Moon Herbshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-267-red-moon-herbs https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-267-red-moon-herbs#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:07:04 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6758 Corinna Wood, Red Moon Herbs founder, Earthaven Ecovillage member, and herbalist discusses herbalism, wildcrafting, and natural medicinals at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Corinna Wood, Red Moon Herbs founder, Earthaven Ecovillage member, and herbalist discusses herbalism, wildcrafting, and natural medicinals at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Lecture 268 – Earth Lightshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-268-earth-lights https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-268-earth-lights#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:07:25 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6760 Greg Geis, electrical expert, homesteader, and Earthaven Ecovillage member discusses how he created lights using the energy of the earth and lay lines at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Greg Geis, electrical expert, homesteader, and Earthaven Ecovillage member discusses how he created lights using the energy of the earth and lay lines at the Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

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Lecture 269 – Stephen Gaskinhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-269-stephen-gaskin https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-269-stephen-gaskin#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:07:47 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6762 Stephen Gaskin, founder of The Farm, TN, recipient of "The Right Livelihood Award," author of many books, drummer in The Farm Band, Monday night classes professor SF state, and english professor, discusses sustainable community, intentional community, hippies, the history of the farm, the 60's, drugs, sex, marriage, family, communal life, pot, and spirituality at the Stephen's house, The Farm, in Summertown, TN.

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Stephen Gaskin, founder of The Farm, TN, recipient of “The Right Livelihood Award,” author of many books, drummer in The Farm Band, Monday night classes professor SF state, and english professor, discusses sustainable community, intentional community, hippies, the history of the farm, the 60’s, drugs, sex, marriage, family, communal life, pot, and spirituality at the Stephen’s house, The Farm, in Summertown, TN.

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Lecture 27 – Soilshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-9 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-9#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:49:30 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4463 Soil has often been seen as a lifeless medium, carelessly kicked about as dirt. The truth we have come to learn is that the soil is alive. It is teeming with bacteria, fungi, and other micro-organisms. The soil is sculpted by the interplay of climate, water, and plant growth. Understanding these elements is integral to good permaculture design. Larry introduces the class to soils - how they are made, their composition in different ecosystems, its relationship with water, how mountains and valleys are formed over geological time, how soil erosion happens, and how the decomposition process happens.

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Soil is often called the last frontier of modern science. We know more about the ecology of the ocean than we do about soil. Conventional agriculture treats soil as a lifeless mix of rocks and minerals. The truth we have come to learn is that the soil is alive. It is teeming with bacteria, fungi, and other micro-organisms. But how is soil made? How does climate sculpt the soil landscape? All of these elements influence how we do permaculture design.

Understanding the interplay of climate, water, and soil are integral to good plant growth. Larry introduces the class to soils – how they are made, their composition in different ecosystems, its relationship with water, how mountains and valleys are formed over geological time, how soil erosion happens, and how the decomposition process happens.

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Lecture 270 – Joyful Pathhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-270-joyful-path https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-270-joyful-path#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:08:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6764 Joyful Path eco-workshops discusses how to build a compost bin and how to install a rain barrel roof water catchment system at the Joyful Path Buddhist Monestary in Blue Mounds, WI.

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Joyful Path eco-workshops discusses how to build a compost bin and how to install a rain barrel roof water catchment system at the Joyful Path Buddhist Monestary in Blue Mounds, WI.

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Lecture 271 – Catherine Wanekhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-271-catherine-wanek https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-271-catherine-wanek#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:08:34 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6766 Catherine Wanek, natural building expert, author, video creator, and Black Range Lodge Eco-B&B owner discusses sustainable community, localization, local community, and straw bale building at the Black Range Lodge Eco-B&B in Kingston, NM.

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Catherine Wanek, natural building expert, author, video creator, and Black Range Lodge Eco-B&B owner discusses sustainable community, localization, local community, and straw bale building at the Black Range Lodge Eco-B&B in Kingston, NM.

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Lecture 272 – Liz Walkerhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-272-liz-walker https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-272-liz-walker#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:08:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6768 Liz Walker, author of "Ecovillage at Ithaca," member of Ecovillage at Ithaca, discusses sustainable community, localization, local community, local currency, affordable housing difficulties, co-housing, and city codes at the Common House & Her home, Ecovillage at Ithaca in Ithaca, NY.

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Liz Walker, author of “Ecovillage at Ithaca,” member of Ecovillage at Ithaca, discusses sustainable community, localization, local community, local currency, affordable housing difficulties, co-housing, and city codes at the Common House & Her home, Ecovillage at Ithaca in Ithaca, NY.

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Lecture 273 – Landerlandhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-273-landerland https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-273-landerland#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:09:20 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6770 Tom Lander, a natural building expert, discusses COB, straw bale, earthen plaster, and natural building at the Landerland in Kingston, NM.

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Tom Lander, a natural building expert, discusses COB, straw bale, earthen plaster, and natural building at the Landerland in Kingston, NM.

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Lecture 274 – Abundance Ecovillagehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-274-abundance-ecovillage https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-274-abundance-ecovillage#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:09:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6772 Erin Pillman, Robert Gongwer, Ryan Ao, and Mandy Creighton discuss sustainable community, ecovillage, spiritually designed buildings, personal sustainability stories, earth tubes, and solar power at the Abundance Ecovillage in Fairfield, IA.

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Erin Pillman, Robert Gongwer, Ryan Ao, and Mandy Creighton discuss sustainable community, ecovillage, spiritually designed buildings, personal sustainability stories, earth tubes, and solar power at the Abundance Ecovillage in Fairfield, IA.

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Lecture 275 – Rinpochehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-275-rinpoche https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-275-rinpoche#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:10:05 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6774 Domo Geshe Rinpoche the 9th, an author, Buddhist Lama, organic gardener, cook, and sustainable homesteader discusses sustainable community and sustainable living from a Buddhist perspective at the White Conch Dharma Center in Neilsville, WI.

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Domo Geshe Rinpoche the 9th, an author, Buddhist Lama, organic gardener, cook, and sustainable homesteader discusses sustainable community and sustainable living from a Buddhist perspective at the White Conch Dharma Center in Neilsville, WI.

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Lecture 276 – Marlee Gracehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-276-marlee-grace https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-276-marlee-grace#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:10:27 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6776 Marlee Grace Cook-Perrot, the inter-cooperative council president at the University of Michigan discusses co-op living and how living in coops is more sustainable at the Vail House Coop in Ann Arbor, MI.

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Marlee Grace Cook-Perrot, the inter-cooperative council president at the University of Michigan discusses co-op living and how living in coops is more sustainable at the Vail House Coop in Ann Arbor, MI.

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Lecture 277 – Phil Ricehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-277-phil-rice https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-277-phil-rice#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:10:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6778 Phil Rice, a researcher for the The Sustainability Institute discusses Dana Meadow's founding vision for Cobb Hill and the Sustainability Institute, sustainable community, and cohousing at the Cobb Hill Cohousing in Hartland, VT.

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Phil Rice, a researcher for the The Sustainability Institute discusses Dana Meadow’s founding vision for Cobb Hill and the Sustainability Institute, sustainable community, and cohousing at the Cobb Hill Cohousing in Hartland, VT.

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Lecture 278 – Earthshipshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-278-earthships https://www.openpermaculture.com/sustainability-interviews/lecture-278-earthships#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:11:08 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6780 Zachrey Helmberger, an engineer at Earthship Builder discusses the earthship tour, sustainable living and air tightness testing at Zach's Earthship House, Greater World Earthship Community in Taos, NM.

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Zachrey Helmberger, an engineer at Earthship Builder discusses the earthship tour, sustainable living and air tightness testing at Zach’s Earthship House, Greater World Earthship Community in Taos, NM.

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Lecture 28 – Soilshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-10 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-10#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:50:06 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4465 Soils are incredibly diverse, given the changing climates and topography across the planet. One key question in permaculture is, how can we design our communities to blend in with the natural environment? Every community has different characteristics and needs. Larry discusses composting mechanisms, trees and fungi, soil microbes, soils in non-farming ecosystems, deserts, urban environments, and community-centered design.

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Soil doesn’t just exist in nature and rural areas, it lies beneath our buildings and roads in urban areas. Soils are incredibly diverse, given the changing climates and topography across the planet. Some soils have higher salt content, others are desert soils. Each flavor of soil supports certain plants, even though they may seem like “harsh” environments.

One key question in permaculture is, how can we design our communities to blend in with the natural environment? Every community has different characteristics and needs. Climate differs in the city than the countryside. Larry discusses composting mechanisms, trees and fungi, soil microbes, soils in non-farming ecosystems, deserts, urban environments, and community-centered design.

 

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Lecture 29 – Soilshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-11 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-soils-11#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:51:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4467 Building soil requires feeding the soil micro-organisms organic matter, which can come in all different varieties.

Learn about methods for building soil, suppressing weeds, attracting earthworms, reducing labor, and soil water filtration. From greywater to blue jeans, there's something you've got that will feed your soil and make it grow happy plants.

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With soil becoming one of our most precious resources, preserving and building soil are becoming essential knowledge for any sustainable garden project. Building soil requires feeding the soil micro-organisms organic matter, which can come in all different varieties.

Learn about methods for building soil, suppressing weeds, attracting earthworms, reducing labor, and soil water filtration. From greywater to blue jeans, there’s something you’ve got that will feed your soil and make it grow happy plants.

Read Lecture 29 – Soils on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 30 – Soils + Mischttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-misc-18 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-misc-18#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:51:34 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4469 Sometimes you have to do things you can't morally align with, but it's important to be a bit flexible. Things never work out perfectly.

Larry begins talking about his personal life and connection with Fukuoka, sharing stories of his time in Japan. Larry advises that if you must plow, use a soil ripper and not a soil mixing plow, just to break up the hardpan.

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Sometimes you have to do things you can’t morally align with, but it’s important to be a bit flexible. Things never work out perfectly.

Larry begins talking about his personal life and connection with Fukuoka, sharing stories of his time in Japan. Larry advises that if you must plow, use a soil ripper and not a soil mixing plow, just to break up the hardpan.

Read Lecture 30 – Soils + Misc on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 31 – Soils + Mischttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-misc-22 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-climates-and-soils-misc-22#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:52:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4471 Larry Korn continues discussion about Fukuoka, sharing stories about his experiences with Fukuoka. He shares his story of the "hippy commune" where they fixed up the fields and hosted visitors. He talks about Bill Mollison, the founder of modern permaculture, and miscellaneous plant topics, such as fungi, plants, compost, fertilizers, and geography.

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Larry Korn continues discussion about Fukuoka, sharing stories about his experiences with Fukuoka. He shares his story of the “hippy commune” where they fixed up the fields and hosted visitors. He talks about Bill Mollison, the founder of modern permaculture, and miscellaneous plant topics, such as fungi, plants, compost, fertilizers, and geography.

Read Lecture 31 – Soils + Misc on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 32 – QA + Reviewhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/larry-korn-review-session-32 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/larry-korn-review-session-32#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:44:57 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4585 Read Lecture 32 – QA + Review on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 32 – QA + Review on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 33 – QA + Reviewhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/larry-korn-review-session-33 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/larry-korn-review-session-33#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:45:45 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4587 Read Lecture 33 – QA + Review on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 33 – QA + Review on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 34 – Fukuokahttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/fukuoka-larry-97 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/fukuoka-larry-97#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:23:04 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4606 Read Lecture 34 – Fukuoka on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 34 – Fukuoka on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 35 – Plantshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-larry-korn-101 https://www.openpermaculture.com/plants-climates-and-soils/plants-larry-korn-101#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:26:52 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4614 Read Lecture 35 – Plants on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 35 – Plants on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 36 – Waterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/wateraquaculture-water-12 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/wateraquaculture-water-12#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:53:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4473 There are places around the world, like in Southeast Asia, where people have no choice but to implement conservative water designs, or else they would have no water at all. There's a lot we can learn from studying these places. Larry talks more about water-wise gardening, inviting the wilderness into your garden design, and plant guilds.

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There are places around the world, like in Southeast Asia, where people have no choice but to implement conservative water designs, or else they would have no water at all. There’s a lot we can learn from studying these places. Larry talks more about water-wise gardening, inviting the wilderness into your garden design, and plant guilds.

 

Read Lecture 36 – Water on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 37 – Waterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-water-13 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-water-13#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:54:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4475 Fresh water is an incredibly precious resource. There are many creative ways to use water conservatively. Americans can reduce their water use in half simply by installing rainwater catchment and greywater systems, which are very easy things to do. Larry discusses greywater systems, smart water designs in the garden (such as berms, swales, and weirs), looking at water from a global perspective, and includes discussion on how to describe permaculture to the general public.

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Water is the source of life, but it hasn’t been treated with much reverence in our modern world. Most people take water for granted – there’s so much around, what’s the worry? Plenty of water falls from the sky, oceans are vast, and cover most of the Earth, so there’s no need for concern. Yet, fresh water is an incredibly precious resource. Desalinating the ocean will destroy the ecosystem, so we must turn to creative ways to conserve our water use.

There are already many innovative, simple, and inexpensive ways to use water conservatively. Americans can reduce their water use in half simply by installing rainwater catchment and greywater systems, which are very easy things to do. Larry discusses greywater systems, smart water designs in the garden (such as berms, swales, and weirs), looking at water from a global perspective, and includes discussion on how to describe permaculture to the general public.

Read Lecture 37 – Water on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 38 – Water Discussionhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-discussion-14 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-discussion-14#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:54:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4477 Read Lecture 38 – Water Discussion on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 38 – Water Discussion on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 39 – Water + Climatehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-waterclimate-15 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-waterclimate-15#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:55:16 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4479 Taking on permaculture design is a huge task. It's easy to get super excited and try to do everything all at once. Often, when people take on more than they can handle, the project will fail within two years. There's a lot to observe and learn about in your environment - the climate itself is a force to be reckoned with.

Learn about the pros and cons of biodynamic farming, the difference between climate and microclimate, climate regions, how to learn from animals, and knowing what to plant in your particular climate and microclimate.

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Taking on permaculture design is a huge task. It’s easy to get super excited and try to do everything all at once. But, as always, it’s best to learn from nature. Nature builds new ecosystems in successional stages, and thus so should you. Often, when people take on more than they can handle, the project will fail within two years. There’s a lot to observe and learn about in your environment – the climate itself is a force to be reckoned with.

Learn about the pros and cons of biodynamic farming, the difference between climate and microclimate, climate regions, how to learn from animals, and knowing what to plant in your particular climate and microclimate.

Read Lecture 39 – Water + Climate on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 40 – Water + Designhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-water-design-56 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-water-design-56#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:26:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4498 Sometimes you design for water to flow a certain way and it doesn't go there. Conventional perspectives might see this is a failure in water design, but permaculture sees it as an opportunity for a creative solution. If flooding happens to create a moat or pond, why not put a boat on it and grow some fish? Now you have a solution. Max shows the class a walkable swale, something he invented. Learn more about swales, how to prevent mosquitos from infesting your swale, the trail swale berm system (TSB), curb cuts, maximizing edge, and planning for catastrophe.

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Sometimes you design for water to flow a certain way and it doesn’t go there. Sometimes flooding happens, creating moats and ponds. Conventional perspectives might see this is a failure in water design. It could be poor water design, but at the point of flooding, permaculture views this seeming “mistake” as an opportunity. Why not exercise a little creativity and put a boat in it? Grow some fish instead. That way, what was once a problem is now a solution.

Max shows the class a walkable swale, something he invented. He shares stories of courage and inspiration from people doing innovative things around the world. Learn more about swales, how to prevent mosquitos from infesting your swale, the trail swale berm system (TSB), curb cuts, maximizing edge, and planning for catastrophe.

Read Lecture 40 – Water + Design on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 41 – Waterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-fundamentals-59 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-fundamentals-59#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:44:43 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4501 How would we treat water differently if we saw it as a universal, sacred healing element? Could we work with it and use it with greater respect? By studying and understanding water dynamics, we can harness its regenerative power to nourish life rather than having poor water design destroy life. In this lesson, Max shows us a macro to micro perspective of water, from landscape to garden level. Learn about different ways to use water to nourish life - through swales, mulch basins, wetland systems for blackwater filtration, and aquaponics. Also, a special tale of how the modern day toilet came to be.

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How would we treat water differently if we saw it as a universal, sacred healing element? Could we work with it and use it with greater respect? Would we be compelled to study it in greater detail and reverence? Designing for water is a crucial aspect of permaculture design. All life needs water, and water is always flowing. Good design helps filter water, and channel its flows to nourish life rather than to destroy. By studying and understanding water dynamics, we can harness its regenerative power to nourish life rather than having poor water design destroy life.

Max shows us a macro to micro perspective of water, from landscape to garden level. Through stories of different places around the world, you can see a multitude of beautiful ways water can be used beneficially. In this lesson, learn about different ways to use water to nourish life – through swales, mulch basins, wetland systems for blackwater filtration, and aquaponics. Also, a special tale of how the modern day toilet came to be.

Read Lecture 41 – Water on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 42 – Waterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-60 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-60#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:45:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4503 With a little creativity, water can be managed efficiently and almost effortlessly. Water is the source of all life, and as such is filled with living organisms. At the heart of good water care is understanding the ecosystem of water. In this lesson, learn about innovative ways to filter water, store and hold water, improve microbial health, and using water to make compost tea.

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With a little creativity, water can be managed efficiently and almost effortlessly. At the heart of good water care is understanding the ecosystem of water. Water is the source of all life, and as such is filled with living organisms. Water holding areas like ponds and lakes serve important ecological roles. Ponds filter silt, preventing it from infiltrating creeks and rivers where it can disturb fish habitats.

Working the soil to form ditches and swales channels water to where you want it to go. Using rocks or wood chips can filter dirt and metals from water. In this lesson, learn about innovative ways to filter water, store and hold water, improve microbial health, and using water to make compost tea.

Read Lecture 42 – Water on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 43 – Greywaterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-61 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-61#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:45:49 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4505 Water seems plentiful, but that's because it's made artificially cheap. Greywater systems can reduce our water usage by at least one-third. It's an old idea, but new to mainstream minds. In this lesson, Roy Nordblum explains greywater percolation tests, and introduces a variety of ways to design and use greywater systems.

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Water seems plentiful, but that’s because it’s made artificially cheap. It’s the most important element in our lives, but the government has subsidized the cost of water, making people think there’s a neverending supply, and so we waste it easily. Greywater systems can reduce our water usage by at least one-third. It’s an old idea, but new to mainstream minds.

California is a pioneer in greywater legislation, being the first in the country to create a greywater code. Having legal support for greywater installations means real water conservation. In this lesson, Roy Nordblum explains greywater percolation tests, and introduces a variety of ways to design and use greywater systems.

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Lecture 44 – Greywaterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-62 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-62#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:46:12 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4507 Greywater systems can be as simple as piping bathwater to the garden. They can also be more complicated with sitting tanks and filtration beds. You can definitely expect a good amount of digging. Here, Roy describes the process of setting up the greywater system and the class takes part in a service learning project.

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Greywater systems can be as simple as piping bathwater to the garden. They can also be more complicated with sitting tanks and filtration beds. You can definitely expect a good amount of digging. Here, Roy describes the process of setting up the greywater system and the class takes part in a service learning project.

Read Lecture 44 – Greywater on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 45 – Aquaponicshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-aquaponics-63 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-aquaponics-63#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:48:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4515 As water is a precious resource, it makes a lot of sense to implement a system like aquaponics. The average aquaponics system uses 70% less water than conventional farming methods - the best systems use 98% less! Aquaponics grows fish and vegetables in a symbiotic relationship, and can even be used to nurture endangered fish. In this lesson, enjoy a visit to some beautiful and effective aquaponics systems around the world.

Read Lecture 45 – Aquaponics on Open Permaculture School!

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As water is a precious resource, it makes a lot of sense to implement a system like aquaponics. The average aquaponics system uses 70% less water than conventional farming methods – the best systems use 98% less! Aquaponics grows fish and vegetables in a symbiotic relationship, and can even be used to nurture endangered fish.

In this lesson, visit Sepp Holzer’s aquaculture system, beautiful aquaponics systems all over the world, and learn about the numerous benefits aquaponics has to offer. Aquaponics even reduces labor needed to maintain the system by 75%, as compared to conventional farming.

Read Lecture 45 – Aquaponics on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 46 – Aquaponicshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-aquaponics-64 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-aquaponics-64#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:48:47 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4517 A really cool thing about permaculture is that you can weave together different principles and design methodologies to create something with multiple functions and outcomes. Talk about efficiency! This is exactly how nature works. Rooftops are a huge contributor to global warming, but with a little creativity, they can instead provide multiple functions and resources. This lesson discusses one way to stack functions and gain multiple outcomes - aquaponics, a system of growing fish and plants at the same time. This self-cleansing system makes for an abundant harvest!

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A really cool thing about permaculture is that you can weave together different principles and design methodologies to create something with multiple functions and outcomes. Talk about efficiency! This is exactly how nature works. For example, rooftops are a huge contributor to global warming because they deflect sunlight and radiation back into the atmosphere. Rather than letting them sit under the sun, stack functions and put something there – grow something! It could be growing plants, but it could also be host to solar panels or rainwater catchment systems.

Teaching permaculture to people in destitute conditions is a way of empowering them to make a living through planetary healing. Not only do they get better living conditions, but the planet does too! This lesson discusses one way to stack functions and gain multiple outcomes – aquaponics, a system of growing fish and plants at the same time. This self-cleansing system makes for an abundant harvest!

Read Lecture 46 – Aquaponics on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 47 – Greywaterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-66 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-66#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:46:45 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4509 Roy leads a workshop on greywater, starting with a talk and then engaging the students in hands-on work.

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Roy leads a workshop on greywater, starting with a talk and then engaging the students in hands-on work.

Read Lecture 47 – Greywater on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 48 – Greywaterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-67 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-67#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:47:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4511 Roy gives more instruction on the greywater project.

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Roy gives more instruction on the greywater project.

Read Lecture 48 – Greywater on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 49 – Greywaterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-68 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/water-and-aquaculture-greywater-68#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:47:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4513 Roy keads the greywater workshop and discusses green building.

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Roy keads the greywater workshop and discusses green building.

Read Lecture 49 – Greywater on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 50 – Aquaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/aquaculture-larry-96 https://www.openpermaculture.com/water-and-aquaculture/aquaculture-larry-96#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:22:34 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4604 Read Lecture 50 – Aquaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 50 – Aquaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 51 – Urban Permaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-applications-urban-permaculture-25 https://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-applications-urban-permaculture-25#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:55:40 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4481 Running an urban landscape business with integrity is a challenging feat. Hear about Larry Korn's personal experiences in this business. Learn about the dangers of lead, the importance of pH in soils, special wind effects in cities, and other solutions to city life.

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Running an urban landscape business with integrity is a challenging feat. Hear about Larry Korn’s personal experiences in this business. Urban distractions include police, noise, and kids stealing fruits and vegetables without asking. Learn about the dangers of lead, the importance of pH in soils, special wind effects in cities, and other solutions to city life.

Read Lecture 51 – Urban Permaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 52 – Urban Permaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-applications-urban-permaculture-26 https://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-applications-urban-permaculture-26#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:56:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4483 Urban permaculture presents a slew of new challenges to consider. It's not just the wind, water, sun, or fire hazard - it's also the kids, urban animals, urban heat island effect, vehicle and foot traffic. Learn about how to work with people in an urban environment, rebuilding urban soil, dealing with urban animals, building compost piles, the pros and cons of bird feeders, and ways to deter animal pests from coming into your garden. Larry Korn infuses his lectures with entertaining stories.

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Urban permaculture presents a slew of new challenges to consider. It’s not just the wind, water, sun, or fire hazard – it’s also the kids, urban animals, urban heat island effect, vehicle and foot traffic. These elements are designed into an urban permaculture site to make sure kids and animals don’t trample over your garden.

Learn about how to work with people in an urban environment, rebuilding urban soil, dealing with urban animals, building compost piles, the pros and cons of bird feeders, and ways to deter animal pests from coming into your garden. Larry Korn infuses his lectures with entertaining stories.

Read Lecture 52 – Urban Permaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 53 – Urban Sustainabilityhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-permaculture-urban-sustainability-78 https://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-permaculture-urban-sustainability-78#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:50:01 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4521 Sustainability can save humanity from itself. There's every reason to remain hopeful and inspired. Kevin Danaher, founder of Green Festivals, Global Exchange, author, and advocate, shows how movements in green business are gaining traction and infiltrating mainstream markets.

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Sustainability can save humanity from itself. There’s every reason to remain hopeful and inspired. Kevin Danaher, founder of Green Festivals, Global Exchange, author, and advocate, shows how movements in green business are gaining traction and infiltrating mainstream markets. There are a lot of problems with our planet, but there is hope in recent progress. Green business investments are growing, with a projected annual growth of $1 trillion. This is the amount necessary to accelerate a global transition to a green economy.

Kevin continues to show promising statistics in the field of environmental consulting and engineering, pinpointing the problem of pollution and waste to poor design. He also tells inspiring stories of how other countries are supporting the movement for a sustainable future.

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Lecture 54 – Urban Sustainabilityhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-permaculture-sustainability-79 https://www.openpermaculture.com/urban-permaculture-applications/urban-permaculture-sustainability-79#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:50:28 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4523 One of the key obstacles to moving sustainability mainstream is legislation. Working with local policymakers to create the legal infrastructure necessary to support sustainability is truly empowering, and sends a strong message to the rest of the country, and the world, that people are seriously ready for this change. Learn about how San Francisco is a leader in passing green legislation, and how the rest of the world can learn from their work.

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One of the key obstacles to moving sustainability mainstream is legislation. Working with local policymakers to create the legal infrastructure necessary to support sustainability is truly empowering, and sends a strong message to the rest of the country, and the world, that people are seriously ready for this change.

San Francisco is a leader in this area, as they have a mandatory recycling and composting law, and focus on community education rather than government control. They are on a mission to get to zero waste, and are currently at about 80% organics diversion. Learn more about San Francisco’s innovative approaches to handling waste, and how their lessons can be applied elsewhere.

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Lecture 55 – Native American Storyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/social-applications-peacemaker-story-49 https://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/social-applications-peacemaker-story-49#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:08:48 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4548 Stories inspire, teach, and engage people, and are the oldest form of keeping knowledge alive through the generations. An inspirational Native American story about "The Peacemaker" is told to the class to demonstrate the power of story in social change.

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Stories inspire, teach, and engage people, and are the oldest form of keeping knowledge alive through the generations. An inspirational Native American story about “The Peacemaker” is told to the class to demonstrate the power of story in social change.

Read Lecture 55 – Native American Story on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 56 – Social Applicationshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/social-applications-intentional-community-0 https://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/social-applications-intentional-community-0#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 02:57:20 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4485 Authentic communication is essential for intentional communities to work and be socially sustainable. Disagreements are inevitable, what's more important is to transform it into a creative experience through non-violent communication. How do you respond to disagreement and criticism? And what does your vocal tone convey?

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Authentic communication is essential for intentional communities to work and be socially sustainable. Disagreements are inevitable, what’s more important is to transform it into a creative experience through non-violent communication. It takes practice and dedication to let go of any sense of unworthiness that arises from disagreement. But it is possible.

Learn about non-violent communication methods and listen in on a discussion about vulnerability, shame, worthiness, misunderstanding, and criticism. Apply what you learn in this lesson in your own life. How do you respond to disagreement and criticism? And what does your vocal tone convey?

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Lecture 57 – Progressive Resource Utilization Theory (PROUT)https://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/progressive-resource-utilization-theory-prout-103 https://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/progressive-resource-utilization-theory-prout-103#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:28:04 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4618 Read Lecture 57 – Progressive Resource Utilization Theory (PROUT) on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 57 – Progressive Resource Utilization Theory (PROUT) on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 58 – Social Permaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/jan-spencer-lecture-91 https://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/jan-spencer-lecture-91#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:18:40 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4596 Read Lecture 58 – Social Permaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 58 – Social Permaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 59 – Social Permaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/jan-spencer-lecture-92 https://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/jan-spencer-lecture-92#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:19:08 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4598 Read Lecture 59 – Social Permaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 59 – Social Permaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 60 – Social Permaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/rob-bolman-lecture-98 https://www.openpermaculture.com/social-permaculture-2/rob-bolman-lecture-98#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:24:15 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4608 Read Lecture 60 – Social Permaculture on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 61 – Suburban Permaculture Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-suburban-permaculture-site-16 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-suburban-permaculture-site-16#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:09:30 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4550 Read Lecture 61 – Suburban Permaculture Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 61 – Suburban Permaculture Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 62 – Suburban Permaculture Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-suburban-permaculture-site-17 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-suburban-permaculture-site-17#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:10:06 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4552 Read Lecture 62 – Suburban Permaculture Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 62 – Suburban Permaculture Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 63 – Suburban EcoVillage Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-urban-ecovillage-green-building-19 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-urban-ecovillage-green-building-19#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:10:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4554 Read Lecture 63 – Suburban EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 63 – Suburban EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 64 – Suburban EcoVillage Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-urban-ecovillage-green-building-20 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-urban-ecovillage-green-building-20#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:11:02 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4556 Read Lecture 64 – Suburban EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 64 – Suburban EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 65 – Rural EcoVillage Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-rural-eco-village-21 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-rural-eco-village-21#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:11:51 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4558 Read Lecture 65 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 65 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 66 – Rural EcoVillage Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sustainable-farm-27 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sustainable-farm-27#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:12:37 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4560 Read Lecture 66 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 66 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 67 – Food Cooperative Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-corvallis-food-cooperative-28 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-corvallis-food-cooperative-28#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:13:12 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4562 Read Lecture 67 – Food Cooperative Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 67 – Food Cooperative Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 68 – Organic Farm Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sunbow-organic-farm-29 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sunbow-organic-farm-29#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:14:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4565 Read Lecture 68 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 68 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 69 – Organic Farm Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sunbow-organic-farm-30 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sunbow-organic-farm-30#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:14:30 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4567 Read Lecture 69 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 69 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 70 – Organic Farm Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sunbow-organic-farm-31 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experience-sunbow-organic-farm-31#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:15:00 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4569 Read Lecture 70 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 70 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 71 – Demonstration Site Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experiential-visits-permaculture-site-45 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experiential-visits-permaculture-site-45#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:15:39 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4571 Read Lecture 71 – Demonstration Site Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 71 – Demonstration Site Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 72 – Demonstration Site Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experiential-visits-permaculture-site-46 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/experiential-visits-permaculture-site-46#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:16:31 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4573 Read Lecture 72 – Demonstration Site Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 73 – Suburban Permaculture Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/dharmalaya-tour-95 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/dharmalaya-tour-95#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:21:43 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4602 Read Lecture 73 – Suburban Permaculture Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 73 – Suburban Permaculture Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 74 – Rural EcoVillage Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/rural-ecovillage-99 https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/rural-ecovillage-99#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:25:06 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4610 Read Lecture 74 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 74 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 75 – Rural EcoVillage Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/lecture-75-rural-ecovillage-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/lecture-75-rural-ecovillage-tour#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 12:29:19 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35637 Read Lecture 75 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 75 – Rural EcoVillage Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 76 – Organic Farm Tourhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/lecture-76-organic-farm-tour https://www.openpermaculture.com/experience-permaculture-site-visits/lecture-76-organic-farm-tour#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 12:30:15 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35640 Read Lecture 76 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 76 – Organic Farm Tour on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 77 – Project Presentationhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/design-projects-group-project-83 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/design-projects-group-project-83#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:20:57 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4575 Read Lecture 77 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 77 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 78 – Project Presentationhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/design-projects-group-project-84 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/design-projects-group-project-84#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:21:21 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4577 Read Lecture 78 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 78 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 79 – Project Presentationhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/design-projects-group-project-85 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/design-projects-group-project-85#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:21:52 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4579 Read Lecture 79 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 79 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 80 – Project Presentationhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/group-project-presentation-93 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/group-project-presentation-93#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:19:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4600 Read Lecture 80 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 80 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 81 – Project Presentationhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/group-projects-90 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-design-projects/group-projects-90#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:17:30 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4594 Read Lecture 81 – Project Presentation on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 82 – Max Meyers Interviewhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-leaders-interviews/max-meyers-interview-65 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-leaders-interviews/max-meyers-interview-65#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:49:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4519 Max Meyers Interview

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Max Meyers Interview

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Lecture 83 – Kevin Danaher Interviewhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-leaders-interviews/urban-permaculture-kevin-danaher-interview-80 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-leaders-interviews/urban-permaculture-kevin-danaher-interview-80#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 01:50:52 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4525 Kevin Danaher interview

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Kevin Danaher interview

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Lecture 84 – Larry Korn Interviewhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-leaders-interviews/larry-korn-interview-88 https://www.openpermaculture.com/permaculture-leaders-interviews/larry-korn-interview-88#comments Sun, 12 May 2013 00:16:47 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4592 Read Lecture 84 – Larry Korn Interview on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 84 – Larry Korn Interview on Open Permaculture School!

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Lecture 85 – Participants Feedback Lecture 86 – Participant Feedbackhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/course-feedback-participant-interviews/participant-interviews-34 https://www.openpermaculture.com/course-feedback-participant-interviews/participant-interviews-34#comments Fri, 10 May 2013 03:28:17 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=4583 Read Lecture 85 – Participants Feedback Lecture 86 – Participant Feedback on Open Permaculture School!

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Read Lecture 85 – Participants Feedback Lecture 86 – Participant Feedback on Open Permaculture School!

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Lesson 86 – Participant Feedbackhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/course-feedback-participant-interviews/lesson-86-participant-feedback https://www.openpermaculture.com/course-feedback-participant-interviews/lesson-86-participant-feedback#comments Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:35:37 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=lesson&p=6618 Read Lesson 86 – Participant Feedback on Open Permaculture School!

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Maximizing Soil Fertility With Soil Improving Plantshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/maximizing-soil-fertility-soil-improving-plants https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/maximizing-soil-fertility-soil-improving-plants#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 21:24:25 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=34329 How To Maximize Soil Fertility With Soil Improving Plants A mature forest garden is known to create maximum output for minimum effort. Forest gardens also referred to as food forests and know under the umbrella term agroforestry are popular in permaculture for this and other reasons. A forest garden can accomplish a good yield with […]

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How To Maximize Soil Fertility With Soil Improving Plants

A mature forest garden is known to create maximum output for minimum effort. Forest gardens also referred to as food forests and know under the umbrella term agroforestry are popular in permaculture for this and other reasons.

A forest garden can accomplish a good yield with little effort after establishment. This is because most plants in a forest are perennial and appear year after year. A natural forest also consists of multiple layers of plants that can exist in the same area with little interference. The natural forests of the world are grown on a succession of decaying organic matter from past plants built up over many years. This rich forest soil can be established faster from a depleted soil by choosing nitrogen fixing and nutrient accumulating species of plants.

Outlined below are examples of plants that improve the soil at each level of the forest garden maximizing fertility for itself other plants to grow. Techniques like ‘chop and drop’ mulches, coppicing and pollarding from these plants in particular can release the nutrients they have extracted over time from the earth or air.

Even if you don’t have room for any trees, the soil can still be improved by using examples from the lower layers. Even something as small as a window box could contain Herbaceous, ground cover, vertical and as well as root layers.

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Nine Edible Weedshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-edible-weeds https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-edible-weeds#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:50:08 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37516 9 Edible Weeds Weeds have long been the bane of traditional gardener’s lives. Invasive, unsightly and tenacious, they required a lot of effort to get rid of and were always liable to return at the slightest opportunity. Fortunately, permaculture provides another way of considering plants that have commonly been perceived as weeds. For instance, permaculture […]

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9 Edible Weeds

Weeds have long been the bane of traditional gardener’s lives. Invasive, unsightly and tenacious, they required a lot of effort to get rid of and were always liable to return at the slightest opportunity. Fortunately, permaculture provides another way of considering plants that have commonly been perceived as weeds.

For instance, permaculture recognizes the benefits such plants can have on exposed, damaged soil, such as that which has been planted with a monoculture. The weeds can act as ploughs, improving the quality of the soil and bringing beneficial nutrients up to the topsoil.

Of course, the rampant growth of many weeds and their propensity to self-seed, so creating many more plants, is not good for a permaculture garden once other plants have been added, as they can divert nutrients away from other species and even smother other plants.

So finding a good way to control weeds is essential to maintain the health of your plot. Plant guilds may be one answer, with different species inhabiting all the available niches in a location and so depriving the weed of a foothold. Allowing chickens and ducks to forage across the plot will also help. But another tactic, which has the benefit of adding something to your diet, is eating them.

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Nine Goat Species For A Permaculture Plothttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-goat-species-permaculture-plot https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-goat-species-permaculture-plot#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:25:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37572 Goat Species For Your Permaculture Plot Keeping livestock is a big step for many permaculturists, but also an incredible rewarding challenge. Raising animals for meat, milk or simply as additions to the plot (although they will provide manure and companionship, so are not without their benefits should you choose not to consume their products) is […]

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Goat Species For Your Permaculture Plot

Keeping livestock is a big step for many permaculturists, but also an incredible rewarding challenge. Raising animals for meat, milk or simply as additions to the plot (although they will provide manure and companionship, so are not without their benefits should you choose not to consume their products) is a responsibility – you must ensure all the needs of the animals are met at all times – but with the right space and conditions, they can be an efficient and delightful part of your ecosystem.

Many permaculture gardeners start their journey with livestock with the smaller species, such as bees, chickens or ducks. And for many, that is more than enough. But there are other options for livestock rearing, either as a first animal or to add to an existing menagerie. One that is often overlooked is goats.

There are many advantages to raising goats. Firstly, they are curious and affectionate animals, providing a lot of joy in their antics. Goats are also producers, providing milk and, potentially, meat. (Be advised that to keep producing milk, a female will need to breed each year, so plan on your herd growing or make arrangements to find homes for the new arrivals.

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Nine Organic Mulch Materialshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-organic-mulch-materials https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-organic-mulch-materials#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:12:12 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38570 Understand The Nine Organic Mulch Materials Like many things in permaculture design, the use of mulches takes its cue from what we observe in nature. As long as there have been forests, there have been layers of fallen leaves and other organic material that have covered the ground and slowly decayed. Organic mulch plays an […]

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Understand The Nine Organic Mulch Materials

Like many things in permaculture design, the use of mulches takes its cue from what we observe in nature. As long as there have been forests, there have been layers of fallen leaves and other organic material that have covered the ground and slowly decayed.

Organic mulch plays an important role in permaculture gardening. It is one of the primary ways to save time and energy digging the soil in garden beds, but it offers a number of other benefits besides. Mulch is a very effective way of slowing down the evaporation of moisture from the surface of the soil, enabling the soil to retain more moisture, which can then be used by plants and microorganisms. Conversely, it can also prevent the soil from freezing in the winter months, helping protect plants. Organic mulch also provides the soil with nutrients as it breaks down, while suppressing weeds.

There are many options of materials you can use as mulch, including inorganic ones such as plastic sheeting. However, among organic materials there are a wide range of choices each with different characteristics and suitability for different growing conditions. Here is a selection.

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Nine Things A Permaculture Gardener Needs To Provide For Chickenshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-things-permaculture-gardener-needs-provide-chickens https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-things-permaculture-gardener-needs-provide-chickens#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:49:31 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37515 Things A Permaculture Gardener Needs To Provide For Chickens When keeping chickens, a permaculture gardener needs to achieve a balance. In order to benefit from the variety of ‘products’ that chickens bring to a site – from eggs and manure to pest control and pleasure – the gardener must ensure that the chickens’ needs are […]

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Things A Permaculture Gardener Needs To Provide For Chickens

When keeping chickens, a permaculture gardener needs to achieve a balance. In order to benefit from the variety of ‘products’ that chickens bring to a site – from eggs and manure to pest control and pleasure – the gardener must ensure that the chickens’ needs are met. These are the things that the permaculturist must provide so that the chickens can survive and thrive. They relate to the fundamental elements that an organism needs to live, but also to things the birds need to live a life in tune with their instincts and that allow them to exhibit natural behaviors.

Food
Obviously chickens need food. Fortunately, in a permaculture system, many of their nutritional needs can be met without too many external inputs. Chickens will eat most of the food scraps from your kitchen. They are omnivorous, so will eat fruits, vegetables and some meat. (You should avoid giving your chickens citrus peel and onions, as this can taint the taste of the eggs, and also do not feed chickens the remains of their own kind.) This is supplemented by food the chickens will find for themselves foraging on your plot.

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Nine Tips to Reduce Your Food Mileshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-tips-reduce-food-miles https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-tips-reduce-food-miles#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:23:57 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38811 Food miles essentially refer to the distance that the food you buy has traveled from the producer so that it is available in the shop in which you are buying it. The idea behind reducing your food miles is to lessen your contribution to the use of fossil fuels that is necessary to transport food […]

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Food miles essentially refer to the distance that the food you buy has traveled from the producer so that it is available in the shop in which you are buying it. The idea behind reducing your food miles is to lessen your contribution to the use of fossil fuels that is necessary to transport food long distances. The meaning of the terms has expanded a little beyond just the fuel used in vehicles that transport food, it also includes the energy needed to store, preserve and package the food so that it can make the journey in good condition. For instance, some products need to be frozen or refrigerated while in transit, and this ups the energy costs of that transportation.

Shop Local
This may sound very simple, but often we shop without knowing where the products we buy originated. In most countries and for most foodstuffs, it is a legal requirement to print the country or origin of a product on the packaging, or have it displayed somewhere prominent if it does not utilize packaging (such as fruit and vegetables). However, in the U.S. this system does not apply to foods where ingredients from elsewhere have been processed into another product within the U.S., so with those sorts of products it is a lot harder to determine the food miles that may have gone into them.

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Nine Vegetables – Harvesting Guidehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-vegetables-harvesting-guide https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-vegetables-harvesting-guide#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:29:45 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38102 Harvesting Guide To Nine Vegetables Permaculture aims to create the best natural conditions in which to grow edible produce. Gardeners look to provide all the nutrients and water plants need to thrive and produce healthy crops, to protect them from potential damage by weather events and temperature fluctuations, and to stop them being eaten by […]

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Harvesting Guide To Nine Vegetables

Permaculture aims to create the best natural conditions in which to grow edible produce. Gardeners look to provide all the nutrients and water plants need to thrive and produce healthy crops, to protect them from potential damage by weather events and temperature fluctuations, and to stop them being eaten by pest insects or succumbing to disease.

Having done all that to help cultivate a variety of vegetables to feed yourself and your family, it is important to know when to harvest crops so that they are at their best and most tasty (and also to prevent them spoiling before you eat them). Obviously, there are rough guides to the amount of time a plant should take to produce a harvestable crop, but with fluctuations in weather, microclimates and soil, going by the calendar is never an exact science. When you approach the ‘due date’ make a daily check on your crops to determine when to pick them. Here is a guide to some of the visual signs to look for so you can harvest at the right time.

Carrots
Carrots are quite adaptable for harvesting.

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Nine Ways to Save Water in the Gardenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-ways-save-water-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/nine-ways-save-water-garden#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:43:50 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37536 Best Ways To Save Water In A Permaculture Garden Water is one of the most precious resources we have. Literally the source of life, if nourishes us, the planet and all of nature, including the food we eat. It is, as such, a necessary part of permaculture gardening. We need to provide the plants we […]

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Best Ways To Save Water In A Permaculture Garden

Water is one of the most precious resources we have. Literally the source of life, if nourishes us, the planet and all of nature, including the food we eat. It is, as such, a necessary part of permaculture gardening. We need to provide the plants we grow with sufficient water to survive, grow strong and develop healthy crops. However, to preserve as much water as we can, permaculture design should always seeks ways to minimize water use where possible and, above all, to avoid water wastage. Below are some techniques permaculture gardeners can employ to save water on their site.

Soil
Good water use in the permaculture garden starts with the quality of your oil. Get a healthy soil that is rich in organic matter, and your have the basis for a very water-efficient plot. Organic matter, typically added in the form of compost, helps keep the soil balanced in terms of texture – meaning its not too sandy, which allows water to leach through quickly, or have too much clay which holds onto water and keeps it from the plant roots – and structure, giving plants room to branch out roots and access moisture.

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Permaculture Herbs – Culinary and Medicinal Useshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/herbs-culinary-medicinal-uses https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/herbs-culinary-medicinal-uses#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:23:38 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=36974 Culinary and Medicinal Uses Of Permaculture Herbs Herbs are incredibly useful plants for permaculture. They will often grow in small spaces or pots, making them a good option for those with little or no land (a window box or a pot on a balcony can still generate decent yields of certain types of herbs). On […]

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Culinary and Medicinal Uses Of Permaculture Herbs

Herbs are incredibly useful plants for permaculture. They will often grow in small spaces or pots, making them a good option for those with little or no land (a window box or a pot on a balcony can still generate decent yields of certain types of herbs). On the whole, herbs are pretty easy to grow, needing just some water and a decently drained soil. They add variety to a garden, with lots of different textures, colours and smells. And they are easy to harvest, as you just pick off the leaves that you need.

But, of course, the primary reason to grow herbs in your permaculture garden is that they are a brilliant way to add extra flavour dimensions to your food. Growing your own herbs means you can have the freshest flavour (and so preserving the maximum amount of nutrients) and avoid buying pre-packaged versions.

Herbs have another very important function, however, that adds to their utility as a permaculture staple. Many herbs have medicinal uses that offer a natural way to treat various ailments. They can alleviate pain, and so helping reduce the amount of artificial compounds you consume in manufactured medicines.

Here are some of the more commonly grown herbs, along with both their culinary and medicinal uses.

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Permaculture, Poop and Fartshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/permaculture-poop-farts https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/permaculture-poop-farts#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:58:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=33590 Permaculture allows nature to do its thing. The gardens are lush and beautiful. While the birds chirp high in the trees, soft aromas mix in the air as a butterflies pollinate the flowers. Animals and plants coexist in natural harmony while humans organize and revel in their creation. It is a world rich with chemistry […]

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Permaculture allows nature to do its thing. The gardens are lush and beautiful. While the birds chirp high in the trees, soft aromas mix in the air as a butterflies pollinate the flowers. Animals and plants coexist in natural harmony while humans organize and revel in their creation. It is a world rich with chemistry and beauty. This article hardly mentions any of that. This article focuses on the…well… less glorious aspects of nature; waste. Yes. Poop. Ever wonder why it burns so well? One word – methane. One of the most devastating greenhouse gases is methane. Natural gas is ninety-five per cent methane. Methane (CH4) reacts with atmospheric oxygen (O2) when burnt, resulting in carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O), which are far less harmful to the environment. This is why we should stop flushing a major energy source down the toilet and stop whining. Everyone poops, its time to get used to using it.

To begin, it is important to understand what methane is and where it comes from. The short answer is anaerobic bacteria, which by definition operates without the presence of oxygen. It is estimated that over fifty percent of the atmospheric methane is directly caused by human activity.

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Seven Advantages of Perennialshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-advantages-perennials https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-advantages-perennials#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:46:26 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37708 Advantages Of Perennials Plants come in two main types: annuals and perennials (with the honorable exception of a few plants that last two years, called biennials). Annuals are species that go through their entire life cycle, from germination through to maturity and crop production within a single year. Having produced its crop, the plant then […]

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Advantages Of Perennials

Plants come in two main types: annuals and perennials (with the honorable exception of a few plants that last two years, called biennials). Annuals are species that go through their entire life cycle, from germination through to maturity and crop production within a single year. Having produced its crop, the plant then dies. Perennials, on the other hand, live for several years. They bloom, crop and die back over the course of a year, but the rootstock remains and it is from this, rather than a new seed, that the next year’s flowers and crops come. Fruit trees are an obvious example of a perennial plant that a permaculture gardener would consider incorporating into their design, but there are also many varieties of perennial vegetables.

The vast majority of crops in commercial agricultural systems are annual crops (and this, combined with the propensity for monocultures causes many problems for the soil and the ecosystem), but permaculture favors the perennial, primarily because of their established root systems. There are several advantages to growing perennials on your site, primarily related to the root systems of the plants.

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Seven benefits of doing a permaculture design certificate coursehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-benefits-permaculture-design-certificate-course https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-benefits-permaculture-design-certificate-course#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 03:34:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39616 You’re interested in permaculture (you’re looking at this site, after all), but perhaps wondering what your next step with it will be. Using online resources, DVDs and books to understand permaculture is great way to proceed, but there are other options available as well, the main one being studying a permaculture design certificate (PDC) course. […]

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You’re interested in permaculture (you’re looking at this site, after all), but perhaps wondering what your next step with it will be. Using online resources, DVDs and books to understand permaculture is great way to proceed, but there are other options available as well, the main one being studying a permaculture design certificate (PDC) course. This can really help elevate and enhance your personal learning and offers benefits that self-study can’t replicate. Here are some of the reasons why taking a permaculture design certificate course can be a great decision.

Expert instruction
Undertaking a permaculture design certificate course gives you direct contact with experts in the field. Teachers on PDC courses will have successfully completed their own certificates and typically have done extra training courses besides. Most have run garden design or other companies involved with sustainable living, and run permaculture training courses many times before. Many PDC courses, besides the core teachers, will also invite guest experts to speak about specialist areas of permaculture design and application. Pursuing a course means you can interact, ask questions and generally pick the brains of some of the most experienced permaculturists around.

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Seven Benefits of Growing Food in Citieshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-benefits-growing-food-cities https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-benefits-growing-food-cities#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:28:18 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38681 Know About The Benefits Of Growing Food In Cities The World Health Organization reported that in 2014, more than half of the total population of the planet lived in urban areas. While there are differences in the proportion of the populations that live in towns and cities between developing and developed countries, the WHO also […]

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Know About The Benefits Of Growing Food In Cities

The World Health Organization reported that in 2014, more than half of the total population of the planet lived in urban areas. While there are differences in the proportion of the populations that live in towns and cities between developing and developed countries, the WHO also predicts that in just three years time, by 2017, even in less developed countries where traditionally rural populations have been bigger, more than half of citizens will reside in urban locations. Feeding all those people is going to become increasingly difficult if we rely solely on traditional methods of food production – namely cultivating and harvesting food from rural areas and transporting in to urban locales.

One way of reducing the pressure on rural arable land is to actually grow food in the cities themselves. There are, of course, unique challenges to doing so – often a lack of space and securing enough sunlight amid the high rise buildings of city environments – but with innovative solutions and community dedication, as well as political will, it is eminently possible to grow fruit and vegetables, raise animals and even keep bees in urban areas. Indeed, it is already happening.

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Seven Forms of Community Gardeninghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-forms-community-gardening https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-forms-community-gardening#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:22:42 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38809 Community Gardening Permaculture is much more than the design, cultivation and harvesting of edible crops – although that is an important part of it. It also proposes new ways for people to consider the communities they live in and the way society, at a local as well as a broader level, functions. One of the […]

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Community Gardening

Permaculture is much more than the design, cultivation and harvesting of edible crops – although that is an important part of it. It also proposes new ways for people to consider the communities they live in and the way society, at a local as well as a broader level, functions. One of the ways these two aspects combine is in community gardening initiatives. There are several forms such initiative can take.

Land Share
Some people have the desire to cultivate food but lack the land on which to do it. Other people have land but do not have the time or inclination to cultivate it (but would not mind tasting some of the rewards from doing so). Land sharing is about putting these two groups of people in contact to meet both their needs. Via a communal database, those with spare land can be paired with those who lack it. Typically, in exchange for allowing them to cultivate the land, the owner will receive a percentage of the yield from the plot.

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Seven Functions of Bamboohttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-functions-bamboo https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-functions-bamboo#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:51:37 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37714 Functions Of Bamboo Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The physical and chemical properties of its roots and stems means that it is able to transform nutrients into growth-enabling energy sources incredibly effectively. Some species have been known to grow over 30 inches in a single 24-hour period! Such rapid […]

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Functions Of Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The physical and chemical properties of its roots and stems means that it is able to transform nutrients into growth-enabling energy sources incredibly effectively. Some species have been known to grow over 30 inches in a single 24-hour period! Such rapid varieties are not particularly useful to the average permaculture gardener, but other species of bamboo may well have a place on the permaculture plot, as they offer a variety of functions.

There are two basic varieties of bamboo: running and clumping. Running bamboo spreads its roots out underground, pushing up new growth at what can be significant distances from the original stem. Some species are such good travelers that they can ‘escape’ your garden and pop up on neighboring plots. That’s why it is recommended that you use the clumping varieties (although you could use running varieties in pots, if you wished, to contain them). The clumping species don’t spread, instead the root growth remains around the main stem and new shoots (called ‘culms’) are sent up adjacent to it, forming something like a tussock.

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Seven Ideas For Urban Permaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-ideas-urban-permaculture https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-ideas-urban-permaculture#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:33:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37481 Urban Permaculture Ideas When one thinks about food production, it is a natural inclination to imagine a rural scene. Fields, forests, orchards and farms are the most likely pictures that spring to mind. But the majority of people on the planet live in urban settings, so how can permaculture food production be applied to our […]

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Urban Permaculture Ideas

When one thinks about food production, it is a natural inclination to imagine a rural scene. Fields, forests, orchards and farms are the most likely pictures that spring to mind. But the majority of people on the planet live in urban settings, so how can permaculture food production be applied to our towns and cities? There are, in fact many techniques that allow urban dwellers to grow food the permaculture way.

Window
Perhaps the archetypal material associated with modern urban architecture is glass. Apartment blocks, especially, tend to make a lot of use of it. However, it can be turned to the permaculturist’s advantage. Glass is very good at letting in sunlight and heat and you can utilize this by creating towers made from recycled plastic bottles that allow the light in and make use of the full length of your window. A more traditional option is to start window boxes. You can grow all kinds of herbs in window boxes, and even smaller fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce.

Edible Balconies
Tall apartment buildings are a feature of modern urban life, and they don’t often come with much outside space. One place where it can be available however, is on the balcony.

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Seven natural building techniqueshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-natural-building-techniques https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-natural-building-techniques#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 03:34:28 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39615 Natural building techniques are methods that are “greener” that modern manufactured modes of property construction. Typically drawing on older, traditional forms of home building, these techniques emphasize the use of materials, practices and aesthetics that are not ecologically destructive, are sensitive to the natural and cultural surroundings in which the property is sited, and focus […]

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Natural building techniques are methods that are “greener” that modern manufactured modes of property construction. Typically drawing on older, traditional forms of home building, these techniques emphasize the use of materials, practices and aesthetics that are not ecologically destructive, are sensitive to the natural and cultural surroundings in which the property is sited, and focus on skills and resources that are locally sourced and economically viable, particularly for those who are unable to afford to purchase homes in the modern, “unnatural” property market. Below are some of the natural building techniques that are undergoing something of a revival today.

Adobe
One of the oldest natural building techniques, adobe involves creating a building material with earth and water – sometimes with straw added – which is then dried in the sun. Typically the abode composite is formed into uniform shapes and then used like conventional bricks, but it can also simply be layered over time to create a structure. The best results come from adobe made from earth with at least 20 percent clay by volume, with the remainder being primarily composed of sand.

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Seven Parts of an Apple Tree Guildhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-parts-apple-tree-guild https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-parts-apple-tree-guild#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:42:46 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38034 Parts Of An Apple Tree Guild Guild, or companion, planting is one of the fundamental techniques of permaculture gardening. It taps into permaculture ideas such as self-sufficient systems, plants providing multiple functions, and maximizing the productivity of a plot. Guilds are typically set up around a central fruit tree. Each plant species in the ecosystem […]

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Parts Of An Apple Tree Guild

Guild, or companion, planting is one of the fundamental techniques of permaculture gardening. It taps into permaculture ideas such as self-sufficient systems, plants providing multiple functions, and maximizing the productivity of a plot. Guilds are typically set up around a central fruit tree. Each plant species in the ecosystem performs one or more functions that benefit others in the vicinity, as well as interacting with animal species and soil microorganisms to create an ecosystem. Below are examples of species that can be used to make an effective guild planting around an apple tree.

Apple Tree
At the centre of the guild stands an apple tree. In a permaculture design, it is preferable to get your fruit trees into then ground as soon as possible, as they can take several years to mature. For instance, if you plant a one-year-old specimen of a standard sized apple tree, you can expect to start harvesting in around five years. Dwarf varieties will take a little less time, producing their first harvest around year three. When planting an apple tree, make sure you add plenty of organic matter and, if possible, some animal manure. This will give the tree all the nutrients it needs to make a robust start in your plot.

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Seven Permaculture Ideas for Rentershttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-permaculture-ideas-renters https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-permaculture-ideas-renters#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:10:52 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37318 Permaculture Ideas For Renters Permaculture is for everyone. It is one of the best ways of producing food, minimizing our impact upon the planet, and moving towards a self-sustainable model that focuses on people and nature, rather than profits. However, sometimes it can seem very hard to get started with permaculture. This is particularly true […]

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Permaculture Ideas For Renters

Permaculture is for everyone. It is one of the best ways of producing food, minimizing our impact upon the planet, and moving towards a self-sustainable model that focuses on people and nature, rather than profits. However, sometimes it can seem very hard to get started with permaculture. This is particularly true if you live in rented accommodation. Unless you have an amenable landlord and the luxury of a long-term secure lease, it can seem daunting, even pointless to try and institute permaculture practices on a plot that you may have to leave with just a month’s notice.

Pots
One of the easiest ways to follow the permaculture principle of growing your own food on a rented property is to plant in pots. There are many species of harvestable plants that are perfectly happy in pots, and it means that you can move them to another property if you leave your current home, as well as move them around your garden in different seasons to give them the best growing conditions, such as giving them access to the early morning spring sunshine and shade from the blistering afternoon summer rays. Growing in pots is a great solution for those who may have a very small yard or only a balcony as outside space.

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Seven Permaculture Principles for Social Communitieshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-permaculture-principles-social-communities https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-permaculture-principles-social-communities#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 03:59:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38170 Permaculture Principles For Social Communities Permaculture designed is based on the notion that actions and within and upon a system should bring benefit to the system as a whole. This principle can, in turn, be applied to human communities and social groups, as well as to agricultural and garden systems. Indeed, permaculture’s ethics-based approach was […]

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Permaculture Principles For Social Communities

Permaculture designed is based on the notion that actions and within and upon a system should bring benefit to the system as a whole. This principle can, in turn, be applied to human communities and social groups, as well as to agricultural and garden systems. Indeed, permaculture’s ethics-based approach was from the very start formulated as a way not only to grow food and protect nature but to suggest how social systems could be organized to be more equal, less wasteful, and less damaging to the natural ecosystems they exist alongside and depend upon.

Many of the underlying ideas of permaculture design that we use to analyze and design a cultivated plot can be used to consider how we think about social communities, political systems and economies. They can also provide ways to reconceive how we shape communities for the benefit of everyone within them.

Embrace Diversity
On a permaculture plot, a diversity of plants, animals, microclimates and niches is actively encouraged. We should also embrace the diversity within social communities. Everyone has unique experiences and ideas that should be a part of the discussion of how communities are organized and run.

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Seven Reasons Not to Eat Cage Eggshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-reasons-eat-cage-eggs https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-reasons-eat-cage-eggs#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:44:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37706 Why Not To Eat Cage Eggs Anyone who keeps chickens on their permaculture ploy knows what delightful animals they can be. Different species have their own character traits, while individual birds also express distinct personalities. Combined with their usefulness in providing manure, turning over the soil and keeping pests and weeds under control, the presence […]

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Why Not To Eat Cage Eggs

Anyone who keeps chickens on their permaculture ploy knows what delightful animals they can be. Different species have their own character traits, while individual birds also express distinct personalities. Combined with their usefulness in providing manure, turning over the soil and keeping pests and weeds under control, the presence of a chicken on a site is very beneficial and pleasurable for the permaculture gardener.

Of course, one of the main reasons to keep chickens as livestock is that they provide eggs. Eggs have formed part of human diets for thousands of years and continue to be a popular foodstuff. Many people don’t have the space or inclination to keep their own chickens, so purchase eggs from the supermarket.

But all eggs are not created equally. The consumer has a choice between eggs that have been produced in different ways. The four primary types available on the market are organic, free-range, barn and cage.

Organic eggs are the eggs most produced like those on a permaculture plot. The chickens are allowed to roam outside and are not treated with any antibiotics and no inorganic substances are added to their food. Free-range hens also have access to outside space, but they may have been given antibiotics.

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Seven Tips for Creating a Garden to Attract Wildlifehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-creating-garden-attract-wildlife https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-creating-garden-attract-wildlife#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:02:41 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38176 Best Tips For Creating A Garden Permaculture systems work with nature and give value to all parts of it. While producing edible crops is one of the main focuses of any permaculture plot, other factors are also considered, including the pleasure that the garden brings, the benefit it can give to the earth it sits […]

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Best Tips For Creating A Garden

Permaculture systems work with nature and give value to all parts of it. While producing edible crops is one of the main focuses of any permaculture plot, other factors are also considered, including the pleasure that the garden brings, the benefit it can give to the earth it sits on, and how it can help to conserve precious and finite resources like water.

A further aspect of a permaculture design is how it interacts with local and migratory wildlife. Wild animals are a part of the ecosystem in which the permaculture plot is located, and so deserve consideration when making a design. Sometimes natural techniques will be deployed to deter certain animals from the site (in order to protect other life forms, be they plants or animals), but often the permaculture gardener will seek to attract wildlife to the site. Doing so can often help in keeping populations of other creatures, particularly pest insects, in the correct balance for the ecosystem, but having wild animals visit a site also adds pleasure to a site, either through observing them or hearing their voices, be it birdsong or the croaking of frogs. Here are some of the ways to attract wildlife to your permaculture garden.

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Seven Tips for Greywater Usehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-greywater-use https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-greywater-use#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:55:58 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37964 Best Tips For Greywater Use At its simplest, a greywater system takes water that has been used in household cleaning tasks and diverts it for use on the permaculture garden. When the toilet is flushed, the bath emptied or the washing machine used, a greywater system prevents the wastewater from simply going down the drain […]

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Best Tips For Greywater Use

At its simplest, a greywater system takes water that has been used in household cleaning tasks and diverts it for use on the permaculture garden. When the toilet is flushed, the bath emptied or the washing machine used, a greywater system prevents the wastewater from simply going down the drain and into the sewer system; instead pipes take it out to the garden where it is used for irrigation. Particularly if it is utilized in combination with a rainwater harvesting method, a greywater system could go a long way to providing all the irrigation needs a permaculture garden has. It has the additional benefits of limiting wastewater (and so lightening the load on the municipal system of pipes and treatment plants) and of reducing your water bills.

However, harvesting and using greywater is not quite as simple as just piping the water from the bathroom and laundry out onto the garden; there are several variables to consider before installing a greywater system.

Regulations
Different states in countries like the U.S.

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Seven Tips for Growing Citrus Treeshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-growing-citrus-trees https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-growing-citrus-trees#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:00:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38171 Citrus fruits are some of the most versatile crops for use in the kitchen. They can be juiced for drinks or salad dressings, added to fruit salads, segmented over breakfast cereals, cooked with meat (duck a l’orange, anyone?) and used in any number of cakes, sorbets ice creams, cakes and other sweet desserts. They are […]

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Citrus fruits are some of the most versatile crops for use in the kitchen. They can be juiced for drinks or salad dressings, added to fruit salads, segmented over breakfast cereals, cooked with meat (duck a l’orange, anyone?) and used in any number of cakes, sorbets ice creams, cakes and other sweet desserts. They are also very nutritious fruits, being high in a range of vitamins. Sometimes, however, gardeners can be put off planting citrus fruits on their plot, feeling perhaps that they can only thrive in tropical climates or in greenhouses.

In fact, growing most varieties of citrus is relatively simple, as long as you are able to give them plenty of sunshine. Indeed, that primary consideration aside, permaculture gardeners should be able to cultivate a citrus tree, even if they have limited space. There are lots of varieties available, but some are more suited to small-scale cultivation than others.

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Seven Tips for Reducing Food Wastehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-reducing-food-waste https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-reducing-food-waste#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:57:59 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37966 Guide For Reducing Food Waste Each year, millions of tons of food are simply thrown away by consumers. More often than not, this food goes into landfill sites, producing no benefit for human, plant, animal or soil, and damaging the environment by producing methane. And not only is it the food that goes in the […]

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Guide For Reducing Food Waste

Each year, millions of tons of food are simply thrown away by consumers. More often than not, this food goes into landfill sites, producing no benefit for human, plant, animal or soil, and damaging the environment by producing methane. And not only is it the food that goes in the bin (and into the landfill) that is being wasted, it also means that the water, energy and other resources that went into the growing, harvesting, transportation, packaging, selling and marketing the food has been wasted as well.

While one of the aims of any permaculture plot is to provide as much edible produce as possible, all but the most extensive and various sites are unlikely to supply all the food a family needs. As consumers we need to take responsibility for our food purchases and do all we can to prevent food waste. And as permaculturists we also need to make sure that none of the produce we grow goes to waste as well. Here are some tips to reduce the food waste from your home and garden.

Plan
One of the simplest ways to reduce food waste is to plan your meals.

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Seven Tips to Reduce your Food Billhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-reduce-food-bill https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-tips-reduce-food-bill#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 22:53:15 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39033 How To Reduce Your Food Bill Starting a permaculture garden, however large or small is a significant step to reducing the cost of your food. Even just having a few containers on a balcony with herbs and tomatoes growing in them, will add up to significant savings across the ear, while those with more space […]

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How To Reduce Your Food Bill

Starting a permaculture garden, however large or small is a significant step to reducing the cost of your food. Even just having a few containers on a balcony with herbs and tomatoes growing in them, will add up to significant savings across the ear, while those with more space to institute vegetable and fruit cultivating garden beds and perhaps even an orchard and space to raise some livestock will see even bigger savings. But however much space one has to devote to food production, chances are you will still need to go shopping to purchase some foodstuffs.

Some of your shopping may be done at a local farmers’ market where you can purchase goods from and have a direct relationship with the producers of the food. There may be local businesses that source products from the surrounding area, or make them themselves, such as butchers and bakers in the town. But even if these options are available in your area, you are still likely to need to visit a supermarket.

Supermarkets tend to have larger carbon footprints than smaller, local shops as they use economies of scale to buy products in bulk and transport them to their outlets.

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Seven Types of Growing Bedshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-types-growing-beds https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-types-growing-beds#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 01:06:29 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37183 Types Of Growing Beds In Permaculture Garden How you organize your permaculture garden will depend upon the analysis your have done of your site, the specifics of climate, topography and dimensions unique to it, and what your wish to produce from it. However, there are some general principles that most designs will involve, one of […]

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Types Of Growing Beds In Permaculture Garden

How you organize your permaculture garden will depend upon the analysis your have done of your site, the specifics of climate, topography and dimensions unique to it, and what your wish to produce from it. However, there are some general principles that most designs will involve, one of which is the siting of garden beds within Zone 1 of your site.

Your garden beds are where most of your vegetable and herb crops are planted. (some fruits can also be Zone 1 crops, although they tend to have specific growing needs, and fruits in Zone 1 tend to be citrus planted in pots rather than beds.) These crops are sited in Zone 1 as they are visited frequently to collect food for the kitchen. Different types of crops benefit from siting in different types of beds, suitable to their preferred growing condition, their structure and the frequency with which your harvest them. Here are some of the more common types of beds that can be adaptable to many different kinds of site and may prove useful when making your permaculture design.

Herb Spiral
The herb spiral has become, arguably, one of the archetypal features of permaculture design. And with good reason.

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Seven Typical Components of a Guildhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-typical-components-guild https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-typical-components-guild#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:45:15 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37707 Components Of A Guild Guilds really are great. These interconnected systems of plants and animals are clear demonstrations of how nature achieves balance and harmony. Taking their cue from natural ecosystems such as forests, guild planting seeks to recreate the beneficial links between organisms by planting species that will aid one another close together. The […]

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Components Of A Guild

Guilds really are great. These interconnected systems of plants and animals are clear demonstrations of how nature achieves balance and harmony. Taking their cue from natural ecosystems such as forests, guild planting seeks to recreate the beneficial links between organisms by planting species that will aid one another close together. The resultant guild will also form relationships with insects and other organisms to create a thriving ecosystem.

Feeders
Within a guild there are those plants that feed us, by producing edible crops. As in all permaculture practice, planting a guild should have the aim of maximizing biodiversity and so expanding the range of foodstuffs grown. Most guilds are organized around the central species of a fruit tree. Around the tree, the gardener should be able to cultivate a wide variety of edible plants, including fruits, herbs, vegetables and legumes. The guilds interaction with animals can also provide a source of food, such as bees visiting blossoms in the guild, or livestock foraging fallen fruit. It is also worth noting that often plants that grow well together taste good together as well, making harvesting for a meal easy.

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Seven Vegetables You Can Harvest in Winterhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-vegetables-can-harvest-winter https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/seven-vegetables-can-harvest-winter#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 03:57:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38167 Here Are The Vegetables You Can Harvest In Winter We tend to think of plants developing their edible crops in the spring and summer. This seems intuitive given that spring is associated with new life after the harsher conditions of winter, and the fact that many animal species give birth to their young in the […]

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Here Are The Vegetables You Can Harvest In Winter

We tend to think of plants developing their edible crops in the spring and summer. This seems intuitive given that spring is associated with new life after the harsher conditions of winter, and the fact that many animal species give birth to their young in the spring, giving them the maximum time to feed up and grow before the relative privations of the colder months of the year. And indeed, many crops are ready for harvest in the warmer times, with the longer days giving them more sunshine and so energy to ripen. But there are also plenty of vegetables that can be harvested in fall and winter, including some of the most nutritious of all veggies. Incorporating some of the following plants into your permaculture design will ensure you have access to fresh vegetables throughout much of the year, and that you have a diverse and nutritious range of ingredients for your kitchen.

Cauliflower
Given a soil rich in nitrogen and potassium, along with sufficient moisture, cauliflowers will thrive and be available for harvest up until the first frost of winter. Mayflower and Aalsmeer are good varieties for providing good winter crops.

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Simplicity NOW: 10 Steps to Designing a Simple Lifehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/simplicity-now-10-steps-designing-simpler-life https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/simplicity-now-10-steps-designing-simpler-life#comments Sun, 18 May 2014 03:01:39 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35430 Tips To Designing A Simple Life So you want to change the world, but you find that daily life can be pretty complicated as it is. How can we design whole new systems of living in harmony with the planet when we are still struggling to live in harmony with ourselves in these complex systems […]

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Tips To Designing A Simple Life

So you want to change the world, but you find that daily life can be pretty complicated as it is. How can we design whole new systems of living in harmony with the planet when we are still struggling to live in harmony with ourselves in these complex systems called families, relationships, or just the intricate system that is the human body?

Indeed, our species can certainly be a motley crew. But complex systems don’t need to be complicated. When we are designing systems in Permaculture, we look at the zones, stack functions (meet multiple needs with a single element of design) and start small. If the house and home are Zone 0 and the garden is Zone 1, then the people are Zone 00. The closest zone to us that we have the most control over is ourselves. Start with you, and start simple.

Simplicity can be a difficult, so here are some steps towards simplifying our daily actions to begin the work of permaculture in Zone 00:

1. Breathe. Just pay attention to breath. This is a wonderful first principle observation technique.

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Six Benefits of a Chicken Tractorhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-benefits-chicken-tractor https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-benefits-chicken-tractor#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:12:53 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38571 Benefits Of A Chicken Tractor Keeping chickens is becoming more and more popular – and not just for permaculturists. Having a ready supply of organic eggs (and, potentially, meat) is appealing in a society where industrial farming often places animal welfare low down on the list of priorities (leading to the morally repugnant practice of […]

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Benefits Of A Chicken Tractor

Keeping chickens is becoming more and more popular – and not just for permaculturists. Having a ready supply of organic eggs (and, potentially, meat) is appealing in a society where industrial farming often places animal welfare low down on the list of priorities (leading to the morally repugnant practice of battery hens), where chicken products are routinely treated with antibiotics and chemical preservatives, and where eggs and meat can travel hundreds of miles to be sold in the local supermarket.

One of the other primary impulses for many people to keep chickens is that it provides a relatively easy and inexpensive way to regain a connection with the natural world, and with the cycle of life that goes into providing us with food. When so much of what we eat comes pre-packed in plastic, it can be refreshing to have a personal relationship with creatures that are providing sustenance for you (plus, chickens are very characterful birds that are just fun to be around).

Given that the chickens are providing something to you, it is only right that you provide for their needs in return.

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Six Benefits of Guild Plantinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-benefits-guild-planting https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-benefits-guild-planting#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:22:39 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37569 Anyone who has had even a little exposure to the ideas and techniques within permaculture is likely to have heard the phrase ‘guild planting’. Also known as companion planting, this is the system by which species of plants are grouped together in certain locations to provide mutual benefits to the group as a whole. They […]

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Anyone who has had even a little exposure to the ideas and techniques within permaculture is likely to have heard the phrase ‘guild planting’. Also known as companion planting, this is the system by which species of plants are grouped together in certain locations to provide mutual benefits to the group as a whole. They are akin to webs, with each strand of the web on its own weaker than when all the strands work together. Guilds can be instituted in time – with plants growing and maturing together – and over time – by planting successive crops in the one location. Effective guild planting also means that you avoid its inverse – plating species next to each other that may have a detrimental effect on one another.

Guilds are typically instituted around a central plant, most often a fruit tree. The plants located around the tree offer it benefits and receive others in return, including shade and protection from wind. Guilds also include animals, both wild and livestock, as they can help influence growing outcomes as well.

Space
Guild planting is one of the most effective ways to use the available productive space in the garden.

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Six Characteristics of Zone 2https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/permaculture-garden-design https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/permaculture-garden-design#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 01:07:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37184 Zone 2 In Permaculture Garden Design In the zoning principle that is applied to permaculture garden design, Zone 2 sits just beyond Zone 1, which is the zone containing most of your vegetables and herbs. If zone 1 is the most visited of all the zones, Zone 2 is next. Typically you will visit this […]

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Zone 2 In Permaculture Garden Design

In the zoning principle that is applied to permaculture garden design, Zone 2 sits just beyond Zone 1, which is the zone containing most of your vegetables and herbs. If zone 1 is the most visited of all the zones, Zone 2 is next. Typically you will visit this zone once a day or once every other day.

As with the other zones on your plot, the precise formulation of Zone 2 will depend on the analysis you do of the area’s maintenance needs, potential productivity and water and energy requirements. However, there are several fundamental characteristics that are likely to be evident, whatever shape your final design takes.

Plant Stacking
Zone 2 of a permaculture garden is sometimes referred to as the ‘food forest’. It is designed in such a way as to resemble natural forest systems where plants and animals interact, supporting each other and thus requiring little maintenance input from the gardener. This zone also resembles a forest in appearance, with plantings of different heights, creating a stacking effect. Zone 2 will likely have ground cover crops, a variety of sizes of shrubs, large and small trees, as well as vines and creepers that live on them.

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Six Common House Problems – And How to Solve Themhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-common-house-problems-solve https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-common-house-problems-solve#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:21:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38807 How To Solve These Common House Problems Few properties are perfectly adaptable to all local climatic conditions that it experiences. A house that is just the right temperature in both summer and winter, not too humid or to dry is a rare thing. Typically, to combat uncomfortable conditions in a house, the inhabitants will use […]

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How To Solve These Common House Problems

Few properties are perfectly adaptable to all local climatic conditions that it experiences. A house that is just the right temperature in both summer and winter, not too humid or to dry is a rare thing. Typically, to combat uncomfortable conditions in a house, the inhabitants will use appliances. However, the majority of these appliances use fossil fuel energy – be they central heating systems or air conditioning units. As permaculturists we are always looking for ways to reduce our consumption of energy that contributes to global warming by burning fossil fuels. As such, rather than turning on an appliance, we look at less energy-intensive means to ameliorate our environments. Fortunately, techniques and principles within permaculture enable us to tackle common problems within houses in a more sustainable manner.

Too Dry
If the air inside a house gets too dry it can cause those living with to have irritated skin and sinus problems. Over time the low levels of moisture in the air can cause the membranes of the respiratory system to dry out and so leave it more likely to become infected by cold and flu germs. The best way to add humidity to a room is to place plants within it.

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Six Mass Extinctionshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-mass-extinctions https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-mass-extinctions#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:01:41 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38174 There is a growing school of scientific thought that the Earth is in the middle of the sixth great extinction event in its history. A mass extinction event refers to a period when an abnormally large number of animal species simultaneously die out over a time frame much shorter than that which could account for […]

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There is a growing school of scientific thought that the Earth is in the middle of the sixth great extinction event in its history. A mass extinction event refers to a period when an abnormally large number of animal species simultaneously die out over a time frame much shorter than that which could account for the ‘natural’ rate of extinction through the process of evolution, which refers to the process by which older species are replaced by newer variations which inhabit ecological niches. A mass extinction event can, therefore, take place over hundreds, thousands or millions of years, as in terms of evolutionary history such timeframes are minute.

Mass extinction events are caused by drastic changes to the conditions on the planet, which can occur for a number of reasons, from alterations to the atmosphere and volcanic activity to asteroids smashing into the surface. Through fossil records scientists have identified five previous mass extinction events in the history of the Earth.

First
The first mass extinction took place at the end of the Ordovician age. This was approximately 440 million years ago. At that time most animal species lived in the sea. Massive glaciations occurred which locked up most of the water on the planet.

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Six Problems With Monoculture Farminghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-problems-monoculture-farming https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-problems-monoculture-farming#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:38:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37532 Problems With Monoculture Farming Permaculture gardening promotes biodiversity. It seeks to maximize the number of productive species of plant within a plot, not only to offer the gardener a diverse and vibrant number of crops to harvest for the kitchen, but also so that the ecosystem is itself is strong, with different plants performing different […]

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Problems With Monoculture Farming

Permaculture gardening promotes biodiversity. It seeks to maximize the number of productive species of plant within a plot, not only to offer the gardener a diverse and vibrant number of crops to harvest for the kitchen, but also so that the ecosystem is itself is strong, with different plants performing different functions so that all can thrive. Permaculture design seeks to avoid any one thing – be it a species of insect, a ground cover plant or an extreme weather event – becoming too influential on a site, to the detriment of the other valuable parts of the ecosystem.

In contrast, much modern agricultural production is based on the opposite premise – cultivating monocultures. Think of vast fields of wheat or barley, plantations of a single species of fruit tree, or furrowed fields of a single vegetable crop. Modern commercial agriculture often seeks to increase yield – and so profits – by cultivating a single type of plant. The theory is that the farmer need only provide for the needs of a single species, with its individual characteristics, in order to grow a successful crop. And the economy of scale allowed by cultivating a single crop (by, for instance, requiring a single automated harvesting method) boosts profits for the farmer.

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Six Properties of Soilhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-properties-soil https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-properties-soil#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:23:25 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37570 Having a good understanding of the soil on your permaculture plot is key to making it productive. The soil, as the medium in which plants grow, is the bedrock of your site. Soil can be changed over time, and plants can adapt to those changes, but having the knowledge about the make-up of your soil […]

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Having a good understanding of the soil on your permaculture plot is key to making it productive. The soil, as the medium in which plants grow, is the bedrock of your site. Soil can be changed over time, and plants can adapt to those changes, but having the knowledge about the make-up of your soil will make your planting and soil treatment more effective.

The properties of the soil were originally determined by the material that went into its original manufacture – the rocks which in the past were weathered down into soil particles. However, agricultural and permaculture practices can also have an impact. Here are the major properties of soil.

Texture
The texture of the soil refers to the proportions of three major materials within it: sand, clay and silt. Particles of these materials are of differing sizes, and their presence in the soil will affect the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and moisture. Sand particles are the largest of the three, so a soil with a higher proportion of sand in it has more space through which water moves, meaning it dries out quickly. Clay has the smallest particle size of the three, and so a soil heavy in clay will retain water well, but have a slower rate of infiltration. Silt particles are somewhere in between.

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Six Reasons why Comfrey is an Amazing Permaculture Planthttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-reasons-comfrey-amazing-permaculture-plant https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-reasons-comfrey-amazing-permaculture-plant#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:14:20 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38573 Reasons That Make Comfrey An Amazing Permaculture Plant Comfrey is a fairly humble looking plant. It has large hairy green leaves and small bell-shaped flowers, typically colored either purple or white. However, what it may lack in striking appearances, it certainly makes up for in the myriad benefits it can give to a permaculture plot. […]

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Reasons That Make Comfrey An Amazing Permaculture Plant

Comfrey is a fairly humble looking plant. It has large hairy green leaves and small bell-shaped flowers, typically colored either purple or white. However, what it may lack in striking appearances, it certainly makes up for in the myriad benefits it can give to a permaculture plot.

Mulch
Comfrey is arguably the best ‘cut and leave’ mulch – also called ‘green manure’ available to the permaculture gardener. It grows quickly, so you can often get three separate growths over a single season suitable for cutting and leaving on the soil. It has a wide array of important chemical and minerals that it adds to the soil as it decomposes, including silica, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. Best of all it is loaded with nitrogen, the most important chemical element in all plant growth. Not only does this nitrogen enter the soil from where other plants’ roots can access it for growth and crop development purposes, it also means that when the cut comfrey is decomposing it doesn’t pull whatever nitrogen is already in the soil out to aid the decomposition, which mulches that are high in carbon, such as straw, can do.

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Six Reasons Why Good Ventilation is Essential for Greenhouseshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-reasons-good-ventilation-essential-greenhouses https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-reasons-good-ventilation-essential-greenhouses#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:47:09 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37709 At its most basic level, a greenhouse absorbs sunlight inside the structure, making for warmer growing conditions than those outside. A greenhouse can provide the permaculture gardener with another type of growing environment on their plot, to compliment the natural climatic condition ns and the microclimates they have created. It can help to start new […]

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At its most basic level, a greenhouse absorbs sunlight inside the structure, making for warmer growing conditions than those outside. A greenhouse can provide the permaculture gardener with another type of growing environment on their plot, to compliment the natural climatic condition ns and the microclimates they have created. It can help to start new seedling, giving them protection from the elements during their fragile juvenile stages. A greenhouse can also serve to extend the growing season of plants, giving them a ‘head start’ on spring, before they are planted out. Gardeners can also use the greenhouse conditions to grow species that require warmer conditions than those their plot provides outside (although these are unlikely to be native species so care must be taken to avoid cross-pollination).

Having an efficient, effective greenhouse is dependent on several factors, including choosing the right plant species and siting it in the best location for capturing sunlight. Within the greenhouse, variations in temperature, moisture levels and airflow are also important. One of the key aspects of a greenhouse that impacts upon these variables, and others, is ventilation. Arguable, getting the ventilation right is the way to ensure a productive greenhouse. Here are the reasons why.

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Six Sources of Renewable Energyhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-sources-renewable-energy https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-sources-renewable-energy#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:27:01 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38101 Best Sources Of Renewable Energy Ninety seven percent of scientists agree that man-made climate change is a real and present danger to the health of the planet. The emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels is causing changes in the atmosphere that are impacting upon temperature, extreme weather events and rising ocean levels. Climate […]

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Best Sources Of Renewable Energy

Ninety seven percent of scientists agree that man-made climate change is a real and present danger to the health of the planet. The emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels is causing changes in the atmosphere that are impacting upon temperature, extreme weather events and rising ocean levels. Climate change is arguably the biggest threat to life on earth we currently face.

The major contributor to the problem is our reliance on fossil fuels for energy. Burning gas, coal and oil – be it in factories to create electricity or in automobiles in the form of gasoline – releases harmful toxins such as carbon dioxide that absorb and emit thermal radiation back on the earth when they are in the atmosphere.

A secondary problem with the use of fossil fuels to meet the energy needs of the human population is that they are finite resources. Indeed, some believe that we have already passed the point of ‘peak’ production and that from now on they will become scarcer. As reserves are depleted there will be increased conflict over the scarce remainder. That is, if we don’t do something to reduce our need for these resources.

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Six Steps for Building a Swalehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-steps-building-swale https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-steps-building-swale#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 03:58:40 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38169 Guide To Building A Swale As it is central to life on Earth, so water is of crucial importance to the permaculture plot, providing the plants, livestock and wildlife with an essential element for their survival and growth. Water is also a finite resource. It is precious and should be treated as such. Therefore, permaculture […]

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Guide To Building A Swale

As it is central to life on Earth, so water is of crucial importance to the permaculture plot, providing the plants, livestock and wildlife with an essential element for their survival and growth. Water is also a finite resource. It is precious and should be treated as such. Therefore, permaculture design seeks to preserve and use water in the most sustainable and efficient ways. This includes harvesting rainwater, mulching and composting soil to help prevent excess evaporation from the surface, planting native species that are adapted to the rainfall condition in the area, and reusing water from the home in the garden.

The permaculture gardener is also looking to slow the rate at which water moves off the site. The best place for water to be stored is in the ground, where it is available for plants and microorganisms to use, so it makes sense to try and keep water on the plot as long as possible to allow it to soak into the soil. There are various ways of doing this, such as planting slopes with trees and cover crops to increase percolation rates, and minimizing areas of paving or similar hard surfaces that increase water runoff.

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Six Steps for Setting up a Beehivehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-steps-setting-beehive https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-steps-setting-beehive#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:48:07 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37710 Guide To Setting Up A Beehive Bees are an important component of many ecosystems. Their role in the pollination of plants is essential for the propagation of many species, and in recent years concerns about declining bee populations have fuelled fears of a huge decrease in biodiversity and of blooming populations of pests that bees […]

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Guide To Setting Up A Beehive

Bees are an important component of many ecosystems. Their role in the pollination of plants is essential for the propagation of many species, and in recent years concerns about declining bee populations have fuelled fears of a huge decrease in biodiversity and of blooming populations of pests that bees predate.

On a permaculture plot bees perform the same function. Planting a wide variety of plants with different blooms that appeal to the bees can help attract them to your plot, but the gardener could also consider installing a beehive on their site. Not only does this have the benefit of having the creatures permanently on the site to perform the important pollination functions, it has the secondary function of providing an edible product in the form of honey.

Check with Others
There are four groups of people you need to check with before embarking on your beekeeping adventure. First, your family. You will need everyone to be comfortable with having bees permanently in the garden. Secondly, check with your doctor.

Read Six Steps for Setting up a Beehive on Open Permaculture School!

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Six Sustainable Agricultural Practiceshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-sustainable-agricultural-practices https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-sustainable-agricultural-practices#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:01:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38173 Guide To Sustainable Agricultural Practices In many ways, permaculture was formulated as a response to the damaging and inefficient methods of modern industrial agricultural production. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren recognized that the way much of the food in the Western world, at least, is produced is damaging to the land, damaging to the native […]

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Guide To Sustainable Agricultural Practices

In many ways, permaculture was formulated as a response to the damaging and inefficient methods of modern industrial agricultural production. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren recognized that the way much of the food in the Western world, at least, is produced is damaging to the land, damaging to the native ecosystems it commandeers or borders, wasteful in the extreme and, in the end, damaging for us as consumers and guardians of the Earth. Permaculture suggested an alternative rubric of food production focused on sustainability, diversity, localism, closed systems of energy to reduce waste, protection of nature, and cooperation rather than competition between producers. This was in counterpoint to the monoculture, large-scale, destructive method of commercial production.

While it can take a major shift in attitude and mindset to approach agriculture in terms of sustainability rather than simply profit, the good news is that there are some simple techniques that can make farming much more sustainable. This will make farms more ecologically sensitive, less wasteful of resources, grow more nutritious food and, hopefully, improve the life of those working on the land.

Read Six Sustainable Agricultural Practices on Open Permaculture School!

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Six Tips for Creating More Edgeshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/create-edges-in-permaculture-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/create-edges-in-permaculture-garden#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 04:00:38 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38172 How To Create More Edges In A Permaculture Garden The edge effect is one of the major facets in permaculture design. Indeed, it is the tenth in David Holmgren’s list of underlying principles. It is a technique that takes its cue from nature and seeks to maximize biodiversity and productivity. In essence, the edge effect […]

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How To Create More Edges In A Permaculture Garden

The edge effect is one of the major facets in permaculture design. Indeed, it is the tenth in David Holmgren’s list of underlying principles. It is a technique that takes its cue from nature and seeks to maximize biodiversity and productivity. In essence, the edge effect refers to the zone where two distinct environments meet within an ecosystem. This area, where the zones interact, is sometimes referred to as an ‘ecotone’. It benefits from inputs from both the environments, making ecotones among the most biodiverse and fertile areas on a permaculture plot.

There are many benefits that derive from increasing the amount of edges in a permaculture garden. Variations in light, shade, temperature and moisture occur across the edge, making a greater number of microclimates that can support different species of plant. This wide variety of plant attracts a greater range of beneficial insects which in turn, attracts birds and other insect eating animals. The variety of plants also increases productivity and often plants that grow in the edge benefit from their proximity to one another, acting almost like a guild.

Read Six Tips for Creating More Edges on Open Permaculture School!

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Six Tips for Growing Broccolihttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-tips-growing-broccoli https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-tips-growing-broccoli#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:44:24 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=38036 Here Are The Tips You Need To Know For Growing Broccoli Broccoli is an incredibly nutritious vegetable. It is part of the Brassica family – alongside species such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage – and is loaded with beneficial vitamins and trace elements. Broccoli has high levels of folate, calcium and iron, as well […]

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Here Are The Tips You Need To Know For Growing Broccoli

Broccoli is an incredibly nutritious vegetable. It is part of the Brassica family – alongside species such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage – and is loaded with beneficial vitamins and trace elements. Broccoli has high levels of folate, calcium and iron, as well as loads of vitamins A, E and C. Indeed, it contains more vitamin C per ounce than an orange. All these elements help keep the physiological functions of your body running smoothly. It is also full of fiber, to help your digestive system, and has virtually no calories. The members of the Brassica family are sometimes referred to as cruciferous vegetables, from the shape of their flowers, which have four petals that resemble a cross. It s thought that cruciferous vegetables have compounds in them that can be beneficial in preventing cancer.

With all that going for it, broccoli is a welcome addition to any permaculture plot. The most common species that is cultivated is Calabrese, which come in a number of varieties, such as green sprouting, white sprouting and purple sprouting.

Read Six Tips for Growing Broccoli on Open Permaculture School!

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Six ways you can help combat climate changehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-ways-can-help-combat-climate-change https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/six-ways-can-help-combat-climate-change#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 03:33:23 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=39613 Despite the claims of some right-wing politicians and media outlets, climate change is a very real threat to the future survival of humankind on Earth. The deal agreed in November 2014 between the U.S. and China to reduce carbon emissions is an important step on the part of influential political leaders to address the issue. […]

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Despite the claims of some right-wing politicians and media outlets, climate change is a very real threat to the future survival of humankind on Earth. The deal agreed in November 2014 between the U.S. and China to reduce carbon emissions is an important step on the part of influential political leaders to address the issue. However, the vested interests of the fossil fuel industry (and their strong ties and financial backing of right-wing political parties not only in the U.S. but also the UK and Australia) and political in-fighting within countries means that a truly global response to this most pressing of concerns still seems a long way off. Indeed, in Australia (a country, let us not forget, that will be at the forefront of changes to the climate, having already experienced drastic droughts and fires as a result – according to the vast majority of scientists – of global warning) the incumbent Liberal government has become the first Western nation to actually dismantle legislation intended to combat the man-made warming of the planet by repealing a tax on carbon emissions.

However, despite the frustrating lack of accord among the political classes, climate change is still being tackled on the individual level.

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Ten Beneficial Spider Species in the USAhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ten-beneficial-spider-species-usa https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ten-beneficial-spider-species-usa#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:43:06 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37705 Here Are The Beneficial Spider Species In The USA When we talk about microorganisms and insects in the garden, it is quite easy to overlook one type of animal that is not actually an insect. Belonging to the biological classification of arachnids, spiders are predatory creatures that have an important role in controlling populations of […]

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Here Are The Beneficial Spider Species In The USA

When we talk about microorganisms and insects in the garden, it is quite easy to overlook one type of animal that is not actually an insect. Belonging to the biological classification of arachnids, spiders are predatory creatures that have an important role in controlling populations of pest insects on the permaculture plot. Utilizing either webs to capture prey, or simply striking on the ground or in plants, spiders all have some form of venom with which to kill their prey. All spiders will, once they have made a kill, use enzymes to break down and liquefy the prey in order to consume it. Most spiders will take almost any other insect that happens to come across their path so they will inevitably predate some other beneficial species, but their role in keeping pest populations down should not be underestimated, and permaculture gardeners should view spider sightings on their plot as a good sign indeed.

Every country, bar Antarctica, has its own indigenous arachnids, as well as other species that have been introduced from elsewhere. Here are some of the more common ones that permaculturists in the USA may come across.

Whitebanded Crab Spider
Crab spiders are ambush predators, with the whitebanded among the most common varieties.

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Ten Chicken Species to Consider for your Permaculture Plothttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ten-chicken-species-consider-permaculture-plot https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ten-chicken-species-consider-permaculture-plot#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 01:05:49 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37182 Chickens are often a permaculturist’s first entry into keeping livestock. An ideal addition to zone 2 of a permaculture property, chickens offer a number of benefits. Besides eggs and meat, they can help keep the soil healthy via their scratching and scavenging, they can aid in controlling insect populations. Their droppings are a great natural […]

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Chickens are often a permaculturist’s first entry into keeping livestock. An ideal addition to zone 2 of a permaculture property, chickens offer a number of benefits. Besides eggs and meat, they can help keep the soil healthy via their scratching and scavenging, they can aid in controlling insect populations. Their droppings are a great natural fertilizer, they will eat most of the scraps you’re your kitchen, and even their body heat can be utilized to warm a greenhouse or bathroom. Not only that, but chickens require relatively little maintenance and provide a lot of pleasure for the gardener, as they have different personalities and character traits.

There are several chicken species that are suitable for backyard permaculture gardens. While the specific climate and environmental conditions, as well as what you wish to get from your chickens, will impact upon your choice, here are a few species that are suitable for most locations.

Rhode Island Red
This species is often the first that gardeners obtain, when starting to experiment with keeping poultry, as they are tough and hardy birds. They have dark red or rust colored feathers and are relatively large. Their size makes them good for adding heat to a greenhouse if you place the coop adjacent to it.

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Ten Reasons Why Guild Planting is Amazinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ten-reasons-guild-planting-amazing https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ten-reasons-guild-planting-amazing#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:38:03 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=34130 Guild planting has so many benefits for your permaculture garden. By growing certain species together, you increase the chances of having a bountiful, productive site. Here’s are the main reasons why. Variety Guild planting means you can get more, different types of plant into your beds. The beneficial, symbiotic relationships that plants growing together develop […]

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Guild planting has so many benefits for your permaculture garden. By growing certain species together, you increase the chances of having a bountiful, productive site. Here’s are the main reasons why.

Variety
Guild planting means you can get more, different types of plant into your beds. The beneficial, symbiotic relationships that plants growing together develop help them all to thrive, giving you a more abundant and diverse harvest from the garden. The variety that guild planting encourages is also important in increasing biodiversity in your site, which creates a more effective, resilient ecosystem, making your permaculture garden less likely to collapse if it is subject to adverse conditions. Plus, having a wide variety of plants in your garden is more aesthetically pleasing than a single or a handful of crops. Guild planting lets you experience the great diversity and natural bounty of nature.

Productivity
Plants grown together in guilds complement each other. They each bring different benefits to bear upon the guild that help the other plants around them , and in turn they receive benefits from their companions. This promotes healthy, abundant growth and maximizes the productivity of the guild.

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testhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/uncategorized/test https://www.openpermaculture.com/uncategorized/test#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 01:49:30 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?post_type=social-locker&p=33541 Read test on Open Permaculture School!

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The Best Herbs for Compostinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/best-herbs-composting https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/best-herbs-composting#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:40:01 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=33878 Here Are The Best Herbs For Composting Want to get even more nutrients into your compost? Well, consider adding herbs. Of course, herbs won’t form the majority of your compost pile, but are a welcome addition for the benefits they bring. Think of them as you do herbs in cooking – as a little addition […]

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Here Are The Best Herbs For Composting

Want to get even more nutrients into your compost? Well, consider adding herbs. Of course, herbs won’t form the majority of your compost pile, but are a welcome addition for the benefits they bring. Think of them as you do herbs in cooking – as a little addition to add some extra zing. Below are some herbs that make great supplements to your compost, but first you need a compost pile to add them to.

Get the Basics Right
Before you get to the herbs, you need to get the basics of your compost sorted. You’ll need straw, wood chippings, pruning and branches – you’re carbon-providing elements and should form the bulk of your compost. You’ll also need green garden waste, like grass clippings, leaves and weeds. Add kitchen scraps, some soil, manure and shredded paper, keep moist and turn regularly, and you have the perfect conditions for bacteria and microorganisms to break down the material and create nutrient-rich compost. Adding herbs will both help the decomposition process and get more nutrients in there.

Comfrey
Comfrey is a nutrient powerhouse.

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Thirteen Reasons to Establish a Home Permaculture Food Gardenhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/thirteen-reasons-establish-home-permaculture-food-garden https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/thirteen-reasons-establish-home-permaculture-food-garden#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:21:21 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37082 Benefits Of A Home Permaculture Food Garden Starting a permaculture garden at home is possible even if you don’t have much space. Even a relatively small plot of land can produce a variety of foods to help feed you and your family. If you are wondering whether to establish your own kitchen garden, here are […]

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Benefits Of A Home Permaculture Food Garden

Starting a permaculture garden at home is possible even if you don’t have much space. Even a relatively small plot of land can produce a variety of foods to help feed you and your family. If you are wondering whether to establish your own kitchen garden, here are some reasons why you should go ahead.

Provides Food Safety
By growing your own food, and knowing what you are inputting into the ecosystem on which it grows, you can feel secure knowing that you can feed yourself and your family with unadulterated, fresh food, even in times of shortage.

Attracts Wildlife
A kitchen garden attracts wildlife. The plants and trees provide habitats for birds, mammals and insects. A healthy soil also provides an environment for microorganisms to thrive, which in turn will help your plants to flourish. And if you have room for a pond, the diversity of the species attracted is increased again.

Conserves Biodiversity
This diversity is another reason to establish a permaculture food garden. By planting a wide variety of species and welcoming as diverse a range of wildlife as possible, you create an ecosystem rich in biodiversity.

Read Thirteen Reasons to Establish a Home Permaculture Food Garden on Open Permaculture School!

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Three Chemical Elements Essential For Plant Growthhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/three-chemical-elements-essential-plant-growth-increase-soil https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/three-chemical-elements-essential-plant-growth-increase-soil#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:30:35 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37477 Chemical Elements Essential For Plant Growth In Permaculture Plants need several inputs in order to survive and thrive. Water, of course, is essential, as it is for all living things; a medium in which to grow; and sunlight to enable them to photosynthesize are all key. But at a smaller scale, there are three elements that […]

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Chemical Elements Essential For Plant Growth In Permaculture

Plants need several inputs in order to survive and thrive. Water, of course, is essential, as it is for all living things; a medium in which to grow; and sunlight to enable them to photosynthesize are all key. But at a smaller scale, there are three elements that are essential ingredients to healthy plant growth: potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous. Each performs a different role for the plant, and making a good balance of these elements available to their plants is one of the roles of the permaculture gardener to ensure healthy plants and a good harvest. Fortunately there are methods and techniques that gardeners can employ to increase the presence of each of the three elements in the soil.

Nitrogen
Nitrogen, taken up by plant roots from the soil after it has been processed into a soluble form by microorganisms, is essential for plants to develop proteins. These proteins are important for the development of cells within the plant. As such, nitrogen is needed for robust plant growth, speedy development of shoots, healthy flower bud development and a good quality harvest. It is also an essential chemical in the photosynthesis process, by which plants convert sunlight into useable energy.

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Three Types of Aquaponics Systemshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/three-types-aquaponics-systems https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/three-types-aquaponics-systems#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:24:13 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=37571 Types Of Aquaponics Systems You Need To Know Aquaponics is a system of cultivation that is starting to become much better known, both in terms of commercial agricultural production and the smaller scale of the permaculture gardener. It is appealing to both because it is a system that requires very little input in order to […]

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Types Of Aquaponics Systems You Need To Know

Aquaponics is a system of cultivation that is starting to become much better known, both in terms of commercial agricultural production and the smaller scale of the permaculture gardener. It is appealing to both because it is a system that requires very little input in order to function well, and produces two types of food product – plants and fish.

Aquaponics uses a linked system of fish tanks and vegetables beds. The only inputs needed are food for the fish and a method to pump water around the system (gravity can be used one way in some circumstances, but even then a pump will be required to complete the cycle). The basic system involves pumping the water from the fish tank, complete with the droppings of the fish, into the vegetable beds. The plants use the nutrients from the droppings that are in the water, and in doing so filter the water so that it is clean enough to go back into the fish tank. There are three major forms of aquaponics systems

Media Beds
The media bed aquaponics system is probably the easiest to set up on your permaculture plot.

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Top 10 Reasons to Consider Circular Bedshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/top-10-reasons-consider-circular-beds https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/top-10-reasons-consider-circular-beds#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:30:02 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=33877 Circular planting beds have become almost a signature part of permaculture garden design. Typically constructed with a keyhole path for access, they are incorporated into sites in many different types of location, because of the universal benefits they offer. Here are the reasons why. 1. More Space A circle is the shape that gives the […]

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Circular planting beds have become almost a signature part of permaculture garden design. Typically constructed with a keyhole path for access, they are incorporated into sites in many different types of location, because of the universal benefits they offer. Here are the reasons why.

1. More Space
A circle is the shape that gives the most amount of surface area for the shortest circumference. This means that you can get more plants into your beds, making the garden more productive. Having a series of circular beds also means that you minimize the amount of space in the garden used for pathways – which are unproductive spaces.

2. More Planting Variety
Maximizing the area into which you can plant allows for a higher percentage of guild gardening in your beds. You have more space to plant a greater variety of guilds. The circular design also lends itself perfectly to an outer ring of perennial plants, which can serve as protection and shade for the plants nearer the centre, particularly when newly planted. They can also serve as suntraps for the inner portion of the bed, creating distinct microclimates depending on their species and position.

3.

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Top Ten Companion Plantshttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/top-ten-companion-plants https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/top-ten-companion-plants#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:33:52 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=33588 Spring is finally here, and with it, planting season. Before buying ineffective, expensive and harmful chemical pesticides or fertilizers, try some companion planting techniques and let nature run its course. Here’s a list of the top ten best buds for your garden. 10. Three Sisters (Corn Squash and Beans) Native American agricultural tribes have been […]

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Spring is finally here, and with it, planting season. Before buying ineffective, expensive and harmful chemical pesticides or fertilizers, try some companion planting techniques and let nature run its course. Here’s a list of the top ten best buds for your garden.

10. Three Sisters (Corn Squash and Beans)
Native American agricultural tribes have been using this combination of corn, squash and beans for centuries because it works. A fish would be buried under a small mound for fertilizer and corn would be planted on top of the mound. Squash would cover the ground beneath the corn while the beans climbed up the corn and added nitrogen to the soil. Multiple mounds could be integrated into an edible landscape. Though this is only one combination of plants that work well together, it is simple, proven to work, and a great basis for understanding permaculture gardening strategies.

9. Yarrow
Yarrow is a beautiful wildflower that both repels insect pests and attracts beneficial insects to the garden such as predatory wasps, ladybugs, butterflies and bees. Yarrow is known for its beautiful, intricate leaves and bright flowers and can be effectively used to combat soil erosion. Besides benefitting the garden, this herb can be used as an anti-inflammatory agent, a tonic, astringent, or can be used in a variety of other medical uses. Flowers can be used to make bitters and has been historically used to flavor beer.

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Transforming the Planet’s Waste Stream into a Resource Streamhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/transforming-planets-waste-stream-resource-stream https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/transforming-planets-waste-stream-resource-stream#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:26:22 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=33848 Re-Imagining Garbage The problem isn’t trash itself. It’s our concept of what belongs in the trashcan, and our concept of “throwing it away.” There is no away on this planet. Waste is moved to another location, perhaps even shipped across the ocean to make it’s home in a place where land is cheaper or government […]

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Re-Imagining Garbage
The problem isn’t trash itself. It’s our concept of what belongs in the trashcan, and our concept of “throwing it away.” There is no away on this planet. Waste is moved to another location, perhaps even shipped across the ocean to make it’s home in a place where land is cheaper or government has less regulation.

What if we re-imagined the problem altogether? Instead of seeing our waste as something to throw away, what if we saw the benefit and potential use it serves in our world? One creative solution lies in this transformation: thinking of trash as the tool to re-build our natural and man-made world into a richer, more abundant oasis.

Biomass is Soil Waiting to be Grown
In recent interview with Peter Bain & Joel Salatin, Joel mentioned that 75% of the materials that end up in US landfills are biomass. This means that biomass such as food scraps, yard waste, and lumber are rotting away in a landfill, creating methane gasses and increasing CO2 levels.

The simple alternative is diverting this nutrient rich resource into local and region-wide projects to grow soil. With a minor amount of energy and maintenance, compost and mulch can be created on a local or industrial scale. The resulting high-nutrient soil and mulch eliminates the need for petroleum fertilizers and grows a healthier, high yield food crop.

Recycling Becomes Ultra Local
Often, so much of the saving of our recycling process gets wasted in shipping materials so far away. What if we were to create energy-efficient, zero waste facilities to locally process and refine these recyclables?

Consider a simple aluminum melting machine that inputs cans and outputs thin sheets of aluminum. In his book The Blue Economy, Gunter Pauli suggests an ingenious use for broken glass by forming incredible strong and robust I-beams for construction.

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Veganic is the new Permaculturehttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/veganic-new-permaculture https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/veganic-new-permaculture#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:27:11 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=34204 What is veganic farming and why is it so important in saving the planet? Before I get into the nitty gritty of it all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I started out as an ordinary person for much of my life. Growing up on animal foods for the first 26 years, […]

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What is veganic farming and why is it so important in saving the planet? Before I get into the nitty gritty of it all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I started out as an ordinary person for much of my life. Growing up on animal foods for the first 26 years, one day I had an awakening. Something inside me no longer wanted to be a part of the animal holocaust. I professed to love animals, but I knew what I was doing was contrary to my true beliefs. Not only do animal products—especially animal foods like the meat, dairy, eggs and honey—cause unrelentless suffering and death of billions of animals, they are also destroying the environment and our health. As a vegan since 2009 I knew there must be another way to be in the world. As Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And that’s what I wanted to do.

From that point on, being vegan was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It not only improved my own health, it also made me a more compassionate and kinder person to the animals and the Earth. It is unfortunate though, that we all grow up programmed by our culture. Eating animal foods is nothing we’ve ever undertaken ourselves, it’s not our own free choice. We’ve simply been forced into it by our culture. Like little robots we soak up everything our culture teaches us.

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Veganic is the New Permaculture Part 2https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/veganic-new-permaculture-part-2 https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/veganic-new-permaculture-part-2#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 18:44:40 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35916 This is an article in response and an update to the previous article I wrote ‘Veganic is the New Permaculture’ which can be read at the following link /veganic-new-permaculture Since writing that article I have seen a great documentary film entitled Back to Eden which can be seen for free following this link http://vimeo.com/28055108 The […]

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This is an article in response and an update to the previous article I wrote ‘Veganic is the New Permaculture’ which can be read at the following link /veganic-new-permaculture

Since writing that article I have seen a great documentary film entitled Back to Eden which can be seen for free following this link http://vimeo.com/28055108

The film shows the wonderful way we can replicate nature growing organically through the use of mainly wood chips. There is a whole detailed process, but the basics of the system is that once we implement such system comprised of mainly, different sizes of wood chips and after several years of tending to the garden, if properly done of course, the garden can maintain itself and not much work, like crop rotation or watering or fertilizing etc. is needed. But how is this possible you ask? Well in a nutshell; what one gentleman Paul Gautschi wanted to find out, was how Mother Nature produced/produces orchards of abundance without getting people to water, till, rotate crop etc. and how she produces all the fruits and vegetables of the world. So he dug and pulled off layers of matter that covered the earth and found some remarkable things that Mother Nature was doing that hadn’t been implemented before.

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Want Carbon In Your Soil? Add Mycorrhizae!https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/want-carbon-soil-add-mycorrhizae https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/want-carbon-soil-add-mycorrhizae#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:39:12 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=33518 Most of what we thought we knew about soil carbon sequestration could be wrong, according to the results of a study published early of 2013. Any novice or experienced permaculturist has heard the adage: “Just add carbon!” It is a mantra long heard throughout the realms of organic gardening, ecology, permaculture, and soil science. And […]

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Most of what we thought we knew about soil carbon sequestration could be wrong, according to the results of a study published early of 2013.

Any novice or experienced permaculturist has heard the adage:

“Just add carbon!”

It is a mantra long heard throughout the realms of organic gardening, ecology, permaculture, and soil science. And for good reason. Carbon is essential for life. Carbon is a unique element just itching for things to bind to it! It’s valence shell is exactly half full of electrons. As a result, carbon is always open for business. An assortment of elements can bind to carbon to create all sorts of unique compounds like simple sugars like glucose, fructose or galactose (yes, galactose is a real thing). Carbon can help bind free radicals in the soil and encourage diverse soil life which over time can create a thicker topsoil, or O soil horizon, which means more opportunity for all sorts of living endeavors, whether it be a vegetable garden to provide food for humans or habitat designated for native wildlife.

Usually when one thinks about adding carbon to the soil, adding plant material or biochar comes to mind. Indeed, adding plant matter, or “green fertilizer”, to soil to increase carbon and other nutrient content has been on gardener’s and farmers’ radars for a long time. But it turns out that we all might have been overlooking one of the biggest contributors of the carbon cycle, and it was right below our feet the whole time.

A study performed by K. E. Clemmensen et al.

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Ways to Feed Your Soilhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ways-feed-soil https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ways-feed-soil#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:25:54 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=36978 Soil is the bedrock of any permaculture garden. The quality of your soil will affect the plants you can grow, how well they thrive and the harvest you can yield. The soil is also key in the health or otherwise of natural wilderness. Too often in the modern world, the intricacies and important role soil […]

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Soil is the bedrock of any permaculture garden. The quality of your soil will affect the plants you can grow, how well they thrive and the harvest you can yield. The soil is also key in the health or otherwise of natural wilderness. Too often in the modern world, the intricacies and important role soil plays in the health of the planet and the productivity of an environment is overlooked. Modern agricultural practices and removal of vegetation and trees has caused many areas to suffer a complete degradation in the quality of their soil, meaning that either very little grows there, or any crop requires a lot of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. These in turn further deplete the soil of its natural goodness until eventually it becomes barren.

Permaculture seeks to preserve the unique characteristics of soils in different ecosystems. It also tries to repair damaged soil and protect it from further degradation. The primary means of doing this is to increase the amount of organic matter in the soil. Organic matter puts essential nutrients back in the soil, which in turn promotes healthy plant growth and an increase in the bacteria and microorganisms that help to transform those nutrients into forms that are available to plants.

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Ways to Slow Water Downhttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ways-slow-water https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/ways-slow-water#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 03:46:12 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=35984 Water is a precious resource. Some estimates put the number of people on Earth who already suffer from a shortage of water at 1 billion, and with climate change this number looks set to rise. On a global scale, we need to be doing all we can to avoid wasting it, and using what we […]

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Water is a precious resource. Some estimates put the number of people on Earth who already suffer from a shortage of water at 1 billion, and with climate change this number looks set to rise. On a global scale, we need to be doing all we can to avoid wasting it, and using what we have more efficiently and preserve it as much as we can. On the local scale, within our backyards, we also need to maximize the effectiveness of the water that comes onto our property. The rain that falls on our property is one of the essential elements of a successful garden, and the key to making the most of it, is to slow its exit. By slowing the flow of water, you allow it more time to seep into the soil, making it more available for plant roots to access it, and preventing drying of the soil, which can lead to erosion by wind. There are several things you can do to slow down the flow of water on your property.

Minimize Paving
You want to minimize the hard surfaces in your garden. Patio areas, paved paths and driveways are all liable to make water flow over them and either off the property or to pool in a single area, potentially saturating a single point in your garden.

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Why Forest Gardens are Amazinghttps://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/forest-gardens-amazing https://www.openpermaculture.com/magazine/forest-gardens-amazing#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:24:55 +0000 https://www.openpermaculture.com/?p=36976 Forest gardens are truly incredible things. Forests are like nature’s own version of a permaculture system, being self-sustaining, diverse and productive. By observing and copying nature in this regard, we can utilise the benefits that nature has shown us to create a forest system of our own that is respectful of the earth and provides […]

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Forest gardens are truly incredible things. Forests are like nature’s own version of a permaculture system, being self-sustaining, diverse and productive. By observing and copying nature in this regard, we can utilise the benefits that nature has shown us to create a forest system of our own that is respectful of the earth and provides an abundant harvest.

Forest gardens work by aping the layered composition of plant life in a natural forest. Tall trees – such as fruit trees – are the topmost layer, providing the canopy, then plants of different heights and characteristics are planted beneath, from dwarf trees and shrubs to companion plants, vegetable crops, herbs and groundcover. A forest garden can also contain climbing plants that grow up the trunks of the trees.

Copy Nature
Given the right sort of climatic and topographical conditions, nature will instinctively move towards a forest environment. Different types of plants provide advantages that promote growth of other species in their vicinity, and this has a knock-on effect that includes binary relationships between plants, insects, soil and animals.

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