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Archive for October, 2009

Beekeeping is a great way to get in touch with the spirit of place, akin to farming and vineyard keeping, but significantly less labor intensive.  Bees are so beneficial to ecosystems in general, that it’s difficult to imagine designing a permaculture food forest, backyard or homestead without them.

Bees – species adept at creating abundance:

Bees are the embodiment of the permaculture principle of concentrating limited resources – foraging large territories, and extracting sweet essence from empoverished ecosystems that surround most of us, regardless of climate or location.  Bees essentially feed themselves and – through pollination – feed us, other creatures and the soil.  Their honey is delicious, anti-bacterial, full of enzymes, minerals and complex sugars, and is the best burn ointment yet discovered.  Propolis can be used for infections, sore throats, care of gums and teeth and the treatment of ulcers.  Beeswax is ideal for candles, salve, and lip balm.  Bee venom can stimulate the auto-immune system, and ease arthritis.

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  • Keeping chooks: before you start you need to know…
  • Introducing… guinea pigs as pets and lawnmowers
  • How to make a tyre pond
  • Putting together a balcony garden
  • How to build a herb spiral
  • How to build a no-dig garden
  • Using your nature strip to grow food plants
  • Growing food plants in shady places
  • Making simple shampoo
  • Making vinegar spray conditioner for hair
  • Compost-making in a heap or bin
  • Introducing… composting toilets
  • Making organic fertilisers
  • Making a propagation mix
  • Keeping a worm farm
  • Making a free-range worm farm for a garden bed
  • How to design and plant a guild
  • Our 10Rs for waste reduction
  • 10 reasons to eat local
  • Why organic? 10 reasons to choose organically-grown food
  • The ethics and some principles of Permaculture
  • What is Permaculture?

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Slow Food

Slow food

Slow food

Non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization counteracting fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat.

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The Biodiesel WWW Encyclopedia provides comprehensive resources for bio-diesel. It provides inputs and info on various aspects of biodiesel, and over a thousand relevant web links on biodiesel related topics. It is intended to be a one-stop biodiesel resource, and is expected to be of use to beginners and experts alike.

Objective

The objective of the Biodiesel Encyclopedia is to provide resources in an impartial manner such that one is able to get information on all aspects of bio-diesel. While it is indeed true that bio-diesel has many virtues, it is still in its initial phase of application, and there are many aspects to be considered before complete endorsement can be provided for these fuels. This section attempts to provide resources so that a researcher is able to find content that can give her/him good understanding of all the relevant aspects, and about ongoing research and explorations in many areas of this exciting field.

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My Journey into Homesteading

The Start of the Journey

“I have decided to pursue the lifestyle of a homesteader. I do not know if I will be successful, but I do know I am going to try. To me, the difference between a house and a homestead is the difference between consumption and production. This thought is not mine originally, but I have heard it from enough sources to have difficulty attributing it to any one person or place. I agree. I want my home to produce it’s own energy, to take care of it’s own waste, to be easily and cheaply repairable, and I want the land that it is on to produce food in the form of plants and livestock, so that my land and home, my homestead, work to produce for me. Too many people think that they have to spend 30-40 years of their life toiling away to pay off debts incurred to be able to afford one of the most basic necessities of life, shelter. Instead, I want to build what I have heard called “sweat equity” by starting from scratch and building my land up into something that provides for me, debt free. By doing so, I will not have to be a wage-slave, toiling away for 8 hours a day to make someone else rich. I harbor no illusions that this venture will not be hard work, but I know that hard work done for my own benefit, or for the benefit of the people I love, is vastly more rewarding and fulfilling. I choose to make this my life’s goal and passion. In doing so, I will have many steps to follow. The steps I have outlined for myself so far are these:

  • Work from now until February or March of 2010 to save as much money as possible.
  • During that time, apply for an internship with a permaculture homestead in Washington state.
  • Also during that time, I will practice gardening in order to have more experience growing plants.
  • If accepted to the internship, I will participate in the internship from early to mid March until late October/early November.
  • Spend Winter 2010/11 working to save up more money.
  • During this time, I will be searching for an appropriate piece of land, preferably between 30 and 60 acres in size, on which to build my permaculture homestead.

Have land picked and purchased by spring of 2011 so I can begin planting and building on my permaculture homestead.”

Follow Kyle’s journey

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Forest Interations and Climate

Forest Interations and Climate

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Using and reusing

Using and reusing

One of the things about permaculture that really resonates for me is the drive to use everything, to have no waste, to get a yield from as much as you can.

Something about looking at what WAS clutter in my eyes in a new way that makes it a resource, it seems magical. I am one of those people who can not stand clutter but I live with people who seem wholly immune to it.

By opening my eyes to the power of yields and re-use, my brain doesnt see clutter but a riddle.

If you would like to learn more about the 12 permaculture principles you might want to visit this site – Permaculture Principles.com

This is a lovely graphic that they developed, allow it to draw you in and entice you to learn more.

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Permaculture How To’s

These simple “How To” guides, aimed at the relative newcomer to Permaculture. They have been selected because they are relatively easy to implement, and do not require that you convert all your land to Permaculture in order to be effective. I hope they’ll give you enough of a taste of Permaculture that you’ll want to try more

  • Worm farm is an easy way to recycle kitchen scraps. In the process it produces liquid and solid fertilizers and worms. Worm farms shouldn’t smell, and are convenient for urban, or even balcony, gardens where compost piles might not be appropriate.
  • Herb Spiral is a simple way to improve your kitchen garden, a spiral of rocks encloses soil in which many species of herbs are planted. The rock warms and dehumidifies the soil. The extended edge, wrapped in on itself provides a wide diversity of conditions, creating high productivity in a small space, but is easy to water and harvest.
  • By growing Bananas in a circle, you can increase production, and avoid the untidyness often associated with Bananas.
  • Growing potatoes in old tyres, or sweet potatoes in a mound make it easier to harvest.
  • Defending the edges of your garden is easier with a Weed Barrier.
  • No-Dig garden layering mulch and soil and weed barriers.
  • Some other permaculture Links

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Bill Mollison

Bill Mollison

BILL MOLLISON by Merian Ellis

“It wasn’t until the 1950s that I noticed that large parts of the system were disappearing. First fish stocks became extinct. Then the seaweed around the shorelines went. Large patches of forest began to die.I hadn’t realised until those things had gone that I’d become very fond of them; that I was in love with my country.”

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Factor or Strategy ZONE I ZONE II ZONE III ZONE IV
Main design for: House climate, domestic sufficiency. Small domestic stock & orchard. Main crop forage, stored. Gathering, forage, forestry, pasture.
Establishment of plants Complete sheet mulch. Spot mulch and tree guards. Soil conditioning and green mulch. Soil conditioning only.
Pruning and trees Intensive cup or espalier trees. Pyramid and built trellis. Unpruned and natural trellis. Seedlings, thinned to selected varieties.
Selection of trees Selected dwarf or multi-graft. Grafted varieties and plants managed. Selected seedlings for later grafts. Thinned to selected varieties, or by browse.
Water provision Rainwater tanks, bores, wind pumps, reticulation. Earth tank and wells, bores. Water storage fire control. Dams, rivers, in soils.
Structures House/green-house, storage integration. Greenhouse and barns, poultry sheds. Feed store, field shelter. Field shelter grown as hedgerow and woodlot.
Information Stored or generated by people. In part affected by other species. As for II. Arising from natural processes.

Source: Mollison (1992, pp49-50).

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