Low-Tech Natural Nursery Strategies (Washington, USA)

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Nurseries & Propogation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Trees.

When most people think about nurseries and plant propagation, they conjure up rows and rows of black pots and the smell of moist palettes of artificial fertilizer. But there is no natural law which dictates this to be the only, or even a preferable way in which to propagate plants. While in-situ propagation from seed… Read more »

How to Steal from Your Neighbors and Have Them Love You For It (Panama)

Posted by & filed under Compost, Demonstration Sites, Processing & Food Preservation, Recipes, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation.

Stolen leaves over yucca plants with banana circle backer The first time I did it I did so on the sly. I needed some mulch for a piece of dried up clay I was hoping to convert into a forest floor upon which I planned to grow a food forest. The piece of land next… Read more »

Soil Science Basics for Beginners

Posted by & filed under Compost, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition.

by Aaron Jerad It’s dark. You are surrounded by giant flesh eating amoebas. You can’t move very fast…. Welcome to the world of the bacteria, the smallest but most abundant member of the soil food web. Often feared but essential, whether directly or indirectly, for the survival of almost all other living organisms on earth…. Read more »

Composting Toilets Made From Wheelie Bins

Posted by & filed under Building, Compost, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I just read a post on composting toilets here on the PRI site and remembered that I never posted about the composting toilets I made last year (for various projects) based on a similar principles, but a distinct design. Below I offer a few words of introduction and then post photos of the building process… Read more »

Building a Basic Compost Toilet

Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling.

by James Reid Humanure, which one is it – embarrassing waste product or invaluable, free fertiliser? Heh, what do you reckon?! The human body has within its waste products (faeces and urine) pretty much all the suitable nutrients needed to help grow the food we need to keep ourselves healthy and well fed. Everyday we produce this free… Read more »

Dung Beetles – The Underground Army Enriching the Soil

Posted by & filed under Compost, Insects, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

This video gives an overview of the benefits of establishing and managing dung beetles. Dung beetles are fascinating insects, working tirelessly to bury dung around the country. One cow per day produces approximately 18kg of dung. These beetles process the dung by burying it deep into the soil and helping the plant roots to access… Read more »

How To: Wire Mesh Compost

Posted by & filed under Compost.

I live in an area with a very defined and intense rainy season, and had been wanting to start a compost pile at my house for some time. However, I remembered from having visited a farm in an even wetter region, that their compost piles, which were on the bare ground and without a roof… Read more »

FoodWaterShelter Fast Fact: Recipes for Healthy, Happy Plants (Tanzania)

Posted by & filed under Compost, Insects, Soil Rehabilitation.

The spoils of Kesho Leo’s permaculture garden beds (Arusha, Tanzania) Healthy plants in healthy soil shouldn’t generally suffer from serious insect infestations or diseases (see here, here and here for more on this). So if you’re having severe problems with either, look for reasons that your plants may already be stressed, and therefore more vulnerable… Read more »

Building Up Soil for a Nutrient-Rich Raised Bed

Posted by & filed under Compost, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Structure, Urban Projects.

All photos by David Ashwanden A lot of permaculture involves utilising waste streams and turning problems into solutions, and I often bring these into practice by looking at what’s available around me and how I can use it effectively. With this in mind, having come across some old bath tubs, I decided to create some… Read more »