Contour Beds Peru

Posted by & filed under Design, Development & Property Trusts, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Fungi, General, Land, Permaculture Projects, Plant Systems, Plants, Soil, Structure, Surveying, Swales, Water Harvesting.

The ancient Inca also utilised contour patterning in their agriculture. This article will describe the process we took to create kitchen garden contour beds in the Sacred Valley Peru. Contour beds are annual and/or perennial vegetable garden beds that conform to the natural pattern of the landscape. Being on contour means that the paths and… Read more »

This Zero-Cost, Waste-Eliminating Practice Can Produce Abundant Crops from Healthy, Restored Soils for Generations to Come

Posted by & filed under Compost, Education, Fungi, General, Soil, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

Photography by Jasmine A Koster What is zero-cost, waste-eliminating and can restore soils to fertility to produce abundant crops for generations to come? Biochar. Gloria Flora gave a presentation on biochar at the Fourth Annual Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence. She discussed biochar as a method for producing energy and amending soil from waste products that… Read more »

Learning How To Turn Wood Into Delicious Edible Mushrooms

Posted by & filed under Food & Food Support Systems, Fungi, General, Plant Systems, Plants.

Shiitake mushroom production at home. In autumn 2013 we began our first foray into the world of homegrown gourmet mushroom production. We had been felling a lot of trees on the Tap o’ Noth Permaculture site to reduce some of the shade around our vegetable gardens and to provide fuel to keep our home warm… Read more »

Paul Stamets – How Mushrooms Can Save Bees & Our Food Supply | Bioneers

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Animals, Community, Education, Fungi.

In this video, visionary mycological researcher/inventor, Paul Stamets reveals new ground breaking research at the 2014 Bioneers annual conference. Paul illuminates how fungi, particularly mushrooms, offer uniquely powerful, practical solutions we can implement now, to boost the biosphere’s immune system and equip us with benign breakthrough mycotechnologies to accelerate the transition to a restored world.

Nitrogen: the Double-Edged Sword

Posted by & filed under Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Dutch clover cover crop between cabbage rows Nitrogen is a component of protein and DNA and as such, is essential to all living things. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, around 97% of the nitrogen supporting life on earth was fixed biologically. Over the last century, intensification of farming, coupled with a lack of understanding of… Read more »

The Secret Of El Dorado – Terra Preta

Posted by & filed under Compost, Deforestation, Fungi, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

In this documentary a legendary civilization thought to be too good to be true on the basis of the stories told by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana, is found to be a real part of history. We can separate fact from fiction here, in that the golden riverbanks the Spaniard told of were not… Read more »

Black Magic: The Secrets of Amazonian Fertility

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

The great Amazon rainforest. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Bones. Charcoal. Ash. Blood. Feces. Food waste. Pottery shards. Before I began my journey into permaculture and regenerative ecology, if you asked me why someone would gather and bury these things together, I would have guessed at some kind of disgusting voodoo magic ritual. But for… Read more »

Mycelium Running: How Fungi Can Help Save the World

Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books, Fungi, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

by Paul Stamets. Review by Sher June. When research biologist Paul Stamets suggests fungi can help save the world, he is absolutely serious. In fact, he contends they can rescue it in several different ways. There are the medicines to be derived from fungi, probably more than we can yet imagine. Fungi for insect pest… Read more »

How to Increase the Rate of Biological Nitrogen Fixation

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

This short article is a chapter from my book “Fertilizer for Free: How to make the most from Biological Nitrogen Fixation”. One important question permaculture designers should ask themselves: Is there anything you can do to increase the rate of biological nitrogen fixation? The benefits of having more nitrogen rich organic matter in the soil… Read more »

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 »

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 »