Worm Farming at Zaytuna Farm

Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil, Soil Biology, Working Animals.

Photos © Ingrid Pullen Worms are an essential part of a permanent agricultural system. At Zaytuna Farm worm farming has been developed into a very productive system. The feed stock we use is the contents of composting toilets and animal manures. The worm farm product is included in the potting mix for the plants grown… Read more »

Fred Kirschenmann: Soil – from Dirt to Lifeline (TED video)

Posted by & filed under Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

Fred Kirschenmann has been involved in sustainable agriculture and food issues for most of his life. He currently serves as both a Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, and as President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also still… Read more »

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 »

Report on 5-Day Permaculture Workshop for the Etse Fewus Herbalists Association in Fitch, North Soha, Ethiopia: Part 1

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation.

Several years ago we were visited at our project site in Konso, South Ethiopia by an Australian lady called Elizabeth D’Avigdor and her daughter, May. We gave her a tour around our site and showed her what we were up to at the time. I vaguely remember her mentioning that she was working on a… 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 »