Permaculture

Blog

A Hero Of Resilience Needs Our Help

Permaculure pioneer Toby Hemenway fights for his life
Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 4:44 PM

I'm very saddened to share that our good friend Toby Hemenway, one of the world's leading pioneers in permaculture, is fighting for his life.

Last year when I invited Toby to join the event I produced with Joel Salatin and the folks from Singing Frogs Farm, he privately shared with me that he was battling pancreatic cancer. At the time, he felt well enough to participate in the event, and was even feeling a little optimistic -- his oncologist had recently praised his progress, calling him her "star pupil".

But sadly, he learned over the summer that the cancer had spread to his liver. After more aggressive treatment this fall, he and his wife have made the difficult decision for him to begin home hospice care. » Read more

Podcast

Farmland LP

Farmland LP: Investing In Sustainable Farmland (2016 Update)

Creating value by improving the land
Sunday, December 18, 2016, 2:24 PM

Over the past few years, we've tracked the success of Farmland LP, a family of funds created to increase the economic yield of farmland through sustainable farming practices.

Chris recently mentioned our renewed commitment here on the site to focus more on highlighting examples of better models for the future. So in that spirit, in this week's podcast, I check in with the founders of Farmland LP for an update on how the team has progressed on its mission in 2016. For the first time, we have Craig Wichner ("the numbers guy") joined by Jason Bradford ("the farming guy"), who provides much more detail than we've had in the past into the sustainable land-management practices Farmland LP employs to put the land to its best use. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Phil Williams

Chestnuts

Harvesting & processing
Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 4:29 PM

I planted 4 chestnut trees in 2010. This past fall was the first time they produced any nuts. There wasn’t a ton, but I wanted to try harvesting and processing the nuts by hand to see if it was a viable convenient human food source on a permaculture homestead. Also, I’d never even tried chestnuts. » Read more

Insider

USDA.gov

Take Control: If You Don't, Who Will?

Our best steps for escaping the Sick Care industry matrix
Friday, April 29, 2016, 7:31 PM

Executive Summary

  • We know how to farm regeneratively, not extractively, today. We just need to choose to do so.
  • Learning from the recent summit with Joel Salatin, Toby Hemenway & Singing Frogs Farm
  • The 3 most important components underlying our future health
  • What you can do to take control of your health in ways that will enhance your quality of life

If you have not yet read Why We're So Unhealthy, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we examined the structure of our self-organizing centralized food/illness/healthcare system. In Part 2, we look at what we can do to foster a better, healthier and ultimately much more affordable alternative system.

Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture/Horticulture

I have to start by thanking Peak Prosperity’s Adam Taggart for organizing the permaculture conference we attended, Better Soil, Better Food...A Better World. As a long-time gardener, I learned some things that I can apply to my own postage-stamp urban garden (for example, never leave soil bare—plant seedlings immediately after harvesting the current crop of veggies).

I also learned about the perniciously destructive nature of our system of growing, processing, distributing and consuming food.  As noted in Part 1, the only possible result of our unhealthy food/illness/health system is ill-health.

The best way to become healthy is to opt out of the entire system. Removing oneself from one subsystem is a good start but insufficient, due to the interconnected nature of the system. Eliminating fast food, for example, is a good start, but the vast majority of packaged and convenience foods are made with the same ingredients as fast food.

This is difficult to do by design. As Joel Salatin explains... » Read more

What Should I Do?

Shutterstock: 166205837

How to Establish a Wildflower Meadow

Providing habitat and diversity to the landscape
Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 2:49 PM

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been working to establish a wildflower meadow on the lower part of my property, zones 3 & 4. In time, trees may be added, but for now I would like the native meadow to provide habitat, diversity, nectar, pollen for my bees and the other pollinators, and beauty, all in a low maintenance package. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Phil Williams

Commercial Permaculture Farm Design

Considerations for sustainability and profits
Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 4:14 PM

Below is a link to a design for a commercial permaculture farm I recently designed for a local client.

» Read more

What Should I Do?

Chickweed Flower: Phil Williams

Introducing Chickweed

Not a weed in my garden
Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 6:28 PM

Stellaria media or common chickweed is a cool season annual “weed.” This plant will germinate in the fall or late winter and forms ground covering mats in the early spring. The plant starts to retreat in the middle of the spring and by early summer, it’s gone entirely. » Read more

Featured Discussion

Fruit Tree Guilds

Fruit Tree Guilds

Using polyculture to increase yield & reduce issues

Podcast

CarpathianPrince/Shutterstock

Toby Hemenway: Scaling Permaculture Principles To Other Systems

Offers promise for energy, social & economic systems
Sunday, October 18, 2015, 2:37 PM

Toby Hemenway has just released a new book, The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience which explains how individuals, as well as society as a whole, can apply the same principles underlying permaculture to improve most if not all of the systems our way of life depends on. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Phil Williams

Zone 1 & 2 Food Forestry Project

Building edible landscapes
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 11:09 PM

I’ve been planning a food forest project over the winter. My plan was to reduce the size of my annual garden, remove grass space, add diversity, and future habitat for ducks in the form of a zone 1 and 2 food forest. My plan was to have at least one nitrogen fixer per productive fruit tree, comfrey under fruit trees, and to use higher value and higher maintenance grafted fruit trees.

I feel that it is appropriate to have some grafted fruit trees in zone 1 & 2 because maintenance is easier close in, and management is more intensive in this space. When you move out to zone 3 & 4 I feel grafted fruit trees are not appropriate as maintenance should be less here. My zone 3 & 4 food forests contain native non-grafted species that do not require much maintenance but also produce lower quality fruit. There are three main areas that I designed. » Read more