Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation
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All Food Politics Is Local: What's Next For The Sustainable Food Movement?

All Food Politics Is Local: What's Next For The Sustainable Food Movement? | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Local and regional food systems are where the action is going to be. What's working where and who's making it work?
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La Création de Buttes - Fermes d'Avenir

La Création de Buttes - Fermes d'Avenir | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it

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Bretagne8Shields's curator insight, July 22, 5:54 PM

permaculture : création de butte,  une "hugelkultur"

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Pusa Rudhira Carrot (Red Carrot) - (Daucus carota)-Store.underwoodgardens.com

Pusa Rudhira Carrot (Red Carrot) - (Daucus carota)-Store.underwoodgardens.com | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
The Pusa Rudhira Carrot is a newer, open pollinated variety developed by traditional plant breeding for the highest nutritional content and production. It is the work of Pritam Kalia, Head of Vegetable Science at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. He has helped develop a number of nutritionally rich lines of carrots which are high in carotene, lycopene, anthocyanin and zanthophyll, as part of his work. Part of his focus is to bring robust, highly nutritious vegetables back to the rural farmers who have been left behind during the industrial agricultural revolution in India.

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Spinach-Beet Greens/Bietina/Bieta - (Beta vulgaris spp.)-Store.underwoodgardens.com

Spinach-Beet Greens/Bietina/Bieta - (Beta vulgaris spp.)-Store.underwoodgardens.com | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Spinach-Beet Greens, also known in Italy as Bietina, Bieta or Bietola have large soft, green leaves on very thin stems on bushy, 2.5 ft. plants. This unusual and highly regarded chard is very productive, incredibly sweet and tender.

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Fall and Winter Gardening- Plan in the Summer for Cool Season Harvests

Fall and Winter Gardening- Plan in the Summer for Cool Season Harvests | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Plan for a spectacular cool season garden delivering delicious, crispy vegetables when the weather is hot.

Plant as the weather starts cooling down, but with plenty of time before the first frost.
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How Farms Can Heal Forests — Or Even Make Them

How Farms Can Heal Forests — Or Even Make Them | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
The forest ecosystem — bugs, soil, logs dead or alive, roots, shrubs, creepers, vines, trees, and all — is one hell of a long-term polyamorous relationship.

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Agroforestry Helps Farmers Branch Out: Balance of Biomass Trees, Crops Brings Potential Win

Agroforestry Helps Farmers Branch Out: Balance of Biomass Trees, Crops Brings Potential Win | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it

 Researchers have looked into the practice of alley cropping, planting long-term tree crops alongside short-term cash crops, for sustainability. Alley cropping is a type of agroforestry, which is the practice of combining crops and trees into one farming system. The dual income from the land can bring greater economic security to farmers.


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Climate is Changing. Food and Agriculture Must Too.

Climate is Changing. Food and Agriculture Must Too. | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
On the frontline of climate change, effects are real and measurable. As climate change evolves, food and agriculture need to follow suit. Rising temperatures, changes in rainfall, erratic weather patterns and the prevalence of pests and diseases resulting from climate change threaten agricultural productivity and therefore undermine global food security.
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Agroecology Can Help Fix Our Broken Food System. Here’s How. | Ensia

Agroecology Can Help Fix Our Broken Food System. Here’s How. | Ensia | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it

“In short, there’s a systems problem with the many incarnations of ‘sustainable food.’ Good intentions notwithstanding, most alternatives leave untouched the underlying structures and forces of the agri-food system. They don’t ask how farmers can listen to their land, scientists can listen to farmers, eaters can listen to restaurant workers and the government can listen to people’s needs. Sustainable food, it turns out, lacks a science with which to deal with a system as complex as farming and food. But there is an approach that embraces complexity and change. It involves developing the capacity to listen, to grow new connections, and to build solidarity among animals, plants and people. It’s called agroecology.”


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John Payne's curator insight, July 29, 8:46 PM
Perhaps the most important contribution robotics can make to enabling better land management and food production practices is in the realm of data collection, building a strong foundation upon which to build a true science of sustainable methods.
Eric Larson's curator insight, August 21, 10:42 AM
Fix the broken food system?
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Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology Do the Job?

Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology Do the Job? | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
A great deal of discussion in scientific and governmental circles has been focused recently on how to deal with greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting weather extremes they have created. Most analysts believe we must stop burning fossil fuels to prevent further increases in atmospheric carbon, and find ways to remove carbon already in the air if we want to lessen further weather crises and the associated human tragedies, economic disruption and social conflict that they bring.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 16, 8:01 PM
Are we seeing some of these challenges?
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Chicken Tractor 101: What It Is & the Basics of Building One - Modern Farmer

Chicken Tractor 101: What It Is & the Basics of Building One - Modern Farmer | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
The epitome of a low-tech agriculture solution, these coops on wheels give your birds constant access to fresh food, while fertilizing the soil and controlling pests.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 7, 8:09 AM
Chicken tractor?
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A New Growth Industry for Native Americans: Weed

A New Growth Industry for Native Americans: Weed | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it

Can cannabis revive Oregon’s long-struggling reservation economies?


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New USDA Rules Crack Down on Junk Food in Schools - Modern Farmer

New USDA Rules Crack Down on Junk Food in Schools - Modern Farmer | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Anything with trans fats is banned, as is anything that contains more than 35 percent sugar by weight or 35 percent calories from fat. Drinks are also subject to these rules: nothing more than 12 ounces, the size of a regular can of soda is allowed, and in elementary schools, the only available drinks will be water, nonfat milk, or 100-percent fruit juice. High schoolers, along with their driving and voting privileges, are allowed to have sodas and sports drinks, but only if they have fewer than 60 calories per 12 ounces, which pretty much limits them to diet varieties.

The Planetary Archives / San Francisco, California's insight:
(Almost) all processed foods should be banned.
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How A South African Company Uses Bats And Owls As Agricultural Allies

How A South African Company Uses Bats And Owls As Agricultural Allies | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
When you think of pest control, you probably think chemicals and poison, not bats and owls.

A South African firm has an eco-friendly solution — one that doesn’t involve chemicals sometimes banned in other countries — to help deal with pests like the dreaded tomato leaf miner moth wreaking havoc on Nigeria’s tomato crop.

The solution is bats, or more specifically, bat houses.

South Africa-based EcoSolutions says it manages some of the largest bat and insect mitigation programs in the world, and it wants to set up bat houses in Nigeria, where the Nigerian free-tailed bat (Chaerephon nigeriae) would be an excellent candidate for a project controlling miner moths.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 2, 7:30 PM
Bats and owls as a part of your farm?
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Tatsoi - (Brassica rapa)-Store.underwoodgardens.com

Tatsoi - (Brassica rapa)-Store.underwoodgardens.com | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Tatsoi (pronounced tat-SOY) grows dense rosettes of broad, dark-green, thick spoon-shaped leaves. The crunchy, mild mustard-flavored green is a popular Asian cooking staple, excellent for salads, stir fry or anywhere spinach is used.

The Planetary Archives / San Francisco, California's insight:
Try it, you'll like it!
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Pusa Asita Carrot (Black Carrot) - (Daucus carota)-Store.underwoodgardens.com

Pusa Asita Carrot (Black Carrot) - (Daucus carota)-Store.underwoodgardens.com | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
The Pusa Asita Carrot is very unique, developed with traditional plant breeding for the highest possible nutrient density. It is the work of Pritam Kalia, Head of Vegetable Science at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 29, 10:26 AM
Unusual carrot?
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Horizon Forage Pea - (Pisum sativum L.)-Store.underwoodgardens.com

Horizon Forage Pea - (Pisum sativum L.)-Store.underwoodgardens.com | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Horizon forage pea is an annual legume, valued as a high nitrogen fixer, weed suppressor and forage that creates a high root mass, adding organic matter to the soil. It is also an excellent soil improver, and good for erosion control, weed suppression and grazing choice.

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Dairy Marketing vs. Reality

Dairy Marketing vs. Reality | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
The great divide between the well-marketed image of Vermont dairy farming and its stark and toxic realities is becoming harder and harder to ignore. The marketing shows healthy cows grazing on lush pastures. But the reality is cows on concrete, being fed a diet of GMO-corn and the toxic residues from the hundreds of thousands of pounds of herbicides sprayed annually on the corn and hay fields.

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Four Important Lessons from Cuba's Urban Food Survival Strategy

Four Important Lessons from Cuba's Urban Food Survival Strategy | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Cuba has come a long way since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the loss of imports crucial for the island nation’s industrial agriculture system—such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers—left Cuba with a severe food crisis in the 1990s. Today, Cuba has become a regional leader in sustainable agricultural research. Within its practices and institutions lies a model for localized and small-scale urban agriculture.

Via Mário Carmo, The Planetary Archives / San Francisco, California
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Beyond Organic at Miracle Farms in St-Anicet: Permaculture Transforms an Apple Orchard Into An Oasis

Beyond Organic at Miracle Farms in St-Anicet: Permaculture Transforms an Apple Orchard Into An Oasis | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
When biologist Stefan Sobkowiak took over the orchard in St-Anicet in 1993, there were very few birds.

His commercial apple orchard in the Montérégie region of Quebec, about 90 kilometres southwest of Montreal, was surrounded by non-organic neighbours, and this seemed to impact the bird population, he says.

Trained as a biologist and landscape architect, he decided to create an organic orchard, and by 1996 received his organic designation. But over time he realized that supporting only apple trees, even organic ones, meant maintaining a monoculture. “It functioned as an organic orchard, but not as an ecosystem,” he says.

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Foraging and Preparing Purslane

Purslane is a succulent found through out most of the world, and found in abundance all over New England. In this video I harvest, prepare, and talk abou
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Chickens vs. Vegetable Beds, Round Two | Garden Rant

Chickens vs. Vegetable Beds, Round Two | Garden Rant | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Chickens v. Vegetable Beds

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 21, 10:48 AM
Chickens and raised beds?
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BioChar: RVA's Green Project - Richmond Vale Academy

BioChar: RVA's Green Project - Richmond Vale Academy | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
We are working with Vincentians to make our nation a Climate Compliant Country. See how BioChar, a type of charcoal made of plants, can help us do that.

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How to Make Moringa Fertilizer - Richmond Vale Academy

How to Make Moringa Fertilizer - Richmond Vale Academy | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Looking for an organic fertilizer for your garden? Our moringa fertilizer is completely natural and extremely easy to make! You'll see results in no time.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 7, 8:10 AM
Moringa fertilizer?
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Garden Cover Up Mix (Cover Crop)-Store.underwoodgardens.com

Garden Cover Up Mix (Cover Crop)-Store.underwoodgardens.com | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Our Garden Cover Up Mix grows vigorously until killing frost, giving you a spring mulch needing very little to no preparation before planting. Ideal for cool season gardens. This mix will loosen topsoil while protecting from winter erosion and nutrient loss and suppress weeds. The surface residue and root volume provides food for soil microorganisms to create more healthy soil.

Our mix is focused on improving soil health and microorganism biodiversity, adding organic matter and carbon content to the soil along with weed suppression. Side benefits include attracting beneficial insects, increasing spring nitrogen availability and reducing wind and water erosion of the soil. The Garden Cover Up Mix is made up of 70% legumes and 30% grasses.

Ideal planting times are early August through mid-September. Can be planted around mature garden vegetables or in spaces left as older plants are removed. Lightly broadcast seeds and work into the top half inch of moist soil, or cover with 1/2 inch of mulch or compost. Water to equivalent of 1 inch of rainfall per week until seedlings become established. Do not fertilize the cover crop mix as this delays the nitrogen fixing action of the legumes.

Planting rates-

These rates will give a thick cover crop for maximum weed suppression and soil benefits.

1 lb will seed approximately 200 sq. feet of garden beds
8 oz will seed approximately 100 sq. feet of garden beds
4 oz will seed approxiamtely 50 sq. feet of garden beds


Legumes in the mix –

Crimson Clover – Annual legume, used as a nitrogen fixer, soil improver/builder, erosion preventer, ground cover and for forage.

Gives moderately lasting mulch after frost kill, is an excellent forage crop for the high amounts of forage produced. It has good heat tolerance, does well in low fertility soils – making it a first choice for soil improvement. It has a wide soil pH tolerance, is good at freeing up bound nutrients in soil, loosening topsoil, improving soil disease resistance and choking weeds and weed seeds out. Because of its extensive, bright red flowering tops it is unsurpassed at attracting beneficial insects and pollinators and grows vigorously in a shorter time frame.

In areas of freezing winters, clover will be frost killed while in warmer winter areas it will need to be mowed or weed whacked to kill it.

Horizon Field Pea – Annual legume, valued as a high nitrogen fixer, weed suppressor and forage that creates a high root mass, adding organic matter to the soil. Excellent soil improver, and good erosion control, weed suppression and grazing choice.

Does not produce as much mulch after frost kill as crimson clover, but the mulch lasts longer, and is another high value forage crop. Has moderate drought tolerance. Very good to excellent at loosening topsoil, reducing destructive nematode populations and is excellent in improving soil disease resistance, weed suppression and attracting beneficials and pollinators. Quick growing in a short time frame.

Hairy Vetch – Annual legume used to fix nitrogen, suppress weeds, loosen and condition topsoil and reduce erosion while improving soil organic matter and carbon content.

Considered to be excellent as a soil builder/improver and good at controlling erosion and weeds while supplying grazing or forage. Good drought and shade tolerance, and grows well in a wide pH range. Its extensive root systems drill down into the subsoil and bring up deep nutrients, while also freeing up unavailable phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients. Very effective in reducing soil disease and choking out weeds and is exemplary in attracting beneficial insects. One of the only legume that provides an allelopathic residue, hindering the germination of many weeds the next season.



Grasses in the mix –

Cereal Oats – Annual grain used to suppress weeds, prevent erosion, scavenge excess nutrients, add biomass and as a nurse crop.

Oats are excellent as a quick, weed suppressing biomass supplier that has a moderately lasting mulch. They take up excess soil nutrients, making them available next season without leaching from water flowing through the soil. They will tolerate low fertility soils and improve the structure with their extensive root systems. The roots loosen topsoil, smother weeds and provide an allelopathic residue which hinders the germination of many weeds the next season. Oats are also an excellent nurse companion crop to legumes, increasing the fertilizer and nitrogen fixing values.

Cereal Ryegrass – Annual grain used for erosion prevention, soil structure and drainage improvement, adding organic matter to soil, weed suppression and excess nutrient scavenger.

Ryegrass is also excellent as a quick growing, weed suppressing biomass supplier that scavenges excess nitrogen and recycles it for the next growing season. The organic matter it produces lasts moderately long, providing a good mulch after it is killed. It is a good forage producer, but not as good as some of the legumes in the mix. It excels in loosening topsoil and adding organic matter via its root mass, as well as choking weeds. It is good at drilling down deep into the subsoil and bringing up deep nutrients, as well as freeing locked up phosphorus and potassium, encouraging beneficial microorganisms and reducing soil disease. It provides an allelopathic residue which hinders the germination of many weeds the next season, like oats.

Buckwheat – Annual grain providing a quick soil cover and stabilization, weed suppressor, pollinator and beneficial insect nectar source, topsoil loosener and low fertility soil rejuvenator.

Buckwheat has been used extensively in organic agriculture as a quick-acting summer smother crop for weeds. It is heat tolerant and breaks down quickly, adding nutrients to the soil while making way for the longer lived cover crops. It excels in freeing up locked nutrients, especially phosphorus and potassium as well as choking weeds out and loosening topsoil. It also has an extensive root system, bringing up deep nutrients to the surface, encouraging beneficial microorganisms, reducing soil diseases and provides an allelopathic residues like oats and ryegrass.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 2, 7:28 PM
Cover crops?
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Raising Backyard Chickens for Dummies - Modern Farmer

Raising Backyard Chickens for Dummies - Modern Farmer | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
After several years of pestering my wife to get backyard chickens, she finally relented this past fall. I made all the traditional arguments: the kids will love them, we'll have fresh eggs every day, I promise to clean the yard and the coop, no it won't smell, trust me — and on and on. I would overtly send her photos of cool chicken coops hoping that one day she'd like one and magically say 'yes' to my request. Alas, this went on for about five years and the arguments were always the same. We have no room in the yard. They will indeed smell. Who's going to clean up after them? You are too busy. Yadda yadda yadda.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 2, 7:31 PM
Backyard chickens?
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Plant These 10 Perennial Vegetables and Reap Harvests Year After Year - Modern Farmer

Plant These 10 Perennial Vegetables and Reap Harvests Year After Year - Modern Farmer | Permaculture, Homesteading, Ecology, & Bio-Remediation | Scoop.it
Gardeners like perennial flowers because you do the work to get them established once and they bloom again and again. There are numerous perennial vegetable perennial vegetables as well but they lack the same recognition. Asparagus is by far the most well-known; from there the list quickly becomes obscure. But it is a beautiful world to discover, featuring crops like capers, chayote, and tree collards, which give year after year with minimal effort on your part, much like a fruit tree.

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Eric Larson's curator insight, August 18, 9:50 AM
Perennial vegetables?