Have you ever rubbed two sticks together and created a spark, and then used that spark to light a fire? I don’t know about you, but even as a small child I’ve been fascinated with the idea of creating fire without matches or a lighter – so much so that I spent hours banging rocks together in the hopes of creating a spark (and instead of sparks I accumulated lots of bandaids on my thumbs).
I was 16 years old in 1970 and I went through my adolescence with those early alternative dreams of being self sufficient and living a natural life. Even before that as a child I had a love for natural systems like fishing, hiking, and harvesting and gathering from the wilderness. I was forever and always fascinated in natural ways of farming and growing things and some how it just seems right to me. It was a natural evolution that once I discovered that there was actually a design science named Permaculture that I got engaged and passionately involved. I took my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course with Bill Mollison in 1983 and it made perfect sense to me. So Permaculture Design is what inspired me. The way it can be used on a small family farm really appealed and made sense. And for me, I wanted to return that enthusiasm to as many people as possible by creating education and demonstration sites that are diverse as examples like Zaytuna Farm and the Permaculture Research Institute, Australia. My main theme here was to set up multiple demonstration sites and Permaculture design is the way of achieving that.
“ Left to her own devices, Mother Nature builds topsoil, she enriches it with organic material, adds the products of water and wind erosion and thus deepens the layer of topsoil and lays the foundation for grass and later for forest cover.” ~ The Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing.
Many gardeners have an aversion to chemicals. These gardeners may be devoted to pesticide-free growing, want to plant (and eat) edibles, or simply like the thought of keeping flower beds naturally healthy. Whatever the reason, there are key steps you can take to get and keep the pesticides out of your garden. Here’s what to do.
The original land, bought in 2009, is comprised of 2.2 rocky acres with a year round river marking the western border. By taking advantage of this river, the whole farm now has reliable, gravity-fed water, a system that has no moving parts, pumps, energy usage, or regular failures. While the land does have an abundance of water, the original soil was another story. The whole farm is rocky and covered in only thin layers of soil. Due to irresponsible corn cultivation techniques over the past few generations, our farm soil was very worn out and, while still rich in some minerals, it was severely lacking in organic matter and major nutrients. We should note that the original condition of our farm is representative of much of the valley floor in which we are located. Naturally, the goal is that each year we are actually building more soil, covering rocks, and creating fertility.
“I’m aware that I can’t change the world, and I can’t feed the world, but I can impact a certain amount of people around me, and basically that’s what I’m trying to do.”
How to keep chickens. Chicken house design with composting chickens. Learn how to keep happy healthy hens and chickens in your backyard. This video presents, in detail, the idea of deep bedding under chickens. The hens turn the compost and produce amazing fertility and even better eggs. We have been using this system at Atitlan Organics for many years and always have happy healthy hens and ridiculously amazing huevos!
Singing Frogs Farm, Sebastopol, California
Erin Garrison talks about Food Is Free Albuquerque founded and run by two mom’s and their kids. For the last two years they have been gleaning forgotten fruit and the over abundance of produce in backyard gardens and on farms and taking them to people all over the city who need food.