Category Archives for Open Permaculture Magazine

5 Reasons Why GMOs are Terrifyingly Scary

    GMOs genetically modified organisms are taking over the world. Food as we commonly think of it is becoming a thing of the past. Big agri-business

    How to Grow Fruit Trees in Containers

      Firstly, growing fruit trees in containers is a great option for permaculture gardeners who are short on space. They may not have garden beds with

      How to Start Seeds Indoors

        There are several reasons why you might wish to do so. If you live in an area where the winters are long, and so the growing season is relatively

        How to Map Your Plot

          When first looking to apply permaculture principles and design to a property, one of the most useful tools you can have at hand is a detailed map of the

          How to Grow Peppers

            Peppers are great additions to a permaculture plot, not only because they are relatively easy to grow and provide good crops when given the right

            How to Prepare Your Plot for Winter

              With some honorable exceptions most fruit and vegetable plants die off or enter a period of dormancy over the winter months. Having woken up in spring

              How to Protect Your Garden from Drought

                Ninety-eight percent of all climate scientists agree that global warming predominantly caused by human activity, from the burning of fossil fuels to

                How to Harness Energy From the City in Innovative Ways

                  Cities are often described in terms that evoke the idea of energy. People talk about tem as engines of growth , as the motors of modern life

                  How to Grow Swiss Chard

                    Despite its name, Swiss chard is not native to Switzerland it takes its moniker from the fact that it was identified and categorized by a Swiss

                    How to Attract Dragonflies to Your Plot

                      Dragonflies are one of the most beautiful insects to visit the permaculture plot. The symmetry of their two pairs of wings, the coloration on their

                      How to Grow Soya Beans

                        Soya beans may seem like an exotic vegetable to consider planting in your permaculture plot, and its origins in South East Asia would suggest that it is

                        How to Start a Cooperative Business

                          A cooperative business is one that is owned and run by its members. These members could be simply a group of individuals who run the company, or constitute

                          How to Grow Plums

                            Plums are a valuable addition to a suitable permaculture plot, as their fruit can be eaten fresh, are ideal for baking, and plum trees typically provide

                            How to Bring Permaculture Into the Workplace

                              While putting permaculture principles into practice at home is a matter of choice for you and your family, applying them to the workplace can be

                              How to Repair Flood Damaged Soil

                                Flooding is becoming more frequent across the world, and more severe when it happens. In 2014 alone, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Romania experienced rainfall

                                How to Grow Kale

                                  In recent years kale has gained renown for being one of the healthiest vegetables around. While the fact that it s reputation needed to be reanimated

                                  7 benefits of Doing a Permaculture Design Certificate Course

                                    You re interested in permaculture (you re looking at this site, after all), but perhaps wondering what your next step with it will be. Using

                                    7 Natural Building Techniques

                                      Natural building techniques are methods that are greener that modern manufactured modes of property construction. Typically drawing on older

                                      How to Espalier Fruit Trees

                                        The term espaliering refers to the training of a tree so that it grows flat. Often this means growing against a wall, but it can also involve training the

                                        6 Ways You Can Help Combat Climate Change

                                          Despite the claims of some right-wing politicians and media outlets, climate change is a very real threat to the future survival of humankind on Earth

                                          4 Alternatives to Dairy Milk

                                            Many permaculturists chose to keep goats, sheep and even cattle, not for the meat yield they provide, but for the milk. This is of course a good way

                                            Why Business Ecosystems Can Expand Our Impact

                                              There is incredible power in working together with people from different fields of expertise, united by common values. Expanding the permaculture community

                                              What if Cities Could Feed the World?

                                                When we think about food and farming, it s easy to imagine a bucolic setting of rural pastures, far removed from the busy hum and thrum of city life

                                                Uncovering Hidden Spaces for Growing Food

                                                  From vertical gardens to green roofs, there is immense potential in all of the nooks and crannies of city spaces to provide food for its residents. Cities

                                                  Synthesizing Sustainable Communities Through Appropriate Technology

                                                    What if technology could be built for the very purpose of serving people and planet, as opposed to profit and the image of modernity? These days we ve

                                                    Sustainable Evolution: The 12 Permaculture Principles: Part 1

                                                      One of the most amazing aspects about the 12 permaculture principles is that they can be adapted and applied anywhere. Literally. Permaculturists have

                                                      Intelligent, Real Transformation: The 12 Permaculture Principles: Part 3

                                                        In the race to create a more sustainable world, we discover that it's the little things that add up to meaningful transformation. The last four

                                                        How Stacking Functions Can Improve Yields and Reduce Work

                                                          Companion planting is based on the idea of another permaculture concept stacking functions. Every element (read: plant, animal, mineral, etc)

                                                          How Businesses Can Be a Transformative Force for Good

                                                            Changemakers often see business as a plundering, predatory force with nothing but profit on their minds, leaving to the wayside all sense of humanity

                                                            Honoring Decentralization in Green City Design

                                                              It s exciting to think about a lush green metropolis catered to urban citizens, but it s also important to take a good approach, particularly one based

                                                              Healing People and Planet Through Natural Building

                                                                The cob walls of Devonshire, which are formed of clay and straw trodden together by oxen, have been known to last above a century without requiring

                                                                Green Cities Make a Green Earth

                                                                  Urban culture is open, diverse, full of color, and facilitates the flow of new ideas. The world s population is increasingly concentrated in cities

                                                                  Empowered By Nature: The 12 Permaculture Principles: Part 2

                                                                    Embracing nature s cycles of evolutionary feedback allows us to optimize and harmonize our own design systems. In Part 1, we covered the first

                                                                    Could You Befriend a Weed?

                                                                      Have you ever considered that weeds can actually be a highly beneficial addition to your garden, if you just know how to use them? Weeds are typically

                                                                      Composting 101: 6 Steps to a Vibrant Backyard Compost Pile

                                                                        Garden compost is super simple to create - you just need to follow a few rules to make sure that what comes out of your pile is odor-free, rich, vibrant

                                                                        Companion Planting: Working Together Always Wins

                                                                          Somehow conventional agriculture decided that planting rows and rows of the same crop stretched out for what seems like miles was the best solution for

                                                                          Choose Your Flavor of Natural Building

                                                                            If you don't like the organic curves of cob walls, you're in luck - you can also choose a modernistic rammed earth material with rectangular edges

                                                                            5 Friendly Neighborhood Weeds

                                                                              There might be some weeds growing in your garden right now that you didn t know were actually really useful. Try giving them a second chance before you

                                                                              How to Grow Apricots

                                                                                Apricots that are eaten directly from a tree your have grown are considerably tastier than any available in the supermarket. Perhaps the achievement

                                                                                How to Start a Small Produce Business

                                                                                  If you cultivate more food than you and your family can consume perhaps due to a glut at harvest time, or because plants have proved more prolific

                                                                                  How to Graft Fruit Trees

                                                                                    Grafting is a technique that allows you to combine a cutting from one tree with the rootstock of another. This can be useful to continue to get a

                                                                                    How to Spot Common Plant Diseases

                                                                                      A permaculture plot that is designed and maintained in harmony with nature should remain fairly disease-free. With the right sort of companion planting

                                                                                      How to Attract Bats to Garden

                                                                                        Apart from the obvious exception of owls, most bird species are active during the day. But many insect species are nocturnal, and pests can damage crops

                                                                                        How to Grow Walnuts

                                                                                          It is often claimed that walnuts were one of the first food crops to be cultivated by human beings. Their history is certainly a long one, with its

                                                                                          How to Plant a Tree

                                                                                            Planting a tree sounds like an easy enough task, doesn t it? After all generations of farmers and gardeners have been doing it across the world. But what

                                                                                            How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

                                                                                              Raised garden beds are exactly what their name promises they are beds in which you can plant vegetables where the planting medium has been raised

                                                                                              How to Choose a Wind Turbine

                                                                                                Wind power is one of the fastest-growing sectors of energy production on the planet. Even though the burning of fossil fuels still dominates the

                                                                                                How to Start a Community Garden

                                                                                                  Permaculture puts forward the idea that working in harmony with nature and maximizing the possibilities for growing our own food can have a

                                                                                                  How to Build a Cold Frame

                                                                                                    On a permaculture plot, the gardener is always looking for ways to maximize yield. There are many ways of trying to achieve this, including

                                                                                                    How to Grow Figs

                                                                                                      While you can buy dried figs all year round, they are a very different proposition to fresh figs, particularly those that you have grown yourself

                                                                                                      5 Types of Composting Method

                                                                                                        Compost is one of the most energy efficient and green ways of improving the quality of the soil on a permaculture plot. It avoids wastage by

                                                                                                        8 Things to Consider When Siting a New Property

                                                                                                          For many people, applying the principles of permaculture to their property involves redesigning the land to include productive vegetative ecosystems

                                                                                                          7 Tips to Reduce your Food Bill

                                                                                                            Starting a permaculture garden, however large or small is a significant step to reducing the cost of your food. Even just having a few containers on

                                                                                                            How to Grow Rhubarb

                                                                                                              Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that has a long history of cultivation and use. It is native to the cold climates of the Himalayas and Siberia. It

                                                                                                              How to Plan an Orchard

                                                                                                                There are few things finer in life than going out of your house on a summer s morning perhaps holding your child by their hand to pick the

                                                                                                                How to Stack Firewood

                                                                                                                  Having a wood burning stove, an open fireplace or a hydronic heater that uses the energy from burning wood to heat water for use in the home, is an

                                                                                                                  How to Grow Asparagus

                                                                                                                    Asparagus is a vegetable that belongs to the allium family, which also comprises leeks, onions, chives and shallots. It is native to the Mediterranean

                                                                                                                    9 Tips to Reduce Your Food Miles

                                                                                                                      Food miles essentially refer to the distance that the food you buy has traveled from the producer so that it is available in the shop in which you are

                                                                                                                      8 Tips to Increase Yield from Your Garden Beds

                                                                                                                        Permaculture seeks to maximize the yield from a cultivated plot. Without compromising the health of the plants, the soil or the animal life that is

                                                                                                                        7 Forms of Community Gardening

                                                                                                                          Permaculture is much more than the design, cultivation and harvesting of edible crops although that is an important part of it. It also proposes new

                                                                                                                          4 Types of Complementary Currencies

                                                                                                                            Complementary currency is a term that is gradually becoming more widely known. Indeed, In July 2014, California passed a law that made

                                                                                                                            6 Common House Problems – and How to Solve Them

                                                                                                                              Few properties are perfectly adaptable to all local climatic conditions that it experiences. A house that is just the right temperature in both summer

                                                                                                                              How to Do a 4-Bed Crop Rotation

                                                                                                                                Crop rotation is a term more commonly associated with farmers although increasingly less so in the modern age of monoculture and industrial

                                                                                                                                How to Grow Strawberries

                                                                                                                                  There are many reasons to make strawberries a part of the design for your permaculture plot. Not only do they taste great even when eaten straight

                                                                                                                                  How to Make a No Dig Bed

                                                                                                                                    One of the most immediately striking ways in terms of practical activity that permaculture gardening differs from common gardening and agricultural

                                                                                                                                    How to Minimize E Waste

                                                                                                                                      E-waste is not a word that is particularly well known, but it is likely to become much more prevalent in the future. E waste is the shorthand

                                                                                                                                      5 Tips for Predicting Frost

                                                                                                                                        Frost can be a tricky thing for the permaculture garden. For many plants, an unexpected frost can cause damage to the plants and even cause a crop to

                                                                                                                                        7 Benefits of Growing Food in Cities

                                                                                                                                          The World Health Organization reported that in 2014, more than half of the total population of the planet lived in urban areas. While there are

                                                                                                                                          5 Reasons for Rewilding

                                                                                                                                            Rewilding is an ecological idea that is gradually gaining traction within environmental circles, and it bears significant comparison with some

                                                                                                                                            How to Use Household Appliances Efficiently

                                                                                                                                              Most modern homes are filled with all manner of appliances and devices that use electricity. These appliances help to make life easier in some

                                                                                                                                              How to Save Energy in the Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is where the food that satisfies and sustains families is prepared, and is often the room

                                                                                                                                                How to Shop Sustainably

                                                                                                                                                  It is unlikely that even those with the most extensive of permaculture plots will be able to be entirely self-sufficient. This means that we have to shop

                                                                                                                                                  How to Grow Garlic

                                                                                                                                                    Garlic has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is mentioned in ancient Greek, Indian and Chinese writings, while garlic bulbs were found in the

                                                                                                                                                    6 Reasons Why Comfrey Is an Amazing Permaculture Plant

                                                                                                                                                      Comfrey is a fairly humble looking plant. It has large hairy green leaves and small bell-shaped flowers, typically colored either purple or white

                                                                                                                                                      8 Varieties of Cucumber to Grow

                                                                                                                                                        Cucumbers are a great summer vegetable crop. Their crisp, cool flavour and relatively high water content mean that picking a rips cucumber from the vine on

                                                                                                                                                        9 Organic Mulch Materials

                                                                                                                                                          Like many things in permaculture design, the use of mulches takes its cue from what we observe in nature. As long as there have been forests, there have

                                                                                                                                                          8 Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas

                                                                                                                                                            As population growth and the concentration of work in urban areas put more pressure on those areas to provide housing, infrastructure, entertainment

                                                                                                                                                            7 Tips for Creating a Garden to Attract Wildlife

                                                                                                                                                              Permaculture systems work with nature and give value to all parts of it. While producing edible crops is one of the main focuses of any permaculture

                                                                                                                                                              8 Fruits Harvesting Guide

                                                                                                                                                                There are few more satisfying activities on the permaculture plot than eating ripe fruit directly from the plant. Plucking a apple from the bough of a tree

                                                                                                                                                                6 Mass Extinctions

                                                                                                                                                                  There is a growing school of scientific thought that the Earth is in the middle of the sixth great extinction event in its history. A mass extinction

                                                                                                                                                                  6 Sustainable Agricultural Practices

                                                                                                                                                                    In many ways, permaculture was formulated as a response to the damaging and inefficient methods of modern industrial agricultural production. Bill

                                                                                                                                                                    6 Tips for Creating More Edges

                                                                                                                                                                      The edge effect is one of the major facets in permaculture design. Indeed, it is the tenth in David Holmgren s list of underlying principles. It is

                                                                                                                                                                      7 Tips for Growing Citrus Trees

                                                                                                                                                                        Citrus fruits are some of the most versatile crops for use in the kitchen. They can be juiced for drinks or salad dressings, added to fruit salads

                                                                                                                                                                        7 Permaculture Principles for Social Communities

                                                                                                                                                                          Permaculture designed is based on the notion that actions and within and upon a system should bring benefit to the system as a whole. This principle can

                                                                                                                                                                          6 Steps for Building a Swale

                                                                                                                                                                            As it is central to life on Earth, so water is of crucial importance to the permaculture plot, providing the plants, livestock and wildlife with an

                                                                                                                                                                            8 Steps to Create a Raised Keyhole Bed

                                                                                                                                                                              Along with the herb spiral, keyhole beds are often among the first permaculture design methods that a student becomes familiar with. They are often used

                                                                                                                                                                              7 Vegetables You Can Harvest in Winter

                                                                                                                                                                                We tend to think of plants developing their edible crops in the spring and summer. This seems intuitive given that spring is associated with new life

                                                                                                                                                                                8 Tips for Designing a Pond

                                                                                                                                                                                  Incorporating a pond into a permaculture design has a number of benefits that it brings to the site as a whole. There is the obvious function of

                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Animals and the Plants That Repel Them

                                                                                                                                                                                    Just like a natural ecosystem, a permaculture design should always be looking to achieve balance. Establishing biodiversity is one way of doing this

                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Vegetables – Harvesting Guide

                                                                                                                                                                                      Permaculture aims to create the best natural conditions in which to grow edible produce. Gardeners look to provide all the nutrients and water plants need

                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Sources of Renewable Energy

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ninety seven percent of scientists agree that man-made climate change is a real and present danger to the health of the planet. The emissions produced by

                                                                                                                                                                                        Five Threats to Global Biodiversity

                                                                                                                                                                                          One of the key principles that underpin all permaculture design is the effort to increase the biodiversity of a site. Biodiversity essentially refers to

                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Types of Succession Planting

                                                                                                                                                                                            Succession planting is a useful technique for maximizing the vegetable yield from a permaculture plot. Used in vegetable plantings it can mean that you

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Tips for Growing Broccoli

                                                                                                                                                                                              Broccoli is an incredibly nutritious vegetable. It is part of the Brassica family alongside species such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage

                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Tips for Composting Toilets

                                                                                                                                                                                                According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water in the home and garden per day. Of

                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Parts of an Apple Tree Guild

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Guild, or companion, planting is one of the fundamental techniques of permaculture gardening. It taps into permaculture ideas such as

                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Edible Flowers That Fit Permaculture Plot

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Flowering plants that don t produce a fruit or vegetable can seem a bit of a luxury in the permaculture garden. Sure, they may look beautiful, but

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Methods of Rainwater Harvesting

                                                                                                                                                                                                      It can be easy to take rainwater for granted, particularly if you live in a temperate or tropical climate where drought is a rare event. But we need to

                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Tips for Reducing Food Waste

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Each year, millions of tons of food are simply thrown away by consumers. More often than not, this food goes into landfill sites, producing no benefit

                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Benefits of Cover Crops

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cover Crops sometimes called green manures are plants that are used primarily to help improve a location, primarily because of the advantages

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