Ecosystem Restoration and Community Development Must Go Hand in Hand

I’ve been working on an ongoing project in Somalia, and this has led me to think a lot about the fact that, all too often, efforts in conservation and ecosystem restoration are divorced from efforts in the social and economic spheres. We often talk about the fact that economic sustainability involves looking at the environmentalContinue reading “Ecosystem Restoration and Community Development Must Go Hand in Hand”

Passive Solar Design – Protecting Plants in Winter

Passive solar design is an important strategy in designing an undercover growing area, as well as a home. It can help you create an area where you can successfully grow crops all year round. A greenhouse can dramatically extend the length of your growing season. It can also make it possible for you to growContinue reading “Passive Solar Design – Protecting Plants in Winter”

Choosing Bare Root Trees and Shrubs

Most who are new to gardening imagine that spring will be the best time to begin to establish new growing areas. But you do not need to wait until next year to start creating a new edible garden. Choosing bare root trees and shrubs is a good way to start creating a forest garden orContinue reading “Choosing Bare Root Trees and Shrubs”

Avoiding a ‘When and If’ Mentality in Sustainability

“When we can afford our homestead then we’ll….” ” If work slows down then I can…” “When I have more time it will be possible to…” When and if can be useful – it is important to dream about and plan for the future. But a ‘when and if’ mentality can sometimes become a roadblockContinue reading “Avoiding a ‘When and If’ Mentality in Sustainability”

Plant Daffodils – Spring Ephemerals in a Forest Garden

Daffodils and other flowering bulbs are a cheerful sight in spring. They can brighten up a garden and bring light to the partial shade around trees and shrubs. Spring bulbs like daffodils are spring ephemerals. They bloom only for a short time, fading and beginning to die back as warmer weather arrives. Through three seasons,Continue reading “Plant Daffodils – Spring Ephemerals in a Forest Garden”

Using Living Mulch

Mulching is an important thing in an organic garden. It is crucial for protecting the soil, retaining moisture and suppressing weeds. It can also be beneficial in other ways, such as providing habitat and shelter for soil life and other wildlife. Many people are familiar with mulches such as compost, well-rotted manures, straw, wood chipContinue reading “Using Living Mulch”

Avoiding Anthropocentric Bias in Sustainability

As humans, we all have a tendency to see everything from our point of view. We have a tendency to think of ourselves as ‘other’, separate from, and above the rest of the natural world. But though we are (as far as we yet know) a unique evolutionary form, it is important to remember thatContinue reading “Avoiding Anthropocentric Bias in Sustainability”

Why Buying Wrapping Paper is a Bad Idea

I’ve already written a post with some sustainable gift ideas for the holiday season. But in addition to thinking about alternative, sustainable gifts, it is also important to think about how you wrap any physical presents. When you really stop to think about it, the way we pack gifts for the holidays is a trulyContinue reading “Why Buying Wrapping Paper is a Bad Idea”

The Future of Farming

Food system reform is a hot topic. It is essential that agriculture changes, if we are to successfully tackle the environmental and social challenges we face. As a permaculture designer, I often focus on the basics – energy use, water, fertility… But as we develop sustainable growing systems, we need to recognise that while weContinue reading “The Future of Farming”

Weed Seeds To Eat

When we think of autumn foraging, wild fruits are likely the first things that spring to mind. But there are also other more unusual edibles to consider. Today, I thought I would mention three types of seed that I use around this time of year. The first of these is nettle seeds. Nettle seeds mightContinue reading “Weed Seeds To Eat”