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Permaculture And Perennial Plants

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Permaculture |


a534c040a2b2d39eb24f9920c3288be5As of today, annual plants account for about 80% of the world’s food crops. In terms of how humans derive their nutrients, perennial plant food crops are the minority. The principles of permaculture continually remind us how important it is to use perennial plants in food production systems. Given that the word ‘permaculture’ is derived from permanent and agriculture, it is understandable why perennial plants should be utilized when building a food system.

Many people simply think that the reason for using perennial plants in a food system is that since they are permanent, they won’t have to be replaced annually thus saving on end season cleaning, sowing, digging and more. However, the reasons as to why perennial plants are an important aspect of permaculture are far more diverse.


Unlike annual plants, perennial plants survive on different principles. Growth takes time and their roots penetrate deep into the soil thus allowing them to access more water and other nutrients that are otherwise not accessible by annual plants. The advantage here is that with deep running roots, they are better adapted to harsh conditions. They are also more effective at stabilizing river banks and steep slopes, something which annual plants are unable to do.

Learn How to Grow an Edible Biodiversity Perennial Garden

Perennial plants grow at a slower rate compared to annual plants. This means that at any given time, they use a smaller amount of nutrients from the soil and can therefore adapt better in areas with fewer nutrients. In areas with cold climate, perennials stop growing during winter and resume growth when the cold season passes while in warmer areas, they grow continually. This is unlike annual plants that require a constant supply of nutrients to survive.

The most important things to note about perennials include:

  • They account for majority of plants on the planet, both terrestrial and aquatic
  • They create more stable ecosystems like forests, unlike annual plants which provide temporary habitats to insects and pests
  • They require less water nutrients due to their deep roots
  • Perennial food plants require less work to grow, and they are more energy efficient and sustainable
  • They don’t have to be replaced on an annual basis

While annual crop based agriculture is a widely practiced culture, we need to understand that we are continually destroying and rebuilding food forests. This practice leads to erosion, loss of salinity and more, all of which don’t help the world’s increasing demand for sustainable food production. This is why it is better to use perennial plants rather than annuals in permaculture. More on this topic, learn via online courses organized by Vladislav Davidzon or visit regenerative leadership institute blog.

Types of Mulch

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Composting, Permaculture |


Mulch-Types-and-Uses-different-types-of-mulch1Mulch is any material spread over the soil layer. The purpose in which this material is used would depend on the user’s requirements ranging from soil fertilization to yard decoration. Mulch is categorized according to the type of material used, that is, whether organic or inorganic.

Organic Mulch

Organic mulch is the most commonly used, easily acquired and most preferred form of mulch. This is mostly as a result of its applications and ease of availability of materials as well as inexpensiveness. Examples of organic mulch include grass clippings, shredded leaves, bark, newspaper and straw just to mention a few.

Shredded Leaves

Generally, this is the most common type of mulch. Easily accessible and directly applicable, this mulch is very easy to apply to your garden. All you have to do is wait for the leaves to be shed, collect them, shread them and voila; mulch. It is also known and preferred for its ease of decomposition. Before application, it is recommended that they be shredded since this increases their efficiency as well as reducing their bulkiness.


This is not commonly known but newspapers are also quite a good type of mulch. Most people tend to fail to see how that could be but newspapers are products made from trees. They are however not pretty looking as a layer on top of the soil but are advantageous in maintaining root moisture. Also using newspapers as mulch is a more environmental friendly way of disposing old newspapers. And also the covering the news papers form over the soil around a plant acting as a very effective weed suppression mechanism.


Straw and Hay

Straw and hay are common mulches to the farmyard given their rate of decomposition, ease of application, inexpensiveness and ease of accessibility. They are very widely used especially in gardens with a high moistute content since they absorb the excess water and improve the aeration properties of the soil.


Trees shed their bulks for various reasons including to grow new ones as they constantly increase in length and girth, or as a survival mechanism against weather and infection. Either way, this shed bark is also an ideal type of mulch. At first glance, it could appear very bulky, however if cut into smaller pieces, it becomes considerably better for gardening. For landscaping purposes, the mulch can be laid out on the area to be landscaped with or without chopping.

How to Use Bark Mulch

Professional studies on organic mulches and their applications as well as suitability can be done at the Open permaculture school and regenerative leadership institute.

Tips and Tricks in Using Compost

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Composting, Permaculture |


Making compost is an easy process that gardeners with experience and without can engage in. Here are some tips to help you when using compost.


1. Mix grass clippings with the brown add-ins in your compost pile. Although they add the necessary nitrogen to your pile, a pile that only has grass can condense and begin to stink.

2. It is advisable not to put fats, animal products in your compost pile. They can attract pests and spread diseases.

3. Newspapers or plain white paper from computers are ideal for composting, but it is advisable to cut into strips first to increase the composting process.

4. When the compost is ready to use, it should feel and look like rich, dark soil. You should not identify the materials you put in your pile. You can learn how to know your compost is ready at the Open permaculture school and regenerative leadership institute.

5. When you want to add ashes to your compost bin, it is advisable to do so carefully. Ashes are alkaline, and they have an impact on your pile’s pH.

6. Avoid plants that have recently been treated with herbicides or pesticides.

7. The microorganisms that are useful to your compost pile require nitrogen and carbon. Green materials produce Nitrogen while brown ones produce Carbon. Ensure that you put them in equal portions in weight.

8. Do not worry when you see that your compost is less when it is ready. The initial volume of the materials you began with although it is dense.

9. Seaweed is an ideal addition to the compost pile but ensure you rinse off the salts before you use.

skid_compost_bin110. Wooden pellets are great for making compost bins. You can begin with a single pellet on the ground and put two metal stakes on each side. Slide extra pellets over each support and your bin are ready for compost.

11. One superb source of carbon is straw although it can have weed seeds so pay attention.

12. To compost your pile quickly, expose it to direct the sun.

13. Always ensure that your compost pile is damp but do not let it become too wet. As you create your compost pile, ensure that every layer is moist. Your compost pile’s surface should also be dump, particularly when it is summer.


14. When your compost pile stinks, it is most likely due to the huge quantity of anaerobic microbes that work hard to break down the compost. To lessen the anaerobic process, ensure you aerate your pile regularly to create air spaces that limit the anaerobic microbes as you stimulate the ones that stink less.

Vladislav Davidzon Introduction To Sustainable Development And Permaculture

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Permaculture, Regenerative leadership institute |

There are many challenges that people face in their day to day life. Today protecting the natural resources is one of the biggest challenges that people face all across the world. It is essential to understand that the natural resources are facing a lot of threat. The problems of soil erosion, ozone depletion, reduction in the availability of water are some of the common problems that people are facing all over the world. All are aware of the devastating effects of urbanization. We all know the consequences of soil erosion and pollution.


Too much of urbanization has led to several problems. So what should be done to protect our environment? This is the reason that the sustainable develpment concepts had come into vogue. This is the key to the development where people can protect their natural resources to an extent. It is essential to understand and make use of the sustainable development in order to attain development and safeguard the animals, resources and human beings from several dangers that are underlying.

img_0325The vladislav davidzon is the founder of the regenerative leadership institute permaculture education. He initiated such education techniques where the sustainable development techniques would be taught to the students across the world. He introduced the course and found the regenerative leadership institute, where education is given to the masses about the permaculture.

This is very challenging. Today you can come across students from nearly hundred and ninety countries that have joined the Regenerative Leadership Institute. Definitely, this brings to light that this is the prime concern for people all across the globe. This is the reason that more and more people are joining the course from several parts of the world.

Being Close To Nature Protecting The Nature By All Means

Sustainable development and permaculture is one of the main aspects of the study where the masses are taught to build an environment where they are close to nature protecting the nature by all means. The development has no effects or minimal effects in the negative aspect. The development is focussed in such a way that it would help future development and protect the natural well-being of men. It is essential to understand the different concepts of the course which are taught by the professionals.

The study material of the course is incredible and helped many students in the past. Therefore at the end of the course students would get an idea on how they can have a healthy atmosphere around them and how they can contribute towards the protection of the nature. However, the entire study is based on the sustainable development. Charlie-Durrant-Permaculture-0113-1024x768

This is the main motive of the study and also the need of the masses. It is the duty of every individual to contribute towards the growth and take measures for the protection of the nature. Therefore make use of the resources to learn more about the various aspects of sustainable development and make use of these techniques in your day to day life to improve your living aspects.


Sustainable Development In Urban And Suburban Development

Sustainable development can be incorporated in both urban development and in suburban development. There are various things that should be done so that the sustainable development can be achieved. You can make your home and environment eco-friendly in several aspects which would be helpful for permaculture.

How to have your own worm farm

Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Permaculture |

worm-farmWorms are very important fact in the field of growing and farming. They break up the soil structure, make the soil more aerated and allow moisture to percolate into it. Since they make the soil more loose, they enable plants to root more deeply into the soil, which results in better plant growth. Another thing which is great about the worms is that they break down organic matter, which leads to releasing of nutrients that can be used by the plants.  As they make/eat their way through the organic materials, they leave castings as a natural-rich nutrient form of compost. The presence of worms is stressed numerous times at the Regenerative Leadership Institute’s lectures, and also by its CEO, Vladislav Davidzon. This article, based on Regenerative Leadership Institute’s materials and knowledge, is actually a brief DIY tutrorial for making your own worm farm. Learn more on our Facebook page.

Angela Redfern, Ripe cafe.-0-640-0-0The first you need to do in organizing your own worm farm is to find containers. You can find a lot of containers made strictly for this purpose on the market, but you can also use your imagination and use recycled materials, which will be better for your environment but also for your pocket. You can search for advices in permaculture design magazine maybe. You can use old wooden boxes, plastic crates or even old bathtubs.  Styrofoam containers are also great, which easily  can be designed in the way that you have two sections – upper where worms will live and lower that will be used as a repository for drainage. Whatever you use, just poke some holes in the top container and cover the hole with cloth to prevent worms from falling down. 

Before you even start, you have to find a right place for your farm. A position has to be a place which doesn’t get too hot or too cold and you should definitely avoid locations that are prone to frost. Under a tree that creates good shade, which also loses its leaves in the winter, allowing sunshine to warm your farm would be a perfect place.

In order to have worms, you have to provide them a material in which they will live. The best thing is to mix old newspaper with some compost and a little bit of garden soil. Optionally, you can include grass clippings or coconut fibers. DO NOT forget to water the bedding material so that is just moist; do not overwater it. 

worm farmNext thing is to add worms. Since you cannot take earthworms and put them in you farm, you have to find worms that are adept at composting. Tiger worms are the best options for most of the cases, but Red Wrigglers will also do the job.  You should be able to find these at a local organic supplier, or somewhere online. 

After you added worms, you have to provide the food. They can eat pretty much everything: shredded newspapers, vegetable scraps coffee grinds or garden prunings. It is also recommended to add eggshells, since they are rich in calcium, which will improve worm’s laying eggs. 

Maintaining of farm is a considered a must-to-do fact, if you want your farm to function properly. Provide fresh food to your worms, but don’t give them too much; you will see by the surplus of matter at the top if it’s too much, but if you provide quality matters, they will respond in rapid and abundant production. 

iStock_000007911356XSmall_346x210These would be the basic steps of making your own farm, so you should follow them. Remember one thing: if you want a good worm farm, you have to be persistent and always look for improvement, respecting basic rules of permaculture. 

Basic principles of building a permaculture home

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Permaculture, Regenerative leadership institute |

David Holmgren

Permaculture is a term created by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the seventies, and around the beginning of the 21st century it has largely been taught and developed by experts such as Vladislav Davidzon, Geoff Lawton and others. Today we have many permaculture certificate programs. It is a relatively new concept, but on the other hand – it relies on the principles that have existed for thousands of years, before the modernization and industrialization. The main principles of this discipline include care for the Earth, care for the people and returning of the surplus, the last meaning that we return everything we take from the Earth and nothing goes to waste. 

Permaculture can be applied to many aspects of life and housing, and you can build a whole house and organize a household so it is completely self-sustained and in harmony with nature. When it comes to creating a household based on permaculture, it surely takes a lot of observation, learning and planning, and here are the categories you should pay attention to and work them out in details.

foundationFirst of all, you have your foundation, walls and roof, that is – the house itself. The materials you use should be recycled, renewable and durable, and most importantly – they must have a negative footprint. They should be locally available, because the transport uses up a lot of energy and resources, and is completely the opposite of the permaculture philosophy. The material can include, for example, aluminum cans and glass bottles, old car tires, even the hay and dirt. You should create thermal mass which will help your house stay warm during winter and cool during summer, without using additional air-conditioning systems. 

a221The next thing to consider is electricity. Renewable energy resources are becoming more and more widespread and more easily accessible, so you can choose to install solar panels, windmills or the combination of the two to supply your home with electricity. The location of the house and the climate will affect the type of energy generator you will use, but keep in mind that there is an optimal solution for almost any type of climate zone your home may be in. 

Another important thing is water supply. There are several ways to provide it, the most common being collecting rainwater or drilling a well. You will need a reservoir, filtration system and a pump, and you will be able to use water for the purpose of drinking, cooking, bathing and laundry washing as well as for the irrigation system if you decide of having a garden.

141179-500-0-1Together with water there comes the matter of disposing waste. The so-called “grey water” is water that is left after showering, cleaning, doing the laundry etc, and it can be used three more times: first, the large particles of residue are filtered and the water is used for irrigation, where the plant roots and the soil will filter it further. Then it is collected again and used for flushing the toilets, and after that there is the so-called “black water”, treated in the septic tank, and used to water non-edible plants. 

The last thing to consider is food. In a permaculture household you are most likely to have your own organic garden. The plants should be planted in a natural pattern, in cohabitation with each other, so they protect each other from pests. No chemicals are used, and the ground is treated with mulch and organic compost.

There are many advice and principles to apply when building a permaculture home and garden, but having these five categories in mind will help you start your planning and keep you on the right track.