Biochar: a resource for a more sustainable agriculture
Biochar is charcoal made from wood or biomass via pyrolysis, a process in which the thermal decomposition of organic materials takes place without involving the addition of other reagents such as oxygen. In few words, heat is provided to the organic materials in an inert atmosphere in order to create the energy necessary for breaking some chemical bonds within complex molecules and convert them into simpler ones. The result is biochar, a charcoal whose carbon content is up to 90% and whose compact structure make it non-biodegradable by soil
microorganisms. For this reason, biochar can stock carbon instead of releasing it into the atmosphere as CO2.
Is Self-Sufficiency scary?
Let’s increase our understanding of sustainability
On August 10th 2010, TIME magazine ran a cover story entitled: “The Best Laws Money Can Buy”. Unfortunately, reality is much worse, money doesn’t only control the law-making power, but also information and education.
Nowadays power is no longer wielded with evident violence as it used to happen in the past, but in a much more underhand manner. They make us believe we are free citizens, when they actually control and influence us since the very first years of school: “through information and education it’s possible to manipulate people to such an extent to make them perceive a suicide or a murder as something noble”. In less-extreme cases, information and education don’t aim to such serious acts, instead they are intended to keep people in a constant agony. People who are chronically sick, dissatisfied with life, individualist and obedient, even to despotic orders, are the standard people who surround us, even though these conditions should not be part of the human nature.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER in Permaculture and not only…
The example of Sepp Holzer, the man who has built a system of 60 small lakes in his farm on the Alps.
Water is vital, water is life, in fact it’s the key for the humankind survival on this planet. Especially today that water resources are becoming scarce, it’s important to know how to use them wisely and learn how to save such resources.
For this reason, water is one of permaculture’s main subject according to the vision of Sepp Holzer, the rebel farmer from Austria who turned his farm, in the heart of the Alps, into an example of agriculture in harmony with nature.
Sepp Holzer’s small lakes in the Alps
How to turn desert into paradise
Permaculture teaches us how to manage water in a smart and natural way in order to stop desertification
It was 2011 when I decided to visit Krametherof, in Longau region, Austria. I’d been astonished by the vision of a documentary about Sepp Holzer, the rebel farmer that transformed his family land into a natural paradise. He has constructed an impressive system of 80 lakes and terraces on a steep piece of land between 1100 and 1500 m.a.s.l.
A permaculture Garden of Eden
The story of Charles, Perrine and their farm
Miraculous Abundance it’s not only the English title of the book published in 2014 by the French couple Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer, but it’s also the perfect summary of the results of their project and the message they want to send with passion to all of us and to all future generations of farmers. Charles and Perrine’s story is heart-warming and it provides inspiration to those who look for a change and hope to those who see ahead an ever greyer future. But who are Charles and Perrine? And what did they do so special?
How we started a Food Forest in Italy
A Food Forest, also known as Forest Garden, is a multi-purpose and multi-function cultivation system in which trees grown for timber, fruit trees, medical herbs, vegetables, etc. live and grow in synergy with wild plants and animals.
A Food Forest can be created in a corner of our garden or by converting an already existing wood or orchard if we have a wider space available.
Green manuring in Permaculture and Synergistic Agriculture
In Permaculture and Synergistic Agriculture green manuring is a technique for taking care of the soil along with mulch, crop rotation and intercropping and the use of compost.
Green manure crops are cultivated in order to improve soil fertility immediately or once they wither. In this way humus production and soil vitality increase, while loss of nutrients due to rainfalls, soil drying and extreme jumps in temperature are prevented. Moreover, the soil becomes lighter and enriched with nitrogen.
What does synergistic agriculture teach to children?
As we already explained in a previous article, synergistic agriculture is a way of farming that respects nature and at the same time can guarantee healthy and abundant crops. Especially synergistic agriculture promotes the strategy of developing soil self-fertility.
Projects of synergistic vegetable gardens have been started in several Italian schools, including kindergartens, but why a synergistic garden can be turned into a greater educational project? What can synergistic agriculture teach to our children?
5 good reasons for doing Permaculture in Italy
Permaculture was born in Australia in the 1970’s from the intuitions of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Despite the peculiarity of the Australian territory, Permaculture’s principles are so universal that they can be applied everywhere and, more importantly, there is no better time to start than the present one. In Italy too, there are many reasons to practice this system or, better said, this “philosophy”, but for now we will only give you 5, which we believe are good enough.
A small introduction to Permaculture
Permaculture is a series of techniques that allow us to design and create long-lasting sustainable human settlements. This approach gives us the chance to turn problems into solutions and see the world through new eyes.