Vale Rob Swain 1955-2017

An unsung hero leaves a giant legacy – tributes to Rob Swain Rob Swain passed away 13/8/2017 in Ravenshoe, Far North Queensland after being diagnosed with late stage melanoma five months ago. He was only 61 years of age. We have lost a very special man, friend, teacher and mentor. Our loving thoughts and condolences …

Biodiversity and Mankind

Conservation in the wild can serve humanity and allow speciation into the future, for those species not driven to extinction. Destruction and fragmentation of habitat could drive speciation by creating disjunct populations with no gene flow! The importance of plants and biodiversity Mankind uses plants for fibre, food, medicine, and environmental services, such as storing …

Bill Mollison – a giant tree has fallen in the forest of humanity

Robyn Francis reflects on her memories of Bill Mollison, teacher, mentor, friend… Bill Mollison, co-creator of the permaculture concept and founder of the movement, passed away in Hobart, Tasmania on the evening of September 24, 2016. For many it felt like a giant old growth tree in the forest had fallen. Since then tributes have …

Farmers of Hong Kong

More than a concrete jungle, Hong Kong boasts almost 550 organic farms: traditional family farms, small enterprise farms and over 300 educational and leisure farms. Leisure farms are a variation on community gardens that rent out garden plots to urban dwellers, known as ‘weekend farmers’, and are operated as small social enterprises rather than as …

Bamboo in Permaculture with Robyn Francis

Robyn Francis in Buddha-belly bamboo clump

I love Bamboo; growing, eating, crafting, building, and listening to the sounds of creaking culms and rustling leaves in the wind. It provides me with microclimates, windbreaks, privacy screens, animal fodder, wildlife habitat, an endless supply of mulch, delicious tender eating shoots, an abundance of materials for the garden and building small structures, and sequesters …

Making Cassava Flour

grating cassava for drying

Cassava flour is easy to make with basic kitchen equipment. It’s gluten free for those with celiac problems. I use it for making pancakes, slices and cookies, and mix it (half/half) with other flours for making breads or pizza dough. Cassava, also known as Tapioca or Manioc, is an important staple crop for many populations …

Integrating Biochar in Permaculture

Mini Moxham biochar kiln in operation at Biochar workshop, Djanbung Gardens with Dolph Cooke

“The movement to integrate Biochar into our soils must be localized in scale, and by preferably utilizing the waste products of other systems as to ensure any wider environmental damage is minimized.”   Integration of Biochar Into Existing Permaculture Systems – Reducing Carbon Footprint and Increasing Yields An Integrated Design Research Report by Max Shaap …

Treasure Trove of the Meadows

a meadow bursting with life and biodiversity

Meadows – a treasure trove of biodiversity The herb meadows were once an essential component of traditional farming systems in Bavaria and other parts of Europe. I lived in rural Bavaria (Southern Germany) for three years in the mid 1970s, and was fascinated by the sheer biodiversity of herbs, grasses, insects and fungi of the …

Treasure Trove of the Meadows

a meadow bursting with life and biodiversity

Meadows – a treasure trove of biodiversity The herb meadows were once an essential component of traditional farming systems in Bavaria and other parts of Europe. I lived in rural Bavaria (Southern Germany) for three years in the mid 1970s, and was fascinated by the sheer biodiversity of herbs, grasses, insects and fungi of the …