Quotable Quotes ……
There’s a direct connection between the health
of the soil, the health of the plants, the health of
the animals, and you as eater.
Your health is inseparable from the health of
whole food chain that you’re a part of.
Your health is not bordered by your own skin,
and that you must take a broader view of it if
you’re really concerned.
An Eater’s Manifesto: “Eat Food. Not Too Much.
Environmental crisis is a crisis of character. It's
really about how we live.
Heavy reliance on chemical fertilizers, pesticides,
herbicides etc. These are all petroleum-based products.
High energy usage and many costs externalized /
subsidized. It is not really “low-cost and cheap”.
These are slowly but surely destroying the soil and the
ecological environment (including our own bodies).
Largely mono-cultures (and genetically modified), thus
reducing bio-diversities which are against the natural
Animal husbandry has its own load of problems,
including the emission of GHG that causes global
Resultant cross-border trades and the associated food-
mile issues and income disparity etc.
Soil …. Not Oil
Modern agriculture has consumed an alarming amount of our native
top soils. These top soils were built over millions of years and are
not easily regained. The only foreseeable strategy for the future is to
stop this reckless erosion and degradation of natural soils, and to
actively build soils to ensure a viable ecological base from which we
can grow our food.
Building soil involves a process of allowing carbon and nitrogen
sources to decompose in-situ over time. Along with many forms of
life including mycelium, worms, insects, nematodes, root systems,
bacteria and others, carbon and nitrogen are converted into soil.
This process occurs naturally in the forest: leaves and other plant
matter (carbon) fall to the forest floor. Other organisms such as
mycelium (mushrooms) and deposits made from various life forms
(nitrogen) mix together and decompose, transforming into the new
life-giving soil which begins the growth process again. The great soil
deposits of the world were created over millennia of healthy
ecological systems cycling through its many life forms.
Soil ….. Not Oil …..
Leonardo da Vinci once said, "We know more about the
movement of the celestial bodies than the soil
In today's high-tech society, most people keep soil out of
mind and out of context—yet what could be more
important? All living things originate from the soil, and
eventually return to it. All great civilizations, including the
Egyptians, Greeks, Mayans and Romans, depended
upon an adequate supply of fertile soil. These
civilizations also declined when soil resources became
thin due to erosion and bad management.
Organic Farming & Permaculture
Organic farming practices will eventually replace
Industrial Agriculture, if Mother Earth is to
continue providing our needs.
There are many forms of organic farming
practices, and vary both in extend and depth.
Permaculture could well be the ideal choice, as
the practice is more than mere “permanent
agriculture”. It is also “permanent culture” that
covers environment designs and other cultural
The permaculture concept originated in Australia in the 1970s (Bill
Mollison and David Holmgren) to promote agro-ecological design
theory, and has since grown to include a collection of ethics and
principles that influence the wider designing of human systems that
work in harmony with natural ecosystems.
Permaculture is a design science, based on observation, that
integrates all human activities into a whole system based on natural
patterning and ecology. In a word, Permaculture=Relationship
Permaculture is a philosophy of agricultural land-use that calls for
combining plants, animals, and structures in such a way as to
maximize the number of uses for the land while increasing its self-
sufficiency and minimizing maintenance by focusing on the use of
Permaculture is a design system based upon observing how
ecosystems (or any systems) interact. Its purpose is the formation of
sustainable habitats (whether human, agricultural, cultural, financial,
governmental, etc.). Permaculture principles are based upon core
values or ethics (Earthcare, Peoplecare, Fairshare).
A system for sustainable design of human culture
that focuses on both ecological mindfulness and the
provision of basic human needs in an
environmentally sustainable way.
Some specific elements addressing sustainable
societies include natural building, small-scale
agriculture, sustainable resource use, and the use of
Permaculture is not energy- or capital-intensive,
rather it is information-intensive.
Permaculture is about "...saving the planet and living
to be a hundred, while throwing very impressive
dinner parties and organising other creatures to do
most of the work.“…. Linda Woodrow
Permaculture goes beyond realising that conventional agriculture is
the most destructive thing humans are doing on the planet: it offers
an achievable alternative in the form of sustainable small scale local
food production systems. Part of this vision is massively decreasing
the distance between where food is produced and consumed (the
As a design process, permaculture has three phases:
1) Design, where a design or pattern is made that seamlessly integrates
a landscape with the wants, needs and abilities of the people living there
2) Design implementation, where the design becomes a reality
3) Follow up and system evolution, where we learn from our successes
and mistakes, and we let the system demonstrate its own evolution
Food is just one part of the permaculture equation. Permaculture
equally addresses and integrates water, energy, waste, shelter,
community, local economy, governance and all other aspects of
The term ‘Zones’ in Permaculture are simply labels for areas that
are grouped together reflecting specific activities and
The zones are used to make sustainable design easy and ensure
that each area is efficient, low maintenance, produces good results
and integrates smoothly with other zones.
The zones are:
Zone 0 - Where you live, or where you spend most of your time in
relation to the place of your Permaculture Project (ie. it could be your
office or shop)
Zone 1 - Vegetable Patch and close plantings to your house (or office or
Zone 2 - The “Food Forest” or Orchard
Zone 3 - The Farming Area (whether it be crops or animals - often for
Zone 4 - Harvest Forests
Zone 5 - Natural Forests or Conservation Areas
Permaculture Guilds & Stacks
In addition to zones, other patterns / relationships are very
important in Permaculture, such as guilds and stacks, as illustrated
A permablitz is a contraction of permaculture and blitz, where a blitz
simply means a focused application of energy or a concentrated
effort to get something done.
Permablitz: An informal gathering involving a day on which a group
of at least two people come together to achieve the following:
create or add to edible gardens where someone lives
share skills related to permaculture and sustainable living
build community networks
Once a design is in hand, a permablitz is a day where volunteers
come together to help make that design a reality.
Permablitz volunteers help with events corresponding to the three
phases of design:
1) pre-blitz design visits
2) permablitzes proper
3) post-blitz follow up visits
Very closely related to Permaculture is Relocalization.
Relocalization is a strategy to build societies based on
the local production of food, energy and goods, and the
local development of currency, governance and culture.
The main goals of Relocalization are to increase
community energy security, to strengthen local
economies, and to dramatically improve environmental
conditions and social equity.
The Relocalization Network supports local groups in
developing community activities and programs that can
be implemented locally and as working models for other
communities seeking to increase their resilience.
Buying locally-grown food and patronizing locally-owned restaurants and groceries supports
local farms, strengthens local food supply chains, and decreases greenhouse gas emissions
due to transportation of food grown outside the region.
Increasing the capacity of people to grow more of their own food promotes better nutrition,
economic resilience in the face of rising food prices, and increased appreciation for nature
Supporting locally-owned businesses benefits the locals by keeping more of the money
spent here circulating through the local economy, encouraging new independent
businesses, and helping to retain the unique character of the community. Local businesses
have strong community ties and are more accountable for their environmental and
Conserving energy and supporting development of renewable energy sources reduces
reliance on imported fossil fuels, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and buffers people
against rising energy prices.
Increased use of mass transit, ridesharing, and human-powered transportation also reduces
reliance on imported fossil fuels, reduces pollution, and buffers people against rising energy
Supporting local arts, entertainment, recreation, and regional tourism reduces our reliance
on imported, mass-produced entertainment and unnecessary travel
In suburban contexts, permaculture design
focuses on the relative location in space and
time of things like herb gardens, vegetable
gardens, chicken houses, paths, ponds and fruit
In this respect, Home-Scale Permaculture is
much more than Organic Gardening, Square
Foot Gardening etc, which can, however, be
component parts of the big Permaculture
Features & Benefits
Square Foot Garden (Other equivalent:
Keyhole / Lasagne Gardens etc)
It is simple, fits in a small space and produces
big results while costs little.
Growing Real Organic Food in Urban
No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding
Small Space, Big Results, Little Costs
Sharing & Exchanging (Share-Cropping)
Service Network (Gardener For Hire)
Horticulture Therapy & Aromatherapy
Quotable Quotes …..
Heaven is under our
feet as well as over
our heads …..Thoreau
You can solve the
problems of the world
in a garden
…… Geoff Lawton
“More grows in a
garden than what the
…..Old Spanish Proverb
Business Savvies vs.
Business Savvies vs. Systems Savvies
Systems Savvies vs. Sustainability
Sustainability Savvies vs. Ecosystems
Ecosystems Savvies vs. Holism Savvies
Holism Savvies vs. Theology Savvies
Happiness & Sense of Coherence
Hedonistic (Pleasure / Pleasant Life)
Desire (Engagement / Good Life)
Objective Meaning (Meaningful Life)
All Three combined
Salutogenesis / Sense of Coherence
So, what are we selling …?
In the market economy, there can be recognized five
types of economic offering as follows:
We like to classify ourselves as the last category, even
though the SOHOLUTION approach certainly contains
the other elements as well.
You can definitely recognize the relevant components as
you explore deeper and participate actively in the full
range of offerings.
Bio char is a modern equivalent of Terra
Preta, a rich soil found in South America.
The soil found there was heavily amended
with charred organic materials and has
been found to greatly enhance plant
growth. Bio char is created by pyrolysis.
This process takes place in an oxygen
deprived system (limited oxygen), thus
resulting in char rather than ashes (as in
normal burning process).
The following benefits occur with additions of
Enhanced plant growth
Suppressed methane emission
Reduced nitrous oxide emission (estimate 50%)
Reduced fertilizer requirement (estimate 10%)
Reduced leaching of nutrients
Stored carbon in a long term stable sink
Reduces soil acidity: raises soil pH
Reduces aluminum toxicity
Increased soil aggregation due to increased fungal
Improved soil water handling characteristics
Increased soil levels of available Ca, Mg, P, and K
Increased soil microbial respiration
Increased soil microbial biomass
Stimulated symbiotic nitrogen fixation in legumes
Increased arbuscular mycorrhyzal fungi
Increased cation exchange capacity
Biochar (Biological Charcoal)
Biochar: A Soil Amendment that Combats
Global Warming and Improves Agricultural
Sustainability and Environmental Impacts
Biochar production processes can utilize
most urban, agricultural or forestry
biomass residues, including wood chips,
corn stover, rice or peanut hulls, tree bark,
paper mill sludge, animal manure, and
recycled organics, for instance.
Biochar and bioenergy co-production from urban, agricultural and forestry
biomass can help combat global climate change by displacing fossil fuel
use, by sequestering carbon in stable soil carbon pools, and by dramatically
reducing emissions of nitrous oxides, a more potent greenhouse gas than
carbon dioxide., As a soil amendment, biochar helps to improve the
Earth’s soil resource by increasing crop yields and productivity, by reducing
soil acidity, and by reducing the need for some chemical and fertilizer inputs.
, Water quality is improved by the use of biochar as a soil amendment,
because biochar aids in soil retention of nutrients and agrochemicals for
plant and crop utilization,, reducing leaching and run-off to ground and
Biochar production and utilization systems differ from most biomass energy
systems because the technology is carbon-negative: it removes net
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in stable soil carbon
“sinks”. Other biomass energy systems are at best carbon-neutral,
resulting in no net changes to atmospheric carbon dioxide.
 Yanai et al., 2007, Effects of charcoal addition on N2O emissions from soil resulting from
rewetting air-dried soil in short-term laboratory experiments, Soil Science and Plant Nutrition,
 Rondon, M., Ramirez, J.A., and Lehmann, J.: 2005, Charcoal additions reduce net emissions
of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, in Proceedings of the 3rd USDA Symposium on
Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Sequestration, Baltimore, USA, March 21-24, 2005, p. 208.
 Glaser, B., Lehmann, J. and Zech, W., 2002, Ameliorating physical and chemical properties of
highly weathered soils in the tropics with charcoal --- a review, Biology and Fertility of Soils,
 Lehmann, J. and Rondon, M., 2006, Biochar soil management on highly weathered soils in
the humid tropics. In Uphoff N (ed.), Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems,
CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 517-530.
 Lehmann, J., et al., 2003, Nutrient availability and leaching in an archaeological Anthrosol and
a Ferralsol of the Central Amazon basin: fertilizer, manure and charcoal amendments, Plant and
Soil, 249: 343-357.
 Steiner, C., et al., Long term effects of manure, charcoal and mineral fertilization on crop
production and fertility on a highly weathered Central Amazonian upland soil, Plant and Soil,
 Lehmann, J., Gaunt, J., and Rondon, M., 2006, Bio-char sequestration in terrestrial
ecosystems – a review. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 11:403-427