The 12 Design Principles of Permaculture as Rules of Living

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By guest author: Erin Meyer

(story originally posted on Land & Ladle on Medium)

There are 12 design principles in permaculture. I think they can be applied to daily life, work and play which will allow us to live happier and healthier, to work more effectively and to create a more sustainable world.

Here are the 12 principles:

Observe and interact.

Catch and store energy.

Obtain a yield.

Apply self-regulation and accept feedback.

Use and value renewable resources and services.

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Food Waste is the New Plastic Pollution

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By guest author: Erin Meyer

(story originally posted on Land & Ladle on Medium)

Today, I went for a nice, yet hot, run and I decided I needed to spend some time on the foam roller afterwards. Netflix just released the newest season of “Orange is the New Black” so I turned it on and went to work on the foam roller. Mid-roll, in a particularly painful place on the IT band, I heard this, “Expiration dates are bullshit.”

Hold up. Did I just hear that?

I went back a few seconds and yes, indeed, Natalie Figueroa said, “Expiration dates are bullshit” in response to one of the guard’s complaint that the FBI has been using their break room for too long and his yogurt is in the fridge (and thus, nearing its expiration).

I couldn’t agree more. Expiration dates are bullshit. Best Before, Best By, Best If Used By and Enjoy By dates merely indicate food quality, not food safety. Sell By is meant to be used by store staff, not the consumer. This means that people are throwing away literally tons of perfectly good food because they think it went bad. That is bullshit.

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5 Eco-Friendly Moves You Can Make at Home to Help Slow Climate Change

This guest post is written by: Neil Stawski

Climate change is real, is supported by a vast majority of scientists, and will have devastating effects on our planet if we don’t slow it down and begin to reverse course. There is already ample evidence that climate change is negatively affecting our world, but there is hope. Everyone can make changes at home to help slow the tide. Here are some ways to do what’s right for your community and the world at large.

Change your water consumption habits

Don’t waste water. It’s a simple concept. But what can you do at home to promote conservation? Try one of these tricks:

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The Basics of Eco-Friendly Landscaping for Your Yard

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Having a beautiful lawn is a major delight of suburban living.  However, it can be difficult to maintain your lawn while also staying eco-conscious and conserving water.  If you can bear to part with your lawn, a no-yard landscaping design is a neat option and gives you creative reign over the layout with items such as stone pavers, water features, mulch, and native plants. Another option is to turn your lawn into an edible yard or food forest to harvest your own produce.

If you’d prefer to keep your lawn, then there’s no need to worry.  The following tips will help you keep ecology in mind at the same time as you make your lawn the crown of the neighborhood.

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Celery Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Celery

Your garden and kitchen guide to celery

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Celery is originally a marshland plant that people have learned to grow in various settings and areas. While being useful cooking, it can also be used in herbal medicinal practices.

Grow Your Own

It is best to grow celery in a cool room-temperature climate. Celery can still tolerate colder and warm temperatures but too much of this can damage the growth process. In order to grow a large amount of celery with high quality, it is necessary to think about the soil type, as well as the irrigation and fertilization methods that are being used.

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Corn Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Corn

Your garden and kitchen guide to corn

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Corn, also called Maize, is a grain produce that was first domesticated tens of thousands of years ago by the indigenous population of southern Mexico and the lowlands east of the Andes. As the irrigation methods developed over the years, the corn quality changed into what it is today and was eventually moved into what would become the southern and midwestern United States, which is why it is so culturally popular in those areas.

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Fava Beans Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Fava Beans

Your garden and kitchen guide to fava beans

Introductory Facts and Trivia

This widely used crop comes from an unknown origin. It is very visually similar to the lima bean because of the size and color that they both have. One of the first places that fava beans appeared in is the Mediterranean regions of Italy and Iran. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants known, with its culture extending back to prehistoric times. It is from the pea or bean family, scientifically called Fabaceae. The flowers on this crop have a sweet scent that attracts pollinators such as bees. The fava bean is a cool-season crop and is usually planted during February and March in California for vegetable use and during September to November to serve as cover crops.

Grow Your Own

Fava beans can be planted to improve soil. But the really fun use is when it can be used for food. You can use a portion of your crop for culinary purposes and the other portion of it for compost biomass that will help the soil in your garden. Continue reading “Fava Beans Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Fava Beans”

Garlic Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Garlic

Your garden and kitchen guide to garlic

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Garlic is part of the onion family, along with leek and chive. Garlic is believed to be native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and interestingly enough, was known to ancient Egyptians, and has been used as parts of culinary plates and in medicinal practices. The majority of the worlds supply of garlic comes from China. It is flavorful, inexpensive and can last for months if stored properly.

Grow Your Own

Garlic is fairly easy to grow. Because it grows from October to May, it serves as a benefit to the rest of your garden that requires the summer for growing in a garden bed. The two types of garlic you can plant are soft-neck and hard-neck garlic. An easy way to remember a distinguishing trait is that the soft neck garlic is smaller and the hard-neck garlic is larger.  

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Green Beans Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Green Beans

Your garden and kitchen guide to green beans

Introductory Facts and Trivia

Green beans, unlike other plants that are used for culinary purposes, are distinguishable because of the enclosing pods that cover the before the seeds inside have fully matured. It is very easy to grow them, and aside from all the nutritional benefits it has to the human body, it also has benefits to your garden. Green beans contain nitrogen-fixers which helps your soil become rich with minerals and nutrients that can help the rest of your plants and crops.

Grow Your Own

The beans do need the warm weather, and they will need to be picked to keep producing, so stay active and consistent with your gardening techniques. They will be small at first because of their dependence on sunlight and a warm climate, but eventually they will grow to be just right. Check on them every few days, and they can quite possibly get bigger as the conditions needed for their specific growth process begin to improve.

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Melon Plant Spotlight: Tips and Tricks to Grow, Cook, and Eat Garden Fresh Cantaloupe Melon

Your garden and kitchen guide to melon

Introductory Facts and Trivia

The cantaloupe melon is believed to have originated from Africa or Southeast Asia. You probably recognize it as the large fruit with a “scale-y” or “net-like” covering on it. After it was introduced to Europe, it became a popularly-grown crop in America by the end of the 19th century. Currently, China is the world’s largest cantaloupe producer and it has become a widely popular fruit across the globe.

Grow Your Own

It is best to start growing your cantaloupes around December or January, and they will be for harvest in and around July. In some cases, the harvest will last for only about 90 days, while in other cases, it will last until October. Because this is a warm-climate fruit, it is best to plant them towards the end in the middle or at the end of winter, so that they can grow properly during spring and summer. Also keep in mind that cantaloupes require pollination from bees, so any climate conditions that will keep away bees might slow down the crop’s growth process.

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