Building Permanent Culture in Knoxville
There are 2.2 million farms in the US, but most of these are not actual working farms.
Only 45% of these farms claim 'farming' as their principle occupation, or 990,000 farms.
And only 25% of these farms gross more than $50K, or 550,000 farms.
About 180,000 farms account for 60% of all agricultural sales.
And about 60% of farmers are age 55 or older.
This is down from the peak of 6.8 million farms in 1935 (when the US population was 127…Continue
Pellissippi State University in Knoxville has 5 Americorp VISTA positions starting soon. It would be great to get some people with some knowledge of permaculture to apply! Here is the info:
Make a difference! Become an AmeriCorps VISTA for PSCC's new educational initiative, "GOOD FOOD FOR ALL!" Be a team member for a high-profile nutrition education/food security/community schools project. Living allowance of…Continue
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on May 16, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments
I did a short presentation on 'what is sustainable' agriculture to some UT students at the International House, which was sponsored by the OXFAM UT group.
Here are the slides I used.
(1) I started out giving the best example of sustainable farmers I…Continue
I just got back from a national gathering of food policy council folk. We were convened under a national non-profit wanting to motivate food policy councils to take action on "obesity". There was good energy among the folks that convened. Lots of talking and lots of smiles (we got kicked out of the restaurant after we wouldn't take the hint it was time to leave). I learned about councils motivating…Continue
It is 2022, and as you move around East Knoxville’s urban food corridor, you see that the old vacant lots are growing vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, and flowers on good soil. Some have greenhouses growing for winter markets. Some have integrated fish farming as well. Most urban farmers are individuals managing 3 to 6 lots within a few blocks of each other. A few are run by community non-profit organizations for educational purposes (training young farmers),…Continue
This is a good write up of what has been happening in Asian agriculture. Farmers in Thailand are finding it in their interest to apply agro-ecological practices:
This is another example of how the first adopters of practices that will be commonplace throughout the world in another 100 years are happening in poorer regions by farmers with small plots and…Continue
As I'm laying here recovering from a back injury, I've had time to look into how our nation's crops are doing this year. Wow! 3/4 of the corn crop is under severe drought. Corn prices are up over 50% in the last month, soybeans are up almost 30%, and the USDA says they are still assessing the damage. No rain in sight yet and we're probably looking at another record spike in prices. Here's an article on it : …Continue
Fish and vegetables + water cleansing. Low tech. Can be small or big. Can fit in an urban backyard.
Here's some videos from the Urban Farm Guys:
part1 : http://youtu.be/xSTh-UnuqgQ
part 2: …Continue
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on May 10, 2012 at 9:32am — No Comments
(Original version posted in:Sustainable Learning )
It’s great to see that permaculture is taking root in institutions of higher learning throughout the world. Groups like Sustainable Learning make up a growing…Continue
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on February 13, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments
This is from a talk on local agricultural systems at the Square Room in downtown Knoxville in November 2011.
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on February 6, 2012 at 3:00pm — No Comments
This is an interview I gave to the University's online paper "Tennessee Today".
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on January 20, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments
I just read a speech given by Prince Charles at Georgetown University this past May. I'm normally not a follower of Royalty, but he did a great job of simply connecting global trends to the importance of building local food systems through the application of permaculture (though he didn't call it permaculture).
Here is Prince Charles' speech on youtube.
And here is…
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on August 24, 2011 at 3:00pm — No Comments
Question: "HOW CAN WE PROMOTE AND STRENGTHEN THE ECONOMIC VIABILITY OF U.S. AGRICULTURE, INCLUDING LOCAL AND REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS?"
I am going to a conference to partake in a group discussing the above question. One underlying assumption in the local-food movement is that if we pump money into health education, or mandate the purchase of local food by institutions, we can create a lot of demand for local food – and then the market will automatically respond…Continue
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on May 12, 2011 at 3:00pm — No Comments
I've gotten several inquiries into what farmers can do in Tennessee to slaughter their own chickens and sell them either on farm, at farmer's markets, or at a retail store. I did some investigating by calling John Sanford at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Dr. Kathleen McAnally at the USDA. They were both very helpful and this is what I found out. There are 4 steps to selling your own birds under USDA exemption:
1) Set up your slaugherhouse:…Continue
I just read a NYT editorial about a study in Iowa that found the rate of erosion is higher than thought--instead of about 5 tons per acre, its closer to 10 tons per acre. The article blames 'bad ag policy'.
So how do we change bad policy and make the switch from poor practices to good…Continue
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on May 5, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments
I came across this VERY useful resource or 'toolkit' for Malawi (Africa). Nice to see the alternative to the Bill Gates Green Revolution 2.0 (GMO) emerging! Some think of permaculture in the US as kind of yuppie and esoteric (maybe), but in most of the world, it is with the poor that permaculture is most relevant and growing.
Here's the toolkit:…Continue
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on March 30, 2011 at 2:30pm — No Comments
I just read the most significant wiki-leak to date - the suspicions are true - Saudi Arabia is out of spare oil capacity, and in the words of someone wise, 'when saudi peaks, the world peaks'.
So this just gives more fuel to the direction me and many friends have an instinctive urge to go -…Continue
I'm reading a great book called 'The Biochar Solution' by fellow Tennessean - Albert Bates. I'm enjoying his explanation of how biochar was 'invented' by the folks in the amazon basin, and also the easy to follow descriptions of how it works and how to make it.
I went to the International Biochar Convention last year but got lost in all the soil science debates / biofuel scaling issues. I like that this book focuses on low-tech ways to make biochar work on the small scale for…Continue
This house has many good ideas...including chicken-heat!....
Added by Chad Hellwinckel on October 29, 2010 at 3:14pm — No Comments