Spring 2011 – Post your “FOOD SYSTEMS: SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE & PERMACULTURE” topical homework here:

  • Find and read an article (online or in print) and post a link or citationon your topic, with a sentence or two summarizing the most useful points, for at least one item per class meeting.
  • You may post additional links (with or without summaries) for some extra credit.
  • Note any important points from your book reading that connect with or inform your research topic.
  • Folks on other topic teams are welcome to make comments, suggest links, or anything else that would be helpful to this team (this will also earn you some extra credit).




    1. mtcaldwell Says:

      Ten Acres Enough: The Classic 1864 Guide to Independent Farming by Edmund Morris (Paperback – July 26, 2004)
      This is a new edition of an old standby.
      How a family can get what it needs from a small piece of land, properly managed.
      Not good if you want to buy a 52 inch plasma screen. But you do eat.

      One Acre and Security: How to Live Off the Earth Without Ruining It by Bradford Angier (Paperback – Dec. 2000) – a downscaled and
      updated book with sustainability.

    2. This is a cool video about a man in eugene oregon who turned his backyard into a 1/4 acre permaculture farm. It shows his use of chickens as soil builders, which seems like a great idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWjCnwbb5yc

    3. deniellea Says:

      Inspiring things happening in South Africa–permaculture education:

    4. deniellea Says:

      A video on permaculture ethics:

    5. abellac Says:

      Sustainable farming is sustainable when native plants are grown because they are adapted to that specific environment. Who pollinates the native plants? Native bees should duh! Why are we using bees mainly from europe? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use bees that are more acclimatized to a specific environment?


      1. deniellea Says:

        Here is another link to an informative video about the protection of bees:

    6. yuanam Says:

      Bill Mollison is an Australian who defines “permaculture” with permanent agriculture and permanent culture. The documentary “The Permaculture Concept” is a good film to watch. He talks about permaculture being so much more than just sustainble agriculture. The film is less than an hour and is cut into six parts. Here is the link to the first part. From there you can find the other five.

    7. A key concept in permaculture is rain water harvesting. here is a do it yourself website that features water catchment and a topic previously unknown to me fog water catchment. http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Water/Water.htm

      1. mtcaldwell Says:

        Note that in water scarce Australia, many local governments require a permit and fee for water harvested from your own roof.

      2. mtcaldwell Says:

        There are free seminars in rain water harvesting offered by the Santa Cruz Natural Resource Conservation Agency.

        Santa Cruz Country Resource Conservation District
        (Old county farm advisor) Classes, consultation, grants
        soil conservation
        storm runoff control
        manure managment

    8. abellac Says:


      Here is a link to an article about chemicals harming the lives of bees. The decline of bee population means less polinatiors for plants. Another reason to support organic farming: chemicals are ruining bee’s ability to communicate to one another; therefore, the production of large farms will be near impossible with dwindling pollinators. Agriculture may be unsistanable at this point in our history (refer to article from Dani), but in order to support a human population as large as the present, large scale farming is necessary. We just needs ethics in favor of nature.

    9. abellac Says:


      Here is an article on bee breeding to increase the amount of hygenist bees in the hive so that the colony is less likely to be infected with new virises and diseases. This enables bee farmers farm organically and not have to spray hives, which not only intoxicates the bees with chemicals, but also the honey and pollen consumers(not to mention the soil, the water sources near the hives, wherever the bees fly, and the farmer himself).

    10. deniellea Says:

      A fascinating look at permaculturist Robert Hart’s natural food forest gardening.

      A Food Forest Garden Part 1

      Part 2

    11. deniellea Says:

      Here is another article that focuses on permaculture principles.



    12. deniellea Says:

      This is an interesting article I found that declares agriculture as inherently unsustainable and favors horticultural and permacultural methods. It goes into an anthropological comparison of foraging peoples vs. agricultural developments in history and how foragers seemed healthier and more sustainable.




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