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Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil.To feed the world, to clean the air and water, we need to change what we do with our soils.This podcast looks at the many variants of regenerative food growing. How? Why? When?We must be the ChangeUnderground!


60 #worldorganicnews 2017 04 17


5 things I learnt from living on a permaculture farm


5 Things I wish I knew About Homesteading Before I Started

5 Things To Love About Homesteading


This is the World Organic News for the week ending 17th of April 2017.

Jon Moore reporting!

This week we are on a journey of fives. 5 Things I learnt from Permaculture, 5 Things I wish I’d known about Homesteading and 5 Things to Love about Homesteading.

From the blog: She Googled and She Went comes the post: 5 things I learnt from living on a permaculture farm.

This is a really good read. Practical, common sense stuff for everyone. I’ll quote two of the five things learnt.


Do every job with pride, and of course, use your brains.

There are many ways to get things done – in permaculture, the word that stuck with me was optimisation. Using edges to achieve a multiplier effect and maximise output.


Find your purpose, and the people who share it.

Being a permaculture newbie, I was surrounded by people who had already been researching on how to build their earth bag house or build their solar panel system. Everyone had a piece of land they owned or intended to own (and land outside of the city is very affordable, my friends), and here I am, a city girl from Singapore who always casually said I would retire on a farm but never really knew what that meant.

End Quote.

Purpose, pride, working with your brain and with others. This is a pretty fair way to live a good life. Permaculture is as much or as little as want. I heard a podcast a few years ago where the guest was explaining the difference between purple permaculture and brown permaculture. He was definitely in the brown camp. The brown is all about the landscape design, terra forming and farming for profit without damage or, if you like sustainably. The purple is all that plus peace, love and mung beans. To be fair, the brown permaculturalist wasn’t attacking the purples just pointing out the differences. This article gives another perspective on what Permaculture is and what it can teach. I’ll leave the rest of the article for you to read if you feel drawn to it.

Our next two posts come from the blog Gypsyhomestead and are closely interrelated: firstly 5 Things I wish I knew About Homesteading Before I Started and secondly 5 Things To Love About Homesteading

Things to know before you start:

1 Location

2 Choosing the Right Animals

3 The Cost

4 Predators

5 Physical Labour

Let’s look a little deeper

1 Location


Another mistake in the location was the land around us. Yes it’s beautiful farmland, but at the same time that’s part of the problem. It is big farmland, belonging to those that are crop farming, which means chemicals. There are a lot of chemicals that are spread by tractor and airplane.

End Quote.

Finding like minded people is difficult at times but worth the effort. Learning to live with or accepting the ways of the locals can be difficult, it can be impossible. Organic production under aircraft borne spray drift, for example is impossible. Do not rush into that dream property.

  1. Choosing the Right Animals

If you’re not going to consume what they produce, have a plan to deal with the excess. Can anyone really eat three dozen eggs each for eight months of the year? And remember good fencing makes for good neighbours!

  1. The Cost


I know this is probably a pretty obvious no brainer. While I was aware of the cost of feed, fencing and all of that I failed to factor in vets and medication. I knew there were things I needed to keep on hand, but when it came to emergency farm calls those quickly brought home the grim reality that depending on the situation, vet and so on, it could really eat up any profit you earned and can cost hundreds of dollars for just one visit.

End Quote

On a personal note, I was in one part of my life 75 ks from town and veterinarian decisions we easy. A bullet costs far less than a vet visit.

  1. Predators

Longish Quote:

I only bring this up because I have run into a situation that has costed me quite a bit of money and a large loss of livestock this past winter. When I think of predators, I think fox, coyote, raccoon, skunk, weasels, possums, I did not think of rats. Yes rats, barn rats to be exact.  First of all I wasn’t even aware we had them in the first place. Secondly they are dangerous and destructive to animals and feed. I lost all of my quail to these creatures as well as 2 hatches of chicks and a feed barrel has a hole chewed right through it.

End Quote.

Rats really are an evolutionary success story. They are also filthy, disease carrying vermin which need to be hunted down and eradicated. You cannot suffer them to be on your place. Really, I know people keep pet rats but wild, feral or whatever term you want to use, rats, they must be exterminated.


  1. Physical Labour


I would have totally set things up differently to reduce some of the physical labor that is needed due to not smart decisions at the onset, labor that could be greatly used elsewhere. Getting a routine for your place is a good way of keeping control of your physical labor efforts.

End Quote.

In essence you need to have run a homestead wrongly before you can know how to run it well. Be prepared for huge amounts of physical labour until you learn to let the stock do the “work” for you.

That’s all very sobering for those thinking about living the homestead dream but be not put off for Gypsyhomestead also speaks of the positives. What she loves about homesteading:

1 The Simplicity

2 Being self reliant

3 The Ability to do things your way

4 Peace and Tranquility

5 The Ability to create.

Given that we all make some of the five errors listed previously, these five benefits are, whilst mostly intangible, more than enough to sustain anyone through the setup phases and through the setbacks as they come. Numbers 3 and 5 especially meant much to me when I was living out of town and will again when I get back out there. The ability to do things my own way and the ability to truly create are priceless commodities. These should never be forgotten, especially when the goats have escaped, again, or it hasn’t rained properly for three years or when you’re elbow deep in a ewe pulling a stuck lamb.

Homesteading is about reconnection with Nature and all its travails and joys. That being said, Homesteading does not, I repeat DOES NOT, require large swathes of land. Certainly it is easier on few acres than a backyard but backyard homesteading is a thing and is possible. So too is urban homesteading that just takes a little more creativity and the search for land is half the fun.

Think about those five things to love about homesteading:

1 The Simplicity

2 Being self reliant

3 The Ability to do things your way

4 Peace and Tranquility

5 The Ability to create.

Surely they are reasons enough to start or continue your journey!

And that brings us to the end of this week’s podcast.

If you’ve liked what you heard, please tell everyone you know any way you can! I’d also really appreciate a review on iTunes. This may or may not help others to find us but it gives this podcaster an enormous thrill! Thanks in advance!

Any suggestions, feedback or criticisms of the podcast or blog are most welcome. email me at

Thank you for listening and I'll be back in a week.



5 things I learnt from living on a permaculture farm


5 Things I wish I knew About Homesteading Before I Started

5 Things To Love About Homesteading

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