Elderberries And Cream

A little over a month ago I spent a morning picking elderflowers at my friends’ farm in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Last weekend I Elderberriesreturned to find one lone cluster of white flowers and an inordinate number of reddish- to blackish-purple berries drooping from the limbs of their elderberry trees. Since my last visit those pert, little flowers had transformed into August’s big bounty, tart and spicy elderberries. Click Here Read More Here



December 30th, 2014

permacultureRegenerative Leadership Institute’s permaculture design certificate program gives us information about the basics of permaculture. This course proves really beneficial in teaching the principles of permaculture. It involves soil regeneration, food forests, rainwater harvesting, aquaculture etc. Participants get indulged in hand on projects. Permaculture Design Certificate is hand over to the students at the end of the permaculture program.

Regenerative Leadership Institute courses emphasis on sustainable living and natural resources. It is the best educator for permaculture design and living. This Institute has well experienced training instructors that offers special training related to sustainable living and its practices. One can link with nature through our training program. Regenerative Leadership Institute offers training classes in Eugene, Oregon in the summer time, and in San Francisco, California, in the fall. Learn the practices of sustainable living with ease. We are here to assist you with our best practice methods for natural resources.

9 Top Tips On How To Make A Compost Heap

Making a compost heap is not difficult. If you are a beginner when it comes to composting or you merely want to improve your existing heap, here are some tips to help you.

1. Acquire a Decent Compost Bin

You can build or purchase compost bins. If you chose to buy a bin, there are numerous types you can find online.

2. Pick the Perfect Spot For Your Compost Heap Or Bin

An ideal spot for your bin is on a level area with proper drainage to easily get rid of excess water. It also aids the worms in getting in and going on with the breakdown process.

3. Let The Worms Do The Hard Work

Nature has given us an ideal waste disposal unit in the worm. They can live their entire lives in the dark and they love the wet atmosphere of a compost heap consuming the waste material inside and converting it into compost and liquid feed.

4. Put The Right Stuff In Your Bin

Compost BinThere are many ingredients you can use to compost but for the perfect compost, you need to use the right stuff. Some ideal ones include fruit waste, vegetable peelings, grass cuttings and tea bags. They break down fast and offer useful nitrogen and moisture. You can learn more about what things you should or should not add to your bin at Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute.

5. Get The Balance Right

The key to the perfect compost is in getting the mix of the ingredients right. Balance your greens and browns. When your compost is wet you can add some more browns and if it is too dry increase the amount of greens. You should also ensure that the air is enough.

6. Give It a Good Airing

It is essential for you to turn your compost regularly. However it can be a tricky task when you do not have the appropriate tools. Turning the compost aids in aeration and mixes up the waste and cuttings leading to faster composting.

7. Boost to The System

You can also encourage the right enzymes in your compost with a compost activator. It can breathe life into compost heaps that are dead or partly composted.

8. Turn Fallen Leaves Into Compost Too

Fallen leaves are also a great source of compost. You can gather them up and leave them to biodegrade. They will then leave you with a rich pile of perfect compost.

9. Getting the Best Out Of Your Compost

When your compost is ready you should have a dark brown, blackish layer at the base of your bin.



Constructed Wetlands

Wetlands are nature’s way of purifying water. They filter sediments and nutrients from the floodwater and pollutants from the storm water. Although the greywater that is headed for irrigation can be used without any treatment, the wetlands can be used to treat water that is headed to the rivers, creeks and other water bodies. The wastewater can also be headed to a pond of a wildlife habitat.

It is not legal to divert any wastewater whether treated or not to a waterway. However, in many cases, they end up in those water bodies. The wetlands mitigate the risk of pollution on the water bodies. The same concept can be used to treat water for the use in the toilet and the irrigation system. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Greywater contains phosphates and nitrates that are beneficial to the growth of the plants. Releasing the water into the fields is beneficial to the plants. However, if the water is released in a water body, it may pollute the water and lead to the growth of algae blooms. The microbial decomposition of algae leads to removal of oxygen from water. Thus, the water should never be allowed near the water bodies.

Keep the hazardous products out of your home. These products pollute every surface that they come into contact with. Avoid cleaning products that contain toxic ingredients. Some dangerous waste can be removed from the water by the wetlands. However, much of the hazardous waste is released to your plants or recycled.

There are lots of water that is transpired in a wetland. If you plan to irrigate the garden with the water. Return the water to an aquifer so that there is enough water for irrigational activities.

The greywater wetland is only beneficial to the water that is released to a waterway if it is, at least, fifty feet from the location of the waterway. This is sufficient distance to have the polluting phosphates and nitrates removed from the water. If the amount of grey water produced is more than you need, the grey wetlands can create a water body for wild animals and birds to enjoy. This will make your wetlands look beautiful.

Constructed Wetlands

You can learn more about the wetlands at the Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute. The school has made a reputation for being at the forefront in educating people on wastewater management and taking care of the available water resources. You can enroll at any time of the year and learn more about wetlands and water treatment from home.


Advantages Of Garden Mulching

Mulching is one of the best things you can do for your garden. It involves placing mulch which is a protective barrier around plants as well as over the soil. The protective barrier is made up of a variety of materials that decompose like wood chips from different tree species such as straw, pine needles and cocoa bean shells. Mulches are also made from non-organic materials like recycled tires, river rock, landscaping fabric, black plastic and pebbles. The advantages of mulching are vast.

Controls Weeds

Mulching helps limit the amount of weeds that spring up in your garden. Mulch works as a barrier so it limits amount of sunlight that finds its way to weed, so weeds are not able to grow.

Retains Moisture

Organic and non-organic mulches absorb water. They cover soil and this limits evaporation. This property of mulches help in retaining moisture which cuts down on your water bill as well as helps your plants especially during hot and dry seasons.

Prevents Soil Erosion

Mulching helps in keeping rain water to prevent rain water from washing away soil. It achieves this by breaking fall of water and this goes a long way in lessening the force when rain water impacts the ground.

Maintains Soil Nutrients

Garden Mulching

Mulch not only keeps soil nutrients from soil erosion but also releases nutrients into the soil. Organic material best maintains soil nutrients. It happens when organic material decomposes slowly on top of soil in your garden.

Control Pests

There are various types of mulch and cedar bark mulch is essential in deterring some pests because cedar park has natural oils that work best as insect repellent. If you want to enjoy this benefit of mulching, make sure you use mulch that has a strong fragrant since it will have greater effect on insects. Note that some mulch types encourage insects to flock to your house and garden; therefore, research thoroughly on the best type that suits your needs.

Encourages Earthworms To Move In

Organic material mulch encourages earthworms to occupy soil in your garden. Earthworms are essential in improving soil structure and nutrient cycling.

Polishes Up Gardens

If you want to have your garden polished up then you will never go wrong with mulches. Mulches fill up empty spaces and the best part is that they are easy to maintain. Such fillers also compete for resources with plants in your garden. Therefore, using mulch is easier and it does not compete with other garden plants. You can know more advantages of garden mulching at Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute.


Benefits Of Permaculture

Permaculture is becoming increasingly important as an alternative method of food production especially in the wake of increasing populations and rising demand for food globally. More and more people also prefer to live off the grid and become self sufficient with regards to feeding themselves instead of being at the mercy of large farms and corporations that can raise the price of food at will. Health and environmental risks associated with modern food production methods are also making people shy away from consuming GMOs and other products of modern farms. Since its inception over 40 years ago, permaculture has experienced exponential growth, with millions of people worldwide incorporating this practice into their lifestyles and reaping the myriad benefits that come with sustainable food and energy production. The following are a few benefits that accrue from permaculture:

Chemical Free food

Permaculture employs the use of natural fertilizers and pest control methods to grow food and leaves out chemical and synthetic inputs which have been identified as risk factors for diseases such as cancer, asthma, diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers. By taking these chemicals out of the equation, you reduce the risk of contracting any of these conditions and furthermore, the organic food you will be consuming will be full of healthy nutrients to boost your immune system and keep many diseases at bay.

Cost effectiveness

Using permaculture as a way to meet your food and energy requirements requires little to no purchase of the necessary inputs and allows you to use the resources you have at hand. As a result, you can make significant savings and put these funds into other useful purposes that will help you to become self sufficient in the long run.

Less Waste

Permaculture places emphasis on renewable resources of food and energy. Composting, recycling and reusing mean that you make maximum use of available resources and results in highly efficient systems with little to no waste.

Environmental conservation

By using only natural inputs to meet your material and non material needs, you reduce the amount of pollutants that go into the air, water and other natural sources, set in motion natural processes such as pollination, and ultimately have a positive effect on the environment around you.

Self Reliance

Permaculture allows you to grow your own healthy food and be in charge of your energy needs. As a result, you are shielded from price hikes, food and energy shortages and other detrimental effects of relying on third parties for your material needs.


Permaculture will continue to grow in importance as more and more people begin to look for natural and environmentally friendly ways to meet their food, energy and other material needs. Arming yourself with the knowledge to embark on your permaculture journey will raise your chances of success and ensure that you are able to make natural systems work for you to meet your lifestyle needs. Courses like the Permaculture Design Course available at the Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute will equip you to make the necessary changes and design systems that work for you.


Building A Good Home Water Catchment System

When it comes to building a water catchment system, you should consider the quality of water that you shall collect from the system. Secondly, you should ensure that you collect as much water as possible from the system for storage. The  Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute trains on how to go about it. Here are some recommended considerations

Building materials

The materials that you use to build your roofing and the water catchment system determine the quality of water that you store. It is important to ensure that the materials that you choose do not leach out toxic substances into the water. Areas that experience acidic rain have problems of chemicals being released into the water because of the rain.


You should only use materials that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration or the National Sanitation Foundation so that the water can be fit for drinking. You can use elastomeric coatings for the roofing. There are also safe epoxy coatings for use on the roofing systems.
A common type of roofing material is galvanized metal that is painted with nontoxic paint; some companies have paint that is approved for incidental contact with the water. Such paint can be used for roofing and gutter. Concrete, fiberglass, and slate can also be used in water collection roofs.



Gutters should be made of inert materials. Such materials include plastic, PVC, and seamless aluminum. Avoid such materials as copper and iron. You should also install a slight continuous downward slope toward the catchment tank. This prevents water from stagnating on the gutter and attracting animals and insects. Organic materials such as leaves also build up on the gutters affecting the taste of water and the color of water. .


Large debris will occasionally drop onto your system and cause a serious blockage. To prevent this, ensure that you place screens over the gutters. Routinely check the screens for the build-up of debris that may block the water from getting into your gutters. Some screens are arched at the middle to allow water in when the debris fill the gutter.

First-flush diverters

This is the device placed between the roof gutter and the storage tank and allows for debris and dust that accumulated between the rainfalls is diverted away from the storage tank. The initial flow of water is the most contaminated water. It contains bird and rodent droppings leaves, dust pollen and molds. A simple flush diverter can be made of a T-joint near the storage tanks to prevent the flow back of contaminated water back to the tank.


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