Offshore Wind Development Picking Up Pace

Posted by & filed under Energy Systems.

J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy Institute Wind power is the world’s leading source of renewable electricity, excluding hydropower, with 238,000 megawatts of capacity installed at the start of 2012. Thus far, almost all of this wind power has been tapped on land; worldwide just 4,600 megawatts of offshore wind farms were operating as of mid-2012…. Read more »

Report on Implementation Activities in Konso Secondary and Jarso Primary Schools in July 2012 (Ethiopia)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Retrofitting, Seeds, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

In May 2012 we ran a PDC at Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge on which we trained four local teachers, along with other participants, two from each of two local schools in Konso, South Ethiopia, where we are based. The selected teachers from the two schools, Konso Secondary and Jarso Primary, are science teachers responsible for the… Read more »

StrawJet: A Solution to Deforestation

Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling.

StrawJet has developed a unique process in response to agricultural waste around the world. They basically gather agricultural waste (stalks ranging from rye to corn) and bundle them tightly into ‘cables'; solid tubes of condensed stalks tightly wrapped in nylon thread. These cables are then either used as fuel (preferably in a rocket-stove like machine)… Read more »

Solar Power: Is it Convenient for You?

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Energy Systems.

Trying to live more sustainably and save a buck or two…. Sustainability and economics Almost every time, more sustainable systems are far more expensive than our regular way of doing things. This may be the most difficult obstacle to overcome when converting. However, this observation only takes money and cash flow into consideration. There are… Read more »

Permaculture, a Step by Step Change, Part III – Solar Water Heating: Change and Save

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Welcome back to my Step by Step permaculture process. We have been studying the uses of passive solar space heating around the house; now it’s time for solar water heating. Solar water heating can be as simple as filling a transparent PET bottle with water and leaving it in sunlight, nevertheless, efficiency and high output… Read more »

Permaculture, a Step by Step Change, Part II – Further Steps: Solar Heating, Easy and Cheap

Posted by & filed under Building, Consumerism, Energy Systems, Peak Oil, Urban Projects.

The most important step Maybe the most important step in the permaculture change is mindset. The day you get motivated to follow into a life of change towards freedom from the grid, the system and advertising; that day you will have taken the first and most important step in the permaculture change process. When your… Read more »

Sinking the Lifeboats: Reflections on a Visit to Herbaiet A Nabi, South Hebron Hills

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Energy Systems, Land, Society, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling.

It was on the second week of the PermaNegev course that I arranged a visit to the small village of Herbaiet a Nabi in the south Hebron Hills. We were going to inspect the renewable energy installations put in place there by the Israeli NGO Comet-ME (, and to gain a better understanding of the… Read more »

Woody Agriculture – On the Road to a New Paradigm

Posted by & filed under Developments, Energy Systems, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Trees.

by Philip A. Rutter, B L. Rutter-Daywater, and S.J. Wiegrefe, originally published on the Oil Drum. In any attempt to comprehend a puzzle, or choose a new path forward, the first requirement is to see and comprehend each of the possibilities. We wish to bring to the attention of the energy community a potential food… Read more »

Life is Simple When You Live Simply

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Society, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling.

My husband Tom and I live with my 11 year old son in a small Queenslander on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Our property is 34 acres, which we have converted to a permaculture demonstration site. We now run permaculture and self-reliance courses on the property. Geese and chickens in the resource paddock, and goats on dam… Read more »

Maya Mountain Research Farm Update: Pigs and Biochar

Posted by & filed under Compost, Energy Systems, Fungi, Livestock, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling.

Maya Mountain Research Farm (MMRF) is a small NGO and working farm located in southern Belize. The farm has about 20 acres of managed land, with the remaining 50 acres managed for limited extraction of timber, fuel wood and medicinals and as a wildlife corridor between the Columbia River Forest Reserve and the Columbia river…. Read more »