Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel May 3, 2013
Though too often vilified, both ‘cows’ and ‘plows’ have proven to be among our most effective and available tools for restoring healthy ecological and eco-agricultural systems in our landscapes. Bucking the trend in conservation that has denounced these tools from early on was Aldo Leopold – perhaps best known for his influential Land Ethic from 1948. In his earlier, groundbreaking book about working with ecosystems and wildlife, Game Management (1933), his preface made the visionary but provocative claim that “Game can be restored by the creative use of the same tools which have heretofore destroyed it — ax, plow, cow, fire, and gun.”Comments (2)
Land, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Serena Aurora May 1, 2013
Off the coast of Honduras, on a small island called Utila, lives a guy called Shane. Shane has broken away from all the social restraints and has built his own house. He is now building his own garden. However he is doing it slightly different from most people — he uses cardboard boxes! This short film talks about Shane’s key concepts and tips on permaculture.Comments (5)
Land, Plant Systems, Urban Projects — by Samuel Alexander April 30, 2013
I’ve been advancing my guerilla gardening efforts recently, with a significant new raised bed now beautifying my nature strip, as seen in the picture at right. I thought in this post I could provide a brief overview of how to build a cheap raised bed, either for use on your nature strip or in your front or back yards. This overview might seem a bit basic for the handy builders among you, so I direct this post to those who are beginning their journey into guerilla gardening and urban agriculture.
I was moved to write this post after attending an environmental festival recently where raised beds like the one I have built were priced between $800 and $1000! Mine cost considerably less than $100, including the soil and plants, and that’ll pay for itself soon enough. I also earned the joy of construction, making me doubly well off. Below I describe the method for building a raised garden bed that is two boards high, which provides good depth.Comments (8)
Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects — by Geoff Lawton April 26, 2013
The trailer for my next video is up:
"Urban Permaculture: The Micro Space" trailer
Register your email here and we’ll let you know when
the full movie is ready to watch
Many of you have been asking what Permaculture can do for you in the small Urban space.
Well, one of my students, Angelo, has transformed his tiny Melbourne backyard into an amazing productive garden and documented every detail over the last 4 years. You’ll find out how much food you could grow in the micro space when you apply Permaculture design creatively.
You will be amazed.Comments (2)
Dams, Food Forests, Land, Swales — by Geoff Lawton April 22, 2013
Geoff Lawton, with Zaytuna Farm behind (upper left)
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
I’ve been staggered by the reaction to my latest video I put up on the weekend. Over 500 comments, with most people telling me it’s my best video yet.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out. We hit the design wall on a 5 acre cow paddock and redesigned it with 7 dams and a huge food forest system for under $20 thousand.
Most people couldn’t believe what can be done on the small scale.Comments (11)
General, Land — by Geoff Lawton April 21, 2013
Geoff here again.
When the USA Army Core of Engineers wanted to re-design the 15,000 acre Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant into an eco-industrial park, they asked me to help.
When AECOM, a fortune 500 Civil Engineering company that turns over 8 Billion a year, wanted to do a sustainable design for the 18 Billion Dollar Masdar City in Dubai, they again called on me to consult for them.
Permaculture design principles work on large scale projects, large rural farms, small rural acreage, urban areas and even city balconies.
Many of you have been asking us to show you what you can do on a smaller rural property. So we’ve held off launching the next video on urban permaculture until next week and have put together a special new video on what can be done in a smaller rural property.Comments (2)
A free series of permaculture design videos by Geoff Lawton, world renowned permaculture designer, teacher and consultant, reveals how to not only survive the coming crisis with permaculture design but how to build abundance on your land. How to have all the water you will ever need. How to have all the fish you will ever want. How to have your own food forest and grow all your own food. Where to start. How to understand your land. How to work with it. How to design it, Naturally. Abundance is no accident.
Just enter your email into the website and Geoff Lawton will keep you updated as he releases future videos in the series.Comments (2)
Energy Systems, Land, Trees — by Eric Toensmeier
This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices, and is part of a series promoting my kickstarter campaign to raise funds with which to complete the book.
Coppiced firewood species trial at ECHO
These firewood species grow rapidly, fix nitrogen, and re-sprout (coppice) quickly after cutting. All have high-quality firewood. They are thus a productive, self-fertilizing and perennial firewood source. Intensive blocks of these species can produce a tropical family’s cooking fuel needs on 0.15ha (0.37 acres; according to interviews with staff at both Las Cañadas and ECHO). Use of rocket stoves and other conservation technologies can reduce the area even further.Comments (12)
Land, Terraces — by Jonathan Davis April 4, 2013
Every geographic area has a resource waiting to be used. I want to talk about areas that have stone easily accessible. Rocks can seem to be a huge obstacle to design and productivity, but there are some valuable advantages that come with having usable stone. Some advantages to using stone in a design can be: freeing the soil of obstacles to plant growth, being able to use that removed stone for retaining walls or other structures, using land far beyond what common ideology says it is worth, using otherwise unused material and simple beauty. Rocky landscapes can be very advantageous to a permaculture designer.Comments (12)
Commercial Farm Projects, General, Land — by Paul Taylor April 3, 2013
The original look of the property immediately around the house
The intention with this property in Alstonville, NSW, Australia, is to reduce lawn and landscaping management by using the space and effort to produce organic food for the owner’s consumption as well as to produce an excess for the local Farmers’ Market.
The system will be developed using specific opportunities for appropriate design to develop select areas over about 5 acres of a 40-acre property. Much of the property on the outer zones is forest, environmental management and grazing.
The first part of the project is to turn lawn and landscape areas immediately around the house into long term productive systems. This will include raised bed areas for vegetables and annual production and multiple mini food forest areas that will include fruit trees, ground covers, in-ground crops, shrubs and support species.Comments (7)
Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge: Kitchen Grey-Water System Report of Implementation and Design Update (Ethiopia)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Alex McCausland March 30, 2013
As most of us know, grey water is a term used to refer to “waste” water that has been used once in any domestic system except for toilets (which is referred to as black water). However grey water from the kitchen may be considered as “dark grey” water on account of the fact that it tends to contain a lot more fats and protein from the grease and grime that comes off pots and pans than say shower outflow water which is quite dilute. If you let kitchen grey water sit around it quickly goes rancid and doesn’t smell a lot different from sewage. The grey water coming out of our kitchen also has some pretty nasty detergents in it (Ajax) and we can’t really get hold of anything more eco out here in Ethiopia. Initially we tried putting this grey water directly into an infiltration pit, but that didn’t work very well as it tended to fill up and start to reek and kill the surrounding plants, especially in the rainy season.Comments (3)
Land — by Jennifer Wadsworth March 18, 2013
March 20th is the vernal equinox here in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere. During the equinox, the sun crosses the plane of the equator, making night and day approximately equal in length.
Why is the equinox important for permaculture?
One of the first questions my PDC instructor posed to us was, “where does the sun rise?" Well everyone knows the answer to that; the sun rises in the east. No brainer. Alas, we were wrong. Unless you live at the equator, the sun does not rise directly in the east. In the northern hemisphere, it rises in the southeast (or in the northeast if you’re in the southern hemisphere). Nor is the sun at 90° overhead at noon. Depending on the season, here in Phoenix, Arizona (latitude 33° N), the sun can be at an angle ranging from 32° on the winter solstice, to 78° on the summer solstice. These are critical distinctions when designing your site plan.
The equinox is one of the three times of year when it’s beneficial to observe the location of the sun at sunrise, noon and sunset and note the effect of the sun’s angle and shadows on your property. Summer solstice, when the sun is at its highest in the sky, and the winter solstice, when it is lowest in the sky, are the other two times when sun angles should be noted. Either the vernal or autumnal equinox will give you a good ‘middle ground’ observation as a comparison to these two extremes.Comments (9)
Land, Plant Systems, Trees — by Eric Toensmeier March 6, 2013
Ecosystem mimicry is one of the concepts at the heart of permaculture. The food forest or edible forest garden, for example, strives to replicate the structure, relationships, and successional pathways of natural forest ecosystems. I’m fortunate to have had the chance to travel and teach in different regions and ecosystems. In many cases I return and teach on the same site every year. This gives me a chance to get to know the ecosystem deeper and deeper, and try experiments and see what happens.
Pods of the lovely native nitrogen fixer Lysiloma latisiliquum
Land — by Jonathan Davis
What do you think about residential sprinkler systems? You know, the in-ground kind of sprinkler system used to keep the grass green in the front yard? Well, I am not a fan. As a landscaper, many people have told me how they have grown frustrated with such systems in their yard, how they want to go to xeriscaping and how the droughts we have in south Texas lead to restricted watering and dead plant material. The front and back lawn can go as far as I’m concerned. I know many of us have this same view, however I don’t mind a little area of nice pleasant grass. It’s the waste of space, waste of nutrients and other misused resources I don’t like. Picture this, a small grassy area in your front yard and beautiful thickly mulched beds all over the remaining yard. This is the best of both.Comments (7)
Desertification, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Livestock, Presentations/Demonstrations, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination — by Bob Nekrasov March 5, 2013
I have been waiting so long for Allan to get on Ted Talks! Now, here it is. Prepared to have your minds blown, ok?
I am sure you’re going to want to know more about HM in Australia and where to learn? The best training for HM comes out of InsideOutside Management. As it happens, they have a training beginning in April 2013. Although located in NSW they are able to travel across Australia to organise training, so get in touch! You will want to after seeing this.Comments (15)