Conservation, Energy Systems, Irrigation, Land — by Anthea Hudson March 2, 2012
Measured irrigation at Prospect Community Garden
In developed nations, at least in the cities and most towns, we take it for granted that when we turn on a tap, water will flow…. When we flip a switch, electricity springs to our command. However this is not the reality for many communities around the world, where water is from non-mains sources and electricity may be non-existent.
Conventional automatic irrigation systems are designed to operate with pressurised water from the mains, and are run by mains electricity, and because of this are not suited to implementation in areas where these are not available, whether due to being in an isolated location, or one without the financial ability to install such infrastructure as mains water and power.Comments (5)
Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Earth Banks, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting — by Ben Falloon February 28, 2012
How To Move Your Farm Animals
Taranaki Farm shows you how to move a herd of cows, a flock of laying hens, some sheep and a stowaway frog in only 20 minutes… and in the process, heal farmland and local community.
Autumn Rain & Keyline Earthworks
Pairing Keyline Design farm layout to Polyface Farming methods makes Taranaki Farm genuinely unique in the world of sustainable/regenerative agriculture. Now with ten interlinked keyline dams and catchment road, drains and irrigation features, Taranaki Farm continues its investment in keyline design as a strategy for dryland water management which supports direct marketed, salad bar beef, pigerator pork and pastured chicken and egg enterprises.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Building, Conservation, Energy Systems, Irrigation, Potable Water, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Mark Feineigle February 8, 2012
Beavers and wasps can build their own homes… — Michael Reynolds
Modern Earthships are shelters built to sustain their occupants by providing energy, water, and waste management through the use of passive systems. They have been designed to meet the rigorous criteria that are found in the building codes of so many western governments. While these modern Earthships are quite pleasing structures, they owe their heritage to a series of evolutions Michael Reynolds developed over a 40+ year period in remote lands surrounding Taos, New Mexico in the United States of America. While experimenting with recycled materials for construction, a design known as “the hut” was born of earth-rammed tires, aluminum cans, cement, and some metal framing. It is an ultra light house in every sense, except physically.Comments (8)
Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, People Systems, Processing & Food Preservation, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Swales, Village Development, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Dan Smith January 21, 2012
A certain coal-strewn road in Madrid, New Mexico
— the remnants of a now defunct railway.
Alternately barren and spectacular, the southwest United States has piqued the imagination of Americans and people across the world for generations. The site of gold rushes, Native American homelands, and a culture of lawlessness that has yet to fade completely, much of the land was degraded and destroyed long before Hollywood discovered how to cash in on retelling stories from its checkered past. Films may glorify the breadth and scope of the iconic terrain, but the essence and character of the Southwest ecology has been drastically altered; it little resembles what it once was.Comments (6)
Conservation, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Structure, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Greg Bell January 20, 2012
Editor’s Note: It’d be great if more people would share their successes and failures in similar fashion as Greg has below. The reason I say this is three-fold — 1) you get valuable feedback from readers on how to overcome your challenges, 2) readers can learn from your mistakes and thus hopefully avoid them, and 3) people new to permaculture will have a decent dose of reality as they start their on-the-ground work, and so won’t give up in despair the moment things don’t immediately pan out as anticipated! Send your articles to editor (at) permaculturenews.org !
Incredible results from the master after just three months
in the same temperate climate as us.
Did you and our family have the same experience? Did you watch
Geoff’s Food Forest DVD with mouth agape, saying “wow” to yourself at
least a dozen times?
You saw it — plan, excavate, mulch, plant. Stand back and be amazed as your planned accelerated succession of productive plants unfolds.
We were lucky enough to have the property and funds to give it a try. I think we’ve failed. Here I’ll explain what we did, mistakes we know about, and the results. Maybe you can spot more mistakes and give us some ideas of where we can go from here.Comments (38)
Compost, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Leigh Glenn January 19, 2012
The Kniskerns’ yard is a sustainable smorgasbord
Over a period of less than 10 years, James and Mary Kniskern transformed their sod-based lawn into a vibrant, blooming habitat that not only reduces their impact on the land but also rewards them with a bounty of edible plants as well as honey-producing bees.
The fifth of an acre where James and Mary Kniskern live in Arnold [Maryland, USA] was about what you’d expect for a suburban dwelling: grass, azaleas, daffodils in the spring, pachysandras year-round. As you’d expect, it required the drone of a mower and sweat non-equity to keep it in shape.
“I didn’t like to mow,” says James.
But what was the alternative?
Less than a decade later, the Kniskerns are living the alternative. Their yard is like none other on their block. It’s the eco-gardener’s version of The Limbo Song. The how low can you go? part involves occasional weeding, plenty of harvesting… and no mowing.
Before the Kniskerns headed down the wood-chipped path to zero grass, they considered buying into an eco-village, so they visited several throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Each had its quirks, but what they really didn’t care for was the landscaping, which was not as tidy as what they were used to.
“It looked ugly,” James says.
But their desire to reduce their impact on the land propelled them.Comments (2)
Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Albert Bates January 13, 2012
Former stockbroker Brian Bankston now calls himself the “Keyline Cowboy” after a carbon farming course at The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center transformed his life. He quit his job, bought a keyline plow and compost tea brewer, and moved to The Farm.
For the past 10 years or so, the land management decisions of The Farm (a 40-year-old intentional community on 1750 acres in rural Tennessee, pop. ~200) have been informed by permaculture. Permaculture was influential in the design and early curricula of The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center in 1994, and since many, if not all, of the community’s residents have now been exposed to it, it is not surprising to learn that a number of people serving on various village committees, as well some in public office in the surrounding county, have Permaculture Design certificates.
Our relationship with permaculture traces back to our connection to Bill Mollison, one of permaculture’s founders, who received the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” in the year after we did. RLA winners are a gregarious lot and gather from time to time to swap tales, so we have been fortunate to share such meetings with Bill over the past 30 years. We are also fortunate to have had the influence of an erstwhile neighbor, Peter Bane, who for many years published the quarterly Permaculture Activist from his former home in Primm Springs, Tennessee.
Today, as a permaculture instructor, I travel to many of the convergences of the movement and have come to know many practitioners. Our Farm team has taught permaculture courses on six continents and in 27 countries now, so it would only be surprising if The Farm did not have permaculture going on.Comments (5)
Compost, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Mark Feineigle January 4, 2012
What is it?
Hugelkultur is a composting method that uses large pieces of rotting wood as the centerpiece for long term humus building decomposition. The decomposition process takes place below the ground, while at the same time allowing you to cultivate the raised, or sunken, hugelkultur bed. This allows the plants to take advantage of nutrients released during decomposition. Hugelkultur, in its infinite variations, has been developed and practiced by key permaculture proponents such as Sepp Holzer and Masanobu Fukuoka for decades.
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 8, 2011
Consultant Matt Kilby stands before one of the swales he has
put in at Gippsland farm, Nambrok.
Photographer: Kath Sullivan
Matt Kilby, the ‘man of a thousand trees‘, shares thoughts with ABC Rural on his work (with Nick Huggins alongside) over the last 18 months at Nambrock, a property in Gippsland, southern Victoria, Australia.
"The first thing we did was put in a swale. A swale is a ditch which runs dead level to contour. The idea of the swale is more of a tree planting system." he said.
"We plant all our trees on the top side of the swale. We plant fertility building trees and all the leaf mulch falls into the swale or ditch, and turns into humic acid when it fills up with water. So all the nutrients are then spread back onto the surface and spread completely around the landscape." he said, describing the swale as a natural way to irrigate. — ABC Rural
Click play to hear the talk!Matt Kilby talks about restoring Nambrok Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Fungi, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Swales, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 2, 2011
Many thanks to Jeremy, Christina, Erik, Lamia and Kristen for all the work that went into creating the French translation subtitle file for both Parts I & II of the Greening the Desert video below. As a result, I’ve been able to upload a version suitable for your French-speaking friends and family, should you have some.
After clicking play, click on the ‘CC’ button at bottom
of the video to enable the French subtitles
And, a big thanks must also go to Frank Gapinski for the Greening the Desert Part I video that has turned so many on to permaculture concepts. It’s amazing the impact a few minutes of video can have on the world!
P.S. Because of the hard-coded English subtitles in the original version of the video embedded above, English speakers would be better to watch it instead.Comments (1)
Conservation, Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water — by Mark Feineigle November 27, 2011
The Stockholm Environment Institute conducted experiments and collected data that shows the usefulness of a resource every one of us has access to — urine. When utilized as a fertilizer, urine can provide an alternative to chemical fertilizers. The impacts ripple far beyond the nutrient value of the urine; in developing regions, diverting a urine waste stream to fertilizer has a significant economic value. These benefits can easily be recognized at the individual level, and scale all the way up to industrial operations.Comments (10)
Conservation, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson November 23, 2011
Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson
This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape.
If you were one of the early explorers, walking into a wide floodplain system in the early 1800s, more than likely you would have found some form of discontinuous watercourse. One example is known as a ‘chain of ponds’, in which you’d find small bodies of open water, about a metre below the level of the floodplain, held in place and separated from the next pond by a marshy plug of reeds such as Phragmites.Comments (15)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Salination, Storm Water, Swales, Terraces, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Dan Lewin November 11, 2011
An aerial view of the site
Although the landscape here could be seen as a model for scarcity, what there is an abundance of is rocks. The baked dusty earth barely passes for soil and during the summer there isn’t rain here for over six months. With valuable agricultural resources seemingly at a minimum, rocks can be incredibly valuable in the design of a sustainable human settlement. In the case of the Permaculture Research Institute of Jordan’s site (PRIJ), rocks have formed the main building blocks of the swales that form the back bones of this small farm. They surround the heavily mulched planting pits for the many varieties of trees here and they also can be used for another useful function which litres of my sweat has been testament to! They make up the substrate of the grey water system into which reeds are planted that feed on the water flowing through from the sinks and showers in the washing block.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Urban Projects, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 8, 2011
Staring into the eyes of the future of Jordan, one wonders how things could be….
All Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Al Jazeera’s very recent feature of the new ‘Greening the Desert’ site
Why did the photojournalist cross the road? It sounds like the beginning of a joke, and, in a way, it was. I was standing at a busy road in Amman, Jordan, contemplating crossing. I say ‘contemplating’ as there were three lanes in each direction, and the traffic was moving fast. Several hundred metres away I spied a pedestrian overpass, but, before reason could sway impulse, I saw an opening and took it. Then, with three lanes behind me, standing proudly on the 1-metre wide centre strip, it seemed that the deity in charge of roads decided to conspire against me…. In the 37°C+ heat, I watched, waited, and then watched and waited some more. The minutes dragged by. A few times I ventured one foot forward, only to snatch it back again. The sun blazed. I began to have visions of being stuck here until the traffic slowed in the evening….Comments (16)
Aid Projects, Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 5, 2011
Here’s a sneak peek at Morocco — looking at water issues and the need to relearn traditional catchment management whilst adding in modern permaculture techniques of water harvesting and food forest development. David’s point about market gluts due to farmers all growing the same crop and harvesting it all at the same time is an important one. Diversity is stability — ecologically and economically.
Duration: 5 minutes