One Desert City Turns Stormwater into an Abundant Oasis using Green Infrastructure Practices

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Irrigation, Storm Water, Urban Projects, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

At 7:30 Sunday morning, April 21, 2013, people began to gather on a barren lot in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. The temperature was already climbing into the 80s and the lot’s bare dirt reflected both heat and light, making lingering uncomfortable. By 8:00 AM, more than 30 neighborhood volunteers, Youth Hostel guests, Green Living Co-op members,… Read more »

Cows and Plows: Transformation Solutions

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting.

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… Read more »

Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge: Kitchen Grey-Water System Report of Implementation and Design Update (Ethiopia)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

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… Read more »

Strawberry Fields Update: Flood Protection and Water Control in Ethiopia, Part II

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Gabions, Land, Material, Roads, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Water Harvesting.

We previously published a report on the development of our site’s flood control and defense infrastructure in October 2010. This is an update on that which goes on to describe some of our plans for developing that infrastructure more in the future. Just to recap on the basics of our situation: in times of rain,… Read more »

Before Permaculture: Keyline Planning and Cultivation

Posted by & filed under Dams, Irrigation, Land, Soil Rehabilitation, Surveying, Swales, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Freshly keyline plowed (Photo: Kirsten Bradley) Plan the work then work the plan. — P.A. Yeomans Intro In the mid 1950s, Australian engineer P.A. Yeomans demonstrated a new system of land management he called the Keyline system. The consensus of the time, championed by people like Dr H.H. Bennett, was that soil was a finite… Read more »

Ridge to Valley – a Holistic Watershed Perspective

Posted by & filed under Biological Cleaning, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Material, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Swales, Terraces, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

This excellent little 20-minute video does a great job of covering the basics of watershed management and landscape rehydration. You won’t hear the words ‘permaculture’ or ‘swales’ once, but it’s clear that both are in use here, to great effect. If we can get these simple but profound concepts driven into social consciousness, and applied… Read more »

Wadi Hadhramaut – the Start of a Large New Rehabilitation Project in Yemen

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Water Harvesting.

Shibam: UNESCO World Heritage site I was recently privileged to be part of the team that accompanied Geoff and Nadia Lawton along with Mr. Tashi Dawa in a very interesting consultancy in the Southern Yemen, specifically The Hadhramaut Valley, or Wadi Hadhramaut. Geoff was invited by the “Reconstruction Fund of Hadhramaut and Al-Mahra” to give… Read more »

Permaculture Design on the Edge – Patterns of Coastal Settlement and Regeneration

Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Waste Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

by Jason Gerhardt The author scopes out an oyster reef in Pamlico Sound, NC Photo Credit: Jason Gerhardt Being a resident of the dryland Western US, I should probably be thinking more about wildfire and drought than storm surge and coastal erosion, but for some reason, I’ve been drawn to the shoreline recently. As I… Read more »

My Experience of Permaculture Aid Work in Ethiopia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting.

I’m not sure it’s possible, looking back now, to say exactly what I was expecting when I hopped on that plane and flew to Ethiopia for an internship at Strawberry Fields, but one thing I am sure of is that it’s been one of the most transformative, edifying experiences I’ve had in my life.

Rwanda – Emerging in a Changing Climate (video)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Filmmaker and environmentalist, John D. Liu from the Environmental Education Media Project team, takes us to Rwanda again (last time was here), showing us how the country is seeking to leapfrog the disastrous ‘development‘ route most of the countries of the North have gone down, to instead head more directly towards sustainability. Given the horrors… Read more »

Finding Sustainability in Ecosystem Restoration

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had… Read more »

Please Vote for ‘Free Water’ Video

Posted by & filed under Biological Cleaning, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Storm Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Free Water is a semi-finalist in the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition and is in the running to become the $100,000 Grand Prize Winner. It could also be named an Audience Favorite if it’s among the ten that receives the most votes. If you love it, vote for it. Click on the VOTE button in… Read more »