Posted by & filed under Building, Community, Design, Development & Property Trusts.

See the longer format video here.

Fancy a custom built $500 cob house? It’s cheaper than paying rent.

Check out Geoff Lawton’s next video, where he investigates an innovative collection of houses built on Warren Brush’s Quail Springs Permaculture Farm in California.

These beautifully constructed 96 foot square, one bedroom homes, were a delight to visit. They cost around $500 to construct for the free standing single bedroom homes with most of the labour being donated by volunteers. All the little houses are built individually out of cob (sand, clay, water and straw) and are lovingly decorated in unique custom designs from found materials.

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Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Animals, Community, Education, Fungi.

In this video, visionary mycological researcher/inventor, Paul Stamets reveals new ground breaking research at the 2014 Bioneers annual conference. Paul illuminates how fungi, particularly mushrooms, offer uniquely powerful, practical solutions we can implement now, to boost the biosphere’s immune system and equip us with benign breakthrough mycotechnologies to accelerate the transition to a restored world.

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Posted by & filed under Community, Design, General, Waste Systems & Recycling.

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The Piece Project:

Daniel Silverstein and I met five months ago in May when he let me wear clothing from his collection for my 23rd birthday weekend. As many of you know, I don’t buy new clothes, so what I borrowed from Daniel’s showroom was not just any clothing, it was Zero Waste clothing.

What does that mean? Daniel explains it perfectly on his website:

“Textile pollution is a growing problem in the fashion industry. An average of 10-15 percent of the fabric used to make every garment is thrown away; a sobering statistic given the millions of garments produced every year…Daniel is passionately committed to keeping fabric waste to a minimum with every collection he makes. Using a unique draping technique, Daniel keeps fabric waste close to zero. “Spine” details and special embellishments wrap around the body to use the full yardage of fabric put into each piece.”

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Posted by & filed under Community, Developments, People Systems.

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What in the garden could possibly be more exciting to students than a tree-ripened nectarine? Fruit trees and orchard-culture bring stability and productivity to the garden all in a high yielding and low maintenance package. In this webinar, Leo Buc, Director of Common Vision will discuss best practices for growing fresh fruit in school gardens. We’ll focus on every step of the process for new plantings and rehabbing existing trees.

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Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Design, Energy Systems, General, Irrigation, Land, Water, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.


See more movies like this here.

We were recently filming in Nevada, USA, visiting interesting high dry and cold climate systems. We went out in search of a salt pan to film as a specific landscape feature.

Whilst on our journey we came across a large sand dune. It was a mighty Erg, an Erg is a wind blown mountain of sand that resembles a sand dune and they have a classic ability to hold moisture as fresh sand filtered water.

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Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals.

Worms may not have a backbone, but they are the backbone of our soil. In a suburban garden with no manure-providing animals, being able to dig into your composting worm farm for a handful of black gold is a real cost saver and loop closer. So giving some thought to how that worm farm fits into your overall Zone 1 system — as a time, effort and space-saving soil fertility provider — is time well spent.

This low cost worm farm tractor, or stand-alone worm farm set up, relies on a sturdy container that can be moved comfortably by one person, and remain intact while you do so. This is because you often have to move it in areas that are ‘standing room only’ in the confines of your urban plot. I now have four of the following worm farms, but the worms are breeding so fast on one family’s kitchen and garden scraps, cardboard, paper, and coffee grounds, that I’ll be adding another unit to my tractor soon.

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Posted by & filed under Society.

We have expanded our right to live on the earth to an entitlement to conquer the earth, yet conquerors of nature always lose. To accumulate wealth, power, or land beyond one’s needs in a limited world is to be truly immoral, be it as an individual, an institution, or a nation state… it is our children’s world which is being destroyed. It is therefore our only possible decision to withhold support for destructive systems, and to cease to invest our lives in our own annihilation. Cooperation, not competition, is the very basis of existing life systems and of future survival. – Bill Mollison, from Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual

When talking to children and teens, I’ve been known to describe adults as kids with bigger shoes (and hopefully better hair). They laugh at this, but are surprised at the comment. After all, we teach young people to look up to adults with respect, because of our knowledge, experience and the care that we give to our children. But the question is: at what point does a child turn into an adult? It is a process that takes place over hundreds of decisions, of learning how to do things for ourselves, being responsible for our actions, and hopefully maturing after making mistakes. I’m in the process of raising a teenager, which is almost as interesting as raising a toddler, when a human first starts to interact with the world around them. The difference is that with a teenager their awareness relates to relationships and figuring out the rules of society. Since many of those rules are contradictory, the process is complicated. As a society, we prize individualism above cooperation and personal gratification over giving; children and teens see this reality, despite being told otherwise.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, People Systems, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development.

Too often, people feel checked out of politics — even at the level of their own city. But urban activist Alessandra Orofino thinks that can change, using a mix of tech and old-fashioned human connection. Sharing examples from her hometown of Rio, she says: "It is up to us to decide whether we want schools or parking lots, recycling projects or construction sites, cars or buses, loneliness or solidarity."

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Land, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting.

This (unfortunately low-res) video shares the clear, practical benefits of bringing sensible low-tech Permaculture water harvesting techniques such as swales to our landscapes. In Maharashtra, India, swales are restoring the hydrological cycle, bringing dried up wells and springs back to life, and stopping erosion of the precious soils that subsistence farmers depend on.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees.


Trailer only – watch full video here

34 Years ago Dano Gorsich asked his old permaculture teacher, Bill Mollison, what he should do with his land on the island of Molokai in Hawaii?

Bill explained how he should design his tropical house, how it should face to capture the sea breezes, the sun angles, slope and orientation. Bill also suggested that Dano could earn a living by growing fruit and vegetables and then selling them to his neighbours. Dano literally took this advice to heart and set out to follow it to the letter. Bill Mollison visited Dano over the years afterwards and featured his small garden in his definitive book Permaculture — A Designers’ Manual.

Dano fell off the Permaculture radar for some years, concentrating on selling boxes of fruit and vegetables to his loyal neighbours. This system allowed him to educate his four daughters and put them through university.

Geoff Lawton recently met Dano on the Island of Maui whilst teaching an Earthworks Course and learning of Dano’s 34 Year old Food Forest system.

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