Charlotte Haworth

Water Farming Part 1: Why And How Can We Start Farming Water?

farming, gardening and agriculture concept - watering cans at farm water tank

Permaculture design is about working with energies. If you have already got lots of elements in your design, such as trees, buildings and animals, it may not be very practical to design a water system from scratch. However, it seems energy efficient to take into account the flow of water as the starting point of any design. As much as possible, it’s advisable to plan where the water is going […]

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Where Are We Really Building Walls? – How to use Permaculture to Help Create More Connected Society

How to use Permaculture to Help Create More Connected Society feat

Last month the order was signed (1) to begin construction of a wall, planned to stretch 3,100 km along the border between the two countries of Mexico and the USA (2). The impact such a project could have on human society means it has received criticism from many diverse angles (see for example 3, 4). Yet humans are also part of a wider ecosystem, and the proposed wall would also […]

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Why Are Banana Circles Important? What Are The Benefits?

Why Are Banana Circles Important What Are The Benefits feat

Banana circles are a popular and fairly easy-to-make addition to any tropical permaculture system. As there is already a lot appropriate literature out there on how to make banana circles I will not focus on the practicalities in this article (see for example 1, 2, 3). But why exactly are they so important? Can they be integrated into any system? And what are the benefits? Read on to explore these […]

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Mental Permaculture, Part 3: Energy Flows

Mental Permaculture, Part 3 Energy Flows feat

Permaculture: a set of design tools, a way of creating gardens, of perceiving connections, of gaining insights into our environment. But can it also be rebellious? Co-founder of permaculture Bill Mollison once remarked about a book review describing Permaculture Two (1) as “seditious”,

“If you’re a simple person today, and want to live simply, that is awfully seditious. And to advise people to live simply is more seditious still.” (2)

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Corporations Seeking More Power than Governments: Ideas for working with power-flow

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Last month a report (1) was published by five international rights groups analysing the possible side effects of a new free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (2), currently being negotiated among 16 Asian and Pacific states. The main concern of the report is that the agreement would put into law the ISDS, or Investor-State Dispute Settlement, essentially giving multi-national corporations the right not to adhere to national legislation […]

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Manuka Honey’s Healing Power: Exclusive Property or One of Many?

Manuka Honey Cluster

Manuka honey is well-known for its health benefits (see for example 1).Though famous as a product from New Zealand, the results of recent studies (2) show that the Australian variety is just as potent as its New Zealand cousin. But how does this affect the global honey market? And is it even appropriate, from a permaculture perspective, to place such importance on ‘manuka’ as oppose to other honeys? What is […]

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Virtual Reality to Help Us Make Mistakes: Smart Failure and How it Relates to Permaculture

Virtual Reality to Help Us Make Mistakes feat

Many people have spoken or written about the importance of thinking that reflects the changing world around us; “Everything you’ve learned in school as “obvious” becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe,” (1) as R. Buckminster Fuller put it. The universe is constantly changing, so it doesn’t make sense for us to learn “obvious” answers because every situation we find is uniquely different. Permaculture as […]

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Mini-Documentary Trio: Forest Gardening, Edible Landscapes and Urban Permaculture

Mini-Documentary Trio Forest Gardening, Edible Landscapes and Urban Permaculture feat - Copy

Three unfortunately not great picture-quality but information-packed UK ‘mini-documentaries’ by Iota. First, an introduction to temperate permaculture pioneer Robert Hart (1913 – 2000), one of whose “guiding principles” is given as Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of “democratically organised, self-sustaining communities”. Next, a visit to The Field in Cornwall, where plant database Plants for a Future founder Ken Fern introduces his work. Finally, an interview with Mike and Julia Guerra, who grow almost a fifth of their food in their city back garden. “Nature is the biggest teacher”, says Mike.

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Permaculture: Green Gold

Green Gold Documentary by John D. Lui feat

John D Liu tells how “it’s possible to rehabilitate large-scale ecosystems”. In 1995 he filmed the Loess Plateau in China where “local people transformed an area almost the size of The Netherlands from a …desert into a large green oasis” and since then has been involved in “greening deserts” around the world. The film begins with world problems but if you get past this the solutions are imaginative and inspirational: from re-introducing “thought to be extinct” species in Jordan to reforestation and rehydration in Ethiopia. Featuring Geoff Lawton.

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Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution

Permaculture A Quiet Revolution feat

Film from 8th International Permaculture Convergence (IPC8) (1) which was held in four permaculture communities across Brazil in 2008. Featuring Rosemary Morrow, the film focuses on how the participants were “preparing for, and mitigating, our looming global crisis”. Still very much relevant now as it gives a useful introduction to each of the four sites used to host the IPC8 and some of their features, as well as a short […]

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Permaculture, Ethics and Diversity: Can Permaculture Ethics Help with the Evolution of Human Culture?

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Using permaculture as a tool can be hugely beneficial for people to create practical ways of improving their immediate environment. Many have suggested that such a tool only works if we use the lens of permaculture to first create our own empowerment from within (see for example 1). This view can be seen indeed as underpinning much of permaculture thinking, for example, with the three permaculture ethics of “Earthcare, Peoplecare […]

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Language and Permaculture, Part 2: Practical Ideas for How We Use Terminology

Agriculture word cloud

In the first part of this article I explored a few of the key terms associated with permaculture and how becoming conscious of their meaning and implication can help us empower permaculture as a tool, even more than it may be already.  In this part I look at some practical ways we can apply these terminological changes, and some examples of organisations or projects who are putting them into action. […]

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