Rob Avis

Land As Insurance, Part 2: The Black Swan Theory

Two beautiful Black Swans, Lake Taupo, New Zealand.

Last time, we talked about predictable risk that falls within a Gaussian distribution. But not all risk follows this pattern; some risks are rare and catastrophic and can only be explained in retrospect. These risks are called black swans. When a system contains extreme outliers that are hundreds, thousands, or millions of times further from the mean than expected, they can cause massive amounts of destruction and change the course […]

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Land As Insurance, Part 1: A Primer

salad-water-garden-plant Land As Insurance

This is a three-part series based on an idea I recently had around the subjects of farming, black swans, and creating a product that can help insure against risk. In this first article I’ll provide a bit of context on how insurance works. The second piece will explore the risks we face today and in the future. The final article will explore a new type of insurance based around perennial […]

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Addition through Subtraction

addition through subtraction feat

As you can imagine I think a lot about design. If you ask Michelle I think a lot about everything. I think she thinks of me as an opportunity firehose that is constantly spraying her with ideas, and it can get overwhelming. Until about three years ago, we had no way of managing opportunity and we just ran after it like hungry dogs. The problem was that we were saying […]

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Voices Of Change PODCAST: A Conversation With Diego Footer

Tablet PC and headphones

Recently I had a chance to chat with Diego Footer from Creative Destruction, formally known as Permaculture Voices, on a podcast series featuring “honest, hard conversations about farming, business, and life with those trying to make a living doing something that they love and dealing with life in the process.” We spoke in depth about how permaculture can be an incredible design tool and how it has transformed my own […]

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Learn About Permaculture From Award-Winning Engineer & Ecologist, Rob Avis.

2011.06-Nelson-PDC-435 - feat

WORKSHOPS OFFERED ACROSS SOUTHERN ONTARIO IN FEBRUARY 2017. ABOUT THIS ONE-DAY WORKSHOP: Maybe you’re looking to cut your energy use and invest in solar or wind power. Maybe you’re imagining what it would be like to keep backyard chickens, start composting your kitchen scraps or grow healthy food on your front lawn (or a year-round garden in your passive solar greenhouse). Maybe you’ve even got ambitions of reducing water consumption, […]

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Storing Heat Underground in a Geosolar System

2015-10-20-Geosolar-trench - feat

As an engineer and permaculture designer living in a cold-climate, I am particularly fascinated with the interplay between thermodynamics and design and with capturing “waste” energy and finding novel, inexpensive and efficient ways to store and/or recapture and re-use it. One of these such systems, is geothermal storage. In late 2015, our consulting company, Adaptive Habitat, was hired to design and install a geosolar heat collection system just north of […]

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Urban Swales

rob avis swales feat

Last year, we did a series of videos looking at the swale systems on our property and demonstration site. Part one looks at how we’ve combined the featuress of a Hügelkultur system, a wicking bed, and swales to nourish a productive garden that requires very little additional irrigation: Urban Swales Part 1: Weeping Tile & Mulched Pathways This second video in the urban swales series looks at permaculture design with […]

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Using a Drone in Permaculture Design

Using a Drone in Permaculture Design feat

Until recently, going to google maps, to get a birds eye view of a location was the default option for many Permaculture Practitioners and Consultants, but the main limitation was it could not be relied upon to provide 100% up to date imagery.

And then came the boom of personal drones.

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Establishing a Food Forest 3-Hour Session with Geoff Lawton (Calgary, August 14, 2014)

Geoff Lawton, the internationally beloved permaculture teacher, is headed to Calgary to film our site, so we couldn’t help but ask him to teach for us. Join us for this exclusive opportunity to learn from Geoff himself in this 3 hour session: “Establishing a Food Forest”! What: Establishing a Food Forest 3-hour session with Geoff Lawton When: August 14, 2014, 6:00 – 9:00 pm Where: SAIT Campus – MacDonald Hall […]

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