Category: Land

Drought-Proofing California…not in the news

Digging our well-surveyed swales. I woke up this morning, put on my gum-boots and went out for a walk around our family farm in the rain. This in itself might not seem to be anything special to many folks, yet this was a 2”/5cm rainfall after several intense years of drought here in Southern California. I cannot express how exciting this morning has been for me as I was thinking […]

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It All Started with Geese

5 Tufted Romans, 6 American Buffs and one mixed breed when they were about a week old. It all started with the geese. That’s not to say that they were fault, just that their habits started me on a new line of thinking. The geese were a gift to myself for my birthday one year. I don’t usually do that but I wanted them and it made a good excuse. […]

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Hey! It’s High Cold Dry and Windy and Doing just Great!

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Every now and then you come across climate that is not so user-friendly. It’s in the High, Dry and Cold and Windy desert environment of Nevada’s high country near Reno. A place with many challenges. Sagebrush and horse trails dot the landscape. It is cowboy country. So what on earth is a Permaculture teacher doing in such a windswept environment? Neil Bertrando lives here and in three years has used […]

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When Organics Goes Bad

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When Organics Goes Bad is a short video where Geoff Lawton visits an organic carrot farm in California and explains why some organic farms are not always good for the environment. Whilst travelling with Warren Brush in his old pickup truck to his

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SMART Permaculture in South Ethiopia (Part 1)

A few years back I got an email from a German guy called Oliver Kopsch. He works setting up water and sustainable energy projects in developing countries around the world. He had set up such a project in south Ethiopia – a water-well with solar powered pump to distribute water to the local rural community. Now he was expanding on his concept to include two new features; WASH (Water, Sanitation […]

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Finding Water in the Desert

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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 […]

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Swales (Continuous Contour Trenches) Bring Water and Life Back to Maharashtra, India

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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Experimenting with Overflowing Circles and Slow-Flow Swales (Panama)

The jungle garden I am not Bill Mollison or Geoff Lawton, they will both happily report; rather, I am but a humble novice when it comes to permaculture, experimenting my way through ideas, mimicking when I can, improvising when research falls short. And, it was somewhere in between mimicry and improvisation that I came up with what I’m calling overflowing circles and slow-flow swales. I wanted to catch water, of […]

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Permaculture for Pastoralists in the Jordan Valley – Part II

Note: If you haven’t already, you can read Part I here. A Dead Sea Valley family home with their typical front ‘lawn’. Photo © Craig Mackintosh The title may lead you to think we are talking about people who manage pasture or have access to wide areas of rangeland. In fact, we are talking about people whose parents and grandparents were nomadic pastoralists that ranged flocks of animals across vast […]

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Broadacre Farm Design – Regenerative Agriculture at Work (Australia)

Over the past year Yandoit Farm has been going through a few changes. Located in Victoria, Australia, north of Hepburn Springs, the farm has had an interesting past, at times being heavily mined for gold, with the miners living on the property, and more recently used to run cattle. Working with an array of permaculture and regenerative agriculture designers the stewards of Yandoit Farm, Lisa and Michael, worked on designing […]

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Guerilla Gardening in Rural Panama

A gnome (the author) in the Communal Garden Make no mistake, the war is on. The commodity is food, the source needs to be sustainable, and the community needs to know about it. If you are already into permaculture, or just gaining an interest, then congratulations and welcome to the peace-loving yet active front lines. We call it guerilla gardening.

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Create a Hugelmound Landscape

Hugelmounds are a truly amazing regenerative landscaping technique. They could be your preferred method of soil re-building and regeneration, and here’s why. There’s a lot to consider when understanding the best and most environmentally balanced way of creating your new forest garden and permaculture landscape. Hugelcultures, or "hugel mounds", are a way of creating raised beds, which over time break down into mounds of fertility. They work on the principle […]

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