Category: Land

Making a Terrace Garden, Part II

Photos by David Ashwanden Readers requested more pictures to make it easier to understand the steps I took to create my terrace garden. Having scoured my photo collection for a more clarifying portrayal of what my terrace garden looked like, I can only find examples of another terrace garden, built on more or less the same principles but with a slightly different emphasis. Below are the steps for how I […]

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Spontaneous Organization for Polyculture

I think one reason monocrop agriculture has pervaded history is mental simplicity. It is a process that removes all possible variables. Beginning with eliminating all plant life, there are clearly defined steps. The whole procedure can be executed in less than a year, without a followup plan. The conventional crops can be applied more or less the same way, with the same equipment, almost anywhere there is dirt. If I […]

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Brooklyn Grange: A Rooftop Farm in New York (video)

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Geoff Lawton at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm “That view behind me is not a painted backdrop!” said Geoff Lawton to the camera. But the view looked great from where I was standing. Brooklyn Grange is a rooftop farm with a magnificent view looking over the Manhattan skyline. Sited on a concrete roof, totaling 2.5 acres and producing over 50,000 lbs of organically-grown vegetables each year, you need to walk its […]

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Cold Climate Permaculture Video

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A lot of people wonder if they can apply Permaculture design to their farm if they live in a cold climate. When Geoff Lawton visited Ben Falk’s farm in Vermont earlier this year, he saw the fruit of good permaculture design when applied with skillful observation. The end result is a beautiful, cold climate permaculture paradise. Ben’s farm is a wonderful place to walk through and to visit. Fish rise […]

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Swales Filled by Melting Ice and Snow (Texas, USA)

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We just harvested over 20,000 gallons of ice and snow melt into our swales. Last week we had about 4 inches of snow and ice — mostly ice. It totally coated the roads and shut down the city for about four days. Yesterday (7 days into it) we finally got a really warm day and major melt. This is the result — 20,000 plus gallons of water gently soaked into […]

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Keyline Design as an Organizing Pattern for Permaculture Design, Part 2 (Sweden)

This is part 2 of a series of 5 articles looking at design considerations for our Cold Climate Permaculture site using the Keyline Scale of Permanence as a organizing framework, as well as an informative read for anyone interested. The aesthetic curves of the Keyline layout at ridgedale PERMACULTURE The previous article introduced some basic Keyline concepts and looked at the Site Specifics and how the Landform will influence the […]

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Desert Food Forest and Organic Commercial Production in Three Years – Update on Wadi Rum Consultancy (Jordan)

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Outside the fence On August 6, 2010 Craig Mackintosh posted on my initial consultancy for the site I’m reporting on today. Three years and three months later, I can give an update on what has transpired since.

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Keyline Design as an Organizing Pattern for Permaculture Design, Part 1 (Sweden)

Having spent the past few years on a busy international schedule Richard Perkins has purchased a farm in Sweden where he is establishing ridgedale PERMACULTURE. This is the first of a series of five articles looking at design considerations for this cold climate Permaculture site using the Keyline Scale of Permanence as a organizing framework, as well as an informative read for anyone interested. The aesthetic curves of the Keyline […]

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How to Grow Chickens Without Buying Grain – by Only Feeding Them Compost

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Whilst on a tour of the US, Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton was giving a talk at Montpelier, Vermont, when a young man suggested we film his boss, compost maestro Karl Hammer and his amazing system of feeding compost to his flock of 100-plus chickens, and without feeding them any grain. Chickens live off the compost eating worms and biota and help in the composting process. Nobody thought it was possible, […]

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Wadi Mukheris and the Wonder of Gabions (Jordan)

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The year 1999 was a busy one, with the potential of Y2K and “the end of world as we know it”, with the threat of computers failing as the clocks trip over the year 2000 at start of the new millennium. For part of the year I was working as the lead permaculture consultant with a team in Louisiana, USA, on an ex-army ammunition manufacturing plant re-design into an eco-industrial […]

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Making a Terrace Garden

Terraces have been used sustainably for centuries. Why not make a down-scaled version for your garden? One of the first things to consider in beginning to design a garden is where, exactly, it should be. I have to say that this step usually takes a secondary place in my mind to exciting images of plants and vegetables flourishing in glorious abundance; but unless you make a plan first, this flourishing […]

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Rough, Ready, But Very Real – a November 2013 Update on the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site)

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Project from above, featuring a garbage-accumulating fence edge Well, you would be hard pressed to find a tougher block of land — a 400m below sea level, West facing slope, in an extremely hot, arid climate, with extremely poor, shallow highly alkaline top ‘soil’, covered in rocks, with a limited water supply and in a mostly Palestinian refugee-populated village. When we first started working on the site local farmers thought […]

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