Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Salination, Storm Water, Swales, Terraces, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Dan Lewin November 11, 2011
An aerial view of the site
Although the landscape here could be seen as a model for scarcity, what there is an abundance of is rocks. The baked dusty earth barely passes for soil and during the summer there isn’t rain here for over six months. With valuable agricultural resources seemingly at a minimum, rocks can be incredibly valuable in the design of a sustainable human settlement. In the case of the Permaculture Research Institute of Jordan’s site (PRIJ), rocks have formed the main building blocks of the swales that form the back bones of this small farm. They surround the heavily mulched planting pits for the many varieties of trees here and they also can be used for another useful function which litres of my sweat has been testament to! They make up the substrate of the grey water system into which reeds are planted that feed on the water flowing through from the sinks and showers in the washing block.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 5, 2011
Here’s a sneak peek at Morocco — looking at water issues and the need to relearn traditional catchment management whilst adding in modern permaculture techniques of water harvesting and food forest development. David’s point about market gluts due to farmers all growing the same crop and harvesting it all at the same time is an important one. Diversity is stability — ecologically and economically.
Duration: 5 minutes
Owen Hablutzel: “Water and Transformation in Dryland Systems – Resilience Science & Keyline Application” (IPC10 Presentation – Video)
Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 4, 2011
Owen’s talk here is quite fascinating. While most in permaculture will recognise the importance of mainframe design, Owen’s talk goes a step further, and dips headlong into mainframe concepts as well. If you’re one of those right-side brain type people who just loves thinking a little above and beyond and immersing yourself into a bit of creative theory, you’ll find this talk from Owen hard to pause. If it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t panic, as Owen brings the theoretical aspects back onto the ground throughout, to show how it plays out (and boy does it play out) on a tangible property he’s been working on in the U.S. of A. — in this case the large broad acre Whirlwind Farm. In essence, Owen’s talk is about restorative, resilience farming: how we can think about it, and achieve it.Comments (4)
Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Land, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 1, 2011
Five days ago I edited together and uploaded some video files that Geoff Lawton sent through of a recent small dam and fish pond installation during the recent Earthworks course at Zaytuna Farm. Since then Geoff has sent through a few more clips that might interest you. You see, just after I uploaded the first video, Zaytuna Farm was hit by a pretty major rain event, so here you get to see how the new earthworks fared.
If you’d like to get a better understanding of the why and how of permaculture earthworks, you could purchase the Water Harvesting DVD, or, better yet, book on one of our upcoming Earthworks courses, listed in our Courses section.Comments (0)
A technique for mounding potatoes in a mandala bed without importing soil, with the benefit of improving fertility and increasing organic matter.
by Grahame Eddy
I like to mound my potatoes by pushing soil up against the sides of the growing plants eventually creating quite a big mound. The theory is that I can get a greater harvest from the same space. But when I started using the Linda Woodrow style mandala beds I was struck by the difficulty of bringing in more soil to the bed as it would tend to spread outwards, and also would smother more than just the potato plants.
So, I came up with the idea of mounding from a small section of the bed and eventually building a compost heap in the resultant hole.Comments (1)
Aquaculture, Conservation, Dams, Irrigation, Land, Natural Swimming, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 26, 2011
In this short video Geoff walks us through an overview of a small dam/fish pond installation at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in northern NSW, Australia. If you’d like to get a better understanding of the why and how of permaculture earthworks, you could purchase the Water Harvesting DVD, or, better yet, book on one of our upcoming Earthworks courses, listed in our Courses section. Small dams like this, appropriately situated and intelligently designed, can both drought-proof and flood-protect your property, whilst creating a foundational hydrological infrastructure from which can spring an abundance of biodiversity to create a foundation of resilient self-sufficiency.
For good measure I’ll throw in a few pictures that Nadia has just sent me of permaculture abundance at Zaytuna Farm. Earthworks like that shown in the footage above ensures food harvesting like this can continue at Zaytuna Farm even in the driest years, when neighbouring properties are shriveled and barren….Comments (7)
Animal Forage, Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation — by Milkwood Permaculture
Here’s a quick note about our upcoming Intro to Holistic Management course with Kirk Gadzia that starts on the 1st of November at Milkwood Farm in Mudgee, NSW, Australia.
Having worked side by side with Allan Savory for many years, Kirk knows a thing or two about using herbivores to heal a landscape. What’s more, he’s an amazing teacher, the likes of whom I haven’t yet encountered. So it’s a pretty special opportunity to have him back.Comments (2)
Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Structure — by Angelo Eliades October 25, 2011
I hate lawns…. — Bill Mollison (‘Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution – An Interview with Bill Mollison by Scott London’)
Lawns, love them or hate them, they are one of those features of modern life that we take for granted, though we’ve long forgotten their origins. We have lawn because we’ve ‘always had lawns’, without questioning why….
Most permaculture practitioners loathe them frankly, seeing the space are valuable ground better utilised for growing food!
Now, imagine if we applied our permaculture design principles to lawns, what would be the result? Can we come up with a permaculture design rationale for the much maligned common lawn?Comments (18)
Community Projects, Land, Social Gatherings, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by John Shiel October 17, 2011
by John Shiel
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
There are 2 ways to run a PermaBlitz (building a Permaculture community garden or backyard food garden in one day): coordinated by your local Permaculture club (you receive help with garden design, getting people to your house, and you are covered by their liability insurance), or where a group of friends just have a working bee and look after themselves. Not all Permaculture clubs run Permablitzes.
I am the Vice-Chair of Permaculture Hunter which promotes sustainable and healthy lifestyles in the Australian Hunter region (warm temperate/sub-tropical) and promotes the social and economic aspects of Permaculture. We hold monthly PermaBlitzes to build food gardens in 1 day (takes a few weeks to design, plan and get materials onsite), and members who help with 6 days of Blitzes etc. can get their own Blitz designed and coordinated.
We think it is imperative to encourage more food gardens with the looming oil/fossil fuel shortage which is leading to escalating food prices (mechanisation on the farm, pesticides, fertilisers, transport, refrigeration), and we can provide the templates, some design help, and some coordination for groups to start up.Comments (6)
Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, News, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 13, 2011
The Rodale Institute’s 30-year
Farming Systems Trial report (1.3mb PDF)
The Rodale Institute has been, for a full 30 years now, conducting a long-term comparative Farming Systems Trial. Starting in 1981, when it was already abundantly clear that industrialising nature was creating far more problems than it solved, the Rodale Institute began documented research comparing organically fertilised fields and conventionally fertilised fields on its 330 acre farm in Pennsylvania, USA.
It’s the longest running comparative study of its kind in the world.
In time for their trial’s 30-year anniversary, the institute has put out a report outlining its documented observations. You can download this report via the link at right.
This report is one of several well-researched reports that have come out in recent years, including the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Failure to Yield report (which proves GMOs do not perform as claimed) and the IAASTD’s 400-scientist-strong, 3-year worldwide study (which concluded we need to quickly transition back to relocalised, diverse, agroecological methods).Comments (6)
Building, Community Projects, Land, Plant Systems, Society, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 10, 2011
It seems there is a plant able to fill almost any niche. In this case Strangler Figs are painstakingly trained over generations to stop massive soil erosion in the rainiest place on earth, and, more, to create almost indestructible living pedestrian bridges which will last for centuries despite mega rain events.
You have to admire the community thinking that goes into this beautiful work. These people, walking on centuries-old living bridges, realise the gift given them by their ancestors, and so they pay it forward by donating their labour to build more, even though they won’t benefit from it in their own lifetimes. Voices from the past, perhaps, urge them to follow their predecessors’ gracious example by investing a little energy into a wondrous gift to future generations. Imagine if we could spin our culture around to think like this.Comments (2)
Compost, DVDs/Books, Dams, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Trees — by Paul Wheaton October 8, 2011
Click play to hear the talk!Review of Geoff Lawton's Food Forest DVD, by Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe
Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe (www.veganicpermaculture.com) watch Geoff Lawton‘s Food Forest video and Helen really loved it. It shows a food forest as they start it, at 6 months, a year, 3 years, 10 years.
Paul thinks it is one of the best permaculture videos. Lawton starts by talking about three concepts: the layering of systems (there are 7-10 layers of a forest), succession of systems (how nature repairs itself), and time (working with different events — eg: sun, shade, flood over time). Paul shares Helen’s hesitancy using the word “permaculture.” They also talk about the word “science” and “studies.” Lawton has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd recovery plants. The first are: annuals, nitrogen fixers, ground covers and leguminous shrubs. The second are medium size nitrogen fixing trees (later to be chopped at head height in order to nurture the longer term trees). The third are longer term nitrogen fixing trees.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Economics, Energy Systems, Land, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 6, 2011
This is inspirational!
See more of their work on their YouTube channel.Comments (2)
A Look at Hawaiian Aquaculture – and How You Can Learn More About It at the Keawanui Fish Pond, Molokai
Aquaculture, Courses/Workshops, Fish, Land — by Nichole Ross
It was a typical October day on Molokai — 82 degrees, sunny and breezy. I had just arrived at my favorite tiny airport on a nine-passenger Cessna turbo prop-plane from Honolulu. I came from the Big Island to help my Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) USA colleagues facilitate a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) already in progress. The PDC was part of a four-course series we were doing to train a local group made up of key players working to promote sustainability on the Island.
When my ride told me that the class would be starting the day at the Keawanui fish pond, I was both excited and nervous. Much like the time I had gotten an All-Access V.I.P. Guest Pass to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, I would soon be in the presence of celebrities I admired. I was not only about to meet the Rittes, but they were students in our PDC.Comments (0)
Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops, Land — by Nick Huggins October 4, 2011
Wanted – 2 persons (only) with PDC that are keen to learn and assist on a 15 acre farm that is undergoing re-design in Northern NSW, Australia.Comments (5)