Category: Design

Design for the Human Life Cycle

Design-for-the Human-Life-Cycle-feat

by Permaculture designer, Robyn Francis (see also). Photo: Craig Mackintosh It seems to be a common failing in a society that is so peer-oriented, that people rarely seem to design and plan for the changing needs of the full human life cycle. It is easy to relate to the here and now, and the needs of our immediate, short-term future. As permaculture designers we need to consciously develop our awareness […]

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What is ‘Zone Zero’?

WHAT IS ZONE ZERO feat

llustration by Cecilia Macaulay Zone planning in permaculture design means placing elements according to how often we need to visit them. Areas that need to be visited every day (e.g. the glasshouse, chicken pen, herb garden) are located nearby, while places visited less frequently (grazing area, orchard, woodlot) are located further away. In Bill Mollison’s book ‘Introduction to Permaculture’, zone zero is defined as being the centre of activity in […]

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Letters from Vietnam – Ke Village

Letters from Vietnam Ke Village feat

The trip to meet the Ma Lieng people at Ke Village, Vietnam, was a bit like a chapter out of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. For starters, to reach the village I had to get ferried across a chocolate river in something resembling a dugout canoe. And, when I got there, I was met with a tribe of villagers who were almost supernaturally tiny. The river’s chocolate hue was due […]

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Transforming Landscapes, While Transforming Ourselves – Our Story in Jordan

TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPES WHILE TRANSFORMING OURSELVES OUR STORY IN JORDAN feat

This is a story of how permaculture transformed the lives of two young Canadians… At the beginning of November 2006, my partner Jesse left our home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on a three month journey to the homeland of permaculture – Australia. Inspired by the teaching styles of Geoff Lawton and Bill Mollison, Jesse returned home determined to make permaculture our full time occupation. During the next year we […]

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Vuon – Ao – Chuong – The Traditional Vietnamese Farm

Vuon Ao Chuong The Traditional Vietnamese Farm feat

by Nguyen Van Man VAC is an acronym formed from the three Vietnamese words Vuon, garden or orchard, Ao, fish pond, and Chuong, pigsty or poultry shed. It refers to a form of domestic agriculture in which food gardening, fish rearing and animal husbandry are wholly integrated, and stems from farming methods developed in the Red River delta of Vietnam. The VAC system is a highly intensive method of small […]

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Sites Unseen

SITES UNSEEN feat

Making use of resources from a building site The lifecycle of a building site can supply the observant designer with loads of resources. Be it your own site or one nearby, there are plenty of available materials otherwise destined for landfill. Before work starts, designate specific areas to stockpile materials choosing places where they won’t have to be moved until needed. After surveyors peg the site, collect seedlings, rocks and […]

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Efficient Glasshouse Design

greenhouse

A well designed glasshouse can serve many functions and be an extremely productive element in a permaculture system. It creates a self-contained environment in which the designer can modify conditions of heat, light, water and air for a variety of benefits. High value crops can be grown out of their normal climatic range or produced out of season, growing seasons can be extended by starting seedlings of annual plants early, […]

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Retrofitting Tips

retrofitting

Reprinted from ‘Earth-User’s Guide to Permaculture’ Most of us are stuck with the house we live in. What can we do to improve it? Here is a checklist of ways to retrofit a home and some good ideas to make life more comfortable. TOO HOT IN SUMMER Insulate ceiling Pergola and vines Deciduous trees Shady verandahs Breezeways/corridors Solar fans Cool air tunnels Deciduous creepers Shadehouse with plants

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Transforming Your Urban Backyard

backyard 01

Many people living in the suburbs and cities would like to ‘have a go’ at living a more sustainable and satisfying life and yet are daunted by what they view as lack of space and appropriate surroundings. It is easy to say “I just don’t have the space here!” or “Oh, my soil is terrible – I couldn’t grow a thing!” One of the enjoyable aspects of permaculture design is […]

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Establishing a Food Forest

Establishing a Food Forest

Is it possible to live sustainably and grow an edible Food Forest? Join me on an amazing journey from classroom theory to practical application. I will take you through the emerging process of seeding a food forest, watching it grow and emerge a few years later by allowing Nature to do all the work. Let me show a lost food forest 10 years later as I cut through tall grass and see how it has emerged and grown when left to its own devices.

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