Category: Retrofitting

Big Inspiration in Little Old England: Plant Life Abounds

Pond at New Shoots It was an unexpected phone call that sent my wife Emma and me from Colombia to England this past October. We’d not been in Bogota for a full day when we learned that her father was ill, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us to visit sooner rather than later. In the following twenty-four hours, we managed to cancel two volunteer posts at permaculture […]

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Flat Land, Flash Floods and Permaculture

We hear a lot about infiltrating swales with water, but what do you do when you live on very flat and windy land, next to a river that experiences regular flooding and you don’t need any water in your garden because your whole land is one big soakage swale? This is what Minnesota two acre landowner, Bruce Blair experienced 23 years ago when his land was suddenly deluged in a […]

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Creating the Alternative: Inside Look into the SolTrekker

by Mo Lohre and Will Redwine Sorry for the hiatus, but would you believe we came across a few bumps in the road? Just like with any worthwhile quest, unexpected challenges emerged. Now that we’ve had some time to address them, we are excited to share our struggles as well as our findings. When we began the Creating the Alternative Tour we were determined to design a regenerative lifestyle while […]

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

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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Report on a Permaculture Internship – Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge (Sept-Oct, 2013, Ethiopia)

Editor’s Note: Beginning 2 December 2013, Alex is running another PDC at the developing Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge in southern Ethiopia. Following that will be a four-week Internship, starting 16 December, 2013. Why not book your place and head off for the learning and cultural immersion experience of a lifetime! This is a write up based on a brief report by Jesse Wood which he wrote at the end of […]

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Retrofitting a Small Town

For the last four years, I have been dreaming of retrofitting a small town with a group of like-minded individuals with a diverse set of skills. I talk a lot about this in my courses, and it always gets a group of people charged up. It seems as though there are a lot of people that are tired of living in these massive, hyper-urban environments that meet our basic needs […]

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The Cynefin Permaculture Project (North Wales)

If you want to make permaculture happen, then just start. This is the story of how one garden ended up providing work, food and fun for people in the community of Gwynedd, Wales. History It was autumn, March 2012, and unemployment was at an all time high in North Wales. I was a qualified permaculture consultant wandering the lands searching for my next project, but also suffering the strain of […]

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From Traffic Jams to Ecocities – Interview with Richard Register, President of Ecocity Builders

Marcin Gerwin: In many cities there are problems with traffic jams. The streets are clogged with cars and as a response mayors build new roads or widen the streets. Old buildings are demolished to make way for new lanes so that a highway running through the middle of the city could be built. Would you say that this is the right way forward?

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The MEGGA-Watt Project Moves Forward

by Rene Michalak The "MEGGA-watt" Project (Micro-Energy Generating Garage Assembly) is a demonstration / prototype to turn everyday detached garages from simple storage units (aka ‘car-holes’) into food-growing and energy-generating systems using permaculture design. The basic concept is to partner a garage with an attached greenhouse and renewable energy to create sustainable 4-season growing systems with minimal fossil fuel input that serves both practical and recreational purposes. Owners of a […]

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Report on Implementation Activities in Konso Secondary and Jarso Primary Schools in July 2012 (Ethiopia)

In May 2012 we ran a PDC at Strawberry Fields Eco-Lodge on which we trained four local teachers, along with other participants, two from each of two local schools in Konso, South Ethiopia, where we are based. The selected teachers from the two schools, Konso Secondary and Jarso Primary, are science teachers responsible for the schools’ environmental clubs. During the training they produced permaculture designs for their school compounds, which […]

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David Holmgren on Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future

Introduction by Samuel Alexander of the Simplicity Institute: I’m pleased to announce that David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, has just published a Simplicity Institute Report, entitled "Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future." Sometimes well-meaning ‘green’ people like to imagine that the eco-cities of the future are going to look either like some techno-utopia — like the Jetsons’, perhaps, except environmentally friendly — or some agrarian village, […]

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Consultancy: Who Needs It? Why Do It? Are You Ready For It?

Photo © Craig Mackintosh It turns out that very few of those that do a PDC end up being consultants. It took me a while to actually become a paid consultant and I’ve only been doing it for a little while. I took so long to become one as I truly thought everyone who’d done a PDC would become a consultant and that I would just end up being ‘another […]

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