Category: Earthworks & Earth Resources

Vetiver Grass – A Hedge Against Erosion

vetiver grass a hedge against erosion feat

PIJ #54, March – May 1995 Soil erosion is perhaps the world’s most chronic environmental problem that is literally costing the earth. The soil it carries off now totals 20 billion tons a year and this loss is not only severely degrading the environment, it is eroding the economic viability of countries. Despite enormous effort, standard soil conservation methods have been largely unsuccessful. However, a remarkable tropical grass may hold […]

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The Muffin Tin and the Sponge

the muffin tin and the sponge feat

Two simple ways of illustrating how to plant the rain Brad Lancaster, author of the award-winning books “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond” and info-packed website, demonstrates how we can get the most from the rain by planting it in the soil, then accessing it with living pumps of plants. These are simple concepts that help turn scarcity into abundance.

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Desert Ways

Desert Ways feat

Mongongo Tree Whether it is an issue of conserving water of using suitable plant species, thriving in a desert environment is a masterful act of management. Permaculture co-founder Bill Mollison has spent time in many of the world’s arid regions and here shares his observations on surviving in some of them. Building Abundance into Sandy Deserts Why should we garden, when there are so many mongongo trees in the world? […]

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Transforming Landscapes, While Transforming Ourselves – Our Story in Jordan


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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Making Contour Maps on the Cheap


by Darren Doherty of An example of the results Click for larger view I developed a technique in 2007 during a Keyline Design Course at Tuscon, Arizona for making a contour map using cheap available materials. One of our students didn’t have the cash to get a surveyor to do the job on his 40 acres, so I came up with this solution on the whiteboard and have since […]

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Dams and swales in Minnesota

minnesota 01

Hi folks! — we have been busy digging up Minnesota with dams and swales. This is just the beginning of the “Permaculture Research Institute for Cold Climates”. We’re now on route to California, hopefully to do some more serious digging. :) Here’s how we started: Click thru for the entire photo series!

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Use of permaculture under salinity and drought conditions

salinity and drought 01

Jordan is an arid country with limited water resources. The available renewable fresh water resources dropped drastically to an annual per capita share of 155 m3 in recent years compared to 3400 m3/cap/year in 1946. It is considered also as one of the 10 poorest countries worldwide in water resources (Countries with less than 500 m3/capita/year are regarded as having “absolute scarcity”). In 2004, the total water use in Jordan […]

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Water in the Mexican landscape

water in mexico 01

Water gives life and can also destroy life. When we allow rain water to flow gently over the landscape taking the most time making the most contact with earth water is most fertile. But, when running uncontrolled it can cause erosion and death. No food can grow on land which is eroded and farming can only flourish on fertile soil. But only eco-systemic farming systems can create soil. At ITT […]

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