Category: Swales

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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Swale and Garden Improvements

by PRI Sunshine Coast A swale dry rock wall built by WWOOFers and revamping some garden beds. To further improve our kitchen garden swales, we have rock-walled a number of them. This stops erosion of the garden beds, since soil falls or is washed down into the swales. It also creates a beautiful frog and lizard habitat, and levels the garden bed, instead of having it on a slope. By […]

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John D. Liu’s Green Gold Documentary – How the West (and East, North and South!) Could Be Won

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As most of our readers will know, John D. Liu caught a vision years ago, and, thankfully, he ran with it. We’ve shared John’s excellent media work before (see here and here), and today have the pleasure of doing so again…. This new video, Green Gold, was first aired last month on Dutch TV, and will be shared at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (to a captive […]

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Swales: The Permaculture Element That Really “Holds Water”

by Rob Avis Michelle, Rowen and I were driving home from a vacation in the mountains when we passed by a swale on a farmer’s field in the middle of Alberta cattle country. Naturally, it piqued my curiosity and I had to stop the car to investigate. It was such a great example of how this simple technique can catch and store water on a large scale, we decided to […]

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Permaculture in Damaged Lands: Degradation and Restoration in New Mexico

A certain coal-strewn road in Madrid, New Mexico — the remnants of a now defunct railway. Alternately barren and spectacular, the southwest United States has piqued the imagination of Americans and people across the world for generations. The site of gold rushes, Native American homelands, and a culture of lawlessness that has yet to fade completely, much of the land was degraded and destroyed long before Hollywood discovered how to […]

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Swale Fail?

Editor’s Note: It’d be great if more people would share their successes and failures in similar fashion as Greg has below. The reason I say this is three-fold — 1) you get valuable feedback from readers on how to overcome your challenges, 2) readers can learn from your mistakes and thus hopefully avoid them, and 3) people new to permaculture will have a decent dose of reality as they start […]

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ABC Rural Talks to Matt Kilby About Farm Restoration Through Installing Trees and Swales (Podcast)

Consultant Matt Kilby stands before one of the swales he has put in at Gippsland farm, Nambrok. Photographer: Kath Sullivan Matt Kilby, the ‘man of a thousand trees‘, shares thoughts with ABC Rural on his work (with Nick Huggins alongside) over the last 18 months at Nambrock, a property in Gippsland, southern Victoria, Australia. "The first thing we did was put in a swale. A swale is a ditch which […]

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Greening the Desert Video – now also with French Subtitles

Many thanks to Jeremy, Christina, Erik, Lamia and Kristen for all the work that went into creating the French translation subtitle file for both Parts I & II of the Greening the Desert video below. As a result, I’ve been able to upload a version suitable for your French-speaking friends and family, should you have some. After clicking play, click on the ‘CC’ button at bottom of the video to […]

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Jordan Valley Permaculture Project Update: Post IPC Happenings

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 […]

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Small Update on the Recent Small Dam and Fish Pond Installation (Video)

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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 […]

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Small Dam/Fish Pond Installation – October 2011 Earthworks Course with Geoff Lawton

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 […]

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Review of Geoff Lawton’s Food Forest DVD, by Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe


Click play to hear the talk! Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe ( 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 […]

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