SOIL Wins Land for Life Award for Composting Toilet Aid Work in Haiti

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Compost, Health & Disease, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation.

In June of this year, SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) won the new UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) ‘Land for Life Award‘ and received $40,000 to support their excellent practical educational work in biologically based sanitation — aka: composting toilets. Watch the video to hear our good friend John D. Liu of the… Read more »

Fascine, Revetments, and Wattle Hurdle

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Earth Banks, Gabions, Land, Material, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Swales, Terraces.

by Daniel Halsey This year I have been in Haiti after a downgraded hurricane, and then in New Jersey a week after Sandy. While in New Jersey two tornadoes passed by my old house. What do they have in common? In each case water was being limited in its flow by developement or the removal… Read more »

My Experience of Permaculture Aid Work in Ethiopia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting.

I’m not sure it’s possible, looking back now, to say exactly what I was expecting when I hopped on that plane and flew to Ethiopia for an internship at Strawberry Fields, but one thing I am sure of is that it’s been one of the most transformative, edifying experiences I’ve had in my life.

Rwanda – Emerging in a Changing Climate (video)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Filmmaker and environmentalist, John D. Liu from the Environmental Education Media Project team, takes us to Rwanda again (last time was here), showing us how the country is seeking to leapfrog the disastrous ‘development‘ route most of the countries of the North have gone down, to instead head more directly towards sustainability. Given the horrors… Read more »

Finding Sustainability in Ecosystem Restoration

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had… Read more »

Planting Days Are Here! (Al Baydha, Saudi Arabia)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

by Neal Spackman This week the project started planting the swales with 1000 very hardy desert trees. The team is working in shifts of laying drip line, digging holes, manuring and mulching swales, putting in compost, planting, mulching again, and then adjusting the drip emitter.

Permagardens In Practice: Resilience in Action (Uganda, Africa)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Land, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Swales, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

PDCs are tricky. For two weeks we tumble into this community of unfamiliarly familiar, curious strangers. The constant whirlwind of habits, obligations, and distractions that composes our lives momentarily dissipates and we are thrust into this world where our main responsibility is to be open-minded, observe, think, learn, and connect. Yet, at the end of… Read more »

Update on Permaculture Implementation and Design Development at Hafto Site, Hadiya Zone, Ethiopia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Material, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Seeds, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation.

Editor’s Note: Regular readers will have appreciated Alex McCausland’s regular and comprehensive reports from precariously positioned Ethiopia, and the great work he and his team have been doing on the ground. If you want to learn practical permaculture and gain real-world permaculture aid work experience in a location rich in agricultural history, then please consider… Read more »

A Computer Geek Starts a Garden, Part I – Background, Design and Initial Implementation

Posted by & filed under Compost, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Peak Oil, Plant Systems, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

The yard in winter, before work begins… A great many people today are living in fear. The future looks uncertain, but bleak. Many cannot see a future at all. The post-WWII baby boomer generation, with their short-lived cheap energy era, have been largely calling the shots, shaping the world we have today. After the miseries… Read more »

Food Forests, Part 5: Water – Friend and Foe

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Swales, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

I always thought that rain was a nurturing and gentle aspect of nature. You know how it is, you get a bit of rain and it helps all of the plants to grow, provides water for us and the animals and generally stops the place from drying out. That was my thinking back in an… Read more »