Earthship Huts – Low Hanging Fruit in the Fight Against Poverty

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Building, Energy Systems, Irrigation, Potable Water, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Beavers and wasps can build their own homes… — Michael Reynolds History Modern Earthships are shelters built to sustain their occupants by providing energy, water, and waste management through the use of passive systems. They have been designed to meet the rigorous criteria that are found in the building codes of so many western governments…. Read more »

Permaculture in Damaged Lands: Degradation and Restoration in New Mexico

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, People Systems, Processing & Food Preservation, Regional Water Cycle, Society, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Swales, Village Development, Waste Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

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… Read more »

Swale Fail?

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Swales, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

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… Read more »

Who Needs Grass?

Posted by & filed under Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Soil Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

The Kniskerns’ yard is a sustainable smorgasbord Over a period of less than 10 years, James and Mary Kniskern transformed their sod-based lawn into a vibrant, blooming habitat that not only reduces their impact on the land but also rewards them with a bounty of edible plants as well as honey-producing bees. The fifth of… Read more »

Permaculture at The Farm

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Former stockbroker Brian Bankston now calls himself the “Keyline Cowboy” after a carbon farming course at The Farm’s Ecovillage Training Center transformed his life. He quit his job, bought a keyline plow and compost tea brewer, and moved to The Farm. Climate Prophylaxis For the past 10 years or so, the land management decisions of… Read more »

Hugelkultur: Composting Whole Trees With Ease

Posted by & filed under Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

What is it? Hugelkultur is a composting method that uses large pieces of rotting wood as the centerpiece for long term humus building decomposition. The decomposition process takes place below the ground, while at the same time allowing you to cultivate the raised, or sunken, hugelkultur bed. This allows the plants to take advantage of… Read more »

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

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

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… Read more »

Greening the Desert Video – now also with French Subtitles

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Fungi, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Soil Salination, Swales, Urban Projects, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

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… Read more »

Urine: Closing the NPK Loop

Posted by & filed under Soil Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation.

The Stockholm Environment Institute conducted experiments and collected data that shows the usefulness of a resource every one of us has access to — urine. When utilized as a fertilizer, urine can provide an alternative to chemical fertilizers. The impacts ripple far beyond the nutrient value of the urine; in developing regions, diverting a urine… Read more »

The Dehydration and Rehydration of the Australian Landscape

Posted by & filed under Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape. If you were one of the early… Read more »

Jordan Valley Permaculture Project Update: Post IPC Happenings

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Rehabilitation, Soil Salination, Storm Water, Swales, Terraces, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

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… Read more »

Letters from Jordan: ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site Contrasts Against Jordan Insanities

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Staring into the eyes of the future of Jordan, one wonders how things could be…. All Photographs © Craig Mackintosh Al Jazeera’s very recent feature of the new ‘Greening the Desert’ site Introduction Why did the photojournalist cross the road? It sounds like the beginning of a joke, and, in a way, it was. I… Read more »