Posted by & filed under Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, General, Roads, Storm Water, Waste Systems & Recycling.

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Recently whilst driving through Alberta, Canada, we stopped off on the side of the road to take a look at the state forest. A brooding mass of pine trees and a carpet of soft moss and mycelium. We filmed a video segment in the forest and were returning to the car when Geoff Lawton froze and looked down at the edge of the road.

He turned to me and said, “What do you see here?” I looked around at the grass next to the road and thought – nothing much.

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Posted by & filed under Community, Community Projects, General, Permaculture Projects.


Recent visitors to the farm taking a tour.

A community based social enterprise building momentum with young people and resettled refugees.

In lush hinterland regions, the permaculture you see is often back-to-the-land-ers, escaping the big smoke to build a mud-brick houses and self-sufficiency. In built-up areas it’s a community of active backyard gardeners, permablitzing their way through the burbs. In more conservative, rural areas you may find a quiet pocket of reformed big ag-ers overseeing islands of healthy soil and healthy chickens.

Permaculture in the shadow of the steelworks in Wollongong is different to in other regions because it’s become primarily a mechanism for social change. In the more disadvantaged suburbs of Wollongong, NSW, permaculture has found its place as a tool for community resilience.

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Posted by & filed under Community, General, Permaculture Projects, Plant Systems, Plants, Soil, Soil Rehabilitation.


Fadhili Terri, via

Farming is a truly rewarding activity for those who are in love with nature. Being close to the land, watching your crops and animals grow, living off the fruits of your labour , this seems to be the dream of more and more people out there as they are not ready to lose opportunities, running around and of the experiencing daily stress.

As any person knows every year, month, day, or even hour, there are always changes that occur to our surroundings that we are used to. This short commentary explains a way that might appropriately help the nomads/pastoralists in Tanzania to avoid cattle starvation, reducing soil erosion, increase their animal produce in good quantities and in good qualities by planting of Sunnhemp in their grazing fields and also help to return the environment to it normal condition.

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Posted by & filed under Events, Resources & News.

Luke O’Shea – Sing You Up

This song and video is dedicated to the brave, peaceful and passionate people putting their lives on hold protecting what we all love. Australia – I urge you to become aware of what is happening around us – at such an alarming rate. To my mining mates – this not an anti-mining statement – this is an anti greed statement! To the politicians allowing the large number of foreign based companies to buy up vast expanses of Australia and then saturate the market – devalues our precious resources and puts our established mines and job security at risk. Enough is enough!

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Posted by & filed under Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Education, General, Land, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Water, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.


Digging our well-surveyed swales.

I woke up this morning, put on my gum-boots and went out for a walk around our family farm in the rain. This in itself might not seem to be anything special to many folks, yet this was a 2”/5cm rainfall after several intense years of drought here in Southern California. I cannot express how exciting this morning has been for me as I was thinking of our entire thirsty state getting an average 2-6 inches/5-15cm of rain during the past 48 hours. I was also exuberant this morning as today marked our fifth-day after completing an epic and highly successful “Earthworks for Resiliency” course for an area of our farm that was transformed into using earth structures to harvest water for our market garden area.

During the course we installed three large swales (one of them integrated with 150 feet of hugelkultur growing bed), a Zuni Bowl diversion structure, some key drains with associated stone and urbanite “armor,” some one-rock dams/gabions, and we used a keyline plow in the interstitial spaces between the swales for our main crop gardens. We then mulched and cover-cropped all of the sites disturbed by our excavator, tractors, and shovels. It was amazing to see how much was learned and accomplished by the 18 students who participated.

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Posted by & filed under Education, General, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Society.

Being a product of the 1990s British state education system, I grew up with a very ‘conventional’ western mind-set towards science and medicine. I have always been naturally sceptic of medicine applied through plants, even while hearing the tales my grandmother had told me of Camomile lotion helping rashes, and ginger helping a bad stomach. But these were always remedies you purchased in bottles and packets, carefully tested and scrutinised by the infallible knowledge of the modern pharmaceutical scientist. Believing that plants could be used to help alleviate or cure medical problems? That was pure witchcraft, akin to dancing under a full moon on a Tuesday to help a sprained ankle, or rubbing crystals on your eyelids for the flu. To think that only a few decades later, I was putting aside the advice of registered doctors, and getting my medicine from my modest balcony garden.

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Posted by & filed under Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, General, Land, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales.

5 Tufted Romans, 6 American Buffs and one mixed breed when they were about a week old.

It all started with the geese. That’s not to say that they were fault, just that their habits started me on a new line of thinking.

The geese were a gift to myself for my birthday one year. I don’t usually do that but I wanted them and it made a good excuse. Since the hatchery had a minimum of ten goslings, and they sent two extras, I ended up with about seven more than I needed. The trouble was that they were so cute and engaging, that I didn’t want to part with any. That was one of my first mistakes.

Did you know that generally speaking, domestic geese reach their full height within eight weeks of hatching? I did not know that at the time and found it a completely amazing feed conversion rate. What’s even more amazing is that they can do it on good pasture alone.

To say that geese love grass is an understatement. Geese LOVE grass. They love it to the extent that they will pull the roots from the ground to get enough. Obviously this would not be a problem with adequate pasturage for twelve geese. This was yet another reason why we should have culled more than half of our flock early on.

Until that first goose summer, our back hill was well covered by a thick layer of Bermuda grass. I used to cut and dry it like hay to bed the hens and ducks over the winter. The grass kept up until the geese were full-sized. Then it became a losing battle.

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Posted by & filed under Animals, Compost, Design, Energy Systems, Irrigation, Land, Permaculture Projects, Plants, Storm Water, Swales, Water, Working Animals.

Trailer Only – See the full length video here

Every now and then you come across climate that is not so user friendly. It’s in the High, Dry and Cold and Windy desert environment of Nevada’s high country near Reno. A place with many challenges. Sagebrush and horse trails dot the landscape. It is cowboy country.

So what on earth is a Permaculture teacher doing in such a windswept environment?

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Posted by & filed under Community, Economics, Education, General, Why Permaculture?.


Author: Jonathon Engels

Like many, my introduction to permaculture came in the form of food production. It changed the way I viewed farming, shifting my practice from being one of waging war with nature—constantly tilling, weeding and wasting—to one that teamed up with the plants, soil and even buildings around me. I was already an advocate for organic practices, but this was something altogether different.

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Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil, Soil Biology, Working Animals.

Photos © Ingrid Pullen

Worms are an essential part of a permanent agricultural system. At Zaytuna Farm worm farming has been developed into a very productive system. The feed stock we use is the contents of composting toilets and animal manures. The worm farm product is included in the potting mix for the plants grown in the plant nursery of the farm, producing very healthy and productive plants.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community, Community Projects, Development & Property Trusts, Food & Food Support Systems, Food Forests, Permaculture Projects, Plant Systems, Plants, Village Development.


Volunteers and community members on site during the training.

“To know is power” Let us then use our brains with every good intent that at the end we come with tired eyes and give to nature more than what she lent”. (Cheire)

I was motivated to learn Permaculture after a one week training on Natural medicines which changed my eating habits. When I learned that permaculture has non rigid guidelines that can meet different needs at different times to achieve a green planet. I got the explanation that permaculture uses simple practical solutions which are achievable by ordinary people. Energy efficiency, organic growing, community finances; making do with the resources one has. Thus permaculture reduces the need to earn.

My initial permaculture experiences led to my involvement in a project to develop a food forest at Umoja Orphanage in Diani Kenya after training in April 2014.

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Animal Housing, Building, Energy Systems, General, Permaculture Projects.

This will all make a lot more sense if you’ve read part 1 of this article. But anyway, to cut a long story short, it is about designing a PC demo site and training centre in a little market town called Bonosha, in the south Ethiopian ethnic zone of Hadiya. This is to be the nerve centre of a network of solar-powered community-serving water, WASH and Permaculture projects spanning the surrounding countryside of Shashogo Woreda, like a spiders-web of eco-powered basic living amenities that neither the government nor the private sector have been able to provide for the rural population. I presented a brief history of the organisation, this project and its place in that history in Part 1, as well as the site survey information for the project site. Now we will go over the site design.

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