Posted by & filed under Building, Community, Design, General.

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Photos Courtesy of Sam Kenworthy

The use of living fences in the Central American region is prolific. Although installation techniques and application style of living fences varies across borders and climates, in Costa Rica the fences generally serve to delineate property and keep livestock within a boundary. Aside from their obvious uses, living fences generate far more benefits, both ecological and economic, than are typically noticed at first glance. Through careful selection of species and well planned maintenance, living fences can assist in boosting crop yields, generating animal forage, increasing soil fertility, producing food, stabilizing slopes and establishing microclimates, among myriad other benefits. This article seeks to focus on the methods used at a specific Costa Rican site, CIRENAS (Centro de Investigaciones de Recursos Naturales y Sociales), to establish living fences.

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Posted by & filed under General.

When it comes to tomatoes, it is clear that people love them. Tomatoes are the fourth-most-consumed fresh vegetable, and the average American actually consumes nearly 100 pounds of tomatoes per year. Yet this is not a large amount compared with Egypt and Greece, where eating more than 200 pounds per year is average. However, the United States is the second-largest global tomato grower, producing more than $2.5 billion worth annually.

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Images courtesy of www.fix.com

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

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There is a reason why you see a chicken above. Keep reading ;)

The cross-roads

There is no doubt in the mind of scientists and environmentalists that the excessive exploitation of all kinds of resources in the past centuries have created much damage to the biosphere we live in. The Stockholm Resilience Centre has recently updated their Planetary Boundaries model

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

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5 acre sustainable/regenerative farm design for family of 7

Over the last few years I have spent a good amount of time working on a variety of different permaculture designs and consultations in different parts of the US and abroad. Even though some techniques and strategies are similar, which mostly remain the same (chicken tractoring, cattle grazing, swales, contour plowing, sheet mulched gardens, water storage etc…), every consultation has presented their own set of challenges and restrictions that have produced a unique set of experiences for each one.

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Posted by & filed under Design, General, Why Permaculture?.

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Within every system there is the normal way of doing things and then there is your way. Finding work, hobby, career or passion, it’s important to, yes, learn the system, but then express it in your own unique way, leveraging your unique gifts, talents, insights and experiences.

I found a great permaculture podcast site (thepermaculturepodcast.com) and listened to an Australian, Dan French, being interviewed by a guy from Pennsylvania about “Permaculture as a Career.” After describing some of the challenges of starting a permaculture design business, they eventually talked about the importance of finding one’s niche within a system as diverse as permaculture.

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Posted by & filed under Community, Conferences, Events, Resources & News, General.

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Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living and land use that was conceived in Tasmania 40 years ago by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Permaculture One published in 1978 to world wide acclaim, coincided with an explosion of interest in organic gardening & farming, renewable energy, and other aspects of positive environmentalism that many people think have just happened in the last few years.

Over the decades permaculture teachers, designers and activists have been riding these peaks and troughs of mainstream interest. Ironically, media and public interest in permaculture has been highest when there is uncertainty and contraction in the economy. In the lucky (and richest) country in the world where our food, water, power and governance structures continue to function permaculture has often just seen as a cool form of lifestyle gardening or alternatively some weird counterculture ideology.

But Permaculture may also be Australia’s greatest intellectual export influencing positive environmental and social change all over the world including establishing deep roots in poorer countries where the mainstream economy has failed to provide for people’s basic needs. In previously rich countries such as Spain and Greece permaculture strategies for self and community reliance are exploding as the mainstream economy continues to decay under a burden of debt.

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Posted by & filed under Community, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Design, Education Centres, General, Why Permaculture?.

An overview of what we do during our Permaculture Design Certificate course here at PRI “Maungaraeeda”, Sunshine Coast.

On the 26th of January we started another Permaculture Design Certificate course here at the Permaculture Research Institute Sunshine Coast. This article is to give you more of an idea how our PDC is run and what we do.

We ask all students to arrive the afternoon before the start of the PDC course, so they can set up their campsite and settle in. Students are then invited to eat dinner with us that night. We go through some logistics on the night, and people can have a chance to get to know each other and us a bit. The group is divided into smaller groups and they are shown the list of jobs that need to be done every day. This means that one group for example is on dishes for breakfast and lunch, another group needs to sweep the common areas and light the fire to heat the water for showers etc. Students enjoy being part of the routines of the property and they find the jobs a bonding experience, which usually breaks the ice very quickly.

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Volunteers and students at breakfast

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Posted by & filed under Biological Cleaning, Community, Community Projects, Compost, Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Food Forests, General, Irrigation, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Permaculture Projects, Plant Systems, Plants, Soil Biology, Terraces, Trees, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water.

Re-Greening a Mountain video trailer. See the full version on Geofflawton.com

When Geoff Lawton says this is the best Permaculture demonstration site on the planet, then you have to stop and listen.

Where is it exactly?” I asked, as I’ve never heard of this place. I didn’t know the Chinese were even into permaculture.

Kadoorie Farm” he said and he insisted we go there and film. “It’s in Hong Kong on a massive mountain. The whole place has been redeveloped. You gotta see it”.

Geoff was teaching there four years ago and was blown away by what they managed to achieve. He described it as a “Permaculture Disneyland” that was very neatly manicured. It had been completely re-vegetated into a food forest with numerous water falls, ponds, rare turtles, terraced gardens on steep slopes, a compost and biochar system, a waste-water treatment plant and wetlands and so much more. It is an amazing site that was built so far ahead of its time with an emphasis on teaching local people.

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Posted by & filed under Food & Food Support Systems, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Plants, Trees.

500 days in the growth of a food forest 2015 Jan update Permaculture Organic

The idea started from sheer curiosity. I had always wondered, how fast does the food forest grow? I really had no idea.

What better way to satisfy my curiosity than start taking daily photographs and then morphing those many photographic stills into a short video?

Thus the project was born and 500 days has now passed and the project continues.

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Posted by & filed under Community, Community Projects, Design, Development & Property Trusts, Permaculture Projects.

BIG-permaculture-project

For the right person or family, this is an amazing opportunity to own land in exchange for sweat equity while being on the front lines of the food revolution. Or just come out, bring your portable infrastructure, and do your thing for a season or two. It definitely won’t be for most, but if regenerative agriculture is your passion, you’re hardy and independent, you have a proven ability to pick something up and run with it, and you want to live on a beautiful piece of land in the heart of New Mexico, please read on…

I just bought 141 acres of grazing land in central NM, and will be turning it into a working permaculture farm, holistically managed ranch, and education center. Right now I am looking for a person or several to share the land with and help watch over livestock when I’m not there, as I still have to work my day job for the next year or two while I put in infrastructure and get some things established.

I am looking for another regenerative agriculture nut or three to live out there with me, and help develop the site and various agricultural enterprises off the land. In exchange you will have the opportunity to either run whatever agricultural business off the land you’d like, and/or have the opportunity to own part of the property outright in exchange for sweat equity if we become long term collaborators. I am NOT looking for a WWOOFer, intern, or employee. I don’t want to babysit. I’m looking for collaborators. People who can see opportunity, decide on a course of action, and pull themselves up by their boot straps to make things happen.

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Posted by & filed under Community, Design, Earthworks & Earth Resources, Education Centres, Food & Food Support Systems, General, People Systems, Permaculture Projects, Plants, Soil, Water.

6 Months at Ridgedale Permaculture, Sweden

Reflecting back on our first season on the ground establishing Agroforestry, Holistic Planned Grazing, Kitchen Gardens and various other systems from scratch. It has been an amazing ride, so many incredible people from around the world made this possible; good team, clear design & a lot of well coordinated hard work.

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6 months transforming a run down old Swedish farm into a thriving Permaculture hub

It is impossible to capture the incredibly diverse & rich experiences that have taken place here this year. It has been such a pleasure to share this unique time and learning opportunity with so many bright and dedicated folks committed to being of benefit through their actions, enterprises and work. Part of our vision is to be able to offer people experiences that can really empower the design approach and practical skills we see as necessary for farming, managing projects, etc. We ran three PDC trainings and two 10 Week Internships this season, rather intense by any standards, but laden with such rich learning possibilities as we designed & installed systems from scratch.

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