Many and Varied Reasons for Putting Sweet Potatoes in Your Garden

Courtesy of Jnzl's Public Domain Photos

Most of us, or at least those of us would think about such things, consider sweet potatoes to be hot weather crop. After all, they do come from tropical roots (Yes, that is gardening word play), and they aren’t the biggest fans of cold weather. But, this isn’t to say that they can’t be grown elsewhere and add another stomach-stuffing staple to the mix. I’ll never understand why sweet potatoes […]

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How to Heat and Cool Your Home Without Electricity

Earthship under construction

Electricity carried through an immense web of copper eventually makes its way into our homes, providing the endless supply we need for temperature control. It’s expensive, and in some places the air conditioning can easily account for half the electricity bill. Paying this upkeep could even make the difference between life and death in extreme climates. Thankfully, there are other options out there. Using alternative building techniques, houses can be designed that passively heat and cool themselves all year long – without electricity!

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Starting a Business – Some Thoughts


One of the things I notice is that the same challenges come round again and again. Why does this matter in the world of Permaculture? Well, for a number of different reasons. If you accept the essential premises on which Permaculture is built you will appreciate that followers of the discipline agree to take as much responsibility for the welfare of themselves and their families as they can. So self-employment becomes an obvious choice.

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Property purchase guide: what to look for when buying land?


Finding the perfect piece of land can be rather expensive; nonetheless, once you have it, you’re setting a solid foundation for your future success.

I would say that all land has potential, but your final choice depends on your personal situation and your resources. Although I am here suggesting a specific hierarchy of what is important to look for when on your hunt, your situation may differ, that’s why we should always start with goals in mind.

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Setting up Demonstration Sites at the UK Permaculture Convergence


This September I will be presenting at the Permaculture Convergence in the UK. I will be giving a series of workshops from my work around the world including a presentation on setting up Permaculture demonstration sites. It will be modelled on our experience at Zaytuna Farm and the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), Australia over the last 16-years, the reasons that we chose this land and how we encourage other people to look at land specifically in a location as in urban, rural and broad landscape.

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Permaculture Practices of the Incas

bio-intensive at pumapungo - Copy

In the quest for El Dorado the Conquerors may have overlooked the truly valuable resource forged by the Incan Empire: soil fertility. According to a half-Incan chronicler of the period: In the time of the Incas that cultivated the area was a garden of gold and silver, as existed in the royal houses of Kings, where there were many herbs and flowers of diverse types, lesser plants, large trees, animals […]

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Aquaponics: A Sustainable Farming Method

Leaf lettuce plantation

Aquaponics is a farming method that utilizes waste from the fish to provide nutrients to crops in a hydroponic environment. To expound on this, it’s merely the growing of fish and crops in one integrated system. This technique can be traced as way back in the traditional Chinese farming system that has recently been classified as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems by FAO. This farming method use aquaculture and […]

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Residencies available at the Wurruk’an Ecovillage and Permaculture Farm (Victoria)

Residencies available at the Wurruk’an Ecovillage and Permaculture Farm (Victoria) feat

Wurruk’an is a small community of people living in West Gippsland, Victoria. For the last few years we have been trying to push the boundaries of environmental practice by exploring what it means to live in a deeply sustainable way. So far the community has built many demonstration “tiny houses” using a combination of reclaimed materials, cob, “Earthship style” rammed earth and super-adobe. As well as constructing these small buildings, […]

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John D. Liu Interview: “It is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems.”

World Permaculture Association Interviews John D. Lui

John D. Liu participated in the Permaculture Design Certificate Course conducted last May/June by the World Permaculture Association ( in Pisa (Tuscany, Italy) with Rhamis Kent as the lead teacher. This event was convened in order to implement & initiate the World Permaculture Association mission: to mobilize and inspire people to achieve food security by improving human management of natural living systems through the use and application of permaculture principles. […]

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Top 10 Herbs and their Health Benefits


Herbs and spices is at the foreground of our history. These have been integrated into our rich culture and tradition for many centuries. There are lots of herbs and spices that contain powerful plant compounds that can heal, ease pain, prevent various diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and even fight off cancer, heart disease and other common and critical illnesses.

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A Guide to Simple Worm Farming Techniques

Happy Tiger Worms (Courtesy of Timothy Musson)

Even novice gardeners are aware of worms as a driving force in the garden, and this is especially so for those no-till beds so popular in permaculture plots. For most of us, it’s no great revelation that soil thick with worms is also likely to be thick with plant growth. The reasons are many, but in the most basic terms, earthworms are great for aerating soils and transforming organic material […]

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Charcoal: The Cause of Rich Fertile Soils in Liberia and Ghana

New life concept

A new study has found an interesting century old agriculture technique that has been in use across several villages in West Africa that leads to addition of nutrients into deprived rainforest soil making this soil become fertile fields that can be used for farming. This study states that this little known technique could be a game change in the mitigation of climate change and it can lead to a revolution […]

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