5 ha Polyculture Farm Design – Suhi Dol Revisited

Paul Alfrey from Balkan Ecology Project shares with us his observations and thoughts in regards to a visit he made to a farm he designed and how it slowly developed into a polyculture of fruit trees, aquaculture and vegetable gardens.  Last week Dylan and I set off on a road trip to discover the flora and fauna of the North East of Bulgaria. Our first stop was to Catherine Zanev ‘s farm […]

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How to Green the Desert: Europe’s Heatwave and some Holistic Suggestions

In the Northern Hemisphere, the balance of light is turning ever more towards darkness as we approach the Autumn Equinox. This is following a summer which in many places was unusually hot and dry(1, 2). This is perhaps not unexpected; climate change scientists have been predicting extreme temperature spikes for a number of years(3). However, it seems that a lot of farmers were nevertheless unprepared and many crops have been lost(2). […]

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A Deeper Look Into Phytodepuration

This summer Algae Bloom has been a buzz word on the news and all of our Facebook newsfeed. How can we fight the algae blooms and the dead zones in our water bodies? DEAD ZONES The Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, Lake Superior, rivers, and ponds that surround us are all getting invaded with red tides, blue-green algae, and cyanobacteria. They are all harmful toxic algae blooms! Why are algae […]

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WHAT MIGHT BUILDINGS, SETTLEMENTS AND EVEN REGIONS LOOK LIKE THROUGH THE LENS OF PERMACULTURE DESIGN? PART 2

This is part 2 of 2 of a transcript of a talk given by Paul Jennings to the recent SBUK Big Straw Bale Gathering. Paul has built his straw-bale family home on a ‘One-Planet Development’ smallholding in Wales (costing £12,000). You can read part 1 in this link. Permaculture principles and buildings: Site design improves building function. Working from patterns of landscape design and land use, we work to details, like […]

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The Reflective Art of Garbage Collection and Deflection

The way we handle trash nowadays allows us to put it on the curb or in the dumpster and forget about it. We pile up however much rubbish we produce then someone comes to take it away. If we start taking responsibility, composting and reusing and recycling, that will help. The biggest help would be reducing the amount of waste we create, particularly plastics and chemicals, which don’t so readily […]

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What might buildings, settlements and even regions look like through the lens of Permaculture design? Part 1

This is part 1 of 2 of a transcript of a talk given by Paul Jennings to the recent SBUK Big Straw Bale Gathering. Paul has built his straw-bale family home on a ‘One-Planet Development’ smallholding in Wales (costing £12,000). Introduction My partner and I built our first straw bale house in 2000, a very low spec Nebraska-style cabin on shipping pallets, with reclaimed windows, vigas cut on the site for […]

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The Link Between Minimalism & Permaculture

There is an inherent link between permaculture and minimalism, so it’s no wonder why people are finding ways to combine the two ways of living into one super-philosophy. Both minimalism and permaculture hinge on utilizing highly efficient systems to make room for the important things in life: interconnectedness, abundance, and sustainability. Let’s take a closer look at the link between the two ideas: People Care Permaculture puts great importance on […]

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Chores by Design

When the concept of sustainability moves past buying things labeled “green” into personal action, the cold hard truth is that our lifestyles need to change as much as the products we buy. Part of living sustainably is adjusting how we do things so that we are less consumptive and reliant on unsustainable systems. Performing everyday tasks — cleaning the floor, washing the dishes, drying clothes, opening a can, making coffee […]

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What do lizards, procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with your brain? Part 5

This is Part 5 in a series about using Permaculture principles to train your “lizard-brain.”[i] In Parts 1 and 2 we met the lizard in your brain, found out what drives it, and learned how it influences your behavior. In Parts 3 and 4 we explored some ways to re-cast the lizard brains role in your life from foe to friend, using Permaculture principles. In this, the 5thand final part, […]

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The Most Ethical Renewable Energy Systems

The main thing in renewable energy systems is the embodied energy: the energy over the lifetime of the product versus the energy of manufacturing it. Lithium batteries are used a lot because they are lightweight, but they don’t last. Lead-acid batteries, like car batteries, are also short-lived. An old technology, the nickel-iron battery, lasts a long time. Lithium batteries are great when there might be a space or weight issue, […]

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What do lizards, procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with your brain? Part 4

This is Part 4 in a Series about using Permaculture design principles to train your “lizard-brain” – a name I’ve used to refer to the oldest regions of your brain whose function is to keep you safe and comfortable. In Parts 1 and 2 of this Series we met the lizard in your brain, found out how it’s responsible for behaviors like procrastination and avoidance, and began to explore the […]

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Water Harvesting Earthworks “Design To Reality” . Part 2

How to determine a starting point for surveying: Dams For me the starting point to survey is often a dam for high water storage. Dams are a major investment and it’s a must to have specific characteristics to construct the dam particular to that site. What I look for is the shortest dam wall possible to hold the most amount of water while staying as high as possible. These major […]

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