Category: Design

Assessing a Property Before Designing It

For the purpose of this article and the scope of which I’m looking to explore, we are going to begin by assuming a hypothetical property is already bought and paid for. In short, we won’t be going into all of the legal assessment ideas that might be involved when buying a property, though many of these thoughts could help in choosing one to buy. Instead, we’ll be looking at assessing […]

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The Need to Limit Energy Use

Energy: An Addiction or a Necessity? Energy is arguably the most defining aspect of industrial civilization. For the first couple hundred thousand years of human existence, our ability to affect the world around us was limited by the amount of energy the human body can produce. It is estimated that, on average, a fit laborer can produce about 75 Watts of energy over an eight hour period. To those of […]

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Diversity and Scale

Functional, productive diversity is an essential element in the design science of permaculture. Diversity is a very good thing and we absolutely want to be stacking as much useful diversity into our designs as we can. There are a few things to note, however, about the use of diversity in design. Firstly, as mentioned above, we want our diversity to be functional and productive. This means that we want a […]

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Lawns to Gardens

Lawn Island Farms, whose mission is to turn Suburban Lawns to Suburban Gardens, was founded by Jim and Rosette Adams in New York, United States. Born and raised in Uganda, Rosette was used to cooking meals straight from the garden, as opposed to purchased from a grocery store. To Rosette, learning that Americans didn’t grow their own food was shocking – and after taking a job at a local community […]

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Reducing Resource Use (Energy and Water) in Industrialised Farms

Resources such as energy and water are consumed directly and indirectly throughout the supply chain of products emancipating from industrialised farms. The indirect use of resources in this context refers to the resources that are used for operations carried out by a third party on behalf of an industrialised farm as well as those resources used to fuel activities or processes that are linked indirectly to them. The indirect use […]

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Cold Frames, How and Why

Before moving to the temperate climate, I’d assumed that winter was pretty much a wash for growing a decent crop. I knew soils were good and summers abundant, all of which led to lots of food storage for getting through winter. I even looked forward to the squashes and pumpkins, and I couldn’t wait for the berries and hard fruits. That all seemed doable, even exciting in a way, but […]

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5 “Grow-Your-Own” Mulch Plants for the Tropics

The tropical forest is constantly self-mulching. After a walk in the woods I usually return with bits of leaves and twigs caught in my hair. Lying in bed at night, my partner and I often hear branches and even whole trees tumbling toward the great soil food web below. This self-mulching is one important piece in the self-renewing fertility cycle of the tropical forest. And of all the functions of […]

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Wattle and Daub: A Quick, Easy, and Seismic Resistant Natural Building Option

Many people dream about building their own earthen home, whether that be from cob, adobe, rammed earth, or any other number of natural building techniques. The idea of using the earth beneath your feet to craft with your own hand a beautiful, natural structure that will shelter your family for years to come is indeed captivating. However, a good number of natural, earthen homes have been abandoned during the construction […]

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Going Off The Grid To Cost Others

Victorian power company AusNet Services is sharing evidence of parliamentary pushing to update the industry that is ever-changing and incredibly innovative. AusNet is one of the five distributing companies of electricity in Victoria and covers the outer northern and eastern suburbs, as well as the eastern portion of the state. AusNet says that a Federal Parliamentary committee is attempting to modernize Australia’s electricity grid, which is causing havoc amongst some […]

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The Basics of Growing Food in the Winter

Having spent so much time in tropical environs, I fretted over having to think about seasons, in terms of temperature, when my wife Emma and I decided to give North Carolina a try. Suddenly, we are having to think about frosts much more than wet and dry season, and a bit more encouraging than expected, we are finding a new abundance that accompanies cooler places. Going into our first autumn […]

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The Benefits of Creating Wetlands on Your Farm

Wetlands are some of the most important ecosystems on our planet harboring some of the highest rates of biodiversity in the world. They are fundamental for purifying the water we use and also for creating habitat for thousands of threatened species. Unfortunately, wetlands often get in the way of industrial development which has an unhealthy love affair with cement. For that reason, wetlands are often drained to make way for […]

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The Benefits of Using a Solar Heat Catch

When the weather starts getting warmer we can all start preparing for heating bills to jump up over the next couple months. Whether your heating system runs on electricity or natural gas, you can still expect it to get pretty high. If you heat your home with wood stove, then you may be saving money but you will have to spend near endless hours cutting enough wood for the winter. […]

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