Category: Design

Winter Arrives, Planting Garlic, Bird Life and a New Forest Garden – The Polyculture Project

The winter has arrived, two days of sub zero temperatures and some strong wind and there is not a leaf left to vouch for the growing season. It’s just a short cold spell we are having here and it’s expected to be mild until the new year, so we’ll use the last of the good weather to make some final planting in the gardens and then go into hibernation until […]

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THREE FREE TOOLS THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE PERMACULTURE LAND DESIGN

I’ve been teaching permaculture for the past decade, as I feel it’s one of the best ways to deal with the liabilities we’ve incurred collectively as a species. These problems include water shortages, floods, climate shifts, pollution, food insecurity, ocean dead zones, acidification – the list goes on and on. The following article is not about those liabilities, but rather their root cause. While it might be an oversimplification to […]

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Humanure part 2: Dealing with it

In part 1(1) of this article I explored a little into why humanure is beneficial to the planet, including the need to replenish our aquifers and for people to have access to safe drinking water, the high phosphorous content of human poo compared to the finite and dwindling supply of phosphate rock as an agricultural product, and the reconnection of the ‘human nutrient cycle’ (2). In this part I will […]

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Multi-Functional Living: Wood Heat

This year Emma and I are taking something we did last year and making it more functional: We are heating with wood, full-time. Previously, we often had fires at night, giving the heating system a break and enjoying the atmosphere, but it was noncommittal. Some nights we didn’t bother. We used the wood-burning cook stove even less than that, though we did love the event it made of a meal, […]

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My top 10 books that inspired our project

At the beginning of 2017 Permanent Publications sent us an email expressing an interest to publish a book on our polyculture trials and experiences. I’d been thinking about writing this book for some time and responded with gleeful enthusiasm.  I’m happy to announce that we have signed the publishing agreement and have already started to work on the book.  The working title of the book is Polycultures –  Designing and Creating Polyculture Gardens, […]

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The Results – A Trial Looking at 5 Ways to Prepare Beds for Tree and Shrub Planting – Which one is the best?

Last year we started a trial to discover the best ways to prepare the ground for tree and shrub planting. We trialed five different methods and recorded the performance of each method looking at how long they took to implement and manage, how much they cost and how effective they are. I’ll start the post with why we prepare our ground in advance of planting then we will look at the […]

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Repurposing Wood

Not so long ago, my wife Emma and I bought our property, a place for which we’d been looking for nearly four years. And, in doing so, the enormity of what we were about to undertake sunk in. I’d been gathering up wood in anticipation of us needing to build a home, but the pace had been leisurely and the collected resources a bit aimless in there (re)purpose. Amazingly, the […]

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Excerpt from “De-Growth in the Suburbs, A Radical Urban Imaginary. “

Over the next 4 weeks we will be sharing with you excerpt from Samuel Alexander and Brendan Gleeson’s new book, “Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary”. The chapter we will be publishing over the next 4 weeks (Reimagining the Suburbs Beyond Growth) is the first chapter in the book. Dr Samuel Alexander,  is the co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of […]

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Backyard chickens, and the interconnectedness of all things. Part 3

This article is Part 3 of a Series that is mostly about chickens. It’s not a how-to-care-for-chickens article, but a how-to-appreciate-the-specialness-of-chickens article. If you are interested only in chickens and would like to read about the funny things one of our roosters gets up to, this article will be fine to read by itself. But if you missed the earlier articles in the series, and you’re interested in what backyard […]

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Help us SEED a Climate Resilient Cape Town

We in The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia are supporting this project and would like you to consider supporting the great work Seeding Futures are doing in Cape Town. They started a fund raising campaign hoping to expand their outreach and influence more lives through their mentoring and training programs.    Seeding Futures unlocks the immense potential of our unemployed youth to contribute to the resilience economy and enhance city-wide […]

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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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