Category: Design

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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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 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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Unwanted Chemical Pool Gets Permaculture Makeover

Six months into our pool to pond conversion and the problem really has become the solution. For some time, we had been flirting with the idea of doing something productive with our unwanted 12,000 gallon in-ground swimming pool. It was during my Permaculture design course with Geoff Lawton last year that I decided to commit to a full conversion to an aquaculture wetland. What seemed like my most daunting project […]

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How Dry Composting Toilets Work

Dry composting toilets are an efficient, cyclical way of dealing with human waste without using and/or fouling fresh water, which is in ever-dwindling supply on the planet. Using clean water to flush human excrement sends it into either a septic system, which eventually has to be pumped and the sludge moved to larger facilities where it will then be dealt with, or sewer mains, where it congregates into a horribly […]

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Greening the Desert with Permaculture

“I have never seen soil like this before” was the comment that Bill Mollison made during a visit to the ‘Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) in 2011. At the time, he was referring to the poor state of the soil in the small village of Jawasari, Jordan. An area of the world where the landscape has been damaged by not only extreme pollution and […]

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Permaculture chickens – 6 practical lessons from the evolution of chickens

One of the fundamentals of permaculture design is to observe, understand and work with natural ecosystems.  It sounds simple enough to apply permaculture principles to chicken keeping. Can’t we just observe wild chickens in their natural environment? The problem is, modern domesticated chickens don’t exist in the wild. Junglefowl are the immediate ancestor of chickens, however it’s not that simple. Modern chickens were domesticated more than 8,000 years ago and […]

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