Category: Design

Celebrate International Permaculture Day

International Permaculture Day, held on the first Sunday in May, is an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the practice of permaculture all around the world. This year, the 8th annual celebration will be a little different – this will be the first year this day is recognized without one of permaculture’s founders, Bill Mollison, who passed away in September 2016. In honor of Mollison’s lifelong contributions to the permaculture movement, […]

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A Time-Sequencing Plan for Straw Bale Gardens

Something has never sat quite right with me about straw bale gardens in a place where soil is available. Like hydroponics, I can envision it for places that lack soil and ground space: rooftops, driveways, parking lots, and the like. Then, I’m not sure if it’s the purist in me, but the generally movement towards focusing on soil repair and permanence (my interpretation of what permaculture ideally does) rings much […]

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The Banana “Circle of Life”: Compost and Healthy Food in Perfect Harmony

banana

A banana circle is a classic permaculture technique. That’s because it’s a perfect partnership between edible plants and waste. It’s a way for you to compost food scraps and wastewater like you would in a regular compost pile while simultaneously creating an ideal growing environment for bananas and other plants. To plant a banana circle in your garden, simply dig a circular pit, about two meters wide and one meter […]

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Why Regenerative-Based Businesses Struggle And 3 Principles That Will Change your Business

Why Regenerative-Based Businesses Struggle And 3 Principles That Will Change your Business

Over the years, Javan Bernakevitch and I have taught a lot of Permaculture Design Courses (~60 combined) and have encouraged many of our students to start businesses that fix the planet, the food system, and their communities. After watching and hearing from a lot of these businesses, we’ve heard a lot of similar stories and noticed a few patterns both in successful businesses and struggling ones. We started to see […]

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How To Chop And Drop More Effectively

The practice of chop and drop mulching has long been a core technique utilized by permaculturists around the world, but there is more to this concept than meets the eye. Before you begin incorporating this practice into your own permaculture design, there are some factors you need to consider. In theory, chop and drop mulching is pretty straightforward – you find a tree or a plant that can be used […]

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Permaculture – Bringing Together The Layers And The Zones

On the outer fringes of your landscape, there may be areas of wilderness. How are we to tend to these wild patches in a way that fosters increase in edibles in zones 4 and 5? And how do we maximize our food production in our first three zones? Using our permaculture principles, we can increase the bounty of wild plants already on the land and introduce native species to the […]

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Pollution-Eating Robots Could Help Protect the Planet

Researchers at the University of Bristol may have engineered a new way to clean up our planet’s waterways – with a swimming machine called “Row-bot,” which digests pollution and turns it into electricity for fuel. “Sometimes, tankers flush their oil tanks into the sea, so oil is released into the sea that way,” said roboticist Jonathan Rossiter, host of a TED Talk that discussed the potential these robots may have. […]

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Goatscaping

Herd of goats on mountan meadow

While vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts last summer, our family decided to go on a wooded hike through Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary that would lead us to a secluded beach. After hiking through a dense landscape for about half an hour, we were shocked to suddenly come upon high fences that appeared to be keeping something out…or perhaps in. We continued to hike and became aware of strange sounds coming […]

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3 Simple But Sustainable Ways to Build Tomato Cages

The fact of the matter is that tomatoes are, indeed, perennial plants when in their native tropics, but that is also beside the point because some foods, perennial or not, are just too damned tasty to fully wave goodbye to. There is a time and a place to play with tomatoes in the greenhouse, see how many years they might last. But, ultimately, when spring rolls around and temperatures start […]

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The Five Zones of Permaculture – Zones Two to Five

The Five Zones of Permaculture: The best way to break down a permaculture ecosystem is into zones. Zones are a great way of boiling down the elements of our design based upon the frequency of human use and plant or animal needs. Elements which are attended to frequently are located closer to the dwelling and those that need limited contact or thrive in isolation are located further away. The zones […]

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Gardening with Woodchips: What, Why, How and Who?

With permaculture, we can grow plants using imaginative techniques and materials, negating or diminishing the need for synthesised chemical additions to the soil and using nature and the ‘soil food web’ as our guide. Because we need to ‘Observe and Interact’ with what is going on in our system before adding things in, every site is unique and so what works for one person may be ineffective in a different […]

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Why We Use Swales and How to Do It Appropriately

A swale is one of those permaculture terms that probably gets thrown around to readily (or inaccurately) and perhaps implemented irresponsibly. Only a few years into my permaculture career, I have certainly been guilty of this, and I have distinct memories of mistakes I made with regards to both attempting to construct swales and putting them in the wrong place. In my defense, and perhaps to my own credit, I […]

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