Category: Design

Intercropping: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why We Do It

Get into permaculture and within no time an entire field of jargon is sprouting up around you, and while it can be exciting to have all these new ideas to ponder and play with, it can also be a bit intimidating…bewildering…intense. Well, at some point or another we’ve all felt that way, but even so, it’s time to talk about one of those mysterious terms: intercropping. In order to have […]

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Heat Your Home with Less Wood

Another year, another blink of an eye, and summer has already evaporated. As the wildflowers begin to thin and the days start to shorten, autumn will be marching breathlessly to our doors in the coming month, with winter hot on her heels. I know you’ve enjoyed your summer – your tan lines are still fresh, your garden is lush and fruiting – I know you don’t want to let go, […]

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Compost Worm Farm for Chicken Food

As we endeavour to progress towards sustainability on our property we need to be self-sufficient with chicken food so we wish to stop buying in grains. One food source that we can use is compost worms. Each morning when we collect the cow manure for the bio-digester there is about 10 -15 kgs more than we need. So as this is a useful resource lets put it to good use […]

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Creating the Mainframe Design for our Farm

This article is about how we figured out our mainframe design for roads, swales and ponds/dams. The pictures that show how those were installed you can see in an earlier article here. Because the terrain of our farm was totally overgrown and the topography is a bit complicated, it took us two years to finalize this mainframe design. This process has taught us a few good lessons which I will […]

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PV technologies: Is there a Buyer’s Advantage?

Solar cells have come a long way from being in the realm of NASA, far beyond the pocketbook of most mortals to an ever cheaper commodity that is quickly becoming a mainstream source of electricity. Throughout the history of photovoltaics (PV) different technologies have been competing for the favors of the market, touting their respective advantages. The main two classes competing for the market today are crystalline silicon and thin […]

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Evolutions on Mr. Phiri’s Water-Harvesting Plantation, 1995–2016

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to return to Zimbabwe and to the farm of some of my prime water-harvesting mentors, Mr. Zephaniah Phiri Maseko and his family. While in the region, I also visited the farms of many other innovative farmers who are enhancing their soils’ hydrology and fertility by cooperating with natural systems. In this blog entry, and some to follow, I will share some of the […]

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What is an Earthship?

What is an Earthship? The name itself is a source of puzzlement and wonder to some readers. Some might even think that it’s a vessel where only a chosen people can go to when the world is going under. Here’s the truth though. Anyone can go to an Earthship. But what is it anyway? An Earthship is actually a place where people can live. The place is applying sustainable practices […]

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Agari Permaculture Farm

A film about Agari Permaculture Farm showing their amazing cob house, earthbag dome, kitchen/social area, and the awesome people who were there! Living the Change This film was made as part of our Living the Change series. For this series we’re traveling around New Zealand making short documentary films about permaculture farms, tiny houses, and sustainability. Connect with Jordan Website: http://happenfilms.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jordosmond Support Happen Films I release all of […]

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Infrastructure: Dams, Roads and Swales

In the past 2 years a lot of our focus was on getting the main infrastructural elements in place. We first had to clear the semi flat area of the land to be able to even see most of it. Once we had a better view, we started planning what had to become a complete interconnected system of ponds, dams, gullies, swales and dirt roads. In this post we show […]

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20 Garden Hacks for the Quirky and Pragmatic Permaculturalist

There is a new term—hack—spinning wildly on the World Wide Web, and I’ve resisted it. I grew up in a time where a hack was someone who did a crappy job, so transitioning into the new definition has been an arduous process for me. But, words evolve, and times change. I don’t want to be the guy standing in the way, so for those of you only now stumbling on […]

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Storing Heat Underground in a Geosolar System

As an engineer and permaculture designer living in a cold-climate, I am particularly fascinated with the interplay between thermodynamics and design and with capturing “waste” energy and finding novel, inexpensive and efficient ways to store and/or recapture and re-use it. One of these such systems, is geothermal storage. In late 2015, our consulting company, Adaptive Habitat, was hired to design and install a geosolar heat collection system just north of […]

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