Category: Design

From Yacon to Pumpkin

The Yacon has been harvested and processed into Yacon Syrup. Now the bed needs to be re-established , but to grow what? Yacon is a root crop so ideally growing something that is not a root vegetable is preferred. Well, the choice is pumpkins because it is also time to start a new patch for them. With our climate pumpkins will just keep growing all year around only slowing down […]

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Dryland Harvesting Home Hacks Sun, Rain, Food & Surroundings

When Brad Lancaster and his brother bought their home in downtown Tucson, the streetscape was a dusty place, devoid of trees or any vegetation. In 1996 Lancaster and his neighbors started an annual tree planting project, which up till now has resulted in over 1,400 native food-bearing trees being planted (usually with water-harvesting earthworks) in the neighborhood. In 2004, Lancaster augmented the street tree planting by using a 14-inch, gas […]

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Guilds for the Small Scale Home Garden

Building guilds is a clever way to put gardens together. Instead of toiling over providing this or that nutrient for plants or battling with pests or relying on the success of just one crop to provide the food, a massive mixture of productive growth is but a few preparation steps away. We often talk about guilds as a grand scheme, part of growing a food forest, starting with something huge […]

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Geoff Lawton, Murujan Permaculture Design, and Taman Pertanian Kuantan Park

Geoff Lawton, Murujan Permaculture Design, and Taman Pertanian Kuantan Park

Can a nearly 300 acre park, damaged by poor maintenance and environmental factors be brought back to life with permaculture? Geoff Lawton goes to Malaysia to help make it happen. Taman Pertania Kuantan today is a heart breaking example of how a shared community space can become damaged by lack of care and lack of knowledge. The state-owned park was long a favourite place for residents to gather, and it’s […]

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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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