Category: Design

Building Ponds & Talking Liners

We all know that harvesting and storing rainwater is a huge part of designing a garden, and while swales are super functional and a fantastic way to hydrate a landscape, I—like many others—dream of an area replete with ponds. I want those permanent water features to attract wildlife, to swim in, and to use for irrigation if and when that’s necessary. Consequently, in daydreaming of some day soon owning a […]

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The Endlessly Renewable Power of the Tides

The water flows high up the beach when the moon is directly overhead, as happens on the far side of planet. The rhythm is predictable with a spacing of approximately 12 hours and 25 minutes. Half way between these points, the water level is at its lowest. There are subtle variations because of local factors. However, the power is always there. This knowledge is not new. In approximately 150BC the […]

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Gardens Aren’t Just for Plants, So What Else Is There?

Like any budding permaculturalist, I spend a lot of my design time obsessing about what plants to include, how I’ll be piecing together this guild or time-sequencing that bed. I want my crops to fix nitrogen, provide food, deter pest, create mulch, make shade, prevent erosion, and, oh, how the functions add up. Who can help it? It’s a wonderful world we live in, and wonderful task we are involved […]

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Karuna Insight Design: Permaculture in Practice in the United Kingdom

Karuna Insight Design: Permaculture in Practice in the United Kingdom

This family-owned and operated permaculture operation in the United Kingdom is an amazingly unique and inspirational example of what can be accomplished over only a short amount of time, with even just a small team. In just 10 years, Janta Wheelhouse, who calls himself, rather appropriately, a diversity specialist, and his family are making great strides to rehabilitate their land in Shropshire, despite a mountain of obstacles on every side. […]

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Comparative look at Organic and Conventional Farming

Comparative look at Organic and Conventional Farming

Organic farming has in the recent past gained popularity. Farmers are willing to take up the risks associated with this venture and commit themselves to stringent measures required to attain organic farming certification. Consequently, with the growing interest in this form of organic, there is a rise in criticism of the same measure by those who have kept on opposing organic farming. Conventional farming standards, that are heavily seen to […]

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An Introduction to Patterning

Our world is organised according to linear thinking, moving from A to B, from beginning to end, from Monday to Sunday. However, within the complex systems that make up our world, linear thinking limits our ability to understand the world and effectively interact with it. When we begin to understand the complex web of relationships that make up social and ecological networks, for instance, we can begin to develop new […]

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Learning More on How to Think about Soil

I don’t know why it is, but I’ve taken to waking up at about five every morning. I kiss my wife Emma on the head, creep downstairs from the loft of our apartment and spend the next hour or more watching Geoff Lawton videos from the PDC course. She knows I’m doing it. It’s nothing weird. But, for the most part, we don’t talk all that much about it. This […]

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Defining the Edge in Simple Terms

The edge is always an exciting topic amongst permaculturalists, but it’s also one that can sometimes feel a little abstract. Look on the permaculture forum and there will be a lot of folks waxing poetic about life at the edge, but like poetry (and life), it’s very difficult to decipher what it all means. In broad terms, the edge is the interface where two biological mediums meet, and an ecotone—a […]

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Cycling the Humanure

The Bank is a place to store the humanure for a period of time to allow decomposition of the material to a condition where it is safe to use as a compost. I personally will only use this compost on fruit trees as I am not 100% certain of the removal of pathogens that could harm us if it was used in the garden. Usually this decomposition process needs about one year. I successfully achieved this job over the period of several weeks doing a half hour or so every other day.

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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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