Category: Design

Use of Small Swales – a Case Study

You might have seen Geoff Lawton’s wonderful ‘Greening the Desert’, and his ‘Establishing a Food Forest’ DVD where he wades through a swale metres wide. It’s not commonly discussed, but swales can be quite small too. It depends on the space you have available, the magnitude and intermittency of the rain events, how fast it will soak in and the capacity of your soil to hold it. As always, observing […]

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Yeomans’ Pioneer Demonstration Site to Be Turned into Housing Estate

One of the most influential people in sustainable agricultural systems development is the late P.A. Yeomans. Yeomans went against the contemporary fertility-in-a-bottle school of thought to develop ‘keyline’ concepts of land management that work in harmony with natural land features (working with contours), to maximise water harvesting in the landscape, minimise soil erosion and build lasting soil fertility. His observations and practice led him to design and develop the keyline […]

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How to Repair the World

The video embedded in this page spotlights the excellent work of Willie Smits I profiled a little while ago, where rainforest restoration in Borneo not only restored biodiversity and gave increased livelihood opportunities to local people, but it also increased cloud cover and rainfall as well. It’s well worth a watch: We’re pleased to announce that we’re partnering with the makers of the video above, WeForest, to help establish self-replicating […]

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Natural Construction in Argentina – Trends of an Emerging Permacultural Area

The small city of El Bolsón is located in the southwest of the Río Negro Province, right in the angle formed by the Andes Mountain Range and the 42nd parallel (provincial border with Chubut). It is a place known internationally by its people and its wonderful natural beauty. People from all over the world have come to this region that lies under the magnificence of the Piltriquitrón mountain – finding […]

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Dalpura Farm – Experiments in Permaculture Forestry

Photographs © Craig Mackintosh Inter-row Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney blue gum) & Casuarina cunninghamiana (river she oak) planted in 2000 I recently had opportunity to visit a Permaculture site called ‘Dalpura Farm’, near Geelong, outside of Melbourne. Although (or perhaps, because) designed by Darren Doherty, the very well known Permaculture designer and teacher, it was dramatically different than your average Permaculture site. Rather than an urban edible garden, or a fruit-/veg-/livestock-oriented […]

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Post-Tsunami Bamboo Housing Solutions

Village of Lepa following the tsunami Photo: Skye Turner The water is usually that light aqua colour all the way to the shore. Photo: Durnford Dart A full two weeks after the tsunami, the ocean and the sky still retained a turbulent quality reminiscent of an unimaginably intense energy phenomenon. I write this article about a month after a severe earthquake/tsunami struck southern Upolu (the main island of Western Samoa). […]

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Build it Up – Permaculture Mound

Editor’s note: This story comes to us from the black sandy soils of NSW’s mid-north coast, about 10km outside Forster. by Sarina Kilham For several years, I looked at the scrubby bit of grass on our sloping black sand back yard and imagined the amazing garden that could be – if only we had a bit more cash to buy the sleepers for raised garden beds, if only I could […]

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Permaculture Design Course at Pine Ridge Reservation

by Warren Brush, co-founder of Quail Springs Permaculture & True Nature Design We are eight days into a 13-day Permaculture Design Course here at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The Permaculture Guild has organized this exciting course in collaboration with the Oglala Lakota Cultural and Economic Revitalization Initiative (OLCERI) and will be offering other courses here in the coming year. Students from […]

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Each Step is the Way – Part III

Recent developments at Kailash-Akhara, Adi Yoga Retreat Center, Phu Rua, Loei, Thailand. By David Perkins (Dharmadeva) – Farm Manager and resident permaculture designer and educator at Kailash-Akhara. This report provides an overview of many aspects of creating a retreat center and living sustainably using the principles of permaculture. Short updates will be given regularly to keep our wider community informed. See Part I and Part II if you haven’t already. […]

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Keyline Plowing with Compost Tea Application

Part I: Introduction Employing the methods developed by P.A. Yeomans, keyline pattern plowing is a proven component in the job of revitalizing degraded soils. The plow performs deep ripping with minimal plant disturbance. At its most basic this offers many benefits, including opening compacted soils (without destructive tillage), breaking up the hard pan, allowing moisture and oxygen to re-activate soil life, thus restoring fertility.  When used in concert with controlled grazing or mowing […]

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Solar Towers

The PS10 Solar Power Tower near Seville, southern Spain Having been a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy bookworm as a lad, and looking more like a big-budget prop for a Tolkien fantasy-brought-to-screen than an attempt to close the growing energy gap, the tower at right certainly piqued my interest. Accordingly, I thought it was time we had a quick look at these gigantic obeliscoid desert entities (by the way, the image […]

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The Rocket Powered Shower

Plan for our Rocket-Powered hot water system for the Basecamp shower + bath block Spending all your day gathering sticks for a hot shower is just no fun. No fun at all. Mind you, anything that results in a hot shower (or even better, a hot bath) has to be considered a priority at Milkwood. So when Nick finished converting the old ‘Sunbeam Sheep Shower’ structure (basically a new-fangled sheepdip) […]

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