Category: Design

Vuon – Ao – Chuong – The Traditional Vietnamese Farm

by Nguyen Van Man VAC is an acronym formed from the three Vietnamese words Vuon, garden or orchard, Ao, fish pond, and Chuong, pigsty or poultry shed. It refers to a form of domestic agriculture in which food gardening, fish rearing and animal husbandry are wholly integrated, and stems from farming methods developed in the Red River delta of Vietnam. The VAC system is a highly intensive method of small […]

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Sites Unseen

Making use of resources from a building site The lifecycle of a building site can supply the observant designer with loads of resources. Be it your own site or one nearby, there are plenty of available materials otherwise destined for landfill. Before work starts, designate specific areas to stockpile materials choosing places where they won’t have to be moved until needed. After surveyors peg the site, collect seedlings, rocks and […]

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Efficient Glasshouse Design

A well designed glasshouse can serve many functions and be an extremely productive element in a permaculture system. It creates a self-contained environment in which the designer can modify conditions of heat, light, water and air for a variety of benefits. High value crops can be grown out of their normal climatic range or produced out of season, growing seasons can be extended by starting seedlings of annual plants early, […]

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Retrofitting Tips

Reprinted from ‘Earth-User’s Guide to Permaculture’ Most of us are stuck with the house we live in. What can we do to improve it? Here is a checklist of ways to retrofit a home and some good ideas to make life more comfortable. TOO HOT IN SUMMER Insulate ceiling Pergola and vines Deciduous trees Shady verandahs Breezeways/corridors Solar fans Cool air tunnels Deciduous creepers Shadehouse with plants

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Transforming Your Urban Backyard

Many people living in the suburbs and cities would like to ‘have a go’ at living a more sustainable and satisfying life and yet are daunted by what they view as lack of space and appropriate surroundings. It is easy to say “I just don’t have the space here!” or “Oh, my soil is terrible – I couldn’t grow a thing!” One of the enjoyable aspects of permaculture design is […]

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Establishing a Food Forest

Establishing a Food Forest

Is it possible to live sustainably and grow an edible Food Forest? Join me on an amazing journey from classroom theory to practical application. I will take you through the emerging process of seeding a food forest, watching it grow and emerge a few years later by allowing Nature to do all the work. Let me show a lost food forest 10 years later as I cut through tall grass and see how it has emerged and grown when left to its own devices.

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Compost miracles

Excerpted from the Humanure Handbook by Joe Jenkins. Compost microorganisms not only convert organic material into humus, but they also degrade toxic chemicals into simpler, benign, organic molecules. These chemicals include gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, oil, grease, wood preservatives, PCBs, coal gasification wastes, refinery wastes, insecticides, herbicides, TNT, and other explosives. (59) In one experiment in which compost piles were laced with insecticides and herbicides, the insecticide (carbofuran) was […]

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