Category: Retrofitting

Ponds can absorb more carbon than woodland – here’s how they can fight climate change in your garden

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Mike Jeffries  Associate Professor, Ecology, Northumbria University, Newcastle.   Ponds are taken for granted. Perhaps it’s because most of us have seen them – and on occasion, fallen into them – and think they’re only good for goldfish. Ponds may be the number one habitat for children’s “minibeast” hunts, but we are supposed to grow […]

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Leaky Weirs

I cant swim, but I’ve been fascinated by water all my life and have learnt water harvesting and storage design and installation from some of the permaculture greats bio here. I mentioned in a recent article the details about the construction of a series of ponds forming a wetland in Western Australia. At that same project, I had the opportunity of doing some work on a seasonal creek where I advised the […]

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Constructed Wetland

In May 2018 I was invited to work in Western Australia, which was quite the milestone for me, as it was the last state in Australia for me to say I’ve worked nation wide in permaculture design and installation. It was meant to be a short trip, only 5 days, to repair a leaky dam, which seemed a bit odd for me to fly from the east coast to the […]

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THREE FREE TOOLS THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE PERMACULTURE LAND DESIGN

I’ve been teaching permaculture for the past decade, as I feel it’s one of the best ways to deal with the liabilities we’ve incurred collectively as a species. These problems include water shortages, floods, climate shifts, pollution, food insecurity, ocean dead zones, acidification – the list goes on and on. The following article is not about those liabilities, but rather their root cause. While it might be an oversimplification to […]

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Repurposing Wood

Not so long ago, my wife Emma and I bought our property, a place for which we’d been looking for nearly four years. And, in doing so, the enormity of what we were about to undertake sunk in. I’d been gathering up wood in anticipation of us needing to build a home, but the pace had been leisurely and the collected resources a bit aimless in there (re)purpose. Amazingly, the […]

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What might buildings, settlements and even regions look like through the lens of Permaculture design? Part 1

This is part 1 of 2 of a transcript of a talk given by Paul Jennings to the recent SBUK Big Straw Bale Gathering. Paul has built his straw-bale family home on a ‘One-Planet Development’ smallholding in Wales (costing £12,000). Introduction My partner and I built our first straw bale house in 2000, a very low spec Nebraska-style cabin on shipping pallets, with reclaimed windows, vigas cut on the site for […]

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How Dry Composting Toilets Work

Dry composting toilets are an efficient, cyclical way of dealing with human waste without using and/or fouling fresh water, which is in ever-dwindling supply on the planet. Using clean water to flush human excrement sends it into either a septic system, which eventually has to be pumped and the sludge moved to larger facilities where it will then be dealt with, or sewer mains, where it congregates into a horribly […]

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First Community Food Forest in the City of Melbourne

First Community Food Forest in the City of Melbourne

The Kensington Food Forest began with a dream, to provide healthy nutritious organic food for our local community, to build resilience around food security.  Kensington is an inner city suburb in Melbourne.  We wanted to grow our own food to reduce pressure on farmlands, reduce food miles and the subsequent use of fossil fuels in transportation as well as keeping chemicals off our plates and creating community.  After doing my […]

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Win-Win Situation. Retrofitting Farm Dams to Increase Freeboard and Increase Wildlife Habitat and Productive Edge

The first thing I look for in a dam retrofit other than the spillway, is the freeboard. The freeboard is the height of the dam wall above the spillway. The freeboards presence is critical to the safety of the dam.  After looking at the spillway and the freeboard, I would look at the batters of the dam wall bot. inside and outside.  What degree slope are they?  Can you build […]

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Battery Technologies for Off-Grid Living

There are so many battery technologies out in the marketplace, and it is highly likely between me writing this and you reading it there will be another new fandangled world’s best battery that has hit the market. What Elon Musk has done with Tesla is to create a market awareness of wanting to install home battery storage and reduce our impact on the environment from burning fossil fuels. This has […]

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Big Inspiration in Little Old England: Plant Life Abounds

Pond at New Shoots It was an unexpected phone call that sent my wife Emma and me from Colombia to England this past October. We’d not been in Bogota for a full day when we learned that her father was ill, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us to visit sooner rather than later. In the following twenty-four hours, we managed to cancel two volunteer posts at permaculture […]

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Creating the Alternative: Inside Look into the SolTrekker

by Mo Lohre and Will Redwine Sorry for the hiatus, but would you believe we came across a few bumps in the road? Just like with any worthwhile quest, unexpected challenges emerged. Now that we’ve had some time to address them, we are excited to share our struggles as well as our findings. When we began the Creating the Alternative Tour we were determined to design a regenerative lifestyle while […]

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