Category: Earthworks & Earth Resources

5 Fun and Fruitful Techniques for Small-Scale Earthworks

I’ve spent most of the last two years volunteering on farms throughout Central and South America, as well as a three-month sojourn through Spain, and in that time, I’ve learned a ton from the people I’ve worked with and, I like to think, shared a lot as well. I’ve been introduced to trees and plants I’d never encountered before. I’ve pruned and harvested in new ways. I’ve played with different […]

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Have Questions, Receive Answers, How Easy is This

Have Questions, Receive Answers, How Easy is This

If you have a site specific problem or just a question you would like to have answered from an experienced Permaculturalist, please read on.

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Christmas Island Gets It’s First Dam

Transforming an old mining pit into a 5 million litre dam has proven to be quiet the mission and has required moving about 10,000 tonnes of soil. Considering we are moving 3 tonnes in a single scoop with a 30 tonne excavator it was eventually achievable. The dam has to be lined due to the geology of the island. Christmas Island is in the middle of the Indian Ocean of […]

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Don’t Try Building Hugel Swales – This is a Very and I Mean Very Bad Idea

Let’s start out with a basic understanding of what full scale Hugelkultur and full scale swale based systems are. Then we can jump into what they are not and why combining them can be a very bad idea. First, as most permies know, a swale is a ditch on contour. They are also tree growing systems, and are not designed to grow annual gardens. They do a great many things […]

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Understanding Earthworks

The Permaculture Research Institute is offering an Understanding Earthworks Course from Monday the 23rd to Friday the 27th of November. These are all the elements of our course. Introduction The course begins with principle and design of earthworks as a general introduction and the reason for using earthworks in Permaculture design. Climate effect The climate effect on different features of earthworks in design and how the climate effects the earthworks […]

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Geoff Lawton and Dave Spicer talk Confidence with Big Projects

In this on camera chat, the PRI’s World renowned Geoff Lawton catches up with Dave Spicer, whom he first met at the original Tagari farm. Dave Spicer has joined Geoff on a number of big projects alreay, one of which was the original Greening the Desert site in Jordan. Geoff Lawton is a world renowned Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He first took his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in […]

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Nottinghill Forest Garden 2015: Future Projects

Part One can be found here. Part Two can be found here. Part Three (A) can be found here. Part Three (B) can be found here. Part Four can be found here. Part Five can be found here. Nitrogen Fixer Stacking Because we have many seeds for false indigo bushes and black locust (Amorpha fruticosa and Robinia pseudoacacia, respectively), they should be germinated in early spring and set into containers […]

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Nottinghill Forest Garden 2014: Perennial Fruit Integration & Micro-water Harvesting Feature Upgrades

Part One can be found here. Part Two can be found here. Part Three (A) can be found here. Part Three (B) can be found here. Part Four can be found here. Site Observations and Species Selection I made another trip to North Carolina in July of 2014 to visit with my family. I hadn’t seen the garden in July since 2011 and was really excited to be there at […]

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Groundwater Re-charging

It’s a rainy Monsoon day. Today, it’s water, water everywhere, but soon there will not be a drop to drink. Think forward to April & May. Dry times ahead. And for some, water problems could come as early as February & March. Every monsoon, Goa receives around 3000mm of Monsoon rainwater. That’s a lot. In fact, it’s plenty, and more. So why are we faced with dwindling water tables, empty […]

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Nottinghill Forest Garden 2013: Mainframe Design Persists Despite Vegetative Setbacks

Part One can be found here. Part Two can be found here. Part Three (A) can be found here. Part Three (B) can be found here. I was not able to return to the United States until the end of November 2013 to visit for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I received some updates about its state from my parents when we would video chat. Sometime during the summer, a groundhog decided […]

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Swale Calculator Spacing Tool

Douglas Barnes of permaculturereflections, who is a sustainable designer from the countryside in Tweed Ontario, has created a great tool that can be used to help with Swale implementation. This calculator, located on his website here, addresses Swale spacing that has been a perennial question in Permaculture. This calculator turns the problem on its head and gives you the best estimate for spacing based on swale size. Why calculate spacing? […]

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Rapidly-Cut Swales with Tractor Blade

We are making early progress on our 320-acre Missouri permaculture-farm project (Jordan Rubin’s Heal the Planet Farm). Last fall, a local dozer operator was brought in to dig the first swales. It was a small dozer but it did a respectable job and did the work in a relatively short period of time compared to an excavator. See the blog post with video here. Before we brought the dozer back […]

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