Category: Irrigation

Permaculture in Damaged Lands: Degradation and Restoration in New Mexico

A certain coal-strewn road in Madrid, New Mexico — the remnants of a now defunct railway. Alternately barren and spectacular, the southwest United States has piqued the imagination of Americans and people across the world for generations. The site of gold rushes, Native American homelands, and a culture of lawlessness that has yet to fade completely, much of the land was degraded and destroyed long before Hollywood discovered how to […]

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Swale Fail?

Editor’s Note: It’d be great if more people would share their successes and failures in similar fashion as Greg has below. The reason I say this is three-fold — 1) you get valuable feedback from readers on how to overcome your challenges, 2) readers can learn from your mistakes and thus hopefully avoid them, and 3) people new to permaculture will have a decent dose of reality as they start […]

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Who Needs Grass?

The Kniskerns’ yard is a sustainable smorgasbord Over a period of less than 10 years, James and Mary Kniskern transformed their sod-based lawn into a vibrant, blooming habitat that not only reduces their impact on the land but also rewards them with a bounty of edible plants as well as honey-producing bees. The fifth of an acre where James and Mary Kniskern live in Arnold [Maryland, USA] was about what […]

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Hugelkultur: Composting Whole Trees With Ease

What is it? Hugelkultur is a composting method that uses large pieces of rotting wood as the centerpiece for long term humus building decomposition. The decomposition process takes place below the ground, while at the same time allowing you to cultivate the raised, or sunken, hugelkultur bed. This allows the plants to take advantage of nutrients released during decomposition. Hugelkultur, in its infinite variations, has been developed and practiced by […]

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ABC Rural Talks to Matt Kilby About Farm Restoration Through Installing Trees and Swales (Podcast)

Consultant Matt Kilby stands before one of the swales he has put in at Gippsland farm, Nambrok. Photographer: Kath Sullivan Matt Kilby, the ‘man of a thousand trees‘, shares thoughts with ABC Rural on his work (with Nick Huggins alongside) over the last 18 months at Nambrock, a property in Gippsland, southern Victoria, Australia. "The first thing we did was put in a swale. A swale is a ditch which […]

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Greening the Desert Video – now also with French Subtitles

Many thanks to Jeremy, Christina, Erik, Lamia and Kristen for all the work that went into creating the French translation subtitle file for both Parts I & II of the Greening the Desert video below. As a result, I’ve been able to upload a version suitable for your French-speaking friends and family, should you have some. After clicking play, click on the ‘CC’ button at bottom of the video to […]

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Jordan Valley Permaculture Project Update: Post IPC Happenings

An aerial view of the site Although the landscape here could be seen as a model for scarcity, what there is an abundance of is rocks. The baked dusty earth barely passes for soil and during the summer there isn’t rain here for over six months. With valuable agricultural resources seemingly at a minimum, rocks can be incredibly valuable in the design of a sustainable human settlement. In the case […]

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Getaway Films Talks to David Spicer About Water Issues in Morocco (Video)

Here’s a sneak peek at Morocco — looking at water issues and the need to relearn traditional catchment management whilst adding in modern permaculture techniques of water harvesting and food forest development. David’s point about market gluts due to farmers all growing the same crop and harvesting it all at the same time is an important one. Diversity is stability — ecologically and economically. Duration: 5 minutes

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Urban Pool-to-Pond Conversion – Two-Year Progress Report

We’re writing on-going articles about the many aspects of this urban permaculture project in a Mediterranean climate, here in California, now two years underway. Today’s article: pool-to-pond conversion — complete! by Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper My husband and I have been actively working on an urban 2/3 acre permaculture project for two years this month. We began the design and subsequent installation at a residence in October of 2009 and it continues […]

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Small Dam/Fish Pond Installation – October 2011 Earthworks Course with Geoff Lawton

In this short video Geoff walks us through an overview of a small dam/fish pond installation at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in northern NSW, Australia. If you’d like to get a better understanding of the why and how of permaculture earthworks, you could purchase the Water Harvesting DVD, or, better yet, book on one of our upcoming Earthworks courses, listed in our Courses section. Small dams like this, appropriately situated […]

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The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Farming Systems Trial Report

The Rodale Institute’s 30-year Farming Systems Trial report (1.3mb PDF) The Rodale Institute has been, for a full 30 years now, conducting a long-term comparative Farming Systems Trial. Starting in 1981, when it was already abundantly clear that industrialising nature was creating far more problems than it solved, the Rodale Institute began documented research comparing organically fertilised fields and conventionally fertilised fields on its 330 acre farm in Pennsylvania, USA. […]

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