Water Harvesting Earthworks “Design To Reality” . Part 2

How to determine a starting point for surveying: Dams For me the starting point to survey is often a dam for high water storage. Dams are a major investment and it’s a must to have specific characteristics to construct the dam particular to that site. What I look for is the shortest dam wall possible to hold the most amount of water while staying as high as possible. These major […]

Read More >
3 Comments

What do lizards, procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with your brain? Part 3

This is Part 3 in a Series about using permaculture design principles to train your “lizard-brain” – a name I’ve used to refer to the regions of your brain that are responsible for keeping you safe and comfortable.[i] In Parts 1 and 2 of this Series we met the lizard in your brain, found out how it’s responsible for behaviors like procrastination and avoidance, and began to explore the idea […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Water Harvesting Earthworks “Design To Reality” . Part 1

So, you have been contacted by a client and you’ve discussed the client’s brief. You’ve started to look at the contour map, aerial images, whatever data you can find on the site. And with the client brief in mind, always remembering WATER IS LIFE, you set to the task of patterning the landscape using functional forms. You start to look at what’s the most economical way to hold water in […]

Read More >
0 Comment

7 Productive Zone-7 Plants That I Think I’m Falling For

I love discovering new, useful plants to incorporate into garden design schemes. Of course, there are a great number of plants many of us have never heard of, let alone know how to utilize, but one of the great things about the permaculture mindset is that it constantly yields wonderful, unfamiliar flora to cultivate. There are many ways a plant or tree can be useful. Food is one that we […]

Read More >
0 Comment

What do lizards, procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with your brain? Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series about the “lizard brain” – made up of the oldest parts of the human brain, (Please see Part 1 of this Series for a note about my use of the term, “lizard brain.”) The lizard brain co-exists with our more recently evolved brain regions and can cause all kinds of havoc if we don’t understand how to make good use of it. To summarize […]

Read More >
1 Comment

12-Plus Methods for Keeping Challenging Weeds and Pests Out of the Garden

  With organic gardening, especially at the outset, comes a few new challenges for transitioning growers. Pesticides and other chemicals have, for several decades, become the go-to solution for all things in the garden, and now that many of us are clearing our heads from that fog, we are left to rediscover methods for dealing with everyday garden problems.  When herbicides have been the trick for combating weeds, how do […]

Read More >
0 Comment

What do lizards, procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with your brain? Part 1

  Did you know there’s a lizard in your brain that’s the source of all your resistance to difficult, boring, intimidating or uncomfortable tasks?    And that this lizard can be re-trained, using Permaculture principles and (un)common sense, to help you reach your goals, instead of sabotaging them?  This Series of articles will show you how.  Here, in Part 1, I’ll explain the human brain structure in very simple terms. We’ll meet […]

Read More >
6 Comments

Weeds Aren’t Actually All That Bad

Weeds, many say, are but misunderstood plants, plants that have somehow fallen out of favor. Often, they are ready growers, keen to pop up where space has allowed, and typically they are doing so to perform some sort of vital ecological function. Geoff Lawton says they are “symptom” of a flawed situation rather than the actual problem.   Weeds are working to right wrongs. They cover the ground. They prevent erosion. […]

Read More >
3 Comments

How to Start an Urban Farm

Like any new venture, starting an urban farm is a daunting and difficult task. Not only do you have to find land to farm, but that land also must be suitable for growing food. Not only do you have to know how to grow food, but you also have to know what to do with your bounty when harvest time comes around. What has often been referred to as “the […]

Read More >
4 Comments

Unwanted Chemical Pool Gets Permaculture Makeover

Six months into our pool to pond conversion and the problem really has become the solution. For some time, we had been flirting with the idea of doing something productive with our unwanted 12,000 gallon in-ground swimming pool. It was during my Permaculture design course with Geoff Lawton last year that I decided to commit to a full conversion to an aquaculture wetland. What seemed like my most daunting project […]

Read More >
4 Comments

How to Make Instant Garden Beds

A common problem when just starting a garden is dealing with the fact that we’ve not had time to condition the soil, fostering it into something heaving with fertility. Or, maybe we just aren’t that far into gardening yet anyway and don’t know what to do. Basically, it seems we are left with the option of using what we have and hoping for the best, or we can spend a […]

Read More >
3 Comments

How To Motivate Kids To Learn About Permaculture

When my kids were toddlers, they wanted to help me in the garden every spring. They were more than happy to wear a silly straw hat like Dad and work the soil with a trowel. I would take the opportunity to talk to them about how our compost was conditioning the soil and how the worms helped the plants grow.  But by the time early summer rolled around, they had […]

Read More >
0 Comment