Building — by Danielle Wolff-Chambers May 9, 2013
by Danielle Wolff-Chambers and Shelley Clements
Here we are in Queensland, May 2013, half way through an Earthship build. It is the first one to be built in Australia and has been experimental in many ways. We started the build in January with a very diverse group of about 50 people ranging in experience, age and cultural backgrounds. It was run as a workshop so people could attend and participate in the build to empower those who wish to be involved in Earthships to gain the necessary skills and connect with people who have complementary skills, so as to form Earthship building teams and meet skilled allies and new friends.Comments (3)
We are very excited to announce the finishes workshop for Australia’s first Earthship in Queensland, Australia. The Earthship design concept and systems have been applied to the subtropical climate of the area. Come and see the rammed earth tyres, the can walls, the earth berm, the hempcrete roof and all other components of this Earthship.
The Earthship was started in January this year. We ran a 3-week construction workshop on our residential permaculture plot. Our Earthship Finishes Workshop gives detailed attention to bottle walls, botanical cells and many more creative applications for the flooring, walls and the bathroom fit out.
Come and stay on this beautiful piece of land, learn with experienced Earthship crew members and work on a common goal.Comments (0)
Building, Community Projects — by Elisa Fusi May 8, 2013
I met Fabrice at the top of the hill in the lovely forest at Whangateau in New Zealand, a scenic spot in the middle of the North Island.
Fabrice was kind and smiling as usual, with an honest desire to talk about his project and share pure wisdom on natural building and carpentry. He has travelled extensively and has been working as a baker all his life.
‘Bread baking is a magic craft’, he said with a charismatic voice.Comments (0)
Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel May 3, 2013
Though too often vilified, both ‘cows’ and ‘plows’ have proven to be among our most effective and available tools for restoring healthy ecological and eco-agricultural systems in our landscapes. Bucking the trend in conservation that has denounced these tools from early on was Aldo Leopold – perhaps best known for his influential Land Ethic from 1948. In his earlier, groundbreaking book about working with ecosystems and wildlife, Game Management (1933), his preface made the visionary but provocative claim that “Game can be restored by the creative use of the same tools which have heretofore destroyed it — ax, plow, cow, fire, and gun.”Comments (2)
Land, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Serena Aurora May 1, 2013
Off the coast of Honduras, on a small island called Utila, lives a guy called Shane. Shane has broken away from all the social restraints and has built his own house. He is now building his own garden. However he is doing it slightly different from most people — he uses cardboard boxes! This short film talks about Shane’s key concepts and tips on permaculture.Comments (5)
Land, Plant Systems, Urban Projects — by Samuel Alexander April 30, 2013
I’ve been advancing my guerilla gardening efforts recently, with a significant new raised bed now beautifying my nature strip, as seen in the picture at right. I thought in this post I could provide a brief overview of how to build a cheap raised bed, either for use on your nature strip or in your front or back yards. This overview might seem a bit basic for the handy builders among you, so I direct this post to those who are beginning their journey into guerilla gardening and urban agriculture.
I was moved to write this post after attending an environmental festival recently where raised beds like the one I have built were priced between $800 and $1000! Mine cost considerably less than $100, including the soil and plants, and that’ll pay for itself soon enough. I also earned the joy of construction, making me doubly well off. Below I describe the method for building a raised garden bed that is two boards high, which provides good depth.Comments (8)
Biological Cleaning, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Sheri Menelli April 29, 2013
I’m so blown away by the work of John Todd. He works on a huge scale cleaning horrendous toxins out of water. I suspect he knows a bit about permaculture. I saw Bill Mollison’s book listed on one of his websites.
Above is a video that I think gives amazing insight on using plants (and even snails) to clean toxins from water.Comments (2)
Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects — by Geoff Lawton April 26, 2013
The trailer for my next video is up:
"Urban Permaculture: The Micro Space" trailer
Register your email here and we’ll let you know when
the full movie is ready to watch
Many of you have been asking what Permaculture can do for you in the small Urban space.
Well, one of my students, Angelo, has transformed his tiny Melbourne backyard into an amazing productive garden and documented every detail over the last 4 years. You’ll find out how much food you could grow in the micro space when you apply Permaculture design creatively.
You will be amazed.Comments (2)
Photos © Craig Mackintosh
The main buildings at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm remind me a little of those cute homes I saw in tales in children’s books as a kid. You know — the edible type, made of sugar, etc. The natural colour, texture and shape all lend themselves to this nostalgia. But, despite appearances, most of these structures are actually made of straw bale (with a daub and lime render over top), so even though they look great, I wouldn’t encourage you to try to eat them.Comments (1)
Dams, Food Forests, Land, Swales — by Geoff Lawton April 22, 2013
Geoff Lawton, with Zaytuna Farm behind (upper left)
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
I’ve been staggered by the reaction to my latest video I put up on the weekend. Over 500 comments, with most people telling me it’s my best video yet.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out. We hit the design wall on a 5 acre cow paddock and redesigned it with 7 dams and a huge food forest system for under $20 thousand.
Most people couldn’t believe what can be done on the small scale.Comments (11)
General, Land — by Geoff Lawton April 21, 2013
Geoff here again.
When the USA Army Core of Engineers wanted to re-design the 15,000 acre Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant into an eco-industrial park, they asked me to help.
When AECOM, a fortune 500 Civil Engineering company that turns over 8 Billion a year, wanted to do a sustainable design for the 18 Billion Dollar Masdar City in Dubai, they again called on me to consult for them.
Permaculture design principles work on large scale projects, large rural farms, small rural acreage, urban areas and even city balconies.
Many of you have been asking us to show you what you can do on a smaller rural property. So we’ve held off launching the next video on urban permaculture until next week and have put together a special new video on what can be done in a smaller rural property.Comments (2)
A free series of permaculture design videos by Geoff Lawton, world renowned permaculture designer, teacher and consultant, reveals how to not only survive the coming crisis with permaculture design but how to build abundance on your land. How to have all the water you will ever need. How to have all the fish you will ever want. How to have your own food forest and grow all your own food. Where to start. How to understand your land. How to work with it. How to design it, Naturally. Abundance is no accident.
Just enter your email into the website and Geoff Lawton will keep you updated as he releases future videos in the series.Comments (2)
Energy Systems, Land, Trees — by Eric Toensmeier
This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices, and is part of a series promoting my kickstarter campaign to raise funds with which to complete the book.
Coppiced firewood species trial at ECHO
These firewood species grow rapidly, fix nitrogen, and re-sprout (coppice) quickly after cutting. All have high-quality firewood. They are thus a productive, self-fertilizing and perennial firewood source. Intensive blocks of these species can produce a tropical family’s cooking fuel needs on 0.15ha (0.37 acres; according to interviews with staff at both Las Cañadas and ECHO). Use of rocket stoves and other conservation technologies can reduce the area even further.Comments (12)
On the 18th of March we started our biogas project. This project involves making a bio-digester which will turn manure into methane gas for cooking and other energy needs.
Outline of the bio-digester
Tom had to re-do some fencing and clear the site for the bio-digester. He calculated that with the amount of manure we are getting (around 30kg per day), we need a 5 cubic metre bio-digester, which will give us around 1 1/2 cubic metres of gas per day.
Lead up time to get the gas going will be around 60 days once we start filling the bio-digester. But we are not there yet, and here I have documented the start of the project.Comments (1)
Land, Terraces — by Jonathan Davis April 4, 2013
Every geographic area has a resource waiting to be used. I want to talk about areas that have stone easily accessible. Rocks can seem to be a huge obstacle to design and productivity, but there are some valuable advantages that come with having usable stone. Some advantages to using stone in a design can be: freeing the soil of obstacles to plant growth, being able to use that removed stone for retaining walls or other structures, using land far beyond what common ideology says it is worth, using otherwise unused material and simple beauty. Rocky landscapes can be very advantageous to a permaculture designer.Comments (12)