Category: Design

Morocco Project Update

Contor-map-morocco

The earthworks have progressed nicely and below is a series of photos of when we were installing the earthworks and after the first decent rains of the season. Keeping in mind the site receives 250mm of rain per year and like a lot of dry-lands come’s in about 3 events in mid-winter.

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Using a Drone in Permaculture Design

Using a Drone in Permaculture Design feat

Until recently, going to google maps, to get a birds eye view of a location was the default option for many Permaculture Practitioners and Consultants, but the main limitation was it could not be relied upon to provide 100% up to date imagery.

And then came the boom of personal drones.

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Crop Rotation – A Vital Component of Organic Farming

crop rotation feat

Long before we had synthetic fertilisers to maintain the land’s nutrients, and chemical pesticides and herbicides to keeps pests and weeds under control, we had crop rotation. Crop rotation is a system of designing how to cycle a parcel of land through various crops, reducing the reliance on chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. It is how successful farmers nurtured their land over generations, and remains vitally important for farmers today […]

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Bunyip Water Level: Measure Contour Lines & Swales

Neal Gist Feat

To have professional surveyors map our contour lines was going to cost thousands of dollars and many we spoke to outright refused because of the number of trees and acreage. The estimates we did receive were not frequent in elevational increments – one even came in at “every 60 feet!” So we ended up hiring a company only for marking our property boundaries. To map the inner swales and contour […]

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Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better

feat Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better

Lawns were a European invention, England to be precise, and they were the undertaking of the fabulously wealthy, seeking to bring the glade closer to home. Originally, they were cultivated with more useful (though not necessarily used) plants like chamomile or thyme. However, the trend moved towards closely cropped grasses, first maintained by grazing sheep then by men with scythes and finally, eventually, moving along (in fast forward) to the […]

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Close Proximity Duck System

Close Proximity Duck System

Nicholas Burtner visits Jack Spirko, owner of The Survival Podcast, at his Nine Mile Farm where just a few years ago was a rocky barren dried up landscape. Jack integrated a paddock shifting system and in just a short amount of time – everything has greened up. It is simple and anyone can do it. This video is a really good example of how a little bit of planning can […]

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Permaculture Designed Primary School in Vanuatu

tom permaculture school 01 - feat

It was a busy week last week. I was asked by Permaculture Sustainable Consulting to go to the tropical Pacific island nation of Vanuatu to do a site consultation of two locations. The projects being implemented are a community center at the capital town of Vila on the island of Efate and a primary school on the island of Tanna to the south. The organization funding these projects is Muslim […]

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Great, Free (or Cheap) Gardening Resources for the Small-Time Farmer

feat Rooftop Allotment (Courtesy of David Barrie)

Much of the modern food movement, the one that is shedding large-scale monocultures and promoting local self-sufficiency, is predicated on small farms. Our suburban lawns are being transformed into zones of food production. Our urban balconies become miniature ecosystems, complete with animal habitats and edible gardens. Vacant lots and public parks are converted into food forests and/or allotments. At the beginning of this transition, we are relearning some skills—seed-saving, organic […]

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Natural Renewable Building

Natural Renewable Building

Come join this year’s Natural Renewable Building Course at The Permaculture Research Institute, Australia. This is an intensive, hands-on course, where you will learn how to build your own affordable, sustainable, and functional structures plus so much more! Geoff will take you through this course step by step in not just techniques but planning and designing the Permaculture way. This week-long course will be packed with learning opportunities. The early […]

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Perennial Polycultures – The Biomass Belt: Fertility Without Manure

Perennial Polycultures – The Biomass Belt: Fertility Without Manure

We’re extending the Polyculture Project to include experimental perennial polycultures on various plots of our newly acquired land. Our aim is to develop models that are low cost to establish and maintain, can produce healthy affordable nutritious food and will enhance biodiversity. We’ve been looking into fencing our plots, and how to meet fertility demands of the establishing perennial crops such as fruits, nuts, herbs and perennial vegetables without relying […]

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Mulch in Abundance

Mulch in Abundance feat

We use a lot of mulch on our property to take advantage of the many benefits that mulch provides. The mulch we use is grass (that I now cut with the scythe) that grows in areas around the property that doesn’t get grazed and also on the road verge for maintenance so the council doesn’t spray chemicals. One of the terms you hear in permaculture circles is “abundance”. At times […]

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The Casa Guatemala Permaculture Project: Phase One

A Starting Point

It had been several months of being in touch with Heather, the director of Casa Guatemala, before my wife Emma and I finally visited the once orphanage turned school, a sort of haven for children from impoverished families in which parents can’t afford to support them. Otherwise, daytime students commute from surrounding villages to take advantage of the better quality education on offer, as well as a free meal and […]

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