Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Animal Forage, Breeds, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Livestock, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.


Awassi sheep ready to go to market (and random standards inspector)

I’ve been to the Greening the Desert “Sequel” site three times now. Once was in 2011 when we were at the IPC in Jordan. Once was in 2012 when I went there to take an internship with Geoff and Nadia. This year I was able to go back there to teach a PDC myself. So I’ve seen some of the development of the site over the past three years as the trees have grown up, formed a canopy and started to alter the microclimate of the site quite appreciably. And it’s been a huge success. Most of us who came across Permaculture in the last ten years will remember the first time they saw Geoff’s original Greening the Desert video. The “Wow! That’s really possible?!” feeling it gave was an inspiration for a lot of us to get into Permaculture in the first place. For me at least, with the site also being so close to Palestine, and the Middle East conflict in full swing, the idea that we could enact some form of practical non-violent action to improve the lives of the local population by facilitating new approaches to management of resources through less input-intensive techniques than the typical western models was truly mind blowing.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Dams, Land.

Over the past year Yandoit Farm has been going through a few changes. Located in Victoria, Australia, north of Hepburn Springs, the farm has had an interesting past, at times being heavily mined for gold, with the miners living on the property, and more recently used to run cattle.

Working with an array of permaculture and regenerative agriculture designers the stewards of Yandoit Farm, Lisa and Michael, worked on designing and implementing a whole farm design to regenerate the land.

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Posted by & filed under Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.


Dutch clover cover crop between cabbage rows

Nitrogen is a component of protein and DNA and as such, is essential to all living things. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, around 97% of the nitrogen supporting life on earth was fixed biologically. Over the last century, intensification of farming, coupled with a lack of understanding of soil microbial communities, has resulted in reduced biological activity and an increased application of industrially produced forms of nitrogen to agricultural land.

In 2013, Australian grain-growers expended close to $3 billion on inorganic nitrogen (Marino 2014). Globally, over $100 billion of nitrogen fertilisers are applied to crops and pastures every year. Between 10 and 40% of the applied N is taken up by plants. The other 60-90% is leached into water, volatilised into the air or immobilised in soil.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, General, Global Warming/Climate Change.

There are many ways to describe Maurice Kwadha: farmer, entrepreneur, and climate-smart are some of them.

But some in Kombewa, in western Kenya’s Nyando Basin, used to call him a madman. Once, when he was collecting discarded milk packets at the local market, he was physically attacked by someone who thought he had lost his mind. But Maurice had a plan. And his small farm, with its burgeoning tree nursery, is the proof.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I say may those who have a loud voice speak! This is precisely what Nature Is Speaking has ventured to do — to give nature a voice (and a very familiar voice). Watch the videos below to see what I mean!

Some of the most famous American actors (from Julia Roberts to Robert Redford) have lent their voices in the name of nature. This is a global invitation to collaborate with Nature….

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Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Education, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

We all know about society’s over-consumption of plastic. We’ve heard again and again that it takes up to a millennia for plastics to bio-degrade (1), and consumers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year (2). And the issue of micro-plastic in our oceans in the past few years have gained awareness via social media. With all this data perpetually smothering our faces on a regular basis, it really begs the question why aren’t governments providing effective immediate solutions on a macro-scale to combat society’s rampant plastic consumption? If plastics are so costly in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, then action has to be undertaken promptly, and in this article are practical solutions as to how you can build and begin successful projects.

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Posted by & filed under Compost, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation.

The Phayao Permaculture Center (PPC) is a two acre permaculture design implemented to be the retirement farm for myself and my Thai family. It is located in the wet/dry tropics at 19 degrees north latitude in Northern Thailand.

Having taken the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course with Bill Mollison on Maui, Hawaii in 1982, it has been my vision to retire on my own permaculture designed land. This came about in 2012 when I purchased land for my Thai family.

The design was formulated and implementation began. Of the many elements designed in permaculture fashion, soil enhancement was a major priority from the beginning as the tropical soil on this property was very deficient of nutrients as is typical of some tropical soils.

We consulted with the local Phayao Province government soil office, explained we were developing an organic farm and had soil strategies to make soil alive and healthy in lieu of chemical fertilization. We took soil samples for them to analyze and they came back with the recommendation to add 20-20-20 fertilizer.

O.K. So they didn’t get it.

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

What you will get:

  • A 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), and
  • Bill Mollison’s book, Permaculture, A Designers’ Manual
  • A grounding in all aspects of permaculture
  • Relative hands-on experience working on various projects at Phayao Permaculture Center
  • The experience of living, eating, working and having fun with the Phayao community!

About Phayao Permaculture Center

The Phayao Permaculture Center is a 2-acre permaculture farm, demonstration and education center in Pa Daeng, Phayao, Northern Thailand, dedicated to the application of Permaculture ethics and principles.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Fish.

Only 0.01% of our seas are protected, and even the top conservation sites are up for grabs.

A few days ago, I visited the Flamborough Head “no take zone”, one of the UK’s three areas in which commercial fishing is prohibited. Here marine life is allowed to proliferate, without being menaced by trawlers, scallop dredgers, drift nets, pots and all the other devices for rounding it up, some of which also rip the seabed to shreds. A reef of soft corals, mussels, razorfish and other species has begun to form, in which plaice and cod, crabs and lobsters can shelter, unmolested by exploitation. Fantastic, isn’t it?

Well curb your enthusiasm. Here’s a map of the no take zone, from the display board above the beach. It’s the area in dark blue:

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Posted by & filed under Fish, Plant Systems, Water Harvesting.


Trailer only – watch full video here!

Geoff Lawton visits the Hawaiian Island of Molokai where an 800 year old traditional fish farming system is being restored. Fish farming has been practiced for centuries in many cultures. The Hawaiians built a sustainable system that worked from the top of the mountain range and ran right down to the base and out to sea.

The Hawaiians built a network of terraced gardens – small spring systems in the upper slope of the island to grow their starch crops of taro. Excess water ran from terrace to terrace, over the most distance to build an abundant food harvesting system. Taro ponds in the upper slopes gathered nutrient and algae and enabled it to flow downhill into smaller collection ponds before being discharged out to sea.

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