Animal Housing, Bird Life, Fencing, Rehabilitation, Working Animals — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 12, 2013
Almost everyone who is exposed to permaculture concepts has seen the above graphic (from Bill Mollison’s Introduction to Permaculture). It’s a great way to get people thinking about how to create whole, functional systems that use different elements (like a chicken) in combination with other elements (like those found in your garden), to save labour and increase productivity. It is for many an eye-opening concept, but one that is quickly grasped, and one that encourages observation on the products and behaviours of many other elements — be they ‘animal, vegetable or mineral’.
It’s a great lead-in to permaculture thinking.
The gentleman in the video below well exemplifies this thinking. He clearly knows how to ‘manage’ his little chicken workforce. He knows what they love to do, and he knows they’ll charge him little to nothing for it. He recognises that to get the most out of the chicken, can also mean giving most to the chicken. This is a typical permaculture win-win.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Material, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water — by Alex McCausland October 25, 2012
Editor’s Note: Regular readers will have appreciated Alex McCausland’s regular and comprehensive reports from precariously positioned Ethiopia, and the great work he and his team have been doing on the ground. If you want to learn practical permaculture and gain real-world permaculture aid work experience in a location rich in agricultural history, then please consider taking Alex’s next PDC, to be held in southern Ethiopia between December 10 — 22, 2012. Your tuition fees directly support this important educational aid work.
The Hafto Solar Community Water Project site project is a solar powered water supply facility for the surrounding community of Hafto in the Hadiya Zone, South Ethiopia. The project was planned and implemented by a German NGO called DWC and is owned and run by a local NGO called SMART. The facility supplies water to about 1500 surrounding community members within an approximate 1km radius. There is a small charge for the water of about 0.01 Ethiopian Birr per liter (1$=18Birr) which covers the running costs of the project. The community members currently come to the site with donkeys to collect the water in jerry-cans which they take home for use.Comments (3)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Fencing, Land, Livestock, Working Animals — by Dan Palmer July 18, 2012
In late 2009 we were engaged to complete a design for a ¼ acre block in the Melbourne suburbs. It was for a family of four and the husband in particular was keen to grow lots of food.Comments (4)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Breeds, Building, Fencing, Livestock, Urban Projects, Working Animals — by Dan Palmer June 21, 2012
When designing edible gardens, a site-specific problem will often crop up. One of the most enjoyable aspects of permaculture design for us is devising site-specific solutions to those problems. In this short series we give four examples, all bona fide VEG originals, with a new one each month for the next four months.
Part One – the Chook/Fox Filter
The Site-Specific Design Problem
In 2005 Dan from VEG lived in a Melbourne sharehouse with abundant veggie gardens, a woodrow-style chook tractor and several chooks, as shown below. Another chook tractor is shown in the next photo to give a better idea of what the thing looked like — a lightweight moveable bottomless chook pen.
Animal Housing, Biodiversity, Biological Cleaning, Bird Life, Building, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Conservation, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 1, 2012
Paradise Dam, April 2012, from the now-climaxing food forest
Photos © Craig Mackintosh (unless otherwise indicated)
Zaytuna Farm Video Tour, duration 41 minutes
Note: Switch YouTube player to HD if your internet connection allows
Having spent the last few years seeking to establish and assist projects worldwide, and hearing some readers requesting more info on our own permaculture base site, I thought it high time I take a moment away from promoting other projects to shine a little light on our own work!
It had been a long time since I last visited Zaytuna Farm. Arriving in April 2012, more than two and a half years after my September 2009 visit, I was somewhat taken aback…. Back in 2009 the farm could somewhat be described as an unruly child — full of energy and enthusiasm, and flush with life, but not at all mature. Now, as I see Geoff Lawton’s vision for the property being played out more fully, we could compare the farm to more of a blossoming and beautiful teenager, still fresh in youth, but demonstrating a clearer sense of direction.
Geoff’s long term strategies are becoming evident, and it really is a sight, and site, to behold!Comments (22)
Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Earth Banks, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting — by Ben Falloon February 28, 2012
How To Move Your Farm Animals
Taranaki Farm shows you how to move a herd of cows, a flock of laying hens, some sheep and a stowaway frog in only 20 minutes… and in the process, heal farmland and local community.
Autumn Rain & Keyline Earthworks
Pairing Keyline Design farm layout to Polyface Farming methods makes Taranaki Farm genuinely unique in the world of sustainable/regenerative agriculture. Now with ten interlinked keyline dams and catchment road, drains and irrigation features, Taranaki Farm continues its investment in keyline design as a strategy for dryland water management which supports direct marketed, salad bar beef, pigerator pork and pastured chicken and egg enterprises.Comments (1)
Fencing, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Nurseries & Propogation, Trees — by Carolyn Payne February 6, 2012
A few hints and tips for dealing with these unique Australian characters
Kangaroo come on to the property every evening to drink
The 34 acre site that is now the home of Mudlark Permaculture is an open grassland strip 250 metres wide and 500 metres long, set between native Australian bush land and a 280 metre diameter artificially created wetland.
The land was considered so poor by its previous owner that it had not been fenced or stocked for 30 years. The only things to graze this land for years have been a few rabbits, hares, the odd wallaby and around 100 kangaroo.Comments (2)
Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Trees — by Chuck Burr August 19, 2011
by Chuck Burr, Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute (SOPI)
Here are the Summer permaculture tips and tricks from the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute — enjoy and pass them on.
1. Permaculture blueberries. After two years of hand-weeding our two acres of blueberries we have let them go wild. The plants are five years old now and can compete with the former hay field grasses with the help of us discharging the mowing trimmings back into the blueberry rows as mulch. The tall grass deters birds from eating berries. Last year we lost our first harvest to birds before we got a Bird Gard Pro and reflective tape from Oregon Vineyard Supply. The blueberries started in fully tilled rows with 3” of fresh sawdust. Wood chips will also do. We also added initially enough soil sulfur to bring the pH down from about 6.2 to 5.2. Prune in the winter to encourage new growth, remove disease and wandering branches. We salted the field with pecan trees. Blueberries are a medium term 15–20 year crop and will be pushed out when the pecans are in full swing, so we have already designed in the succession. Several rows are also capped with Honeycrisp apples.Comments (6)
Animal Forage, Animal Housing, Building, Compost, Fencing, Livestock, Plant Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals — by Milkwood Permaculture May 30, 2011
Gravity and chickens are two of our favorite natural forces at Milkwood Farm. Chickens scratch, poo, give eggs and good company, plus a trillion other benefits. Gravity draws things down. Great if you want stuff to end up down the bottom. Which, in the case of our gravity fed chicken house, we do!Comments (15)
Aid Projects, Animal Housing, Bird Life, Breeds, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fencing, Fish, Livestock, Working Animals — by Marty Miller-Crispe May 19, 2011
At SPERI’s Human Ecology Project Area we have a number of Farmer Field Schools (HEPA FFS) which are host to students from a variety of indigenous minority groups from Vietnam and Laos. The students are here to learn about eco-farming and permaculture whilst respecting traditional laws and customs.
The main focus of the farms isn’t to be productive, but rather to provide an environment where the students can experiment with various farming methods of growing crops and raising animals. So, although we do obtain a yield from the farms, the greater yield is the knowledge the students gain from trial and error.
HEPA FFS is in lush rainforest near the Laos border south-west of Ha Noi. The weather here varies from very cold winters (no snow but feels like it could!), to hot dry summers toasted with hot winds from Laos, and moving into cold monsoons and flooding at other times of the year. As such it is a challenge for the students to obtain a yield from the crops year round, and even more of a challenge to keep healthy animals.Comments (7)
Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Fencing, Gabions, Land — by Neal Spackman May 9, 2011
Editor’s Note: This is an update on the Al Baydha project we introduced here.
In order to demonstrate our agricultural system, we need to keep goats, camels, and sheep off the site. Initially we were planning to build a standard chain-link fence, but decided we could do better. Instead, we are putting up a big earth berm — about 2.5 meters tall and between 4 and 5 meters wide, with a layer of large stones securing razor wire on top .
Animal Forage, Fencing, Land, Livestock, Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals — by Marty Miller-Crispe January 28, 2011
Pigs in Vietnam
Photos © Craig Mackintosh unless otherwise indicated
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. — Sir Winston Churchill, British politician (1874 – 1965)
Like Winston Churchill, I also like pigs. They are intelligent, highly social, are fun to watch, and make awesome tractors!
The use of animals to clear and manure land in preparation for planting is a well known permaculture approach to agriculture that can reduce the need for machinery, eliminate the need for artificial fertiliser, and provide pest control. The classic example is the chicken tractor for preparing veggie beds or the use of ducks for pest control once the veggie garden has been established.
The use of pigs enclosed in a movable pen or ‘pig tractor’ is a great way to clear large areas of land, or help break up hard packed, or clay ground.Comments (9)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Land, Livestock, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton September 20, 2010
Editor’s Note: This post is a good reminder to ensure you take good before, during and after photos as you implement projects! Case studies like this become an awesome portfolio for yourselves, and help people to see the practical potential in permaculture. It can be totally inspiring, and help get people moving on the ground!
Case Study – Noela’s Garden, as installed by Geoff and Nadia Lawton
This is a story about a garden that Nadia and I were asked to establish in 2006. It’s a very small space – the area is 95m2. A friend of a friend asked if we could get involved to help to design and implement a garden. Nadia had only recently arrived in Australia and I wanted her and I to put a garden in together as a ‘start to finish’ job so she could get a feel for how we establish small space gardens in Australia, as she already had experience in small space gardening in Jordan.
The area on the North side of Noela’s house.
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Building, Fencing, Land, Livestock, Working Animals — by Paul Kean July 8, 2010
Several years ago I was living and working at Dalpura Farm in Moriac,Victoria a 100 or so acre silvapastoral project. The client, George Howson, was interested in implementing an aquaponics system so we all went for a day and a half trip to Melbourne to attend a seminar on the subject.
Leading up to this I had started gathering chickens and roosters from the local area, from people giving them away for one reason or another, to start using as workers on the farm. At that time I had sourced 21 birds, a third being roosters. The plan was to eventually separate them into tractoring groups to reduce the competition and fighting between roosters. Long term they would go into a set of 4 cell grazing areas and rotate with crop systems. Even longer term the roosters would be our meat source and hens kept for egg production. (I have always been an avid poultry enthusiast and had raised a good flock in past years in Humpty Doo, NT. I always loved to just sit and watch new chicks making their way and learning from their parents. The breed I had were ‘Old English Game Fowl’ and the hen (Ruby) and rooster (Rudy) were a fantastic pair for parenting and protection of their young.)
We had always been present on the farm during the day and the chooks would free range after being let out of their house in the mornings. Everything was great and eggs were coming daily and the animals seemed happy. Unbeknownst to us though, there was a menace lurking.Comments (5)