Category: Design

A Site Specific Nuts and Bolts of Zone 1 Gardening in Rio Dulce: Tropical Wet/Dry Climate

feat Sweet Potato, Chaya, Habenero, Okra, Cuban Oregano, and More - Copy

Recently, I put together an article outlining the (or my) basic theory of Zone 1 gardening, both for a specific NGO project I’m working on as well as in the hopes that it might be helpful for others in similar situations. For it, I wanted to present broad, accessible ideas that could apply across the spectrum of climates and, in the case of charity projects, cultural practices. Ultimately, though, we […]

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A Basic Introduction to Zone One Garden Theory

What Isn’t Path Is Growing Food (Emma Gallagher) Feat

Recently, my wife Emma and I were asked to introduce zone one permaculture to women in about 15 or so indigenous villages around Rio Dulce, in southeastern Guatemala. Seeing as we had only a couple of weeks to get the project completed, my initial reaction was one of panic. Suddenly, the DRAs (daily recommended allowances) of these women’s families were on our shoulders, and somehow we were supposed to visit […]

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DIY Aquaponic PVC Garden

aquaponic 1 - feat

Do you like fish? How about gardening? If you said yes to both of these questions, you’ll definitely love this project! The Aquaponic PVC Garden is powered by water pumps that push water up from a fish tank, up a higher pipe where the plants are, and lets gravity do its work by letting the water drip back into the same fish tank. If you do not know what aquaponics […]

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Jordan Recap

jordan recap tom 03 - feat

Well I have returned from Jordan not entirely fit and well. I managed to get a touch of the flu during the two weeks but still managed to facilitate the course. It was a great experience to go to Jordan and spend time on a site that is around 350 meters below sea level. Man what a place . The soil is just very degraded highly alkaline dirt that doesn’t […]

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10 Ways to Use Palm Fronds in the Home and Garden

palm fronds

For those who read the pages of Permaculture News regularly, you may have stumbled upon an article or two by me, and if that were anytime recently, then more than likely there will have been some part of that article devoted to my newfound fascination and appreciation for palm fronds, specifically those of the cohune palm, which is native to my current, likely permanent, location of Central America. But, the […]

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It’s the Time of the Season and the Moon is Bright: Time-Stacking, Planting by the Moon and Other Marvels Tic Toc-ing Along

Time-Stacked Garden Bed

To be completely honest, the time element of permaculture is something that hasn’t gotten its due attention from me, but coming to this realization, it’s also an idea that I’m spending more and more moments pondering. No doubt, timing can make a huge difference when planting, creating guilds, pruning, harvesting, and countless other –ing activities. The cycles of the moon, the change of the seasons, the rate at which things […]

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Save our Soils

Save our Soils

All terrestrial life depends on soil, directly or indirectly. Although our understanding of topsoil has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decades, we are still losing this invaluable resource at a frightening pace. Less than thirty per cent of the world’s topsoil remains in fair or acceptable condition. The fragility of this vital layer can be illustrated through a simple comparison: if one imagines the earth as an […]

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A Lesson in Building So It Won’t Last

Palm Thatch Rooftops

For many years now, decades even, I’ve heard people talk about how things aren’t built the way they used to be. Cars don’t last. Toys break after a few play dates. Computers seem to require replacing much more frequently. Cell phones are much the same. Pots, pans, appliances, electronics—everything has gone the way of cheap production and “bargain” sales. The cynical side of me sees industries manufacturing substandard products so […]

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The Food Forest Card Game

permaculture cards 01

You probably already know that I am in “shameless self-promotion” mode with the Food Forest card game. Fortunately for all of us, the campaign will soon be drawing to a successful close! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1436377496/food-forest-a-card-game-inspired-by-permaculture The game will eventually be available to the general public but this is the last call for now. If you know anyone who wants a copy, or to show their support, please spread the word. Any final […]

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Onsite in Jordan at “The greening of the Desert, The Sequel”

tom jordan 01

I am facilitating a Permaculture Design Certificate course over the next two weeks. We have eleven students that have come from or have lived in more than 20 countries which is amazing and of course having a big multicultural vibe. We have just finished day 2. Yesterday at the end of the day we put together an 18 day hot compost which we will be able to monitor as we […]

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Compost Worm Experiment

Compost Worm Experiment 01

Every three weeks we have access to 80 to 100 kg of insect castings. These castings are from Meal worms, Cockroaches and Crickets. The waste is manure and leftover feed which is pollard and similar products. We use the waste in different ways and as the material is very high in nitrogen there is a need to consider the best way to approach the management processes. Usually I have been […]

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What Happens When One Walks in the Garden

Sitting for a Spell

I believe in gardens, not as magical fairy lands with gnomes and smoking caterpillars on toadstools (though I wouldn’t kick them out) but as places in which we should appreciate as fully as possible. We should use them to grow food, of course, and we should also use them to grow medicine. But, that’s not all. Gardens have the ability to teach us about the world, how plants, animals and […]

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