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)
Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Ted Swagerty April 25, 2013
The Rak Tamachat farm was a great introduction to motivated, intelligent permaculturists, and the beginnings of a robust permaculture farm in the works.
Jake (Australia) and Mark (Texas) gave me a grand tour of the farm. The first thing we saw was the grey water system, here the tap water used for cooking and washing dishes is funneled through a bucket filter that is piped to irrigate an herb garden nearby.Comments (1)
Commercial Farm Projects, General, Land — by Paul Taylor April 3, 2013
The original look of the property immediately around the house
The intention with this property in Alstonville, NSW, Australia, is to reduce lawn and landscaping management by using the space and effort to produce organic food for the owner’s consumption as well as to produce an excess for the local Farmers’ Market.
The system will be developed using specific opportunities for appropriate design to develop select areas over about 5 acres of a 40-acre property. Much of the property on the outer zones is forest, environmental management and grazing.
The first part of the project is to turn lawn and landscape areas immediately around the house into long term productive systems. This will include raised bed areas for vegetables and annual production and multiple mini food forest areas that will include fruit trees, ground covers, in-ground crops, shrubs and support species.Comments (7)
Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge: Report on Piped-Water System, Current Status and Design Update (Ethiopia)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Alex McCausland March 8, 2013
We are an eco-lodge and Permaculture training centre based in Konso, south Ethiopia.
Our only current water source for potable water and garden irrigation is the Konso Town municipal supply, which is drawn from a bore-hole situated just across the road from our site entrance. The supply facility is a manned pumping station with an electric water pump, backed up by a diesel pump for times of power outage, which are frequent. Even this back-up pump may fail on occasion due to lack of fuel or mechanical fault. There are also times when there is a problem in the water line, meaning that the municipal water supply is far from reliable. There are occasional water supply failures of up to a week, perhaps once a year, and more frequent shorter failures of 1 to 3 days every few months. These failures seem to be more frequent during the dry season when there is additional pressure on the system to supply greater community needs. When there is water, the supply is usually on for a couple of hours in the morning 5am – 7am and evening 4pm – 6pm.
The main supply line enters our site directly from the water pump station under the road via the storm drains situated just to the north of the old foot entrance, delivered by a ¾” poly-pipe.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Gabions, Land, Material, Roads, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Alex McCausland March 1, 2013
We previously published a report on the development of our site’s flood control and defense infrastructure in October 2010. This is an update on that which goes on to describe some of our plans for developing that infrastructure more in the future.
Just to recap on the basics of our situation: in times of rain, the run-off from the western part of Karat Konso Town (South Ethiopia) runs down the side of the road which heads uphill to the south of our site. This flash flood creates a temporary stream which impacts the south eastern corner of the site. The flash floods can be pretty intense.
Western town watershed, running past SE corner of SFEL site
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Ben Humphrey February 20, 2013
Actual view from Mountain View Eco Farm site
As some readers may remember, I wrote an article last August outlining my experience at the Sustainable Agriculture Development Program of Nepal, and of the farm manager’s (Govinda Paudel) dream of establishing his own permaculture inspired education and demonstration farm.
Well, at long last, Govinda has managed to buy a small plot of land near Pokhara, overlooking Begnes Lake and the mighty Annapurna Range of the Himalaya, to establish Mountain View Eco Farm. Govinda has worked tirelessly to make his dream a reality – setting up a fantastic website, networking extensively and seeking out the land to build his dream. In December of last year, his parents sold some of their land in Bardiya, near the border of India, to help Govinda make his dream a reality. They plan to sell the rest of their land soon and move to Pokhara to help Govinda with the running and management of the farm in the not too distant future. Although Govinda now owns some land from which to begin developing Mountain View Eco Farm, more land is needed along with farm animals and items to make sure that Mountain View Eco Farm can become self sufficient and sustainable in the long run.
Govinda’s plan for the farm is inspiring. The objectives of Mountain View Eco Farm are basically three fold. They include:Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Lily Bunker February 7, 2013
Nelson Mandela once said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Help to change the world by changing one life — the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project’s very own Assistant Manager and Agriculture Training Specialist, Hilda Cangoma. Your contribution, large or small, will help Hilda become the first local woman in the Manda Wilderness region to receive a Permaculture Design Certificate. She will use this new set of skills and expertise to train others in permaculture at the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project and share her knowledge in Mbueca, her home village in northern Mozambique.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Alex McCausland January 31, 2013
There are those points in life where it’s all up-hill struggle, when you know there’s so much to be done that it’s not even worth contemplating it all, you just have to keep your eyes on the ground in front of you and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Then there are those times when you seem to be drifting, there’s no challenge and no real satisfaction, you just roll along the path in front of you passing what goes by. Then, very occasionally, are those fantastic moments when you reach the top, the peak of a mountain, or, perhaps the foot-hill of a mountain, when you are able to stop, take a breath and admire the views of this fantastic spectacle we call life and feel a bit of satisfaction that you have achieved something, got to the peak of the challenge you were set. And that is really what makes it all worth-while. It’s those moments which we strive for, and its knowing that such moments lie ahead which keep us going, through the challenges, toil and even drudgery of every-day life.Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Development & Property Trusts, Eco-Villages, Economics, Education Centres, People Systems, Society, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 9, 2013
You’ll enjoy this little video, a nice collage of thoughts and scenery and developing community integration. This is Kotare Village in the North Island of New Zealand, where PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute) is making excellent headway into creating a model community where freedom of individual expression is combined with cohesion of collective purpose.
And, to help put Kotare village into some kind of historical context, I thought I’d juxtapose it against the video below — where you see the kind of life ‘the system’ gives us instead…. The reality of the constant struggle in the ‘daily grind’, with little to no feeling of personal satisfaction, and little hope, should make one appreciate the fantasic opportunity places like Kotare Village offer — a life with meaning, developing resilience and security, and health of body and mind. Places like Kotare Village can serve as templates to emulate as we make the long-overdue shift towards relocalising our supply lines and putting life back into our lives.Comments (2)
Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Land, Livestock, People Systems, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Steve Hanson December 24, 2012
by Steve Hanson
2012 is our eighth year of small scale farming in France and has seen us move from income dependence to financial security and independence. Looking back over the last eight years at our mistakes and our successes in getting to this point demonstrates the value of an integrated approach.
When we arrived in France we had a single idea to provide us with income; that of breeding pigs and selling high quality organic free range pork and pork products. This worked well for three years but in our fourth year, 2008, a poor global grain harvest sent the price of grain skyward almost doubling the price from our local farmer. This gave us cause to rethink our future dependency on outside sources for anything which the global market could affect — this is of course everything!
So how do we remove ourselves as far from external influences and gain self-reliance at the same time?Comments (14)
Commercial Farm Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Trees — by Chris McLeod December 6, 2012
Writing the article series about Food Forests has made me aware of how much interest there is in them and how they can vary from region to region, but it also highlighted to me just how difficult it may be for people to actually visit a food forest.
However, thanks to the wonders of the internet and YouTube, people have the opportunity to take a virtual tour of a food forest and see how it progresses over time without leaving their chair!Comments (3)
Commercial Farm Projects — by Penny Kothe October 16, 2012
‘Caroola’ is an example of a small-scale conventional farm conversion to permaculture (small by Australian farming standards), or at least it will be. It’s not often you get to see a project of this type through its lifetime and the thought processes behind it, so I thought I’d share, and welcome any comments or input. In order to encourage other small scale farmers and would-be tree changers to see what can be achieved with degenerated and non-profitable land to make it sustainable in terms of economics, the earth and the people, I thought I’d share my story.Comments (6)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson October 12, 2012
Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson
At the top end of the Marshalls’ property on the Southern Tablelands, NSW, Australia, the creek is bone dry. This spot, fed by 1250 Ha of native forest, has been that way for 10 weeks now.
Meanwhile, 1.2 km downstream at the base of their property, flowing past the fodder poplars, the bamboo and the ferns and dense native revegetation (where only blackberry stood twelve years ago), is one and a half megalitres of the crystal clear water you see in the photo above; every day. Since the creek dried up at the top of their property, 120 megalitres is a conservative estimate of the base flow that ‘the sponge’ that is ‘Sunningdale’ has continued to release to the landscape below. This is despite a catchment increase between the two sites of only 8% and five out of the last six months of rainfall being well below the average.
What’s the catch? If you’d like a bit of background on how a property like Peter and Kate Marshall’s, which has reinstated the original floodplain hydrological processes, is able to store and then slowly release water, check out the simple diagrams below.Comments (4)
The Alchemy of Converting Economic Capital to Natural Capital: A Journey Into For-Profit Permaculture
Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Ethical Investment, Village Development — by Warren Brush September 26, 2012
Regenerative Earth Farms panorama
In early September 2012, Regenerative Earth Farms, a family inspired and held endeavor, was born with the close of escrow of its first farm investment as part of a strategy to help people convert their economic capital into regenerative natural capital and soil building efforts that contribute to community food resiliency, and social and ecological stability. Our first farm is ideally situated 2.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara, California and is in a unique sub-tropical/Mediterranean micro-climate for optimal growing. It is also near to an ideal consumer constituency to market the type of farm produce, added-value products and services from the farm’s multi-enterprises. How did this come about you might be asking yourself?Comments (10)
Commercial Farm Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Lewis Jackson August 6, 2012
Looking out over the lifeless brown quilt of drought-stricken Midwest corn monoculture from the window of a Boeing 747, it was immediately apparent to me that permaculture farming practices would have prevented this ecological catastrophe. The hottest summer on record in the United States combined with aggressive commercial farming practices has created the potential for a biblical famine!Comments (5)