Saturday, 13 December 2014

Urban Rainwater Harvesting - "Slow It, Spread It & Sink It!"

Hello!  Have you ever thought about harvesting rain water in your urban property instead of draining it out of your property? How about recycling your 'grey water' in the garden? 

  • "Why is it that we get rid of all this free - high quality, fresh rain water as quick as possible from our landscape and then we pull a distant water, with a decreased water quality, back to our use which comes with a high expense?" -Brad Lancaster

What can we do at home to harvest that high quality rain water?  How can we recycle a 'grey water' (water used in a kitchen, in a washing machine and in the shower) to save energy and the environment? 

                "Plant The Rain Before Planting Trees" - Brad Lancaster

There are ways to save and recycle water.  But there is also a way of re-hydrating the ground and keep our gardens hydrated longer.
  • By using earth works to slow down a flow of water and soak it into the landscape instead of draining it out of your property. 
  • When pruning your plants in the garden instead of dumping them, 'chop and drop' plant clippings in your garden creating a mulch which protects the soil from drying out, also recycles nutrients back in the ground and creates a 'heaven' for "happy micro-organisms".  Like it is in the natural forest. 
After doing a little bit of research I found this interesting and informative video from Permasolutions titled with Brad Lancaster: "Urban Water Harvesting Systems".

I especially liked triple S's - the way Brad talks about re-hydrating our landscapes - "Slowing, Spreading & Sinking the flow of water, instead of Pave It, Pipe It & Pollute It."

As he says "We all can choose our story - What is yours?"  Ours at the moment is 160 litres of water per day for two of us (the average water usage in our city 197 litres/person/day) and decreasing...

Enjoy the video! 

Hope you enjoyed this post.  Do you have any water saving ideas that would benefit all of us in our home and garden?  Let us know in the comment box below :-) 

Heli & Allan Iso-Aho

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

How To Mulch A Permaculture Food Forest With 'Chop & Drop'

Hello!  Are you planning to create a permaculture food forest garden?  Then you may have heard of this method called 'chop and drop'.  A way of mulching your food forest garden.

What is Chop & Drop?

It's about having a variety of so called 'support' trees (legumes and other fast growing trees)  in your food forest and when time is right you prune a whole or a part of the tree in the ground around your fruit trees.

The best 'chop and drop' trees and plants are legumes (nitrogen fixing) and the trees that have a large biomass and grow back quickly after  pruning. e.g Moringa , Comfrey (herbaceous plant)

Let's look at the benefits of Chop and Drop method:
  • In the early stages of your food forest some of your fruit trees are slow growing and need protection from elements such as the sun, wind and rain (hale).  Planting fast growing legumes you give needed protection and nutrients for your young fruit trees.
  • You are creating mulch (nutrition) that feeds the soil microbes which feed your fruit trees 
  • Easy and simple method - plants are already in place where the mulch is needed
  • You are building a soil with a good soil structure - a better water holding capacity and well draining soil
  • Mulch protects the soil from the elements (sun, rain, wind)
  • This way you save on other organic fertilizers
The chop and drop method is one of the important steps in caring for your food forest.  Here is a fantastic video on Chop & Drop, it comes from EcoOasis titled with How To Chop And Drop In A Food Forest "Living Permaculture" Episode 4


Hope you enjoyed this post.  Do you have experience in chop & drop? Let us know in the comment box below :-) 

Heli & Allan Iso-Aho

Sunday, 30 November 2014

What Is A Banana Circle? - How To Grow Bananas In Subtropics?

Hello Hello!  I hear people talking about this amazing way to grow bananas in tropics and subtropics and many of you are asking - What is a banana circle? Why is it such a great method of growing bananas?

Well, I decided to do some research to find out.  As we live in subtropics, a banana circle would work well in our yard. 

This is what we found out:

First of all, what is a banana circle?  It is simply a method of growing bananas (and paw paws if you wish) and other 'fill in' plants in the small area (e.g 2m diameter circle) where you can utilize water run off and overflow water from water tanks to water your produce.

Also by composting your kitchen and garden waste in the middle of your banana circle you feed and water your plants at same time.

Bananas are great plants to use in this method because they are heavy feeders and they love a 'good drink' to be productive.

Let's go through the benefits of a banana circle:

  • You only need a small area (2m - 3m diameter)
  • Much higher yield than traditional growing in the field (traditionally area 3m x 3m)
      - e.g  "3m diameter circle => 12 bananas => 148 punches in 18months => 50% more weight in the punch"  - Bill Mollison        
  • Less watering, less work
  • Hardly any weeds - bananas and other plants planted thickly and a circle is mulched
  • Composting area is in the middle, which feeds your plants

This is certainly one of the fantastic methods of growing fruit trees I have ever seen and so excited to learn more soon as I am attending for the PDC course in the near future :-)

We love to hear your experiences in building a Banana circle and how it's all working for you.  Are you are having any problems with it?  Let us know by commenting below and help us all to learn more.

Here is a couple of great videos for you: The first one is from the School Of Permaculture titled with Permaculture Tip of the Day - What is a Banana Circle? and the second video is from Sunny Rain Ecostead and Studio titled with Building A Banana Circle .


If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share :-) Thank You.

Heli & Allan Iso-Aho

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Easy Way To Grow Herbs At Home - The Herb Spiral

Hello! Are you looking for an easy way to grow your herbs at home? If you don't have much space and like to grow many different herbs, there is a way to grow them all in the same small space. 

Well, have you ever heard of The Herb Spiral in Permaculture?

The Herb Spiral is a truly amazing, highly productive and energy efficient garden design that was first created by Bill Mollison.  "You can get 58 running feet (approx.17mtrs) of herbs from a Herb Spiral that is approx. 6 feet across at the base and 3 feet high from the middle."-Bill Mollison

The Herb Spiral creates microclimates allowing you to grow different types of herbs in the same area. (e.g rosemary for dry conditions and mint for moist conditions).  Also you can add a small frog pond at the start of a spiral to grow your watercress.

You can grow all your herbs in one small space and by building your garden next to your kitchen door or as close as possible, you can get to your herbs quickly and easily when ever you need them.

 photo source: amberdc

Here are some benefits of a Herb Spiral:
  • You can grow more herbs in the small compact space
  • Different micro-climates allow you to grow a large variety of herbs
  • A Herb Spiral can be build on concrete or any other hard surface
  • Easy to maintain and harvest your herbs
  • Only one sprinkler needed to water whole garden
  • You save time and energy on growing your own herbs
  • You may have a small frog pond build at the start of the spiral
  • Always fresh herbs available and no waste
  • Affordable garden feature - building materials can be found from your home or by going to scrap yards. You can use any kind of material that holds your soil in e.g bricks, rocks, timber, sticks etc.
The best benefit of all, I think is that you are creating an ecosystem that serves you and a range of small animals in your home - like frogs, lizards, insects, and other bugs.

And how would you FEEL daily to see your fresh herbs growing and giving you their heavenly scent....:-)

Here is a great video from The Daedalx tittled with The Herb Spiral where Bill Mollison gives all the secrets in building his famous Herb Spiral.  Enjoy!

Are you ready to set up your own Herb Spiral? Or maybe you have build one already.  Let us your thoughts, we'd love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this post, please be sociable and share :-) Thank You.

Heli & Allan Iso-Aho

Monday, 10 November 2014

Permaculture Garden - The Benefits Of Growing Your Permaculture Food Forest

Hello! Where do you go when you feel stressed out, anxious or just tired from the days work?  How do you keep your body healthy and full of energy in years to come?

Growing a Permaculture garden with a Food Forest in your property gives you a peaceful environment and provides you a delicious, nutrient dense food which helps you to keep your body healthy and energetic for years to come.

What is a Permaculture Food Forest?  It is a food forest that is designed the way it mimics a natural forests ecosystem.  It produces food without too much human intervention when it's established.  There is no need for pesticides, fertilizers and only a little watering. 

Here are some benefits in growing your own Permaculture Food Forest:
  • You feel physically and mentally healthier by eating a nutrient dense food.
  • Biodiversity brings you food to eat in every day of the year.  Growing annual vegetables as well, give you food almost straight away, while waiting trees to mature (approx. 4-6 years).
  • With a food forest you bring beneficial insects to do your 'dirty' work and there is no need for pesticides.  Give a home for your 'helpers' and they stay look after for your pest problems
  • You can turn your organic waste into a compost and build a living soil with 'happy' microbes.
  • With a chop & drop method you can feed and build your soil to be healthy which keeps your plants healthy and productive.
  • Preserve your soil in any way you can - by having walking paths, avoid compaction of a garden beds, avoid pulling plants out instead cut off from the base and leave a root system to rot in the ground. All garden 'waste' goes back to the soil.
  • Planting diversity of plants which support one another is a system that gives you and a wildlife a place to enjoy many years to come.  Not all the plants and elements are meant to benefit only a human but a whole ecosystem.
  • Energy saving methods:  With plants in the right places you can passively cool or warm your house.  Some other plants can form a wind break.  There are plants for wet and dry spots in your garden.  Even shady places have their purpose. 
  • Creating an ecosystem for human, plants and animals which can be enjoyed by future generations.  Helping to heal the earth starts in our own backyard.
Creating a Permaculture garden in your property is not hard when you know basic principles in ecological gardening and designing.  

There are great courses available and learn from but if your budget is low, by reading books and watching videos on Youtube will get you started.  And then take action!

Start with drawing a rough plan. Observe how the sun moves in your property in different times in the year.  How can you harvest the rain water? 

Start building a compost straight away. Compost any waste organic material from your home. Collect organic materials e.g ask your neighbors if they have any garden waste.

We collect leaves from the local parks.  Ask juice bars their fruit and veggie scraps etc.  Join your local Permaculture group to volunteer and go their workshops. 

The soil is the most important part of any gardening practice.  Keep taking care of the soil and it will take care of your plants :-) 

Helping to heal the Earth starts in our own backyard!

Here is a great video from Johnny Mars again tittled with Permaculture Paradise: Val & Eli's Summer Abundance Part 1!


Are you ready to create your own Permaculture Paradise?  

If you enjoyed this article, please be sociable and share :-)  Thank you.

Heli Iso-Aho  

Thursday, 30 October 2014

What Would Mother Nature Say...

Hello! Hello!  What would Mother Nature say to humankind if she could speak our language?  This is something that came into my mind: "Work with me and flourish.  Work against me and vanish."  As we all know she is 'speaking' to us - but are we listening?

I feel great sadness to see how we treat this planet earth and its inhabitants.  The earth is not a home only for humans, its also a home for all other living species and organisms.  We've been given a huge gift by being a part of nature and it's our responsibility to respect and conserve the environment we live in.

"The greatest thread to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it" - Robert Swan

It's about you and me as an individuals, changing our ways and asking questions to find answers instead of blaming others.  Taking actions every day instead of just talking about climate change.  We all as individuals have the power to change the world into a place we want to live in.  

Choosing the way we live and consume is a powerful act that nobody can ignore. Being a role model to our children so they adopt a meaningful way to live so they can pass it on to their children.

And I don't mean going back 'to anything' - but choosing to live more sustainable and regenerative way, so that this earth is better place tomorrow than it was today for all living species on the earth.

What could you change in your every day life that would have a positive impact on the environment?

Would you consider to do any of these: Do carpooling or using public transport, grow some of your food, shop locally, composting, insulate your house before having an air-con, harvesting rainwater, recycle water, practising zero waste, reduce plastics, avoid buying packaged items, reduce - reuse - recycle, up-cycle etc.

There are so many things that we can do as individuals to make a positive impact on our environment and feel great about it.

Do we really need to buy everything we want? How about buying a second hand item instead of a new one?  Could we swap and share items?  How about start cooking at home? 

Changing our ways is not hard - it's just choosing a 'habit' over another one -  and it can be a lots of fun too :-) 

Here is a great video from ConservationDotOrg tittled with Nature Is Speaking - Julia Roberts is Mother Nature.  Enjoy! 

Did you enjoyed this video?  Do you agree with a message?  Let us know - we would love to hear your thoughts :-)

Heli Iso-Aho  

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Building A Raised Garden - How To Make A Keyhole Garden?

Hello! Hello!  Building a raised garden has many advantages and can be build many different ways.  Today we are going to show you how to make a keyhole garden.

What is a keyhole garden?

A keyhole garden is a simple way of growing your vegetables and recycling your kitchen waste in the same place.  A great advantage with this method of growing food is you don't need much space. 

Also if you live in the hot climate this vegetable gardening method is even more beneficial for you as it is more drought tolerant than a conventional garden bed.

Other benefits of a keyhole garden:
  • A centre compost basket provides nutrients regularly to your plants
  • By having a heat drawing outer wall materials your soil can be warmer than outside the beds
  • Garden has a great access to harvest from all sides
  • Easy to harvest garden by being high of the ground
  • Using recycled materials to build your keyhole garden makes it very affordable - you can use what ever materials available at home e.g. bricks, rocks, timber, bamboo, sheeting etc.
  • If you have pets, this garden system protects more your plants from trampling pets 
To show you how much fun growing your own food can be, I found this great video on How To Make An African Style Raised Bed from Send A Cow .


So what do you think?  Are you ready to start your own keyhole garden yet?  Let us know what you think in the box below and please share this post if you found it helpful :-)

Heli Iso-Aho  

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Is Urban Homesteading Just A Myth? - What Is Urban Homesteading?

Hello!  Is urban homesteading just a myth or is it really something that can be done?  

What is urban homesteading?  To me urban homesteading is about a lifestyle of self-sufficiency and living low impact, sustainable lifestyle in your suburban home.  E.g growing your own food and preserving it for your family.  Harvesting rain water.  Using alternative energy methods such as solar, hydro or wind. Using alternative transportation when ever you can (bicycle, walking).

Wouldn't be nice to have a life where you can 'go grocery shopping' for the most of your food in you backyard.  Knowing that your food is fresh, healthy and a taste of food is unlike anything bought from shops.

To live life that is more simple by working with your community. Sharing, bartering and swapping products with your friends and neighbours.  Selling your surplus food and buy products that you need and cannot produce yourself.

This family from USA shows you how they are living a simple, low impact life in their suburban home.  We found this story to be so inspirational and fun.  

Have a cup of your favourite drink and enjoy this award winning film from Urban Homestead titled with Homegrown Revolution - The Urban Homestead Dervaes .  

This film made my heart sing :-)

So, what do you think about a self-sufficiency?  Would you do something like this?  Please leave your comments below.

Heli Iso-Aho

We hope you found this post inspiring! If so, please be sociable and share :-)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Dandelions And Permaculture - Why A Permaculturist Loves Dandelions?

Hello! Permaculture people love dandelions - why do you think that is?

Have you ever blown puff balls of dandelion seeds?  I remember that it use to be one of my favourite past time activities as a kid.  Friends and I use to pick dandelions and blow 'puff balls' in to the wind.

I was never told then that dandelions were edible and they had so many great advantages.

What is a dandelion?

A dandelion is a herbaceous plant that is found as a 'weed' all over the world.  See description here

Benefits of dandelions

  • Edible, highly nutritious plant (vitamin C and A. B-6, Iron)
             -- mostly used are leaves, flowers and roots e.g makes a great tea
             -- young leaves and flowers in salads
             -- roots great for roasting and eaten as vegetables
             -- obviously using dandelions only were they haven't been
                 subject to sprays and pesticides

  • A tap root of dandelion brake up compacted soil and allow better water penetration and also aerates the soil.  Also a taproot delivers nutrients and minerals from the deep down on to the surface for other plants that have shallower root system. 

  • Bees love its flower


  • If you love your lawn then you probably don't like dandelions, as they spread quickly by seeds.  But even then you should thank dandelions by telling you that the soil under your lawn may be compacted and needs aeration.

But who wants to have a 'perfect' lawn anyway :-)

Here I found a couple of great videos for you to enjoy!

The first video is from Paul Wheaton titled with Dandelions In Permaculture and the second video is from Neil Bromhall titled with Time Lapse Dandelion Flower To Seed Head .

Hope you will enjoy them as much as we did :-)

So, what do you think of dandelions now? :-)  We'd love to hear your thoughts in the box below.

Heli & Allan

We hope you found this post helpful! If so, please be sociable and share :-)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Do You Think Zero Waste Is Possible? - How To Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Hello! Do you Reduce, Reuse & Recycle things at home?

I have a confession to make.  I have always loved recycling and reusing different things at home.  But now I have become even more enthusiastic on sustainable, green living.

I am excited about those 3 R's.  Especially about Reducing. If I reduce, then I don't have to think about those other two.

It's amazing how much we can reduce waste (and save money!) by thinking about what we really need when shopping and what better alternatives we can use at home. 

Things that we do at home :
  • When I shop for food or any other things - I carry my own bags and basket (luv my basket).  Avoiding packaged food and researching ways of storing food without plastics - I am learning to make my own bread, cookies and pastries - hm..interesting :-) and our goal is to grow our own food at home - so we can shop for fresh food in our backyard! Yay!  
  •  We compost most our organic waste (except meat and dairy) from the kitchen and household. All garden waste and lawn clippings get composted. Hardly anything goes to the dump.  Anything that is recyclable goes to the recycling bin.
  • We are harvesting rain water and have solar panels.
  •  I cut old and worn fabrics and make floor rag rugs out of them.  Plastic bags can also be made for floor rugs.  Some fabrics I use as cleaning rags.  
  •  It's amazing how much cleaning you can do with baking soda, white vinegar and lemons.  Not buying chemicals.  
  • HOT Tip! I found out recently that there is a Loofah vine that can be grown at home which produces 'cucumbers'.  When they mature and dry out they become a 'sponge' that can be used in cleaning and a body sponge AND at the end of it's life they become an organic waste that can be composted!  Fabulous. 
Found this great short video on reducing waste.  Take a look how this young lady has reduced her waste into just a jar full of trash.  Inspiring!

Let us know how you Reduce, Reuse and Recycle at home!

Heli & Allan      

We hope you found this post helpful! If so, please be sociable and share :-)

Friday, 12 September 2014

There Is A Permaculture Heaven On Earth! - Come On Tour At Zaytuna Farm In Australia

Hello! Remember this video tour at Geoff Lawton's Zaytuna farm at 2012?  How the run down cattle property changed in to a permaculture heaven on earth.

Here is a video from hempward on Zaytuna Farm Video Tour Part II made 2013 and here you can see what has changed at the farm.  Geoff, and his helping hand daughter Latifa, go through following topics:

1.  Kitchen Garden

2.  Natural Buildings
    -  Benefits of straw bale building and woven bamboo building

 3. Food Forests
    -  Establishing a food forest, using a chicken tractor, use of different plant species from nitrogen      fixing ground covers to fruit trees and non-aggressive timber trees

4.  Plant Nursery

    -  Seed storage and species
    -  Water supply system for the nursery
    -  Solar energy system
    -  Potting area
    -  Potting mix used => sharp river sand & sieved compost, how to sieve the compost
    -  Sowing depth for seeds
    -  Polytunnel for propagation => automated misters
    -  Shadehouse  => misters, worm farm
    -  Harden off area (outside area before planting in the ground) =>
       goes through species grown in the nursery and shows how to plant a Jack Fruit tree.

5.  Cattle Lane Ways
     -  Goats => fed with forage & pasture (50/50)

6.  Aquaculture

7.  Chickens (breeding)

8.  Soil Course & Intership Program

And now have a nice cup of your favourite drink and sit down to enjoy this tour here at Down Under! 

Heli & Allan        
We hope you enjoyed this video as much as we did! If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Wednesday, 3 September 2014

    Give Insects A Home - How To Build A Bug Hotel

    Hello!  Did you know that you can help to give nature a home?  By building an insect 'hotel' you can help those so important little insects and animals to survive in your backyard.

    “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” -Jonas Salk

    Also building a bug hotel is a great way to recycle any of your 'waste' materials that are lying around in your place.

    You only need to pile up some different materials that you may have in your place and then make a roof to keep rain away.  Or if you want something fancy, you can build a frame first and then fill it up with different materials.

    Found these two great videos on bug hotels. The first one is about how to build a bug hotel from RSVBvideo and second one is about the success of a bug hotel from Calastein .

    Hope you enjoy these videos and find them helpful!  Let us know what you think in the comment box below.


    Heli & Allan       
    Did you like these videos? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Thursday, 28 August 2014

    How To Use Comfrey In Your Garden - Why Most Permaculturists Love Comfrey

    Hello!  Do you know a plant called Comfrey? Do you know how to use Comfrey in your garden? 

    Comfrey is a very popular plant in the permaculture designs and permaculture gardens.  It has many advantages in the garden.  It's also called the queen of multi-functional plants (Toby Hemenway).

    Main advantages:

    -  Brings beneficial insects to your garden - bees love it! Earth worms love rotting Comfrey!
    -  Fantastic 'chop and drop' plant for your fruit trees.
    -  Leaves great in the compost pile - makes your compost heating up quickly
    -  Makes great Comfrey 'tea' as a liquid fertilizer for your plants (by cutting leaves and soak them in the bucket of water for a couple of weeks.)
    -  Great biomass (biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms) accumulator for your garden.

    -  Spreads by a root division - very hard to get rid off by digging a plant out. Make sure you plant Comfrey to a right place in the ground or plant it in the pot. 

    I found this great video from Paul Wheaton titled with Why Permaculture Folks Like Comfrey.  It'll give you more great information on Comfrey and how to use it in your garden.

    Hope you'll enjoy it!


    Do you grow Comfrey in you yard?  What experiences you have had with the plant?

    We'd love to hear from you. Leave your comment below :-)

    Heli & Allan       
    Did you like this video? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Thursday, 21 August 2014

    Starting A Food Forest - Growing For A Long Term Food Supply

    Hello!  Do you have a block of grass land that does not have much value and you don't know what to do with it?  Have you ever thought of starting a permanent, food forest for a long term food supply?

    Growing a food forest by using permaculture principles, is gaining interest in all over the world.

    What is a food forest in permaculture?

    Basically it is about designing a food forest by mimicking a natural forest ecosystem.  It produces food without too much human intervention when it's established.

    There is no need for artificial fertilizers, pesticides and only little watering.  As long as the soil is looked after, it will look after plants that are growing in it. 

    So how to start a food forest? Here's a great video on starting a fruit forest from Frank Gapinski and Geoff Lawton.


    Heli & Allan       

    Did you like this video? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Tuesday, 12 August 2014

    Permaculture Swales - What Are Swales And How They Work?

    Hello!  Have you heard of swales in permaculture design system? Many of you have asked what are permaculture swales and how they work.  Why are swales used in the permaculture design?

    Well, these swales with 'flat bottom' (drenches or ditches) in permaculture are quite amazing water harvesting features on contour of a land.  This means water in swales slowly soak into the surrounding landscape and helps passively irrigate plants and hydrate the earth.

    The soil dug out from swales is placed (not compacted any way) on the downhill slope where long term (perennial) and annual (short term) plants are planted to stabilize the soil.  This is also great way to establish a food forest.

    Swales also help slow down running water on the down slope and prevent erosion of a top soil.   A level sill spillway is set up 100mm higher than a bottom of a swale to discharge excess water in the swale.  Any excess water in the swale can be directed into another swale, a dam or where ever you need it to go.

    I am excited about this passive irrigation system and thought you might be interested in it too.  So here is a great video from Jack Spirko on Large Scale Swales in permaculture design system and another video from David Spicer on A Backflood Swale with 2 Levelsill Spillways .



    Did this post help you to understand more of swales?

    Heli & Allan       

    Did you like this video? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Monday, 28 July 2014

    Permaculture Design Science - Care for the Earth, Care for People and Share the Surplus

    Hello!  Permaculture is the design science - And it starts with 3 core ethics: Care for the Earth, Care for People and Sharing the Surplus.  It is much more than how to grow food.

    Permaculture has core principles where nature is a model.  Gardens function like a forest. They create their own fertility and catch their own water.  It's about celebrating diversity of plants.  Harvesting energy from the sun and wind.

    Take a bit time off and enjoy this easy to understand video from earthactivistas on Permaculture Principles At Work .  You will love it.


    Allan & Heli       

    Did you like this video? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Monday, 21 July 2014

    No Forests - No Us

    Hello! Can we survive without forests?  We are talking about climate change and how to get carbon out of the atmosphere, but are we actually doing anything to fix this problem.

    How about people who are living in these forests who are taken action to save their habitat - the habitat which is so important to all of us - are we supporting these people enough so they can continue this vital work.

    These people can change the world, if they get supported by all of us.

    Here is a moving story about people living in the forest and their work in saving their home.  Thank you for Permasolutions for sharing this video titled with Abode of the Clouds.

    Allan & Heli     

    Did you like this video? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Wednesday, 9 July 2014

    Can We Rehabilitate Large Scale Damaged Ecosystems - Green Gold by John D.Liu

    Hello World!  Why people are dying from hunger?  What is happening to this planet that should feed people and animals?

    The truth is we are damaging and destroying our ecosystems which would feed the people now and future generations to come.  Vast areas has been degraded to dust and people don't know what to do.

    Can we rehabilitate large scale damaged ecosystems?  Yes we can.  Why are we not doing it?

    Here's a video from Permaculture Day where environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits for people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally.

    Allan & Heli     

    Did you like this article? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Friday, 4 July 2014

    What Is A Rocket Stove - How To Build One?

    Hello World!  Do you know what a rocket stove is? A simple rocket stove can heat up your water with no time at all.  Amazing. 

    Why is it called 'rocket stove'?  Found this explanation: "The stove is called a "rocket stove" because the heated chimney causes the air to rise rapidly (rocket), pulling air in quickly to replace it, creating a stoking effect".-

    So if you are a 'handyman or handywoman' you could build your own as long as you know how to.  Benefit of a rocket stove is that it is very efficient and uses less wood.  You can use leaves, twigs and pine cones in the burner.

    Here is a great video from Permasolutions with Geoff Lawton on "How to build a rocket stove mass water heater".  Enjoy!

    Allan & Heli 
    Did you like this article? If so, please be sociable and share :-)

    Monday, 30 June 2014

    A Fight Against Food Waste

    Hello! Hello!  Found something incredibly wonderful and positive against food wasting.  We are advised to eat 5 different vegetables daily to stay healthy, and we are wasting huge amount of vegetables each year.  Have a look at this great video from Marcel for a fight against a food waste.

    Allan & Heli 
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    Tuesday, 24 June 2014

    Permaculture Principles In A Polyculture Orchard

    Hello!  As we know permaculture principles are based on natural ecosystems.  So how can we use permaculture principles in an orchard.  In a polyculture orchard we can follow the same principles of a natural forest.

    Creating a canopy and the under story of plants with a diversity of plant species.  This way we don't need pesticides and chemicals to reduce pests and diseases in the garden.

    In this next video, Anneke explains 3 permaculture principles in a polyculture orchard:

    1.  Producing No Waste  2.  Creating diversity  3.  Retaining the yield

    Think about how you can apply permaculture principles in your life?

    Enjoy the video and let me know what do you think!

    Allan & Heli    

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    Thursday, 12 June 2014

    How Permaculture Can Benefit Society


    By J Russell Hart 

    Our society today is basically selfish and we rely on industry for our needs. We like fast food, throw-away goods and cheap fuel. None of this is sustainable and will eventually lead to a society that falls in on itself. But help is at hand; it is called permaculture.

    Permaculture is another way to look at the world and its resources. We'll look at just what is meant by permaculture, the history of this conservation movement and meet some of its originators and the future of Permaculture. You may find that you are already applying some of the basic tenants of this small but growing movement.

    What does it Really Mean?

    Permaculture, as you may have guessed, is a contraction of the words permanent culture. The idea being that we rely more on sustainable agriculture not dependent on fossil fuels.
    It will use local resources, smaller more diverse crop planning, non-chemically dependent fertilizing, for example.

    Permaculture is a movement away from anything big and industrial to the smaller and sustainable farms, encouraging more interdependence with community members.

    How Permaculture Began

    It all began in the '70s by a wildlife biologist and ecologist named Bill Mollison of Australia. He saw the growing monster of the Industrial revolution and its impact on our culture.

    How this kind of culture was bound to eventually cave in due to its monstrous appetite. Rather than reacting in a negative way to this, he instead decided to take a more positive approach.

    By studying nature, he came to several conclusions about how nature goes through sustainable cycles without the benefit of man. Bill began to live and then to teach his philosophy.

    Basic Steps of Permaculture

    Another man who has silently built up a following in this movement is Masanobu Fukuoka. He believes that you should disturb the soil to an absolute minimum. Seeds are planted right on the soil's surface and then lightly covered with straw or other light mulch.

    Weeds are trimmed before the flower stage and allowed to become part of the mulch. This kills unwanted vegetation without poison and gives a favorable soil in which to plant. In time the soil becomes healthy and weeds and pests become less of a concern.

    You Mean Weeds are Good?

    Ruth Stout is another voice in this community. Her ideas about "no-till" gardening have caused many to change their views about weeds and weeding. Similar to Fukuoka, she purported to never need to weed but allowed plants to grow together.

    All vegetation, both "good" and "bad," build the soil which leads to healthy crops which means less pests. Once the soil is built weeding becomes as simple as flicking out the weed. All without chemicals and pesticides.

    Small Beginnings to - What?

    From its small, quiet revolutionary beginnings, it is apparent that permaculture will have to be embraced to a greater or lesser degree. Pollution due to industrial waste and mass transportation systems are on their way down memory lane. It will cost too much to ship in food from across the country so it makes more and more sense to buy food grown locally or grow it yourself.

    The basic philosophy of permaculture is gradually gaining ground as people begin to understand its benefits. Once thought to be something that only 3rd generation hippies were interested in, it can now be seen in urban life as people have their vegetable patch and throw the unneeded pieces and prunings back onto the garden for mulch.

    It is good to see that something so inherently useful to society across the globe is having such a good impact on all our lives.

    A keen and active gardener the author of this article, Russell Hart, had the good fortune to own ten acres of land on which to build his garden.

    As he progressed with the task of establishing the garden property, and co-incidently having adopted the Paleo diet due to it's basis being eating only natural foods (see ) he came across the permaculture concept. He immediately recognized it's benefits, both for himself and his property and for the overall benefit to society.

    Learn more about Russell's approach to successful gardening by visiting



    Allan & Heli    

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