Tag Archives | Nature

Build it, chop it, grow it, pick it, preserve it

It’s not much to look at, we know, but we wanted to start this post with a blank canvas: the exciting possibility of the empty page, a timely reminder to observe


and interact:


There has been much observing these last few weeks, looking around to see what we could use for a retaining wall. Hello willow. Thanks so much to Mitch, the current Melliodora apprentice, for this fantastic series of photos:










This week we welcomed Lori who will be MIAOWing with us for three weeks. Lori did her PDC at Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead in Orcas Island, Washington and has been an active member of the Seattle Permaculture Guild. Lori says that her vision for the future is to infiltrate the mainstream education system and inject it with permaculture. “My goal is to bring this message to young people in a way that inspires them to perpetuate it.” We hope you reach your goal Lori!


With Lori’s help we picked olives





cut and dehydrated feijoas, and scooped out their sherbety flesh to freeze them.


We made kraut,

krautspelt sourdough


and fresh goats cheese.


And we looked up. We gave thanks for the rain, the falling leaf mulch, and the kiwi chandeliers.



Yolanda aftermath and relief under way (with update Dec 3)

You have no doubt heard about the destruction of a part of the Philippines by the super typhoon Yolanda, and like us here, are wondering what one can do to help.

While it is hotly debated whether the fierce storm was one of the symptoms of climate change or not, some permaculture colleagues and activists in the Philippines and around the region are responding quickly to this disaster with permaculture initiatives. We are sure there are many more initiatives, but here is some info of ones we have heard about.  They obviously need help from us all, and there are many ways one can help.

Renante Areola in Manila reported

We are okay in Manila just signal #1 here. It’s an absolute disaster and together with other permies we organized our own team.

the Permaculture Aid Yolanda team Sabina Arokiam, Pi Villaraza, Nyoman Wen and Lydia Lim talking to David Holmgren on Skype.

the Permaculture Aid Yolanda team Sabina Arokiam, Pi Villaraza, Nyoman Wen and Lydia Lim talking to David Holmgren on Skype.

Nyoman Steffen Wen told us that a group of permaculture relief aid workers has started converging on MAIA Earth VIllage in Palawan, Philippines, which is going to be its base. Steve Cran is organising a reconnaissance team, to canvas affected areas and report back on conditions out there, and begin to identify possible project areas. By Christmas, the team will be ready to roll out trained teams of permaculture aid workers in areas that have been identified as in need, and willing to receive the type of aid it can offer. They are looking for help in the following specific areas.

* funding
* volunteers able to commit to 3 months field work
* logistical assistance (committed online volunteers, researchers, etc)
* publicity
* contacts with other aid networks and organisations
* corporate sponsorship for food, materials, flights, equipment, etc

You can follow the permaculture aid team here.

If you think you can help, please get in touch with them at [email protected].

While Bert Peeters says

I have been assisting tribal communities in North Palawan for which relief and rehab means rebuilding houses, boats and looking at sound survival solutions like rainwater collectors, compost toilets and the like.
Devastation is worse in the east and we are still trying to get in at a substantial level so we can really make a permaculture move. For the time being it is still assessing and networking while others are in the relief field.

(Dec 3.)
The Permaculture Aid Yoland team are sending out an SOS.

The funds we have are running out quickly as we encounter more and more needs in these remote villages. We require our recon guide for another week (US$700), and a vehicle as well (US$600/week). We are sleeping in tents in whatever space is available, so have avoided accommodation costs wherever possible, but could use funds for food for the recon team (approx $50/day for 7 people).

Contact Hepburn Relocalisation Network for bank details for donation.



Weeds or Wild Nature: A Permaculture Perspective

David Holmgren presented this report as part of a series of seminars on “Contentious Perspectives on Weeds” at the 45th Annual General Meeting of the Weed Society of Victoria in April 2011. It was subsequently published in Plant Protection Quarterly, Volume 26, Issue 3, 2011, p.92-97, along with other proceedings from the seminar.

His message about nature’s resilience is a counter balance to the orthodox picture from the biological sciences of endless ecological collapse in the face of human impact. He brings these perspectives into the 21st century where fundamental challenges to civilisation are changing the ground rules for how we work with nature.

“Land design and management informed by permaculture principles tends to regard naturalized species of plants as assets that should be managed to stabilize water and soil, build biomass, fix nutrients, ameliorate microclimate and provide habitat, fodder, fuel and food in the early stages of system development. While naturalized species may be given a lower value in permaculture design than species regarded as indigenous to the site and region, the typical designation of naturalized species as ‘invasive species’ or ‘environmental weeds’ is typically rejected as anti-ecological thinking.”

Download PDF (127 KB)

See also the earlier article on the same subject first written in 1997, Weeds or wild nature.