Ground breaking has begun for EarthCamp Village which is part of our 8.7 acre permaculture design for Center for Sustainable Community here in Stelle, IL. We started working on Earth-Shelter #1 on July 15, 2013. All updates related to this one cabin will be posted here. Feel free to leave messages, ideas or comments. Let’s learn about this together.
Free Plant Guilds eBooklet
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Integrated Forest Gardening
Bryce is Midwest Permaculture’s Official ‘Plant Guy’. When we have questions about plants or need detailed design work for clients, he’s our go-to guy and wonderful to work with as well.
Post Update (Oct. 2017)
Sorry – This Course is Now Full
Below is a picture summary from a previous joint training to give you an idea of how full and rich this combined training is.
Blog Post of Previous Combined Course
Pictures and Text by Bill Wilson of Midwest Permaculture
For a second year we co-delivered with the Cal-Earth teaching staff a combined Superadobe Earth Building and Permaculture Design Certificate Course. At the close of our training we were pleased to host Geoff and Nadia Lawton of PRI-Australia who shared their work in desert environments with us while they were in the USA for a brief visit. This workshop was also opened to the general public seen here at the end of a really great day of learning.
Why Chinampas Gardens are part of This Permaculture Design
Chinampas Gardens are artificial islands or peninsulas created by scooping nutrient-rich lake, swamp or pond muck into a woven cage so that crops can be grown above the waterline in a wet environment. Within this simple design, several unique functions are accomplished at once: a micro-climate that prevents early frost damage; an extremely productive soil that is mostly self-sustaining; a self-watering system created by water wicking in from the sides as moisture evaporates from the surface of the beds; and the growing of plants and fish within the same area.
In Particular we want to:
Why Wood Gasification is part of This Permaculture Design
Wood Gasification is the process of converting wood (any kind of scraps or trimmings) into flammable gasses by burning it at very high temperatures in an oxygen starved environment. These gasses, once cooled and cleaned of tars, can be piped directly into an internal combustion engine as a fuel substitute for gasoline…!!!
We have designed in the use of wood gasification units for:
And the wood gasification units burn much, much cleaner than wood stoves because of the high temperatures. They actually burn off almost all of the smoke and gasses, turning even these into additional energy.
In this design we will be planting linear-food forests all along the downhill side of each of three hugelkultured swales.
What is a hugelkultured swale?
Objective: Raise some chickens for food and to also help with insect, grass and weed control in our 2-acre organic community orchard…!!!
As most of you know, in permaculture design we attempt to:
- garner the greatest amount or number of yields
- from the minimum amount of work
- while creating no waste (at least minimal)
- and restoring the environment.
Let’s see what additional benefits we can obtain from this project other than just the insect, grass and weed-removal help from 100 chickens. This will be our chicken saga as it reveals itself in real time. We’re always learning too and raising this many chickens at once, and in this way, is stretching us some.
We will take the experience we do have, plus apply permaculture design principles, while adding in good-ole common sense (with help from some great books, friends and the internet) to work creatively and see what we might come up with.
Arbor Day’s Lied Lodge:
It is Air Conditioned with Current Sunlight (i.e. Scrap Wood)
|In our last post we talked about thermal mass rocket stoves and the great benefit they held by being able to heat our homes using current sunlight in the form of firewood. (The sunlight energy stored in coal, oil and natural gas is millions of years old.) With these stoves we consume as little as 1/4 the amount of firewood it would take to heat the same amount of space with a traditional wood stove. This is a huge savings in energy consumed for the same results.|
Last February, Becky and I visited Lied Lodge and were surprised to discover that they not only heated their water and the Lodge with scrap-chipped wood, but they also air-condition the entire Lodge using the same fires…!!! How can this be? Continue reading “Burning Wood to “Cool” an Entire Lodge”
This is just too cool…!
How many people live near a running creek, but the creek sits low enough on their property that there is no good way to get the water up on to the land for irrigation or for a small pond without running electricity for a pump? This simple, homemade device will do the trick.
Of note, the water pump wheel will lift water 2 to 8 times higher than the diameter of the wheel. Basically, the more loops you have in the wheel the higher and farther you can ‘pump’ the water. However, the more loops in the wheel makes the wheel heaver and harder to turn, so one needs a larger or faster running creek to do the work. Regardless, there appears to be a happy median, and to move any amount of water uphill on a piece of property gives one a very valuable resource to work with.
Here is a link to a simple article about how the water wheel pump works and how to build one.
Just had to share this with you…. Bill Wilson
Week 2 – The Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course.
(Click here for Photos of Week 1)