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Read on to learn more about permaculture, sustainability and what I do.

Telling the Truth

We all tell lies. We tell them to others. Even more insidiously, we tell them to ourselves. Lying can become so much of a habit that sometimes we might not even recognise that we are doing it. But telling the truth is crucial for sustainability. It is essential when it comes to forming a solidContinue reading “Telling the Truth”

Case Study: Ecosystem Restoration Camp Concept

This is some recent ‘pro-bono’ concept work I have done for an ecosystem restoration camp planned in Somalia. The goal of these images is to provide a rough depiction of how the camp would be established and the area around it slowly re-vegetated and improved over time. This is conceptual work rather than work specificContinue reading “Case Study: Ecosystem Restoration Camp Concept”

Fruit-Infused Alcohols

If you are interested in food preservation then there are plenty of interesting activities to enjoy at this time of the year. When you think of preservation, it is most likely that your mind will turn first to freezing, canning and dehydration. But another interesting thing to consider is making fruit infused alcohols. Infusing alcoholicContinue reading “Fruit-Infused Alcohols”

Edible Ornamentals and Ornamental Edibles

Many gardeners compartmentalise in their heads. They put edible crops into one category, and ornamental, flowering plants in another. But there can actually be a lot of overlap between these two categories. In a permaculture garden, we integrate don’t segregate. We grow plenty of flowers as companion plants in our polyculture vegetable beds. We considerContinue reading “Edible Ornamentals and Ornamental Edibles”

Connect and Thrive

Everything in nature is connected. While we, as humans, often have a tendency to compartmentalise, permaculture involves seeing everything holistically. We must understand the connections between elements in every system, and use and value diversity. We must recognise natural interactions and use them to our advantage. When we connect – both to other people andContinue reading “Connect and Thrive”

Planting for Soil Stabilisation on a Slope

Yesterday, I mentioned swales and terracing for water control. These landscape features often used in permaculture design manage water flow. By preventing water run-off, they can also aid in reducing erosion. But in addition to these earthworks, soil stabilisation on a slope also involves thinking carefully about planting. In permaculture, earthworks and planting cannot beContinue reading “Planting for Soil Stabilisation on a Slope”

Ecosystem Restoration and Community Development Must Go Hand in Hand

I’ve been working on an ongoing project in Somalia, and this has led me to think a lot about the fact that, all too often, efforts in conservation and ecosystem restoration are divorced from efforts in the social and economic spheres. We often talk about the fact that economic sustainability involves looking at the environmentalContinue reading “Ecosystem Restoration and Community Development Must Go Hand in Hand”

Plant Daffodils – Spring Ephemerals in a Forest Garden

Daffodils and other flowering bulbs are a cheerful sight in spring. They can brighten up a garden and bring light to the partial shade around trees and shrubs. Spring bulbs like daffodils are spring ephemerals. They bloom only for a short time, fading and beginning to die back as warmer weather arrives. Through three seasons,Continue reading “Plant Daffodils – Spring Ephemerals in a Forest Garden”

Using Living Mulch

Mulching is an important thing in an organic garden. It is crucial for protecting the soil, retaining moisture and suppressing weeds. It can also be beneficial in other ways, such as providing habitat and shelter for soil life and other wildlife. Many people are familiar with mulches such as compost, well-rotted manures, straw, wood chipContinue reading “Using Living Mulch”

The Future of Farming

Food system reform is a hot topic. It is essential that agriculture changes, if we are to successfully tackle the environmental and social challenges we face. As a permaculture designer, I often focus on the basics – energy use, water, fertility… But as we develop sustainable growing systems, we need to recognise that while weContinue reading “The Future of Farming”

Weed Seeds To Eat

When we think of autumn foraging, wild fruits are likely the first things that spring to mind. But there are also other more unusual edibles to consider. Today, I thought I would mention three types of seed that I use around this time of year. The first of these is nettle seeds. Nettle seeds mightContinue reading “Weed Seeds To Eat”

Cooking From Scratch

Since so many people have been inspired this year to grow their own for the first time, I thought I would return to basics once again and write a little about the importance of learning how to cook healthy, fresh ingredients from scratch. In our modern world, where so much convenience food is available, itContinue reading “Cooking From Scratch”

Voices We Listen To – Impacts on Sustainable Progress

In the last few weeks, I have spoken with many people who are dissatisfied with communication. Some feel they are hitting a brick wall when trying to convince loved ones to live in a more sustainable way. Some are frustrated with a dearth of political voices or voices of those in authority that they canContinue reading “Voices We Listen To – Impacts on Sustainable Progress”

Green Tomatoes – How To Ripen Them and How To Use Ones That Don’t

Those of us with relatively short growing season often find that growing tomatoes is a race against time. Even though I take steps to make green tomatoes ripen more quickly, we are always left with green tomatoes at the end of the season. But just because the tomatoes are not fully ripe, that does notContinue reading “Green Tomatoes – How To Ripen Them and How To Use Ones That Don’t”

Case Study: Sustainable Community of Kin Domains, Jamaica

The image above is part of a permaculture plan for a retreat of around 20 acres, and a further 30 acres divided into 15 two acre kin domains or family homesteads. A sustainable project in Hanover county in Jamaica. Designed to protect, restore and nourish people and planet on this 58 acre site. The siteContinue reading “Case Study: Sustainable Community of Kin Domains, Jamaica”

Autumn Foraging

In addition to the main autumn crops, apples and more, it is also well worthwhile working out what your autumn surroundings can provide. Even if you don’t have a garden full of food, your local area might provide a wide range of yields. Both in my own garden, and in the surrounding area, we canContinue reading “Autumn Foraging”

Case Study: Colourful Polyculture Design

This simple design for a series of garden beds was created for a client in London, who wished to amend and accentuate an existing planting scheme with more edible and colourful plants. Particularly, the client wished to add colourful foliage, with plenty of different vegetation to brighten up the green and year-round interest. Often, weContinue reading “Case Study: Colourful Polyculture Design”

Flowering Quince – An Interesting Ornamental Edible

In a shady part of the forest garden, sandwiched between apple trees and an east facing stone wall, we have some interesting and more unusual edibles. One of these is flowering quince. With its beautiful red flowers in spring, this shrub, Chaenomeles japonica, thrives in rather difficult conditions. In rather deep shade a lot ofContinue reading “Flowering Quince – An Interesting Ornamental Edible”

Co-Housing – A Co-operative Idea for Sustainability

No matter what your current situation in life, it is always important to remember that we are none of us alone. Sustainability begins at home. But co-operation and collaboration are, of course, key to creating a better future. But how exactly can co-operation bring us closer to the way of life we want to liveContinue reading “Co-Housing – A Co-operative Idea for Sustainability”

Having No Money is Not Necessarily a Barrier to Sustainable Change

When I talk to people about sustainability and green living – money is often the monster lurking in the background. Whether spoken or unspoken, there is often the feeling that sustainability is a ‘luxury’ some people cannot afford. My job is often to make it clear to people that having no money is not necessarilyContinue reading “Having No Money is Not Necessarily a Barrier to Sustainable Change”

Making Natural Cleaning and Beauty Products

The proliferation of products in a typical bathroom can be truly astounding. Plastic bottles filled with a wide range of different cleansers, cleaners, exfoliants, toners, moisturisers, shampoos, conditioners and more can quickly pile up. But for those who are trying to live a more sustainable way of life, natural DIY cleaning and beauty products canContinue reading “Making Natural Cleaning and Beauty Products”

Where the Wildwood Went

The wildwood is a term used by historical geographers to describe Britain’s dominant landscape type when there were not yet managed, distinct areas of ‘greenwood’ but just one massive, uncultivated, untamed woodland/ forest ecosystem.  We began to see the destruction of the British wildwood far earlier than many people imagine – from the very earliestContinue reading “Where the Wildwood Went”


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