No Waste Cooking – the Permaculture Kitchen

On a study tour in Flanders last week, we came across this fantastic No Waste Cooking (From Potato Peel to Carrot Top) cookbook published by the fantastic KVLV woman’s organisation in Belgium.

no waste cooking

This cookbook has lots of idea for cooking with ingredients that may otherwise be destined for the compost bin – like carrot top pesto, broccoli stem guacamole and pizza with radish greens.

Okay, the book is in Flemish, so the translation below is mostly Google translate and our best guess, but give this a go next time you have some greens heading for the compost:

Pizza with Radish Greens

1 ready-to-eat pizza shell
leaves from 2 bunches of radishes
150 g of soft herb cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts
olive oilpepper

Sauté the radish leaves for 2 minutes in olive oil and season with pepper. Spread the pizza shell with the herb cheese and scatter the radish leaves over. Distribute the pine nuts evenly. Bake the pizza according to the pizza shell instructions.

Toast the pine nuts first.
Use any greens you have available (spinach, chard, kale).
Wilted greens work just as well as fresh.
This is also a good use of any leftover sautéed or roasted veg.


Permaculture Design Certificate Course at Ireland’s Ecovillage

Join the ecovillage’s resident experts of permaculture, gardening, farming, perma-facture and green building for this unique, yearly opportunity to learn invaluable design and practical skills. This is Cultivate’s 8th consecutive year holding the UK Permaculture Association accredited Permaculture Design Certificate (“PDC”) Course at Cloughjordan Ecovillage.

The 9 day residential course is delivered by a number of teachers who live and work in Cloughjordan Ecovillage and are passionate about their area of interest. The course is taught through a mix of facilitated learning, master classes and practical hands on experiences.

This PDC is organised by Cultivate in association with Cloughjordan Community Farm and Village Education Research and Training (VERT) at The Cloughjordan Ecovillage. The venue for indoor sessions is the enterprise centre a.k.a. FabLab, WeCreate.  See photos of previous courses here.

This course is full-time (and “full-on”) from Friday evening (starting with dinner around 6pm) until the following Sunday afternoon (around 4pm) | Find presentations, links and other resources on Our Permaculture Resource Site.

Friday 14 – Sunday 23 August 2015 | Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Co Tipperary, Ireland |Contact Us | Fees €550 / €495 Members | some concessions are available, €100 deposit secures your place (payment details – PDF)

Link to the official website →

Experimentation: Science in Permaculture

An article for Permaculture Activist Issue #93 Fall 2014. Reprinted here with permission of the author, 
Chris Warburton Brown, Research Coordinator, The Permaculture AssociationThis is an edited and much extended version of an article that originally appeared in Permaculture Magazine 77, Autumn 2013.

‘We are conducting a group experiment in transitioning to sustainability, which relies for its success on us being able to learn from each other, from our successes and mistakes.
– Ed Sears, Chair of the Permaculture Association’s Research Advisory Board

holmgren_principle_4Just about everyone who practices permaculture is an experimenter. If you have ever asked whether feeding your peas with comfrey might improve their yield or how much electricity a solar panel on your roof could generate, and have then done something practical to find out the answer, then you are a permaculture experimenter. Yet one of the commonest criticisms of permaculture is the lack of scientific experiments that support its claims. Certainly, the number of articles describing experimentation in permaculture that have appeared in peer reviewed scientific journals is small (Rafter Sass Ferguson and Sarah Lovell have produced a great review of these which you can read here and see also my own archive of recently published permaculture related material. There is a deep irony here; a community of experimenters, all busily experimenting, who have produced very few scientifically rigorous experiments. This article considers why this situation has arisen, suggests some key remedies, and then describes what the UK Permaculture Association is doing to improve it.

[Read more…]

Permaculture Resources updated

Updated 7 August 2014

Here we are collecting a range of resources for Permaculture students and practitioners, made available over the past 6 years of offering the Permaculture Design Certificate Course (the ‘PDC’) yearly at Cloughjordan Ecovillage.

New!  The 2014 Permaculture Design Certificate Course Handbook by Graham Bell 

The Weather in Cloughjordan (Weather Underground)

New! The 2014 Permaculture Design Certificate Course Timetable (V1.2)

Cloughjordan Wood-fired Bakery (get your breakie bread fresh!)

[Read more…]

All Ireland Permaculture Gathering 2014

AIPG2013-29-10 August 2014 – Brookfield Farm, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

The “All Ireland Permaculture Gathering” is an annual camping weekend that each year takes place in a different location around the island of Ireland (Ireland and Northern Ireland). It’s a non-profit, self-financing, self-organizing, drugs and alcohol free event, family friendly and all the people involved give their time and effort voluntarily.

It is about bringing people from different backgrounds, professions and experiences together to discuss, exchange and develop their common interest in environmental design, sustainable and ethical methods to building a better world.  This exchange is mainly facilitated through workshops in an “open space” scheme, without any formal agenda, where everybody is welcomed to participate.

[Read more…]

Scott Pittman – Episode 9 – Permaculture History and Standards

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 13.47.58Jason Gerhardt writes:

One of my students, Joe Moore, has posted the first of a few interviews with Scott Pittman of Permaculture Institute. I think Scott brings up some good issues in this podcast that need to be discussed more widely in the greater permaculture community. Scott also briefly shares his fascinating and lengthy history with permaculture and the early years of Bill Mollison’s teaching.

Here also is a podcast with me on the same site for anyone who’s

I hope everyone is having a delightful Spring.

Permaculture Design Certificate Course at Ireland’s Ecovillage


Join Graham Bell ,author of The Permaculture Garden and The Permaculture WayJillian Hovey, founder of the Sustainable Living Network, Mark Boyle, aka ‘The Moneyless Man’ and the ecovillage’s resident experts of permaculture, gardening, farming, perma-facture and green building for this unique (yearly) opportunity to learn invaluable design and practical skills. This is Cultivate’s 6th consecutive year holding the Full (UK Permaculture Association accredited) Permaculture Design Certificate (“PDC”) Course at Cloughjordan Ecovillage.

8 – 17 August 2014 | Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Co Tipperary, Ireland | Contact Us | Fees €550 / €495 Members | €100 deposit secures your place (view detail here)

Link to the official website →

Sustainable Horticulture at Kinsale

Thirteen years ago a new course started at Kinsale College of Further Education. Called “Practical Sustainability” the course aimed to draw together a wide range of different skills and disciplines including permaculture design, sustainable woodland management, ecology and conservation, gardening and horticulture, natural building and community development.

This ambitious course, now called Sustainable Horticulture/ Permaculture, went from strength to strength and within just a few years became one of the largest and most popular courses of any subject in the whole country, attracting students from all over Ireland, Britain, Europe and North America.



The qualification for the first year of the course is FETAC Level 5 Horticulture. Recently, FETAC re-wrote all courses nation-wide and we now have some new modules and have lost some old ones. The Permaculture module is still there, and includes natural building and woodland management.


This years’ (class of 2013-2014) Permaculture Design Course graduates with their certificates.

[Read more…]

12-day Permaculture Design Course: Head, Heart & Hands in Harmony (13-24 June 2014)

Teachers: Suzie Cahn, Hannah Mole, Lusi Alderslowe | Plus Guests: James Carrol Stickman, Rob O’Brien, Wendy Nairn & more…. |  Sliding scale course fee: €600-1200.

Join this strong team of expert teachers for 12 days of intensive heads, hearts & hands-on permaculture learning at the beautiful ‘Carraig Dúlra‘ in the South East of Ireland.

This 8 year old permaculture smallholding site lends us the fantastic opportunity to explore practical elements of land-based permaculture interconnected with community engagement initiatives & permaculture based livelihoods. Earth care, People care & Fairshares in action!

The diverse teaching team offers a high standard of engaging teaching methods; practical, theoretical & experience based learning in a collaborative, productive & fun learning environment.

There will be a practical element to each & every day! Forest Gardening, Landscape water harvesting systems, Natural building, Woodland skills, & Foraging weave through the course and we will also get off-site to visit other nearby projects.

Continue reading →

Permaculture Design – the fusion of old skills and new technology

First published by the European Youth Portal 28/02/2014

What is permaculture design and what does it bring? Do we need to save the planet? Philippa Robinson from Cultivate tells us what we can learn from the nature and how.


How do we maintain our health, happiness and collective well-being when the world seems to be unravelling?  Permaculture is an approach that takes us beyond sustainability to a truly restorative design. Underpinning this is the simple idea of working with, rather than against, nature. …

What do billions of years of resilience have to teach us?

Experience seems to suggest that being on a mission to “save the planet” is actually an unhelpful perspective to taking the action needed to reduce our environmental impact. It’s not the planet that needs saving. As nature is dynamic, always changing, turbulent and unforgiving, any “return to nature” thinking needs to be reframed to look at how we best cope with a rapidly changing world.

As natural systems are resilient, abundant and self-organising, think of what we might learn by observing and emulating them! With nature as a teacher, we could make things in ways that don’t impact the environment and do strengthen our resilience, as well as design systems that will allow our lives and communities to flourish. This is the essence of Permaculture.

[Read more…]

The ‘Hippy-fication’ of Permaculture

permaculture-a-designers-manualLeo writes:

Just re-read a couple of pages from Mollison’s PDM. He nails it in the first paragraph of the preface. Wonder why he wrote -and we read- the rest. 😉

The philosophy is clear enough, the pedagogy and didactics stink. No matter how often you read the PDM it’s not a textbook to learn permaculture design from. The idea that 140 hours of lectures will do the trick is also quite unlikely. The language used has mislead many people into thinking that permaculture is currently a science and others to conclude it is pseudo-science (probably a more accurate assessment). Bill’s prime directive of taking personal responsibility and taking no crap from anybody has clearly been wasted on Geoff Lawton. It’s easy to see where the ‘hippyfication’ of permaculture comes from. 😉

Still all this traditional wisdom of working with nature rather then against, doesn’t make permaculture a science. I’m also starting to wonder if taking traditional wisdom at face value and start applying it in a modern context is even appropriate. Just the other day Steve Piontek, the director of STENAPA, told of the experience in the Caribbean region of traditional interaction with the environment in the modern context, is only leading to massive pollution and depletion of natural resources. The simple reason is that in the time when the traditional wisdom was still wise, there were far fewer people, half, quarter, a tenth or even less then there are today. Easy money and easy energy has changed all of that dramatically. Any plan to apply traditional wisdom would necessarily include a drastic reduction in population. I hear an echo of Bill’s third ethic here to set limits to population and consumption – before it was transformed into the bland and much safer “fair share”.

Your thoughts and comments welcome!

Permaculture Gathering – Call for a Host for 2014 Gathering

2014-gatheringWhat is the Gathering About?

The All-Ireland Permaculture Gathering is about bringing people and ideas together who share a common interest in sustainable and ethical methods to building a better world.

First held in Co. Wicklow in 2011 between 200 & 300 people have attended the gathering each year since. It is a weekend camp in a private location to that supports the development of Permaculture in Ireland by providing an opportunity to network, celebrate and learn together. It is not a passive event laid on by others, but rather an active participatory gathering which is co-created by the a year team and camp attendees. People come and host talks and workshops, share skills and information and participant in this dynamic community event. The gathering steering group formed from past gathering members works to give continuity from year to year. Hosting Info (link) gives more details on organizational structure.

Read more…

Stacking demonstrated on a small balcony garden in Poland

mg_0829Find below some photos by Goska of her (and Martin’s) balcony garden in Poland, demonstrating ‘stacking’ and other permaculture principles. They are enjoying very much the fruits of their labours, including herbs (oregano, purple and green basil varieties, thyme, estragon (tarragon), dill, sage, coriander, mint, catnip, lemon balm, lavender, parsley, garlic spring onion, savory, lovage and more), tomatoes, hot peppers, two sunflowers (thanks to the bird feed they left down in winter), wild strawberries, rukola, lettuce, rocket, anis, savory, New Zealand spinach…

[Read more…]

Using Biological Resources – An Original Permaculture Principle

By Maddy Harland | Wednesday, 13th March 2013 | Reprinted with permission | Original found here

Using biological resources instead of fossil fuels is common sense in a world that is warming, but there is more potential here than first meets the eye. Maddy Harland explains.

Photo:  Beans instead of blinds shade the passive solar extension at the Harland’s house.

Wherever possible permaculture advocates the use of biological resources. The most obvious example is on the farm and in the garden. Instead of buying a bag of chemically produced fertiliser, we can grow nitrogen fixing plants on site, such as Siberian pea tree, gorse or broom. These feed the food plants around them, both from their roots and from being cut and used as mulch around the stems and trunks of the food plants.

[Read more…]

Straw houses are baling out council building plans

By Cath Harris | Reprinted from,

The-shell-of-a-straw-hous-003Building houses from straw is proving an attractive proposition to some councils and residents, thanks to their energy efficiency

Sharon Watkins wasn’t the first to be offered one of two new council houses in an isolated village in Lincolnshire. “Other people refused and I could have said no because I don’t drive and it’s in the middle of nowhere,” she recalls.

Some photos of straw building >>

[Read more…]

Island-Wide Permaculture Gathering

2014-gatheringA new island-wide Permaculture Gathering will take place in at a beautiful site at the base of the Sugar Loaf Mountain in Co. Wicklow from the 12-14th August 2011. Our goal is to organize a weekend camp of anywhere from 80-200 people in a private location to support the growing number of Permaculturists in Ireland by…

UPDATE, 19 Feb 2014:  This event is now a yearly event.  Join! 


Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium

Peak Oil is History

Biochar article from Climate Progress – a respectable US Climate Science site  – about different biochar experiments around the world. It estimates potential for carbon capture at around 12%, but focuses on potential for soil enhancement and also notes different qualities depending on materials used.

Albert Bates recommends…

A quote:

A nation foundering in a crippled vessel in the horse latitudes of collective purpose on a sea of red ink looks to its captain – who puffs a few platitudes into the tattered sails and retreats belowdecks to pace and stew. This is a society truly lost at sea, where even the friendly dolphins are turning belly-up and the dying seabirds stare accusingly under their cloaks of crude oil.    -James Howard Kunstler

Graham Strouts recommends…

Graham-headshot-2012BOOKS –  Suggested Reading

Permaculture-A Designers’ Manual, Mollison et al. The Original Designers’ manual, huge in scope, emphases on tropics and drylands.

Introduction to Permaculture, Mollison, Reny Mia Slay. Good summary, accessible form of the Manual.

The Earth Care Manual, Patrick Whitefield. First Designers’ manual written for temperate zones Permaculture Activist- US Quarterly Journal.

[Read more…]