I shared a video called Life in Syntropy on my Facebook page a few days ago, but it’s so good I wanted to share it with folks who don’t do The Facebook, and also “tuck it away” for me to watch again later. You know how easy it is to lose something on the internet.
If you have an extra 15 minutes, this is a really great example of what regenerative agroforestry is all about – working with nature to build systems that provide tons of food, habitat and grazing land while building layer after layer of soil fertility.
This video demonstrates agroforestry working in Brazil, but similar techniques are being applied all over the world. This is the kind of thing that really inspires me. A great design that turns sandy, clear-cut, marginal or degraded land into a local Eden.
If you have time, take a look and let me know what you think!
If you can’t get enough sustainable garden and permaculture porn, I also highly recommend:
A Tour of Geoff Lawton’s Australian Permaculture Farm
Lawton’s Permaculture Research Institute in NSW, Australia is Ground Zero for sustainable agriculture. In this tour, you’ll see subtropical food production systems including vegetables, chickens, ducks, food forests, aquaculture and more.
This demonstration and education farm is like a giant experiment in what could be. Anything that Geoff Lawton touches turns wonderful, and this is where he practices the wonder. Just over 40 minutes.
Regenerative Landscapes with Ben Falk of Vermont
Relatively quick, but full of examples of how slowing down and shaping the flow of water can restore soil, build biomass and regenerate landscapes.
This video is Ben Falk, founder of Whole Systems Designs, pretty much just talking against the backdrop of his farm. But that’s ok – Falk is both an excellent educator and extremely easy on the eyes. (If there were a Men of Permaculture Calendar, he’d be on the cover, is what I’m saying, ladies.)
At Falk’s demonstration farm in Vermont they do stuff like growing rice (did I mention he’s in Vermont?) and developing a market for tart but extremely healthy Seaberries. His book, The Resilient Farm and Homestead, is also quite good. 11 minutes.
Back to Eden
Not strictly permaculture, but definitely sustainable gardening done beautifully. I’ve recommended Back to Eden so many times – in part because the gardener who’s the focus of this film lives in the Pacific Northwest, just northwest of me on the Olympic Peninsula. One man + a huge pile of woodchips = a really stunning garden.
There is lots of Christian messaging in this film. If you aren’t religious (like me) I think you’ll still get a lot out of this documentary. If you are Christian it may speak to you in even deeper ways.
I can’t embed the video here, but I do recommend that when you have time, you click over to watch Back to Eden for free here. Full length film – about 1:45 long.
A Tour of Sepp Holzer’s Krameterhof Farm in Austria
Holzer’s farm is in the chilly mountains of Austria, climatically as far away from Geoff Lawton’s Australian farm as you can imagine, but you’ll see design similarities in how animals, trees and water are managed and put together to supercharge fertility and yields.
The Krameterhof looks like it just sprung from the earth, like one particularly blessed section of the mountains just happened to form a series of cascading ponds, full of crayfish and trout and overlooked with fruit trees of every kind. But of course it’s not – Holzer has said in interviews that everything around him is a monocrop of pine trees. The fish ponds, vegetables, grazing animals, fruit tree and bushes are all there and thriving because of the way the farm was designed. Really inspirational. About 45 minutes, in German with (occasionally hard to read) English subtitles.
Do you have any favorite permaculture or sustainable gardening porn? Please share your inspirations in the comments!
Since we are on the topic of must-see permaculture videos, my buddy Paul Wheaton of Permies.com produced and sells a great set of movies on permaculture earthworks techniques called World Domination Gardening.
If you’re interested in stuff like large scale hugelkultur or using an excavator to completely re-route the waterflow on your land, these videos would be a great resource. You can check them out here, or watch the preview Paul made for Kickstarter here.10
Have you seen
I can’t believe re-greening the desert is possible.
Nancy Sutton says
Good stuff, Erica!, thanks for posting. I especially like the Brazilian effort… making rain! … as Willie Smits is also doing in Borneo. And his great results with, basically, chop and drop style pruning… just what I needed to surmount my ‘I’ll hurt you’ dread over cutting back.
And, I also appreciate the Falk, Holzer and Garden of Eden information because it is in our climate zone. I loved the book, ‘Gaviotas’ about the Columbian ‘miracle’, and Anna Edey’s ‘Solviva’, sited in Chesapeake Bay. Both those are dated, but thrilling 😉
And lastly, the book “Paradise Lot’ by Toensmeier and Bates tells their story of permaculture on a suburban 1/10 of an acre in Massachusetts 😉 including their experience with plants they regretted introducing, due to rambunctiousness! lol
The ‘intellectual/learning adventure’ never ends! … and such lovable leaders and companions 😉 So heartening in our increasingly threatened world.
Btw, I’m thinking I’m going to have to cave in to doing ‘smoothies’, as the easiest way to eat my weeds… the shotcress and henbit that’s reveling in our ‘winter’ weather right now! Clipping it back and blenderizing might change my attitude, lol 😉
Symphony of the Soil.
Sybil Peyton says
Lovely and very informative videos! It’s my sister’s first year of gardening and she’ll definitely be very glad to watch and learn some good stuff form the videos. thank you for sharing all this great information and happy gardening!
That first video reminds me so much of Edmund Morris’ peach orchard in Ten Acres Enough, except so much more dramatic!
Fantastic Water Features Melbourne says
Very inspiring videos, thanks for sharing them! It’s amazing what people are capable of doing if they have the proper motivation and means to achieve their goals. It’s great to learn new techniques and tips from such videos.