PDC Weekend 3: Valuing Natural Resources

permaculture inspired holding in Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant
Visit to Bont Glantanat

Principles 5 and 6 are closely related. ‘Use and value natural resources and Services’ and ‘Produce no Waste’,. These idea clearly steer us to work with locally available and fully re-usable resources.

We produce no waste by valuing and understanding the natural resources we use. Nature takes time to restore itself, it can provide yields but we are advised to ‘let nature takes its course’. In other words you cant hurry the seasons but you can maximize output by making strategic interventions.

From a design perspective, we can achieve great advantage if we can see the value is resources others may regard as waste.


Nothing tunes us into the natural world and the cycling of resources better than compost making. I would argue this is the best and most immediate way any of us can start sequestrating carbon, locking it away in a highly stable and extremely useful form.

No rules compost. OK, 1 rule, add anything that was recently alive.
This a great video to give you the confidence to start community composting.
Eve Balfour, one of the pioneers who helped unlock some of the secrets of the soil. Especially recognizing the essential role of fungi in plant development and soil fertility.

Biochar is a home to micorrhizae

What is BioChar? How to Make & Why You shouldn’t use Raw Biochar

Tuning in to soil microbe and becoming more familiar with biochar and how to make it, mature it and use it.
Cheesy presentation, but it makes some key points on topic. 5 mins

the Organic Internet of a Mycelium Network:

Jean Pain compost method.

These 2 videos are essential watching and permaculture classic. The real question is why has this work not been followed up. The key point being that he claims to extract more energy by composting waste brash as wood wood chip than you can get burning busing the equivalent biomass. MOre importantly, he is demonstrating really clearly how valuing these natural resources and teaming up with microbes we can unleash huge amounts of energy, easily.
Blog submission for One School One Planet this week

Water treatment with natural methods

Wonderfully idiosyncratic back yard grey water system. It reveals the core principles of grey water recycling whilst encouraging experimentation
This is a technical approach but still at a back yard scale,. 2 parts 10 mins total

Raw pumps, using gravity to pump water

Basic principle of how a hydrolic ram pump works

More back yard inventions. This expands on how a Ram pump works and gives insight into how you might even make one yourself. The broader principle of harvest small amounts of energy available through out nature is illustrated here very well

Regenerative farming

An inspirational short film showcasing New Zealand farmers leading the way with regenerative techniques to save our rivers from pollution and contamination.
Regenerative farming through gazing methods, with Alan Savory

Mimicking natural patterns of behavior of animals in farming has created an insight into how we can reverse desertification and soil erosion.

Energy from nature

Fascinating design illustrating possibilities from extracting heat from underground using an inter-seasonal heat-store
Principles of passive solar design in a few minutes

Why I live in a house made of mud. TED Tanzani

Laura Tarimo runs community workshops on sustainable living out of her eco-friendly home in Tanzania. In this talk she shares her journey of learning about permaculture and building with earth materials, which led her to unexpected places and new realizations


Fermented foods with Sandor Katz, leading author and teacher on fermented foods
Drining water filtration is a big subject. This gives insight into how you can do it with biological processes. WHO recommend these systems as among the most efficient. The column of sand needs to be at least 60 cm deep and the air space at the top no more that 5c,m. There are specific reasons for this. We built version of this using local materials in the refugee settlements, we added 15 cm layer of crushed biochar as well that we had also made with the group.

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