Here’s our best resources on all things related to permaculture design and whole-systems thinking.

Forage below for designs, processes and resources for creating everything from forest gardens and solar-passive houses to water harvesting systems and urban rooftop edible gardens.

Intro to Permaculture

Join us for 2 days of permaculture design theory and action. You will leave this course with a solid grounding of how you can apply permaculture principles in your home, garden, apartment or farm. You’ll also be in an informed position to further your journey into permaculture design.

Forest Garden Guilds

A guild, in permaculture terms, is usually used to define a harmonious assembly of species clustered around a central element (plant or animal) that acts in relation to this element to assist its health, aid our work in management, or buffer adverse environmental effects (Mollison, via Jacke). Dave Jacke has taken this concept further and identifies a…

How to Make a Wicking Bed

wicking bed team

A wicking bed is an excellent technique for growing things in environments where water is scarce, and has two main parts. The bottom half is a contained reservoir filled with gravel and water and the top half is filled with soil, mulch and plants. By periodic flooding of the deeper half of the bed, mature plant roots get a big drink. And because it's contained, that water gets a chance to 'wick' upwards into the soil, hydrating the soil of the bed and the smaller roots within. Pretty simple, really, but amazingly effective, very water efficient and ripe for endless variation.

Below is a photo essay outlining the process of creating a wicking bed using everyday tools and materials, which took 5 people about 4 leisurely hours to make. It features the efforts of Milkwood Permaculture's awesome Permaculture Design Certificate students in Alice Springs earlier this year, led by Nick Ritar who also designed this particular wicking bed system..

How To: build a Geodesic Chook Dome

jesha and chook dome
Our first Geodesic Chook Dome with Jesha the Blue Heeler inspecting the chooks’ progress. The blue twine tying each side of the door to the dome has now been updated to a chain attached to either side, which clasps in the middle. The door hinges along the bottom for extra security from foxes etc.

Maybe you’re already familiar with that classic Permaculture tool known as the Chicken Tractor / Chook Dome system. No? Awright – in a nutshell: In this context, a Chicken Tractor is any structure that can be moved from place to place in a garden with a bunch of chickens housed in it. The chickens living in the tractor do what chickens are so good at: scratching up the soil and turning it over, making short work of any greenstuff to be found, and spreading their manure the length and breadth of the space available to them (not to mention producing eggs and more chickens).