I got a question from a reader about where to start with a new property. Pete and I have started two new properties and this is what we have learnt so far.
Our sub-tropical climate brings with it ridiculously hot summer days. And each 30degC plus day that I endured, reminded me that I could be harnessing this solar energy to cook my food! One of the permaculture principles is Use and Value Renewable Resources and of course the sun is the ultimate renewable energy resource. We have designed our house to use the sun's energy in winter and we are planning to get solar panels and solar hot water heating very soon. Why not also use the sun for cooking?
David Holmgren's latest book "Retrosuburbia: The downshifters guide to a resilient future", is the manual that you need to see the potential of the suburban lifestyle.
I first came across Gaia's Garden in 2013 and although I had tried to read other permaculture books before that, this was the one that really helped me to understand the concepts, both what to do and why. Toby sadly died recently, so I thought it was a good time to review the book in detail. Toby made an enormous contribution to permaculture and I'd like to remember him by reading his book again.
Every property is different and every person has different hopes and dreams for their property and different abilities to achieve them, too, but I think there are some general ideas from permaculture that could help you get started with a new property.
Some advice for a friend who is thinking of building a house - what we have learnt from our secondhand house and how to use permaculture principles for house design.
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