A permaculture guild is a companion planting scheme that emulates the production systems of natural ecosystems and incorporates different species of animals, plants and microorganisms which are assembled around a central plant for maximum productivity. The guild mimics forest systems with their multiple layers of vegetation, insects and animals which work together to ensure that the overall system thrives.

One single species cannot survive on its own but when combined, all these elements will experience increased growth. The plants and animals in a guild are carefully selected to boost the productivity of the central plant, cut down on the number of inputs and reduce the amount of work needed manage it. As a result, the whole system becomes more self sufficient and can sustain itself for a long period of time.

slide0931Plants and natural ecosystems need several components in order to survive. These include; nitrogen, moisture, pollination, mulch, pest control and many others. Each species in a guild helps to supply at least one of these components and keep the whole system functioning optimally. Guilds take advantage of properties such as nitrogen fixation and dynamic accumulation below the ground, pollination activities by flowers and fruit above the ground and shelter provision and shade provided by the physical structure of a central plant and many other benefits.

Choosing the plants that will work best in a particular guild is determined by several factors; including the function that a particular plant will serve in the guild, characteristics of the plant, landscape you are working in as well as the particular climate that you live in.

Each guild consists of several layers of plants above the ground matched by a similar network of roots below combined in a way that makes it difficult for predators and other intruders from penetrating into the system. Plants are placed close together and encouraged to form mutually dependent groups that utilize all the space around the central plant, keeping out weeds, providing groundcover that prevents erosion and retaining moisture in the soil which means less watering and digging.


A strong guild needs time to develop character and maturity. In the initial stages, the most important functions will include nitrogen fixing, nutrient accumulation, groundcover formation and pest control. The guild should therefore be created with these considerations in mind. Later, as the system matures, some of the plants can be thinned out to prevent competition for resources with the central plant.

Permaculture guilds are a great way to create self sustaining systems that will continue providing us with food for many years to come. Check our page for more information on Regenerative Leadership Institute.


The basics of grey water


 Greywater is any household wastewater with an exception of the waste water that is generated in the toilets. The water from the toilets is referred to a black water. A large percentage of the grey water comes from household activities done in the kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, tubs, showers and on dishwashers. The water from a composting toilet is also regarded to as greywater.

The greywater that has been freshly generated is not as dirty as the black water. However, if it is not handled properly, it can end up being black water. The grey water decomposes very fast. If it is stored in as little as a day, the bacteria in the water use up all the oxygen and become anaerobic. This makes the water septic. The water is now regarded to as blackwater and it a health hazard. Blackwater is treated as sewage and should be directed to sewage treatment plants.


 The level of dirt in the grey water is not equal from all the sources. For example, water that is collected from a kitchen sink full of food leftovers or the water that has been used to clean baby nappies is more contaminated than the water from the showers.

Grey water contains less nitrogen than the blackwater. Toilet wastes are high in nitrogen making it hard to clean for domestic use. Less nitrogen makes it easy to recycle the greywater.

 The human fecal matter is believed to be the biggest source of pathogens at home. This makes blackwater unfit for recycling without specialized sewage treatment plants. Greywater contains fewer pathogens and can be treated for use. You may separate the greywater pipeline from that of the blackwater pipeline. This lowers that danger of spreading pathogens through your drainage systems from the toilet.


 Grey water can be recycled and used in a number of ways. However, given the speed of decomposition, it is important for the water to be dealt as fast as possible before it turns black. Recycling lowers the water bill and conserves the dwindling water resources from being exhausted. A word of caution, though, the water should not be used until it is certified to be safe for use. Pathogen in greywater could cause some diseases.

The Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute are leaders in water conservation and management. They are offering courses on water management techniques. It is their belief that once everyone is sensitized about managing water resources, he or she will be ready to conserve it.


Implementing Greywater Use At Home And In The Yard


In a world where water is a problem mainly due to droughts, preserving fresh water as a resource is increasingly becoming more important by the day. Greywater is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that we preserve fresh water resources by providing an additional or alternative source of water.

But what exactly is greywater and how does it differ from black water? Greywater simply refers to all the water that is discharged from bathtubs, bathroom sinks, washing machines and showers. Black water on the other hand refers to water discharged from toilets and kitchen sinks.

01_G_1 Grey Water Garden A series of linked descending concrete planters use plants that oxygenate the soil naturally purify the household greywater . Recycled redwood was screwed into the formwork and then left embedded in the surface of the concrete creating a 'marimba' pattern. As the grey water moves through the system it is delivered to the roots of the plants, moving through the soil for more aerobic cleaning. Because the amount of water varies dramatically from one end of the system to the other, the plants are grouped by descending levels of water use. Thirsty plants are placed in the front of the line according to their need, while the easily satiated plants sit tight at the end, waiting for whatever is left.

As an additional or alternative source of water, greywater can be used for landscaping purposes, drip irrigation and even flushing toilets. But before we can explain how greywater use can be implemented at home, it’s important to note that regulations surrounding its use vary from location to location and as such, some of the ways of using greywater may be considered illegal in some areas. For all extra informations there is Regenerative Leadership Institute.

Greywater from bathtubs: If you are considering using greywater at home, the tub or shower drain is a great starting point. This requires installation of a 3-way valve that will allow water to be drained either as greywater or to the sewer line. And if you don’t want to put in a lot of work to install a greywater system, it’s okay reuse shower water but this will require you to manually drain the showers with a bucket. A little bit of tubing combined with a sump pump is an alternative solution to a diverter valve.

Greywater from the bathroom sinks: If the local building and health codes allow it, you can re-plumb your sink drains into a greywater system. Otherwise, you will have to remove the J-trap located beneath the sink and collect greywater and sue it in the garden. The other option you have is to manually bail out water in the bathroom sinks into buckets. Whatever the method you decide to use, you can use the water you collect to flush the toilet or for landscape and house plants as long as harsh detergents and soaps aren’t used.


Greywater from washing machines: A laundry-to-landscape greywater system is an effective way of saving on fresh water assuming that you don’t use chlorine bleach or harsh detergents during laundry. The simplest way to construct such a system will involve removing the discharge hose from the washing machine and connecting it to a larger one that can reach the backyard. This however requires manual management to prevent bog creation due to discharging waste water at the same spot.


Permaculture Zones


Different Zones Present In Permaculture And Its Uses

People are undergoing lot of challenges and problems in their daily routine. They have to follow a strict food habit to maintain their balanced life style at all times. There are many guidelines available in internet that would help people in understanding the concept of healthy life. The permaculture would help people in attaining desired life style with natural food items. This is the study that would be working with the conjunction of nature.


 It contains local materials which are required or needed by the people to carry out their daily routine like food, shelter, and fuel. The factor is depends on land and food items consumed by the people for better life style. We need to concentrate on polyculture which contains various ranges where both vegetation and animals get utilized out of it in a proper way. There are five different zones available in permaculture. If you want to know more about that, check regenerative leadership institute online course.

How To Grow Different Zones?

pp-20The first zone will be very closely to the residence containing vegetables and herb items. We need to do proper maintenance for effective performance out of it. In the second zone, we should provide importance on a daily basis without fail and such trees are poultry pens and orchard trees. The third zone of this study is considered as less visited place and it is usually reserved for some kinds of stock and seasonal kinds of crops. In the fourth zone, we will be getting various kinds of food and fuel options which are responsible for growing food items in forest region. The fifth zone is classified under a natural area and it is less visited area for the people at all times.

Key Notes For Proper Growth Of Permaculture

When it is set, we do not need to worry about system as it has capacity of supplying needed items of its own. For instance that foods for human and animals are produced by animals and plants. The sunlight and water are essential for proper growth of these different zones in it. This is considered as one of the basic requirements for energy to different zones. The importance provided to this case study is kept increasing on a daily basis and this is because of their natural content and less cost for its maintenance as well. We are also able to plot this permaculture either in small or large portion which is mainly based on budget and people.


This would help in solving some of the mess created in humanity and it includes shortage of healthy and clean food items. It also depends on water and imbalance destructive food items present in these different zones.  In conservation stage, we need to use only which is required for it. It depends on location and area and sometimes depends on people’s mind. We need to stack with other food items in order to attain better output in the system. We should make sure that all functions should be carried out in a regular interval of times for better yielding results. We need to proper utilization of each element which is responsible for other elements present in the system.


Issues and solutions of energy consumption


light bulb

There are few issues that exist and touch the issue of huge consumption of energy. Main issue is that we have to set our standards too high. That means we have so called needs for thing that use a lot of energy. I say so called needs, because they are not really needs, they are desires we have, desires that make our lives easier. And we say that our energy bill is too big. It has to be, we use a lot of devices that use a lot of energy but are not really necessary in our day to day life.

A lot of those devices are there to save a bit of your free time, but we don’t need them. In order to save few minutes every day we spend more and more money on bills. When you look at  that from that point you will see that it is a stupid thing we do. And if you look from the global view, more than half of the world doesn’t have electricity and they are still alive, so we don’t need electricity we are simply addicted to it, addicted to devices that help us do things faster.


Second part of the big problem is an issue of cheap energy. This is a double-edged sword that we are wielding, and it is giving us small cuts all the time, but we are still struggling. But it is just a matter of time  before we get cut by that sword for good. Cheap energy made us buy devices we don’t really need but due to accessibility we bought them. And  desire for those products became addiction and need. And now when even small increase in price of electricity happens we suffer. But when greater price increase happens we will have to give large portions of our salaries for bills because we have need for those devices, and we don’t know how to live witohut them.

Lack of education is third and final part of the big issue. We don’t know many things about energy production and use.It is legal to install a standalone power production and cut yourself of the grid. You will still have to pay a bit to the government but you will have your own energy and prices won’t be an issue.

Solution in the form of local power stations and solar energy productions are coincide with other permacultural principles, go local and achieve self-sustainability. There are many articles and works that can show you best ways to achieve this, some of the works I would recommend are the works of VladislavDavidzon founder of many permaculture projects. You should probably heard about central rocky mountain permaculture institute. Take look on his LinkedIn profile.

Going completely off the grid is risky, so hybrid power systems are the best solution to use. The catch is to use renewable power you produce all the time, and still have a back up from the grid if you ever have a need for it. Good point of these systems is that you can build them piece by piece, adding constantly, and for less than 1 000 dollars you can have basic renewable system for energy production. And you can use money you save from bills to add more components to that system and increase its strength.


Connecting with nature and what it gives to you


As we are all aware of, more and more people move to urban areas to live. That steady flow of people moving to cities brought us to today when more than 50 percent of all people on our planet live in urban areas. And they are disconnected from nature. And it was proved that being totally cut off from nature is a bad for us. And you don’t need any of those to tell you that, just go into the forest and just walk and observe and you will notice a difference, you mood will lighten, you will feel a certain amount of freedom you will never feel in a concrete jungle. More about this you can learn with a help from Regenerative Leadership Institute and permaculture courses.

6Connecting with nature became a focus of few people, among the others and VladislavDavidzon, who through few organizations he formed, is leading natural courses, where you go in nature, connect with it and learn how to help it to help you.

There are few mental states that are affected if you are decoupled from nature, and these were proven that they manifest in quite a larger amount of cases in people that live in urban areas, and avoid going into nature or even to your neighborhood permaculture gardens. And yes having a permaculture system is a good way of lessening effects of urban life. Now, these three mental illnesses are anxiety disorder, depression and schizophrenia (which occurs in most cases where people are born in cities and they never leave it).

There was a study that was conducted and people were asked to take 90 minute walks either in urban areas or in nature (rural areas). At the end it after doing medical exams it was proven that people that have walked in nature are more mentally content rather than people that did those walks in cities. This shows mental effect a walk in a nature can have on a human mind.


Nature impact on human mind goes even further if there is a stream in a place where you take your walks. A sound of a running water relaxes our minds, and makes us happy, even if it is temporary.
So walking in nature is good, over urbanized areas are not,so let us bring nature to our concrete jungles. I don’t say we should go back living in nature that is silly, but I say that every city should have numerous permaculture systems in forms of large gardens and parks where people can go and relax from everyday problems. Building cities can be done with a touch of nature too, every building should have a green area around itself for plant life to flourish. Planting trees on sidewalks is anotherthing that can help people. Apart from giving us a shade to hide from sun, walking under trees is better than walking on an open and your mental state will confirm that.

So our task is to build, incorporate green into our gray in our cities and with that improve our mental state. Some are already on it, planning their cities with these thoughts, and we should follow that example.