Mandala Herb Garden at a School

This is a mandala garden that we designed based on permaculture principles – minimal digging and using natural waste materials like tree trunks and newspaper. It’s easy and everyone can do it!

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Using Trees to Build Swales?

As I walk around the city of Singapore, I can’t help but constantly observe the grass, the soil, the trees, and the insects. It’s a job hazard and a rather enjoyable one. I have even become pretty good and figuring out soil fertility and moisture with my feet when I walk barefoot.

Recently I have been noticing swales. For those of you unfamiliar with it, swales have become synonymous with permaculture as they were popularized by Bill Mollison and other advocates of permaculture. In short, swales are water-harvesting ditches, built along the contours of a landscape. They slow down water runoff, trap the water, and allow it to infiltrate into the soil. However it’s not something new; traditional farming societies have been doing it for thousands of years. Terracing is but another form of swaling. To learn more about swales, click here.

Swale

Diagram of swale from Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway

There are actually quite a lot of swales around the city. Who is the hardworking permaculturalist? Continue reading