permaculture projects

masonry heater

 

We built a 2500 kg masonry heater (aka tile stove or finoven). In wintertime we burn 10-15 kg of wood in the morning. It heats the whole upper floor of the house. It is a very effective way of burning wood and the radiation heat is very comfortable.

swales

 

In the South of Spain water is scarce. In Mijas, where we live we get a little over 600 mm of water per square meter per year, which is not too bad. Nevertheless, in order not to be independent of irrigation, we try to catch the water and save it in the soil by swales on contour. Read more on our Water Management page.

swimming pond

 

Chlorinated swimming water is not clean but dead. Natural living water is full of micro-organisms and waterinsects that live in symbiosis with the water plants keep it clean. It gives lovely soft swimming water.

Read more on our Water Management page.

nursery

 

We grow plants ourselves, especially local, native plants that we encounter on our walks in the "campo". We take small branches for cuttings on to our site. Local plants are important, they increase the biodiversity in the garden, also because they attract local insects that again attract birds, etc.

hot compost

 

Composting is a form of waste disposal where organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions. Hot composting produces compost in a much shorter time. It has the benefits of killing weed seeds and pathogens (diseases), and breaking down the material into very fine compost.

reed bed filter

We are not connected to any sewage. A reed bed filter is ideal to treat grey and black water (unfortunately, we can't separate them).

After being cleaned by the plants, the water can be re-used. Read more on our Water Management page.

hügelkultur

 

An ancient growing technique was reintoduced as Hügelkultur ("Hill-culture"). Wood is burried under a layer of soil and starts to decompose. It adds nutrients, water and heath to the soil and improves growing condition of plants.

An extensive report about the construction can be found here.

chicken tractor

 

Chicken are useful in many ways. One of them is the clearance of unwanted weeds. In combination with a movable coop they will happily remove the ground cover and fertilize the land in one spot and a week later in another.

compost toilet

 

The sewage system as we know it in the western world is not efficient, very expensive and actually morally reprehensible. A toilet without flushing 7 liters of drinking water at a time can easily be integrated into our way of life. See on our water page how we have solved that through a reed bed filter and a compost toilet. Read more on our  Water Management  page.

vermicompost

 

Vermicomposting, or worm composting, turns kitchen scraps and other green waste into a rich, dark soil that smells like earth and feels like magic. Made of almost pure worm castings, it’s a sort of super compost. Not only is it rich in nutrients but it’s also loaded with the microorganisms that create and maintain healthy soil.

insect hotel

 

Vermicomposting, or worm composting, turns kitchen scraps and other green waste into a rich, dark soil that smells like earth and feels like magic. Made of almost pure worm castings, it’s a sort of super compost. Not only is it rich in nutrients but it’s also loaded with the microorganisms that create and maintain healthy soil.

 

An insect hotel gives shelter to various insects such as solitary bee and wasps, especially for the winter. Butterflies and ladybugs also like to use it. The aim is to provide shelter for as varied a quantity of insects as possible in order to increase biodiversity. this also increases the chance of pollination

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