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How to design Self Watering Systems Workshop

 We are fortunate enough to live in a temperate climate with plenty of rainfall.

 Yet most home, community and market gardens demand constant watering during the growing season. How can we optimize watering systems?

 There is an art and science to water retention in the landscape. It is all a matter of understanding how water flows, and how to slow and direct that flow to nurture plant life.   

 Well designed self-watering systems lessen workloads and support the development of healthier polycultures. 

 This day workshop at Offshoots is an opportunity to learn the theory and practice of efficient self-watering systems. In the morning we will learn how water moves through landscapes and how we can mimic these patterns to suit site specific conditions. In the afternoon we will work together to apply the principles learned to design an efficient system for the Offshoots community garden growing zones. 

 Join us on Saturday 30th June at Offshoots in Burnley, from 10 am to 4pm. This workshop will be lead by Angus Soutar and Teresa Pereira with support from the Northern School wider team. Book here.

 Offshoots Permaculture Project is a 1 acre community garden project and is based in the old walled kitchen garden of Towneley Park, Burnley, Lancashire. The Project was set up in 1997 and as a result of a lot of hard work is now a thriving community garden and training centre which has recently been accredited as a bee farm!

On site there are eco-friendly buildings powered by renewable energy, organic vegetables production, beekeeping, a forest garden, a wildlife pond and reed bed, charcoal kiln and a backyard garden demonstration area.

Workshop fee £35, concessions are available when requested, contact us.

Book here 

Back to Urban Gardening Practical Permaculture Skills 

Energy, complexity and permaculture design

Climate Change - Don't Panic  a pdf of the slideshow is here


 "Permaculture: I used to be uncertain, but now I'm not so sure ..."

It is about complexity and the unique opportunities that permaculture designers have to work with it. The discussion points for IPC12 follow on from the Nordic Institute's Plan B for permaculture (pdf), presented by Tony Andersen at EuPC9. I will also talk about:

Sustainability - what happened when Uncle Bill went to Texas

Complexity - a little old lady swallows a fly, what next?

Energy - why Vandana Shiva says that people will become like vermin

Strategy - why the Transition dog may be barking up the wrong tree

Designer mindset - recognising current patterns and studiously avoiding them

Some resources at

Look out for:

Prof Tainter  on what can we learn from the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire?

Sir John Glubb and the worrying rise of celebrity chefs in the developed world.

Northern School Design guide


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