Geoff Lawton

permaculture expert
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since Nov 10, 2011
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Recent posts by Geoff Lawton

Hi Everyone next permaculture course at Zaytuna Farm is coming up soon!
Here is what some of our students have to say about the course and the farm


hope to see you here.

30th July - 10th August 2018, The Channon, NSW, Australia

Class Description:
This two week earthworks course is a hands-on course that will help you design and implement water harvesting strategies on your property.  In addition, this course gives great value to further enhance any serious consultant’s portfolio to have confidence when supervising contractors.
Earthworks construction can be a rewarding investment in your property.  Enhancing the aesthetic appeal, functionality and value of your landscape are all realistic potential outcomes.  However, it can be intimidating to order large machinery onto your property and getting it wrong can be discouraging and very expensive.  This course will give you the knowledge and confidence to get your earthworks right, first time around.
In this course, you will learn the theory and practice of Permaculture Earthworks – learning site design skills, surveying and directing earthmoving machines to establish dams, swales, terraces, access roads and more.
Upon completion you will understand the principles of permaculture design in earthworks: reading the site, interpreting contour maps and using surveying tools, placing elements in a design.  You will be able to use the basic terminology for earthworks and soil water management, resolve issues and work with contractors to direct earth movers in action.

For full course details please visit our website: Zaytuna Farm
If you have any questions please email us at

The main facilitator for this course is Geoff Lawton along with Glenn Armstrong our excavator expert . Geoff Lawton is internationally recognised as a leading earthworks engineer – having an extremely broad experience worldwide in setting up earthworks systems that drought-proof land and optimise productivity. Whilst we try to ensure that we advertise the correct teacher information on the site, due to unforeseen circumstances, the teachers may change at short notice.

Geoff Lawton
Geoff Lawton is the main facilitator for this course. He is a Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He first took his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course with Bill Mollison in 1983. He holds a Diploma in Permaculture Education, Design, Implementation, System Establishment, Administration and Community Development given by the founder of Permaculture, Bill Mollison.
Geoff has undertaken thousands of jobs teaching, consulting, designing, administrating and implementing, in 6 continents and close to 50 countries around the world. Clients have included private individuals, groups, communities, governments, aid organizations, non-government organisations and multinational companies.
He has currently educated over 15,000 students in Permaculture worldwide. These include graduates of the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course and courses focused on the practical design of sustainable soil, water, plant, and legal and economic systems.

Glenn Armstrong
Glenn Armstrong specialises in agricultural and Permaculture excavations and has been running a family owned and operated business since 1988. He has a wealth of local knowledge of Far North Coast, New South Wales.

Booking Information
The standard price for this two week long course is 2,800 AU$ pp, or secure your spot now with a 500 AU$ deposit.  Book 21 days in advance and save 300AU$

The standard course fee includes a camping site* (bring all your own gear!), three healthy meals a day (Mon to Fri), morning and afternoon tea & coffee break, free wi-fi, access to hot showers & kitchen facilities.
*Please note only 10 camping shelters are available. Plenty of ground space is available.

To book a space on this course please visit our website: Zaytuna Farm

Also, prior to the Earthworks and Water Harvesting course, we have a two week Permaculture Design Certificate course followed by a two week Permaculture In Action Course. If you are travelling from overseas you might want to make your visit to Australia really worth while, you can also take advantage of our special discounts with savings of up to 800AU$ with multi-course purchases.  For more details take a look at our full course schedule on our website Zaytuna Farm

The Venue
This course will be taught at Zaytuna Farm in The Channon, NSW, Australia.  As one of the leading Permaculture demonstration sites in the world, Zaytuna Farm has a range of functioning systems including water harvesting, food production, and a very productive animal husbandry, all of which will add to the learning experience and make this course a very rich experience and one not to be missed.
6 years ago
Muslims worldwide are buried within 24 hours just in a white cotton cloth straight in the ground no pollution involved.

It is also written in the Islamic texts that one the best things you can do is plant useful trees even if you know you are going to die today it is written that the best thing you can do is plant a tree, and this gives you on going spiritual credit while that tree is alive and is of benefit to other living things.

Both together this can form and organic forested cemetery.
9 years ago
Permaculture is an evolution of humanity, relative to present time with the full intention to engage with the ethical design science using available and appropriate global living and technology elements, without metaphysics or belief systems required.
Indigenous peoples had very few choices and were sanctioned by the living and technology elements available to them, we have more choices like the computer we are both using.
The present time is very relative to human evolution potentially towards a naturally abundant future greater than any other time in Earths history, with permaculture design a positive intention to facilitate creative events is possible with an inclusive style of approach.
11 years ago
You need to put a thin scatter mulch over the seed 1 bale to 40 square meters.
11 years ago
Hi Matt
rain water catchment off a roof works fine with clay tiles or metal roof. If you are worried about metals in water that only happens if your pH is really acid 4.5 or lower (very low) through HEAVY industry down wind and can be easy to correct by putting a lump of limestone rock in your water tank. Screen your in take to your tank to prevent mosquito and screen your roof gutters if you live under trees, let a little sun light in through your in take screened hole so you get some algae growth on the inside of the tank which acts as a bio-film taking out minor organic pollutants. This works fine worldwide
Enjoy the best water in the world, ask anyone who lives in rural Australia.
11 years ago
Hi Pamela
there is some interesting info here:

The natural system of decomposition through composting locks up toxins even radioactive over time through the life carbon pathways, you need to speed these processes.

You new to you fast pioneer weeds, crops and trees to mob up toxins then increase the decomposition cycles to lock into the carbon molecules forming long chain carbon based molecules and after a few cycles the toxins become inert.

There is some very interesting research already done this.

Cheers Geoff Lawton

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11 years ago

Michael James wrote:

Michael James wrote:

Geoff Lawton wrote:Hi Michael
try this harvesting DVD&

Cheers Geoff Lawton

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All I need now is a mountain side farm, a professional designer, and piles of money and I will have my own little piece of paradise. Realistically though, I'm hoping that these same principals can be applied to your average flattish farmland (maybe not to the same degree). I got the pdf book version of "Water for Every Farm" and I'm hoping that between all the visuals and research I can figure out a way to have something serviceable that can be done myself. Thanks again for the links.

in Christ,

Hi Michael
no mountain side farm needed, faltish land is much easier and cheaper to develop, so you will need less money just a small little pile, an average farm landscape flat country swale 4 foot wide in the swale base trench (so quite big compared to a garden swale) takes a minute to construct 6 feet in length at an average of $2 a minute machinery cost using an excavator, or road grader even cheaper . You could start small and slowly with just hand tools and hand dig your swales, I find 20 foot a day digging a smaller swale of about 3 foot across. Small ponds of the size of a home swimming pool to an Olympic swimming pool size often only cost $1500 to $3000 dollars and can easily last more than 600 to 1000 years especially in flatish lands where very little height is needed on dam walls and swale banks to both hold volumes of water in ponds and stop spread and soak water through swale banks re-hydrating landscape down hill. Swales are tree growing system and increase in functional efficiency as they develop into contour tree lines. Flatish land also often has surplus soil when dams are excavated and this can be creatively shaped into earth banks (at no extra cost or very little) that can function as sun traps, wind breaks as flatish land is often also stressed by wind, earth mounds can also assist in increasing tank stand heights to increase irrigation capability. Windmill water pumps or small solar pumps can be used for pumping to header tanks.
Something many people do not realize is that rammed earth houses can be built with surplus soil especially from flatish landscape dams using earth moving equipment to compact earth walls like 3 earth dam walls above ground as a sun trap, this is an extremely cheap and efficient way to built a very energy efficient house. I have done this for a consultancy client and I could probably write a whole post on this.
A good permaculture designer will be useful or you could just take a PDC with a good PDC teacher who has a reputation of creating very active students.
I hope this helps you start this journey of permanence and enjoy your journey.
Cheers Geoff Lawton

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11 years ago
Hi Kari
you are doing the right thing with the cell grazing but make sure you are carefully observing the response and fertility gain in relation to time cycles to stocking rates. If you can get a Reams soil test done and make sure your calcium exchange is good. Feed your stock minerals and give them good quality mineral lick blocks also see

Then compost all your most persistent weeds with the mineralized manures of your stock see

Especially cut and add the weeds left by your stock after cell grazing and add to compost.

Get shelter belts up on those contour swale lines as soon as you can, as shelter is going to make a huge difference where you are, especially use species that can multifunction in any way, forage, firewood, nitrogen fixing, bee forage, fungi etc etc. 20% of the productive landscape can be designed into shelter with no loss in production of stock or crop. Wind born nutrient harvest will be an added benefit and snow soak in spring rather than snow evaporation will give you great gains. Design for wind shelter, sun trap, and springtime snow shade and don't make it hard on yourself and become a vegetarian.

Fun fun fun.

Cheers Geoff Lawton

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11 years ago