The Abundant Edge design criteria for a regenerative lifestyle, with the free PDF design criteria list: 046

A Guatemalan regenerative house construction site

In this special episode I'll be giving a detailed look at the design criteria that we use here at Abundant Edge to work on all kinds of regenerative projects. What's important to know about the design criteria list is that it's meant to be a concise and easy-to-follow guide to making responsible and insightful choices. The list is constantly evolving and updating with the experience gained by the Abundant Edge team and I. Keep an eye out for updated and revised versions in the future as we refine our systems and processes. And if any of you have questions for me, or any of the other team members, you can reach us directly on our Facebook page by searching "Abundant Edge." Leave your questions and comments there as posts or private messages, and we'll either answer them as soon as possible or maybe in a future podcast or blog post.


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

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Permaculture chocolate, the highest quality anywhere in the world with Lorenzo Maniet of El Porvenir cacao farm: 045

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This is one of the most delicious applications of large scale permaculture I can think of. Just the idea of chocolate, cardamom and coffee makes my mouth water. In this episode Neal Hegarty of Abundant Edge interviews Lorenzo Maniet, the owner and director of El Porvenir cacao finca in Guatemala. El Porvenir is the most impressive agroforestry system you'll ever find in which large scale cacao, cardamom, and coffee production are grown in the shade of larger hardwood trees for the best health of each species. Lorenzo has taken great care to save “criollo” or indigenous species of cacao from extinxion and as a result is producing the highest quality and most deliscious chocolate in the world, all on a regenerative farm model that's building soil with agroforestry and silvopasture practices. What's more is this unparalleled farm will be the site for the new Permaculture Design Certification course run by the instructors from Abundant Edge where students will get to learn all about the succesive models of planting that got this place up and running, and will help to design a zone 1 and 2 space for intensive food production for the finca. Go to abundantedge.com to learn more about the courses.


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

Jungle Wisdom PDC with Abundant Edge

Dalileo Chocolate

El Porvenir Finca

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The beauty and usefulness of bamboo, with Charlie Rendall of "Return to the Forest:" 044

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I'm especially happy to bring you today's interview because I'll be speaking with one of the natural builders who's most influenced and helped me out to get to where I am today running a profitable natural building and regenerative design company. His name is Charlie Rendall and he's the owner of Return to the Forest, a natural design and building firm in the next town over from me in San Marcos la Laguna here in Guatemala. For 13 years Charlie has been living in this little lake-side community and first started learning to build while working on structure on his own land. Through help from other colleagues and friends who got him interested in building with bamboo, Charlie gradually trained himself and a group of local construction workers to build and design some of the most impressive natural buildings that I've seen anywhere in the world.

I first met Charlie in May of 2016 when I reached out to him to interview him for an article on my website the last time I was traveling in Guatemala. I was so inspired by his work that I arranged with him to come back as an intern in order to learn more about bamboo and managing larger contracts and designs. I then lived and worked with him for four months and learned so much that has helped me in all aspects as a builder and business owner.

In this interview we'll be going into detail about bamboo as a building material and many of its' advantages and disadvantages. Charlie goes into how its' produced and treated for use in construction as well as how to maintain it so that it lasts as long as possible and performs well. Don't forget to check out his website at returntotheforest.org and have a look at the pictures of some of the many incredible projects that he's worked on over the years. There will be links to all of it in the show notes for this episode on the website as well.


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

The Bambu Guesthouse project pictures

returntotheforest.org

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Joel Salatin like you've never heard him before, on his new book "Your Successful Farm Business:" 043

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Most of you will already be familiar with the name Joel Salatin and his immense and incredible work with Polyface farm and all of his books, but you've probably never thought of him primarily as a businessman. In this episode we get to talk to Joel about his new book "Your Successful Farm Business" which he describes as a graduate level resource for anyone aspiring to make a living in a regenerative land based enterprise. This book is heavy on the entrepreneurial side of farming and covers everything from direct marketing to maximizing the efficiency of your operations. Joel also talks a lot about how his own farm has changed over time to accommodate new demands and trends in the market and how his designs and strategies have morphed to meet the new new food economy. This is a really information heavy interview so you'll likely want to have a notebook on hand for this one. I would also love to hear from you if you have any stories from your own farming business to share with the community. Enjoy!


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

Polyface Farm

Joel's books

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The unique factors of a true profitable permaculture farm with Richard Perkins of Ridgedale farm: 042

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This is honestly one of my favorite interviews that I've yet done and I'll tell you why. In this interview I got to talk with one of my heroes in the regenerative farming world, Richard Perkins. Many of you probably already know Richard and Ridgedale farm from all of the amazingly informative videos and seminars he's put out on YouTube. I came across Richard about 8 months ago and nearly binge watched all of his material online. In just a few short seasons, Richard and a small team have taken a severely degraded small farm in northern Sweden at 59 degrees north from mediocre mono-crop production into a profitable diverse and regenerative permaculture site that produces veggies, eggs, broiler hens, and much more, with longer term plans of food forests and perennial systems beginning to mature.

Now I almost never go over an hour in my interviews unless the subject matter is really good, so the fact that this one is just over an hour and 20 should tell you something. Richard starts by explaining why it's so important to bring back small mixed production farms all over the world and then jumps right into practical and actionable information by going over the 7 tenants of regenerative agriculture that he's outlined as the most important aspects to aim for. We also talked at length about how to solve the farm cash flow problem by finding alternative models and markets to sell to, how to intensify rather than merely grow your farm enterprises, how to holistically develop key ecosystems on the farm by building soil, and a whole lot more. This is definitely an interview you'll want to listen to with a notebook on hand, and don't forget to check out the links to some of the projects we mention in the interview in the show notes on the website.


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

Ridgedale Permaculture Farm

Alan Savory's holistic land management

The Pleistocene Project

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The most impressive permaculturalist you've never heard of. Alex Kronick of Caoba Farms: 041

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I have an unusual interview for ya'll today since I actually wont be the one conducting the interview. Instead, Neal Hegarty, one of the lead designers and team members here at Abundant Edge will be taking the reigns since he's actually known Alex Kronick of Caoba farms in Antigua Guatemala for years and is good friends with him. Now I call Alex, the most impressive permaculturalist you've never heard of because he likes to keep a low profile, but to his credit, his farm and enterprises are truly impressive. He co-manages an incredibly diverse biointensive market garden within the town that also has a farm to table restaurant, farmers market and organic local goods store. Around the periferies of the farm he raises many varieties of animals, fruit trees, perrenial crops and bokashi composting. He's raises snails and has an exoitic plant nursery and seed saving operation. It's the most complete and functional permaculture operation that I've seen anywhere in the world.


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

Caoba Farms

Link to the book Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth

Neal Hegarty's Interview

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The intricacies of timber framing made simple with timber framing instructor Skip Dewhirst: 040

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I've gotten a lot of requests over the last few months from people asking if I can do more on woodworking and especially timber framing, so today's episode is for you good folks. Today I'll be speaking with Skip Dewhirst, who has been a professional wood worker for more than 30 years and has taught over 100 classes in furniture making, woodworking, timber framing and natural building at places like Rocky Mountain Workshops, Dartmouth College, Rancho Mastatal, Bona Fide, and Mao Organic Farm in Hawaii.

In this interview Skip talks about the differences between the main styles of timber framing around the world, box framing, cruck framing and aisled framing, the many types of joints and tools used in the trade, and even gives practical advice for owner-builders and novices starting out. We go deep into different infill materials and techniques for the wall systems and the different considerations to take into account if you're building in a cold or hot climate.

There are a lot of technical terms in this episode and a lot of explanations of techniques that are might not make sense unless you see pictures, so I've put a whole list of resources and visual aids in the show notes on the website to make it easier to follow along, so just go to abundantedge.com and click on the podcast tab in the navigation bar to find this and all previous episodes.

links to different tools, reviews and pictures

Diagrams of different joints and terms


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

yestermorrow design/build school

Rancho Mastatal

timber frame HQ

the timber framer's guild

hawaii timber frame course

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Kicking off our demo farm and finding the "abundant edge" with Jeremy Fellows: 039

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I'm really excited for today's episode because I get to talk to a close friend of mine, Jeremy Fellows. Now Jeremy has been studying and working in permaculture for ten years and has tons of experience in botany, horticulture and soil science. He and I actually first met when we were hired to collaborate on a project for a client here in Guatemala and we've been friends ever since and have continued to work on lots of other projects. All this has lead up to the collaboration that he and I have with another team member of ours, Neal Hegarty, on a small regenerative demonstration farm that we just broke ground on recently.

In this interview Jeremy and I talk a lot about how the farm was designed to prioritize water and soil management as well as biodiversity while making a much better than average profit when compared to other small-holding farms in the region. I also let Jeremy geek out on aquatic food systems, climate resilience, land conservation vs regenerative management and tons more. He even talks in detail about how he designed much of the incredible landscape at the Yoga Forest, a retreat center located in a really challenging location.

Before I turn things over to Jeremy I just want to give a heads up that there will be more information on the first ever Abundant Edge complete Permaculture Design Course starting in January so stick around for that at the end and check out the links in the show notes when you're done.


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

Jeremy's Profile

The Yoga Forest

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The infinite possibilities of light straw clay with Lydia Doleman from The Flying Hammer: 038

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Our guest today is Lydia Doleman, an accomplished natural builder and educator as well as the founder of “flying hammer,” a natural building company based in southern oregon. The company focuses on pushing the boundaries of affordable and energy efficient housing, training people and communities in various building skills, and infusing the dreary urban fabric with structures that reflect beauty, sustainability and community.

Lydia is also the author of “Light Straw Clay,” one of the volumes in the sustainable building essentials series which will be the focus of this interview.

In this episode we go in depth about the world of light straw clay and it's wide range of applications and the nuts and bolts of the building technique. We talk about permanent and temporary form work, larsen trusses and split stud framing, different options of plastering and sheathing the walls, and the advantages and challenges of building with clay straw.

I would highly recommend this interview for anyone looking to build a hybrid structure or to renovate an existing conventional building because of how easy it is to use these techniques in traditional homes.


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:

theflyinghammer.com

Why and how to build your own ponds with Robert Pavlis, author of Building Natural Ponds: 37

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We're really excited about today's guest Robert Pavlis. Robert is a master gardener who has designed and cultivated his own world class private botanical garden on his property in Ontario, Canada and is the author of both gardening myths and building natural ponds. In today's episode we'll be focusing on natural ponds, and Robert's successes and learning experience in mimicking nature to bring all the benefits of a pond into his garden environment.

In this interview Robert talks in detail about the increased biodiversity both in the water and along the shores that a pond attracts. We go into pond lining options, simple diagnostics for water quality, design considerations and much more. Now some of you permies and regenerative landscaping folks might find that this interview is a bit heavy on the residential and gardening perspective, and you'd be right, so I would challenge you to leave comments on the abundant edge facebook page or in the comments sections under this episode on the website if you'd like to challenge any of the information in this interview or offer a different perspective on pond construction. But honestly, I think just about anyone will find a gold mine of information in here and Robert does a fantastic job of breaking down the design and installation into really easy to follow steps that we know will empower you to build a pond of your own, and if that's the case then stay tuned at the end of the interview to see how you can win your very own copy of the book, Building Natural Ponds. 


For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Resources:
gardenmyths.com/

robertpavlis.com/