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Welcome to our e-zine - here you can read articles on Permaculture, and get news and info about our courses, events and workshops. Feel free to sign up to our mailing list in the sidebar.

Friday
Aug222014

Farm Planning

Silvicultural treatment at an agroforestry site in QueenslandAiki Designs offers a comprehensive whole-farm planning service that includes assessment of soils, hydrology, production and market potentials, and integrated design of appropriate farm systems to provide materials and energy:

Soil Assessment

We collaborate with several laboratories to assess the health and potential of your property’s soils. Baseline assessment includes assisting you to take samples, helping you interpret the lab results, and providing recommendations for regenerative use and any ameliorative measures we think might be necessary.

Hydrological Assessment

Slope and contour assessment, estimation of storages/throughputs. Recommendations for strategic utilisation and development of storages and common fluxes such as: precipitation (rain) and condensation from low clouds/fog; surface streams/wetlands; subterranean and soil storages etc.

Market Assessment

Customised equipment harvesting green teaOur agribusiness advisory service will help you identify potential products, market opportunities, and technological/infrastructural requirements for your commercial venture. Our advisors have assisted a diverse range of clients, from large international organisations to smaller enterprises and sole traders, to develop products and markets, and to design and deploy critical business infrastructures.

Design and Consulting

We offer advice on a wide array of issues encountered by small-to-medium-sized primary production enterprises, particularly those considering deploying unorthodox methodologies or exploring new markets. General advice/recommendations and downstream troubleshooting is covered by our base rates as below. Other analyses and assessments listed above may incur additional project-specific costs - we will discuss this with you as part of a general consultation.

Rates:

  • corporate base-rate $120/hr (selected organisations may receive up to 50% discount on this rate)
    Min 1hr consult/workshop on-site, max 6 persons.
  • private citizen base-rate $90/hr (discounts may apply)
    Min 1hr consult/workshop on-site, max 6 persons. Travel is charged at cost (how much it costs us to get transport there) rather than a consultant fee per-person.hr of travel. We think this is fairest for both you and us.

Contact us here to discuss your requirements.

Thursday
Jun052014

Food Gardening

We collaborate with Brisbane permaculture business All You Can Eat Gardens to develop and maintain food gardens for clients in the area, according to principles of permaculture. Director Tim Auld is an alumnus of our favourite local permaculture hotspot, Northey Street City Farm, and a regular guest teacher there. Tim and our other friends from City Farm are also supporters of our own community food-growing project at Murri school.

Reduce your reliance on industrial agriculture and multinational corporations. Growing food is activism!

Thursday
Jun052014

Urban Forestry in the Bamboo Garden

Many city-dwellers are shy of large trees near dwellings, for obvious reasons. We believe, however, that even a small residential block can support a significant fragment of the surrounding urban forest estate, and provide benefits to land, people and wildlife far in excess of the risks posed by healthy, well-cared-for trees. If we are to make our cities healthier, happier and in any way “sustainable”, we must all make allowances for these effortlessly useful citizens, and take responsibility for their welfare: by sensible design, careful monitoring and fearless management.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun052014

Tree Services

Our tree-care services are focused on developing and improving yields of forest-products (including tree-crops and timber) and vital environmental services (shade, air-purification, climate modification etc.) provided by the public and private forest estate. Together with our long-term collaborator, Gary Shambrook (who has over 30 years experience in the business), we provide specialist tree-shaping, pruning, and felling services. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

New planting at Arakai EstateWe provide advice and design on developing productive tree-systems at any scale (e.g. food/fibre/fuel-forests), but also cultivate a special interest in ultra-small-scale (i.e. backyard) production of select high-value sawlogs of native cabinet timbers. We can travel (or telecommute) anywhere in the world to assist you with design and implementation of your orchard or timberlot project, but unfortunately we cannot offer regular maintenance to clients outside the South-East Queensland region.

Timber milling and salvage operations in the South-East Queensland region are conducted jointly by us and the father-and-son team of Darryl and Brendon Collins, of Arakai Estate, using their TimberKing mobile bandsaw mill. The economics of larger jobs involving higher volumes of wood or a number of logs, may mean we can justify bringing this larger sawmill to the timber, however smaller loads and single logs will need to be loaded on a truck for transport to the mill. In cases where access to the log is too restricted to allow snigging (towing) it to a convenient loading area, or transport costs are prohibitive, we may set up a smaller mill (such as a Lucas) around the log to cut it where it lies.

We are also open to invitations to help promote or develop the concept of decentralised urban production-forestry in other cities, as we believe it is a vital part of urban redesign for sustainability.

Thursday
Jun052014

Landscape Maintenance 

We provide competitively priced, permaculture-qualified property maintenance services to urban clients in the greater Brisbane region.

Native Pandorea vine in flower at one of our sitesWorking to a strategic plan and recommendations from an Aiki Designs consultant, our property maintenance team will guide the evolution of your site by regular, sustainable steps, using only approved organic inputs. Use of power-tools is minimised; microclimate management and soil-care is a prime priority, as is the identification and management of woody or invasive weeds, and their staged replacement with locally-appropriate productive species. For selected herbaceous weeds we may use our saturated steam system which is totally non-toxic.

We are organic lawn-care specialists, using probiotic fertilisers and deep-sward methods (i.e. a high cut) to promote healthy turf with minimal need for inputs of food or water. We also recommend and use composting and small animal systems such as poultry or guinea pigs, to do the gardening on many urban sites. On larger properties, including rural sites, we may use our state-of-the-art mobile grazing units to improve pasture, weed and mow verges and margins, and control understorey growth in clients’ orchards and agroforestry systems.

We suggest you let us use one or more of these systems to process organic residues from your property into free fertiliser on-site, but for an additional charge we can export biomaterials such as palm-fronds etc. to one of our bulk composting facilities.

Contact us here for a quote on maintenance services for your property.

Thursday
Jun052014

Consultation and Design

We offer holistic design, advice, troubleshooting, and project management services to individuals and organisations wishing to improve environmental and social outcomes of their lifestyle or enterprise. We use principles and techniques of permaculture, biomimetics, and applied ecology, to assist clients in creating sustainable, ethical, livable lives and occupations.

Click to read more ...

Friday
May022014

Permutopia

Tiles of the forest geomeThe Aiki Designs team has been working on an addictive freeform puzzle and board-game intended to develop pattern literacy and systems thinking in children of all ages. In this massively permutable jigsaw puzzle for eco-geeks, up to 6 players cooperate to create the board and manage the game landscape emerging on it.

We are currently engaged in final balancing and playtesting of the official ruleset and variants, (we anticipate loads of people will want to create their own variants too!) and investigating green production options. If you would like to be involved in playtesting, or think you might have relevant skills or resources to contribute to this project, please contact us.

Permutopia is expected be released in mid 2014. Watch this space…

 

 

Saturday
Aug242013

Coffee Production in the Bamboo Garden

Coffee is a great candidate for home growing if you live in (or can reproduce the conditions of) the montane or cool tropical, and subtropical forest habitats of the plant (Coffea arabica), and have space for growing small shrubs.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr262013

Biochar in The Bamboo Garden

Black is the new green, if the buzz about biochar is to be believed. There are some good reasons to be optimistic about the potential for using black carbon as a soil amendment to improve local agricultural fertility and to combat global climate change. But of course, as with all technologies and tactics, there are serious strategic issues to consider, before we are able to declare “bio”char as “green”.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar072013

International Permaculture Day

Join us in The Bamboo Garden for a FREE tour around our own little piece of permaculture, for International Permaculture Day, May 5 2013. Contact us here to book a visit, or to find out more about what we do.

Tuesday
Jan082013

Permaculture Design Certificate

Updated on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 3:37PM by Registered CommenterAiki Designs

NB: We have restructured our education modules to create a FREE Introduction to Permaculture course as a prerequisite to enrolment in the comprehensive Permaculture Design Certificate course described below.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec222012

Tank-scaping the Bamboo Garden

We have been putting some finishing touches on our suburban permaculture wildlife haven, The Bamboo Garden, with some hydrological micro-engineering strategies for not-so-level sites.

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Saturday
Jun302012

Permaculture: a designer's manual

A compendium not only of agroecological wisdom, but also of the author’s trademark wit, Permaculture: a designer’s manual remains the comprehensive reference text for permaculture designers and students around the world.

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Wednesday
Jun062012

Murri School Garden

We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Aboriginal and Islander Independent Community School (AKA The Murri School), Northey Street City Farm, community supported agriculture organisation Food Connect and others in a major project to develop a Permaculture garden for the school and local community.

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Wednesday
Jun062012

The One Straw Revolution

Both a philosophical treatise and a call to action, this permaculture classic is frequently cited by Bill Mollison, and transparently influential in the development of many of his ideas about polycultures and the ecological dimensions of human health. The One Straw Revolution is a one-of-a-kind thesis on the nature of our relationship with nature, and on the conundrum of power or control in that relationship.

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Sunday
May152011

Perma-couture (extract)

The problem with plastics has always been the vast gulfs of time between their half-life and their useful life. By certain limited measurements some synthetic fibres may (marginally) outperform wool, silk and cotton. However the nature of their production (i.e. in high-tech chemical laboratories using fossil-fuel feedstocks) and the problems associated with their disposal after they degrade beyond use make them environmentally costly alternatives to the currently more expensive-to-produce natural fibres.

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Wednesday
May112011

The Scythe Book

A tribute to the scythe by one of it’s relatively few modern enthusiasts in the developed world, The Scythe Book is a must-read for enthusiasts of hand tools.

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Tuesday
May102011

The Quiet Achiever

Anyone who has ever ground their teeth at the noise of an electric or petrol-driven whipper-snipper/weed-eater/brush-cutter (even while using it themselves), will be pleased to know that there is a better technology available to do the job of that infernal machine. And they may surprised to know that it has been available for several centuries.

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Tuesday
May102011

Aikido and Permaculture

Aikido or the "Way of Harmony with Universal Energy" has many lessons for permaculturists. It is an oriental martial art which uses circular, blending movements to tame the energies of an attacker. Informed by Zen, Shinto and the battlefield arts (jutsu) of the samurai of ancient Japan, Aikido has inspired generations of westerners and Japanese alike with its vision of cooperation and non-passive pacifism.

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Monday
Apr182011

Permaculture: principles and pathways beyond sustainability

As co-originator of the permaculture concept, David Holmgren needs no introduction for most permaculturists. Not as controversial or high profile as his mentor and co-originator Bill Mollison, but every bit as capable of turning conventional thinking on it's head, he has been quietly chipping away at the problematic notion of sustainability for years in his writing.

Click to read more ...