California drought, Georgia hope, and earthships…

Hi, this is Geoff.

Let’s jump right in with this week’s Friday Five, weekend edition 🙂

A politician I can support: 38 years ago, former US President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels at the White House. Now, he’s installed 3852 panels (10 acres’ worth) on his family’s farmland in Plains, Georgia, where he hopes an innovative new project can help power half of the energy needs of his hometown. A great write-up on the project here in the New York Times, and some additional insights here in EcoWatch.

Earthships: I had talked about earthships previously. Here’s a great 7-minute clip that features some of the most sophisticated, interesting, and odd collections of earthships anywhere on the planet, all in Taos, New Mexico.

Weather versus climate: This question comes up in various forms, and in different contexts: How can we predict and understand shifts in climate if we can’t accurately predict next week’s weather? Great question, and a decent answer here.

California drought: Is California using permaculture thinking to address its drought issues? Judge for yourself: “The answer to the drought, therefore, is to stop wasting this valuable resource. If we captured and used the water that already falls here, we could turn off the tap from the north and leave that water for farmers. Just as we discovered in California that sunlight falling on every rooftop can be harnessed to generate energy, right at the place it is used, we can capture the water that falls on those same landscapes for use where it’s needed.” Full article here.

In case you missed it: A few interesting pieces this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five. Please remember to share your comments and thoughts on the blog-version of this Friday Five below.

Cheers, and have a great weekend

Your friend,


2017-02-11T14:24:12+00:00 Blog|4 Comments
  • Re: California drought. Just as you say, southern California can evolve to turn off the aqueducts to let Central Valley farms thrive. My 1982 book “Los Angeles: A History of the Future” is the first attempt systematically to describe the rebuilding of an existing metropolis upon permaculture principles. And restoration of the Owens Valley watershed, to revive farms there, is included.

  • Nostents4me

    Regarding the solar panels, a reservation… The pictures show new grass under the newly installed panels. If the panels are spaced out enough this grass can be grazed for instance by sheep, eliminating ground maintenance costs, instead providing additional income. When panels are installed in solar rich places the shadowing will reduce soil drying providing extended grass production times in dry areas. Most Important is effect of the added shadowing in solar rich warm areas is that grazing animals then can be kept in fields where they normally could not be for long as it would get too hot without the shadow from the solar panels. Win-win.

  • Jayme Stevens

    Does anyone know much about Phytoremediation is it good idea for removing contamination from soil thank you.

    • Bill Crandall-TA

      It is in at least a variety of circumstances, and research continues. Whether it is appropriate for a given task depends on factors onsite.