it is a permaculture home, which in the future could also become an ecovillage. This name came about in honor of the flocks of straw-tailed birds (which are almost always walking around here), and the idea that straw is fundamental in permaculture, whether in bioconstruction, soil cover, composting, to use in mattresses , in the evapotranspiration pit, animal feed and etc...

ecoPalha follows the principles of permaculture, mainly trying to use the maximum of local resources in constructions, soil improvements, etc., seeking to have a healthier life living in a place closer to nature in greater harmony with it, from the world of unbridled consumption, and entering a world of more simplicity, as Bill Mollinson says "Live simply, so that others can simply Live. ".

The day-to-day here at ecoPalha is extremely simple, most jobs are defined according to the climate and the priorities of the time. Food is also very simple, mainly food that is or can be produced on the property is used.

For those who want to visit, volunteer, stay on site or apply for a new member at the end some principles of coexistence and respect, for all those who respect, You Are Welcome.

For those who want to learn a bit more, then a brief summary about permaculture, and on the news always have more information on related topics.


The word permaculture emerged from the work of Bill and David Mollinson Holgren, to describe a form of permanent agriculture, in the 70s.

The conventional modern agriculture is based on the planting of monocultures, the use of large volumes of chemical inputs (fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides etc.), heavy machinery and other aspects impacting ranging making the soil increasingly unproductive. To "get it" more inputs are applied, using machines to unpack the soil causing more pollution and degradation in a cycle that leads to the complete exhaustion of the soil, as we can observe in many regions. Not to mention the very high energy of it all! Obviously unsustainable!

In contrast, in permaculture, planned to productive ecosystems in order to make them more fertile! How to do this? Based on the "wisdom of nature", ie, consciously reproducing patterns and relationships found in nature. Therefore, the system design should enhance species diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems and integrate them smoothly with the people and the landscape. Hmm, started to become more complex, right?

Yes, really permaculture is a complex concept. Actually integrates all aspects of sustainable livelihoods of communities (so in time came to be referred to as permanent culture rather than simply permanent agriculture).

As Bill Mollison say: "Permaculture is ... work with nature and not against it ... is looking at systems in all their functions rather than just taking them a fruit, and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolution. "

This "natural wisdom" used, not new. On the contrary, largely come from ancient cultures. The main contribution of Holgren was Mollinson and synthesize knowledge from diverse cultures and integrate them with modern science. You may already know some issues such as bio-construction, farming or organic, solar and others thought it was permaculture. Yes, they are applications of permaculture techniques, but the idea is much broader. David Holgren explains that "permaculture is not just the landscape, or even the techniques of organic farming or sustainable forms of production, the buildings on the efficient use of energy, or the development of eco-towns, but it can be used to design, create, manage and enhance these and all other efforts made by individuals, families and communities in search of a sustainable future. " See the illustration "Ethics and Principles of Design" are the basis and permeate all eight areas. We can also consider that there is an evolution in spiral (various levels of expertise) that shares part of local / individual to embrace collective action, community, government.

The main aspects of permaculture can be summarized thus:

It is a system for creating sustainable human communities that integrates design and ecology.

It is a synthesis of traditional knowledge and modern science, applicable to urban or rural situations.

Take natural systems as a model and works with nature to design sustainable environments that can provide as well as the infrastructure that support them.

Encourages us to become conscious part of solutions to the many problems we face locally and globally.

Well, let's now focus on ethical principles, which are actually the "essence" of permaculture.

Caring for the Earth

Talking of respect to all things on the planet, whether living or not. Is that enable and encourage all living systems can continue and multiply.
Caring ecosystems, species, water, soil and atmosphere in every moment of our lives, so we have a more healthy longer. This care, this respect should be reflected in our daily routine, with responsible decisions. What are attitudes that value life, using resources appropriately appealing not exaggerated consumerism and waste.

Caring for People

It is important because despite the human species is not the most populous in the world, is the most damage and faster. So if we take care of the people, that we can receive all the basics for their lives, we have a planet with more chances of becoming sustainable. These basic needs can be shelter, food, waste treatment, education, labor relations and human health.hare surpluses and setting limits to consumption and reproduction

These attitudes are connected to first and second principles.
In the case of human reproduction, this principle puts the challenge of responsible parenthood. And extend - to the breeding of animals for consumption *, which today is beyond what the planet can support.
Share surpluses means that we redistribute resources beyond our needs, like food, money, time, etc ... and share resources such as machines and tools in a cooperative way. Always prioritize the flow instead of accumulation.
Set limits for consumption is the foundation of responsible consumption.

Responsible consumption habits (Five R):

Refuse - materials and attitudes pollutants, toxic or that degrade the environment in their extraction or disposal.

Reduce - the consumption of resources, controlling consciousness with our own needs and, especially, cutting superfluous.

Reuse - materials and resources in their original form, reducing the volume of waste that is thrown away and avoiding the expenditure of energy to be transformed into other elements.

Recycle - materials, now called "waste" so that they can return to the beginning of the process as resources (a new cycle).

Restore - the natural environment whenever possible (in fact, the ideal is to prevent the environment, natural or constructed, is degraded in the first place - which leads us to reject the first R

Visitors,Volunteer and ecoPalha Members

The first 10 days the volunteer stays in the camping area, then he can move to the Mother House, and if it is ready for other small houses that will be built.

Some principles of a permacultorist are:

  • Achieving a harmonious solution of the problems .

  • Increase and protect resources.

  • Draw ecosystems that maximize the number of productive species..

  • Efficiently use energy and water**.

  • Waling towards the perpetuation of ecosystems.

  • Accept responsibility to use water sparingly.

  • Maintain the pirity of the water and at the same time increase the accumulation in the ecosystem, aiming at the future of all communities of life on Earth.

  • Improving and healing soils tha have high productivity and those who were severely damaged.

  • Respect and leave in peace those soils supporting natural ecosystems special as swamps, deserts, coasts and mountains.

  • Planting more trees for a increase in condensation rainy windswept slopes.

  • Store, donate and plant your seeds.

  • Building new homes and renovate old using renewable resources, low energy and minimal pollution.

  • Live in them with simplicity.

  • Grow as much food as possible at home.

  • Ensure that home gardens have different ecological functions.

  • Grow lots of fruit for our consumption and for the future.

  • Returning to what we use and reduce the distance food trade and unfair.

  • Producing quality food without environmental destruction.

  • Ensure that when a tree is cut, ti will be replaced.

  • Do not harm the environment and not finance companies that do.

  • That their products will last at least the same time it took tree to grow.

  • Establish wildlife corridors to connect them.

  • Respect and undestand the methods of life, harvesting and cultivation of cultures different from his.

  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and biodegradable.***

  • No use in the body or feeding with refined ro chemical substances such as preservatives(ins 220, ins 210 and others), artificial colorants( ins 110, ins 124 and others), flavor enhancers( ins 621, ins 620)  and others artificial or syntetic substances. ****

  • Boil water or filter it instead of buying plastic bottles.

  • Regarding pests, apply reverse control rather than elimination, because pests are part of diversity of life .

  • Enjoy the weeds for his role in the system and not remove them until you have something better to replace them.

  • Living cooperatively, with simplicity and rationally with each.

  • Start small and do not try to go too fast.

  • In the urban avoid to waste, in rural living without waste.

Money is important, therefore, earn and spend money discriminately to avoid damage, but regenerate society and the environment. Trying to live better with less. What we do with our lives and how we use the money attitudes are fundamental to the preservation of non-renewable natural resources and our communities. You wold use money directly to encourage companies taht degrade the environment through pollution, hazardous waste and/or excessive weaponry and biocides? Would you support companies that exploit or harm people through discrimination, corruption, labor exploitation or unsafe working environments and polluted? In fact, that's what most people do every day when buying goods and services.

Permacultorist choose where to put their money, only buy ethical goods and services, which makes shopping much more pleasurable.

These are some concepts, some of the ethical permacultorist, with time things will be improving and improving, all by looking for a healthier living.

*The meat for food, until it has the own production, should be from real free range animals raised with the natural dieat of each species. As an example: Sheep, Cattle and other ruminats feed mostly in pasture.

**Reduce the use of electrical products, always projection production of  energy itself. will not allow use of television.

***Like Shampoo, soap and others, if you have any trouble finding, always will find someone willing to help in the search for natural alternatives.

****Medications prescribe previoulsy tolerated, but always tryint to reduce consumption to disposal. Refined Sugar is a chemical(C12H22O11).


ecoPalha, in the Service of Nature, Living with It and Not Against It.

  • BioConstruction
  • Natural Plaster
  • AgroForestry
  • Organic Gardening
  • Natural Diet
  • Natural Husbandry of Animals
  • Natural Treatment of Animals
  • Renewable Energy
  • Green Roof
  • Dry Toilets
  • Composting
  • Recovery of Soils

ecoPalha Members

  • Fernando - Permacultor - 01/11/2011