Category Archives: Permaculture

Permaculture in Paradise


An example of how people is changing their way of live with permaculture designs and principles:

 Permaculture in Paradise

Posted November 14, 2014 by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Food Forests,Food Plants – Annual, Food Plants – Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees.

Trailer only – watch full video here

34 Years ago Dano Gorsich asked his old permaculture teacher, Bill Mollison, what he should do with his land on the island of Molokai in Hawaii?

Bill explained how he should design his tropical house, how it should face to capture the sea breezes, the sun angles, slope and orientation. Bill also suggested that Dano could earn a living by growing fruit and vegetables and then selling them to his neighbours. Dano literally took this advice to heart and set out to follow it to the letter. Bill Mollison visited Dano over the years afterwards and featured his small garden in his definitive book Permaculture — A Designers’ Manual.

Dano fell off the Permaculture radar for some years, concentrating on selling boxes of fruit and vegetables to his loyal neighbours. This system allowed him to educate his four daughters and put them through university.

Geoff Lawton recently met Dano on the Island of Maui whilst teaching an Earthworks Course and learning of Dano’s 34 Year old Food Forest system.

Dano Gorsich, left, and his wife Robin explaining their system to Geoff Lawton

It’s no easy trek to find Dano’s property. The instructions are a little hazy and you need to cross four rickety footbridges to reach his 1-acre ‘farm’ that towers in the high slopes of Molokai.

As you approach Dano’s property you can’t help noticing the size of the mature tree systems that surround his home. A mighty mango tree towers high into the sky, Jackfruit hang like footballs out of the tree. Star fruit and papaya grow naturally. Tidy small lanes of lettuce and beetroot are carefully watered from the creek by Dano and his wife Robin.

It’s a green jungle of vegetation that takes some time to see the amount of fruit that dots the landscape. On the terrace flat, below the main house, is his duck tractor system. The chickens are gone, replaced by the easier to manage ducks, that are well suited to the wet conditions of this tropical hideaway.

Dano explains his unique system in the full length video – how it is designed to get better with age. It’s very rare to meet someone like Dano who embodies the term “self-sufficient” and actually walks the talk.

The last TV show he watched was the Dick Van Dyke Show when it played back in the early 1980s. He turned off the TV and never looked back again.


Permaculture in Paradise




Natural building because

we need to reduce the environmental impact: it’s impossible to build a house with no environmental impact, but it’s our responsibility to minimize and localize the damage. By choosing local and sustainable materials adapted to the climate and geographical requirements we will minimize our impact and protect the health of our local ecosystems.  

 Because we need social justice: while building your home you’re also building a different kind of social structure where people depend on themselves and each other to get their basic needs met, instead of handing over their power to governments, corporations and professionals.

 Because it helps empower ourselves: we can build a house without being a professional builder by using local unprocessed materials and techniques that relay in human labor and creativity, producing a different social dynamic.


The power in our ideas and collective action is capable of influencing the way our society thinks, talks and acts regarding building and resources use