Andrew Millison

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since Jun 08, 2009
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Recent posts by Andrew Millison

Thanks for looping me in here, Paul

In support of Holmgren I'd say:
1) he has an long standing epic site where he stayed home to prove many of Mollison's theories while Bill globe-trotted.
2) I loved "Principles and Pathways" and at the time it came out in 2004 he rooted Mollison's 80's work in the new millenia context
3) He coined the "12 Principles" which are now the standard and widely accepted and easily understood
4) He doesn't travel much but he's super active in his area

As far as a top person and top 10 most impactful permies, that's really tough. Back in 2016 I made a "top 36" list, which also sought to include international folks:
(Most of your list is included there)

However in the last 5 years, I have had a couple of extended visits to India and because there are sooo many people there, the impacts of their projects are at a whole other scale entirely. So I would definitely have Rajendra Singh (the "Water Man" of India on there:

I'd include Sadhguru, whose known as a spiritual leader but has a massive river-basin wide project in South India:

Aamir Khan (the Bollywood star) who spearheaded the Paani Foundation:

and I included him on my original list but definitely top 10 is Narsanna Koppula, Bill Mollison's  student of Aranya Agricultural Alternatives:

Also, Darren Doherty has had a huge impact as far as acres regenerated and people educated. He's more understated then Geoff Lawton for example, but he's the direct source of so much of the proofs that people point to in permaculture and regenerative agriculture:

For that matter, P.A. Yeomans himself invented the modern basis for regenerative agriculture with the Keyline system and he'd be at a similar level of influence with Fukuoka I'd speculate.

Now this is all very male-heavy, and if you look at my 36 list, you'll see plenty of women like Rosemary Morrow, Penny Livingston, Robyn Francis. Definitely right there with Vendana Shiva. In the modern day, I'd add Natalie Topa who has blown up permaculture in the international aid and relief world:

So top 10? Impossible for me. But top 50? That'd be an interesting exercise. What I found from diving into India was that in the US we just don't hear about a lot of crazy cool sh*t going on in other places around the world, but each region has these mega-permaculture activators that you find out about when you're there or at International Permaculture Conferences (IPC - next one in Argentina 2022), where they don't necessarily speak English or have good internet. I only heard of or met John Nzira and Julious Piti at an IPC for example, but they are mega activators in Southern Africa:

The list goes on and on. Part of my personal mission is to share epic permaculture work and people from around the world that we just don't know about in N. America. So check back with me in 10 more years and I'll give you my top top 50

Help steward the creation of the Atlan Ecovillage on 152 beautiful acres!

May 28-31, 2015

Working closely with the Atlan community we will be offering an ongoing advanced design series to map the land, help craft the vision and goals with the people who live and work there, create the site master plan, teach hands-on skills intensives, and much more.

We invite you to be an early permaculture team helping to launch this vision. We need working models of resilient community and this one will be a shining star. We look forward to meeting you, learning with you, and designing with you.

*Registration Link:

Instructor: Andrew Millison
Masterplan Concept rendering (1)

Course Topics:

Advanced Base Mapping for 152 acre site

Advanced Site Assessment and Analysis

Ecovillage Design Principles & Planning

Advanced Zones and Sectors: Designing for Multiple Centers

How to Work as a Consultant:

Facilitating Client Community Interviews

Preparing & presenting a Bid and Estimate

Course Includes:
- 4 days in the verdant forest of the Columbia Gorge w/ 3 nights camping; 3 consciously catered meals per day

The Land:
Atlan community has landed on 152 acres just north of White Salmon, Washington. The land of Atlan is nestled in the Buck Creek and Mill Creek watersheds flowing into the exquisite and recently un-dammed White Salmon River. Diverse micro-climates and beautiful southern slopes overlook the scenic Columbia River Gorge with year round streams. There are stands of second growth Douglas fir, riparian transition zones, and oak savannah, providing a rich variety of flora and fauna.

The Community:
In 2007, Atlan emerged from spontaneous conversations about the need and passion for creating conscious land based community. We came together through meetings and celebrations and our resonance and dedication to the process continued to evolve. This group of 7 founding members formed ATLAN LLC (Atlan Living Learning Center) in August 2010. In the time since we have deepened our connections with local community, building resonance through working on the land and gardening together, holding quarterly Councils and Seasonal Celebrations.

Atlan is a living and learning ecovillage dedicated to the artful co-creation of healthy living systems celebrating the connectedness and diversity of all Life.

Atlan provides sanctuary for the creation of sustainable culture through the holistic integration of healing, art, and design. Our ecovillage demonstrates permaculture and regenerative principles while engaging a network of resonant communities.
*Registration Link:
Costs & Payment Schedule:
- Course fee: $325 before April 15th $375 after

- Lodging fee: $175 4 days 3 nights camping includes 3 consciously crafted meals per day

Process & Timeline:

Registration will be held on eventbrite and payments will be accepted through paypal, personal checks or cash
Maximum 20 participants Minimum 10
Must have 10 signups by May 14th to run
4 Atlan Community Course Scholarships (does not include lodging)
Questions? Contact
6 years ago
Darren has an awesome list of Keyline farms and their coordinates here:
6 years ago
I want to share a really interesting discussion about on-contour swales in the PNW with Darren Doherty when he was here in Oregon doing a Regrarians training in September. Darren really questioned the appropriateness of on-contour swales in our climate, because of the typically high rainfall and clay soils in the region. Basically a contour swales becomes a wetland strip that becomes choked with wetlands vegetation. If this is what you're trying to accomplish then that's fine, but otherwise keyline plowing will harvest a lot of water into the soil for less expense and without the fragmentation of pasture and super-saturated strips that a series of on-contour swales will create. I've stopped putting structures on-contour myself, and use earthworks like roads or swales to subtly move water to a collection point instead of infiltrating it evenly on-contour.
7 years ago
I think if you're keeping the animals off the pasture in wet periods and just super-hydrating pasture areas using on-contour swales and waiting to bring the animals on during dry times, then they're doable.

The issue with contour swales here is that the area below the swales becomes a seasonal wetlands during rainy periods. So it's about the timing of the animals in those periods. Off contour swales up from winter forage areas, and then on-contour swales above summer pasture could be the appropriate pattern so you keep low areas green into summer and don't wreck pastures through compaction when soils are at field capacity.

I've been thinking a lot about this myself, and have been doing recent designs with this exact issue in mind, and I've chosen to keep swales off-contour. On-contour swales are also dangerous with gophers/voles who will drain the swale with sub-surface tunnels, where off-contour swales are not keeping a long skinny pond of water full of water for an extended period. This has in large part been from the recommendations of Tom Ward, who plans more from the flood damage and over-saturation perspective for this climate then the "harvest every drop" one.

7 years ago
I think of a on-contour swale as a feature that is on-it's-way to a small vegetated terrace, once it eventually fills in with organic matter and silt. A swale enables vegetation to establish, which then becomes the sponge itself to replace the earthwork, with roots, woody structure, and ongoing generation of organic material to cover and shade the soil's surface and intercept the flow of surface water. In the long term, the swale disappears and is replaced by a widening band of vegetation.
7 years ago
If you are serious about regenerative agriculture, you don’t want to miss this course! Australian Darren Doherty is among the world’s most accomplished Permaculture farm designers, with nearly 2000 property development plans in 47 countries. The focus of his career has been broad-acre landscapes, and he is considered the foremost expert in the world for Keyline Farm Planning, an Australian design system for water and soil management. Darren is on a world tour promoting the “Regrarian” (Regenerative-Agrarian) movement, for regenerating, restoring, rehabilitating, re-habitating, rekindling & rebooting production landscapes across this planet. Don’t miss this!

This event is sponsored by the OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems, Permaculture Rising, and the Permaculture Program at OSU's Department of Horticulture.

FREE Talk by Darren Doherty
"Regrarianism: Rebooting Agriculture for the next 10,000 years"

When: September 25, 2014
Time: 7::00 - 8:30 pm
Where: Corvallis, Oregon on OSU Campus @ the LaSells Stewart Center in the Construction and Engineering Hall
Cost: FREE

3-Day Workshop by Darren Doherty
"Regrarian Open Consultancy"

When: September 26 - 28, 2014
Where: Albany, OR
Lodging: camping available on-site
Food: lunch provided
Cost: $350

The Regrarians Open Consultancy (RAC+RAP) is a dynamic 2+1 day program designed to involved participants directly in the delivery of an integrated farm planning and development consultancy. Led by one of the world's most renowned & experienced farm planners, Darren J. Doherty (AU), the RAC+RAP is all having participants work to understand the 10 step process logic involved in the Regrarians Platform which methodically covers each and every element of farm planning and development. In short the RAC+RAP is a Professional Development (PD) for primary producers & land managers when it comes to production landscape & enterprise planning & development. The RAC+RAP experience will result in participants understanding some of the process behind re-booting their own farming enterprises with a step by step approach that is highly adaptable to their own circumstances.
7 years ago
I've been looking at off-contour swales (or as Tom Ward calls them, Keyline Terraces), which move the water across the slope so do not contribute to excessive bogging. Then move the water to a hyper saturation point: pond, wetland. The point being to simultaneously keep good drainage in some areas, while intentionally soaking others. On-contour swales are about even distribution of water across the landscape, which we really don't need in boggy springtime. And the point of an on-contour swale is typically to establish vegetation, a means to an ends. So if you already have forest cover, then a water harvesting structure meant to establish vegetation is redundant.

Darren Doherty is coming to Oregon in Sept, BTW:

Take care,

7 years ago
I believe they are guinea pigs. We saw pigs, goats, cattle and chickens mainly.
Come along with the International Permaculture Convergence tour of sites in Cuba in late 2013!