I'm interested in Keyline design and use it as the fundamental starting point for all bigger permaculture projects. To that end I use a drone for mapping to generate maps with low-interval elevation contour lines. Its a fast way to get a good overview of a project and be in a position to begin Keyline designing.
I find that with good surveying, elegant designs ideas end up calling out for attention, so I concentrate on diligently going through the various permaculture analysis tools to build up visual overlays of the site characteristics before designing. When designing I do my best to marry the characteristics of the site with the needs of the inhabitants. I find it very interesting that the most well endowed sites are the most difficult to design, whereas heavily constrained sites are generally the easiest.
I have been developing my home, office and garden as a permaculture research and development site since 2016. In the summer I usually supply a veg box each week to a couple of my neighbours.
I maintain a small fruit nursery where I graft local and resistant varieties of fruit to supply my design customers and neighbours. Some interesting grafts include pear to rowan and medlar to hawthorn. I'm also keen on hardwood cuttings, using willow water to aid root development. In the winter I also supply this service to design customers, along with bare-root planting.
In 2016 I also began providing an orchard care service which consists mainly of winter and summer pruning with occasional grafting.
Over the years I feel i've developed an affinity with apple trees and try to treat them holistically. My feelings and thoughts on orchard care ( and many other subjects) align well with the teachings of Fukuoka who has been a long standing inspiration. This year I have begun making seedballs en-masse and plan to direct seed orchard guild plants. I find the potential for direct seeding shelterbelts or native woodlands in overgrown areas an exciting prospect.
My home and office is off-grid using solar PV for all electricity requirements. When I have them, I am very keen on combining mob-grazing of poultry with gardening for mutual benefits, and have supplied self-built mobile poultry systems to design customers.
I am a designer at heart and have a love of beautiful functional architecture. I consult the "Pattern Language" architecture book on every design and use the patterns in designing and building lean-tos, sheds and other structures.
I love weaving and building with hazel and willow. I use weaving skills I originally learned in traditional Irish basketry and curach (traditional Irish boat) building to make living woven terraces and other structures.
I have a long standing interest in renewable energy. I designed and installed the PV power system I use at home. I use hot compost seasonally for heating water for showering and have built a functional rocket-stove bath.
Earlier in life I co-authored a publication called "The Mayo Energy Audit 2009 - 2020" which was an energy usage and renewable energy resource audit of county Mayo in Ireland and forecast of potential scenarios in an energy scarce future.
I have a lived experience of grass roots environmental campaigning and community living, in particular with the Shell to Sea campaign in Ireland. During this time I developed facilitation and group organising skills, along with the other abilities necessary to mount and sustain a long lived, successful environmental campaign.
Other interests include boat building, swimming and many kinds of sports.