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Richard Perkins 's Profile
Richard Perkins
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Karlstad, Sweden
Climate Zone:
Cold Temperate
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The Panya Project

The Panya Project

Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, TH


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Building a Jean Pain Compost heated Glasshouse

Posted by Richard Perkins over 10 years ago

This is a primarily a practicum, weaving in elements of theory and design whilst we construct a year round regenerative glasshouse production system that pioneers the use of Jean Pains wood based compost system. The first of it's kind that we know of, th



What can I expect from the course?

This course is primarily a practicum.  We are aiming to set up a small yet very highly intensive year round growing space capable of supporting one person financially.  Whilst biologically intensive and productive, this project is a fully ecological integrated system pioneering Jean Pain compost in modern times.  We aim to construct a 10x 12m glasshouse with a heat sink storing rainwater for irrigation on the northern wall that will radiate absorbed heat back into the space at night.  Using innovative strategies this will be the first fully biologically regenerative glasshouse system, and as such it is an ongoing experiment.  Having insulated the ground under the glasshouse as well as storing roof water at the N side of the space to capture and store heat as well as prevent freezing, we aim to install a large Jean Pain wood based compost that will heat the greenhouse through the winter.  You can read about Jean Pain below, and check out the links to two short and highly inspirational videos on Youtube of the systems Jean Pain worked on in the 1960’s/ 70’s.  Yielding more energy through hot water take off and biogas than straight combustion, this compost also yields farm scale compost as a result.  Very good design!

Due to archeological concerns we are limited in how deep we can dig.  Using very minimal foundations we shall insulate the ground below the circulating heat pipes and build raised beds above that.  The under-floor heated piping from the compost heap should give us reliable winter production, along with the help of innovative LED lighting that can be run from a solar array.  To stack functions, quite literally, we shall install piped salad growing “beds” vertically over the beds on the ground level to allow multiple layers of cropping in a small space.  The community already owns a local shop where the produce can be marketed directly to the customers or fresh from the farm.  The sketch below illustrates some of this arrangement.

Whilst engaged daily with various aspects of construction, supported by the local community, we shall also weave in design and theory sessions into the program.  Topics covered will include;

  • Bio Intensive Vegetable Production
  • Composts, Compost Teas, Biofertilisers
  • Soil care and Development
  • Aspects of Permaculture Design/ Integrative Design
  • Local/ Poly- marketing
  • Appropriate Technology
  • Community Building

As Permaculture trainers we have the option to include other aspects of related topics, as well as using the evenings for related film screenings, discussions, presentations or simply taking a sauna and relaxing.

As this is primarily a practicum is good to come prepared to use your initiative and get involved wherever you feel you can contribute.  There will be various tasks to carry out simultaneously as well as quick decisions and problem solving needed.  Working together we hope to get the bulk of this project accomplished leaving people with a clear idea of how to set up integrative and regenerative solutions appropriate to this and other climates.

About Jean Pain

Jean Pains techniques represent truly regenerative solutions applicable on a community/ farm scale.  The wood based compost systems He developed are unique due to the nature of the chipping and particle size.  Few have even heard about his work, even less have successfully integrated this important work into wider holistic planning.  You can read about the man here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Pain


There are two videos about his compost piles, which we will be working to recreate here;





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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker PRI PDC Teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Other course verified
Type: Other
Teacher: Darren J. Doherty
Location: Cowdray Hall, UK
Date: Nov 2011
Other course verified
Diploma in Applied PC Design
Type: Permaculture Diploma
Teacher: Rod Everett
Location: UK
Date: Aug 2008
Full PDC
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Rod Everett
Location: Isle of Man
Date: Aug 2006
Other course unverified
Gaia EDE
Type: Other
Teacher: Pracha Hutanuwatr
Location: Wongsanit Ashram, BKK
Date: Jan 2009
57 PDC Graduates (list)
32 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
54 Other Course Graduates (list)
have acknowledged being taught by Richard Perkins
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Climate Zones
Richard Perkins has permaculture experience in:
Cold Temperate
Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate
Sub tropical
Wet/Dry Tropical
Wet Tropical
Semi Arid

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