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Introducing Murujan Permaculture Design: From Deserts to Meadows

Murujan Permaculture Design is a newly formed Permaculture Design Consultancy based in Malaysia. We are happy to announce that we plan to host a Permaculture Design Course taught by Mustafa Fatih Bakir (see Mustafa’s WPN profile here) at the property of our first clients.

Roots of Murujan Permaculture

I was in Law School in the United States when my Land Use professor mentioned the fact that topsoil in the midwest, which had an average depth of twelve feet in the 1950s, was now only averaging a depth of six feet. While this seemed to be lost on most of my peers, I found this statement very alarming. I then began an intense research binge discovering everything from peak oil to water wars. Needless to say, I was looking for something like permaculture but I did not yet know what it was.

My first exposure to permaculture was an interview with David Holmgren I saw on youtube and although I found his talk refreshing and very hopeful, I did not immediately see the potential of this strange word called permaculture. Several years later I moved to Malaysia and got married. My wife and I learned of a permaculture center nearby — started by the pioneers of permaculture in Malaysia, the fine folks at Embun Pagi. We took a Permaculture Design Course with the amazing permaculture teacher, Gregg Knibbs, in November 2010. He was truly inspirational and encouraged us to get involved right away and start our own permaculture-based business. The real impact and importance of permaculture was now very apparent to both my wife and I. We decided to start Murujan Permaculture Design to improve our own lives and to improve our community and environment while making an ethical income whilst doing so.

Origin of the Name

After a great deal of research and creative brainstorming we settled on the name Murujan. The word murujan is from Arabic and can be translated as ‘green meadows’ in English. Meadows are very productive and vibrant systems. We hope to turn deserts into meadows both figuratively and literally. Permaculture provides the means to make cities, homes, and businesses truly productive again and we aim to use permaculture training to develop the talented people necessary to accomplish this global mission.

The objectives of Murujan Permaculture Design are twofold:

  1. To train and deploy excellent permaculture teachers all over the world.
  2. To advise and consult with clients to redesign every sort of human system imaginable, but especially businesses, to become powered by permaculture.

Five minute explanations of permaculture won’t always work (although sometimes they do). What we need to do is to establish better relationships with our fellow human beings in order to galvanize the spread and implementation of permaculture on a wider scale . That is the fundamental idea of Murujan Permaculture Design: To establish better human relationships.

Our First Clients

Our first clients are a charming couple in Malaysia. Their lovely and spacious home is not too far from Kuala Lumpur.

They are great hosts and often have guests from all parts of the world and it helps that between them they speak Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, English and Malay.

They have been interested in organic farming for some time and have already hosted a number of WWOOFers. They love the idea of permaculture and want to maximize the application of permaculture to their home and property. They would like to earn some additional income by occasionally serving as a homestay. They also have a dream to build an orphanage on a portion of their land that would accommodate between 15 to 20 children. They hope that the design of the orphanage itself and the garden and food systems on the land would nourish the children’s understanding of gardening and nature.

With this understanding of the client’s desires, Murujan Permaculture Design would like to work with them over the long term to achieve the following goals:

  1. To add an herb spiral, kitchen garden and food forest among other beneficial features
  2. To introduce rainwater harvesting, solar power, and other sustainable energy systems to the home
  3. To host permaculture teachers and courses and take advantage of the resultant synergies
  4. To help create a website that will serve as a portal to register and transact with homestay guests, WWOOFers, and permaculture students
  5. To use revenues and accumulated design ideas from hosted Permaculture Design Courses to eventually build an orphanage that will nurture the children’s minds, spirits and bodies
  6. To live happily ever after, growing and learning with the system.

By hosting Permaculture Design Courses and other training courses at the property, we hope to draw in lots of external energies and creativity to help them bring their dreams to fruition.

We plan to host the first Permaculture Design Course there in January 2012 with teacher Mustafa Fatih Bakir. We already have many registrations so please register quickly if you are interested.

Check out our listing on the PRI site, or go to our website for more information and to register online.

The great thing about the place is that it already has many of the raw ingredients; the application of permaculture design should easily propel it into a world class eco-homestay powered by permaculture.

Once developed the site will serve as a useful demonstration site and example for homes and businesses in Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs.

The photos below give a glimpse of the potential of the site:

Pulasan or "twist" fruit gets its name because the way it is opened is by
twisting the skin. The fruit tastes mellow and refreshing and has an
edible seed that tastes similar to chestnut.

The property currently has no rain harvesting system, like many homes in
Malaysia, although there is an abundance of free rain to be collected.

This spacious indoor hall is just perfect for teaching Permaculture Design Courses!

A couple of guinea fowl scamper beneath a tree. Guinea fowl are just one of
the many varieties of birds and other animals living on the property.

The entirety of the property totals about 2 acres. This is a view of the large
front yard, currently populated with banana palms.

These Chinese Geese are some the of the toughest
security guards I’ve ever encountered!

The house has a number of comfortable guest rooms to accommodate
Permaculture Design Course students and WWOOFers.

The hosts provide excellent home cooked meals ranging from local dishes to
western favorites and the occasional Chinese or Arabic specialty.

I’m not sure how this "apex predator" fits in with Permaculture,
but I couldn’t resist adding this adorable guy to the photos!


  1. Hey great to see more Permaculture popping up in Malaysia. We taught the first PDC with Sabina at Embun Pagi way back when. Was just talking to one of my students yesterday who lives in Singapore but works quite a bit in Malaysia as well. Let me know if there is any opportunity to work together in 2012 on a course or other project. Really would love to come back to that side of the world. Cheers

  2. Hi Doug,

    Thank you for the message. I see you seem to have a focus on aquaculture.I would love to do some projects/courses on that subject here in Malaysia. I tried to find your contact info, but was not able to. Send me an email and we can discuss further.

  3. Interesting article. Just so you know, some of your photo source links are now broken. The last two photos don’t load. I wish they did, because you have great photos. :-)

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