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Permaculture is an approach to land management and settlement design that adopts arrangements observed in flourishing natural ecosystems. It includes a set of design principles derived using whole-systems thinking.




The last two years have offered an amazing turnaround in all areas of our project: All contested off-grid systems have been permitted by authorities. National TV and major Swedish news outlets have begun following our work. Celebrities have visited the Falköping site. Even representatives of the indigenous tribes America have paid surprise visits, honoring the project in heartfelt ways.

Kevin Schot

- Founder of the Midgaard Blackship, Chief Consultant



One full grown oak tree can produce enough maple flour to sustain a family of five for life? The tree needs to be at least seven years old. Contrary to popular myths, the human organism is fully adapted to break down oak acorn flour products.

Swedish Regions see potential in local permaculture project

12 Swedish municipalities besides Falköping now show interest in the Midgaard Blackship as a model for sustainable community building

OVER THE YEARS the Blackship in Falköping has become famous and infamous as a project that defied local norms and traditions. Authorities had their eyes on it. Volunteers flooded to the site from all over the world, drawn by idealism and the prospect of attaining first hand experience with green agriculture.

Journalists have always had trouble fitting the project into their perspective. The Blackship is not a corporate initiative. It is a product of community labor. Since 2008, the Midgaard Blackship has been run as an "economic association", registered in Sweden under the name Medicine Ways Co-operative.

"Back then we were engaged in deep discussions with local authorities and tax authorities, challenging our right to build in the way we did. For years, I had experimented with different organization models. We ended up with the collectively owned business model we have today," Kevin Schot explains.

The military engineer caught an interest in ecology

Kevin has a background as a professional soldier in the British army, where he took degrees as an engineer and technician. His interest in permaculture came from reading books by Michael Reynolds, a pioneer in the field of permaculture and inventor of the "Earthship" concept.

"That's 25 years ago today", says Kevin Schot, who has been hands on in constructing virtually every aspect of the Midgaard Blackship. "Today we can present a fully functional near zero ecological footprint housing principle. The house also serves as a test lab for Cold Climate Research and a prototype for other blackships we are consulting and brokering permits for."

Architect. Engineer. Construction worker. Carpenter. Bricklayer. Interior decorator. Kevin Schot served in all these functions, even before he received his certificate as Permaculture Design Consultant from the Canadian Pathways Academy in 2019.

Sustainable farming is really also sustainable economy. If you don't have to pay rent and food, even a low additional income is sufficient.

Kevin Schot, Permaculture Designer

Lack of knowledge about permaculture impedes progress

"Right now I am involved with presenting my work to twelve different municipalities besides Falköping", says Kevin Schot, who moved to Sweden in 1997.

The first modest landbase was bought for a capital provided by 26 Swedish sponsors, all idealistic youths spending 3,000 SEK each. Through many a winding, decked with engineering problems and legislative challenges, the investment has resulted in a unique habitation dome with the capacity to sustain a family for generations with a minimal ecological impact.

"We can scale our designs to large landbases with entire village ecology structures infused with permaculture biotech, as opposed to depletive industrial farming and GMO", Kevin Schot explains. "The problem in the past, a lot of the time, has been the generally limited knowledge of permaculture and its implications for nature and for society as a whole."

Restoration of nature - and village community

Kevin Schot believes that by disseminating a wider fundamental knowledge about theoretical permaculture and incorporating practical lessons from his own development process, Medicine Ways can develop self-governing coops that help establish food security in uncertain times, restore watersheds and woodland, rehabilitate broken eco-systems - even down to the microbiology required to regenerate wildlife and sustain animal herds.

One of the dreams that come with the down to earth gritty work is that of a return to healthy local community relationships.

"The practicality of what we do sort of dictates our social structure", Kevin says. "It will create new, regenerative career paths, and we also hope that this will breed functioning social systems with thriving institutions in the growing neglected fringe areas of modern society."