The New Alchemy Institute

From 1971 to 1991, The New Alchemy Institute conducted research and education on behalf of the planet :
"Among our major tasks is the creation of ecologically derived human support systems - renewable energy, agriculture, aquaculture, housing and landscapes. The strategies we research emphasize a minimal reliance on fossil fuels and operate on a scale accessible to individuals, families and small groups. It is our belief that ecological and social transformations must take place at the lowest functional levels of society if humankind is to direct its course towards a greener, saner world."

"Our programs are geared to produce not riches, but rich and stable lives, independent of world fashion and the vagaries of international economics. The New Alchemists work at the lowest functional level of society on the premise that society, like the planet itself, can be no healthier than the components of which it is constructed. The urgency of our efforts is based on our belief that the industrial societies which now dominate the world are in the process of destroying it."

Fall 1970
Bulletin of the New Alchemists

NAI Publications Online

New Alchemy published the results of its work in a range of publications including Journals, Quarterlies, research reports, technical bulletins, books and working papers.
A list of publications for download via Adobe PDF format are available on this website of our most popular information. Additional documents are posted on an ongoing basis.




New Alchemy's agricultural research has focused on intensive organic gardening, biological pest control, cover crops, irrigation with fish pond water, perennial food crops, food trees, and indoor winter food production in solar greenhouses.

Raised bed vegetable gardening, practiced with no machines or fossil fuels or harmful pesticides, is highly energy efficient and productive. One-tenth acre can provide a year's vegetables for 10 people.

Growing fish for food can be done on a small scale in natural ponds, small back-yard ponds, and in above-ground solar ponds.

Solar ponds are standing translucent fiberglass pools of water which contain growing fish. Nutrient-rich pond water that can be used to fertilize food plants in gardens or in hydroponics systems. In a greenhouse, solar ponds absorb solar heat in the day and release it at night, substituting solar heat for heating oil.

Bioshelters are solar greenhouses which enclose fish ponds, food crops, soil life and insect communities.

Ponds of water inside the structure passively heat and cool the indoor environment while growing edible fish. Predatory insects and pest insects live among the plants, keeping the numbers of pests low.

New Alchemy built several bioshelters (Cape Cod Ark and PEI Ark) and tested and analyzed domes for bioshelters.

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