Biological Cleaning, Compost, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Andrew Jones October 29, 2010
The dry tropics cover a significant land area of the planet, particularly around the regions of the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Characterized by a majority of the year when evaporation potential is greater than rainfall, they also support rapid biomass growth during and following the rainy season. Legume species normally form a significant portion of the species present, and provide for rapid biomass production.
Management of this biomass can be tricky, particularly when left above ground in dry mulch piles, as it normally stays dry, inhibiting both fungal and bacterial breakdown. On the flip side, dry tropics soils, whether sandy or clay-based are in need of organic matter to balance structure, enhance water retention or drainage and build humus. One approach for creating such conditions are mulch pit gardens.
Papaya, banana, and coconut circles are developed by digging pits up to two meters in diameter (for papaya or banana – up to three meters for coconuts) and about 1 meter deep. These are then filled with dampened, compacted organic material to a height of 1 meter above ground. Up to seven plants of the appropriate type are then planted in the rim of the pit. Taro or other moisture loving plants may be planted on the inside edge, and sweet potato along the outside edge to provide a living mulch as well as extra production.
Double mulch pit greywater system being developed at Baja BioSana, Baja
Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Education Centres, News, Water Harvesting — by Andrew Jones June 6, 2009
The Baja Peninsula forms an unusual geographic feature – running about 800 miles as the crow flies from the Mexico/California border at Tijuana down to the holiday and fishing port of Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, News — by Andrew Jones April 1, 2006
I’m beginning this en route to work, in the traffic jam that now characterises New Orleans morning traffic flows between 7-9am, seems that half the daily population is currently living outside the city limits and commuting by pickup….
The city is a busy hive of worker bees, or a disrupted ant colony, with a lot of energy going into the process of reconstructing what was, at least in more prosperous parts of the city. Other areas such as the lower 9th ward remain largely unrepaired, with spraypainted messages from rescuers still on the houses (‘dangerous pit bull’, ‘no pets’, etc) and questions still remaining for residents regarding levels of compensation for the uninsured.
For a good overview of the issues and a grass roots response, see the Common Ground website. Kevin mentioned this group to me before I left and they are doing great work here on a broad range of social, political, economic, and environmental fronts, including the use of effective microorganisms (EM) in dealing with mold affected houses, and bioremediation of soils affected by lead and arsenic and some persistant organic pollutants (POPs).
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