Compost, DVDs/Books, Dams, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Trees — by Paul Wheaton October 8, 2011
Click play to hear the talk!Review of Geoff Lawton's Food Forest DVD, by Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe
Paul Wheaton and Helen Atthowe (www.veganicpermaculture.com) watch Geoff Lawton‘s Food Forest video and Helen really loved it. It shows a food forest as they start it, at 6 months, a year, 3 years, 10 years.
Paul thinks it is one of the best permaculture videos. Lawton starts by talking about three concepts: the layering of systems (there are 7-10 layers of a forest), succession of systems (how nature repairs itself), and time (working with different events — eg: sun, shade, flood over time). Paul shares Helen’s hesitancy using the word “permaculture.” They also talk about the word “science” and “studies.” Lawton has 1st, 2nd, and 3rd recovery plants. The first are: annuals, nitrogen fixers, ground covers and leguminous shrubs. The second are medium size nitrogen fixing trees (later to be chopped at head height in order to nurture the longer term trees). The third are longer term nitrogen fixing trees.Comments (1)
Building, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Swales, Terraces, Village Development, Water Harvesting — by Andrew Perlot August 11, 2011
Sandot Sukkaew explains the difference between his own organic rice paddies
and the chemically-treated ones in the background.
As the forests were felled, the life-giving water disappeared – Thai farmer Sandot Sukkaew made that critical connection decades ago while laboring in the mud of his father’s rice paddies, and he’s spent the past 20 years trying to remedy the situation.Comments (4)
Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting — by Tamera July 19, 2011
by Tamera, Portugal
The Tamera water landscape is a model and an educational project for natural water management and the renaturation of damaged landscapes all over the world and a basis for forestation, horticulture and agriculture in regions threatened by desertification. It is a globally adaptable model which can be applied in all regions in various appropriate forms.
Southern Portugal is threatened by rapid desertification. Forest fires, summer droughts and the loss of biodiversity are symptoms of a widespread loss of valuable land. The vegetation is threatened. Cork oaks and pine trees die in large numbers because the soil, leeched by excessive grazing and poor agricultural practices has lost its capacity to retain water. Erosion washes away fertile soil and what’s left dries up. Simultaneously there is flooding and water damage due to strong winter rainfalls every spring. Desertification and flooding are symptoms of one problem: incorrect water management caused by industrial agriculture, over-grazing, monoculture forestry and deforestation. Portugal´s average rainfall is similar to that of central Europe — yet the desert seems to grow right before our eyes.Comments (1)
Conservation, DVDs/Books, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Material, Natural Swimming, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Terraces, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel July 14, 2011
The volume reviewed below comes highly recommended for all Permaculturists working in or around any water channels, and particularly on the broad-acre. While the methods happen to apply most immediately in drylands, they will apply directly anywhere that erosion, down-cutting, rapid gully formation, and other forms of channel incision occur. Keep in mind that these techniques will also apply in ephemeral channels that only carry water during rare rain storms, and are otherwise ‘dry.’
Importantly, even if you are working more within mesic environments and do not see a lot of actively incising channels, just the knowledge you will gain about stream dynamics and working with various stream powers and flood-regimes will be applicable and invaluable to your work. These factors, such as the ‘bankfull’ flood, and the specific inter-relations and ratios of multiple stream variables remain the same as basic physics of water flow no matter what the environment. These physics will dictate exactly where and where not to place any kind of built structure within an active water channel, and enable you to predict results of your efforts with much greater precision. How many of us doing this kind of work have lost stream structures to a “gully-washer”? The knowledge and approach in this book could have saved many a headache, cash outlay, and enabled construction of more durable, persistent, and ultimately useful work.
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Swales, Terraces, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 7, 2011
I’m adding the following clips as a positive supplement to the preceding post. I think it’s important to see that positive work is happening, and that GMOs are not only not needed, but they are a definite threat to these excellent efforts. Permaculturists working, or intending to work, in Kenya could potentially find ways to network with organisations like these, and to offer extra design tools to further strengthen their efforts.
The first video is from the Grow Biointensive Agricultural Center of Kenya (G-BIACK), who look to be doing some great on-the-ground work to educate and transform Kenyan communities and help them return to more resilient, affordable and healthy agricultural and community systems.
This second clip, from The Haller Foundation, will be especially appreciated by permaculturists — it’s a fantastic video show-casing some excellent permaculture action, also in Kenya:Comments (4)
Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Rehabilitation, Roads, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Steve Grace May 12, 2011
The sun works on an 11 year cycle over which it radiates heat at varying levels upon the earth. The cycle is observed by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the sun. Currently we are at a peak of the cycle whereby the sun is radiating a maximum amount of heat and energy. This means increased evaporation off the oceans’ waters and therefore increased precipitation over our lands. When the sun moves towards its less generative stage of the cycle, less evaporation occurs, which means less precipitation and impending dry conditions.
And so the rains have come down upon Zaytuna farm — 111mm in 5 days. The dams are full to the freeboard, the swales are soaking in the sediment, the spillways are spilling, the swivel pipes are swivelling, the soil is having a regeneration party, and the plants are just hangin’ out doing their thing.
And the earthworks have been stopped in their tracks….Comments (2)
Conservation, Dams, Earth Banks, Irrigation, Land, Material, Natural Swimming, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Gordon Williams April 7, 2011
On the 31st of January the Permaculture Earthworks course at Zaytuna Farm began with good weather and a group of enthusiastic students ready to see the process of laying the groundwork for functional rainwater harvesting features in landscapes. During the week a variety of works were conducted across the property, including a new dam and swale, swale pipe crossings, building site levelling and, to make everyone’s life a little bit easier, the excavator divided some clumping bamboo.
The first task for the 25-ton excavator was to construct a ridge point dam connected to the end of an existing swale, so as to increase catchment. If the dam were to be built independent of the swale it would not naturally fill. The primary purpose of this dam is to increase the volume of water stored on the property at a height where it can be gravity fed to areas below for use.Comments (16)
Dams, Land, Surveying, Swales — by Marty Miller-Crispe January 26, 2011
One of the principles of permaculture is to ‘observe’. Having started in permaculture about 18 months ago I’d like to share some of my observations, especially in regards to my own behaviour, assumptions and, importantly, mistakes I’ve made along the way.
Back in October, 2009, having just discovered permaculture, my wife and I became very excited about the possibilities for our 8-acre property in the Gold Coast hinterland in Queensland, Australia. Our property is on the side of a hill, and formerly having horses as tenants, it has hard, stony, compacted earth with a number of areas of erosion caused by fast flowing water after rain events. For us to have any hope of growing anything useful here, other than the few struggling natives, we needed to perform some major earth surgery.
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Dams, Fish, Land, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton November 26, 2010
The spillway that sets the height of the water and allows for passive
discharge of surplus water during large rainfall events
We can build a dam to serve specifically as a fish pond and which can be designed to be more productive for aquaculture systems generally, compared with stocking an existing farm dam with fish. As most of the production occurs in the upper levels of water, a depth of under 2 metres allows you to feed and harvest the fish easily and bring them to a desirable size as quickly as possible. Using an example of the chicken tractor, infrastructure design can also be applied to fish to create a more intensive system where resources such as the animals’ manure are cycled and productivity is increased whilst benefiting the surrounding systems. The ideal style of dam for the purpose of fish production is the contour dam, which is dug into the side of a shallow sloping hill (on a reasonable flat landscape) with a dam wall of a semi-circular curve or a semi-square shape. The profile of the dam floor can be easily constructed so that it is flat, and the inner walls and back-cut of the dam can be reasonably steep, maximising the volume and minimising the challenges of harvest, whilst maintaining a consistent temperature.Comments (17)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Roads, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Terraces, Water Harvesting — by Alex McCausland October 8, 2010
One of the biggest challenges of doing Permaculture in a semi-arid place like Konso is the drought-flood hydrology besets in degraded dry-lands. The whole of south Ethiopia has now been so deforested, added to the fact that the global climate is getting completely messed up, that rainfall is now completely unpredictable. The old folks are always talking about it here – “you can’t tell when it will rain any-more, it’s not like the old days….” That makes planning plantings much harder for one thing. The other thing is that when it does rain, it pours.
Our site at Strawberry Fields is placed (purposefully) at the bottom of a watershed and at the junction of this watershed and a larger watershed which carries run-off down the main road from the town.
Rough Topographic sketch of the site at SFEL. Shows approximate
positions of the 3 ridges (R1,R2, R3 and 3 primary gulleys G1, G2 and G3
as well as the Main Gulley on as well as the 2 main flows of run-off
effecting the site.
Courses/Workshops, Dams, Developments, Gabions, Land, Surveying, Swales — by Nick Huggins August 13, 2010
Final colour master plan
Experience? Well yes, but that’s something that you can learn along the way. You don’t need to be the World’s best Graphic artist or AutoCAD genius, but you do need to be creative, have an eye for landscape patterning and a PDC in hand.
I just finished my first Permaculture design commission and I was hoping to share some of the process with you. Within the 11 years of experience with my own landscape design firm, I rarely put pen to paper with design. I found success even while employing experienced people to draw plans and document. My job then, like now, is main-frame design. I leave the finer points to specialists.Comments (15)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 6, 2010
Preamble: From my recent trip to Jordan, I shared with you all the news, with loads of pictures, about the International Permaculture Conference (IPC) that will be held there in September 2011. I also slipped over the border to take a quick peek at Murad Alkufash’s work in the West Bank, and took video of the Jawaseri school garden project. In my bid to multitask, I also had opportunity to accompany Geoff Lawton on a consultation in the Wadi Rum district in the south of the country, where we combined the consultation with our investigations for a campsite for the IPC (photos of the latter can be seen via the first link above).
The consultation on its own, however, is deserving of a post. It was highly interesting for many reasons that I shall outline here.
Permaculture designer/teacher, Geoff Lawton, looks at water pumped from
an aquifer under Jordan’s famous Wadi Rum desert region.
All photographs © copyright Craig Mackintosh
The Wadi Rum desert in the south of Jordan happens to be the site of Jordan’s largest mixed farm – Rum Farm. It might, for good reason, seem odd that this beautiful but largely abiotic location would host a large scale farm, let alone Jordan’s largest, but it begins to make sense when you learn that under the Wadi Rum desert (and stretching under the border mountains and well into Saudi Arabia) is a large aquifer. In fact, much of this desert nation’s water supply is dependent on this single water source.Comments (21)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Dams, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Gabions, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Terraces, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
The world is coming unglued. The world burns. What are we going to do about it?
Map of fires in Russia
As I type, half of Russia is on fire after its hottest summer on record, Pakistan is dealing with the biggest floods in living memory and Australia is still in the clutches of a decade long drought. The last decade, worldwide, was the hottest since records began, and 2010 may break the records of 1998 and 2005 to become the hottest year we’ve ever known. We could spend weeks just examining the extreme weather events going on on a country by country basis.Comments (14)
Commercial Farm Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, News, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by P. David Stockhausen May 10, 2010
Permaculture solutions have come to life at a Wagga Wagga farm in the midst of a heated debate over water. What Kevin Rudd Claim’s will help the Murray Darling River system and the Lower Lakes region has some farmers in the area fuming. Farmers and residents throughout the Murray Darling region have larger concerns over the Australian government’s 3.1 Billion Dollar irrigation buyback scheme. The Rudd government is reacting to reduced productivity in the area and increasing demand for irrigated water downstream. Yet, some local farmers are curious as to how the proposed plan will affect production in the area, and reports show that many aren’t feeling optimistic.Comments (9)
Conservation, Dams, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, News, Plant Systems, Podcasts, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Patrick Blampied April 29, 2010
Last week Permaculture consultant Nick Huggins spoke to Anne Delaney from the ABC Riverina Breakfast radio program in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Listen here:
A backgrounder: Two Permaculture consultants, currently drought proofing a property in Livingstone, are calling for an end to the Australian Government’s water buy-back scheme, saying turning off the taps rather than helping farmers repair degraded landscape is selling the Riverina’s future short.Comments (9)