Conservation, Irrigation, Potable Water, Storm Water, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Brad Lancaster August 16, 2011
Editor’s Note: Brad Lancaster has established himself as one of the world’s leading permaculture dryland authorities. Brad will be participating in the soon-to-begin International Permaculture Conference (IPC10) in Jordan, across September 2011, both with co-teaching the pre-IPC PDC and as one of the speakers at the Conference itself. If you wish to book your place on IPC10, you should move fast….
Photos and text by Brad Lancaster
In northern Jordan during the summer of 2009, I was on a mission to document a modern-day Roman-era cistern resurgence. I met with Engineer and Permaculture Project Manager Sameeh Al-Nuimat at the Care International office outside Amman. He was great. He has rural hardworking roots, loves native plants and traditional ways, is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about whole-system design, and decided we’d begin the day by having an Arabic breakfast with everyone in the office. We all grouped around a very small, low table piled high with hummus, pita, olives, falafel etc, and ate with our hands. What a wonderful way to bring everyone together as the day begins!Comments (7)
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)
Biological Cleaning, Building, Conservation, Urban Projects, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Cecilia Macaulay August 3, 2011
Written a year ago by Cecilia Macaulay
Robot and charcoal-fired tea ceremony brazier
Roving, roving. I’m now staying in Central Tokyo, at my usual home with the Ota family.
This morning I reached for the broom, I got a surprise. Professor Ota came running out "No No!"
He bent down, fiddled with something on the floor, and out it sprang — the floor-sweeping robot.Comments (3)
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, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper June 16, 2011
A detailed account of the transition from a sparse and chemical dependent landscape to an ecologically diverse and resource efficient garden.
Our rural 1/3 acre of land in Northern California has been our home and office as well as a continual experiment in ecological land care and permaculture for over 6 years. Our decision to relocate to the ‘city’ this month has us pondering just how much we’ve improved this particular piece of land in the short amount of time we’ve been here… so I decided to take a journey back in time.
Unbeknown to us in 2005, we moved into a chemical dependent neighborhood; neighbors who rely on pest control companies, Round Up and weed/feed for regular property maintenance. Within our own property we found enamel paint had been washed out on the back lawn and evidence of recent herbicide and pesticide spraying around our new house (pest company sticker in the garage with the date of application). Having gardened ecologically for a long time, we have learned a lot about how to make the transition from a chemical dependent landscape to an organic and biologically based one, and how to do it with little time and effort.Comments (6)
Land, Regional Water Cycle, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Neal Spackman May 12, 2011
The most common way to die in the desert is dehydration. The second most common is drowning. Drowning in the desert may seem like an oxymoron, but it illustrates the tricky nature of dealing with water in desert climates; when it rains in a desert, the result is flash floods.
Floods form in deserts because of the lack of foliage. In non-arid climates, plants’ root systems aerate the soil and increase the amount of water the soil will absorb, and the plants themselves slow water flow. Here in the desert, the mitigating effects that plants would normally have on water flow are almost non existent, so the soakage capacity of the land is very low. Moreover, 100% of rain that hits exposed rock becomes runoff. These mountains are almost all rock, so rain gathers speed and power up high, and collects in the wadis, and rushes onto the flood plains, until it reaches the sea. The floods that form in the bigger wadis here in the Hijaz contain billions of liters of water and have enormous destructive power.
More than a few families in Al Baydha have lost loved ones, animals, and farms to floods.
Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Rehabilitation, Roads, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Steve Grace
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)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Storm Water, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Rob Avis April 18, 2011
A 13 year old in Saskatoon Canada put this together.
Further Reading:Comments (3)
Compost, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Angelo Eliades April 13, 2011
Editor’s Note: Some of you may remember my Magic in Melbourne post, where I covered the back yard of a certain urban wizard named Angelo, and his sidekick Louie. Well, Angelo gives us a great update on his progress below. It’s a very inspiring read, as I’m sure you’ll discover.
In our modern, Western, science-centred world, proof is very highly valued. We are habitual sceptics, our minds are trained to hunger for irrefutable facts, and when these aren’t delivered, claims are met with denial, scepticism and disbelief….
When it comes to permaculture, one question that often arises from those outside of Permaculture circles is "…but does it really work?" Far too often, I’ve heard people doubting the viability of permaculture systems, I’ve even heard lukewarm responses from within our own ranks!
It’s not every day that you wake up and try to objectively prove a major system of thinking to yourself. But one morning in early 2008 I woke up like every other morning, but took that first step on a fateful journey that would change everything….Comments (24)
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)
Observations and Interactions at the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Developments, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Project Positions, Rehabilitation, Salination, Structure, Swales, Terraces, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Christian Douglas March 30, 2011
Is it any wonder with daily reminders of the widening disparity between exponential population growth and water and food scarcity, so many of us begin to question the possibility of long term sustainable human habitation on the planet? Being a constant witness to damage caused by modern agricultural practices — motivated and driven largely by corporate greed — is proof enough that our ineffective systems have to change and come back into balance. My recent post in Jordan opened my eyes to this reality more than ever before.Comments (19)
Biological Cleaning, Building, Conservation, Land, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Swales, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Nicola Chatham March 18, 2011
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our permaculture journey – Part 5
“What’s that smell?” asks Chris.
“I don’t know. It’s really familiar. It smells like… cat food,” I reply.
“It smells like shit,” he says.Comments (11)
Update on the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert, the Sequel’): “Leave All Expectations Behind”
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Terraces, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Christian Douglas February 19, 2011
I felt fully prepared leaving for Jordan three weeks ago. Equipped with a 55ltr backpack laden with books, a compost thermometer, a dumpy level as hand luggage and a few well chosen words of advice from former patrons of the land: "Leave all expectations behind". In fact, as i remember correctly, it was to "flush them down the toilet". Within hours of my arrival it became rapidly apparent that would become the most useful thing I was to bring with me, or rather didn’t bring, as the case may be.Comments (17)