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.
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)
Animal Forage, Earth Banks, Food Forests, Land, Material, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Structure, Swales, Terraces — by Jonathan Chan April 19, 2010
During my relatively short time in the Permaculture movement I have only heard Vetiver mentioned a few times. Could it be that this profoundly important pioneer is not getting the attention it deserves? Although commonly and extensively used in permaculture sites in some parts of the world, its uptake in Australia in particular seems to be slow. Why would this be happening? How could a plant with such beneficial qualities be so disregarded? My stay with John Champagne of the Bega Valley, NSW, ingrained the great importance of this plant and introduced me to a few of many possible applications of the grass.
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Food Forests, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Material, Natural Swimming, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Kym Kruse January 9, 2010
The Mushroom Dam overlooking the beach area
It’s taken a while to find the time to sit down and report on Part B of our earthworks here at Rosella Waters, near Cairns in far North Queensland. Phase I Part A was documented whilst the process was taking place. This latest update however will rely on memory and hurried notes made during the process, together with numerous photos. Large excavations such as the two large dams we constructed in part A are considerably easier to direct and far less time consuming than the finer detail work using smaller machinery as we experienced in putting in Part B.Comments (6)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Earth Banks, Land, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson November 30, 2009
A swale on Zaytuna Farm – © Craig Mackintosh
(Remaining images below © Cam Wilson.)
Geoff Lawton and Darren Doherty are the two highest profile people in Australian Permaculture when it comes to broadacre water harvesting earthworks. They’ve both had success in some very tough environments, and yet it’s interesting that their styles are quite different, particularly when it comes to infiltration strategies.
This article is a short comparison of their approaches, along with an idea I had recently for amalgamating the benefits of each.Comments (19)
Conservation, Earth Banks, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting — by Kyle Chamberlain November 2, 2009
Ever since I’d first read of it, I felt I would never understand the state of my bioregion until I saw the Milner Dam. So, when a road trip finally brought the opportunity, I made a somber pilgrimage. Unlike its famous counterpart, the Grand Coulee Dam, Milner Dam is not a tourist destination. It has no museum, no bronze statues, no gift shop, and no laser light show. Finding Milner required navigating the ambiguous grid of numbered and lettered roads that cover much of the Snake River Valley in Idaho. On my map, the square and orderly roads seem reminiscent of city blocks, but buildings of any kind were sparse. The nameless roads and the checkerboard of crops between them stretch as far as the eye can see in some places: potatoes, alfalfa, sugar beets. As conspicuous as the crops themselves was the ceaseless artificial rain. Despite the oppressive summer sun, the air was heavy with humidity and the chirp of giant motorized sprinkler systems.
Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Land, Material, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Kym Kruse August 9, 2009
After many months of planning and waiting for the earthmovers to have their equipment available, the transformation of our humble 6 acres has begun.
As with any major event in one’s life, there was an air of excited anticipation and a slightly sick feeling in our stomachs. Just like the one you can get when you go travelling in far-flung places. You feel as ready as you’ll ever be but not 100% sure how things will pan out. Since doing our PDCs at the PRI over 2 years ago, these are our first major earthworks and time to put all that theory into practice!Comments (6)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Land, Limonia, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Surveying, Swales, Terraces, Water Harvesting — by Darren Doherty March 16, 2009
‘Soil, Water & Carbon for Every Farm’ – Building Soils, Harvesting Rainwater, Storing Carbon
by Abe Collins & Darren Doherty
Keyline Design was first developed by the great Australian, P.A. Yeomans (1904-1984), in the late 1940s & 50s initially as a practical response to the unpredictable rainfall regime he found on his new property, ‘Nevallan’, to the west of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Soil Conservation, as developed by the US Army Corp of Engineers was the predominant practice of the time and for a time Yeomans was influenced by this, though soon found some deficiencies with the pattern of water flow its application expressed. Yeomans went on to devote the rest of his life to the promotion, research and development of Keyline Design and in doing so was labelled by Permaculture co-originator Bill Mollison as "…one of Australia’s greatest patriots… ".
Influenced by the likes of prominent organic agriculture figures in Andre Voison, Friend Sykes, Newman Turner & Louis Bromfield (among many others!) Yeomans has been attributed with being the 1st person to accelerate soil formation through the stacking of methods, overturning the myth that it took 1,000 years to create an inch of topsoil. Yeomans proclaimed that "…the landman’s job is not so much to conserve soil as it is to develop soil, to improve his soil and to make it more fertile than it ever was…".Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Compost, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Developments, Earth Banks, Gabions, Land, News, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton February 24, 2009
Editor’s Note: Iran has been making headlines in the media a great deal over the last few years. Here’s a side to the story you don’t normally get to hear, as experienced by our own Geoff Lawton.
We are applying Permaculture techniques to restore the landscape
in the hottest place on the planet
In December 2008 it was our great pleasure and honour to be invited to Iran to work for the Forest Rangeland Watershed Management Organisation, originally formed in 1928 (see Word doc on their work here). We were working with different departments of the organisation, like the Sand Dune Fixation Department that was formed in 1958 for the Bureau of Desert Affairs. All of this falls under the central government’s main organisation of Jihad Agriculture Ministry. We were invited to teach a 10-day Permaculture course focusing mainly on desert rehabilitation.Comments (10)
Dams, Earth Banks, Surveying, Swales, Terraces — by Darren Doherty September 11, 2008
by Darren Doherty of Permaculture.biz
An example of the results
Click for larger view
I developed a technique in 2007 during a Keyline Design Course at Tuscon, Arizona for making a contour map using cheap available materials. One of our students didn’t have the cash to get a surveyor to do the job on his 40 acres, so I came up with this solution on the whiteboard and have since tested it on the ground quite a few times now.
Using a Bunyip/Water Level, A Frame, Laser Level or Dumpy/Automatic Level mark out a contour line using stakes or pin markers (see below for an alternative to this technique in some circumstances).Comments (6)