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)
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)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 28, 2011
The Permaculture Research Institute USA has partnered with Sust`ainable Molokai to embark on the bold mission of permeating the Hawaiian Islands with permaculture goodness. Traditional Hawaiian agricultural systems, before the arrival of Europeans, were ingenious and sustainable. Indeed, their ahupua`a systems, known as high island ‘Ohana’ systems to permaculturists, are one of the few truly sustainable agricultural systems ever known — an awesome legacy that should instill pride and purpose in modern-day islanders. Unfortunately, the last century, in particular, is seeing multiple major threats to the island state’s unique ecology — soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and Hawaii has become Big Biotech’s GMO test capital of the world (see video at very bottom of post).
But permaculturists are fighting back, as you’ll see:
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)
Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Seeds, Swales — by Nichole Ross March 9, 2011
Original Atrwork by Anthony Dohanos of Pahoa, Hawaii
Food security and canoes go hand-in-hand in Hawaii. When the Hawaiian Islands were first settled around 750 A.D., and for many generations after that, Polynesian voyagers stocked their massive double-hauled canoes with specific crops necessary for colonization. While a wide variety of plants and trees were already growing when early settlers arrived, the food plants that we have come to know as “traditional” were not. Vine cuttings, root stock, crowns, sprouts, slips, shoots and seeds all had to be carefully prepared, packed and loaded into canoes for long journeys across the unforgiving Pacific Ocean if settlers were to be able to survive on the new land.Comments (3)
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)
Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Economics, Energy Systems, Financial Management, Gabions, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Swales, Waste Systems & Recycling, Working Animals — by Nick Huggins February 16, 2011
I want to share with you a few things about a permaculture design project I finished in late October 2010. Details of the design, some details of working with clients on design projects, basic costing and what to be aware of when doing so. I also outline how I put the project together and what it included.Comments (14)
Conservation, Food Forests, Land, Storm Water, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Dominick ter Huurne February 11, 2011
by Dominick ter Huurne & Inke Falkner
Having found the bush block we had long been searching for, a protracted settlement period gave us plenty of time to decide exactly what we wanted to do with it. At 40 hectares the property was much larger than we had ever envisaged buying, but we fell in love with the diversity of wildlife and vegetation, seduced by the possibilities it offered. Establishing an orchard was a major priority, and having recently been introduced to permaculture gave us a chance to put many ideas into practice. So, armed with a lot more enthusiasm than experience, this is how Inke and I began the transformation of one small pocket into a food forest.Comments (11)
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.
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Swales, Urban Projects, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Nicola Chatham January 19, 2011
Editor’s Note: This article was written in mid-December, when Queensland’s rains were nothing like that witnessed of late, and which have caused the catastrophic flooding in many towns and cities across the state. I mention this to ensure people realise Nicola was not being insensitive with timing of a Queensland- and water-based article. Our thoughts go out to all who have suffered in the recent deluges.
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our Permaculture journey
If women knew diggers looked this good I think swales would pop up like weeds
around the globe. Gee whiz. Beats a four-tonne excavator in my books
– even if it had a swivel bucket.
Chris woke up the other day and declared, “I think I can dig those swales by hand.”
“Super,” I said, “go for it!”Comments (13)
Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Gabions, Land, Swales, Terraces — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 14, 2011
Do you remember Geoff’s recent Saudi Arabia consultation? Well, left behind in the Kingdom as project manager to implement the work is Neal Spackman. Neal has kindly followed up on my request for reports, providing the video and images below. After the video I’ll give you a little more swivel-chair commentary based on info I’ve had via email.
The new site recently sustained heavy rainfalls. Older locals said it was the biggest storm the area has seen in more than twenty years. It was great timing for the fledgling project, as it gave opportunity to show exactly where the incomplete system required more work, and where it was working well.
The following image of a road busted up by one of the flash floods gives a decent concept of how much rainfall suddenly descended down hillsides largely devoid of any vegetation that would otherwise slowed its progress and reduced its destructive force:Comments (17)
Comedy Break, Demonstration Sites, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Land, Plant Systems, Swales — by Nicola Chatham December 7, 2010
Pit-falls, projects and laughs from our Permaculture journey
“Andrew, I need to talk to you about something,” I’ve sought out the new president of the Community Garden at Peregian Beach, Andrew Maitland, to ask an important yet delicate question.
“It’s about slugs,”
“Yes, I have a lovely, bumper crop of slugs.”Comments (10)
Building, Energy Systems, Gabions, Land, Swales, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Geoff Lawton December 3, 2010
A Filipino garden — in Saudi Arabia!
Working in Saudi Arabia on a large project, in this case the Al-Baydha project, involving Bedouin People who have been resettled into villages for the past 20-30 years, is an interesting broad landscape affair as it covers about 700km2 and 9 villages. The culture of Bedouin rangeland management, with large herds of animals moving across the landscape, has been a stable culture that didn’t originally damage the environment, in fact it probably enhanced it, by good stock management and moving at the right time with the grazing patterns and seasons. The hoof prints of the animals would have accumulated manure, nutrient and seeds which would have germinated by the next rainfall, improving the landscape and therefore continuing the culture — but this relies on the people being able to move freely in a sporadic pattern that is responsive to the conditions; harmonious and regenerative.Comments (9)
Conservation, Earth Banks, Irrigation, Land, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Swales, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton November 13, 2010
Permaculture is a connecting system between disciplines and elements in a matrix of design, and swales are a mainframe element. The efficiency of swales is that they can interrupt water surface flow high in a landscape where it is then infiltrated relatively quickly, on contour, and moves incredibly slowly through the landscape soil and subsoil profiles. This becomes a great advantage to the potential productivity of any property, especially a property that is designed to be diverse and interactive with many ecosystem elements. When you design a property this way, a mainframe approach as a consultant designer is:Comments (2)