Aquaculture, Conservation, Dams, Irrigation, Land, Natural Swimming, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 26, 2011
In this short video Geoff walks us through an overview of a small dam/fish pond installation at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in northern NSW, Australia. If you’d like to get a better understanding of the why and how of permaculture earthworks, you could purchase the Water Harvesting DVD, or, better yet, book on one of our upcoming Earthworks courses, listed in our Courses section. Small dams like this, appropriately situated and intelligently designed, can both drought-proof and flood-protect your property, whilst creating a foundational hydrological infrastructure from which can spring an abundance of biodiversity to create a foundation of resilient self-sufficiency.
For good measure I’ll throw in a few pictures that Nadia has just sent me of permaculture abundance at Zaytuna Farm. Earthworks like that shown in the footage above ensures food harvesting like this can continue at Zaytuna Farm even in the driest years, when neighbouring properties are shriveled and barren….Comments (7)
Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, News, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 13, 2011
The Rodale Institute’s 30-year
Farming Systems Trial report (1.3mb PDF)
The Rodale Institute has been, for a full 30 years now, conducting a long-term comparative Farming Systems Trial. Starting in 1981, when it was already abundantly clear that industrialising nature was creating far more problems than it solved, the Rodale Institute began documented research comparing organically fertilised fields and conventionally fertilised fields on its 330 acre farm in Pennsylvania, USA.
It’s the longest running comparative study of its kind in the world.
In time for their trial’s 30-year anniversary, the institute has put out a report outlining its documented observations. You can download this report via the link at right.
This report is one of several well-researched reports that have come out in recent years, including the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Failure to Yield report (which proves GMOs do not perform as claimed) and the IAASTD’s 400-scientist-strong, 3-year worldwide study (which concluded we need to quickly transition back to relocalised, diverse, agroecological methods).Comments (6)
Conservation, Developments, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle — by Ian Douglas October 10, 2011
by Ian Douglas
Initial results of an ongoing on-line poll on water policy in Australia raise concerns that the majority of Australians are far from convinced that the draft Basin Plan, soon to be released by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, will be successful in its aims.Comments Off
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Monika Goforth October 1, 2011
by Monika Goforth and Terry Leahy, University of Newcastle, Australia
To use permaculture lingo, Chikukwa can be described as a real edge, both in terms of ecology, culture and language, and the edge effect has certainly produced something rich. The community here has a sense of being both somewhat innocent and progressive at the same time. It is as if they skipped the industrialized phase and went straight into becoming a sustainable community. — Lindhagen 2010
This shot shows how the Chikukwa lands looked in the early nineties,
bare hillsides and soil erosion, with the consequence in poor nutrition.
This picture shows a small section of the Chikukwa clan lands as they are now.
The houses nestled among orchards, the bunds with vetiver grass in the
cropping fields and the extensive woodlots are all typical of this design strategy.
The Chikukwa Ecological Land Trust (CELUCT) is a unique community permaculture organisation in the Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe. Set in the highlands bordering Mozambique, the region is heavily populated and has suffered from deforestation, serious erosion and soil degradation since the area was named a Tribal Trust Land in the colonial era. In this setting, the Chikukwa community has developed a successful permaculture program involving around 8,000 farmers in what Chan (2010) calls “one of the largest and relatively unknown permaculture sites in the world.” So, how did a remote Zimbabwean farming community learn and implement permaculture techniques? What have been the effects?Comments (20)
Biological Cleaning, Conferences, Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Urban Projects, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 28, 2011
Brad Lancaster presents at the IPC10, Amman, Jordan, Sept. 2011
Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Brad of harvestingrainwater.com has well-honed presentation skills — urban water harvesting has never been more interesting and compelling than after Brad has laid it all before you, and injected no small measure of fun and humour into it as well. I applaud Brad’s valuable contribution to the permaculture toolkit, as I’m sure will you after watching the video below!Comments (4)
Roberto Perez Rivero: “Permaculture’s Use of Water in Time of Climate Change – the Cuban Experience” (IPC Presentation – Video)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conferences, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Presentations/Demonstrations, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Roberto Perez Rivero gives his presentation at the IPC10, Amman, Jordan
Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Roberto Perez Rivero gave an excellent presentation at the Tenth International Permaculture Conference (IPC10). Watch it below. As the projector wasn’t the best, you may also want to make use of the links below to download the slideshow from this talk so you can click through those in a different window as Roberto speaks:Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Education Centres, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Water Harvesting — by Geraldine Quinlan September 11, 2011
by Geraldine Quinlan, from Ireland, a new intern at the Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge in Ethiopia
In the morning we visited Gocha Primary School. Before starting work together Tichafa gathered everyone in the classroom. He spoke about the importance of growing food for independence from food aid and eventually to sell at the market for profit whilst also taking environmental action for the school, the immediate community and finally the country. This would create an income for the school.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 30, 2011
Latifa inspects project development from a unique vantage point
It’s been just over a year since I’ve visited the Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) site, and I’m keen to check out progress when I visit next month (September 2011). In the meantime, Geoff, who is in Jordan now to help organise the upcoming Tenth International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (IPC10), has sent through a few pictures I can share today.Comments (16)
Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Trees — by Chuck Burr August 19, 2011
by Chuck Burr, Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute (SOPI)
Here are the Summer permaculture tips and tricks from the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute — enjoy and pass them on.
1. Permaculture blueberries. After two years of hand-weeding our two acres of blueberries we have let them go wild. The plants are five years old now and can compete with the former hay field grasses with the help of us discharging the mowing trimmings back into the blueberry rows as mulch. The tall grass deters birds from eating berries. Last year we lost our first harvest to birds before we got a Bird Gard Pro and reflective tape from Oregon Vineyard Supply. The blueberries started in fully tilled rows with 3” of fresh sawdust. Wood chips will also do. We also added initially enough soil sulfur to bring the pH down from about 6.2 to 5.2. Prune in the winter to encourage new growth, remove disease and wandering branches. We salted the field with pecan trees. Blueberries are a medium term 15–20 year crop and will be pushed out when the pecans are in full swing, so we have already designed in the succession. Several rows are also capped with Honeycrisp apples.Comments (6)
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)
Aid Projects, Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Nicholas Syano August 9, 2011
Nyumbani Village, which is a program of the Children of God Relief Institute (COGRI) caring for both HIV infected and affected children, aims to establish a self-sustaining, community-based residential village serving children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS. This is being achieved through providing a family like settling where the orphans are under stewardship of destitute elderly grandparents in a family like structure and are provided with adequate social support, high quality clinical nursing and counseling, and both educational support and vocational training.Comments (5)
Conservation, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute July 22, 2011
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
Many countries are facing dangerous water shortages. As world demand for food has soared, millions of farmers have drilled too many irrigation wells in efforts to expand their harvests. As a result, water tables are falling and wells are going dry in some 20 countries containing half the world’s people. The overpumping of aquifers for irrigation temporarily inflates food production, creating a food production bubble that bursts when the aquifer is depleted.
The shrinkage of irrigation water supplies in the big three grain-producing countries—the United States, India, and China—is of particular concern. Thus far, these countries have managed to avoid falling harvests at the national level, but continued overexploitation of aquifers could soon catch up with them.Comments (1)
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.