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)
Economics, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Ian Douglas July 1, 2011
by Ian Douglas
In welcoming the call by Federal Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, for a national audit of water licence holdings, national coordinator of Fair Water Use, Ian Douglas, commented today, “We have longstanding concerns about the sale of water licences to overseas interests, as there can be little doubt that off-shore investors care less about the health of the Australian environment than the majority of our traditional farmers.”
Fair Water Use has been voicing concerns about this process for several years, and has been attempting to gain access to the database of water licences, but has been advised by the National Water Commission that such information is not publicly available.Comments (2)
Conservation, Consumerism, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation — by Mari Korhonen June 29, 2011
I’ve been exploring the world of edible weeds, and so found a new layer of bounty in the garden!
Edible weeds from left to right: Fireweed shoots, young galeopsis,
lamb’s quarter, chickweed, thistle shoots peeled, and corn spurry.
Things in the garden even way up here in Finland are well on their way now, including many plants that most gardeners would condemn as weeds, or things to get rid of. For me a bed full of weeds has become a salad bar, and weeding has gotten a fresh new perspective to it!Comments (2)
Conservation, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Urban Projects — by Rob Avis June 20, 2011
by Rob Avis
Wicking beds are a unique and increasingly popular way to grow vegetables. They are self-contained raised beds with built-in reservoirs that supply water from the bottom up – changing how, and how much, you water your beds. In this article, we’ll talk about how wicking beds work and why we love them. We’ll also show you some great examples and leave you with ideas and instructions for creating your own.Comments (12)
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)
Food Shortages, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle — by Earth Policy Institute June 8, 2011
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
Nile River Irrigation in Egypt
A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land to produce wheat, rice and corn for consumption back home.
Some of these land acquisitions are enormous. South Korea, which imports 70 percent of its grain, has acquired 1.7 million acres in Sudan to grow wheat—an area twice the size of Rhode Island. In Ethiopia, a Saudi firm has leased 25,000 acres to grow rice, with the option of expanding this to 750,000 acres. And India has leased several hundred thousand acres there to grow corn, rice and other crops.
These land grabs shrink the food supply in famine-prone African nations and anger local farmers, who see their governments selling their ancestral lands to foreigners. They also pose a grave threat to Africa’s newest democracy: Egypt.Comments Off
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)
Food Shortages, Irrigation, Potable Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute May 4, 2011
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
Captured from a bus window, while crossing the no-man’s land between
Jordan and Israel/Palestine, the once-mighty Jordan river is today just a murky
trickle (see bottom centre of image) that wouldn’t flow at all today if it wasn’t for the
pollution poured into it…. It is estimated that the Jordan River will dry up
completely by the end of 2011.
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid population growth, spreading water shortages, and ever growing food insecurity.Comments Off
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, 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)
Conservation, Irrigation, Land, Storm Water, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson December 15, 2010
This article talks about some of the design issues you’ll face when constructing a back-flooding swale, the signature of Mr Geoff “Reconstructive Earth Surgeon” Lawton.
It’s a great idea and provides a few additional beneficial functions to a standard valley dam, namely increasing the catchment by whatever length the contour trench wraps around the landscape, as well as utilising any dam overflow quite effectively by spreading it around the landscape and infiltrating it into the soil reserves.
However, water’s erosive potential must be respected and hopefully, as well as making it easier and less daunting for people implementing Earthworks for the first time, my aim in writing this article is to help them avoid some potentially embarrassing, destructive and very expensive mistakes.Comments (33)
Conservation, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton November 25, 2010
Gabions are one of the crucial feature elements of dry land landscape water harvesting design. A gabion is a leaky rock dam wall built in a wadi, valley canyon or water flow, at a point where there would be a reasonable amount of water caught if there was a dam wall in the same position, but the gabion instead leaks through the rocks, slowly releasing a steady flow of water and retained moisture over time. As the water is slowed down by a gabion, it drops its sediments, organic materials, behind the rock wall. Desert catchments are often large and feature very infrequent rainfall events, and are an actively eroding landscape that is continually being blown away, with sediments either eroded or deposited by the wind if there are wind traps like desert tree systems and forests, but also by water flows which are usually strong and can carry large amounts of organic material and sediments away with them.Comments (9)