Courses/WorkshopsDamsLandSurveyingSwalesWater Harvesting

The excavator and the forest

Last training camp we were fortunate in having an excavator in operation on the farm. Earthworks were a go and water harvesting / tree growing systems were carved out harmonically into the landscape. Three new swale systems and a small dam were introduced, extending the productive edges on the farm.

Students of the last training camp were involved in the implementation of the new earthworks. Swale lines were marked out by the students using the appropriate technology, the mounds were then lifted out of the earth by the excavator. The swale mound was raked and prepared for planting with extensions of the appropriate forest systems. A variety of tree species were planted including leguminous support trees, natives and a variety of fruit trees, a cover crop was sown. Shortly after green lines curved around the landscape, it had come alive. This gave ample opportunity to reflect on the earthworks role in the broader integrity of the water / forest systems.

The excavator will return to the farm for the next training camp in March 17th. A crucial new swale mound will be implemented that will give greater connectivity to the water / forest systems. Here in our nursery we are preparing for this special event. A variety of floral species have been propagated specifically for use on new earthwork developments during the next training camp, some of these include;

Albizzia lophantha, Albizzia chinensis, Popcorn Cassia, Crotolaria spp, Ice cream bean, Lueceana, Vetch, Dunn pea, Lupin, Acacia dealbata.

Yerba Mate’, Native Ginger, Rose apple, Papaya, Naranjilla, Persimmon, Black sapote, Mulberry, Jackfruit, Davidson plum, Rye berry, Mugwort, Comfrey, Lemon Grass, Sweet potato, Woody sage.

Red Cedar, Guioa semiglauca, Poison peach, Silky Oak, Alloasuarina littoralis, Teak / Crows Ash, Yellow wood, Velvet leaf, Foambark, White Cedar, Native Hibiscus, Native frangipani, Native small leaf Tamarind

Bambus old hamii, Bambusa multiplex var. alphons karr.

The extension of various types of forest and water systems is a major objective for the Permaculture Research Institute. The creation of productive forest and water access is a crucial component of the Permaculture design system. Places are still available to experience working along side Geoff Lawton in the practical training camp in march 17th. For inquiries please contact us by phone: 61 (0)2-66886578, mobile 61 (0) 427862902 or e-mail: info@permaculturenews.org .

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