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Flat Land, Flash Floods and Permaculture

We hear a lot about infiltrating swales with water, but what do you do when you live on very flat and windy land, next to a river that experiences regular flooding and you don’t need any water in your garden because your whole land is one big soakage swale? This is what Minnesota two acre landowner, Bruce Blair experienced 23 years ago when his land was suddenly deluged in a large flood event. It was impractical to dig a drainage ditch or a high berm as the whole mass of land became saturated in one big tidal wave of water. Chinampas were non-viable because the whole mass of water would quickly dry out in the sandy soils when the rains subsided.

“The problem is the solution,” said Bruce, knowing he needed to direct the waters to his advantage. Check out the video below for the details.


The Permaculture Research Insitute

PRI Zaytuna Farm functions as a model farm (in development) and permaculture training facility. Geoff and Nadia Lawton, world-renowned permaculture educators and consultants, lead the project. Much of Geoff and Nadia’s time over the last few years has been spent away from the Institute, consulting and helping set up projects in diverse locales around the world. Seeing the worldwide demand for knowledgeable permaculture consultants and teachers increase exponentially, as fuel and fertiliser prices skyrocket and the effects of climate change, soil depletion and water shortages begin to hit hard, priority and focus is now shifting back to the Institute, where growing the training program will increase the output of quality teachers to help fill the growing need for them.

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