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Gley technique for sealing ponds and dams .... and walls?

Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Uh, the dirt you put over the grass clippings should have compressed them a bit. If you can reach your water table a hand dug well and a pump might be worth while.
Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
Water table is very low since we are very high up. I tried one section with dirt on top and one section with a plastic covering and one section with over 12" of loose grass. the area that is collecting some water has been there the least and is the 12" of loose grass. I don't know if that water is there because its the lowest point and its slow to drain or if its contained due to gley. I do know that it stinks like crazy and attracts alot of flies!


permaculture wiki: www.permies.com/permaculture
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Water will always collect in the low spot. Typically you don't want to switch liner types across the width of a pond, because that makes it hard to tel which one is failing.
Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
OK fair enough, but technically its on the length...though I assume you are using the term width loosely as in any dimension. Do you have any suggestions on how to get them all homogenus?
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
GLEY

Related to the word 'glaze', a gley is like a biological plastic membrane such as is found in bogs, which is formed by a bacterial process that requires anaerobic conditions.

Traditionally a technique for sealing ponds and dams, there is potential for the process to be adapted for human-made structures. The Russian-devised version for dams uses a slurry of animal waste (pig manure) applied over the inner base and walls of the dam in multiple, thin layers, which is then itself covered with vegetable organic matter such as grass, leaves, waste paper, cardboard, etc. This is all then given a final layer of soil which is tamped down and the mixture is left for several weeks to allow the (anaerobic) bacteria to complete their task, at which time the dam is ready for flooding.

For gley to form it seems to need truly anaerobic conditions. I think it takes some time too... but what do I really know just as curiously questioning as you are!

I have gley that has formed down by my river... and it stinks too. Very dark sticky and compacted substance that I found below the river sand... but the river has been in flood for some time now and so waiting to access it to experiment.... see if waterproof in a small pond I have made. I assume that organic matter got trapped down there and the anaerobic conditions turned it into a gley substance. No idea how long that took.

Hope you keep us posted Blitz.... interesting experiment! I know that I have read that grass clippings are not good as mulch because they compact too much.... exactly what is needed here!... so given enough time... enough depth to the clippings.... and enough air removal... effective cover...... you should have gley in.....  the future sometime! Maybe 4 weeks isn't enough....

I agree with Emerson.... only one technique per pond area. Need 3 ponds to evaluate 3 techniques.

Chelle
Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
I will post some pics once I get some results, my theory on the thick layer of grass was exactly how you described, it gets matted down and underneath its like a whitish color and then slimy.
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3634
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  74
A bit OT, but bentonite (a white clay, often used for kitty litter) makes an excellent pond sealant. It is a mechanical rather than biological process and requires a concerted effort, but its relatively quick and effective.  Introducing ducks to the pond adds another 'layer'!
Lots of Australian dams are sealed with bentonite.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
I would pile on dirt on top of that 12" grass layer, and get rid of the plastic and put more grass on manure and more dirt over that section too. The dirt will work best if it has a lot of clay in it, and if you get it a little wet and tamp it down.
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Yes. Bentonite is excellent pippimac...  BTW... Welcome... I see you are new. 

Be great to see pics.

I would also get rid of the plastic section and make it uniform. Layers sounds good to me. Lots of anaerobic bacterial activity. This has been used over the ages so I'd be surprised if it doesn't do the job.

Chelle

Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
The problem with putting on dirt is its a rather large area and I dont have access to dirt anymore without having it hauled in. that is why Ive been trying without it. I will see if I can layer it a bit more. Thanks everyone.
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Oh.... I understand. Hadn't realised this.

Maybe just use the technique in the base of the pond area first .... test ths small area with what you have ....... and if this works then increase the size when access to extra dirt possible?

Is a lot of work hauling in dirt if not satisfied with results.

Chelle
Roger Merry


Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Posts: 109
Hi
My first post !!
Done lots of natural clay ponds - very easy and effective but they only truly seal once a layer of mulm (organic matter) has built up over the clay. The initial sealing ability of the clay varies as to its nature we have everything from pottery quality blue clay (seals instantly) to red gravelly clays that take a season to seal fully. I've not had to "puddle" the clay so far. I use a caterpillar tracked digger to do the compaction but pigs should work great too! All the canals in the UK were sealed with clay "puddled" by sheep being driven along the dryish canals their hooves doing the mixing and compacting - puddling is mixing chopped straw into the clay adding water and compacting / partial mixing - 300 years later the canals still hold water so sheep definitely work!!
I reckon the puddling process produces a gley to some degree too and gleying is certainly part of the mulm build up process.

I know that local Cheshire wattle and daub houses had cow muck added to their outer coat but were then white washed so presumably weren't oiled but I have seen cow byre walls oiled to waterproof them - that was with boiled linseed oil painted on.

I'd love to know if the gley technique really works on really sandy gravelly soils but would worry about excessive nutrient release through the covering layer of sandy soil - it takes  3 years for a clay lined pond to really balance and stop producing algal blooms in early summer  - I guess that there would be a limit to how near surface level a  gley pond on sandy soil could be too ??
Sorry seemed to have rambled on for ages - over excitement at my first post 
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Wow. Fascinating post. Interesting about the puddling of the canals and that sheep were used. First time I have heard that.

Linseed oil for walls. That makes sense. I know dung is used for hard floors in India and Africa so added to walls to harden seems reasonable. But the oiling to waterproof is new to me.

Thanks! : )

Chelle
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Chelle Lewis wrote:But the oiling to waterproof is new to me.


Oil and water get on famously
Paul Cereghino
volunteer

Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 844
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  13
I think this thread might be about three different things:

1) gley can be the grey color that soil takes when it goes underwater, and the bacteria use up all the oxygen, and then the iron turns into its ferric state, becomes soluble and looses its red color.  If you take that grey soil and leave it in oxygen the surface should turn back to a earthy hue.

2) compaction of clay soil can make waterproof layer (pig hoof treatment?)

3) anaerobic decomposition of nitrogen rich organic matter makes water proof slime (mature or green organic layer treatment).


Paul Cereghino- Stewardship Institute
Maritime Temperate Coniferous Rainforest - Mild Wet Winter, Dry Summer
Chelle Lewis


Joined: Dec 10, 2009
Posts: 417
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
    
    1
Emerson White wrote:
Oil and water get on famously

: )

Linseed Oil on walls for waterproofing... new to me.

Paul Cereghino wrote:
I think this thread might be about three different things:

1) gley can be the grey color that soil takes when it goes underwater, and the bacteria use up all the oxygen, and then the iron turns into its ferric state, becomes soluble and looses its red color.  If you take that grey soil and leave it in oxygen the surface should turn back to a earthy hue.

2) compaction of clay soil can make waterproof layer (pig hoof treatment?)

3) anaerobic decomposition of nitrogen rich organic matter makes water proof slime (mature or green organic layer treatment).


It does seem to have surfaced three things.... that has been interesting .... but it all looks to me to be interconnected in needing organic material to bring in waterproofing.

No 1 is what happens at my riverfront. Yes. Seasonality of river rising. Organic matter grows in good conditions and then is drowned and covered with moving river sand in the seasonal flooding. New growth on the new river sand when the river subsides... and so on. Dig down. Black and slimey and stinks. Very slippery.

No 2 and 3 - Seems like true sealing only happens with a little organic material gone rotten overlaid over or worked into the clay.... unless already blue clay... [contains the organic material already?]

Chelle
Roger Merry


Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Posts: 109
hi

Blue clay (well here at any rate) has no visible other material in it, it can be dug out and moulded as is . It seals really well because its effectively pure clay super fine particles that compact to be water proof - the only problem is drying out and cracking in summer thats where the mulm / gleying process comes into play. This being England drying out in Summer isn't that big a problem !! It self heals in Autumn winter when the water level rises anyway.
Agree this is 3 seperate things - fascinated by the seasonal rivers ponds etc and gleying - next time I'm in India or Ethiopia I'm digging down through a river bed - i wonder whether you can take a decent spade on a plane nowadays !!
The oiling of the wattle wall was on a cousins farm - Tudor period buildings but I'm afraid I didn't ask whether this was an annual or other action - I was more interested in boiling the linseed as a kid - the surface was very smooth, shiny when oiled so presumably polished up in some way originally. The white washed walls you could see hand prints etc in..... begs the question why oil a cow shed wall but not the house if it was necessary for water proofing ??
Indian houses are coated with cow dung but I think thats about the belief its anti bacterial rather than water proof.

Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Chelle Lewis wrote:
Wow. Fascinating post. Interesting about the puddling of the canals and that sheep were used.


Yes, that's exciting news to me!  I have sheep, but no pigs (we're deed-restricted against them  ), so I have a question for the gley experts:

If I feed sheep hay in the pond, will they eventually be able to seal it?  I live in a relatively dry area (15- 40 inches rain per year) and our soil is not suitable for ponds according to the soil survey, though it contains a lot of clay.

If the pond dries out during a drought, will it have to be re-puddled to hold water?

Thanks for any input. 


Idle dreamer

Roger Merry


Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Posts: 109
puddled clay holds water as long as it stays wet - the straw helps slow cracking but won't stop it if dried out. If your pond evaporates dry in summer it will reseal when re filled but slowly.
Gleying is surely a different, if allied, process
Compacting the sub soil has to be a good start in both processes - vibro plate or sheep !! but I cant see livestock producing enough of a layer fast enough to produce a gley and most importantly the need to accumulate water in the pond site prevents sheep in particular being kept in the area for any length of time.
If your soil is partial clay try a small scale test for its water proofing ability mix with chopped straw etc and super compact it in a plastic plant pot (about 4" deep minimum layer of compacted soil) and fill with water see what happens 
It wo'nt ever be a perfect seal but if it holds at all then you've got some hope of success. If not can you import clay
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Thanks! 


rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
They use sheep to seal the floors of their water harvesting areas in iIndia, when the rains come they run sheep on the area they have leveled and wet it if the monsoon is not wetting it enough and that some how serves to seal the area. That is in the Thar desert, one of the driest of deserts so the area wont have to suffer from getting wet too often.  I did not understand how this worked i think the description could have been more thorough. Part on the preparation that were prior to the stage of putting the sheep on the bit of land to be sealed was   putting a special type of  clay on a lime surface, hat is the surface was naturally lime. clay and lime makes concrete so that might be part of their trick i dont know if making an anerobic mess to seal it with the sheep and wet land is not another part ofthis bvecause they mentioned puttign the sheep on the area and sealing it using an old fashioned methodthat they dont go into.Look up water harvesting Thar desert.

  Cow manure has enzymes in it which have a positive effect on the adobe mixes make them sett better and it is scientifically proven to have  antibacterial qualities apparently. That it should be so is not so strange, what is in a animals body needs to have elements that protect the animal from the  substances that go through it.  Ther are  plaster on walls that includes a lot of manure which they say stops insects coming into the home. 
    If you have cholera then your rmanure will contain that illness but i am not sure tha excrements are a danger when illness is not around. and excrements are a rich food source for bacteria so the anti bacterial properties soon give way to its potential as a food source for bacteria and so becomes a focus of desease but in plaster it dries off and is mixed with clay and so is no longer a good food source,  agar solution. 
  Horse manure has  lot of undigested grain in it. Their digestive tracts are short and the grain does not get digested as it does in a cows intestine you can sometimes see sparrows picking seed out of horse droppings.  Flour is an ingredient of cob mixes, so maybe if you use horse manure you dont need to use flour. THe horse manure cob had to be taken of the wall with a chisel according to one account.
     
linseed oil is a drying oil i dont know what that means exactly only what it looks like.  If you put too much linseed oil on a tiled with unglaved tiles floor, which is a old fashioned way of having a tiled floor here in Spain, then you get lumps of jelly on the floor. The linseed oil turns into lumps of jelly, at least it looks like jelly which is unsightly. You can use linseed oil to seal wood floors too, also soak a cloth in linseed oil and tie it round the bottom of a broom or mop to give a shine to polished wood floors.

I sometimes make my own furniture polish with bees wax melted bain marie method in turpentine and i put in a bit of linseed oil. I told a neighbor about this  and he used the recipe but he shut the can he was making it in and left it unwhatched and i don't know if he used the bain marie methd of cooking or put the pot on a flame instead of into a pot full of water on a flame to stop it getting hot too fast and when he went to see how it was getting on it exploded and threw him through  the air, luckily, it did not otherwise hurt him. I had just imagined an adult would take a lot of precautions before coking up turpentine. and had not been very explicit about the precautions i took i did not think to tell him to leave the poot open i think he cooked it in a can. I read the recipe in a housekeeping book.
     The linseed oil restores the colour to the furniture as oil will it gives a wet look and is a drying oil without being so tremendously drying as what they put in polishes now days that make the polishes dry the furniture so much it goes white.
      I think it would be best to put the linseeed oil into the polish you have cooked  when you take the polish off the fire, i think it is pretty inflmable. 
        Linseed ol is what painters use and have always used for oil painting. PIgment is just colours powdered and needs a glue added to it. I once bought some pigments here where they used to sell pigment to house painters, to mix in house paint and I just mixed them with water and painted them on a peice of cardboard and left it to dry and when it dried the pigment just fell off the cardboard, I had to paint a glue on top of the shield i had painted for my daughter.
       You need a glue to hold your pigment on the background you are painting on. If your glue is acrylic then you have a medium that is a bit  cloudy compared with linseed oil and your colour loses a lot of its force, with linseed oil the pigment doesn't lose their force and they get a bit of shine and the linseed oil waterproofs the painting.
    THe old fashioned recipe for the oil paint you put on doors and window frames was pigment chalk for white paint and linseed oil and a bit of varnish, varnish makes the paint harder and more resilient which is important on doors i have a book on old fashioned decorating techniques and they used the same techniques artists used and some others that artist did not use.  The american painter Albert Pinkham Ryder  who does some wonderfull strange moonlite scenes, you can google him, used to put wax in his colours as well as oil and vernish, and the head of jesus in one of his paintings slipped down the body, he had put in too much wax. agri rose macaskie.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Virtually all of Albert Pinkham Ryder's paintings have to be stored and displayed flat because he used such unusual materials to paint with! 
Paul Cereghino
volunteer

Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 844
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  13
The bio-glay works in theory because of lack of oxygen.  Try compressing under thick cardboard and keeping very wet (if not saturated).  Sorry no real experience.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Someone said, in these forums i think, that biogley is what makes plastic bottomed pools water proof, with plastic on top you get the anerobic break down you need for bio gley and somewhere it said that you should put down you leaves and manure and then put plastic on top so that you got anerobic break down of your manure, leaves,n which is to say your  biogley making layer. agri rose macaskie.
Mike Dayton


Joined: Dec 15, 2010
Posts: 149
Location: sw pa zone 5
I have a spring coming out of my hillside down in the woods.  I wanted a pond there but the county agent said my soil was good for a gravel pit,  but not good for a pond.  I hand dug a small pond and got it to hold water for a year.  I used dried leaves to plug the leaks I had in the hand dug breast works.  Then I got a Back Hoe in and dug out a 20' X 40" pond about 3' deep.  I intentionally kept the water out flow high on the breast because I wanted to put in a water wheel,  [  That never happened,  maybe some day  ]  so I do not have a way to drain the pond.  It gets alot of leaves every year because it is in the woods so there is a good layer of organic matter that has built up over the years.  My experience is that leaves will be pulled to the leak in a pond.  The water flow will suck then down to the leak and eventually seal it up.  I think that all of the info here will work,  some maybe better than others,  but they will all work.  I have heard that in Russia they use baled straw to seal ponds.  cut the bales open and take chunks off and lay them down like shingles and stomp them in.  Sort of a thatched roof in reverse.  I never tried this,  but it sounds like it is a diff version of the same things we have been talking about.


Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world,  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Formerly pa_friendly_guy_here
Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
I thought I would report on my findings on this. Just as a recap, I have a 20 foot long by 5 foot wide, 4 ft deep trench/pond. The sides are fairly steep in some areas. I put a lot of grass clippings down, basically every time there was grass from other peoples lawns I would put it there. I estimate it was at least 8 inches thick once it was compressed. The very bottom foot or so has held water consistently, so once spring rolls around I will start mucking up the sides…I think I will have to build a mould of sorts to keep the grass compressed against the sides. So far it seems to be working ok, though I was hoping it would go faster.
Paul Cereghino
volunteer

Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 844
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  13
Based on the booklearning for the grass clippings to turn into gley there needs to be no oxygen... so compressed, under cardboard, under water.
Kirk Hutchison


Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Ooooh, I am very glad that I read this thread. I have always had my doubts about using plastic (polyethylene) in ponds on a long term basis, and have been looking for other cheap, easy, suitable methods. This fits the bill.


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rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
ludi I did not know about them having to show his painingts flat, its a pity in a way though its funny too, I like his paintings if they are that liquid i suppose they can't last forever, that is a real pity. rose
                              


Joined: Jan 09, 2010
Posts: 3
Location: wales
I have just dug a swale at the top of a sweep of vegetable terraces on rather free draining soil on a Welsh mountainside. We have had a lot of rain, but there is no sign of water in the trench apart from a squelchy bit at the bottom which does not want to puddle even when trampled a lot. I would like the water to drain forward into the retaining bank, where I am going to reinforce with fascimes and plant soft fruit, and encourage it to seep down towards the next contour of veg bed.

Gley looks like a good method of preventing the water from just seeping into the back bank or straight down. I shall report how effective or otherwise this is in due course.


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Mariah Wallener


Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Posts: 144
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
I'm enjoying this thread very much! I'm wanting to turn a seasonal puddle into a year-round pond and did not want to use plastic. From what I understand, these are some of my options once it's dug out to the right size:

1) gley - when area is dry (late spring/early summer) put down layer of manure covered with plant matter or paper products, then covered with soil (tamp it down?); hope it works its magic before the fall rains come

2) use clay and chopped straw and have the animals "puddle" it in. could not help but think of cob and earth floors for houses when I read about this; problem is we have no clay (or straw, for that matter) but could bring it in without too much cost; would entail moving the pigs around a lot since the size of the pond area alone would confine them unfairly

3) use bentonite: would love to hear more about this; sounds simple and quick

Am I following so far?


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Bull norris


Joined: Feb 03, 2011
Posts: 50
Location: Chanute Kansas
Ive been around some and have seen people try to extend a pond make it bigger.
and hit a gravel bar under ground and watch the water leave to never return.

Pigs poop works great and there pointed feet punch the poop right in to the cracks and seal them, wallow and sture the mud up smooth.
i have sealed some ponds just for fun.
with a new pond if it holds water at all then i use gold fish just a bucketfull of bait fish it takes a year or two but they will seal a pond tight. i have seen people spend 4 grand on jell to seal a pond. That didnt hold so  He put 1 bucket of gold fish in they reproduced ,and sealed the pond it took a year so he comes back and said what do i do to get rid of the gold fish 4 aceres pond.
i was going to go get them to sell back to bait shop. but he didnt want anyone on the property. so i told him to get a yellow cat fish or a flat head just 1 will clean out a pond of all fish . then you just limb line or jug him out.
Its there poop it hangs together and they sture the botttom looking for food.
                          


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 56
Location: Bremerton, Washington
This reminds me of that old Scottish poem:

"The best-laid plans of mice and men
Oft gang a-gley..."

Now I know what that means exactly!  It means it all goes to hog wallow!  lol
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
crunchy bread, the best laid plans of mice and men are much better laid than that those of people who have a "do la lee", attitude to things. Havent a clue how "do la lee" is spelt. We could all lie on top of our russian stoves as the boys in russian fairy tales do, adolescents being a sleepy epoch, and sleep, the thing about doing things is that we can't get it right all the time. I know of those who call any activity, t6ha tis not just servign others vanity or pride and they frighten others and themselves into doing nothing at all for fear of these criticisms.

 If your plans aren't coming out, do you have enemies? Paul Stamets says that their are corporate interests that try to stop any decent treatment of the land, A begining to be long life makes me totally back up any statement about those who dedicate their time and skillfully to stopi8ing others makes me totally back up such a paranoid statement, this is right adult mainly male corporations spend a lot of time in merely mischeivouse actrivities and blackening others is very mischeivouse, in such activities as were supposedly such as village gossips were involved in not important persons and corporations.
    Trying to stop things usually involves blackening those who have a different opinion from you, if you do anything and that anything might be good for others the those who interests you oppose may say that you dont really care about people, your enterprise is egotistical, you are only are only looking for fame, for example. I know all the inults for any type of enterpriseing activity, my father is a catholic. The undermining remarks also include such things as calling those who have other ideas from them, names like hippies, beign called hippy is not always bad it depend who calls you hippy. So if the farming  entrpreneur  talks of humus or mulch, this talk will be arttacked as a bit of airy fairy irreality. Being called a person given to airey fairey irrealities is another insult and a way o9f making others lack respect for you.  
      For the detractoprs of the organic or permaculture  you should put chemical nitrogen on the soil not organic materia, because organic material is airey fairey or less practical. Chemical nutrients are fine for feeding the plants, though they reduce airey fairey things like the positve fungal growth on the land and they contaminate water sources and cleaning the which up is one of the things that can be called invisible cost of farming as it does not hit the farmer who dirties the rivers. Chemical fertilisers feed plants but they dont make the land absorb and retain more water, so you end up having to irrigate the land. There is nothing airey fairy about trying to stop the land from needing more irrigation than the smallest possible minimum, unless you live in a country with an endless water supply. Also chemicals cost the farmer a arm and a leg.
 
        If your best laid plans are coming to gley, then it is possible they don't suit some important institution, one way of putting a brake on you is to suggest your plans have come to nothing, it is discouraging, you have to be psychologically strong to count up your victories instead of your failures when you are told that what you do comes to nothing, i am easily made to reflect on how useless i am, though i have moments of self congratulation, and crowing over myself, these moment  dont stand up well to pressure. We learn about this sort of psychology from the comments on games and sports people. It is my education, always being told to keep a cheque on myself, though i was and am fairly noisey but not really strong, that made me have little staying power, i have the staying power i have here because of encouragement and a whip lash from outside not because it is my nature, such as my nature was after the education of a ambitiiouse type mother, they try to get you to learn a lot but are inclined to be so critical you end up without much confidnce to use what you learn, and a catholic father as i say they are always suggesting  hta tall actions are vanity or egotistical and such and that does not encourage you to be active.
 If you fail at an entreprise  maybe you are doing something, a, or some, big corporate influences does not like, then it will need a lot of patients to carry them through, you will have to work against the pravailing current and oppostion. If humans are co-oporative and loving they are also the very devil for doing for each others plans and that I have learnt this from long years of adult life. The young are often taught to trust, it is usefull to have trusting people around. I also learnt it from an excess of trying to believe others good, not from an excess of playing others into the ground. If you are being too innocent you get done and learn in the end.
     People do things like, when you try to put your money were your mouth goes, as i have tried to do this spring, planting apple trees in my garden, and two apricots in order to be permaculture, so as not to just theorise about it, the great variety of apple trees you can buy in england would i imagine give me a business advantage over the spanish in my locality which i might be able to cash in on. The altitude of the land were my garden is means i can grow apples in this hot climate, well this effort to put into practice what i theorise about, gets friends calling me extravagant, at fifteen pounds a tree it is hardly wildly extravagant, about cheap teeshirt price. Unless you are strong such reducing remarks cut back your business activities.  
 I read a self help book on starting a business and the main advice it gave was that people will try to stop you starting one, to whittle away the money you might spend on the business, the family for example will start to want it for something else, also people around you will  say you will never manage it, both experts and the ignorant will say you don't have what it takes. The whole book was about how hard everyone would make it for you, the only other thing it said was that if you push through all this oposition and make a success of it, then everyone will all want to get on the band waggon.
 I have freinds who cant bare me spending anything, they have more money than me and if they see i have enough to lash out the smallest amount they start to get at me, my friends are more like enemies than friends.
 Humans are the most dastardly lot and also maybe bring the greatest pleasures but remember that they are dastardly because you hear so often that human nature is not animal and such, which means, are fairly angelic, that it is easy to forget that they are a flaming nuiscance and so to whatch out for your self. This may be the sort of advice you need to give to some people and not to others.  Who needs it may depnd on who  has educated them, some groups of people those who are educated to make sure no one gets the better of them these are normally the tough ones need to be taught that people can be nice and that a fair amount of them are not going to cut their throats and others, people who are taught to do their bit, may need to remember that people can be cut throat. agri rose macaskie.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
    There is, when you are looking through permaculture videos in you tube, a video of a man using children to puddle the pond or that is what i imagine is happening as i could not understand what was being said. The children were enjoying the mud.
   I have tried making a pond, I have put in leaves and a bit of manure and a plastic on top to make them rot anerobically. i enlarged it last week and the earth where i had done this a mounth before looked all shiny to some depth or width out from the pond so maybe, gleys gley up the earth  to some depth if the earth is deprived of oxygen, it has been very wet so the earth was wet for the mounth.
  I have found out how to dig the pond it is hard work for those like me not used to digging, it is taking out the earth that is a bit hard, you have to learn not to fill up your shovel to much and make too heavy a shovel full of earth for yourself.
  The trick i have learnt is just open up a little pit, once you have opened it up it is easy to have a go at it every so often and so end up, hopefully with a biggish pond. The one I have have made now is small.

  I don't know that swales have to hold water, by which i mean it doews not matter if the water in them just seems in to the subsoil where you have dug them, they just get the rain to soak in at the level on the slope where they are placed so stopping it roling down to the bottom of the hill over the surface of the ground and maybe straight into the river and so getting lost to the land, except that in Wales your problem is more likely to be too much water in the land than too little. If i remember my O'level geography right the hills are so wet that they are not good for cows hoooves and you have to keep sheep on them.

   If i remember right, i was talking about mud brick walls somewhere in this forum and the ones in a village near me are built on a wall of stones that i suppose keeps the mud off the ground and out of the way of puddles, though as the cobbles are stuck together with mud the rain could seep up from the floor that way. i post a foto of that here. agri rose macaskie.


[Thumbnail for mud brick weal humanes two.jpg]

[Thumbnail for mud brick wall Tamajon 5.jpg]

                          


Joined: Mar 27, 2011
Posts: 56
Location: Bremerton, Washington
I'm sorry, Rose, you kinda lost me back on page 1 of your reply.

I was only commenting on how happy I was to finally understand the word "gley".  My own plans are doing fine in life.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
      None of my plans ever come out, or they only come out in a very truncated way.
     I just feel that that is a phrase that can be used to reduce peoples determination or the effort they put into forging their own way so i comment on this because i am for reducing the pitfalls that lie between a person and their possibilities of making it to a dignified and independent position in society.
    If you are being fed royal jelly, by which I mean are being trained as a boss, then you are told that if you fail you must try, try, again and if you are meant, by any small time bully or other organisation, to be a worker, you are told slightly discouraging stories like that the best laid plans of men turn to gley, these stories tend to make you accept defeat more easily.
       It is important to point out that if your best laid plans dont come out it may be that you are going against the current rather than that, well as you lay them they fail, that way people can suceed more easily the next time, identifying the real problem is always a way of taking efective action.  If opposition is a problem and they realise it, they can just go on trying though they don’t suceed, they will be preparing the way for another person to break the back of the opposition. If they imagine the failure is in their plans rather than the result of oposition they may be lead to make the wrong decisions in the future.
 I  have met an incredible amount of popposition to any pllans that would put me in a better position in my life enough to make me say that if you best plans turn to gley it maybe htat you have met opposition. Thhe sayi8ng seems to impliy that plans dont work for some sort o fimprevisible reason.
       I am a sort of destructor of heiraciocal systems and that is a permaculture goal, so it can find a voice here. I used to just quietly get to know those who were the least powerful, take actions that broke down the normal way of things and now i actually protest and will take any opportunity to comment on the mechanisms that keep some subordinated to others whether or not I think they have a relation to the intention of the person who wrote the message, just because it seems to be a good opportunity to point out one or other of such mechanisms.
      A friend of mine was an officer in the army and they told him in training, that he had to whatch out for upperty cheek from the men. I think that if the design is to turn you into an officer, top level worker of some sort of command chain be it a lowly chain, the family or a small business or a more important one, then you are told not to let people do you down, which is tantamount to beign told not to trusty them but if you are among those who see you as a potential subordinate you are told to trust others, this is another way of turning others into subordinates i have thrown in to add to the stories that discourage you from bettering you lot.  
Another one-:
     Women are always being fed stories about how their love, sweetness and light will bring round recalcitrant bullies. I have just been whatching the film Rapunzel, a more modern example of this myth is Marge Simpson, I have never seen this idea change bullies in real life, only stop their victimes from presenting and effective front to their bullying, but it serves to create willing servants with a smile, who occasionally get a bit furiouse, for a lot of men. What does work on buullies is peer pression, they will do anything to keep in with there equals or those slightly above them, love and illusion from someone they deem inferior is a waste of time and most men see women as inferior and how can that suprise us look at all the comp`licated enterprises men have undertaken through out history building bridges aerplanes fighting cases in a court of law as Shark pf the program shark does etc.      
     I wish to give out the message to all members of society that they should trust up to a certian point. As they say in England as far as you can see the other, which is to say as far as you can understand their aims, after all you would not in normal circumstances, trust an Islamist say, to educate your children as a christian if you left them in their hands, or a christian not to try and turn your children into christians, which is not to say that you dont trust them but only you dont expect people to do things they don’t believe in. agri rose macaskie.
Emerson Pessoa Emerson Pessoa Ferreira


Joined: Dec 17, 2011
Posts: 1

Hi, humans.
My English is somewhat inventive, cause I am a Brazilian, so...
I just got trapped on this irresistible issue, cause I have a 2000 sq. feet wannabe lake that leaks a little.
It has 10 feet walls, but I just need it filled till six. Currently it reaches one and a half.
I intend to introduce small species of fish, given the current depth and will hope this can, as time passes, increase
the impermeability. Am I being too optimistic? Gonna do that, anyway. No manure other than from the fishes.
And some frogs that are already living happily there. Ok, few birds chasing the frogs too...
Will it take too long to achieve the goal? I'll keep you informed.
Cheers.
Emerson.
Paul Gutches


Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Posts: 84
Location: Taos, New Mexico
    
    1
Looks like I cane late to the party!

I live in a semi-arid region and I've come to the conclusion that massive water storage is going to be a requirement to doing anything substantive with permaculture here.

We had a dry summer this year, though much wetter than the spring. I measured from May a total of 4.18 inches. It's typically closer to 6 or 7.
This is monsoon country so we tend to get the rain in big events. That means long gaps between events in which I currently need to haull in water.
I figure I hauled in between 8 and 12 300gal cisterns from a well site 3 miles up my road this summer to supplement my trees and plants.

We get between 8 (very dry year) and 16 (very wet year) inches of rain a year, with half of the total falling during the monsoon.. Luckily I have a good size chunk of land on a slight slope I can use to shed water and store it in a large canal type ditch. Basically a half column bucket with the water trickling in along the long side.

An area 90 feet long by 12 feet wide and no more than 3.5 to 4 feet deep can store close to 27k gallons of water.
That's close to capacity in a dry year. (I am counting on more and more of those from what I've been reading)

In a wet year the shed would be closer to 47k gallons, but I imagine I would just use more of it as it becomes available.
I have an area as well which is a bit lower that I can divert surplus water to.


What I I'm thinking of is clearing and compacting the water shed area and laying 6 mil plastic down and covering it with gravel to protect it from UV.
I have done this in a few isolated areas already to divert more water to some Honey Locust trees, and they have done well with much less attention.
That's the ultimate goal.

This gley technique appeals to me to seal the water storage ditch. Maybe cover it with a final monolithic 6 mil sheet to ensure moisture stays in under it and is anaerobic.
Then, if it fails it may be self-healing

Question is, does this technique have any specific limitations in terms of scale where it starts to be less effective? (how large are the UK canals for instance?)

Is there a inimum thickness of all ayers combined?


The plan is to cap this trench with a reinforced barrel shaped papercrete cover painted with DryLock to keep it cool and prevent evaporation in summer and hopefully keep it from freezing in winter.
Id have a rim of stones near the long opening, set into a "step" to ensure the water trickles into it slowly, and gives that side of the cap a dry place to sit.

Lastly, the far ends would probably be a little deeper, with gravel/stones in them and a feeder tube down in it for use by either a solar powered pump or a hand pump mounted on the ends of the cap.


Any thoughts about whether this sounds like a viable plan?

Any gotchas?


Paul G










Permaculture: The Edge is the New Center
Taos, New Mexico / Carson, New Mexico / 7000ft / zones 5,6 / Soil: Servilleta-Hernandez / Avg. 13" precip per annum
Rob Sigg


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 710
Location: PA-Zone 6
So its been over a year or so since I started this project. I did most of the bottom and sides. It would hold water for a short time so I thought it was working. Now it barely holds water for 2 days. There is alot of weed growth in the "pit" so I dont know what to do at this point. Ive thought about bentonite but I dont know if it actually works since I havent seen anyone doing it. Just thought I would follow up on this.
 
Did you see how Paul cut 87% off of his electric heat bill with 82 watts of micro heaters?
 
subject: Gley technique for sealing ponds and dams .... and walls?
 
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