free pdf the art of fire*
Permies likes permaculture and the farmer likes Sepp Holzer uses no irrigation permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login
permies » forums » growies » permaculture
Bookmark "Sepp Holzer uses no irrigation" Watch "Sepp Holzer uses no irrigation" New topic
Forums: permaculture hugelkultur greening the desert Sepp Holzer
Author

Sepp Holzer uses no irrigation

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
There are many contributors to this one.

1) He has lots of ponds.  Some are deep.  Some are shallow.  In the shallow ponds, he puts lots of rocks.  The rocks heat the water and the water evaporates.  The air surrounding his farm becomes humid.  He gets more morning dew than average.

2)  Sepp plants no monocultures.  Everything is a mix of lots and lots of things.  And there is a strong focus on deep rooted plants.  Deep rooted plants reach deep water sources and can transpire the water out of their leaves adding to the general humidity.  Plus, there can be symbiosis between the deep rooted plant roots and fungi.  And between the fungi and shallow rooted plants.

3)  Terraces and hugelbeds do move and hold water when it rains - and then share it properly when it is dry.

4)  Rocks, rocks and more rocks ....  Rocks seem to be a major component in everything Sepp does.  Rocks have a powerful thermal intertia ...  If you stack a pile of rocks, air can move through the pile.  And the rocks in the middle will be quite cool.  If humid air moves through the pile, water will condense on the cooler rocks, thus creating a poor man's drip irrigation system.





sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
most of my land is barely above the water table..we do get a drought in July and August most years..but generally it is wet..our problem is trying to find land dry enough for a lot of things..but we do have a slope going away from our house so most of the dry lovers grow up high..trees can be a problem though..even our woods has swamps..but we do have a small high area of woods in the front and back..and we use those areas for forest..which have long taproots and won't drown up that high.

i never allow a leaf to leave our property..well wind might steal a few..i mulch everything, and i bring in tons of mulch and horse manure whenever i can.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Susan Monroe


Joined: Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
The more organic matter that is in the soil, the more water it is going to hold.  It's that issue by itself that created American's growing Dust Bowl (old and new).

Does Holzer say if his water table is close to the surface, or if he has bedrock holding the water in?

Sue
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Susan Monroe wrote:
The more organic matter that is in the soil, the more water it is going to hold.  It's that issue by itself that created American's growing Dust Bowl (old and new).

Does Holzer say if his water table is close to the surface, or if he has bedrock holding the water in?

Sue


While Sepp has talked at great length about a lot of different properties and about water tables and about bedrock - or impermeable layers deeper in the soil, I cannot recall him talking about how deep the water tables are, in general, on his land.  I suspect that it is widely varrying since his land is all on very steep slopes (the Alps).

Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
paul wheaton wrote:

If you stack a pile of rocks, air can move through the pile. And the rocks in the middle will be quite cool. If humid air moves through the pile, water will condense on the cooler rocks, thus creating a poor man's drip irrigation system.



I love this.  Also I am thinking habitate for lizards and frogs, depending on how wet of an area I pile the rocks, yes?
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
did the rocks occur naturally on Sepps' property (I'm sure they did)..we ourselves have very little naturally occurring rock on our property, we do save any that we do find to use here..but there is not much..south of us there are gravel areas and rock areas..S and E about a mile..where the glaciers deposited them..but where we are they were prettty much scraped clean..

the rocky area and gravel pits run for about 20 miles south of us and fairly wide..

we would have to haul rock here from those areas to have rock on our property of any amount.

We do use the ponds and the edges and the fallen rotting wood and forest duff in a similar way to how Sepp does his..but not as many ponds..we only have 5 acres and only have a few ponds..the largest one on our property is about 150 x 75'..but we have some smaller ones in our woods ..and in spring we have a lot of areas where water stands for a long time.

i do have soaker hoses that i do use in a few areeas ..but only when we have drought..i do keep water that runs off of our roofs and our property..but honestly except in severe times of drought..we don't need to do any irrigation at all on our property
Bill Kearns


Joined: Feb 13, 2009
Posts: 156
Location: E Washington steppe
    
    2
This is so cool!  A friend of mine studies foraging out here in the prairie and came up with the concept of building a talus rock wall to do all the things you mention above!  So we made one, right in the front yard!  Seeded it with choke cherries and wild plums.  He's also sent some pinion pine and other dryland nut species to add this fall.  Here's a pic:



Permaculture is a gestalt ... a study of the whole. Not just how to produce more and better food, but how human life on the planet affects and is affected by the surrounding environment.
Bill Kearns http://columbiabasinpermaculture.com
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
I sure like to see more uses for rocks because I have plenty of those! 


[img]http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/havlik1/permie%20pics2/permiepotrait3pdd.jpg[/img]

"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Bill,

How long has it been there?  How old is this pic?


Bill Kearns


Joined: Feb 13, 2009
Posts: 156
Location: E Washington steppe
    
    2
The talus wall was stacked in late August, so about six weeks.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Brenda Groth wrote:very little naturally occurring rock on our property, we do save any that we do find to use here..but there is not much


There may be practical alternatives.

It wouldn't look as nice, but I bet bottles of wet subsoil, maybe plugged with mortar, would be OK as habitat and fog/dew collectiors.  And some of the creatures that would like a rock pile might settle for a brush pile.

All the soil is clay where I live, so the plants that want sand get fine potsherds from broken terracotta flower pots.  I could hit them with my little tree trunk fewer times if "gravel" were called for, rather than "sand."


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 973
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
I can see this topic isn't going to help me any. We live in a rainforest climate, and even the dry season isn't completely dry. And we have no rocks unless we haul from the river. None in the soil.

But the idea is interesting for sure. Work with what you have instead of trying to change to what you don't.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
9anda1f wrote:
The talus wall was stacked in late August, so about six weeks.


My crystal ball says that within 12 inches of the rocks you will see lots and lots of growies, while more than 12 inches away will be far less growies. 

Any sign yet that my crystal ball is accurate?

rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
  How many stones do you need placed where or does it depend on the climate? In the youtube video of geoff lawton,  "behind greening the desert"  that is the same as the  "greening the desert" one except with a bit added in front and after the part you can see in, greening the desert, he has built up a stone wal and seems to pile sand and gravel or small stones up against the wall so the wall becomes the centre of a berm or dyke. Is it maybe neccessary to have the stones in the middle of lots of material in very dry areas fo the to work as drip systems. if they are in the middle of lots of material they wont recieve dew which condense from the air doesn't it?
  I put a lose stone wall a pile of stones circuling round a space round my olive tree, i wanted a protected space, nothing grows out of the wall, the air in Spain is super dry, potatoes lose their turgidity, get floppy quickly and bread never molds unless you keep it in plastic, just dries and stays the same for years. agri rose macaskie.
Bill Kearns


Joined: Feb 13, 2009
Posts: 156
Location: E Washington steppe
    
    2
@ Paul,

Lol, well not yet.  I've just had the first rains of autumn the past couple of days after a many month dry spell.  But the collection of detritus blown in by the wind is growing quickly, making the pile somewhat self-mulching! 

@ Rose,

I'm hoping that those stones in the middle of the pile stay cooler and act to condense any moisture from the air to assist with the drip system to build up moisture in the earth beneath the pile.  It's very dry here also (9-15 inches total precipitation / year, mostly in the winter) and the combination of sun and wind serve to dry any bare soil quickly.  We're hoping the talus wall will serve as rock mulch to keep both the sun and wind from drying the immediate area of the wall out so quickly.  The wall is oriented east-west to provide shade on the north side and also serve as a windbreak (it's windy here often).  I'm thinking that I may need to add more stones out and away from the main wall to help extend this mulch effect across a broader area.

  Bill
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
    Wind dries a lot, You will need some very dry place plants to make a wind break to stop the wind, well that all depends really on what you want. Bill Mollison put some very dry climate plants in to make a hedge round some african peoples compound, in his dryland strategy videos, so you can make fences of some types of trees even in hot dry areas. His dryland strategy youtube videos come in a series of three videos if i remember right.
      May be i am imagining your land is dryer than it is. For some one used to reading about how many centimetres of rain there are, fifteen inches sounds very low, it is about twice as much as the rainfall in a desert is not it?
      I have plenty of rain in winter it is the air thats dry here i thnk ther is plenty of rainfall except in summer. Now I have plenty of trees, i have had the garden fifteen years. Now the earth is better, the trees take better. I just let the grass and wild plants grow and die in the dry season and grow again in the rains so they and their roots would mulch and fertilise my land.
      Now i will try to grow more food to support permaculture ideas which consit in lettign people see how much can be grown on health soil as i see it.
        In his dry land strategies videos you can see how Bill Mollison has organised some mini upside down baskets built to protect young plants and there is another african video, not his, with with  circular  walls open on one side A high side the opposite one from the opening and a low one  built to shade young plants, maybe protect them from the wind, they are nice structures. I have been looking for that video without finding it but i found another good dry garden youtube video "path to freedom - waterwise gardening" about planting permeable unglazed pottery pots to water the land with, filling the pots with water. It is something i tried myself and will go on trying next summer now i have been encouraged by this video . agri rose macaskie.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
i said that bill mollison had upside down basket to protect the plants in my last posting , i don't think i said from the sun or drying winds i should have said it. I  have pots with their bottoms knocked out or when they are plastic cut out, over my plants to protect them from heat in summer and cold in winter. agri roes macaskie.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15609
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Bill,

How much rainfall do you have?
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
paul wheaton, don't know how much rainfall i have but will try to find out . Things do grow there especially now the soils are better. I do use drip irrigation on new things and myn flower bed and soft fruit patch, i am going to try to establish soft fruit were there is no irrigation this year.  the drip irrigation is something used prehaps more, in some cases, than i would use it, i would like to prove i could grow lots of things with nothing to water them, It is controlled by my husband. It  really helps trees take and grow like crazy, i would say they liked the hot climate.   
  It is just that stuff does not grow out of the lose stone wall i enclosed a space with, not yet at any rate. The stones cover, cut out ,the sun, maybe thats why.
    After the fourteen years i have owned the garden the grass in the bottom patch, with just a drip on five  trees stays a partly green all summer, like winter grass does green underneath and dry on top and i saw another and unused low lying spot were the same was true this year. I will have to send a foto that shows the two flats of my garden. As the soil recovers the grass starts to even manage the long hot suñmmers. Ray grass was planted there by the former owner. agri rose macaskie.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
From what i am reading or more watching on youtube videos  the permaculture  pond question is really complicated. Not difficult but full of ins and outs, intricate and I have prepared an account that you will find below.
  I have spent days on it I am going to put it into the forum in bits it is easier for me to handle like that.
  Here is my long summary of what I have read or seen on video.  It is an introduction and if I make mistakes excuse me I have only tried to reduce what I have learnt so that it is easier for others to understand the papers and videos they might see.
  I have decided to write about berms, banks  in anther paper  so as to make this a bit shorter but swales, channels and ditches, are often accompanied in permaculture by banks, berms or dykes, that are placed as a stop to water, to hold it in the swales and to break the fall of water that is eroding hills.
  If you tap  “ berms and swales”,  into google and read the first two very short articles you read of two pretty different uses of swales and berms . These two articles are much shorter than this much though they not about so many things, so easy to read.
For one
  Some permaculturists try to have a reserve of water on their highest piece of land so that gravity helps with irrigation, so they have a pond on a high point to capture water you can use to irrigate with.  Ponds as a sort of cistern as a way of storing water.
  For another,
      It seems that water penetrates the earth really badly but if you can hold it standing in puddles, channels, pits and ponds, it has the possibility of permeating into the land, so permaculture is full of ways of making hollows that hold rain water for a while so that it can seep down slowly deep into the ground wetting way below the surface and even into the subsoil you can for one get wetter lands with the first rains that normally don’t penetrate the soil much and for another get water to the subsoil instead of running of the landscape eroding it and escaping to the sea I rivers.
  Also, if the rains leave a very wet surface to the land as the water is on the surface it easily gets evaporated off the land by the sun. If you can get the water to penetrate deep into the soil it wont  be as liable to suffer from evaporation, you will hold on to more of it.

Also, if the rain seeps into the land instead of running off it, the water gets filtered by the earth and by  plants and bacteria and fungi that can do bio micro-organism , phito, plant and mico, fungi, remediation on it, which is to say the earth and all the living organisms in it do a clean up job on the water saving lakes and rivers from pollution, removing pathogens and petrol and chemically changing  other things  like heavy metals that they can lock up in complicated molecules, an example is the  like the bacteria Shewanella Oneidensis, you can find it in google, that coverts uranium into uranite which last is not soluble, which action could help to get it out of water makes it less likely to be leached out of the soil into the water systems. the same bacteria also cover the uranite in a sticky slime that sticks it to the earth so that it cannot easily be washed into rivers. Another example of remediation is the brasil mushroom that eats e-coli bacteria for example. The  oyster mushrooms that covert petrol dripped from your car into fungal sugars, you can find information about mico-remediation, mushrooms cleaning up on pollutants in Paul Stamets book mycelium running.  So that, if the runoff from pathways back yards and roofs percolates through the earth that cleanse and filters it before it gets to rivers, rather than running  into drainage pipes, it gets cleaned to some extent and does not pollute rivers and lakes too much. These are techniques used in Chicago to reduce pollution in the great lakes. They are mentioned in some articles on the Chicago repairs of its alleys.
      Dry soil takes a long time to wet. If you use a dry dish cloth it is hard to pick up spilt drinks- If your cloth is dry, you wet the cloth first and wring it out and use it damp, Damp you can pick up spilt drinks better than dry. Dry soil does not take rain water any better than a dry dishcloth or spontex takes up spilt drinks. Plant roots can help water enter dry soil and tree and bush roots carry water up and down, if down is drier down and if wet is drier up. They take the water to natural sinks. They measure the flow in roots putting instruments on them, the flow is measured by the heat pulse method you find it by putting the words “heat-pulse method” into google.-
      For another, maybe, even when the earth is damp the water does not often seep far down into the subsoil or into the water table but if you hold it still in a puddle above the ground it has a chance to seep right into the soil, running deep down into the ground instead of over land to the river below.  The good adherence of water molecules to each other means water holds together where there is most water on the wet surface, for instance forming a mass of water that runs in the direction of least resistance always to where there is more water to hold on to down hill, going into the ground would be slower than being pulled down the diagonal with the great body of water you are held to by molecular attraction at least, till the effect of gravity is bigger than that of molecular attraction.
        sepp holzer explains about his ponds that they allow the water in them to seep deep and thoroughly into the soil and to water his plants so he does not need to. He also explains that this sort of watering does not leach nutrients out of the soil as mechanical irrigation does.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134

a second bit about ponds swales and berms fro helping to water land.
   
      The smallest example of hollows made to hold water is of dents made in the land given in a youtube video by Bill Molllison about Bob Dickson, a agricultural scientist in the Arizona desert who has a machine which, rather than ploughing the land, leaves pyramidal hollows impressed in the earth and sands.  A desert denter, that he calls “a printer”.
          Bill Mollison seems to admire several Americans who fight for a less desertification.
        The hollows made by this machine are places where seeds or bits of fertilizers get caught retain the seeds with the bits of organic matter and manure that falls into them and also serve to hold a puddle full of rain, when it does rain, which water permeates the soil better than rain that falls on level desert which, or gets evaporated by the sun or runs off the surface. The well watered desert under the seeding in the hollow and the manure favor the growth of the seeds collected in the hollow.
        I saw a documentary about greening the desert in the north of Africa and the strategy rather than being one of irrigating was of planting organic rubbish with the trees. Deserts can get very short on nutrients for plants.
      The effectiveness of the printer may sound difficult to believe but the bit of Arizona desert desert bob Dickson had used the printer on a field in the Arizona desert that has become a field full of prairie grass. As the is designer of the machine is an agricultural scientist and I suppose Bill Mollison to some extent stakes his reputation on what he publishes, be it only on youtube, there are reasons to believe them.
        When I went to look for leaves, as mulch, at the bottom of my garden where there are more trees,  I found the leaves had collected in hollows, so may be one of the bad things we do is to constantly level land, ironing out all protective hollows that would help against desertification. Listening to horses should not have filled in the puddle on her lawn.
Bill Kearns


Joined: Feb 13, 2009
Posts: 156
Location: E Washington steppe
    
    2
How much rainfall do you have?


Yes!

Which is just about as good an answer as I get trying to look it up.  I've seen Ritzville's annual rainfall listed as anywhere from 9" to 15" annually (~230 - ~380 mm).  I've seen it stated that the rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, but personal observation shows that the majority of precipitation occurs in the winter months.  And when I say rainfall, I mean total precipitation including snow.  So, it's hard to tell without having my own personal weather station and decades to record measurements 

I'm in the process of outfitting all the many buildings here with gutters and cisterns for rain catchment, and may be able to derive yearly precip from that (someday).

Rained here today though! 

Bill
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
On the plantation we have several rain guages.  After each rain they are dumped and the amount written down.  There are sereral guages there,  at like the mule barn, entry gate at each place, etc.  We have several years worth with frost dates amd rain by day/month. 

I need to do that here.  Make sure rain guages are plum to get accurate measurement. 

And to Rose about my puddles, I am filling in the deep low spots that make great ponds, if ther were not where I need ti turn my horse trailer around.  That is what they are from, mud ruts from the previous owners driving around in the mud.  I agree that it would be nice to make them my ponds.  I can not, I have to have the room to turn around.  I see no way around it.

Now I am filling them with horse poo and sawdust with hay and dirt.  Cleanings out of my barn.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
  Jennifer, I did not mean you should do anything,  it was a reflection that could be refered to something that existed on the forums that should make it more interesting. I don't know what people should do in their gardens, If you have a bumpy lawn how do you play crochet,or cricket or baseball ,sport is good for the family. However if you are discussing the ins and outs of how to irrigate your land more completely, well puddles are good but not for your tractor may be. If you live were it is very wet you want to drain your land rather than wetting it.  it seems that all changes Brenda groth makes to the land are to drain it  for example.
      Lawns are smart, i never liked them my mother had a small house in the country which was caos, full of unmown grass half the time and i just liked it and found lawns sort very undecorative in comparison but they are great for games.
      Grass seeds are so pretty. Then i  love the protection of anything, things that don't leave everything bare and open, so you can sit any old how, no one will see you. i don't want to be a lazy gardener I am a normal adult trying desperately not to be done down because i have not done my bit and i love making things but i liked as a child to read my book in peace, I think i make gardens so that children will like them. I must buy a basket ball net one day. If lawns are smart were you live, then do you risk social isolation if you don't have them?
      In Spain you just want shade trees all over the place i remember my suprise in my first year or two in Spain when i saw the garden of a house and it was full of trees,like the garden of that multimillionaire who let ghadafi put his tent in it, nowafter finding it hard to be outside in the garden because the sun shines to hot i understand the trees.  I put in fruit trees because they are pretty I love the blossom and i like looking at the fruit, i have not sent in a foto of the fruit trees i have, i find it hard to find a home for all the fruit.  Also fruit trees are dead cheap here. 15 euros, about 8 dollars a tree i suppose which is not bad . I am always going to garden centres to cheque out on the prices of everything and buy pansies i love pansies and  the neighbors pinch them off me. agri rose macaskie.
   
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
Rose,
my last email was cut short.  I took no offense from you.  I am wanting to keep my water and am planning new puddles.  Some would call them ponds but I plan to let them go dry as needed, hope for good frog habitat.  I have no shortage of the stuff soil is made of. 

Someday maybe we will add a decroative waterfall, pump and fill with hose as needed, but not while I am in charge.  All my lawn is pasture and all my pasture is lawn.  It does not have to be mowable by mower, but accessable to grazing.

I have been walking about the place and see where it would require the least moving of earth.  I see where the water sits in the old tire ruts as well as good spots for a catchment and not have them in the way.  I am also trying to look at things a new way and see if I can move the drives.  I am needing to find homes for the trees I have on order.  I will spend the winter dumping stall cleanings in those spots.


rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
the worst bit of buying trees is trying to think were to put them, i hate it . I thought i can put them in close to each other as small trees don't take up much room and cut them down later. Of course cutting them down if they are fruit trees will mean the bother of growing a replacement tree in some spot . i like them near the house it seem i am addicted to trees more for decorativ reasons than real permaculture ones. I did not have any idea about permaculture till a few mounth ago though i did know a bit about organic farming and gardening.  A book i had on gardening that talked of things gaie i don't know how thats spelt about keeping your bit of land in a way  that contributed to  a healthy world suggested putting a wood for your own fire wood as a part of your plot. i do think its totally personal the decision to take up any of their techniques, lord i suffer enoug h from people trying to impose on me to make me wary of doing it to others but if their is a oportunity to coment on their techiques while i agfree with them, well i take it .
      I did not know your lawns were pastures. They do certainly look like healthy bits of grass.
  To get in the themes i want to get known again in reference to trees and horses and other live stock.

    In Las Pedroches a village in the province of Cordoba one of the provinces of Andalucia in the south of Spain, name that transalated means, were the light walks, famouse for its hams, a province where Islamists who conquered the capital also called cordoba  in 711 and lost it in 1236 inbetweeen making it into the biggest town in europe by the tenth century with the most famouse libary in all Europe, in those days  the best doctors and mathematicians were Islamic.  There is a beautifull  mosque there, inside it you seem to be in a sort of forest of columns. In Las Pedroches they grow oaks to help pastures, they prune them when they notice the shade is too deep, the trees give enough shade to help pastures and are stopped from giving too much by being having brances lopped of them if they seem to hurt pastures. In other parts of Spain the number of oaks a hectar is less and care for the pastures is not the principal reason for deciding when to pruning and pollarding the oaks. The province of extremadura also is famouse for its hams of acorn fed pigs. In some parts there are forest of cork or evergreen oaks without much pig production so that if you go to them you will see evergreenoak forests but maybe not pigs. the illness called here pig pest reduced the number of pigs kept outside in many provinces.
      The leaves prunned off the trees are used to feed the live stock horses and cattle and even sheep that normally don't lift their heads to eat of bushes only eat ground plants and of course goats, the  the acorns fatten the live stock they go to the pigs if it is a pig keeping region and the other live stock if not and maybe suit other animals better because it is said you can't use many races of pigs for this type of pig farming but there are several types cows and horses sheep and goats live on farms of this type. Of course in England it is too dark to want everything to be wooded.
  The english food forest man Hart says he has clearings as real forest do to, for the plants that need sun so he gives an excuse for a lack of trees within permacultura. agri rose macaskie.
Jennifer Smith


Joined: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 669
Location: Zone 5
I concertrate on from house to barn mostly, then from there to the road.  I have plenty to do in barn but have to start planning my landscape as it is so important. 

Each day when I clean stalls I say to myself that I will find a place to put it to start makin a home for my spring trees, and each day I just fill in a low spot and spread it around the yard.  Sheet mulch, but not deep enough to kill the grass.

One of the first things I did was order fruit trees of a variety that is top of my list that would grow in one zone colder than mine.  I stopped myself from buying too many at a time.  I hope to find more trees and plants of the kinds I desire close to home but I wanted rainier cherries and they are fairly rare yet.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
     I too have ben wandergng around the garden thinking were to put ponds as a result of reading about permaculture.
       If you use to much horse maure will it spoil the land, doeswnot land get horse tired?  It must be sort of tiring dragging the manure around.

    You can use the horse manure  to make walls with-
     I was looking up making cob walls and a young woman used a recipe that include flour in the mud. In a site on making masonary stoves they mentioned that a old brick stove they had taken to peices had parts that they had used horse manure in, horse manure had been used between th ewall an dthe chimney and seemed to have iaislated the wall from the chimney well they said the mud and horse manure had to be chipped off as does concrete. the walls of the houe conataine dhorse manure too.
      Later I was re-reading a book i have called Magic Muck by Lady Muck, Jane Down, who made money selling her fathers muck from his dairy farm and turned herself into an expert on composting and manure. She said that horse muck is hot because horses have short intestines so it comes out less digested than cow muck say and because we feed them grains. Gosh i thought flour is apart of cob, mudwalls and horse manure a another substance traditionally used for cob walls has flours in it, interesting.
    If you get good at composting it you can sell it.
    I looked up manure a while ago and you can get into trouble if you don't dispose of horse manure properly, it seems.  I would not have thought of that. Did not Paul wheaton have problems with the local authorities because of pig manure? agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134

More on ponds puddles berms and swales ersumed at some length.
2      Banks that hold up the rain on level ground and I may have invented this one I am interpreting the photos and drawings of this.
   When Bill Mollison is talking about the banks that Franklin Roosevelt had built up to help against the erosion in the times of the dust bowl, 1930s in the video of his called  “dryland permaculture strategies”.  Mollison  talks of banks built by Franklin Roosevelt’s crews interrupting the flow of the water which collects along the length of ground that is at the foot of  the  banks on the upside of them,  where the banks shut off the waters downward path. The puddling that occurs as a result of the flow of the water being held up by the bank,wets the ground by seeping into the landscape and also helps the lands fertility by depositing the nutrients and silt were the water has stood in front of the wall or earth bank instead of carrying the silt to the rivers.
    In the diagram explaining the building and functioning of Franklin Roosvelts earth banks in Bill Mollisons video, “ dryland permaculture strategies”, the bank holds the water back on flat ground  on the up side of the bank so you can make the water puddle and enter the landscape, without building a ditch, you obtain a flat swale  by building a wall on a slope. Maybe the idea of flat puddling is taken from some sort of mistake of mine in interpreting the diagram of this type of swale.
          So, may be the hollow dug out ditch or swale that often accompanies the berm or earth work bank, is not always on the uphill side of the bank or berm. In the bit of video I mentioned above of Roosevelt’s banks and swales, the ditch is on the down side of the bank and in Geoff Lawsons video, “Permaculture Water harvesting”, of banks and swales the bank or berm is on the down side of the swale. This sort to complexity makes studying so hard.
     In Geoff Lawton’s’ explanation of a swale and berm on a slope, in the video, Permaculture Water Harvesting  which I also find hard to puzzle out, sometimes the spoken account seems different from the drawn one. The swale or channel is just above the bank and is built so that the lip on the lower side of the channel that runs from sid e to side of the slope crossing down flowing water, is lower than the lip on the higher side so that when the swale overflows it goes in to a bank of soft organic material that runs along the channel on the downhill side of it, which berm or mound of organic material fills full of water which also starts to soak the ground underneath. So, soakage into the slope occurs from the from the channel or swale which has a loose earth bottom  and from the wet material next to the channel. At the far end of the swale the lip is even lower allowing the water to overflow from the channel and be carried were you want it to go, into another and lower swale for example.
  You are meant to plant berms and swales with grass seeds and such to hold them firm.
  This probably needs some correcting that is meant to be the advantage of internet, others can add their corrections.
        Jesus Charcos tamarix ,tamarisk aphylla holding up a sand dune in his book,” Guia de los Árboles y Arbustos de África”, with it roots,  the dune under the tree keeps the soil under the dune humid, so  keeping some sand humid for the tamarix. The tamarisk grows apparently to accomadate any incease in the dune due to driven sand, so the dune grows with time. So a mound of sand keeps the land below moist so if you build a bank or berm water collected on the up side of the dune and percolated down and under the bank the earth or sand of the bank would be kept from evaporating by the bank.  Th