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Sepp Holzer on ponds and wind

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15216
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
(a few days ago I started writing down a list of stuff that I that was pretty profound to share here)

A lot of Sepp's planning involves wind.  He places his hugelkultur against the wind in order to create warmer microclimates (with great success). 

The interesting tidbit to share is that for ponds, he tries to shape the ponds to go lengthwise with the wind.  And he tries to get the wind to blow against the pond surface as much as possible.  This makes for good air exchange in the water so the water can support more life.  So if the wind blows from the east to the west, he will create a long, skinny pond that runs in an east west direction.  And he will try to reduce berms/huglekulture/trees at the ends.


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rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Paul wheaton, I would love to have a much fuller description of this. Does he plant things on the other sid eof the huglekulture bed?
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Interesting..in my pond my goal is to have lots of edges..so the undulate in and out and it varies in depth as well with some very very deep areas..up to 8 to 10 feet, and some very shallow areas that will dry out if there is a heavy drought..like this year..many days now with no rain.

just got through moving some of my water liles, lotus and other "in water" plants..as they were getting too dry..so i dug and moved them to deeper areas of the pond..we have no inlet to the pond at this point other than some spring and ground water seepage, snow and rainfall..so evaporation is a killer here..and it was 101.1 today.

the very deep areas never really dry out..but the shallower ones do..sometimes that isn't such a bad thing..as i can get in there and plant things and do work in there when it is dry..but the wet areas are still strong.

this morning i D R Trimmed the meadow around the pond and found some useful tree seedlings that I marked for protection.


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
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Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
thats a pretty neat idea! it makes alot of sense to me.


[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
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Don't you need the right plants in water to oxygenate it?
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
I got a really nice chines article about ecological farming out of internet a few years ago that includes fish ponds. Chinese ecological agricultural : development strategies , typical model and technologies  prof. Wu Wenleng. college of resources and enviroment, China Agricultural University. -wuwen l@cau.edu.cn-. -wuwenl-66@163.com- easy to read and not too long as is the case with all artilces i find nearly.
    He talks of varioues farm models, one is, fish farming, silk worms, sheep and mulberry trees. The mulberry trees feed the silkworms and the silk worms once separated from their silk cocoons feed the fish, the fish manure is used for the pastures for the sheep and mulberry trees and the leaf from the mulberry trees go to the sheep in autumn. I suppose it is a traditional model.

      I  taste the leaves of trees and elm, mulberry, and lime, have a similar flavour.  I read once that trees if badly attack by insects can inject their leaves with a bitter taste, not only that they can pass th emessage on to other trees so that ones near them put into place the strategy to stop insects attacking them.  So if you try these leaves and they taste bitter, which happens sometimes, know that this is not always the case. They are normally mild tasting.

        According to Juan Ora de la Rueda y Salgueiro, in his book , "guía de Árboles y Arbustos de Castilla Y León",  a really good book on trees that are natural to Spain and their uses, elms were used in the North of Spain to feed the livestock, in Astur-Leonese parts of the country, much of Spain is too dry for elms, there were lots in the village i have a house in but that village is at a height of a thousand metres above sea level.

      Children were sent out to milk the trees in the monte bajo, monte bajo is not low mountains but those covered in bushes instead of trees. It seems that they kept elms low, they are used as hedges in english farms, as are lot of other trees.  The leaves milked from them were feed to the pigs mixed with barley meal, in order to give the meal fibre and vitamins and moisture. the moisture bit is an addition of my own. Also Branch was cut in September, tied into bunches and dried and stored in winter as food for the live stock. He also says that the young green seed may be eaten in salads.

      May be you can contact him he teaches at Palencia University or did a few years ago and is a bit of a linguist though i didn't try to speak to him in English, and was, when i rang him up, very nice and very friendly he would have taken me to see encinas near here but i got shy incase he thought i wanted to pick him up and because of my uncooperative husband.
Jim Porter


Joined: Jul 02, 2009
Posts: 37
Location: USA, West central Florida
Another benefit I've heard for something like this is in sub-tropical areas to keep the temperature up when the weather turns to freezing. The lake retains the heat of the day, and the wind blowing across the lake helps keep downwind tender tropical plants from freezing.

Jim
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
would a windmill generating a pump be a feasable method of helping to aerate a pond?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15216
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Yes.  There are windmills for aeration and there are small, solar aerators too. 

I suppose one would choose between the options.  I would guess a lot of folks would not like the look of the windmills or the solar aerators as much.

Plus, Sepp did a lot with some really huge ponds (lakes?) in the spanish deserts.  For those, the windmills or the solar aerators would not have been practical.

Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Leah Sattler wrote:
would a windmill generating a pump be a feasable method of helping to aerate a pond?


If space and evaporation allowed, I would be more inclined to shape the pond for wave generation, concentration, and overturn; a gradual transition to downwind shallows after a long and maybe funnel-shaped run of deeper water should do the trick.  One would want some stones to crash against, though, to keep down erosion and help stir things a bit.  I love mechanical gadgets, but I know they tend to wear out.

A wind-driven pump could also circulate water back to the upper reaches of the system, and flow between sytem elements arranged so as to include some air with the water.  The permaculture design manual includes an intriguing plan to harvest compressed air (to drive pneumatic tools, for instance) as a byproduct of such an aeration system.


"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.
Leah Sattler


Joined: Jun 26, 2008
Posts: 2603
this thread really got me thinking about helping to aerate our small pond better but I don't really believe in lots of reshaping of the land. I prefer to leave it if possible to avoid all the damage that heavy equipment inevitably does and with the rock around here heavy equipment would be a neccesity to reshape the land at all. it would be another story if I was trying to build a pond from scratch. another problem i would forsee is that I want to shade the pond more. it gets too hot imo. I prefer to keep water plants to a minimum to reduce the oxygen problems that can arise with decomposition.  so trees on the edges is my next best solution, and they would effectively shelter the surface from alot of wind I would think.....
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Really like pollllyparadigms idea about making a graduated on one side floored pond to increase the waves he made me dream of beaches . I  still think that the right plants would be a more normal way of oxygynating water. where have the videos of seppholster gone really liked a video i found here of a market garden all full of raised beds covered with hay covered with straw and covered with plants in france "Jardin Experimental aux Cormettes" Emilia Hazelip.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
In that case, the best machine I can imagine is one with no or few moving parts that uses lift to force part of itself into the water directly, rather than a turbine-driven air pump.

Off the top of my head, I have two ideas of how that might work:

1. a wind wheel that draws some bubbles down along narrow, floating hoops at either side and doesn't tend to beach itself

2. a horizontal airfoil sitting on several fixed floats and one that leaky one, balanced to produce negative lift when that last float is full of air and positive lift when it is full of water.  This could be arranged so as to constantly drive that leaky float up or down, letting it drain and refill.  It would need some clever way of introducing hysteresis, and unfortunately I'm not much of a mechanical engineer, but a good design in glass or ceramic would last quite a while.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Polyparadimg you're are a scientist dreaming of making kinetic pond art and you know what the  psychiatrists reply to i am not an engineer is, well time to learn.
  You can make a pottery ball molding pottery round a bowl, making two halves, waiting till they are dry enough to hold their shape and sticking them together with clay, getting a good join is the difficult bit. Or making a coil pot that you close at the top, you can let lower coils dry before adding upper ones, pottery can sink under its own weight so you need strategies to stop this. Maybe you could just try making holes in ready made balls to make your leaky ball or you can try leadering a artist or potter. maybe i'll write your idea to an english artist i know sure to want to find a way to make money.

  I have lots of things i would like to make in pottery and haven't so I am a good one to talk I don't think.
agri rose macaskie.
Andrew Fuller


Joined: Jan 17, 2011
Posts: 24
paul wheaton wrote:
The interesting tidbit to share is that for ponds, he tries to shape the ponds to go lengthwise with the wind.  And he tries to get the wind to blow against the pond surface as much as possible.  This makes for good air exchange in the water so the water can support more life.  So if the wind blows from the east to the west, he will create a long, skinny pond that runs in an east west direction.  And he will try to reduce berms/huglekulture/trees at the ends.


Did Sepp elaborate more on this?  I got the exact opposite impression from the Acquaculture video of his (around the 1m15s mark in the video linked on your Sepp Holzer page).

I can see a benefit both ways:
Exposed to the wind would warm up the vegetation downwind from the pond at the expense of the pond's temperature.  Good for tropical plants.
Protected from the wind would keep the warmth in the water.  Good for tropical fish.
In either case plants north of the pond should get extra sunlight and warmth from the sun bouncing off the surface of the pond.

So I'm curious, did Sepp change his opinion on his preferred location?  (I'm guessing the video was made years before you studied under him)  Or perhaps he uses both methods?
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://permies.com/battery
 
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