Animal Forage, Aquaculture, Compost, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems, Urban Projects — by Ecofilms December 7, 2011
Here is Geoff Lawton explaining how this particular swimming pool is growing fish and soil on algae. This is a clip from the recently released Urban Permaculture DVD, which has over 90 minutes of sustainable solutions you can try at home.Comments (0)
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Fish, Irrigation, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper October 28, 2011
We’re writing on-going articles about the many aspects of this urban permaculture project in a Mediterranean climate, here in California, now two years underway. Today’s article: pool-to-pond conversion — complete!
My husband and I have been actively working on an urban 2/3 acre permaculture project for two years this month. We began the design and subsequent installation at a residence in October of 2009 and it continues in multiple phases today. As we complete the swimming pool to aquaculture pond conversion, and reflect upon our progress thus far, we would like to share our experiences — the trials, corrections and successes made along the way and to basically let more people know about this Mediterranean climate permaculture project.Comments (10)
Aquaculture, Conservation, Dams, Irrigation, Land, Natural Swimming, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 26, 2011
In this short video Geoff walks us through an overview of a small dam/fish pond installation at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in northern NSW, Australia. If you’d like to get a better understanding of the why and how of permaculture earthworks, you could purchase the Water Harvesting DVD, or, better yet, book on one of our upcoming Earthworks courses, listed in our Courses section. Small dams like this, appropriately situated and intelligently designed, can both drought-proof and flood-protect your property, whilst creating a foundational hydrological infrastructure from which can spring an abundance of biodiversity to create a foundation of resilient self-sufficiency.
For good measure I’ll throw in a few pictures that Nadia has just sent me of permaculture abundance at Zaytuna Farm. Earthworks like that shown in the footage above ensures food harvesting like this can continue at Zaytuna Farm even in the driest years, when neighbouring properties are shriveled and barren….Comments (7)
Conservation, DVDs/Books, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Material, Natural Swimming, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Terraces, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel July 14, 2011
The volume reviewed below comes highly recommended for all Permaculturists working in or around any water channels, and particularly on the broad-acre. While the methods happen to apply most immediately in drylands, they will apply directly anywhere that erosion, down-cutting, rapid gully formation, and other forms of channel incision occur. Keep in mind that these techniques will also apply in ephemeral channels that only carry water during rare rain storms, and are otherwise ‘dry.’
Importantly, even if you are working more within mesic environments and do not see a lot of actively incising channels, just the knowledge you will gain about stream dynamics and working with various stream powers and flood-regimes will be applicable and invaluable to your work. These factors, such as the ‘bankfull’ flood, and the specific inter-relations and ratios of multiple stream variables remain the same as basic physics of water flow no matter what the environment. These physics will dictate exactly where and where not to place any kind of built structure within an active water channel, and enable you to predict results of your efforts with much greater precision. How many of us doing this kind of work have lost stream structures to a “gully-washer”? The knowledge and approach in this book could have saved many a headache, cash outlay, and enabled construction of more durable, persistent, and ultimately useful work.
Conservation, Dams, Earth Banks, Irrigation, Land, Material, Natural Swimming, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Gordon Williams April 7, 2011
On the 31st of January the Permaculture Earthworks course at Zaytuna Farm began with good weather and a group of enthusiastic students ready to see the process of laying the groundwork for functional rainwater harvesting features in landscapes. During the week a variety of works were conducted across the property, including a new dam and swale, swale pipe crossings, building site levelling and, to make everyone’s life a little bit easier, the excavator divided some clumping bamboo.
The first task for the 25-ton excavator was to construct a ridge point dam connected to the end of an existing swale, so as to increase catchment. If the dam were to be built independent of the swale it would not naturally fill. The primary purpose of this dam is to increase the volume of water stored on the property at a height where it can be gravity fed to areas below for use.Comments (16)
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Dams, Fish, Land, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton November 26, 2010
The spillway that sets the height of the water and allows for passive
discharge of surplus water during large rainfall events
We can build a dam to serve specifically as a fish pond and which can be designed to be more productive for aquaculture systems generally, compared with stocking an existing farm dam with fish. As most of the production occurs in the upper levels of water, a depth of under 2 metres allows you to feed and harvest the fish easily and bring them to a desirable size as quickly as possible. Using an example of the chicken tractor, infrastructure design can also be applied to fish to create a more intensive system where resources such as the animals’ manure are cycled and productivity is increased whilst benefiting the surrounding systems. The ideal style of dam for the purpose of fish production is the contour dam, which is dug into the side of a shallow sloping hill (on a reasonable flat landscape) with a dam wall of a semi-circular curve or a semi-square shape. The profile of the dam floor can be easily constructed so that it is flat, and the inner walls and back-cut of the dam can be reasonably steep, maximising the volume and minimising the challenges of harvest, whilst maintaining a consistent temperature.Comments (17)
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Fish, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems — by Patrick Blampied March 30, 2010Comments (3)
Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Food Forests, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Material, Natural Swimming, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Swales, Water Harvesting — by Kym Kruse January 9, 2010
The Mushroom Dam overlooking the beach area
It’s taken a while to find the time to sit down and report on Part B of our earthworks here at Rosella Waters, near Cairns in far North Queensland. Phase I Part A was documented whilst the process was taking place. This latest update however will rely on memory and hurried notes made during the process, together with numerous photos. Large excavations such as the two large dams we constructed in part A are considerably easier to direct and far less time consuming than the finer detail work using smaller machinery as we experienced in putting in Part B.Comments (6)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Irrigation, Natural Swimming, Regional Water Cycle, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 12, 2009
Novice Buddhist monks listen to their instructor
Photos Copyright © Craig Mackintosh
Last time I spoke about the world’s largest earthworks project – an incredible and unrivalled example of large scale water harvesting. Today we continue the tale, highlighting the beautiful and practical Kuttam Pokuna, or Twin Pools, found at Anuradhapura in north-central Sri Lanka.Comments (4)
Animal Forage, Aquaculture, Biological Cleaning, Fish, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Natural Swimming, Plant Systems, Urban Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 21, 2009
Could converting swimming pools into fish ponds be another way to increase food security as we head out onto peak oil’s downhill slope?
A Permaculture fish pond in development
Swimming pools get a bad rap in enviro-circles, and for good reason. They cost a great deal to construct – using a lot of CO2 intensive materials in the process – they waste huge amounts of water and energy for maintenance, use chemicals to keep them clear and ’safe’, and they take up a lot of space that could be utilised for more productive purposes (like growing veggies!). Many people also just find them a lot of work to look after, which is especially annoying when their usage is often only seasonal at best.
But, what if you’re already lumbered with a pool and are trying to make the best of the situation? Maybe it came with your property, or hindsight has kicked in after you’ve shelled out thousands to install something you almost never use…. What then?Comments (32)