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Floating Gardens

 
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Location: Eastern Kansas
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In my quest for the perfect garden I ran across some information on floating gardens.

From what I gleaned, the Aztecs used them to feed their huge populations.
They apparently had marshy soil and that was unsuitable for growing needed crops.

So, then built special rafts, piled soil (manure actually), planted crops, and towed them out to the middle of a pond or lake, then anchored them.

Insects particularly didn't fly over open water. Scavengers usually didn't swim out there to steal food.

When crops were ready they took a boat out and harvested easy to get at items or towed it back to the dock/shore for harvesting.

Their floating gardens had constant moisture (but not allowing plants to get wet feet) that contained many nutrients and could not become anaerobic.
Couldn't get much more full sun than being in the middle of a lake!

Today, there are cultures that replicate this type of system elsewhere with great success.

This may be the first kind of Aquaponics ever invented.

Now for a question or two:

Could Hugelkultur be combined with this method to produce even more crops? A kind of hybrid system?



 
pollinator
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Are you referring to chinampas?
There's lot's of great info about them & images in this thread: https://permies.com/t/63991/Images-Chinampas-share-teaching-education
I've never heard of anyone combining the practices of hügelkultur & chinampas. It would be cool if someone tested it out & reported back to permies. Possibly someone in Kansas could test out this fusion...
chinampa_canal_flickr.com.jpg
[Thumbnail for chinampa_canal_flickr.com.jpg]
chinampa canal, flickr.com
 
Kai Walker
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Floating gardens is basically gardening on a raft of sorts.
Nice pic though.
 
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I think there are two rafts in that picture, one at the left and one in the back.  That is a pretty picture!
 
Loxley Clovis
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Kai Walker wrote:Floating gardens is basically gardening on a raft of sorts.
Nice pic though.


With careful observation, time & study comes deeper understanding.
Just as Christopher Columbus died thinking that he had reached India when in fact he had reached a totally different continent...
...and just as Francisco de Orellana thought he was looking at "wild Amazonian jungle" surrounding the dense human settlements (pre-Euro-diseases) along the banks of the greatest river on earth, when in fact he was seeing carefully curated hyper-diverse forest gardens which provided an incredible abundance of all the food, fuel, fiber, medicine, timber, & spiritual plants within steps of people's houses...
...Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano & his men were actually incorrect in describing the Aztec chinampas they looked upon on the 8th of November 1519 as "floating" gardens.
In reality chinampas are more akin to what we in the permaculture community call "sheet-mulched lasagna beds" which were built up into mini human-made islands in Lake Chalco:

Chinampas were demarcated with stakes placed in a straight line to create a border & were rectangular in shape & created in marshy lakes. Straight canals were constructed in between them so that canoes could travel around them. A chinampa was built with layers of aquatic vegetation gathered from the lake (& canals) and the mud at the bottom of the lake (& canals). Each layer was alternated (vegetation, then mud, then vegetation, etc.; read: SHEET MULCHING LASAGNA BEDS!!!) until a plot of land had been built up. The edges were planted with willow trees as reinforcement to secure the created land mass from erosion.



Granted, floating gardens do exist in the flood plains of Bangladesh & other places in the Asian continent, but I'm not aware of their existence in the Aztec world:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JatsIs73RA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK_qTm2pUsw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktzkGqvWnUE
chinampa_sketch_by_ackmvmt.org.jpg
[Thumbnail for chinampa_sketch_by_ackmvmt.org.jpg]
chinampa sketch by ackmvmt.org
FLOATING_GARDEN-how_floating_gardens_are_created_by_DownToEarth.org.in.jpg
[Thumbnail for FLOATING_GARDEN-how_floating_gardens_are_created_by_DownToEarth.org.in.jpg]
how floating gardens are created by DownToEarth.org.in
FLOATING_GARDEN-Rahima_from_Bangladesh_by_practicalaction.org.jpg
[Thumbnail for FLOATING_GARDEN-Rahima_from_Bangladesh_by_practicalaction.org.jpg]
Rahima from Bangladesh by PracticalAction.org
 
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