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?
I think there are two rafts in that picture, one at the left and one in the back. That is a pretty picture!
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
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.