I'm curious if anyone has had experience with foehn winds and permaculture. If you're not aware, foehn winds are hot, fast and dry winds created when air rushes down the side of a mountain. Besides melting away snow in the winter, they can also last long enough to bring plants out of dormancy, which can kill the plants when the cold weather returns.
I'm looking a establishing a permaculture homestead in about two years time, but the area where I'd like to live (southern Alberta foothills) experiences very frequent foehn winds (known locally as chinooks), and I'm worried that it may make growing fruittrees impossible.
I've heard Sepp has grown fruit trees, and Austria is a place known for foehn winds. How does he do it?
Location: Suwon, South Korea
posted 9 years ago
From what I read -- and I don't know whether he mentions these winds anywhere specifically -- he uses a combination of windbreaks and shelterbelts; rocks and boulders to moderate the temperatures by storing heat during the day and releasing it at night; frost-resistant species; ponds to reflect the sun to where he wants it in winter weather; and proper planting and placement of the trees in the first place. The windbreaks ought to work against winds of whatever temperature, I would think. (I don't remember what tree varieties he uses for the windbreaks, but Mollison has written on this and would have suggestions.)
But Paul's the expert on sepp holzer around here, so maybe he'll chime in on this.
Mollison talks quite a bit about winds running up and down slopes, and channeling them along earthworks and/or absorbing them with vegetation.
From his writing, it might be necessary for fruit trees to be the minority before the air is still enough for them to yield, but it won't be impossible.
"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.