I am a complete newb to permaculture. I have been doing research but having a hard time understanding the lingo.
1. I live in Laton CA. About 25 miles south of Fresno. We have amazing soil, but only about 11 inches of rain a year. A well is out of the question thanks to farmers draining the groundwater. Summer highs a little over 110. Winter lows in 30s and sometimes 20s. I inherited about 4 acres with nothing on it that has been sitting for many years. I would like to make money with this land as well as introduce permaculture to my area.
2. I am doing research while I can. Going to order the rainwater harvesting books by Brad Lancaster. Figure thats a good place to start. What are other good books or websites I could look into that would apply to my circumstances?
3. If in my position, where would you guys start? Sunken hugulkultur, sheet mulching, what to plant, etc. My immediate problem to solve would be irrigation for a garden.
Thank you guys for all the work you have done for the rest of us to learn!
Look for ways to get the land to hold what little you get. Is your land flat or does hit have contours? Swales and/or terraces work well with contours. If flat, consider impressing the soil to create lows and highs. Here's a link that talks about this... impressing
What's growing on the land right now?
If there isn't much, I'd recommend seeding a cover crop like clover. This will help shade the soil, keeping water there longer.
Plant some trees strategically to block the wind. The wind desiccates the land, wicking water out of the soil.
There isn't much more I can say without looking at the land.
Immedite plans are to be able to grow a large garden without well irrigation this year on some of it. Big enough to sell some of it. Future plans would be to pasture animals as well.
To describe the land is easy. Completely flat, aboslutely nothing on it but some old walnut wood. That's it. Just picture a dead dry flat field with great soil. I have a blank canvas to work with.
Location: Eastern Washington, 8 acres, h. zone 5b
posted 4 years ago
I mentioned impression earlier. There's a way to rough up the ground that may work for you. I use pigs.
sepp holzer recommends them for clearing ground and roughing it up prior to planting trees. (page 108-111, "Desert or Paradise", sepp holzer)
Water, dust and seeds(you can cast the seeds or nature will provide some eventually) will collect in the depressions the pigs (or whatever) have made. The seed will sprout. The grasses and other plants will collect rainwater and dew. The depressions are more sheltered from wind and sun as well.
Do you have access to electricity? You'd want an electric fence if you go this route.