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permaculture restoration  RSS feed

 
Kelda Miller
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Hi all!
I was just wondering what your favorite permaculture restoration projects are. You know how you can watch Geoff Lawtons' Greening the Desert ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk ), and get all teary-eyed at the end because the salvation of the planet is simple and beautiful.

What are other permaculture projects of this genre that come to mind for you?
 
                    
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The movie One Man, One Cow, One Planet about Peter Proctor's work with biodynamic farming in India post "green-revolution" was really wonderful, I thought. 
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Have read Brad Lancaster's books "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond" and was taken with Mr. Phiri's work in his country. Have used many of his and Brad's methods here.

Mr. Phiri’s story
http://cals.arizona.edu/OALS/ALN/aln46/lancaster.html ;  

Brad's website
http://www.harvestingrainwater.com
 
                                
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I am all aflutter with regard to land imprinting for restoration of desert/arid land. You can see Bill Mollison and Bob Dixon demonstrating it in the second video down here:

http://home.comcast.net/~palalab/lesson3.html

Gabriel

 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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What separates "permaculture restoration" from high quality process-based restoration?  For example: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss2/art5/ (or any other of 100 examples)...
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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There are many examples of like methods used across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Does it matter that Aldo Leopold discussed ecological  riparian restoration in the mid last century or that Mollison discusses this in his  books years later? Or that engineering finally began grasping that such science needed to be included and taught in the last 30-40+ years?

Like methods can be found across our planet from the smallest of farmers in Africa, to eclectic Indian researchers to Anastasia. Examples can be thousands of years old to just conceived yesterday. The only connecting point is the method used to achieve the end needed.
   
It is by no coincidence such things happen. The important part is that because it does, no matter what discipline carries the banner, that which is needed is done.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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There was a particularly nice creek restoration completed by Friends of the Hylebos Wetland with Natural Systems Design doing design/build.  Cash from federal grants and municipal water district funds.  Cudos to Earthcorps for supporting volunteer involvement.

(I posted a picture on google earth)
google earth: 5th avenue and emerald street, milton, wa

Its a coho salmon stream, and coho rear for a year or more in channel before going to see.  Winter flood refugia and channel complexity are important during this part of their lifecycle.  This reach of Hylebos creek was put into a ditch against the valley wall for ag development, with the channel reduced to a sandy bottom flume, but the resulting ag land has since been left to reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) which has arrested succession to cottonwood, alder, or cedar.  Some initial attempts were made to increase channel roughness with small wood and rock.  The result was the creek just jumped channel during high flow, did not have enough energy to scour the channel, and returned to the unchanged ditch as flow decreased.

The projects was relatively low in cash.  They acquired non-marketable logs from a windfall salvage.  They didn't import or export materials.  They used a municipal track-hoe crew and made one pass down a new 'meander belt' to minimize the impacts of equipment on the site.  The equipment operator worked in tandom with a field biologist, who read the lay of the land to create meanders, high spots and low spots, on and off channel, and inserting wood to create in channel complexity, dumping gravel to jump start bed structure--all the while disrupting the Phalaris rhizome mat.  I have found that after they get over the culture shock, the biologist/equipment operator teams start having a lot of fun. 

Then the creek was diverted back into the modified floodplain.  Volunteers were use to pepper the site with willow stakes.  The roughened floodplain created a complex of riffles and pools.  Gravel began to sort well in the channel.  Coho spawned the next year.  low spots began collecting fine sediments and were planted with sedge.  The willow sprang up to replace the canarygrass.  A loose log jam was woven into a downstream willow thicket to keep floating logs from the downstream culverts.

Qualities:
the channel was un-engineered and designed to be dynamic within a naturally scaled range of change (a meander belt).
After careful observation, a single intense intervention resolved the core issues of the site, which is now evolving along a path of increasing natural complexity.
Materials were salvaged and gathered using a local volunteer and donor network that simultaneously built local stewardship of Hylebos Creek.
The design used an interdisciplinary team that used collaborative on-site design strategies rather than "firm/fixed" bid and build approach.
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Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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That is awesome Paul,
    Here in NM the Quivera Coalition works with different groups and agencies to do like restorative work. The restoration work they have done on both public and private  lands has been phenomenal.

I really like volunteering with them as always there are new things to learn and people to network with. On any given day volunteering with them you can find a mixed bag of professionals and lay people including botanists, engineers, scientists of varying disciplines, etc.

The instructors for the day will start the day out with slide show of past projects on the site and will have already taken careful notes on what has been useful or what hasn't worked quite right and needs adjustment. It will be discussed and examined-suggestions made and agreed to what should work then work groups organized and sent off to their respective missions.

This all based on an overall plan that is set up before the project ever begins and as the years go by its great to see how much change for the better has occurred and to be part of adding the next steps.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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