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Learning and applying permaculture in the Andes  RSS feed

 
Matt Tebbit
Posts: 35
Location: Cusco, Peru
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Here's a link to my blog Organic Cusco.

I'm just starting out trying to learn permaculture, I've got my small plot of land and a good idea of what should be done, doing it will probably be much harder than I think though

Any feedback on what I'm doing/planning and also on the blog itself would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Matt.
 
Karl Treen
Posts: 59
Location: Providence, RI, USA
12
forest garden trees urban
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If I am correct, you are facing some cold weather in the winter. You might want to consider digging a walipini style "pit greenhouse". This is something that was testing in Peru and found to be quite effective for providing a warm, cost-effective, year-round greenhouse for cold climates. I keep meaning to dig one, myself, but have very limited space.

http://www.inspirationgreen.com/pit-greenhouses.html

Good work, friend. Abundance follows from good design!

Karl
PermacultureProvidence.org
 
Matt Tebbit
Posts: 35
Location: Cusco, Peru
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I like the look of that, cold isn't such a concern but I was thinking of doing sunken beds to help retain water and this looks like a pit greenhouse would work for that as well. It'd be a lot of work digging it out though, my land is stony and with heavy clay.

Cusco (the city and its surrounds) luckily doesn't get hit by the cold weather other parts of Peru do - it's never snowed here in the 10 years I've been here and having spoken to people it's only ever snowed once in the city in the last 30 years or so. Temperatures can fall to around zero at night during the winter months (July/August), I'm not sure whether they'll even get that low where I have my land. Each valley has its own microclimate and this particular valley traps the heat like anything, it's a good couple of degrees hotter than the city on any given day.

I am concerned about weather as things are pretty crazy here - 2010 there were massive floods, the lake on the other side of the mountain to me flooded and wiped out the close by village, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley (which is downstream from my land) also got hit really bad. The same year the jungle in the region was hit by a drought. 2012 the rainy season never really ended, it is supposed to mostly stop by March and July and August don't have a drop of rain. The rains continued until July and had started again by late August. 2013 the whole South of the country was hit by a cold snap (Cusco city was ok), there was snow falling just a few hours drive from the jungle and in Puno (in the far South) there was 2 meters of snow which wiped out about 30,000 Alpacas and Llamas - a considerable hit for the local people. This year we had rain all the way up until July but now the rains aren't coming - the rains should have started 2 months ago and by now we should have 2-3 hours of solid rain a day. Most days are hot and sunny right now and it's only raining infrequently.

With such swings in weather from year to year it's going to be hard to plan for things - as I said, where I have my land appears mostly hot and dry so if I'm going to prepare for anything it will be those conditions.
 
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