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What is the impact of what we do at small scale?

 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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ok, I do small, and I have to water, rain is not enough AT ALL.
ok, I can gain carbon for my soil, by "bichos" and my crops, and eat VERY local.
Better than nothing.

But I have no idea about the impact of what I do further than my little spot, 1 acre that I water at the moment, I have less than 2 hectares in all.

As a joke I would say that I profit a lot to rats and canary granivores birds as well.

What is needed so that a place gets a little more rain coming for example?
I am not far from the laurisilva part of the island, and this is preserved.
It is even incresing since the land was abandoned (agriculture is not economically sustainable for profesional agriculture, appart from goats)

BUT the island suffers from the climate change.
It no more rains during weeks like 20 years before.

I must add that we can visibly see that it rains in micro-climate way.
A neighbour even notice that sometimes it rains more on 1 part of the garden!
Up to what point can we "attract" more rainfall"?

I would want to foment motivation....
 
Alex Apfelbaum
Posts: 49
Location: Northeastern Spain (Mediterranean, zone 9b)
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books chicken forest garden
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Whatever you do on less than two acres might have limited effect on the local rainfall. Weather patterns are large systems and I don't believe we can design parts of a garden to attract more rain, unless you are growing a large forest.

What you can do however is work on trapping all the moisture you can on your site, first of all by covering the soil everywhere, making use of as much levels of vegetation as you can from the ground up to bushes and trees. In some spots you can install condensation traps, gravel and stones in shaded spots will accumulate condensation at night, setting up a greenhouse will provide you with a humid environment. Those are some ideas that come to mind.

The more dense and compact your vegetation is, the less wind and sun will dry it out. Of course you need water to grow all that vegetation.. it will be a slow process.

Also prevent your water from running off the site by using your greywater on the garden, which I suspect you might be doing already.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I believe in working with neighbours! We are not alone!
But even ecological persons do not have the same ideas about our relationship with nature....
So I can feel more alone than what I am....

Yes I do all this of layers, but a terraced place is soil buid on stones,
so I have underground air instead of what can keep water!

The problem with layers is about growing what needs sun...

I noticed I get water from dew on the plastic water pipes!

The advantage of terraces: I install climbing plants on supports, so that they grow OUT of the terrace, shading the terrace below.
There I can have ginger or curcuma, they like shade.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Very good link Alex...
"Clearing enough forest within a larger forest zone may switch net moisture transport “from ocean to land” into “from land to ocean”, leaving forest remnants to be dessicated. Clearing a band of forest near the coast may suffice to dry out a wet continental interior."

They removed pines near the Canarian costs, because it was sold for its superior wood (called tea, but te-a!).
I have seen "rain" under pines when foggy.
We have forest at higher altitudes, a laurisilva.
The rain here is mostly due to the mountain stopping clouds. Rain is very localized at the north of the island.

So, it seems that forest do not play as much role as... rock.

At the moment, when watering a small place, I think that evaporation removes more water than what it atracks!!!
 
David Livingston
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Doing what you do is great !
You will have an impact beyond the boundaries of your land by being an example . People see your efforts and ask why are you doing that ? How did you grow that ? What are you eating ? You did that with watering ? Etc etc
Don't belittle yourself . Change will come maybe not as fast as we all would like but it's coming As Pierre Rabhi said every garden is an act of rebellion against the system .

David
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Thanks David, I know Pierre Rabhi and feel like an oasis.
BUT oasis means there is a desert around...

No, the impact is not what you can think. Even the local permaculture people (I mean the real ones, with pdc, not little ones like me...) they are more into business for course selling than into contact!

Apart from new introductions, my garden is nothing different than any other around.
I gave the idea of producing seeds together, because if you let your brassicas or beets and chards, be in flower at the same time, then they cross... But no, each one prefers to buy its own seeds individualy. We just know each other a little more than urban neighbours! I am the only one to walk around to everybody and open the old paths. Sure, the walking is not easy, so most people have their friends outside and visit with cars!
I have no car, and I want to relate to my neighbours. -Not only- but first.

About carbon forming, I think the easiest here is opuntia.
And do as much as possible in winter, with the rain.
 
Eric Toensmeier
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This is a very interesting question indeed. up until now a lot of what we have focused on in permaculture has been our own farms and gardens. To address climate change really requires engaging in the climate movement, in policy advocacy, and then large – scale efforts to train farmers and land managers in new techniques. Because even 10 million awesome gardens or homesteads are not enough to do the job this case. We have to transform much of the world's farmland as well, And on a timescale of just a few decades. Some of the larger ecosystem impacts you mention like increasing rain clouds can only happen in a much larger scale as well.
 
Alex Apfelbaum
Posts: 49
Location: Northeastern Spain (Mediterranean, zone 9b)
2
books chicken forest garden
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Xisca it's interesting that you mention they removed pines near the coast, that may have had an effect on precipitations (or not, it's really difficult to measure these things accurately). In any case, planting trees on your property is always a good idea !

You say that your garden is no different than the others around apart from some new introductions and that you don't have a PDC, that means that there's probably still a lot you can do to better your little ecosystem and adjust your land's microclimate. Have you taken a look at Bill Mollison's books (the original Permaculture series floats on the web in PDF), he extensively writes about arid climates. Holmgren and Lawton have also much to say about permaculture on arid lands, as they work in Australia and the Middle East with quite some success.

Spreading new ideas to the neighborhood is difficult and has to be done with respect and patience according to my experience. Where I live there are many older people with vegetable gardens, who have been growing food for decades with the same technique. Now comes this younger foreigner who doens't do straight lines, mixes trees with vegetables and who's garden looks like a mess. You pass for the crazy one for a while, explain some every now and then, and come harvest time show that it works! It's all a long process, some say a lost battle, but hey it's something.. Personally I believe there's more hope in the younger generations, that is if you can get them hooked soon enough (before the get their hands on a frickin' tablet).

Keep up the good spirit !
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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So, that is clear for you Eric, what we do is nothing....
Though we have to do it as drops that make the sea.

And the best we can do is show as consumers that we ask for change.

And new techniques will require a sort of training that is well above the level and scale of a pdc...
I guess you talk about profesional training in your new book then!

Alex, I am frightened by what I saw among young people that came to "learn" at my place sometimes. Too much romanticism, "take a pdc and then go with nature not against and you just have to go down the garden and harvest, nature do it all for you..."
I think they can get frightened too when they see the large gap between what they want and can...
People do not look nor see around, are not train even to walk properly, they were trained on flat cement.
And worse of all, though they have not learned as children, they want to learn as children learn, which takes time. They want to learn and not be taught. Want to learn from their mistakes instead of avoiding making mistakes, that they of course do in a place they are going to leave...

Change will mean a lot of learning AND teaching, training. Alex, this is not only about older people I think. And I do not put myself out of the problem, as I am far from beeing very good at doing what I aim at. At least I am conscious of what missed in my own training.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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