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Sand Castle Permaculture, keeping water in the castle's landscape  RSS feed

 
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Hello all,

For me getting so super enthused about permaculture a few years ago, it took a lot of imagination because living where I was/am there are no tangible permaculture driven projects... no mini krameterhofs or even hugel beds (except the terrace pseudo hugels I stubbornly built to then reprimanded/fined by our town's building inspector). So anything tangible I can give to people who might take up the call of regenerative living is what I've been after, and since I have a child and many nieces and nephews, a recent visit to the beach and lots of sand castle building had me thinking:

Water in the landscape to me is a primary goal in my opinion, and to see the many children 9 years and younger putting in such great efforts to keep the castle moats filled—running back and forth to the ocean to get buckets of water, and trying to channel in water from the waves—I started thinking that on my next beach visit I ought to bring some readily available clay soil from our yard to help seal the moats and what ever other water features the kids imagined to have as part of their constructions. BUT THEN, I got thinking that bringing in clay was stifling to the idea of using what resources are already available in the locale, and could be a slippery slope towards teaching them to be globalist traders who would always overlook the perfectly balanced prospects of the locale land right before them. So the tangible question I have for you all is:

What sorts of resources or methods might be found at a beach to help seal or slow down sufficiently water in the landscape. There are usually plenty of mussel shells and some cherrystone clam shells available, and other odd debris.

And any fun tangential ideas or poking fun at what I'm after is welcome too, I'm in good spirits with all this and used to being made fun of by students for my quirkyness!

Many thanks! Keep doing what you all do and stay passionate, the Earth needs this!
Karlos
 
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Karlos Basak wrote:
What sorts of resources or methods might be found at a beach to help seal or slow down sufficiently water in the landscape. There are usually plenty of mussel shells and some cherrystone clam shells available, and other odd debris.



I think this is a really fun idea, and could probable be done at home/preschools with a "sand table" or sand box. When I was a kid, every year my cousins and I would go and play on the Oregon seaside. There was always dunes nearby, and those dunes had lots of tall, dry grass--like straw! I know a lot places use strawbales to slow water, so perhaps you could trim some of those grasses--being sure not to take the roots or damage the ones by the bluffs of the dunes (we don't want to cause erosion!). Take the grass/straw and see if you can make your own strawbales, or woven straw, to slow the water.

I agree with you that bringing outside inputs--like clay--isn't the best idea. Not only does it hamper the resourcefullness, but it also potentially brings in microorganisms and weed seeds from your house to the beach, potentially disrupting the ecosystem a little.


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Another fun thing to do is to do soil texture tests at the beach and in the surrounding areas. Basically, get some sand wet and see if you can form it into a ball

If it crumbles apart when you put it down, it's sand.

If it holds together, try to roll it into a sausage shape.

If it falls apart when you put it down, it's loamy sand.

If it stays together, roll it into a pencil.

If it falls apart when put down, it's sandy loam.

If it holds together, try to bend it into a half-circle.

If it cracks, it's loam.

If it stays together, try to form a circle

If you cannot, it's heavy loam. If you can, but it has cracks in it, it's light clay. And, if it has no cracks, it's clay soil.

(I got this information from here: http://www.fao.org/fishery/static/FAO_Training/FAO_Training/General/x6706e/x6706e06.htm)

It'd be neat to test the soil at the beach, and then at various spots on the way to your car, and maybe even a few more as you drive home, so the kids can see how soils change as you move away from the beach, and from place to place.
 
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