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Is there something missing with permaculture? or there something wrong with me?

 
Mostafa Ismail
Posts: 55
Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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Hi all
I think there is something missing with permacultre the way we know it right now .
I think conventional farming is producing more , easy to apply in different land with different climats
But You can say permaculture has let me down , I've not gained with it
you see am still believing in nature , in goodness , in permaculutre

Do you agree with me that there is something missing ?
something people who know don't talk about , or something they have not discovered yet, or something  has been there in the past and missing by now
 
 
David Livingston
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Ismail
I am a little confused by what you are trying to say ? Are you saying that you have tried to use permaculture and its not giving you the results you were led to believe ? Are you talking more generally ?
Why dont you list what you have done and what has worked ? What you mean by worked and what did not work as expected lets see if "we " can work it out .

David
 
Tyler Ludens
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Definitely need more information.  From my own point of view, permaculture may fail if I approach it as a bunch of techniques, and not as a system of design.  Once I grasped the design concepts and began to apply them, things have greatly improved.  When I was randomly trying various techniques without a design framework, most of my attempts failed.

 
Mostafa Ismail
Posts: 55
Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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I have been on that path for 8 years or so ,\
I have these four acres of grape , I stopped using chemical fertilizers ,stopped using any kind of chemical form ,  only using bought and made compost and manure , started kind of raised beds under the grapes , but no matter what I do the plants show lake of nitrogen . we don't have almost any rain , so we are using river drip irrigation
I have to say that the farm is on the end side of the desert , soil is calcide one
one other thing some kind of weed that might be called blady grass is taking over ,
you see I hate  chemical treatment on plants or human , and I would never go to that side
if you have any thing else to ask am ready
 
Burra Maluca
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So have you worked out a complete design for your system, or are you just trying to implement one or two techniques? 

Permaculture is all about designing a whole system so that all needs can be met as ecologically as possible.  Do you have earthworks or any system to catch rainfall?  What about soil building techniques?  Nitrogen fixers?  What else are you growing besides grapes, or is it more of a monocultue? 
 
Mostafa Ismail
Posts: 55
Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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believe me am not the enemy here ,my believes led me to permaculture and I would do nothing but it , am trying to make the picture clearer , trying to reach for something better .


yes there are places in this world with no rain , or so little rain
you can say we get no rain , and if we get so little some year  it leach down , and in so little time there would be none left
and I did plant alfalfa with the grape , the perennial that is available to me and survived there
and I did try no tilling , and tried to mulch with what is available ,which was not really much almost hay
and I did try biochar but less than 2 percent in volume
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Mostafa. Could you tell me where on planet earth you are located? It sounds a lot like desert, but you haven't really specified the location enough for me to offer up a methodology that will work.
I would also like a little more information on your topography, is it flat land, slight rise and fall, this information can be valuable for the water part of the methodology suggestions.
I would also like to know a little about what you want to be able to grow, if you don't mind.  One of the marvelous things about permaculture is that there is something that will work no matter where you call home.

Redhawk
 
Rebecca Norman
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I also live in a place where it's so dry that I don't think it would be worthwhile to spend much effort on trying to collect rain or snow. I think it rained enough to soak the ground for a week or two in 2010 and a couple of weeks in 2015. In 2010 that rain caused the biggest catastrophe of the region, with hundreds of lives lost and dozens of roads washed out; in 2015 there was damage to some roads and structures but few or no lives lost. Previous to that was in 2006 and 07 in very localised different places in the region, with damage and at least five lives lost. But during other years, there is not enough rain or snow to wet the ground. Snow is usually so light it dries up when the sun comes up. And rain, for example, in 2016, I don't think it ever rained enough to make the ground look dark all year, though the ground was speckled with raindrops a few times. In such a situation, I can't imagine any kind of earthworks or rainwater harvesting would be worth investing time, energy or land into.

Mostafa, in an old thread I think you mentioned that you had tried a hugel bed and it worked great. I think it was in a thread about something else and I can't find it now. I would love to hear about it. Could you start a new thread in the hugel forum about it? Was it buried or raised, and how did you water it, etc? Successes and failures of it over time? -- Because I've considered hugel bed but have some doubts, and wood is a bit rare and precious here so I want to hear more about others who have done it in deserts.
 
Mostafa Ismail
Posts: 55
Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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How are you Bryant ,
the farm is in Egypt 100 km south of Cairo , that would be south of Giza , yes it's desert not really sand , no bedrock in 5 meter deep as far as I know
I am having grape by now which produce so little , I would like to grow other kind of fruit plum if there is a chance , I would like to grow vegetable lot of kinds ,

by the way I don't know any farm in the whole of Egypt which do permaculture  , if there is it's not 100 k m of where I live , or where my farm is
and for sure not 400 k m in the south
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Rebecca, yes, it is more important for water control to be installed in dry regions for the precise reasons you have mentioned. I am so sorry so many lost their lives from what was almost certainly a massive flood event, probably something on the line of a 500 year event I believe.
In many places with mostly dry weather for years, many do not understand the very real need for doing the earth works in order to be ready for when a sudden deluge occurs. This happens in Africa, South America, India, even the Middle East, it is tragic but it is avoidable or at least better controlled when prepared for.
Many times by doing the water control work, the climatic surges end up not as disasters but as improvement events for the soil. This happens because the water surges are controlled and directed so as to allow much of it to soak into the soil rather than just flow over it, stripping soil away to be deposited elsewhere.

There are several great people working in these dry areas that have done fantastic work and the efforts are showing that we can change how a climate area works and even moderate that climate area so many things can be grown there.

Redhawk
 
Tyler Ludens
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
In many places with mostly dry weather for years, many do not understand the very real need for doing the earth works in order to be ready for when a sudden deluge occurs.


This is so important.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JyEHdJS94s
 
Bryant RedHawk
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mostafa ismail wrote:How are you Bryant ,
the farm is in Egypt 100 km south of Cairo , that would be south of Giza , yes it's desert not really sand , no bedrock in 5 meter deep as far as I know
I am having grape by now which produce so little , I would like to grow other kind of fruit plum if there is a chance , I would like to grow vegetable lot of kinds ,

by the way I don't know any farm in the whole of Egypt which do permaculture  , if there is it's not 100 k m of where I live , or where my farm is
and for sure not 400 k m in the south


I am well Mostafa, I hope you are also. According to Google Earth Pro, your area is either hilly or semi-mountainous yes?
If you are in the area I looked at (due south 100 miles (Km) from Cairo, in the vicinity of the Al Kurimat/ Al Zatrana road (this is south of Your location), yes?
then you can do some earth works that will allow you to take advantage of any rains that come. I see that some do come, from the gullies to the north of you and some a bit south of you.

There is also an indication that there used to be a rivulet close by that emptied into a lake ( ancient times ). I love what satellites can show us.

If we can pin your location down a bit more, I think I can give some fairly good suggestions for you to trial.  I may even figure out a way to put some google earth images on here for your use in the process.
I have a colleague who is doing work in your area ( he is near Makkah (to the south of it)), His name is Neal Spackman, and he is doing terraforming with great success there. In under 7 years he has made great advances and they are growing trees and vegetables.

So, I think we can help you, what is working in Saudi Arabia should work in your part of Egypt too.

Redhawk

duh, I just noticed I was using miles instead of Km, got the area now, I think.

Redhawk
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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geoff lawton [who lives in Austrailia and does a LOT of work in the middle east] is on record -in his online PDC I believe- though it may also have been mentioned in one of his free desert videos- stating the formula for sustainable successful production in the worst of the drylands that recieve any precipitation at all is 20 areas of catchment to one area of production.

I don't know if you have access to that kind of catchment uphill from your vineyard [bear in mind catchment can be expanded with swales] but if you do, earthworks and time should eventually result in a lush oasis.
 
Mostafa Ismail
Posts: 55
Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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Redhawk "maybe you like better to called by that name "

I like the way you work , yes am in a place called alkrimat  which is by the river Nile , my farm it self in the desert of that  it place ,western border of the farm about 1 km from the river you can locate it ,  the big farm is about 2000 acre,  called macka by the way ,
I own only 10 acre
t
don't depend on rain here , you can say it does not come , or come once or twice in winter and doesn't help for sure
our soil doesn't really retain water , even floding water

it's quite diffrent from Saudi arabia  , when it rain there , it really rain , there would be floads that destroy roads and building
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Sounds like your soil is largely dead. You might see good results installing a diverse covercrop system supplemented with some irrigation until the biology takes over.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Here are a couple of links which might help:

http://www.permacultureegypt.com/
https://ecomagroup.wordpress.com/
 
Mostafa Ismail
Posts: 55
Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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now I remember something that happened 2 years ago

it rained once for 3 hours or more , it was not light one , in the a nearby village where the soil is Nile mud , the road was very wet and sticky , people didn't go out of homes the next day
in our soil it was wet , but was ok to walk on ,  no pools of water  whats so ever .if you dig it was wet for about a feet  but was all dry beyond that .
in the third day it was all dry  , as if there was nothing at all
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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That sounds like a lack of infiltration, how was the runoff situation during that event?

Also! The sun down there is crazy intense and the winds drying, I could totally see one day dessicating unprotected soil a foot down.

I'm going to repeat my earlier suggestion- set up a diverse dryland covercrop and start building soil from your dirt.
 
Mostafa Ismail
Posts: 55
Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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Kyrt



there is no such thing as water run off in such a soil , I have never seen one
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Were you watching during the rain event you mentioned?

If it does absorb all the water that lands on it that's a good thing, it means we don't have much to worry about erosion and can focus our efforts on covering the soil and getting more vegetation in there feeding it.
 
Mostafa Ismail
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Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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well
 
It seems to me that permaculture  is based upon rainy areas , even when it talks about arid places , it mean arid in one season or so.

you see the most part of Egypt in all it's history been depending on the river Nile that's why , it's said that "Egypt is the gift of Nile"

maybe that's why I said there is something missing with permaculture

and let us assume that sepp holzer , or dr ingham has added something to permculture , then before any of them there was something missing
and am sure someone will come along in the near future and add something to permaculture , then we would say...............................................................
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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You're already using irrigation.

We can put that to work for us building living soil that far better utilizes your water budget...

...or we can talk about how permaculture might be'missing something' [the answer to which of course is that permaculture is an evolving science advancing over time through trial and error based on observation.]
 
Casie Becker
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I don't keep current on the 'big names' in agriculture, but Geoff Lawton has actually worked in some of the driest areas on the planet. Here's a link to a video about one of his first projects, in Jordan 
  He definitely used irrigation to start these results, though.

My understanding of sandy soil is from Florida, which gets abundant water but still has plants suffer from how quickly that drains out of their root zones. I'm going to add this thread to the "greening the desert" forum. Maybe that will give it enough visibility to attract the attention of those members who are facing the same challenges. There's one particular member who posts rarely but has good pictures and video, if I can find his thread I'll add a link here.

edit: found the project, there's actually two threads about it and both have video, so here's two links. https://permies.com/t/40248/months-growth-swales-Saudi-Arabia
https://permies.com/t/51655/Flooding-Dams-Years-Scans ; I always read with interest when they update and am very grateful that I don't have live with such challenges.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Permaculture itself is not based on any amount of rainfall or climate, it is an approach to making land productive and sustainable.

Permaculture techniques that have been developed so far do tend to work best where there is some amount of rain, because the vast majority of people practicing it live in such areas. As people in desert areas apply the principles and do research, practices that work well in the desert will no doubt be discovered.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Mostafa Ismail
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Location: south of Giza Egypt . Home in cairo
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Regarding greening the desert

I had relation who used to live in Jordan , they told me that Jordan gets lot of rain in winter , plus it's soil in general is very good one like Palstine , Lepanon , and Egyptatin Sina, and maybe syria as well .
it seems to me that is Exceptional places

I have never seen plants like in Sinai , or breathed air like In Sinai ,
 
Tyler Ludens
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Neal Spackman's project gets 3 inches of rain per year.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Neal Spackman's project gets 3 inches of rain per year.

That's an average which includes drought years that don't actually receive rainfall events.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
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I have had problems with wind. I'm using tree tubes now after watching how a major Pecan farm starts their saplings. Some common big Ag. methods can be very helpful.
 
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